The following is Helga Zepp-LaRouche's keynote address of her international webcast. This transcript is not proofed. Click here for a video archive
STEFAN TOLKSDORF: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to this live broadcast here on www.bueso.de, obviously not only in Germany, but internationally, and that's again why we decided to make the main conference language this afternoon, English. Now, let me just say a few words before we start with the proceedings. We have received before this event, a number of questions that will definitely be considered in the timeframe that we have, which will be just around two hours, but you can still send in questions during the discussion, if you decide to do so, but I would ask you to send them in either in German or English, because these are the languages that I can handle. If you have questions in other languages, you can send them, but you will probably have to wait so we can get back to you in written form after this event.
As you have seen from the invitation, we will spend this afternoon with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She is the president of the international Schiller Institute, and also the chairwoman of the German political party Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität [Civil Rights Movement Solidarity, BüSo].
She is very well known recently, and that is also where you might have met her for the first time, during a speech that she gave at the Rhodes conference on the Dialogue of Civilizations, a speech that actually did receive wide international attention, because she delivered a very condensed, not just analysis of the current strategic and world situation, but a solution. And I think much more importantly, she addressed the question of how to even think about such a solution, because that's often where the problem lies.
She is also the principal author and organizer of a development plan that we have presented in many of the countries of Europe, a plan known as "The Plan for an Economic Miracle in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa," which I think is characteristic of the way that we approach this current situation.
Now, the aim this afternoon is to change history. And in order to do that, we have to address some very fundamental questions that are usually not addressed, because as you well know by now, in the year 2012, everybody knows that we are in probably the worst crisis of the last hundreds of years in modern history. And those who don't know, I don't know how to help them.
But knowing that this crisis exists, does not necessarily make you fit to address a solution, and as you have seen, from the so-called Friday project, that Mr. LaRouche in the United States has undertaken in the last month, there is a lot more involved in this situation. And one indication that I'm pretty sure, Helga will also address, is that with the firing or the resignation of the now former head of the CIA, there is also a first indication of a world-changing situation, as Mr. LaRouche has pointed out, after the U.S. election.
Now, we'll get to that, and I would just tell you the mail address again: It's [email protected] for your questions...
So, with that introduction, I give the floor to Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Good afternoon for people in Europe, and good morning to people on the other side of the Atlantic. Well, I'm holding this live webcast, because mankind is in mortal danger, and we have right now, strategically, a crisis which is beyond the imagination of most people. If one considers all aspects, we have, to just name the most important elements of this crisis, we have a systemic crisis of the financial, which is about to disintegrate, at least concerning the trans-Atlantic region; we have a military-strategic crisis, which as I will point out, means that we are very, very close, potentially to World War III; and that is probably the underlying reason for all of this, we have a very deep cultural and moral crisis, and all of these are interacting.
Now, for any thinking human being who looks at the world, it should be clear that civilization is about to crash into the wall at full speed. And we need, therefore, an urgent discussion about the paradigm shift which can completely change the way we go about things, and how we approach everything.
Now, the purpose of this webcast is to further elaborate an already-existing dialogue among intelligent people, and well-meaning people around the globe, and to suggest and realize a concrete shift which must be introduced into the strategic discussion immediately. Now, this webcast is also, to demonstrate that there are very practical alternatives, and to once and for all get rid of this absurd statement, which is the favorite sentence of Mrs. Merkel, who keeps saying that "there is no alternative" to her policies, and there is an alternative. It is very useful to remember, what my husband, Mr. Lyndon LaRouche had said last week, only one week ago: He said, when the whole election hysteria in the United States was still at a peak and people were thinking in terms of party politics, and belonging to this club or the other club, he said, "Don't think about what happens on Tuesday, on Nov. 6th; just wait until the end of the week, and then you will see how reality will assert itself." And indeed, we have right now, only five days after the U.S. election date, dramatic global shifts under way, which already means we are in a different universe than a week ago.
Now, only three days after Election Day, General Petraeus, the head of the CIA, resigned. Now, the ostensible reason is an admitted extramarital affair; there may be something to that, because it is now becoming clear that the FBI was investigating Petraeus since spring of this year, but for obvious reasons, it was decided to keep Petraeus and not have this scandal erupt before the election. Which may have caused serious national security problems; that needs to be investigated. But much more likely, is that this firing or resignation rather of General Petraeus has to do something with what is now coined "Benghazi-gate," namely the scandal around the assassination of Ambassador Stevens and three other American employees of the embassy [in Libya], on Sept. 11th, that is eight weeks ago. And this Benghazi-gate, the circumstances of this incident has been coined by the Republican Senator McCain as "much more serious than Watergate." Because in Watergate, no blood was on the hands of the people involved.
Now, this Benghazi-gate story is a very, very big affair, but the second, very dramatic shift, also, in the last couple of days, was that the Russian Defense Minister and the Chief of the General Staff were replaced, and there is a much broader military and military-industrial reorganization.
Now, immediately after the Election Day in the United States, also, Prime Minister Cameron of Great Britain decided, backed up by Obama, to have a military escalation against the government of Assad in Syria, by arming the rebels, a policy which very easily could lead to a confrontation with Russia and China, and could easily lead to the triggering of a large war. And the firing of a rocket from the side of Syrians into the Golan Heights, supposedly in response to grenades which have been flying for several day, also shows you what a powderkeg the situation in the Middle East really is.
Then, fourthly, both in the United States and in Europe, you have absolutely brutal austerity, murderous austerity, and in the aftermath of the big storm, Sandy, which destroyed important sections of New York and New Jersey, now it turns out that ability to repair this, does not exist. And that the proud city of New York, in part, has been reduced to a situation like Haiti, like the Third World.
Now, the situation in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, where the cuts imposed by the Troika, or better, as it is now called, the "Destroika," are increasing the death rate, and in general the Eurozone and the United States financial banking system and economy are about to disintegrate, either through a chain-reaction collapse, or through the infamous policy of quantitative easing III, which is a synonym for money-printing; which is also done not only by Bernanke but also by the ECB.
Now, the combination of all of these things, should tell anybody that we are in an absolutely explosive situation, which could go out of control as we are talking here, or I'm talking and you are listening.
Now, first, let's look at the situation concerning the resignation of General Petraeus: Now, this is big, this is very big, and it is a genie which is not going to go back into the bottle. Because all the attempts to have cover stories and so forth will not work, because too many people have been injured, or killed for that matter; there will be many hearings in the Congress and in the Senate, starting on the 13th, that is two days from now, and continued on the 15th in the House and the Senate. The first round of these hearings will be behind closed doors, but despite certain signs that there is a desire to do so, the likelihood that the truth about what is really going on there, can be suppressed is very unlikely.
Now, this is a big deal, because as I said, the FBI already started to investigate General Petraeus' email and other things in the spring, and obviously, given the fact that he had this affair with a journalist, who is an American educated from West Point, but nevertheless, that he had all of this email traffic probably means that he should have resigned months ago, because it probably was a violation of national security.
Now, everything points to the fact that President Obama did not want this scandal to erupt before the election, and obviously, there is much more to it, and even if the truth will only come out if all of these Congressional investigations proceed, there are certain circumstantial things which are already known: One is that it involves very important policy issues, because it is now generally recognized by a large section of the American military and the American intelligence community, as well as observers from other parts of the world, naturally, that the entire policy of fighting al-Qaeda, fighting the war on terrorism, going for regime change, using drones, that this whole policy has completely failed. And even if you follow the internal logic of American interests, the result is a complete rubble-field.
For example, there are people in the military and in the intelligence community, who recognize that this drone warfare has led to the exact opposite, namely, it has led to an increased recruitment of al-Qaeda members, and it was General Petraeus in particular, who was in charge of the so-called "militarization of the CIA." And this has actually led to an increased hatred of the United States, and obviously, many innocent casualties.
Now, this policy of drone warfare, which has minimum caused civilian deaths which has caused at least one-fifth of these innocent civilians were children; altogether almost 5,000 people were killed. There are Bills of Impeachment being prepared right now against President Obama, because of this, because it was completely lawless: No accusation, no legal process, and there is, right now, an investigation in the United Nations for the same crime. And naturally, the situation is complicated by the fact that you have, now, Muslim Brotherhood governments, or governments which are close to the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Turkey, and potentially many other countries.
Now, the whole story of Benghazi is obviously what is really at stake here. The Obama Administration, and Obama personally, and especially Susan Rice, maintained up to almost two weeks after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11th, that this had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, but that it was a spontaneous demonstration because of this anti-Islamic video, which was already known to many authorities at the time, that that was not the case. The questions which are now being asked, is why, on the eleventh anniversary of Sept. 11th, when it had been clear for many months and several reports had been written by Ambassador Stevens, asking to reinforce security, warnings that the whole situation was pretty much out of control, why was there nothing done to beef up security? Then, why, when all the other institutions, like the British Embassy, the Red Cross and others, had left Benghazi because of the untenable security situation, why did the U.S. Consulate and the CIA house which was one and a half miles away from the consulate, why did they stay?
Why was a private British security firm used, which supposedly had unarmed personnel, and why was there no response to the fact that these employees were warning that a terrorist attack was about to occur? Why, when it was known, 20 minutes after the attack, and emails were sent to the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, that nothing was done to come to the help of the ambassador and the three other Americans?
There was a CIA house nearby; there were special forces trained for these kinds of things, reinforcement teams in Rota, in Spain, in Sicily, in Bahrain, why were they not deployed?
If it is true, which is likely, that drones were flying over the Benghazi Consulate, transmitting live video feeds in real time to the White House and other places, why was there no action? Why did President Obama, the next day, still have this story that these were spontaneous demonstrations — I mean, one explanation could be that he had based his entire election strategy on the fact that he had killed bin Laden, that he eliminated al-Qaeda, that he was a strongman respecting security and that he didn't want a terrorist attack to ruin that image.
But it now looks as though there are more things behind that. Because we, that is, our colleagues in the United States from EIR, Executive Intelligence Review, we already had reports on the 12th of September, that is, one day after the attack, that the attack was done by Ansar al-Sharia, this al-Qaeda related terrorist group, and that they had a strong presence in Libya and in Benghazi in particular.
Now, it is very likely that this whole operation has something to do with arms supplies coming from Libya to Syria, and this was related to the reinforcement of the terrorist part of the Syrian opposition. Now, one comment which captured the situation was a remark by President Putin who sarcastically said, "well, if you look at the people operating in Syria, you could just open the prison of Guantanamo, let these people out, arm them and send them to Syria, because it's the same kind of people."
Now, the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Telegraph hinted that the consulate in Benghazi may been a diplomatic cover for hidden CIA missions, and that the whole operation may have been involved in weapon deliveries to the Syrian opposition. Now, General Petraeus was supposed testify under oath, this coming Wednesday or Thursday [Nov. 14-15], in front of the House and Senate committees. While he will probably not get out of having to testify, because the Republican Congressman Peter King, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, basically said that he will have to testify a little bit later, because he was absolutely at the center of events, and that he has to testify more than anybody else.
Now, the genie, therefore, will not go back into the bottle. This is a very, very big affair. Because it involves the failure of the regime-change policy which started with Bush Sr. and the neo-cons, when the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1990, which you remember at that point, when the Soviet Union basically collapsed, and there would have been the possibility to have a true peace order for the 21st century, unfortunately at that time in the United States, in the Bush Sr. administration, you had the emergence of the neo-cons and their New American Century doctrine, which was essentially the idea that now that the main enemy was gone, to basically subdue the world under the control of an Anglo-American empire based on the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States.
Now, one outgrowth of this terrible imperial policy, was the Blair Doctrine. Blair gave this horrible speech, in 1999 in Chicago, in which he declared that the era of the Peace of Westphalia has ended, that the UN Charter which guarantees the national sovereignty of nations has essentially ended, and that from now on, there was the "right to protect," as this policy was later called, to have "humanitarian interventions" around the globe, and under the pretext of human rights violations and similar things, to intervene against a list of villains, of rogue states, and basically that led to the present chain of disasters.
We should remember, that Blair, the author of this policy, which is now adopted by the Obama Administration, was also the author of the lies that gave us the second Gulf War. He was instrumental in writing or in getting this MI5 memorandum written which said Saddam Hussein was linked to al-Qaeda, which was a lie; that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction, which was a lie; that these weapons could reach in 45 minutes every city on the globe, which all turned out not to be true. And Blair's policy not only represents a war crime, but it has led to a complete, utter, total failure of the policy of the United States, and unfortunately the West, at least those who participated in elements of this policy.
The policy of regime change and murder, or well, finally the execution of Saddam Hussein, means that this country has been bombed back into the Stone Age; you are now on the verge of a full-fledged religious war between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites in Iraq. Then, if you look at Afghanistan, where in light of what we now know about the true circumstances of Sept. 11th, the original, first Sept. 11th, probably this war which invoked Art. 5 of NATO, should have never happened in the first place, and if you look at the situation in Afghanistan now, it is also an utter, total failure, where the Afghani trainees, who are supposed to eventually take over security are now turning around, more and more, and killing those people who are training them, which is not exactly the proof of the success of this policy.
Now, the war of aggression against Libya, which was a war of aggression, and not a humanitarian intervention as Obama declared it, probably to fool people in the United States to avoid going to Congress and get permission from Congress to declare war; because the Founding Fathers of America had a very good reason to say that only Congress can declare war, and not one man, not the President, but that you need to have the agreement of the Congress, which Obama, by declaring it a humanitarian intervention avoided. And also, at that point, caused Russia and China to be neutral in the UN Security Council.
Now, obviously, the lesson of that was learned by Russia and China, and in the case of Syria, they are no longer neutral, but they have said a very clear veto, when it came to operations against Syria.
Now, when the bestial murder against Qaddafi occurred, it was clear that that is part of a whole campaign which was supposed to be extended immediately to Syria, to Iran, to Russia, and to China.
Now, look at the situation in Libya today: You have a completely destroyed country, a country which may not have been a humanist haven under Qaddafi, but it was, as it was with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and as it is now clearly seen in Syria, all of these countries had much, much, much better conditions with the so-called dictators than now! In Libya you have now tribal warfare, you have an increased presence and control of al-Qaeda and similar groups. And if you look now at the so-called opposition in Syria, which exists, but this opposition — the real opposition, they still prefer President Assad to what is now coming in the form of Salafists and al-Qaeda forces financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Now, this all has to be investigated, and it has to include an argument which has been made by Sen. Bob Graham, who was the head of the House and Senate Congressional investigation commission which looked into Sept. 11th , and produced a report. However, of this report, 28 pages are still classified to the present day, despite the fact that President Obama, in the 2008 election campaign had promised to declassify that, something which was demanded by the families of the victims of the tower, who wanted to know what was in these 28 pages, and Obama never declassified them.
Now, at the occasion of the recent Sept. 11th, Senator Graham wrote an article in the Huffington Post where he said, these 28 pages have to be urgently declassified because they pertain to the role of Saudi Arabia. And if one knows anything of the region, then that is the crucial track, to really find out what is the control, the imperial control by Saudi Arabia and British over, on the one side U.S. policy, but also reaching into European policy.
Now, the intent of Prime Minister Cameron and Obama, and remember that Blair is the military advisor to Obama presently, to arm the rebels and to increase the efforts to topple Assad, or if it would ever come to the desire by the Turkish government to establish a no-fly-zone; if it comes to that — and we are very close to that — that could only be reinforced by military means. And then, given the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO, you would have, probably instantly a conflict with Russia and China, which could very quickly lead to World War III.
Now, you have to look at the picture as a whole, to understand why I'm saying that we are very close to World War III: There is the declared intention of Prime Minister Netanyahu from Israel, to strike against the nuclear facilities in Iran. Now, does Iran have nuclear weapons? I don't think so. And this is also the opinion of the National Intelligence Estimate, the umbrella organization of the American secret services, who recently reiterated their findings from 2007, that Iran has discontinued its military program, its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and that they have not started it again.
That, however, if you put yourself in the position of Iran, being surrounded by nuclear powers, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, which is said to have either 200 or 400 nuclear warheads, Iran in the best estimate of knowledgeable sources, is trying to be nuclear weapons capable, as quickly as possible. But it does not pursue a nuclear weapons program. Now, that's a very important difference But, if there would be a strike against Iran, obviously, in that case, and it is also estimated, that Iran's entire nuclear program could not be destroyed, and within a certain delay of maybe a year or two, Iran, for sure, would try to achieve nuclear weapons, cancel the NPT treaty, and then as quickly as possible, develop nuclear weapons. But that is a different situation than that as if Iran would already be pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Now, if this would happen, you know, it would mean World War III. This is the understanding of every Middle East expert or strategic analyst, and the only reason why it has not happened yet, is because you have the U.S. military, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Israeli military, the Israeli intelligence services — Mossad, Shin Bet — who all are totally against this, because they know it not only would lead to the destruction of Israel, but it would lead probably to World War III. People have spoken about how this would lead to 100 year destruction of the entire region. But we are on a hair-trigger.
Now, there is this intention by Netanyahu, he has said it himself, many times, and now you have the following additional situations: You have a major maneuver, involving almost 5,000 soldiers, 3,500 American soldiers, 1,000 Israeli soldiers in the maneuver called "Austere Challenge 2012." Now, this is simulating an [audio loss]
... of the anti-missile defense shield which Russia is objecting to, so much. Then, this maneuver started on the 21st of October, and it is still ongoing.
Then since a couple of days, you have a huge maneuver, involving U.S. and Japanese troops around these contested islands in the Pacific. These are 50,000 troops, and the Chinese government has already said that they regard this as a provocation, just by the sheer number of this policy.
So then, you have to look at what is the position in respect to Russia and China. When the old Bush Administration started the policy of regime change in 1990, which was only interrupted in the eight years of Bill Clinton, there was very clearly a situation where the east extension of NATO was regarded by Russia and China as an encirclement policy.
Now the U.S.-NATO missile defense system which is being built in Poland, Czechia and Spain, has been declared completely unacceptable by the new Chief of General Staff of Russia, General Gerasimov, who, at a conference a couple of months ago in Moscow, basically made the point that this missile defense shield is not directed against Iran, but it would take out the second strike capability of the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal, and therefore make Russia essentially defenseless and completely destroy the strategic balance. And therefore, as Gerasimov was saying at the time, could lead to the use of nuclear weapons in Europe itself.
Now, if you look at all of these situations, the situation around Syria-Turkey, the fact that this conflict is already spilling over into Lebanon, into Jordan; the tension between Israel and Iran; the building of the missile defense shield, about which the remarks of Russia can not be called "for internal propaganda use" — I mean, as some, in my view rather irresponsible politicians are saying in the West. This is serious! Then you have these maneuvers, and you have on top of it, a very tense situation with a drive to extend these wars, being pushed right now, mainly by Blair, by Cameron, all of this means we are on the verge of World War III.
And if it comes to that, it would in all likelihood, come to the use of thermonuclear weapons, and it is the nature of such weapons that they would be used, all at once, and you could have the extinction of human civilization in about one and a half hours.
Now, as I said in the beginning, this is a crisis beyond the imagination. Because it comes together, with an escalation of the financial crisis in the trans-Atlantic region. The United States' banking system and the European banking system, but for these continuous streams of bailout packages, are completely bankrupt.
If you look what is happening in the United States, in the aftermath of this Sandy story, there are still hundreds of thousands of people, in New York and New Jersey, without heat, without electricity, without gasoline; there are people stuck in high-rise buildings, 20-story buildings, where older people can not easily go through pitch dark hallways, down 20 stories and then go a mile to get food and water; so there are people now starting to really freak out, and they're still dying!
When the storm happened my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, immediately said, look, this will never be rebuilt, because the money is not there; you would need huge sums! In order to prevent this, it would have been necessary to build shields against the floods which would have cost about, maybe $6 billion. There was a proposal by a Dutch firm about three years ago, but for austerity reasons, it was decided not to build this. Now, you probably have $60 billion or maybe $100 billion in damages, but that money is not there, — and the spare parts are not there! Because if you want rebuild, for example, the New York subway, the production capabilities to do that no longer in existence.
Now, if you look at just a couple of figures of the rest of the picture of the United States' economy: 43 million Americans are dependent on food stamps! Now, that's not a small number. That means it's about half or more than half of the population of Germany! So, just draw a line, maybe at the Rhine-Main area, and either in the north or in the south, all of these people would be living on food stamps. Every seventh American is depending on that.
By the end of the year, the U.S. Federal debt will be $16.8 trillion. This is a sum which increased by $6 trillion during the period of the Obama Administration. The per-capita indebtedness of the United States, is 35% higher than that of Greece. And it is higher than that of Italy, Spain, Portugal, or France.
Now, if, in this situation, the only answer is murderous austerity policy, which is what Obama is now announcing, and which is causing the American trade union movement to fight the same Obama whom they voted for only five days ago, and have rallies all over the place, this policy of austerity is now imposed on Greece, which already has 58% youth unemployment; Spain, 55% youth unemployment. And now, the Troika, or better, Destroika, demands further cuts before the next tranche of bailout money will be paid. They demand 10, 20, 30% cuts in wages and pensions; they want to shut down hospitals; they want to cut health care: And this is murdering people!
Now, the EU in its present form, and people should not blind themselves to that, is just another expression of the Blair policy. What I mean by that, is, if Blair's doctrine is to end national sovereignty, to end the period of the Peace of Westphalia, then there's only aim, to postpone the bankruptcy of a bankrupt financial system, that is what we see right now: They combine brutal, murderous austerity with Quantitative Easing 3, and Draghi from the ECB says, "whatever it takes to save the euro," this is leading in the short term — and I really mean short term — to a hyperinflation in the entire trans-Atlantic region like it was in 1923. And as we know in Germany, from family experience, that hyperinflation is the most brutal form of expropriation.
Now, I could paint the picture more elaborately, but let's just stop here. There is a solution. It requires however, a fundamental paradigm shift, and a complete turning away from politics as usual. We need to go back to the principle of the Peace of Westphalia, the complete respect for national sovereignty. We have to completely reject the idea of humanitarian intervention, and of supranational bureaucracies.
Now, for Europe, this means we have to absolutely cancel the EU Treaties from Maastricht to Lisbon, we have to return to national currencies, and we have to establish, simultaneously, a global Glass-Steagall Act, and I mean the real Glass-Steagall as Franklin D. Roosevelt imposed it, and not some watered-down versions like the Vickers Commission ring-fencing, or Volcker Rule, which leave holes for banking speculation as big as a barn door. And we have to have a real separation of the banks, where the state protects the commercial banks, and the investment banks have to get along without taxpayer money and without having access to the savings of the commercial banks. Now, if that means that most of these investment banks have to declare insolvency, so be it! But this circle of refinancing a small circle of speculators who become richer and richer, and a mass of population in the United States and Europe which is plunging into Third World conditions, that has to stop. And there is no legitimate reason to continue this policy for one minute!
There is a solution, namely, to go back to a credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, to go to national banking, and to give credits for real production. Now, admittedly, this will be a little bit bumpy, it will not be without a short period of problems. But, compared to hyperinflation, which is going to eat away all the savings of the population, and will lead to chaos in the short term — if even Helmut Schmidt, who is a proponent of this same policy, is warning about civil war, and a revolution erupting in Europe, I can only say, this is what will happen in the short term, because if there is hyperinflation, or an uncontrolled collapse, people will indeed go crazy, because there is no future and no hope!
If, however, one does an orderly reorganization, cancels the EU treaties, from Maastricht to Lisbon, goes back to a national currency control of the nation's own currency and its own economy, and then starts to rebuild the real economy, there is no reason why the economic miracle which Germany made in the postwar period , with the help of the Marshall Plan and the credit lines from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau directed to real production, why that example can not be replicated at any point, really in the world.
Now, for the United States, this means we have to have NAWAPA, the largest water-management project ever undertaken in history, which is already ready to go: There were congressional feasibility studies already made a long time ago, and we have updated it to be NAWAPA XXI, and we need for Europe the extension of the World Land-Bridge, the Mediterranean and Africa. And now, we definitely need to have a complete, different approach to the Near East and the Middle East.
Now, the whole region, include Central Asia and the Gulf, must immediately put on a plan for real economic development. We have to have infrastructure corridors, connecting to the World Land-Bridge in Russia, China, and other countries, and we have to have transport corridors, connecting that part of the world with Asia, with Europe. But especially, we need to have huge amounts of new, fresh water. Because, if you fly in a plane over this region, from the Sahel zone to the Sahara to the Arab Peninsula, to Central Asia, where you also have tremendous water shortages, you have desert!
Now, the ridiculous absurdity is, that for ever $1 earned by most people in this region — I'm not talking about the sheikhs, but I'm talking about the average population — there are $50 spent on military expenditures! Now, is that not insane? Should we not rather have an agreement from Russia, China, India, Iran, hopefully some European countries, hopefully the United States, to really develop this region.
Now, my institute, the Schiller Institute is presently working on a comprehensive development plan for the entire region, from Central Asia, all the way to Iran, Iraq, to the Gulf States, to Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine, all the way to Turkey, and to take that region as one entire area, hanging together, and plan an infrastructure development plan, as you would look at Western Europe, or certain parts which are developed in the United States. And there is no reason why this region can not be uplifted, through a joint development strategy, and this way you establish a higher level of region, which allows all these countries which are right now, or many forces in them, are being murdered, being slaughtered, slaughtering each other, for ethnic, religious, and other conflicts, and basically say, that if they agree to work together for a higher purpose, that peace can be established in this region.
Now, the Schiller Institute will shortly present this plan, and I want to invite all the people who are listening to this webcast, to contact us and collaborate on the implementation of this program. We must turn this region, which right now could be called the "Cockpit for World War III," and which is, like the Balkan Wars before World War I, a region where you have so many historic alliances and conflicts, which immediately start to kick into each other and go into a big war, that has to be completely changed. And this area has to become an economic prosperous region and be guided by the policy of "peace through development."
Now, as I said, if we can get the big powers, the neighbors, Russia, China, India, Iran, hopefully some Europeans, hopefully the United States, which will have a very different situation in a short period of time — I'm sure of that — then there is hope. We have to, at this point, where we are looking at the potential extinction of civilization, we have to change the paradigm, and we have to stop thinking in terms of supposed geopolitical interests and the destructive extension of war, which is a policy of absolute evil! This policy of regime-change, and trying to topple government after government is evil, and it has to stop!
Now we have to change, instead, to the common aims of mankind. If we don't make this shift, then it will turn out, but there will be nobody to watch, probably, that we will not have been more intelligent than the dinosaurs, who went extinct, 65 million years ago.
Now, let's look at another area where the common aims of mankind, are absolutely urgent: In our universe, in the different galaxies there are billions of asteroids and comets flying in space. Many of them have not been discovered, we don't know where most of them are, but they have devastating consequences. We all have seen pictures of the Moon, for example, where there were craters which were struck by such comets or asteroids. About 250 million years ago, there was an asteroid which impacted the planet and had a deadly chain-reaction of events, of tsunamis, volcano eruptions, of poisonous liquids which developed, and all of this led to a 98% extinction of all species.
Now, 65 million years ago, another asteroid hit, near the Mexican coast, which had an impact of 200,000 times the entire nuclear arsenal, and that sent shockwaves around the world, and created a gigantic dust cloud, in the context of which, then, the dinosaurs and about 70% of all species at that time, disintegrated and died out.
Now, the last large impact was in 1908 in Tunguska in Siberia, where either an asteroid or a comet exploded before it struck Earth, but nevertheless, the downburst impact was larger than the eruption of Mount St. Helen volcano. It was relatively small, but it still led to a huge crater, the size of greater New York.
Now, at the beginning of this year, an asteroid flew by the Earth — and it did not hit, naturally — but now, it turns out, it's coming back. It will fly by the Earth again on the 13th of February, and only 24,000 km distance — now that's not a very big distance, if you look at the universe at large. It only has a diameter of 30 meters, and it would only create a crater, if it would ever strike Earth, the size of the territory of a small city.
Now, in the last 60 years, there was enormous progress in the knowledge abut our and other galaxies; the theory of comets developed, we developed telescopes and probes, which we can send out to near space, and there is bigger, deeper understanding about orbits, the chemical composition of these asteroids and comets, and it is right now an absolute priority to discover them in time when there can be enough warning time, and to develop the means to neutralize them, to change their direction. There are various proposals how this can be done. But all of these things are not yet tested, and one has to be extremely careful about the side-effects, but so far there is no reliable method yet.
Now, if you really think about that, mankind has every reason to fear that we eventually will suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. And even if one can say that these comets always triggered a new evolution or a new qualitative level of evolution in terms of species — after the reptiles were eliminated in one earlier great extinction, the dinosaurs developed; after the dinosaurs were eliminated the mammals, warm-blooded creatures developed. But I don't think we can really be relying on that if we are extinct, some more intelligent species will develop, which the universe is probably going to produce, but I don't think that that would acceptable.
So mankind should basically develop abilities to conquer dangers from space. And long before the Sun is going to have serious troubles, maybe much earlier than 2 billion years from now, we should be able redefine the way we think, about our position on the planet, and we should define the common dangers and common aims of mankind, and work together, like the proposal of the SDE, global missile defense systems, which is not excluding Russia and China but including them; we should have joint research and development concerning the danger of asteroids, comets, early warning systems for volcano eruptions, for earthquakes, and these are the things we should basically engage together.
Now, there is reason for optimism: Because when the Curiosity Mars rover was landing just a little while ago, this gives us, for the very first time, the perspective to look, from Mars, into the future of changes which basically we have to start focussing on. We now have an observation point on Mars. Admittedly, with a 14-minute delay before signals which are sent from Earth are going into effect on Mars, but, we can from now on, use this Mars rover and future such rovers and other instruments to map the relations in the Solar System, and to study those areas where asteroids and comets are very dense, for example, the area between Mars and Venus, and we have to find out where these rocks are, what is their orbit, which of them are threatening Earth. And we have to no longer think, sort of like little people on the planet Earth and look up into space, but we can think from Mars, and from Earth, naturally, and from the Moon, and soon from other places.
That means that we can think about the universe in a completely different way.
Now, that means we can make a qualitative leap in the way we think. We can leave the domain of sense-perception and the reliance on our senses as a means of cognition. We can think in terms of the universe as composed of a complexity of universal principles, and as it was in the history of science and of Classical art, always, whenever you introduce a new principle, a new qualitative principle, this redefines the entire set of existing known principles to that present time.
We are now before a situation where, either we continue the way we are doing right now. Or, we make a leap, where we go to the common aims of mankind, and accomplish what the great German-American rocket scientist, Krafft Ehricke called, the "Extraterrestrial Imperative." He coined that notion to specify the necessary next phase in the evolution of mankind. I mean, if you think that life on the planet developed from the oceans, by aid of photosynthesis to the Earth, to the ground, in the form of vegetation; then after a certain point in the evolution, human beings appeared. Human beings first lived only at the mouths of rivers or coastal areas, then, because they developed infrastructure, they could expand, more and more, to more and more territory, a process which is not yet completed, because there are entire areas of the world which are not yet developed through infrastructure. But that the manned space travel would be the necessary step in the evolution of man. That was Krafft Ehricke's idea and that the Extraterrestrial Imperative would also mean that people would have to become rational human beings, and follow natural physical scientific principles. Because otherwise , you can not be in space and survive.
Now, I think we are now at that point, where either we can get our act together, so to speak, and stop solving conflicts by war! Because it is threatening to lead to our destruction. And that we have to leave the era of infantilism, geopolitical wars, or juvenile delinquencies, and reach the adulthood of mankind.
Now, there is a third aspect of this civilizational crisis which I was mentioning in the beginning, and that is the moral decadence of our Western culture, and it is the deep, deep cultural pessimism, which has basically, almost taken over most people. If you ask people in the street to help to implement such plans, as I was here mentioning, the normal answer you get is, "One can not do anything anyway." Or, "man is bad, evil, anyway." You know, people have a deep-rooted cultural pessimism, which naturally comes from the paradigm shift of the last 40 years.
Just compare the present perception of what people think with the cultural optimism which existed in the period of the Apollo program, when you would ask you children or teenagers, "what do you want to become when you are grown up?" and many of them would say, "I want to become an astronaut, I want to become an engineer, I want to become this, or become that."
Now, with 58% youth unemployment in Greece, with young teenagers being unemployable because they have no motivation to learn. Many Mittelstand firms are hiring apprentices only to lay them off after a couple of weeks, because they just don't want to work, and they can not work. If you look at the youth culture, which is, in many cases, a combination of bestial pornography, violence, and which is the result of a degeneration from generation to generation for the last 40 years, and maybe longer, well, this complete lack of empathy, of complete egoism, almost autism of many children and teenagers, well, then, you can not deny that we have a big problem: Because if the youth generation is the most feared and dangerous part of society, then, you know, something went deadly wrong.
Now, contrary to that, if you consider for a moment, the absolute enthusiasm with which the landing of Curiosity on Mars was greeted by youth around the world, who, even if they may not have known all the scientific principles involved, naturally, they had a reaction: "Man, there is a future, there's something out there, there is something I still have to discover and something I have to learn for."
Now, the idea that there is, a future is what is absolutely important: Because the only way mankind can avoid extinction, is a shift in the identity of an ever larger number of people, away from immediate gratification of the senses in the here and now, the maximization of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, and a shift to the identity to be truly creative people.
Now, the creativity, the passion to discover new universal principles, in Classical art, and in natural science, and to study the laws of the universe, is only possible if you have a vision of the future. If you have a vision of man in space, a man who uses the breakthroughs, making in space research, to solve the problems on Earth, because that's the only way how they will be solved, and use that as a guidance to shape the present.
When it is clear that mankind can only survive in the universe, by progressing to higher states of scientific understanding and higher levels of energy flux density, is it then, not a crime not to pursue these sciences and developments? And to totally abandon the Green paradigm, because the Green paradigm means, by definition, that man will never conquer the dangers coming from space because all the energy flux density rich or high energy flux density sciences, and technologies which are necessary, are going to be victimized by such crazy ideas as those of Mr. Schellnhuber and his crazy plan to "decarbonize" the world economy! Now if you go in the direction of the Green paradigm, then mankind will not survive! It may not be as quick a death as thermonuclear war, but it will be a slow death, because we will put out of our arms and hands all the scientific tools which we need to guarantee our own survival.
Now just look at it in perspective: Mankind is only around for a meager 7 million years, that is very, very short. Recorded, written history, is only 5,000 years! Space exploration began seriously, less than 100 years ago. Then sending of telescopes and probes only started to be really thought about 50 years ago.
Now just think, if we now shift gears, say no to the Green paradigm, say no to the geopolitical wars, and instead focus on the common aims of mankind, focus on those sciences and technologies, and Classical art forms which are truly human. Then, just think how, in 1,000 years from now, mankind would look.
Now, we will make qualitative leaps which will be much, much, much bigger, and much more beautiful and exciting than the development we took from the Stone Age to now. And if you would have asked a Stone Age man, how will people look in the year 2012, he probably would have looked pretty stupid. And if you ask the same question to most citizens today, "How will mankind look in the universe, in the space, 1,000 years from now?" you probably would get the same reaction. But that doesn't mean that the true nature of man is not exactly to be that creative species in the universe, and to be the only species which can conquer these dangers, and become the only immortal species on the planet, and maybe, much beyond.
Now, if we are to survive, then only if more and more people think like Classical artists, and think like natural scientists. And we need to induce that paradigm shift, and we need to have a discussion about that, because what is glaringly absent right now — when you had the Cuba crisis, there was a huge discussion! In the media, among the politicians; John F. Kennedy warned that if it comes to the use of thermonuclear weapons, the people who die in the first minutes will be the happy ones, as compared to those who die a few weeks later.
Now, there is no such discussion today, even if the danger is much, much bigger. When you had the medium-range missile crisis, the SS-20 and Pershing II crisis at the beginning of the '80s, you had hundreds of thousands of people in the street, warning that this could lead to the extinction of civilization because these weapons systems were on "launch on warning."
Now, it is launch on warning, practically everywhere, and there is no discussion, despite the fact that everybody can see that we are absolutely close to our own destruction.
Now what we need is not only a discussion about these dangers, because people need to know it, and they have to think about it, and they have to make an informed decision that they don't want this. But we need to discuss also the alternatives, that there is no reason in the world why we can not go back to Glass-Steagall, to a credit system, to building the real economy, to have scientific breakthroughs, to go back to a culture of humanist Classical culture, and we need to have a discussion about that! We can not just see how civilization is crashing against the wall and not do anything about it.
And that is my appeal to you.