Washington, D.C. EIR Forum: Ending Permanent Warfare and Financial Panic
The Press conference from Tuesday, October 27th 2015.
MICHAEL BILLINGTON: OK, we'll begin a few minutes late. I welcome you here to the National Press Club for this EIR Forum. We're going to be hearing from two speakers today. My name is Mike Billington, I'm with the Executive Intelligence Review; we're going to be hearing from Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is the founder and chairman of the international Schiller Institute, and the head of the German political organization, the Büerrechtsbewegung Solidarität, and a former candidate for Chancellor in Germany. And she'll be followed by Sen. Mike Gravel, who was a senator from the state of Alaska to the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1981. I'll give you a further introduction of him before he speaks.
Helga has been in China perhaps six times in the last two years, I think approximately. She's been known in China since the 1990s as the "Silk Road Lady," when Lyn and Helga LaRouche had proposed the New Silk Road concept to unite Europe and Asia, back in the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union. She is also the inspiration and a key author of the report which you'll see outside, called "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge," which is a report basically taking the initiative of Xi Jinping in China for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the "One Belt, One Road" program, to extend that to the world, and I'm sure she'll be discussing that in her presentation.
She'll basically locate the two paradigms facing mankind today: That of the collapsing Western financial system, and the perpetual war policy that we see coming from the Obama administration and contrast that to the policy coming from the BRICS nations, for infrastructure, global development, and peace through development. And with that, I will turn it over to Mrs. LaRouche.
HELGA ZEPP-LaRouche: Thank you. Well, let me welcome all of you. I think most people in the world right now are aware that we are really experiencing a civilizational crisis, not only a financial crisis, many military crises around the world, wars, terrorism, hunger, refugees, it's just an enormous amount of simultaneous crises. And while all of these individual crises have local causes, which trigger them and cause them, I think it's fair to say that the underlying of the strategic, civilizational crisis, is the fact that trans-Atlantic financial system is hopelessly bankrupt. And it is that dynamic which is behind the war danger, which is behind local crises, and which is the biggest threat to the world right now.
Because contrary to what you read in the mainstream financial media, the crisis is not solved. As a matter of fact, there have been even warnings in financial press like The Economist and other such magazines, that we could have any moment, a repetition of what happened in 2008, that you could have a crash of the financial system of the trans-Atlantic sector, which could be triggered by a whole number of reasons; for example, if only one of the too big to fail banks would go bankrupt, it probably would evaporate the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, in a moment.
If that would happen, obviously, immediate chaos would break out, because contrary to 2008, there are no more so-called "tools" in the toolbox of the financial institutions: Quantitative easing, it has been done to the hilt. You know, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, the ECB have had zero interest rate policies for years. Bail-out has only led to the increase of the debt crisis, of the trans-Atlantic sector; and bail-in, which is now legislation in Dodd-Frank and in the ECB, in the European Union Commission, that would only be enough to deal with 1% of the outstanding derivatives debt. Because the too-big-to-fail banks have increased since 2008 by respectively 40 to 80% and have an outstanding derivative debt contracts of up to $2 quadrillion. And we roughly estimated that if you count all the banking accounts of private people, of businesses, and other financial assets which would go into a bail-in, it would account for about 1% of that debt. So, an instant collapse into chaos is really the danger we are talking about.
Now, there is a remedy to that. The remedy is to introduce Glass-Steagall, the banking separation law which was introduced in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in response to the economic crisis of the early '30s, and there are several motions in the U.S. Congress and in the Senate — there is actually legislation with the exact, same text in the Congress and the Senate. So if the political will could be mobilized, that problem could be solved. But it has to be solved. There is no other way than to shut down the casino economy of the Wall Street.
Now, as I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and the pursuit of the high-risk speculation of Wall Street, of the City of London and of other financial institutions, you know, it has led to an unbelievable situation! I think 21% of all people in the United States have no access to sufficient food; you have about 7% who are below poverty; you have 93 million people who are not part of the workforce any more, so you have 104 million Americans who are unemployed. The poverty rate in Europe, even without the present refugee crisis, one-third of all youth, average, are unemployed! In the south of Europe; over 60% are unemployed.
And if you look at the condition of what is called generally the "Third World," like Africa, I don't know how many hundred millions of people have been killed by a policy denying development to that continent and many other nations.
So now we are hit with an additional problem: the refugee crisis in Europe. Now, I know people in America think this is very far away, but I tell you, this is becoming a key strategic factor, also affecting the United States.
It is now publicly debated in Europe, that this refugee crisis was caused by U.S. and British wars in the Middle East, by a policy of regime change, by a policy of playing the so-called "Islamic card" going back to Brzezinski in 1975, when he initiated this policy; and then having a policy of always supporting the "good rebels," training them, only to see that the good rebels join the terrorists; then you have to make a new war against the terrorists, then you have to bet on the "good rebels," and so forth and so on!
This has now led to a situation where basically millions of people are trying to get into Europe. Germany probably will have, minimum, 1 million this year. The UN Human Rights report says that there are presently 60 million in flight right now. So we're not talking about a temporary refugee crisis. We're talking about a large migration of people running away from war, hunger, epidemics, mainly from Southwest Asia, but also to a certain extent from Africa.
And it is very clear, this will not stop! This will not stop, and you see right now the effect: The EU has completely failed. They ignored this problem since many years, because they left Italy and Greece completely alone for years; there were hundreds of people drowning in the Mediterranean for years! Some of them arriving in Lampedusa in Italy, and the EU said, "that's an Italian problem." The same with Greece.
But now with the recent developments in Syria, this is really exploding and you see the pictures. The official figure is that about 3,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year; that's officially, so probably in reality you can say double or many times more. And still, people take the risk of a 50% chance of not making it, and they go and try to get to Europe.
Now, the EU has failed, again. Because, just two days ago there was a summit with the Balkan route states, where they then decided to strengthen the outer borders of the EU. Even so, the idea to build a "Fortress Europe," is completely ridiculous! I mean, that has never functioned and will never function. And then, they said, they want to have certain camps along the Balkan routes; and they said, "Oh, finally, we made the first step to solve the problem."
Now, this was after months of this going on! And the pictures are horrible! There is no unity in Europe; there is no solidarity, there is no Europe. It now turns out that something, which was transformed into an interest group for the banks — namely, the EU after the Maastricht Treaty — that you can not pretend to have "union," which is bound together by nothing other than the defense of the banks and the defense of the high-speculation system. There is no unity because all of Eastern Europeans are now refusing to take any refugees; you have a situation where the famous "European values," where are they? What are we defending against some other cultures when there are no values in Europe?
And naturally, Chancellor Merkel did the right thing, when she said, several weeks ago, "we can manage." It was the right thing to do! Because these refugees have the right for asylum, according to the Geneva Convention, according to the UN Charter; but naturally, if you stick to the wrong policies, this is now getting out of hand. And the biggest threat right now to this, is the maintenance of the present financial policies of Wall Street, the City of London, the ECB, which is reflected by Finance Minister Schäuble, who says, we must protect the so-called "black zero" which is a synonym for balanced budgets, which is the idea that no matter how many expenses you have spend for the refugees, the budget must remain balanced, and that means you have to cut in other areas, like social expenditures, kindergarten, schools, health system; and naturally, for the people who are in a precarious economic situation already, like the unemployed, like the people who have a low but precarious income, they feel threatened. And therefore, Schäuble's "black zero" fuels the kind of xenophobic reactions which you have heard about, that already this year 500 housing projects for the refugees have been attacked or burned down, and right-wing violence is on the increase.
You see now that President Putin was absolutely when he said several months ago, or even a year ago, that the big mistake of the West to support Nazis in Ukraine, in the form of the Right Sector, has the danger that this Nazism is spreading to other European countries. And you see right now, a big increase of conservatives — I'm not saying that all the right-wing governments are Nazis, I'm just saying it increases the right-wing reaction and it increases some outright fascist elements in many countries in Europe. And this is very, very dangerous.
So the only solution is, obviously, to change the economic policy, to stop what is high-risk speculation for the United States on Wall Street; to stop what is the "black zero" policy of Schäuble in Europe. And, fortunately, there is an alternative.
Now, very little known, because the Western media in Europe and the United States are generally not reporting it, or if they report it, they misrepresent it, there is an alternative economic system, which has developed. It started, really — well, it started 25 years ago, when we proposed the New Silk Road as a response to the collapse of the Soviet Union; but it was put again energetically on the table by the Chinese government in 2013, when President Xi Jinping announced a New Silk Road to become the policy of China in Kazakhstan in September. And in the meantime, this dynamic, of building a New Silk Road in the tradition of the ancient Silk Road — meaning an exchange not only of culture, of goods, of ideas, but also of technologies, of improving the relation among nations, this has spread like wildfire!
It spread into the BRICS; the BRICS had a big summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014. It was consolidated through another BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, this year; and what you see now is the unfolding of an alternative economic system which is completely based on different principles than the trans-Atlantic high-risk and high-profit speculation.
It is based on real investment in infrastructure, on uplifting populations out of poverty, like China has done in lifting 600 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years; and it is offering now, in reality, the Chinese economic miracle, to other countries that participate in the construction of this New Silk Road
Now, this is really taking off. China is buidling a "Second Panama Canal" in Nicaragua; China is helping to build a transcontinental railway between Brazil and Peru; China is helping to build five canals, between Argentina and Chile. And many, many other projects are happening in the high-technology cooperation among many nations, and up to nuclear energy, space cooperation, and it is really an engine of growth. And do not believe all the bad-mouthing that the Chinese economy is collapsing and that is the cause of all the problems. It is not true. If China has a stock market, that does not affect the real economy which is still on a very healthy trajectory.
Now, with that goes a whole different system of economic and financial institutions, like the AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; which the United States made big efforts to pressure allies that they should not join this. Well, what happened? Some 58 or 59 nations immediately joined. The first one, interestingly enough, Great Britain, because they are a little bit smarter, they know which way the wind is blowing; and then most of the European nations, many of the Asian nations, and this is now becoming a major institution for the financing of infrastructure in real economy. But also the New Development Bank of the BRICS; then you have the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bank; you have the SAARC bank, that's the bank for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation; you have the Silk Road Fund; you have the Maritime Silk Road Fund. So you have the spread of a whole different set of financial institutions which are deliberately not for speculation, but only for the investment in real industry.
And in certain sense, that existing body of financial institutions is like the lifeboat at the moment when the Titanic of the trans-Atlantic system is sinking.
Now, what we have to do, and there is such a thing like a patent prescription, like a passe-partout, which really would solve most problems of the world. If we can get the United States to implement Glass-Steagall, shut down Wall Street, then implement a credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, go back to the traditional American System of economy, generate large amounts of state credit for production and projects; do the same thing in Europe.
The Greek government has demanded for some time, that the Greek debt is unpayable, and that there must be a European debt conference in the tradition of the 1953 debt conference, which at that time, cut the German debt by 60%, and that referred to the German debt from the period between World War I and World War II, but also the debt coming from the so-called Marshall Plan; and it is generally acknowledged that the German economic miracle in the postwar period could not have taken place, if that debt cut would not have happened. Now, therefore, the Greek government demand to have a debt cut, is absolutely legitimate, all the most, because most of this debt is illegitimate because it was just forced on the Greek governments only to flow by 97% back to the European banks, to cover their situation, and 3% of that debt remained in Greece. So, why should the Greek people be continuously tortured to cut their economy which has been shrunk by one-third through this austerity policy, no, they have the right to write-off this illegitimate debt.
Now, after such a debt conference in Europe, we could go back to the good policies, which helped the German economic miracle in the postwar reconstruction. That is, we would take the equivalent of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the Credit Bank for Reconstruction which was the vehicle of the economic miracle in Germany in the postwar period, and provide state credit in the same way like the Reconstruction Finance Corp. of Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the New Deal.
And that was the mechanism by which Germany made an economic miracle, and exactly that mechanism be used today, for the financing of not only — if you want to solve the refugees problem, we have to provide new credit — and Mr. Schäuble should retire, because he's incompetent and should really not determine where the future of Europe lies — we could issue credit to build 500,000 public housing units per year for the refugees. Then, we need other investments, like teachers, social workers, training programs, to integrate a lot of these refugees into a the reconstruction of their own housing in Europe.
But this is only one part. Because, I mean, the terrorism problem in the Middle East, as important as it is that Putin changed the strategic situation by militarily intervening in Syria, you know, this problem of terrorism will not be solved by military means alone. Once you defeat terrorism, you need to put in real development. If you look at Southwest Asia, the entire region is desert! From the Atlantic coast of Africa all the way, the Sahel zone, the Sahara, into the Saudi Peninsula, into Southwest Asia into the Middle East, all the way to China, this is a tremendous belt of desert which is expanding, it's growing. And there is nothing — I mean, look, the Middle East has been bombed back into the Stone Age.
Look at Iraq: Iraq was a functioning country under Saddam Hussein! You may not have to like Saddam Hussein, but it was a functioning country with growing infrastructure, with women having access to universities; the same goes for Qaddafi. You may not have to like Qaddafi, but he developed infrastructure in Africa. Look at Syria. The previous situation in Syria was functioning! You had peace among all religions. You had a secular government, which promoted the wellbeing of their own people, and look at these countries now! They're being destroyed, they're being turned into rubble-fields. And if we want to have a stable future, it is not enough to just reinforce the refugee camps in Turkey or reinforcing the outer borders of Europe as a Fortress Europe.
What I'm saying is, the New Silk Road and the policies adopted by the BRICS countries are the solution to these Middle East problems. Because all we have to do is to extend the New Silk Road into Middle East.
Now, people would say, "That would never function. The Middle East has always been the battleground of all these empires, the British, the French, and various others..." But it has reached a point where mankind is challenged, that either we change the paradigm and establish an order in which all people on this planet can live as human beings, or we will not make it, and we will vanish as the dinosaurs did 65 million years ago because we have proven we are not any smarter.
Now, I think the human species is smarter, and therefore, I'm confident that if we put this question on the table and say that if all the major neighbors of Southwest Asia, — Russia, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Italy, Germany, France, and even the United States, — if we all agree and say, "We should develop a Marshall Plan for the Middle East and for Africa. We must now correct the mistakes of not having allowed the development of Africa, of having allowed wars based on lies in the Middle East; and we now unite our efforts and make major reconstruction in the Middle East!" We could declare a war on the desert; we can make new, fresh water; we can desalinate large amounts of ocean water through peaceful nuclear energy; we can use the water in the atmosphere through ionization of moisture, which is being used already in Israel and some Gulf states — we could do that on a large scale; we could have other water projects. We can put in infrastructure. We can build new cities, we can build agriculture and industrialization in both Southwest Asia and Africa, which is eminently possible, through the approach we have taken by this report, which says, "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge" by simply extending the existing New Silk Road development into all of these areas.
Now, I think this is eminently possible. I think that all the neighbor countries of the Middle East, have a strategic interest, because terrorism and drugs, is threatening Russia; Russia is just closing the border with Tajikistan, because they are threatened with terrorism and drugs coming in from Afghanistan and other areas. It's threatening China, because of Xinjiang. India has a big security interest that this problem should be solved, because they have a large Muslim population, and they don't want that Muslim population to be influenced by the radical form of Islam coming from the Wahhabi Salafists. So there is a common interest, naturally in all of Europe, because you know, as much as we welcome, or at least most of the Europeans or most of the Germans welcome the refugees, it is also clear that you cannot deal with hundreds of millions of refugees without the European Union is really detonated.
So, I think we have a unique chance to turn this around. And it would also be in the interest of the United States.
Now, the United States right now, insists that there should be a unipolar world order. President Obama has just reiterated that in his speech to the United Nations, by saying that the United States has the largest military ever in history; and just today we got news that they have sent the USS Lassen guided missile destroyer to the South China Sea, which has found a big protest from China. They just announced that they will put troops on the ground in Syria, which, from a standpoint of international law is problematic, because they have not been invited to do so; so right now, the United States has chosen another course.
But the United States would benefit by joining with the BRICS, by joining with the New Silk Road in development! In bringing peace to the Middle East, in building up other countries of the world. But, it would not only mean that the United States would join development projects in Southwest Asia and other areas of the world; the United States urgently needs development itself. The U.S. economy is collapsed; you have poverty, you have an unbelievable social situation! I mean the killings, police killings of black people, black-on-black killing, the school shootings — it's a collapse! It's a civilizational crisis here in the United States!
There is no fast train! Have you ever travelled one mile on a fast train in the United States? [laughter] Definitely not: You have to go to China, to enjoy travelling for 18,000 km by fast train in China, which is the finest fast train I have ever travelled on: They're smooth, they're steady, they don't shake like European fast trains. So it's a pleasure.
The United States urgently would need improvement of highways, without potholes into which you can vanish with your car, which is a life hazard every time you travel these roads! So, if the United States would say, we'll go back to an FDR policy, and rebuild our economy, have collaboration to not only build a fast train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but to build a real system, a transcontinental railway system, with high-speed trains, new highways; fight the desert in Texas and in California; build some new cities, and the United States could easily transform its military apparatus to produce useful, productive things.
Now, I think the whole world is waiting for that, and what we are trying to do, is, we are trying to cause this shift to happen, because it is an American tradition. It was the tradition of Benjamin Franklin, of George Washington, of John Quincy Adams, of Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Kennedy, so it is not impossible. We just have to evoke the better tradition of America to make that happen.
So that is what I think we are at. I think we are really in danger, if a collapse of the system happens without the reform of Glass-Steagall to protect the normal population from that, we could really end up in mass killings of an unprecedented dimension. I mean, if this would happen in Europe, on top of the refugee crisis, I think we would have civil war in Europe, and we probably would have civil war in the United States.
So I think the incentive to change policy as long as there is time, is gigantic, and the optimistic note is that the alternative is already in place. Thank you.
MICHAEL BILLINGTON: Thank you. Let me mention that we scheduled this until 4, but we can go beyond that; and after Senator Gravel's presentation, we'll have plenty of time for questions. I encourage you to think of questions or comments that you want to make; we'll have the time, and I think it would be very productive.
Senator Gravel, who as I said, was the Senator from the state of Alaska from 1969-1981, had many accomplishments. He's personally responsible for the building of the Alaskan pipeline; he's been fighting various extreme environmentalists all his life in order to get development, rather than zero-growth. He ran for President in 2007; and in those debates at that time, before Obama was elected, he identified Obama as a war President and won Obama's hatred for the rest of his life — which he's very proud of, I'm sure.
And he's most famous for the fact that at the time of the Vietnam War, when one of our intelligence agents, Daniel Ellsberg, decided that the lies coming from the Nixon administration about what was going on in Vietnam were too extreme, that he decided to release confidential secret documents which he had partially written. And the government took an injunction against those being published in the American press. Daniel Ellsberg then went to Senator Gravel, who had the courage to stand up on the floor of the Senate, and read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, under the Constitutional guarantee that Congressmen cannot be prosecuted or even questioned for what they say on the floor of the Senate through the separation of powers. And the Nixon administration's effort to crush that separation of powers and prosecute Senator Gravel went all the way to the Supreme Court; and he won, and has been courageous ever since in continuing that fight. And as he will discuss, we have a similar issue with the 28 pages in the 9/11 report [of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry], which need to be released; and he will discuss that with you.
So, I'll leave it at that, and we'll ask Senator Gravel to come speak.
SENATOR MICHAEL GRAVEL: Thank you very much. Wasn't that a fantastic expose by Helga LaRouche? [applause] It leaves no room for me to talk!
All I can do is underscore her comments in this way: Stop and think that in the world today, you have really two choices. You can either grow and prosper as a result of growth; or you can turn around and follow a different path of militarism. As an American citizen, I say it all the time, I'm very patriotic; I love my country, I love the world more, but I do love my country. And I'm embarrassed, absolutely embarrassed at the conduct of my country for the last 40 years. And your choices are very simple, when you look at what China is offering with the Silk Road vision, it's an offer to unify the world economically through mutual growth; addressing the problems that are so vital to our personal benefit as human beings. That's what China offers. And now, what does the United States offer? We try to sabotage institutions that will be able to finance growth; we turn around — and I'll go deeply into this — we try to antagonize China.
Now, you read in the American press, particularly this morning there was in the paper about the — and Helga referred to this — about a destroyer that was sailing very close to this Spratly Islands, an island just bordering the 12-mile limit. Why are we doing that? These are silly boys playing with silly toys! That's really what it is. It makes no sense at all. This destroyer came out of Japan, and so this is a provocation. So, this is our approach, the American approach, to dealing with the crises of the world, is to provoke China. Because of what? China is in the ascendancy economically in the world; there's just no question that with their present plans that China will be the country of the 21st Century. And its vision, to share that growth, with the rest of the world, it's just awesome as a vision, and will define what the 21st Century is all about.
And it won't be the American Century. And I would only hope, and it just stands to logic, that if the United States would join forces and hold hands with China and proceed to develop the entire world; boy, would this be a human accomplishment nonpareil. And so, is that what's happening? No. Somebody's ordered an admiral to order a captain to sail his vessel in provocation to China.
So you clearly understand what's going on in the China Seas. China is doing no different, what all the other countries who have claims have done before. The difference is, they do it with a little bit more money, because they have more money. But some have been as ridiculous as getting a truckload of cement and pouring it on some rocks and saying, "OK, that's our cement, therefore, that's our property."
What China is doing is trying to create a marker; it's not trying to militarize these islands. It makes no sense. One missile could take out any one of these islands. And I might want to say, that when we think that we're threatening the world with our 11 nuclear armadas — and that's what they are; they're not just a nuclear flat-top; there are armadas that go around with them. One missile could take that aircraft carrier out. So, the expenditures that we make in terms of defense become — when you analyze it very closely — very, very ridiculous; just plain ridiculous.
Let me give you an idea of what's ridiculous. In 1996, the leadership in the Philippines Senate, passed a law telling the United States to get the hell out of their country. I thought it was a great move; very courageous because we're a superpower. But that was right after the explosion of the Pinatubo volcano, that really made Clarke Air Force Base — at the time the largest air force base in the world — it made that somewhat obsolete. And so our priorities were shifting, so we just packed up and left Subic Bay. Well, since that time, the United States, through three various mutual forces — like they just did a "training exercise"; we play war with these countries. So, we have co-opted the Panamanian government to support our interests. Now, do the calculations in China. If they looked at what's happening in the Philippines, they can only conclude that the Philippines is in the back pocket of the United States.
Now, China has every right to be concerned about their security, because they are essentially developing throughout the world. So, when you look at the China Sea, this is a major avenue, an area of major importance to China and also the bordering countries; but more to China because of their trade position.
So, what do we have, is we go in that area, and create this poking sticks at China; and we say we're doing it because we're really interested in maintaining freedom of the seas, maritime passage. Is there a greater element of hypocrisy, than our making that statement? Because what protects the freedom of the seas, is the Law of the Sea; it was really launched in 1993. I was very active in the Senate; in fact, I lost my Senate seat, because of my leadership on the Law of the Sea.
So, now we have the United States, which has not ratified it; it's one of very few, I think it is less than three or four countries that have not ratified it. So, that's the document; the legal international document that protects the freedom of the seas; not the American military. That's the document that does it.
So, we have a situation in the Philippines, where the United States is moving forward to aggressively move — you know we have a Marine division that's very unpopular in Okinawa. Well, the talk is, that we'll placate the Okinawans and we'll move that to the Philippines. Then we'll go back into Subic Bay; that's all on the shelf, right now; that's in process. Now those of you who are American taxpayers, I don't want to see one sou of my money going into military establishments in the Philippines. If you look at the map, you'll see that the Philippines borders essentially China; it's right at the heart of the Chinese mainland.
And so, for our strategic point of view, we don't want to, we're not interested in defense; if we were in defense, we would concentrate on the Western Hemisphere, we wouldn't go clear across the Pacific Ocean to get to the doorstep of China and try to harass them. And so, what we're doing in the Philippines is a plan to arm it to the hilt; and this will be from what we pivot, into control of Asia.
Now, when I look at what's happened in the Middle East, I'm reminded of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: that's our foreign policy. For those of you who may forget, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine; War; Destruction; Death. That's our foreign policy! You can call it, Obama has the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and he's riding it like a chariot. When you really in depth look at these elements, it just breaks your heart. Because as Helga just outlined, it's so easy to pursue the other course; it's so much more humane to produce the other course.
And when you look at what we've done here; you read the American press, and of course, everything is Putin has been demonized. We are demonizing China and to some degree Xi Jinping; and this is wrong. These people shouldn't be demonized; they're heads of governments. You don't see them demonizing Obama; you see people like myself demonizing Obama, and rightly so. But who started the problem in Ukraine? Does nobody remember what the Under Secretary Victoria Nuland said over the telephone that was taped? I won't repeat it, out of politeness, but I say that word often. Essentially, "Screw the UN! We've got a candidate for this position who's going to run the country after we effect this coup."
So, don't you think for a moment how this was financed by the CIA? If you don't have any knowledge of how the CIA functions, just reflect on it. This did not come down from Heaven; this came by some concrete acts. And a pattern, my God, we did this to Mossadegh in 1953 in Iran; and I'll talk about Iran in a moment, since I've segued into that.
At the signing on July 15 of the nuclear treaty with Iran, the greatest statement that was made was made by the President, Rouhani. He said, "Thank God, we now have a treaty which will deny Iran to acquire the bomb; which we never wanted to do anyway." And most people don't realize; when you realize that you had 20 years of Netanyahu shouting "Fire!" in the theater and saying that "The world's coming to an end; the Iranians are going to have the bomb and they're going to —" Do you forget? I've been to Iran, and I went to the war museum in Iran. And do you realize that they have a plaque there, where there's a UN resolution condemning Iran for the war, that was started by Saddam Hussein at the instigation of the United States of America?
And Iran, the whole world was against Iran; and the military of Iran went to the Ayatollah, and said, "Look, we can have some gas. We can eventually get a bomb." Because keep in mind, it was the United States that gave the Shah the reactor, that could build a bomb; that the Ayatollah inherited. So now you've got the Ayatollah says — and so you understand the position of the Ayatollah, and Khamenei today, is, he's like the Pope; he interprets what God says, period, in the Quran. This is what I interpret the Quran to mean, and that's gospel in the society. And so what the Ayatollah said, "I read the Quran, and it does not permit us to have weapons of mass destruction." So, he issued a fatwa at the time; they were desperate and all alone fighting Saddam and the rest of the world, for their own survival. That's when he issued the fatwa. Now, Khamenei, the present leader, he has also issued a similar fatwa, saying "No way do we want the bomb."
But the entire Western press was mesmerized by this crazy leader of Israel; and I say he's crazy. Israel is a great country; it could be greater if they didn't have a Netanyahu that led it. So, he's the one who's been shouting for 20 years that we're about to be bombed by the Iranians. And in 2010, boy, I'll tell you, if you read some of the dispatches that have been leaked from that period, we were very close to either giving him permission to attack and roping us into a war with Iran. And that's a tragedy. I view Iran on the level of Israel as a scientific nation; Iran has great scientific capability. They build their own missiles; they didn't get any help from anyone else. They have their own fighter jets; and so, they've done this.
In point of fact, the sanctions — which were illegal — what the sanctions have done for Iran is, they caused them to be independent; the only truly insular, independent nation in the world. That's what our sanctions have done. They need to have these sanctions lifted; they're grossly illegal. But this is the American leadership; we can sanction anybody if they're not doing what we think they should do. Not what they think they should do; what we think they should do.
This is the height of arrogance. You know, in the world, there have been about 16 instances where you had an ascending nation that was about to surpass the existing empire in existence. Of those 16 incidences in history, 12 of them have turned to war; and the rest have resolved peacefully. And that's the tragedy we face today. The United States is in decline. You need but drive on our roads; look at our educational institutions. We're really in decline; and yet, we continue the arrogance of thinking that we are superior to any other human beings in the world. We Americans are the greatest, the smartest, we do everything unbelievably — this is the height of arrogance that has been promulgated by the leadership of the country to make the average American believe that "Hey! We're better than anybody else." When you read about airplane accidents, "Oh, how many Americans got killed?" We don't know and we don't care about the rest of the people on the plane, but maybe five Americans got killed. Well, I got to tell you, an American life is no different than any other human life in the world; and we are equal. [applause] Thank you for agreeing with that. But these are the problems we face.
And ever since I was cut out of the Presidential debates, by none other than General Electric and Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic Party, who conspired to get me out. Ever since, mainstream media has treated me like a pariah; I'm not quoted anywhere. But I get more press in the world than I do in the United States. I'm interviewed, on average, once or twice a week by PressTV, Al Jazeera, you name it; it's flattering, but what they're interested in, is that they see an American who has been in the highest reaches of our government, who does not kowtow to the duplicity and the manipulative powers of the American government worldwide. And I do this because, you have heard the cliché, "my country, right or wrong." Well, for me, that's the most immoral statement you can make. If you love your country, and you see it doing something wrong, you should do something to correct it. And that's where I have charted my course in life; and at my age, I hope I have another five, six years, and I'm going to try to raise as much billy hell as I can, on our foreign policy. Because that foreign policy is wrong, and as I said earlier, it's a policy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
And so what can we do about it? Well, the first thing that I'm going to try to do — and I get into very many causes as a result of this, and I become a spokesman or endorser of these various causes, like endorsing what the LaRouche organization is doing with China. And let me come back and make sure I give you what I think the solution is in that regard. Well, I'll give it to you right now; at my age, I can jump around, and once I jump one direction, I forget where I was.
The solution in the China Sea, and it would be the solution, it would solve the problem of the Philippines; would be to take the bordering nations of the China Sea — that would be north and south — and take those nations and bring them into a forum to discuss the commons. And that's what they should refer to the China Sea beyond the 12-mile limit; it's the Commons that we all share. And I would hope that China, being the most significant nation in that area, and one of the most significant in the world, would take the leadership and say, "Look, we want to press for the Silk Road vision. Well, let's make the China Sea a common area that will be the example for the Maritime Silk Road element that we are pushing for." And convene this conference under the auspices; don't wait for the adjudication at the Law of the Sea, where there's litigation residing. I would hope that China would take the leadership and say to Ban Ki Moon, "We would like to have a forum that would permit all the countries that border the China Sea" — and that does not include us; we can take our destroyers and take them wherever. And so with this forum, we would then realize that we are talking about the commons; and the commons are a shared area.
So, if there's oil exploitation, we should work out treaties, to share the wealth of that oil. We did this in Alaska on the North Slope. One native organization was going to have most of the resources. We set up a formula so they would have to share this with all the other 13 native organizations. So there's no reason why this couldn't be done; and use these islands that everybody are contesting to have refueling stations for Coast Guard cutters of all the various nations; set up the airfields, so they can be used for safety purposes within the China Sea. This is an initiative that China could take, and it would be — and even with the problems that exist with the Philippines; because what's going to happen with the Philippines, I hope to be able to play a role in going to the Philippines and developing the debate that you, Philippines, here — save yourself. And that is, don't let us come in and make your country the whorehouse of the American military; don't let us do that.
And then in addition to that, ask them to help save us from ourselves; because we taxpayers will be paying for all of that. So, we don't need to be at the doorstep of China militarily; and that's the plan, to be at the doorstep of China militarily. We don't need to do that; we can communicate with China very well from San Francisco where I live — very well. And if we want a line of defense, we got Guam and we got Hawaii. We don't need to be in the China Sea.
And I would say, and I've spent three months in Korea; we could solve the problem of North Korea just by turning around and getting the 50,000 American troops out of Korea. And you'd see in three or four years, the unification would take place. These are people no different than the Germans; they want to unify. They are family, and they want to act as family.
So, what you do is, you've got to take away the military provocations; and that's what's there. And as I think I said earlier, that Marines want to move their facility in Okinawa; we should get out of Japan. Why do we need to be there? Why put up with that cost? Do you know we have 800 military bases where we have uniformed American personnel around the world? This is diabolical. When we're afraid of China, which has increased its defense budget because of the rhetoric coming out of Washington to less than one-third of what the U.S. budget is; and our "defense budget" which is a joke, it's not — it's offense. Our offensive budget exceeds half of what the entire world spends on defense.
Just ask yourself in your own mind, and this is what I would pose on a radio broadcast; a person said, "Well, you know, we're afraid that China would attack us." What do you mean you're afraid? Why would China want to attack the Philippines? They've got more than they can say grace over in the way of problems in western China. And with their expressed vision of unifying the world economically, they've got no reason to attack anybody. They do want to stake out their interests; they're entitled to do that, as we do that. So, it just becomes so diabolical that it truly does not make any sense from a foreign policy point of view.
And so, I would hope that the Philippine leadership — it's not the present Philippine administration, but they're having elections in May — that the Philippine leadership would tell the United States to leave. Not with rancor; they should continue to be good friends with the United States, but they should be good friends with China, who is the most important element of the economy in Asia. Does that make sense? And so that's what we hope that we can make that case in the Philippines as part of their electoral process; because right now, it's not even talked of. Because many of these agreements are just subtle, nuanced, and in secret; and that's the way we play our foreign policy game.
So, let me rest on that; and just say, that I'm delighted to be associated with the LaRouche organization and the wisdom they've brought forward in the leadership role. And here, I'm taking a page out of their book, suggesting that the leadership of China should take the initiative and bring the Silk Road to the commons of the China Sea. Thank you very much. [applause]
BILLINGTON: Thank you, Senator. And let me mention that Senator Gravel has drafted a friend of the court brief, which will be submitted to the Philippines Supreme Court in the next days, which effectively lays out what he just said. There is a case in the Supreme Court, because ironically, with all this going on, there is a Constitutional clause in the Philippine Constitution which says "no foreign bases on our soil." This was implemented in the 1990s, when they forced the U.S. out.
So what is Obama doing? And what is his, the head of the Philippines, who I won't go into the details? They're saying, "Oh no, we're not setting up bases; we're setting up eight Air Force/Navy/Army bases within the Philippine bases, and we're just guests. These aren't our bases; these are their bases, but we're going to have the most advanced air, sea, and land forces in that country preparing for a confrontation with China."
So, this is being challenged in the Supreme Court; it's not clear which way it's going to go. It's clearly unconstitutional under their Constitution, but Senator Gravel has introduced a very strong appeal. Not on the legal basis, but on the political-moral basis of what he's just laid out today, and we will make that public eventually. We're not sure when that can go public.
BILLINGTON: So, the floor is open. We have really all the time we need for questions. I hope to get a lot of questions and let's just begin, for Mrs. LaRouche and for Senator Gravel.
Sir? Did we want to use the microphones? Yes, there is a microphone. I suppose we can pass it around.
Q: Good afternoon. My name is W— R— I'm from the Black Press Foundation. Senator, I was wondering, you touched on it a little bit, but could you talk a little bit about the nuclear treaty [with Iran], and what happened in the Congress on that?
GRAVEL: Actually the Congress is somewhat irrelevant in this regard, because it's an Executive action, it's an agreement, and so many of the sanctions that exist were put in place by the Congress. We talk of the Presidency often. I got to tell you, the Congress is worse than the Presidential office in its conduct, and in what they've been doing. All you need to do is listen to some of the things that they're saying. You'll know many of them are crazy, and should be committed. But they happen to represent a body politic in that regard.
So, the answer to your question is: the Treaty cannot be thwarted by the Congress. It really can't be thwarted by the next President, whoever that is. Because, what's happened is, the European Community has recognized that — . There was a delegation from Germany that went over—I think, did this in late July-August—a delegation from Italy; a delegation—and this is what foreign officers and a broad spectrum of financial interests—they're just dying to invest in Iran, the European Community.
So, you've got to realize the protections that we have against American intransigence, is the fact that we had 5+1 that negotiated. We're the "one." We may act irresponsibly, but we're not going to be able to lead the European Community by the nose, as we have in many times in the past. They're waking up to the American intransigence, and what's causing them, as Dr. LaRouche has pointed out, is very simply, they're now suffering the consequences of this mass of human beings who are fleeing what we started with the invasion of Iraq: Americans are quick to forget: We started it all!
So, I hope I've answered your question. Don't worry. Our idiocy will not prevail as this agreement goes forward.
BILLINGTON: I'd like to ask one question from the Chair, if I may. Mrs. LaRouche was in China, month before last, I believe, for the issuing of the Chinese translation of this tremendous report, which the Chinese had the good vision to translate into Chinese and to release. They immediately distributed about 1,000 copies of the Chinese version to institutions of government and think-tanks and so forth. I'd like to ask Mrs. LaRouche to describe that process and what happened there.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think that the Silk Road policy has been already on the agenda in the early '90s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain was no longer there, we proposed to unite the industrial and population centers from Europe, with those of Asia, through "development corridors." And we campaigned for this for, really, 25 years. In '96, the Chinese government had organized a big conference in Beijing, which had the title "The Regions Along the Eurasian Land-Bridge and Their Development." They had the strategic long-term perspective to put this on the agenda until the year 2010.
But then came the Asia crisis, where George Soros and other speculators really speculated the Asian currencies into the ground in one week by 80% down, so this interrupted this whole thing. But there is actually now a complete revival. I think the laudable thing is, normally when you have a good idea, which is successful, everybody claims it was theirs. That happens in the United States all the time. When you organize somebody, they say, "This was my idea." But I think China is really a country which responds to ideas. In the United States, they respond to "Are you part of the club? Do you play by the rules? Can we count on you that you protect the interest of the club?" But they don't respond to ideas. In China, it is my joyful experience that this is different, that people acknowledge that this is what you propose.
So, they immediately said, "Can we translate this book?" And this was done in half a year. From what I hear from Chinese scholars,— excellent, quality translation. So, basically, we had a presentation of the Chinese version of this book on the 29th of September, and it was co-sponsored by ten of the leading institutes. Some of these scholars already know us since the '90s, and they expressed the highest respect for the ideas in this report, especially of Mr. LaRouche, his whole scientific-economic method, which they recognize being very similar to what the Chinese—I would say Confucian tradition of the Common Good—represents.
So, I think there is a great affinity between what we represent, in terms of the European humanist tradition, and the Chinese Confucian way of looking at the world. I think Confucianism is much more important, in my opinion, to the present Chinese model than Communism. I think when the Chinese say, "This is the Chinese model—socialism with Chinese characteristics"—it is really the Confucian tradition of 2,500 years, which was the main philosophy of the state in China. And I would really urge people to start to look at that, because it's a much different way of looking at the world. It is much more the idea of bring the cosmic order into cohesion with the political order on the planet. It is very deep. It has an idea of the continuous self-perfection of human beings. That is why China puts such incredible emphasis on education. Xi Jinping just made a speech in the United States about the need to have gender equality and to empower women. [Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, United Nations, New York, Sept. 27.] Now, I have not heard any Western leaders to make such a speech. Naturally, I'm all for it! [laughs] This scares men, but I don't care!
Anyway, I think it is very, very good, and we are discussing with other countries that they should also translate it, and we are in negotiation with some. But what the Chinese scholars have said, publicly, at this event, they said, "This is the standard book for people who want to study what the One Road, One Belt policy is, because it is not just transport from A to B; it is a very deep scientific transformation of what physical economy has to be."
So, I can only encourage people to really get this book, help us to spread it. If somebody would sponsor that all the universities, all the think-tanks should get this book, it would be much better than what the think-tanks now do. All the think-tanks in Washington, when they have events on China, it's always the South China Sea, war games, and it never really represents what the Chinese model really is.
So, that is what I would emphasize.
Q: Thank you. It's a fantastic vision, Mrs. LaRouche. Fantastic vision. I'm so thankful to you for it. That you bring all that faith and the optimism that you manage to bring, is absolutely wonderful.
BILLINGTON: Would you please identify yourself for us?
Q: [follow-up] Sure. My name is B— K—. I'm from Frederick, Maryland. But of course, there's a huge impediment. And you both referred to it in a whole lot of ways. The huge impediment is the American power structure. I mean, they're against page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6. Now, Senator Gravel uses the word "diabolical." Well, yes! The Vietnam War was diabolical. The system that perpetrated the Vietnam War, is only now more entrenched. This power structure that I'm referring to, we all know about, is not going to, shall we say, step down. That's not the nature of this. You take it from there, either one of you.
You cite the example of 16 civilizations being overtaken, and 12 of them go to war. We don't have a Gorbachov! We have criminals. I'm sorry, if I could just...
GRAVEL [interrupting]: I would say that you don't know what will happen in this next election. I have my favorites, and it's a fellow by the name of Bernie Sanders. They say he can't get elected. But I got to tell you, watch what's happening.
From a political point of view, we are in a watershed period to observe the extremes that exist. I've been a political person since I was 15 years old, and I've lived through the Vietnam War, and the Second World War as a kid, and was in the intelligence community in Europe right after the Second World War. But right now, when you're looking at what's going on, boy, anything is possible. As Helga says, this thing could explode economically. It could explode militarily. When you've got these many nuclear devices in the arsenals, and make no mistake about it, the United States is in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, because we are expanding and improving our nuclear capability. Forget all the propaganda. That's actually what's going on.
Accidents can happen. All you got to do is go back to the First World War, and read Tuchman's book, The Guns of August, and you see how nobody wanted war. And people forget, that the world at that time had a great deal of trade going on, and everybody was trading, enjoying prosperity, and what have you. And, all of a sudden, the whole thing exploded into a war, which has set the tone for the 21st century and the 20th century. We're living with the results of what Woodrow Wilson did to "save democracy," and we articulate that. That stuff, it didn't happen.
And I view the First and Second World War as a Thirty Years' War. That brought us into the Cold War. We had the implosion of the Soviet Union. And then, of course, that's when we had an opportunity. That's why the LaRouche group just got together and said, "Boy, what an opportunity! This is what we suggest." And the only one to pick it up, is China! [laughs] The rest of it: "Oh! Got to keep NATO." Let me give you the word for NATO. NATO is the globalization of the military-industrial complex. That's what NATO is.
Okay, you had a question.
Q: Thank you. My name is A— A—, from Nigerian Embassy. I have two questions: first, for Mrs. LaRouche, about the suggested Marshall Plan for Middle East and Africa, pertaining to these Silk Road projects. While it is very good we had leaders, though autocrats, like Qaddafi in Africa, and Saddam Hussein, whom you give credit, for development in their individual countries, yes. But still, in those regions—Middle East and Africa—we still have some "feet-tight" leaders, who may note—I believe they will note—accept some of these proposals you are making, pertaining to the Silk Road. So, how do you address such issues? I mean, their problems.
Secondly, for Senator...
BILLINGTON: Let's let her respond to that.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I don't believe in the projection of past experiences into the future, especially not when you are at a breaking point in history. In normal times, politics works smoothly, steadily, and you can project past experience to the future. But we are right now at a breaking point —if you look at it from a long-term historical perspective, we are now at a historical moment where either society completely crashes against the wall, and we have the danger of a thermonuclear war, very immediate. President Putin was referring to that in the Valdai speech just now, where he said, there are some people who think that you can pre-emptively knock down the arsenal of your opponent—referring to the U.S. missile defense system in Europe, and other first-strike doctrines—and that is an immediate danger. We have right now ongoing NATO maneuvers which simulate a nuclear attack on Russia.
So, we are sitting on a powder keg.
I could tell you many more dangers. But all I'm saying is that we are now, with the collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system, with the danger of the thermonuclear extinction of mankind—because if it comes to that war, and that was also mentioned by Putin, it can only lead to the complete destruction of all of humanity.
Now the fortunate thing is that there are some people in the world who are aware of that. For example: the refugee crisis, as horrible as it is—and when you see these pictures, where small children are being horrified because soldiers are driving them back with tear gas at the border of Slovenia, or Macedonia—I mean, these are pictures which should not happen. It doesn't have to happen.
So we are at a point where this refugees crisis is already changing the world. Because in the Ukraine crisis, the Europeans were complete poodles of Washington and London, by supporting everything which was told them by Victoria Nuland and other such strange creatures. But this time, because the refugees are threatening the stability of Europe, all of a sudden, Germany and France are supporting Putin moving into Syria militarily. This is a big change. It's a big break. It's not yet the whole thing, but it's an important step. Because people also know this terrorism threatens Europe in the same way.
And now the European refugee crisis is really becoming —I'm following it every day in the TV and the radio, and it's becoming like—it's detonating the CDU. Within the CDU you have an opposition who says Merkel is destroying the CDU; [Bavarian Minister President Horst] Seehofer, the head of the CSU is challenging Merkel—the whole thing is exploding. The European Union among themselves are exploding.
So now comes something which I call the "policy of the burning shirt." This is the idea that when there is no reason you can appeal to, because people are not reasonable, when their shirt is burning, then they move. In Europe the shirt is burning right now, because people realize that they have to change something.
Let me just say this: My idea is that if, right now, more and more people in Africa, and in other places where there is a wish to go in the direction I'm talking about, would say, "we demand a comprehensive Marshall Plan for the Middle East and for Africa," even if it's not everybody; even if it's only a third of the people, or leaders, or a third of the countries, and they would say — "yeah, we want this project. We want this project. We invite China, India, Germany, the United States, to all participate in these projects"—you know what would happen? It would happen exactly as Jawaharlal Nehru did with the Green Revolution [in India], because he had the same problems that some of the Indian farmers didn't like this development. So he worked with the ones who wanted it, and then the people saw that they make much more income, they have a better life, and that way, the idea spread among the more backward ones.
So, I think that right now, the crisis is becoming so big that if we, all over the world, spread this idea of the New Silk Road being the solution—and I keep telling my Chinese friends that they should not call it "One Road, One Belt" because who's inspired by "One Road, One Belt"? It's a very dry notion. But the New Silk Road inspires people, and it give them an idea of a new paradigm, and that is what I'm trying to say: that we right now are at an historical juncture where a whole era is ending.
It's like the Middle Ages coming to an end, and that then that was replaced by the modern times initiated by Jeanne d'Arc, by Nicholas of Cusa, and other great thinkers of the Great Renaissance of the 15th Century, and we are right now at a change of an epoch, where everything which has to do with colonialism, imperialism, geopolitics, monetarism, neo-liberalism—all of these things have proven to be failed conceptions, and we are right now at a point where we have to initiate a new era of mankind, which is defined by the common aims of mankind. [applause]
And that is an idea that will catch on. If enough of us are uniting in spreading this idea,—it's already spreading. The genie is already out of the bottle. So I think if more and more people say, "Look, if you don't want 100 million people running away from Africa into Germany, then help us develop!" And that would be the burning shirt.
GRAVEL: It's really the burning shirt-tail, that's burning, that pushes you from your bottom forward. [laughter]
Q: [follow-up] My second question is for Senator Gravel, pertaining to the issue of the U.S. refusing the 1993 Law of the Sea protocol. Maybe I need further elucidation, and can I interpret this as another repetition for the Kyoto Protocol? Thank you.
GRAVEL: With respect to the Law of the Sea, what it was mineral interests, supposedly—you really don't know. I do know that the U.S. Navy was very supportive of the Law of the Sea, because they saw the benefits, that were obviously there for freedom of the seas. And they were concerned about the constrictions in the Straits of Malacca, Panama, and the Suez, and so. But what apparently took place was the nodules. You recall Howard Hughes's Glomar Explorer; that's the one that raised the Russian submarine, without the Russians knowing it. And so that special vessel was to take up the nodules, which are minerals at the bottom of the sea. And so our mineral interests in the United States were opposed to that, and the Republicans were able to sabotage any effort at ratification. And that, of course, feeds the hypocrisy, our national hypocrisy, in that regard.
So, I'm not that familiar with the Kyoto situation. I don't consider myself expert in that area. Politics and defense is really my bag.
BILLINGTON: Let me take one moment and say a word on the Kyoto Protocol. There's no comparison whatsoever. We have just published this report called "`Global Warming' Scare Is Population Reduction, not Science," and I encourage you all to pick it up. The point is, what's being pushed for the Paris conference this year—mandatory restrictions on carbon, when carbon has nothing, zero, to do with climate change. This is a policy carried forward from the British Empire's pre-World War II eugenics movement, race science. When that was discredited because Hitler embraced it so openly, they chose to change the name to conservationism, environmentalism, making up such things as global warming scares and so on, for the same purpose—which is to reduce population, to control the world by maintaining backwardness for the Empire.
The second half of this report, after viewing Prince Philip and his minions, who finance and run this hoax, the second half is the real science of climate, which has to do with cosmic radiation; which has to do with shape of the Universe, the shape of the Solar System and its role within the Universe, real science, which real climate scientists are very proud to discuss, but are completely neglected by the same American media that peddles all the other things that we've discussed.
GRAVEL: I've been involved in many battles in this regard. There are two elements to the environmental issue. There are what you call the preservationists. That's who he's talking about. These are the people who want us to go back to the loin cloth, and live in a cave. These are the preservationists. The environmentalists are people who understand, that we have localized problems, and that science and technology can help us get out of this problem. But the answer is not to try to—well, as he pointed out—limit human growth, but to encourage human growth, but to make sure that that growth is fair and proper and healthy for human beings.
Q: My name is Les Jamieson, I'm with HR14.org. We're an organization working for grass roots support of the 28 pages legislation in Congress, and so much of the themes of today I think are addressing the global challenges coming from the agenda set by the Project for a New American Century, which, they quoted, desire to create full-spectrum dominance on the planet. And I don't think we can ignore that stated agenda as we're analyzing the global situation, and looking for solutions. And there is, of course, the last 14 years of evidence of what they described that they were pursuing.
I think one of the clear outcomes is this "global war on terror," a clear outcome of this stated agenda, and of course, the attacks of 9/11; this global war on terror which we could spend a week analyzing and pointing out the hypocrisy there. I see also the refugee crisis coming from Syria and Iraq, these historical movements of people uprooted from their countries and their cultures, as also a result of this very confusing, very hypocritical and conflicting policy of the U.S. agenda in the Middle East.
Now, with statements by Senators, legislators who have read the 28 pages, pointing to funding of these extremist groups that is creating this chaos, still being in place since 9/11, my question is: Can you address these points and what we can do, what needs to be done, to reveal this funding issue, and the potential where this agenda can fully be exposed; that the global war on terror should be greatly questioned?
GRAVEL: Let me answer that. It's a result of the LaRouche organization stepping in and setting up appointments for me with some Senators and Congressmen, hopefully with the gentleman in the House who's been a prime mover on the 28 pages; we had the good fortune that a couple of attorneys unknown to me have developed a legal extensive brief that traces the Supreme Court decision in my case, where a member of Congress within the confines of Congress, can release any information, and not be called to question in any other domain.
Now, that was a unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court in 1972. And so what these attorneys have done is, they've built the whole legal cases that have followed that. Even I, as much as I thought I was knowledgeable about what I had done, had no sense of all of what's happened since 1972. And, so, these two attorneys have put that brief together. And that's the brief that I'm going to take to the Hill, I think tomorrow, and point out to them, and it even goes further than my case, in ramifications. And, there's no question, that any member of Congress, or any group of members of Congress, can just take those papers and release them to the public. Now, I can tell you what the papers are going to say, is that the leadership within Saudi Arabia, which has been funding the Wahhabist education in the madrassas of the world, were basically financing a good part of what happened in 9/11.
I personally feel very deeply, that there was an inside job. Stop and think: In, was it '98, the neo-cons submitted a petition, in letter form, to Clinton, asking him to go ahead and attack Iraq. And, in this document that they developed, they named these countries, and that this is where we should go in, and take over, militarily. We should go to Iraq, we should invade Iraq; we should go to Iran, we should invade Lebanon, and Syria, and— would you believe it?— they were also saying, invade Saudi Arabia! So, that then we would then control the economy of the world, and we could back up that control with our military power.
That's what the neo-con agenda is all about. And, so, when you hear, when they're talking about Syria, today, "Oh, Assad has to go" Why does have to go? He is there. And, that was part of the neo-con plan. And, what Netanyahu was talking about, was invading Iran, that was part of the neo-con plan! Well, these crazies are still in power! The difference between Bush and Obama is zip, nothing. The neo-cons are still in charge and calling the shots. We need a revolution in this country, and hopefully one will come next year.
So, in answer to your question. We're doing, myself and the LaRouche organization are doing everything we can, to try to persuade members of Congress, "Hey, don't worry, nothing can touch you." Now, what I know is, the difficulty they have, is peer pressure. I felt that. Barry Goldwater came up to me, and says, "Gravel, you're a traitor!" because of the Pentagon Papers. Well, I won't quote to you what I told him. [laughter]
Q: You can tell.
GRAVEL: No, I won't, it's too crude. And, my wife will hear about it, and she'll punish me.
So, it's peer pressure. That's all it is. It's not the law, it's peer pressure. But this document that's been prepared by these attorneys, have really [audio loss 1.37.07]...
...the chain, and the chain is very interesting. And, that is that a law, passed by the Congress, or the rules of the Senate; I was always protected in the Senate, because Mike Mansfield saved my career. But, now, if somebody were to release it, you say, well, there's rules in the House, that we can punish that person. Well, what this brief outlines, is, that can't happen. Because, you cannot pass a law, that requires that a member of Congress violate the Constitution of the United States. And, the preeminent issue of the Constitution of the United States, is, for a democracy to survive, the people must be informed; and therefore, the leaders should inform the people as to what's going on. And, that's what this brief is all about, that I'll be submitting. And hopefully, we'll be able; I'll try to persuade them myself, but we'll see what happens.
Q: [follow-up] How are you going to persuade them, that revealing the 28 pages is so important? Does it lead to exposure of the entire government?
GRAVEL: Well, it will. Because, you see, what will happen — and you've got to look at, as Helga was saying, actions are a continuum. Now, what I'm trying to do in the Philippines, is set up a continuum that will eventually throw the United States out of there.
Now, with respect to the Congress, what will happen, if a member releases this, and now we begin to talk about it: What really happened in 9/11? Now, what we should have, and what Les Jamieson's organization, I, and others have been calling for, we need a commission: A commission that will make a legitimate investigation as to what happened on 9/11. We don't know what happened. Even the two chairmen of it, and remember the first chairman was going to be Henry Kissinger, and of course, that couldn't pass the smell test. [laughter]
So, now you had these other two, which were good solid, political types. But, even they admitted, that they were set up. And [philip] Zelikow, he was a protégé of Condoleezza Rice, and he was the one who was the executive director of the commission, and wrote the Commission Report. And the Commission doesn't even mention Building 7, a whole host of errors. And, I've got to tell you, on a voluntary basis, there's more stuff that's been written about 9/11, by volunteer scientists; David Ray Griffin, one of them, wrote four, five, six, books, on the subject. And, many others. The architects and engineers have done yeoman's work on this. And again, the name escapes me, but I just applaud what they've done.
And, so, if we could get a legitimate commission in place, and, it's very difficult to get a legitimate commission out of the Congress, or the Presidency. But, with a different President, maybe we could have a legitimate commission that would look into what happened.
Because, you see, there's an old saying in politics: follow the money. Who benefits from all these wars? The military-industrial complex, that's who benefits! These are people who go home to their families at night, but then, they make these weapons that have to be sold, and these munitions, that have to be sold. So, that's the quandary we're in. And, I could tell you, economically, and, Helga touched upon it, what we need is for these defense contractors to be given a process, wherein, they can change their technology to meet the technological needs of what the Silk Road would be.
Because, if you cut the defense budget in half, today, the United States would be in depression — no question about it. They learned, very long ago, to make sure every Congressional District has a piece of the pie, so that, when a member stands up, and he's going to make a speech, all of a sudden a lobbyist tugs at his shirt, and says, "Hey, did you know, you've got some constituents that are employed on this project that you're talking against?" Oh, and all of a sudden the member then shuts up, because he wants to get re-elected. And, that's the problem of representative government, that everybody wants to enjoy power, and that's why term limits would be so important.
Q: OK. My name is R— T—; I'm a LaRouche supporter from Rockville, Maryland. And, I'm usually timid about talking in front of a group, but, I was thinking of saying this to Senator Gravel, privately, and then I realized that I want everybody to hear what I have to say. And, that is simply, that I'm absolutely overcome with gratitude to you, for what you're saying. I just wish I could clone you, and fill Congress with your clones. [laughter] Because, there is hardly a word you've said that I don't agree with, enthusiastically, but they are not trivial, they are the core issues that are underneath everything. And, so, just item after item, you're hitting the so-important issues.
And, there's one thing I'd like to add to it, and that is, in my own thinking, I've been trying to think, in my own mind, "What would I say to Congress?" I'm trying to find some words that they will hear, to wake them up, and write a letter that they might read, and so on. And, the big thing I see, is, we are looking at an absolute dichotomy of philosophy about how human beings are to relate to one another.
And, our country is being run by people who think, it is either "kill, or be killed." That, if you don't take charge, and run things, yourself, somebody else is going to take charge. And, they just don't see the reality of cooperation, and people working together, and good will, humanitarianism, and so on. But, there is two opposites, there, and they are going completely on the one side of it. It is just how to win the battle for the mentality of Congress? And, it is under almost everything, every action, the way things are going, the way our government is being run. It's the neo-cons, that Congress is kind of being led by the nose. But whoever is leading this, they have this philosophy of, if you're not the boss, you're the slave. And, they don't see that there's any other way of looking at it.
GRAVEL: From my point of view, it's "pushback"; which, of course, is what you see in me, is that I just push back; I push back. At my age, I'm devoting whatever breath I've got left, to try and push back.
And, so, it's like in your country, you're talking about, and she's referring to it, don't worry about the others: Push back, where you can have influence; and, reach out to the forces that would help. This won't last forever. Because, well, if it does last, we're all doomed. It's just that simple. And, so, we're fighting for our human survival. That's really what's at stake in this.
And, so, for the last 25 years, I've devoted my attention to direct democracy. Because, there's only two venues for change: One is the government, wherein lies the problem; and the other is with the people, who, unfortunately, don't have the tools to be able to implement the change, other than shouting in the streets. And, I'm not a great believer — and, I think it's important to do — but, keep in mind, every time you see a protest, it's proof that our democracy is deficient.
Q: [follow-up] You are inspiring. One more question that I don't know if you can answer, but, what tools do you think that we, as the ordinary citizens, have? What is our most effective way that we can we can try to bring about change?
GRAVEL: Well, I think the most important way to bring about change, is to proselytize these documents, that the EIR are producing. They're very, very good. I may disagree with elements of it, but that's not important. It's the overarching message that they're delivering which is important. So, that's the first thing. The second thing is, support a candidate that you want to pick in the Presidential elections, and support him. Because, it's going to be an interesting process. I'll very candidly tell you, I have no space for Hillary Clinton, no space at all.
Q: [follow-up] She's a neo-con!
GRAVEL: Of course! I use the word "war-monger."
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I would just like to add one thing; you support your candidate, but, I also want to present what my husband is also saying on this point. And, that is, that, given the fact of the complexity of the problems we are facing, it is not enough to just "support a candidate." What my husband is involved in trying to do, with what he has defined as the "Manhattan Process" is to put together a team of people, who represent the competence of the policies, which have to in combination present the next Presidency. And, if you look at the discussions he has in the last weeks and months, with the group of citizens in Manhattan, I'm very encouraged by that. Because, you know, the problem is not that we have bad politicians. The problem is, we have no state citizens. If we had an educated mass of state citizens, who are competent to judge, and act on the basis of their knowledge to put these politicians under pressure, they could not survive!
You know, the only reason why these people who take the money in large chunks from Wall Street, and be in the pocket of Wall Street, why that system continues to be perpetuated, is because, we have not enough educated state citizens. And, a state citizen made the American Revolution. The American Revolution would never have been successful, if you didn't have people who were willing to challenge the British Empire, at the time. And, that is what is lacking, today. And, what Lyn is trying to do in Manhattan, and spreading out from there, is to encourage ordinary citizens to qualify themselves to be able to be the President, or to be the Secretary of Economics, or Defense. And, that way, once you have the spreading of more and more citizens, who can competently make policy, then you can reconquer and take back the republic.
Because, I don't think, at this point, it's just a candidate. And I, personally, have nothing against your candidate; but, I think, also, Martin O'Malley is a very valuable person, who has come out on all important issues, in the right way. But the key question is, how do we surround these candidates with teams to make sure that they are not being bought off or gotten off the right way.
So I think I want to encourage you and other people, you know, this is the moment of a second or third American Revolution. Because the United States has been a republic, it was one of the most beautiful Constitutions ever made, but it has been eroded. And it has been taken over by a subversion of the British Empire, because when the British realized they couldn't reconquer America militarily, they said, okay, then let's convince the establishment to take over the model of the British Empire, and rule the world based on the special relationship between America and the British, and that is the condition we have today.
So, the American citizen has to take back the republic. It's what Benjamin Franklin said "I give you a republic, but it's up to you to keep it." And I think that that is what is lacking right now.
BILLINGTON: We're going to go beyond 4 o'clock, but let me just say that we do have available outside, copies of this extraordinary report ["The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge"]. As Helga mentioned earlier, it has been translated into Chinese. We don't have it available to you but we will have it quite soon for those of who read Chinese.
I want to mention, on the global warming fraud, I want to mention one other thing, is that we now publish a daily intelligence report. We call it the EIR Daily Alert. We've recently reduced the price, it's five days a week, we're now selling it for $1,200 a year or $100 a month. What I would ask all of you who can, to do, before you leave, is to purchase a copy of the [World Land-Bridge] report, which we have here [$50], and a copy of the [Global Warming] special report [$25]. [http://store.larouchepub.com/]...
Q: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Gravel, and Mrs. LaRouche, and the audience. My name is A—G—, and I am the Secretary of the Green Party from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, in exile. I want to thank Mike R— , who met me at the BWI airport, about three months ago; I was working there, and he introduced me to this wonderful organization.
Always into international politics from age 15 as you said, and I actually ran for office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I was forced to be exiled, because I spoke out for a group, where the government was taking away their lands, they were doing agriculture, to put a hotel resort for some British people, called Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent. And I called on the then-Prime Minister, Mr. Ralph Gonsalves, to change his draconian policies, otherwise blood will run in St. Vincent. And for that, I was dragged before the court. I won him at court, magistrate court; the government did not have the right to appeal against a citizen. He went into the Parliament and amended the laws to take me to the Supreme Court. I won him in the Supreme Court, so you know, he wouldn't like me. And a lot of my friends have disappeared.
So I decided to come to the United States. But my question is, what can I do? What is the LaRouche group doing, to bring their agenda to the grass root communities of the U.S.A. and world? Because I think this message should hit at the grass root. And we have to design a geographic framework, so that "each one teach one," in every community of the United States! Because this is so important to the survival of mankind, that we cannot leave here today without a concrete plan, as to how are we going to get this done? Thank you.
GRAVEL: Let me respond to that. He's already said what you can do. It's to become knowledgeable on the issues, and they treat these issues. And so you have this organization, which is trying to — so if you got exposed to the LaRouche organization, stay involved. Stay involved, because they are trying to do it at the grass roots level.
When I was in New York, at the UN, late one night, I went to an organization; it was 10 o'clock at night, and 25 volunteers were there in the room. In San Francisco, I went to another group that had 25-30 people on the telephone, just working the phones, like a political system. And that's at the grass roots level; that's what they're doing! So all I can do is endorse this effort, because it's a grass roots effort, and that's how the revolution gets started.
Q: Hi, my name is A—, I'm from [inaudible 1.55.17] in Washington TV. My first question would be for you regarding Germany. You said Germany is preparing to host over a million refugees from Syria. So what has Germany done so far to fix the problem with the last set. Because one day we won't have to stay another day, "no he has to leave." So this is the first question for you.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think there was first, as I said, until very recently, I was not and I am still am not a fan of Mrs. Merkel. Because she was really a poodle for Washington and London. And in the case of Ukraine, they supported Yatsenyuk, when Victoria Nuland said about "Yats," we only call Yats "Yats," because how Nuland calls him; and she [merkel] didn't mention the UN for sexual preferences, she wanted to do this thing with the whole EU. So I always said she must have a very strange sexual appetite, if she wants to do that with the entire EU. But anyway. [laughter]
GRAVEL: She said it a lot better than I could.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: So, until recently, Mrs. Merkel was really on that track. When she gave that horrible speech in Australia, she was exactly doing what Cameron and Obama were saying against Russia, and so forth.
But I think that what has happened now is that there is a change, where the German industry realizes the sanctions against Russia are hurting Germany more than Russia; they realize that the refugee crisis comes from the United States policy. So, therefore, for the first time, and you know, in the beginning they said Assad must go; they had the mantra from Washington, saying this.
But I think now they have agreed on a formula. Because Putin was very smart in not only moving militarily into Syria, but he started a huge diplomatic approach for the entire Middle East, as well, inviting Turkey, even Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, that they all should talk together, trying to get a Geneva III process going.
So, in the recent time, [German Foreign Minister] Steinmeier basically said: No, we agree to a formula where basically a transition should occur, elections in Syria, and then eventually Assad should be out. But it's a clear change in policy, it's really on the edge, because the talk of sending U.S. ground troops into Syria, is an effort to sabotage the Geneva III process, which is going on between Lavrov and Kerry, which just took place in Vienna at this meeting.
So I think the German position is very much in flux. On the one side, you know, Germany is a funny country, because when you travel abroad as a German, the expectation of what Germany could do and should do, is much bigger than what they do do. Because for some strange reason Germany is still leaving aside the 12 years of the Nazis, and so forth. But people around the world have the idea that Germany could do a lot of good! And they have a generally extremely positive image, and they just think after the unification, why does Germany not take a much larger role in shaping policy?
And being a German patriot, and a world citizen, I think that the Germans, until very recently, I would say three months ago, were living in a bubble. We set up our information tables every day in the streets, and 99% of what people say is, "one cannot do anything, anyway." And then I ask people, in what kind of a system are you living? When you think you can't do anything anyway, then you are living in a dictatorship, and not in a democracy. And a few say, "yeah, maybe that's true." And a dictatorship is really what was imposed with the euro; the euro was imposed on Germany as a price for the German unification. And it was really political impotence, which left people that you cannot do anything anyway.
But now, this is changing, because Germany until recently said, "I don't care about the rest of the world. Our country is still neat, everything is functioning well." But now with the refugees coming, well, they realize that either Germany takes care of the world, or the world comes to Germany. And that, in my view, is a very healthy shakeup.
And it's a pregnant moment to bring these alternatives on the table. So, I think it's in a flux, it's not decided; it's on the edge; it's a huge crisis. But we are trying to tell people, "Look, Germany must now take this development perspective, if you want to survive."
Q: Okay, my second question would be for you, and another question, for you Mrs. LaRouche, one more time. As a German citizen, Benjamin Netanyahu has just declared that the Mufti Amin Al-Husseini was the mastermind of the Holocaust. What do you think of this statement?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think that that is an out-of-proportion characterization. We have studied how Hitler came to power. We published a book about it, which is called The Hitler Book. Hitler was a project of the British Empire and the European oligarchy, supported by Montagu Norman from the Bank of England, Prescott Bush from America, Averell Harriman, and they all had a project. They had read Mein Kampf much better than the ordinary German citizens, and they recognized if we put this guy, Hitler, into power, a war between Germany and Russia will be inevitable. And that was at that time the British Anglo-American design to cause that to happen for geopolitical reasons. So, what this Mufti role was, is really not the essence of the matter, and I think it's portraying to an obsession.
Q: Thank you very much, danke schön. My question would be for Senator Gravel; again my name is A—from [inaudible 2.02.02] TV in Washington. Hillary Clinton recently has declared, — no, stated — that she is worried about settlers can't go to the grocery store in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel. And I'm aware also about the 1.750 million Palestinians living under siege in Gaza, so she's not concerned about them. What do you think of this Third Intifada? and where's Obama, from what's going on. Because really we haven't heard officially any answer about what's going on. Thank you.
GRAVEL: First off, I wish Obama would take a little bit of courage, because he's been so mishandled or manhandled by Netanyahu in the political campaign. But here he plays the card as normal, and that is that the Presidency and the Congress are totally in the control of the Jewish leadership in the United States, and kowtowing to the far-right policies of Netanyahu in Israel. There is another community in Israel. Because ...[audio loss 2.03.30] harken back to when we were fighting to try to get support against the Vietnam War. If I were to identify two groups that were conspicuous in the anti-war movement, it would be the Quakers and the Jewish community. But for some reason, that has all changed, and it's been 30-40 years of propaganda with respect to Israel. And of course, the United States, as a result of — and make no mistake— I can recall one instance, where the White House made a decision at 9 o'clock, and by 10:30, seventy senators had signed the document to the White House, taking an exception to the decision made. I mean, that is power. And, I've seen it repeatedly. I've suffered as a consequence of it.
But, here, I think Israel is a great nation; it's been usurped by the extremists and excessive religiosity. And it's just a sad situation.
So, don't look to the United States to address that problem, because we've never been an honest broker between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And, of course, what has happened is, this last election, Netanyahu got caught with his pants down: He had to admit that: We are not for a two-state solution, and we will not finish until we have all the land under our control. And, that's been part of a religious, Zionist concept.
And, so, is there an answer? The answer has to come from somebody else. It cannot come from the American leadership. A person could not run for President of the United States and running afoul of the Jewish community, could not happen. And I don't know of anybody in the Congress who stands up and articulates some of the statements that I just made, that would survive politically, because they would be throwing enough money into his district or her estate to just —Rep. Findley has written a great book on this subject, because he was the victim of what has happened.
Here, we praise democracy; it's got its shortcomings. It's got its shortcomings. And in the United States, — I'm very pessimistic; I'm not as optimistic as Helga is, — but, now that the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates of economic wealth to flow into political campaigns, it'll get worse. It'll get worse. That's the reason why, we do need a revolution at this point in time. Does that answer your question?
Q: Good afternoon, my name is I— M—. I am from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, so I understood what the gentleman was saying. I have been attending Mr. LaRouche's Saturday meeting in Manhattan, and I tend to entertain him. Because I think about issues that people are afraid to talk about. And I commend you on doing a good job, but you lose in the end. But, you know what? You're serving God.
Most people like to be lied to. When they're told the truth, they think you're crazy.
GRAVEL: I've had that experience.
Q: [follow-up] Today is St. Vincent's Independence, in [Oct. 27] 1979. And you know the island was a British colony. So, as a kid, I really learned the antics of politicians, and people who profiteer, and the poor suffered. So, I have always stayed in such a way that I pay attention to what is going on, and I will speak the truth. But, you know, there are consequences when you speak the truth.
I won't say my age, but I'm not working now; I have a Master's degree in education, in business education. I used to teach people how to be better office workers; so I know all of the tricks. So, coming down to Washington, and all of these people giving you the run-around. I told one in Senator Schumer's [d-ny] office: "I used to teach people how to be office workers, so don't try any trick on me!" [laughter]
So, right now what I'm doing, I came down here with a group, and I've been doing my first love now: writing! And, my thing is get back at people, by writing about them. But, I'm unemployed. But, still, I have the time to come. And I think the gentleman needs to find people who are willing to stand up for the truth. And I know this Ralph Gonsalves he is talking about. I have not been St. Vincent while he was prime minister, but he has such a reputation. And, that area is my constituency because, I was telling someone about the constituencies in St. Vincent; I grew up in South Leeward. and St. Vincent had a reputation of four elections in eight years! So, they know how to cross the floor, and different things. So, anyhow, I staying with the Mr. LaRouche group, because that is my "high" on Saturdays! And, I thank you because I saw you when you came there, so all is well.
GRAVEL: We thank you, and you keep it up!
Q: Thank you for the opportunity. My name is V— B—. Thank you Mr. Chairman, Mrs. LaRouche and Senator.
My background is a little bit different from what I've heard here, and so therefore I decided to ask you this question. I'm military; prior service came to the Washington, D.C. on active duty in '94; I've served in intelligence, in psychological operations; I'm a Russian linguist. And what it has given me is a unique perspective when I cast my attention to the things going on.
It's very easy — I'm sure it's very easy for anyone in the military — to look, for example, at Syria, and know that what is being said and what's being done, are two different things. I'm ashamed of my government, that the express intention to eradicate ISIS, for example, has instead been met with a great deal of hypocrisy. Instead of cooperating with the genuine effort on the part of the Russian President, we've refused to help him. Much like a petulant child, "You're going to do such a good job, I don't want to have anything to do with it — and make you look better than we are!" is what it looks like. Anyone can see the convoys of vehicles, and understand that with all of our geosynchronous satellites that can tell you the color of your contact lenses — there's no reason why they can't find these convoys, and arms depots, and on, and on, and on. [applause] I guess you don't have to be in the military to understand that it's a blatant lie; and it's an embarrassment to the American people; it's an insult to our intelligence.
But, my question is this—
GRAVEL: But your statement's already so great! I don't know what the question could be! [laughter]
Q: [follow-up] The thing is, it's really frustrating to be someone in my position as a Christian, and trying to wake up my Christian cohorts, and an American citizen, and military prior service 16 sixteen years; it's astonishing, the level of refusal to acknowledge obvious facts.
And then, of course, I admire what President Putin is accomplishing. I admired him already last year when he stepped in diplomatically, and stopped the United States from using our usual answer for every problem — the hammer and the nail thing (ours being bombs). And he introduced a diplomatic solution in Syria, and it worked. And then, of course, he became in our crosshairs.
And the point now, though, is how to speak to my peers. How to speak to the military people that I know — and I'm in circles, and groups, and forums — without coming across as a traitor, for one thing; I've been called a "Putin-lover" and these sorts of silly things. It needs to be addressed, and I'm hearing so much wisdom in this room, and if you could talk a little bit from the military standpoint, how to wake up—
You know, I don't whether to tell some of my peers to get out of the military; or stay in and do something that they can, and try to keep a hat on, what their intentions are?
GRAVEL: Well, first off, I wouldn't motivate people to get out of the military. It gets horrible. All you've got to do is go back to what happened to Chelsea Manning. Here's a young man who's 22 years old. And he saw what was coming across his desk, which was at variance from what the political and military leadership was saying. And so they crucified him, and he got 35 years!
And, the fact that Snowden is forced offshore, and I hope he doesn't come back until he's got an agreement. He shouldn't serve a day in jail; he should come back and get the Freedom Medal, as far as I'm concerned. [applause]
Q: [follow-up] Yes.
GRAVEL: And so, I hope that Julian Assange can find a way to sneak out the embassy, and get to a decent location! I've had some scenarios in my own mind, that I would like to go help. But, all I can say to you is, there's an organization headed up—have you heard of CODEPINK?
Q: [follow-up] I have heard of them; I don't know anything about them...
GRAVEL: Boy, investigate them, look online. Anne Wright, who's a retired colonel, she's involved in some event coming up shortly; Anne Wright, and contact her, because she comes from a military background, and has been extremely forceful, and very effective.
I would try to keep your contacts open to the people within the military. I know that in many cases, I've been protected, personally protected by people, that I don't know who there are, but I know I'm walking under a star. And that's from people within the government, who will make sure that good things happen from the seat that they're in. Not everybody has the ability to stand up like you're standing up, or I have with my military background in intelligence.
And so, I would just say, keep up what you're doing. This organization, if you want to move in with the LaRouche group, I recommend that. But, CODEPINK is particularly focused on the military aspects of it. I don't know if you noticed, they were the ones that organized the flotilla to go into Palestine by sea.
Q: [follow-up] Oh, that's probably where I've heard of them.
GRAVEL: Yes, and of course Medea Benjamin, who ran for governor in California without success. But, go look at CODEPINK, because they are focusing on the military aspect of things. If the economic aspect of things, which is what the LaRouche organization is focusing on, is of course, the solution: One is to be able to combat, the other is to solve the problem.
Q: [follow-up] I am involved with LaRouche, and I already have the book! I'll get the other one.
GRAVEL: Great! I've read it. And I just want to applaud your courage, because you've got a lot at stake in this regard.
Q: [follow-up] Thank you.
HELGA: I just would like to add one little thing on this drone revelations. There were now a second whistleblower, who published in The Intercept website, about the drone killing. And, this is a big scandal, because this is called by Amnesty International, by ACLU, and other organizations, a war crime. And that's what it is.
So, I think that there is a chance, that if we get enough people to mobilize on that, that the Congress should investigate this. This is not just the "28 pages." But to have people being killed, for no good reason — and I agree with you and I'm very happy that you are saying this, that it's not just Americans who count, because whenever they say, "five Americans were killed" and then 500 other people, they are people, too!
What now is coming out, is that the decision of making "kill lists," have been done by Obama personally, and that 90% of these people were innocent civilians, and only retrospectively have been put as "terrorists" on these lists to justify that they were being killed.
Now, this is incredible! And I think we have to have—I mean, if the United States is not remedying that, they have lost also in the eyes of the whole world, any pretext of being a lawful nation; they have become a lawless nation. And, there was even in the German Bundestag, in the German Parliament, a former drone pilot, who said that he quit doing that, because he couldn't take it anymore. To do this for years and years, it destroys people! So, in the German Bundestag, there is an investigation about this. And there is a growing movement in Germany to close down Ramstein [Air Base], because Ramstein is the base from which these drone attacks occur; they could not be launched from here, which has to do with the curvature of the planet. So, Ramstein is the place where all this killing occurs from, and this has to stop! This is like war criminals running the globe!
And, I think that we have to put pressure on the Congress; they should have an immediate investigation, and bring people to justice!
Q: [follow-up] Thank you so much for bringing that up. I'll just make this short comment: Yes, that's been the core of what really breaks my heart, too. I did read that Intercept article.
And unfortunately, we have too many people in this country — I'm deeply embedded 40 years in Christian circles, and they will write to me and ask someone to pray, because their house is about to be burned down in California, or it's getting carried away by the floods in South Carolina; and I think to myself: You know, the concept of praying for this individual over this problem, when we're ignoring the fact that how many hundreds of thousands of people have been either killed or displaced in other countries? At what point do you make a value judgment and say that, if it's the American, we should get upset, — and I can't get people upset enough! I've had people write on their blogs, "Christians shouldn't get excited..." I said, "well, excuse me, Nehemiah got excited and so did Daniel when they were praying, they were saying, this is outrageous; we need to stop."
And when they ask me for prayer for the people in South Carolina, I pointed out that how much of this is a parallel universe, which is the name of my blog? Because the Scriptures say that the enemy will come in like a flood — and it's an analogy! And we're getting these floods, all over the country, in some places in biblical flooding and apocalyptic fires; when are they going to wake up and notice that God is trying to tell them something?
GRAVEL: Keep the fire in your belly. It's great. OK? [laughter, applause]
BILLINGTON: Let me ask both of you to ask your questions now, and then we'll have both answers; and then we'll have to stop.
Q: My name [inaudible], I come from Queens. I have two questions. One is, America is a place by democracy. How can America support ISIS?
GRAVEL: Make sure we understand your question...
Q: [follow-up] How can America support ISIS? ISIS is the terrorist group; they kill a lot of Christian people.
BILLINGTON: Sir, why don't you go ahead.
Q: It's always a pleasure to be here. I think listening today, just a reflection: It's amazing that we live in the world's greatest quote/unquote "democracy," and it is just so hard for people to actually speak the truth! You know, like swimming against the current, because of the dominant culture of money, greed and lies. So, I'm here, just to first of all commend the LaRouche movement for its visionary and enlightening work, to which I subscribe. By the name my name is H—E—T—; I have a small, grass roots project, called the International Peace Quest Institute. Talk of the military complex; talk of truth, and talk of standing up for what you believe.
Chris Rock, just to make you smile, with regard to what you said about the double standards and the self-righteousness, and that Americans are more important than anybody else, Chris Rock said one day, — yeah, yeah, the comedian; speaking about George Bush, when Bush was really, you know, finished, so he said: President Bush, it's a amazing, you know, this guy he stands in front of the mike, and he says, 'God bless America... and nobody else'!" [laughter] So that sums a little bit the sentiment, you know. There is something wrong with this picture.
So, to conclude, I don't really have a question, but I just want to share this with you, that we are at a real crossroad. And what we have heard today, and what the LaRouche movement has always been working for, for years, is really the emergence of a new paradigm whose time has more than come, really, you know. We are now in very, very delicate times, with what's going on in Syria, and with the lack of leadership. And with the resistance for a truthful, genuine mission of societal transformation that the LaRouche movement has been sharing with the world, — and especially, with the focus and rooted into Silk Road paradigm, I call it.
You know, Prophet Mohammed said, you should be very serious about learning and about knowledge. And you should seek anyway, even in China. So, it's full circle now: We are going back to China, to actually start a new.... [audio loss]
BILLINGTON: ...Thank you Senator Gravel and thank all of you. I know there's some media here who would like to do that. Let me say for them that the video we've made is available and can be shown on any networks you wish.
Thank you all for coming, and you can step outside and take a look at our literature table.