LaRouche's SDI Proposal Is Back on the Table!
July 7, 2007 • 5:51PM

BREAKTHROUGH IN U.S.-RUSSIAN RELATIONS?

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
At the so-called "Lobster Summit" held at the Bush family's vacation site in Kennebunkport, Maine, a potentially very positive development occurred. In the presence of the former President George H.W. Bush Sr., Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the current President a proposal which could change the relationship between the U.S.A. and Russia, away from the current escalation and back to a basis of strategic cooperation.

At their joint press conference, Putin presented the same proposal he made at the G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm: to use the current "Gabala" radar station in Azerbaijan as a mutual Russian-American missile defense system, instead of the system planned by the U.S.A. in Poland and the Czech Republic. As a new element, Putin also proposed the modernization of the Azeri radar installation, an additional radar facility in southern Russia, and the creation of information exchange centers in Brussels and Moscow, and to place the total cooperative process under the command of the NATO-Russia Council.

Lyndon LaRouche has emphasized the enormous potential which this proposal contains: Although there are no guarantees, the outcome could turn out to be very hopeful, provided that the right combination of leading Democrats and Republicans can bring themselves together to react to this proposal in the right way. Putin himself, speaking at the joint press conference, stressed how far-reaching this potential is:

"As for the future, as I already mentioned, we are now discussing a possibility of raising our relations to an entirely new level that would involve a very private and very, shall we say, sensitive dialogue on all issues related to international security, including, of course, the missile defense issue.... Gradually, our relations would develop into those of a real strategic partnership. It would mean raising the level of our, and improving the level of our interaction in the area of international security, thus leading to improved political interaction and cooperation with a final effect being, of course, evident in our economic relations and the general situation. Well, basically, we may state that the deck has been dealt, and we are here to play. And I would very much hope that we are playing one and the same game."

It is typical that the Western media have not once brought up the potentially epoch-making proposal by Putin in their reporting, but distorted the answer of Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, to questions from reporters in Tashkent, about the status of the U.S.-Russian relationship in connection with the planned missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, and only commented that Ivanov had threatened the West. By that they meant his assertion that Russia would react with asymmetric measures if its offers were not accepted. In either case, a 100% security guarantee for Russia would be the result.

But what these media so far have not reported, is the much more significant remark by Ivanov, that the Russian proposals signify a fundamental change in international relations, and could mean an end to the talk about a new Cold War. "If our proposals are accepted," said Ivanov, "Russia will no longer need to place new weapons, including missiles, in the European part of the country, including Kaliningrad." Other leading Russian politicians stressed the historic opportunity which is contained in this proposal, but which demands an unequivocal answer.

- A Dramatic and Positive Change -

In fact, if the U.S. Administration would agree to Putin's proposal, this would represent a dramatic and positive change in the strategic situation. Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly stressed that the way out of the different existential crises in which the world currently finds itself, depends on a new quality of cooperation between the key nations of the U.S.A., Russia, China and India. Such cooperation is just as necessary for overcoming the currently exploding global financial crisis as it is for ending the self-expanding military conflicts. Putin has now definitively taken the first step toward such a qualitatively changed kind of cooperation, and that on an absolutely fundamental level. A positive answer from President Bush to this proposal is now essential; it is a strategic opportunity which must not be passed up if the world is going to have a chance.

Even if Bush has still not directly agreed to Putin's proposal, the fact that the Lobster Summit could occur at all in a constructive atmosphere, is thanks to the circumstance that Vice President Cheney, who has been confronted, since Lyndon LaRouche's historic Internet conference on June 21, with a barrage of articles demanding his resignation, was not present. Instead, according to sources in the environment of the meeting, a very constructive discussion occurred between Bush Sr. and Putin about the considerable economic development in Russia in the recent period, and about the evolution of a Mittelstand (small to medium-sized industry) in Russia. Leading Republicans later commented that this made it even more clear why Cheney must be absent, because his presence would make such a discussion impossible.

An important indicator pointing to a strategic shift was the speech which former President Bill Clinton made several days before the Kennebunkport meeting, at the 4th anniversary meeting of the Yalta European Strategy Organization (YES), at which other high-ranking politicians from Western Europe, Ukraine, and Russia—including former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder—participated. Clinton stressed that he has repeatedly sided with the SDI initiative proposed by President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983. He had made it clear to President Boris Yeltsin, as also to President Putin today, that the United States would share these technologies, as soon as they were effectively developed, with Russia and all other nations, in order to have a real defense, for example, against nuclear terrorism. Clinton spoke out vehemently against the installation of the traditional missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, whose effectiveness is highly questionable and which only creates an unnecessary crisis with Russia.

Clinton alluded to the SDI, and with it, to a far-reaching strategic change in East-West relations. As is well known, Reagan had not only repeatedly offered the joint development of defensive beam weapons on the basis of new physical principles, which would make atomic weapons obsolete, but that the U.S. would help the Soviet Union with the application of these new technologies in the civilian realm. Everyone knows that Lyndon LaRouche was the author of the SDI, and that he had conducted so-called back-channel discussions with official representatives of Russia on behalf of the Reagan Administration for over a year, before Reagan announced the SDI as official American policy. Therefore, there was, and is, a section of the Republican Party which has a positive attitude toward such strategic cooperation with Russia.

As Russian sources have reported to EIR, the invitation to President Putin for the meeting in Kennebunkport was offered already on April 25, when former U.S. Presidents Bush Sr. and Clinton participated in Moscow at the funeral of Boris Yeltsin, and in this context, conducted intense discussions with Putin. Exactly in this time frame, there also occurred the dialogue between Lyndon LaRouche and leading Russian scientists on the realization of the Bering Strait Tunnel, as a conscious war avoidance strategy. The conference on this great project, that forsees, a nearly 100 km long tunnel under the sea, as well as 6,000 km long rail connection between Siberia and Alaska, occurred on April 24, and at the same time, Putin led intensive discussions on it in his cabinet. Several days later, on April 27, Putin called for the creation of a new "strategic working group" with the title: "USA-Russia, a Look into the Future," whose members included, among others, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ex-Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov.

- An Enormous Poltical Battle -

One can therefore conclude that an enormous political battle is being fought out these days, in both political parties, over the question of how to react to Putin's proposal. Back then, after Reagan's initiative in 1983, the opponents of the SDI finally, after several months, succeeded. And naturally, the proposal was also rejected on the Soviet side. Officially, the Soviets answered LaRouche that the SDI would bring more advantage to the West than to the Soviet Union. In reality, the Ogarkov faction had no interest in the destruction of the blocs—NATO and the Warsaw Pact—in which the SDI would have resulted, but they had aggressive plans, whose existence was discovered after the collapse of the DDR. LaRouche, at that time, made the forecast that the Soviet Union would collapse economically in five years, if it clung to the concept of the strategic rearmament. Not five, but six years went by before the Soviet Union disintegrated, but LaRouche was basically right.

If today, President Putin offers the U.S.A. strategic cooperation in the spirit of the SDI, then therein lies an enormous opportunity for the entire world. Because Putin, in recent years and this year, has repeatedly also made clear that he wants to establish the Russian-American relationship on the basis of the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that he not only wants a policy like the New Deal for Russia, but that the whole world needs a New Deal. A discussion on this matter is all the more urgent in the face of signs of the storm which is approaching the global financial system. The financial press, itself worried about the "psychology of the markets," is turning somersaults these days with warnings about the systemic crisis, which could be triggered by the collapse of only a few hedge funds.

Lyndon LaRouche's strategic concept, that only the combination of the U.S.A., Russia, China and India, uniting to decide on a new global financial system, a new Bretton Woods in the tradition of FDR, can find a way out of the crisis, has found great resonance, not only in Russia, and in the U.S.A., among several important political groups, but also among other nations of the world, interest in the highest circles is being directed toward this process of Russian-American dialogue.

In total opposition to the subscribers to the thesis that there is no alternative to globalization, or alternatively, that one must wait until the "U.S. financial crisis" breaks the power of the United States, it is very possible that the world order will regroup itself around the four-nation conception, of which LaRouche speaks. If these four countries agree on a new financial system and a New Deal, there will hardly be a county in the world that will not gladly be integrated into this new dynamic.

This is so, because, in the tradition of FDR lies the promise that he had given for the postwar order, after the Second World War, and which he unfortunately was unable to carry out due to his untimely death: namely, that the age of colonialism should be ended. And this promise of Roosevelt's was based, in turn, on the policy of President John Quincy Adams, and his idea that the world order should be based on a community of principle among fully sovereign nation-states, who are tied together by common goals for mankind.

If this vision is realized—and President Putin has already taken a giant step toward it—then, for example, Germany also has the opportunity to free itself from the strangling grip of the Maastricht Treaty and supranational control by the EU, and together with the other "European Fatherlands," of which de Gaulle spoke, to participate in a new just world order.

Putin's offer opens the possibility for a strategic shift to this direction. But the opportunity must be taken advantage of soon, before it disappears.