INTERVIEW: LYNDON H. LAROUCHE, JR.
'LaRouche Doctrine' Is the Key
To Peace in Southwest Asia
Democratic Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche gave this videotaped interview to Hussein Askary, Arabic correspondent for EIR, on April 24, 2004.
Askary: Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, the Democratic Presidential candidate and prominent economist and statesman of the United States, has put forward a proposal to salvage the situation in Iraq and the Middle East in general, which he has called "The LaRouche Doctrine," and which is being circulated inside the United States and internationally—that, in the context of his proposals for the reorganization of the international financial and monetary systems. So, we are going to ask Mr. Lyndon LaRouche to elaborate on these proposals, and explain the way his initiatives could work.
LaRouche: Well, what I did was, among other things, I made a ten-point argument, in order to have it in the point form, which is more easily understood, and divided into three sections the ten points. The first is to emphasize that the present view of the strategic situation in the Middle East is wrong, and can not possibly lead to a successful result. Therefore, we have to redefine the question on all sides; various proposals from all sides, will not work, as previously established. For one reason, the situation [in Iraq] has gone much too far. We're now in advanced asymmetric warfare, and the United States could not stay in, and the United States could not simply get out, without leaving chaos behind. And therefore, some completely different approach has to be taken to the situation.
The first thing is to recognize that we have to create a zone of security, which is accepted among the countries of the region, and deal with the problem of reconstructing Iraq, in the context of an agreement within the region. Now, the zone I defined is as follows: To the north, you have Turkey; next to it, you have Syria, and you have Iran. You have also at the corner, of the intersection of Turkey and Iraq and Iran, you also have Armenia, and you have Azerbaijan, where there are also problems. If someone is to destabilize Transcaucasia, including the problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia and Iran, then you could not possibly maintain a secure Middle East security policy.
So therefore, there has to be a sense of a primary policy, which, on the north, is Turkey, which is a strong nation-state, with a very definite perception of what the Middle East problems are, for it. You have Iran; whether you agree with Iran or not, it's a major factor in the region, and has to be consulted and brought in on the agreement. Otherwise there is no secure agreement. You have Iraq itself, but Iraq doesn't have power now. So, Syria has a sense of being a Middle East power; that is, it has a sense of power as an integrity of a nation, and its own policy. You have Egypt, which is the keystone nation from the other side. You have various other nations that can be brought in, including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and so forth, but they can not actually function, unless there is a framework in which they can efficiently function within the region.
So that's number one. So we have to say, "Take the British term 'Middle East,' and scrap it." There is no Middle East, there's Southwest Asia. And people who want peace will stop using the term "Middle East" and say "Southwest Asia" instead.
Askary: What is the significance of that?
LaRouche: Well, the British invented the term "Middle East," which goes back to the beginning of the 19th Century in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, when the British decided that the Ottoman Empire was going to be in trouble. And they were going to be on the inside, and they were going to make trouble. So, they planted the first Jewish settlement, under British direction, in the Middle East, and also picked up some of the Jews who were there, who were bankers, in Syria and so forth, and picked them up and tried to play them as factors in the grain trade and other things which were inside the Ottoman Empire, and play this.
So, all during this period, from 1763 on, in particular, we've had a British Empire in fact. Beginning with 1763, with the Treaty of Paris, all of Europe had been involved, by the British, in attacking Prussia, and during this period, the British had exploited this war, the so-called Seven Years' War, in order to gobble up India, and to gobble up North America, from France. At that point the Treaty of Paris established the British East India Company—a company—as an empire. And later, this became, formally, the British Empire. But all during this period, from 1763, Europe had been dominated by a group, based in London, which, in fact, is a British Empire. It still exists today, except today, the difference is, the United States was picked, as an English-speaking country, to become a kind of Big Brother, on doing errands for the British masters in London—that sort of thing.
So, what we have to do, is get a sense of Asia as a whole, and the region as a whole, as the area, not some proprietary conception of British intelligence. Because all the classical things that we get on Middle East policy, come from the question of the British Empire, and various—Russia, Austro-Hungary, at one point, Turkey—all dealing with this region. So, the region has certain internal characteristics. It is the one area in Asia which is in trouble. It's the one area that has to be fixed. So, the people in this area really do have certain common, or interlocking interests, and therefore, unless you are able to bring together these nations around the idea of their interlocking interests—in common security interests, and economic development—you don't have a party in the Middle East which is going to be capable of administrating the question.
Now, we're dealing with the Arab, in particular, at the same time. From my experience, of more than a quarter of a century: Don't tell an Arab what to do. Give him an option to make a decision.
So, the first purpose was, define the question in that way. Instead of trying to impose an outside dictate on the region, let the region agree on its own common interest.
Askary: There is a question that comes up in that context: It's the role of the United States itself, because it is the occupying power, it is the dominant power in the Middle East, it is the party which is supporting the Israeli policy, and could determine the situation. You say, you can't impose a solution, but what could the U.S.—
LaRouche: That's what I get to. That's exactly it. That's exactly it.
It can only come from me, because I'm the only leading American figure, from the United States, who is in a position to, and willing to, take that view of what U.S. policy must be. The advantage of my doing it, is that they have no other solution. We're headed into an impossible situation. And there are—contrary to what the impression is from the outside—because many people outside don't understand the United States. Many people in the United States don't understand the United States, so it's not an exclusive club. But, we have a Presidential system, and our country, unlike European countries, which are based today on the British-Dutch Liberal model of parliamentary system, we don't have that. We don't really think like that, as a nation. We have many people in the United States who think like that, unfortunately, but we are not that as a nation.
Our system is a Presidential system. It's a Constitutional-Presidential system, based on principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. Therefore, from the beginning of the American Revolution, 1776, officially, we built a Presidential system, which is based on a central government, as a Presidential system, with a group of states which agree to become part of a Federal government, not a group of associate governments.
As a result, you have, with this kind of government, the Presidency has to make the decisions. The parliament can not make competent decisions and will not make decisions. It's for that reason, that in every crisis, every constitutional government in Europe has been overthrown. The British avoided that by never having a constitutional government. They have an arbitrary government of the monarchy. It's a relic of an imperial system, which doesn't require a parliamentary system: The boss is the boss. What do you need a constitution for? The boss is going to make the decisions. It may not be the Queen herself, but it's a group of people who have that function.
So, our system is unique, in the sense that we have an efficient system, which is based on the people, largely, who are permanent servants of government: in the military, in the intelligence services, diplomatic services, and other functions of the Federal government, who are also associated, with their collaborators, traditional collaborators, outside government, who actually run the government, as an Executive branch
The problem is, the way we run the government, depends upon what kind of a President we have, because under the Constitution, the President is the chief executive. And, if the guy is a dummy, as this present one is, and so forth, you have a problem. Or, if he's an enemy, as many of our Presidents have been, have been virtual traitors, you have problems.
But the essential thing is, we're the only country that, since 1789, the only country in the world, that has maintained the same constitution, the same constitutional system. Not just a revision of the constitution—we've made revisions, in details of the Constitution—but we are the only country in the world which has a viable constitution of that type.
Now, my position is not only that of a candidate, which I've been several times, but for various reasons, I'm essentially a part of the Presidential system. It's the way it works in our country. In connection with the SDI, for example, I had to take an oath, because I was dealing with the Soviet government, as a back channel, for the United States government.
Askary: You mean the SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative?
LaRouche: Right. So, since I was dealing with the Soviet government on behalf of the Presidency, I had to take an oath, in terms of what I was doing, a secrecy oath in terms of certain things I was doing. So, because of that, I am essentially part of the system. And many people who are candidates, not in this crowd in particular—Kerry is, of course—are part of the Presidential system, even though he's a Senator. So, therefore, when you get a statement from me, on a matter of crisis, where the rest of the system doesn't work, and where the great numbers, the majority—for example, the majority of the military hate this policy. It's only the dummies that like it. It's a fascist system, which is against the military. Most of the intelligence services don't like it; they've been opposed to it.
Askary: As part of your expertise in these security and military issues, I'd like to hear your view of the situation itself inside Iraq, and also, as these circles see it inside Iraq; in military-political terms, how have you seen the war itself, the developments since the war, and the current situation?
LaRouche: I'll give you an example. We discussed this weekend some of the changes—even Bremer has been forced to make certain adjustments in his language—in Iraq. What that represents, is, we've had a discussion, over the past days, in leading circles inside the United States, and other places: They agreed with my proposal, in broad terms—they haven't discussed thoroughly all the details. They put the pressure on. We have a crisis. It's obvious that the President's a failure, everybody else is a failure in dealing with the thing. Therefore, the people who represent the institutions, the permanent institutions of government, whether they're out of service or in service, go as experts, and say to their friends who are in government: "This is not going to work, and here is a possibility of a solution. And therefore, in U.S. national interests, we've got to get out of this mess."
And therefore, they like this ["The LaRouche Doctrine"], I think some of them like it, and you saw an immediate reflection, once the discussion came on this initial proposal. That was my purpose. My purpose was, not to try to push the thing, negotiate it myself, but to state the proposal, have people in the Arab world, in particular, hear it; have the people who know me in the United States and elsewhere, hear it, and say—now, knowing that it's an urgent situation—that if we can't do something within less than 30 days, the situation may be impossible for anyone to deal with.
Askary: So, the problem with the discussions that come up is, that, first of all, the situation inside Iraq is somehow locked. That the parties inside Iraq itself are incapable of finding a solution, because some people say, there might be a solution if we get more American casualties, then this will create a reaction inside the United States. But on the other hand, there are forces inside Iraq, and in the Middle East, who look at you as a person of credibility, somebody whom they could trust, because you have a history of interventions in the Middle East, and you have been tested on that side. But then the question that comes up is, two sides of the thing: How you can mobilize forces inside the United States—you refer to these circles—but you, as a political figure, but not only as an individual, because you are also leading a political movement, within the Democratic Party and within the nation as a whole.
LaRouche: It's a question of temperament. You see, we keep quoting Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, Cassius to Brutus. Most people, including people in high positions of government, think, as Cassius said of himself to Brutus: "We are underlings." Now, what does the underling do? The underling puts out a statement, and hopes that he will become admired for making this statement, and sits and waits, for admiration to sink in. Now, people who actually know something about government, particularly the Presidential system, don't do that. I go as far as I dare, in actually making the thing happen, and keep pushing. And that's the way you have to act; if you're a President, that's the way you act; if you're a key official of government, in a responsible position, that's the way you act. You have a responsibility: Your responsibility is to act. But your responsibility is also not to act, without clarifying what your purpose of action is, and what the action is.
So, what I did, within my limits, was to say, "I am pushing now, as an individual, within the U.S. system, for the United States to make a change in its behavior in this area."
This means that we have to do some other things, apart from just dealing with Iraq. Go back, for example, to what the problem is: First of all, the war was totally unjustified. It was fraudulent. The Congress were a bunch of cowards, the entire U.S. system, the Congressional system, was a bunch of cowards. This includes Kerry and the rest of them. They don't have the guts to be the President of the United States, because they're cowards. And on the question of the war, fundamental issues, if you're a coward on that issue, and you compromise, you don't have the qualifications for governing, leading a country.
Yes, in a parliamentary system, you can have a fool as parliament, and what they do, if you get a crisis, the parliament is overthrown, a new government comes in, and somebody runs the thing anyway, not generally too well.
But in the Presidential system, you have to act that way. My proposal is not a proposal for discussion, like parliamentary discussion: It's a proposal of action. It's a proposal which, in the United States, is addressed primarily to two things: to those who represent the Presidential institutions; and to those in the Congress whom I consider responsible people, who can organize lawful support for what we must do. That is, there are certain people in the Congress who are very important. They have important committees, they have friends in the Congress, you have networks in the Congress. They're bipartisan. They're both Republican and Democratic—it's not a partisan affair. In a national emergency, people in both parties forget the parties for a moment, and they concentrate on what the national emergency is, and join forces to deal with it. So, if you have support from leading people in the Congress, and if you have the Executive branch prepared to act, you can do something.
And that's the purpose of this. It's to set forth, primarily to lay down for the Americans—that's why I call it a "doctrine"—is to lay down for the United States, a doctrine under which the Executive branch of government will act. My intention is, they will act immediately, not as something that's going to happen after the next election. And that's what sometimes you have do, in leadership.
So, in this case, I know that we have to have a client; the United States has to have someone to talk to; and the people to talk to, are not the people who are in power, in any way, in Iraq today. So therefore, we have to create a client. The client can not be just Iraq. It has to be a group of nations in the region, who are concerned about what's happening in Iraq. That's why I define the Southwest Asia policy. These nations, people in these nations, must agree that this crisis must be dealt with, and they want a solution. And they have to be a part of it.
Because, remember, when the U.S. went in there, right after they went in, they did the worst thing to complicate the problem. Any competent military commander, invading a country—whether he wanted to or not, but he's doing it because he's ordered—the first thing he will do, when he takes over any part of the territory of that country: He will go immediately to the local officials in that country, local institutions, and tell them: "Okay, we're here. Our job is, while we're here, you keep functioning. We set up a liaison with you and you continue functioning, as you would normally, in terms of the country."
Askary: That's the institutions which already exist, like the military, the security—?
LaRouche: Right, exactly. You go to these institutions, and say, "Okay, we're here. We're having a fight with your boss, who may be kicked out. But you are running the country, it's your country; it's not our country. Therefore, you in the military, you must take responsibility for security. And you must take responsibility for economic coordination. You cannot have a disaster." Then you go to the civilian people, who run the various institutions, power plants, and so forth and so on, and say, "You stay on the job. If you've got a problem, you need cooperation, come to us, you will get our cooperation."
So, you know you're in there, not as an occupying force permanently; you're in there as a military force, which has moral responsibility for what it does to the country it's occupying.
Askary: Not only did the occupation forces demolish all these institutions, but moreover, they were meddling in the constitutional laws of the country. You had made a statement earlier, on the importance of restoring the previous constitutions of Iraq as an interim period, to have the Iraqis dealing with this problem themselves.
LaRouche: Especially when you had an unjust war. I mean, many Iraqis did not like Saddam Hussein. But some of them feel they have an imitation Saddam Hussein in Paul Bremer, sitting there in the same place, doing the same kind of thing that many Iraqis complained about [with] Saddam Hussein. So, if we want to democratize the country, the first thing to do, if we think Saddam was bad, we'd better get Paul Bremer out of there. And I would say, get his friend [George] Shultz, his sponsor, out of there too, because he's not going to do much good.
So, the first thing is to simply recognize, you are not an imperial force. You are engaged in warfare. You have to operate under the modern law of war. And, if you are a military force, and taking responsibilities that a government has, you must act as a responsible agent to protect the very people whose country you're occupying. And the first thing you do, is make sure that the essential institutions of the country function. In other words, you go into an area, there's a mayor. Find the mayor, or find the police chief, find these various people: Where are they? We've got to talk to them. We've got to get this thing going again. And you tell them, "What do you need? What do you need? We'll try to get it for you." And so that was not done. Therefore, we took a situation which was already bad, that is, an illicit invasion of a country that had been looted over a period of years, under this UN occupation process.
Askary: The sanctions.
LaRouche: Now, you come in, and you work to destroy the very structure of the country which you had been looting, as an occupying force. So, what you've done, is, you've created the ideal situation which exists in the world for what's called "asymmetric warfare." What you do is, you take the Iraqi military, which are a capable, trained force, as a military force—they may not have the most advanced weapons in the world, but they were a trained military force. You throw them out, and you start killing the people that they were supposed to be defending, their own people. You shut down the institutions on which the country depended for reasonable functioning. You turn the whole country against you, with the feeling of not only hatred, but desperation.
What happens? The Iraqi Army was trained, and others were trained, for asymmetric warfare. They were trained to fade into the desert and come back into the urban areas. You forced them to do that.
And you threaten to go to other countries and do the same. You create a general feeling in the so-called Arab world, and beyond, that this is something bigger than just Iraq. Then, they look across, and look at Israel and Palestine. And they see the same U.S. government which did this crime, the same George Bush and company, that did this crime, of an unlawful war—it's actually, a war crime was done against the U.S. Constitution, a war conducted, an occupation conducted, against the law of war. And you say, "We're going to do it everywhere."
So, what you do is, you put into motion generalized asymmetric warfare. And you do it under conditions of crisis.
You look at Sharon. What Sharon is doing in the Middle East, and with the consent and backing of the United States President, and Cheney, especially: This is mass murder. This is Hitler-like crimes. And you have a long period of a long war of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory. And you have cruel, monstrous oppressions, actions which are comparable to those that Hitler perpetrated in occupied territory. You create a general acceleration of a deep, simmering hatred, which has been going on for generations.
Under those conditions, what are you doing? You're setting into motion the preconditions for—you've created combustible material that is about to burst into flames.
Now, you have the first thing which becomes the resistance phase, asymmetric war as resistance. Then it goes into a second phase. It becomes, not a resistance; it becomes an institution; it becomes a government of its own type. We've reached that phase.
So therefore, the United States can not get out, because we destroyed the structure of stability. The Europeans and others don't have the troops to put in. Therefore, we have to say, "Well, where do we get the troops?" "Oh, we have Iraqi troops! We have Iraqi institutions! We don't need to bring in a vast force of occupying military. We don't need to bring in a vast force of institutions. We need simply to provide what we should have been doing before: Provide cooperation and assistance in rebuilding the country." These Iraqis—I've got an army there. Call them back into service. You want 350,000 troops? They're there. Call them back into service, and tell them, now they're going to save the country. And you will find that works.
So, my view was, how do you get that into place? So, we had to go to a process in which the people of the region, or the key governments at least, would agree, that this is an area which is not just Iraq, but it's an area which has a coherent strategic interest, a group of states and peoples, who have coherent interests in having peaceful and productive relations among themselves, without having outside interference. So, that was number one.
The idea was, if they responded, then I could go to people in the United States and elsewhere, and say, "Okay, now we have a client. We have people who are responding, who say they want this kind of policy, or they want more of this kind of policy. So, now, we have somebody to talk to."
Askary: So, you are now addressing not only the U.S. policymakers, but also the nations of the Middle East and the governments. So, if you want to address them, what kind of action do you expect from them, in response to your proposal, which you say, has to be in your name, as the "LaRouche Doctrine"?
LaRouche: It's like Bremer. Bremer, in the past couple of days, has made statements which sound like he's caving in to my policy. So therefore, words, or something that sounds like similar words, are not the same thing as my intention. Therefore, it has to be in my name, since—what's this policy mean? Well, I'll tell you what the policy means: You've got somebody who's a guarantor of the intent of the policy, so don't go to some commentator, or some drunk on the street, and ask him what the policy means, like the thing with Bremer. So, the sane thing was to get a sense, an emergency sense, of an agreement on a Southwest Asia security pact, among the nations of the Middle East, with the idea that the United States would commit itself, by a doctrine of the United States, to support and participate in supporting that strategic interest.
In other words, Southwest Asia was the no man's land of Asia. There was no coherent definition of a strategic interest. Nasser tried to do something like this, with the United Arab Republic, which blew apart, because the Syrians were a little jealous of this kind of thing from Egypt. There has not been a clear, coherent, sharp definition of a Southwest Asia interest.
Askary: If you can elaborate here, because, when people hear, "American interest in the Middle East," the first they think about is the oil.
LaRouche: No, it's not the oil.
Askary: What do you mean by "American interest," national, strategic, interest?
LaRouche: Well, we have an interest in going past the thing that caused two world wars, which is still running loose. We are in danger of going into a global dark age. Now, to get out of that dark age, means that economic and other things have to be done, in many parts of the world.
We have a very difficult situation among nations, with China. China is a positive part of a solution of security and development. It also has a conflict with its neighbors. China is trying to play down its conflict with its neighbors, to come to agreement with countries such as Russia, India, and so forth, and to become a cooperating partner, which it sees as a necessary policy.
We have Pakistan and India; we have Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. We have Southeast Asia, in terms of the Mekong Delta development area, and Myanmar, and so forth. So, these areas—their cooperation is essential to a recovery from the process that's now going on in the world. It's also essential to get past this matter of routine, every few decades, a new world war. Therefore, we have to build a positive economic system of cooperation in Eurasia, in particular. If we do not have cooperation in Southwest Asia, then Southwest Asia, and adjoining countries, will become the ulcer to blow up the whole blasted agreement.
We have an African situation, where genocide is occurring.
Now, you have the problem, for example, of Sudan, and Egypt, and water. The United States is playing a dirty game, in water supplies of Sudan, Egypt, and so forth. And trying to take over, in view of an operation run from Britain and the United States and Israel, of the water sources of the Nile. Now, if you start to drain the water sources of the Nile, and control them, again, you're going to sink Sudan and Egypt. Therefore, that means trouble.
Therefore, we have a security interest, which does not mean simply protection. It means we have to have agreements, which are overriding, that people in that area accept: that any attempt to break those agreements will be jointly resisted by all the nations in the area, by a common agreement, in common interest. You don't have to agree on everything; but you have to define certain things you will agree upon, because you recognize you must defend these things in your common interest. So that's what it was aimed at.
And also, the development of Southwest Asia, which has to be looked at as the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. What is needed is an economic development, which does not look at the desert as an impossible thing, but has to look at large-scale water management; we have to look in the long term, at petroleum and natural gas resources, not as fuels, but as petrochemical feed stocks, for the development of industries in the area; and to use the crossroads area, as an area of development. We build transportation routes, not only through the canals; but land routes, where you're going to put along the land routes, new cities, new centers, which will be centers of production: which means to transform a long-term development of what has been the desert area, a gradual development, which will play a key part in the relationship between Europe and Asia. Not merely through the canal, but as actually a part of the connection of the process of production. So, it's an interest area.
Askary: You usually refer to these all these strategic issues in the context of your view of the world financial-economic situation. And your view is, also, that the question of stability and peace could also be essential to have the economic situation and development part of it—but there might be other forces who are not interested, whom you refer to.
LaRouche: Cheney, and some people in London in the Blair government, are very much against that: traditionally, the Fabian Society. Remember the Fabian Society was the instrument, as typified by H.G. Wells, and Bertrand Russell, which gave us, in the first case, World War I, from Britain, which was an attempt to play the nations of Asia and Eurasia against each other, to preserve the British Empire, by organizing a war. Then, later, you had Bertrand Russell, who came in with the idea of world government through preventive nuclear warfare, and perpetual warfare, like a Roman Empire based on nuclear weapons.
So, the Fabian Society is not exactly a friendly institution for normal people. They, and their friends in the United States, typified merely by Cheney, are determined to have a world war, now: warfare, using nuclear weapons—especially so-called mini-nukes, which are actually low-radioactive-yield, but highly powerful weapons.
They may have been used at the airport, for all I know, in Baghdad: Something melted those tanks, and it wasn't a big firestorm—it was difficult to create a big firestorm there; there is one thing that will do it, and that is, the right kind of nuclear weapon. But suddenly, something happened at the airport, which has never been cleared up, in my view. Someday, we'll find out.
But, the point is, they do have a nuclear intention, of hitting the nuclear reactor in Iran. They do have the intention of nuclear weapons dropped on North Korea—Cheney has that intention. This is the intention shared with people in the Blair government. The Blair government is a bunch of Fabian Society fanatics, one of my favorite enemies in the world; I mean, the people I like to have as enemies, in a sense.
And therefore, we do have a danger. Therefore, we've come to the time, where we can no longer have these kinds of wars. Therefore, we have to think of new ways, of alternatives to war. We can not eliminate the responsibility for strategic defense by countries, but we can avoid going to wars of the type we've gone to, and that some are trying to put us in, now.
So, it's a matter of defending civilization. And this is one corner of civilization; if we can secure this area and neutralize the danger of war from inside this area, we are doing part of our job in respect to the world as a whole. And if we don't do this, then the very fact that we don't do this, may mean that this part of Eurasia may be a cockpit for triggering more general war, as we've seen recently. We have to do it.
Askary: But, what is the motivation of these forces, who would oppose such a solution for the region? But it also includes a solution for the political situation inside the United States? Because, there are obviously forces you have been fighting against, who are behind the war in Iraq, who are supporting Sharon's policies, and they are intending to spread that kind of warfare. What is their motivation?
LaRouche: Well, this is the Crusades all over again. And if you look at the Crusades, as they actually were, who fought them: The people who launched the Crusades were not Christians, first of all. They were Crusaders, and the Crusaders were Normans, largely Norman chivalry, who, with the control by Venice, by Venice's oligarchical families, and by certain other forces in Europe, for a long period of time, from about the 10th Century A.D. until near the end of the 14th Century, dominated Europe. And the Crusades were actually an extension of the Roman Empire. These people had the idea of being the new form of the Roman Empire, and they conducted the Crusades for that reason. For example, in the Fourth Crusade, what did they do? They took Byzantium, what was left of it, they occupied it and looted it. If you go to Venice today, you will find that what was in Byzantium, is there, in the form of pillars and so forth, stolen, by the Venetians from their wars in the 13th Century. This was the kind of force.
The point is this, is, you have, in the Roman Empire, typically, and its legacy in Europe, and in the practice of slavery, you have a conception, that some people, who are animals, but beastly animals, have other people who are lackeys, also animals. And they prey upon two other kinds of human cattle: wild cattle, they hunt down and kill; other cattle they herd, exploit, and when they get tired of them, they cull the herd. It's like camels, in some parts of the Arab world, where the camel runs his race, he has performed his function, and now his fine qualities will be appreciated in a dinner.
The general point is, we don't treat human beings that way. We may admire camels, but we also eat them. And some people treat people pretty much the same way.
So, the point is, that those who do not want the kind of world system, in which the people control their own destiny, because under that system, there's no room for these kind of people as powers.
And, it's the same thing: You see it in Cheney. And, you see it in Shultz, and so forth. You see it in some of the forces behind Blair. Their idea is to destroy the economy, as they've done in the past 40 years. We've destroyed the world economy. We shut down vital industries. We stopped infrastructure. We stopped development. No longer do we have development as a policy. We have "cheaper, cheaper, cheaper; cheaper labor; everything cheaper."
We are looting the world. We like to loot primary materials. Petroleum is something we like to loot. Now, the use of petroleum as a fuel is excessive, because, actually, a better fuel, are hydrogen-based fuels which we can generate synthetically, as with nuclear power. Petroleum is essentially a petrochemical resource, which we also burn as a fuel, as we burn wood. But, we stopped burning wood, because we found out this was creating a problem, by destroying the trees, which are essential for the climate. So therefore, you want to conserve your so-called natural or biospherical resources, and not use them, or just burn them up, but use them in a better way, for a higher rate of benefit to humanity. And use other systems.
So, we are denied technological development—we are told—in the name of controlling carbon dioxide (that's the big issue in the Kyoto agreements). Now, actually, we'd have a much better planet, if we had more carbon dioxide, because plants have one thing they love to eat, and that is carbon dioxide. They live on it. They make trees, they make plants, they make vegetables, they make the climate better. And, if you have more green growth on the planet, the climate is more moderate. You begin to bloom the desert. So, actually, those who are trying to—they're just trying to stop technological progress.
So, it is this conception of man, this degraded conception of man, which has been around for a long time: that some people decide they have a system, under which they will rule, and they will not allow the ordinary people to develop or acquire the powers, to take a hand in their own destiny. We kill people! We have medical policies, health policies—we kill people. We say, "They're not worth keeping them alive; kill them. Kill 'em! Let 'em die!"
So it's that kind of attitude, that the problem is. And unfortunately, most people are underlings. And those of us who are not underlings by disposition, have to defend the people, against their own underling qualities: by giving them courage, giving them a higher sense of what they are. So that they will be more creative, more confident, and not easily drawn into this kind of nonsense.
Askary: Right. Now, you addressed the people who are watching this, whether in the Middle East itself, or inside the United States—because there is a U.S. population also, that has to be mobilized. What do you want to tell them, in, for example, support for your initiative, as a person?
LaRouche: We don't have that much of a problem. The problem we have is of a different type. It's not a lack of knowledge. I'm one of the best-known figures in the United States. I'm much better known, and have a broader base of support in the United States, than, actually, Kerry had, up until recently. Kerry nominally has more support, because he went into this thing with Dean and company, of getting contributions through the e-mail contributors, which we don't really use. We have access to do it, but we don't do it—I don't like it. But, we have a broader base of support for my candidacy, than virtually any other individual in the United States, in terms of that kind of support: the number of people who financially support me, and my candidacy.
So therefore, I don't have a problem. I have a problem—people think that the enemy is not going to let me win. That's where the problem is. And, who's my enemy? My enemy is the oligarchy. It's usually the British oligarchy, which took over the United States and took over our financial system. It's the same thing, as the worst kind behind Tony Blair. And Tony Blair's a part of it. So that's the problem.
But, when you come to a crisis, as we did several times, as with Roosevelt—we come to a crisis, the American people will break out of their "underlingness." They will respond to leadership, and they will act. But, they will only act if given the kind of leadership to which they will respond. What they will respond to, is someone who, they are convinced, is on their side—who is not out to loot them, but is on their side; and who has practical measures in view. Like, for example, employment: "You want to create a lot of jobs? Okay, that's good." That sort of thing.
So, we're in one of those periods of crisis, where we're either going to Hell, or we're going to go the other way. As with Roosevelt in 1933, we're going to have to make a decision. We're at a turning point. And since we're the only nation on the planet with a combination of significant power, we have a responsibility to the world, to have the courage to take the first step, in getting the whole world out of this financial crisis we're in now. Anyone who does understand the United States, who understands the world, who looks at the problem, as I looked at this problem: You have a sense, you have a personal responsibility, given your limitations, of: What can you do to bring about an initiative, which will change something that urgently needs to be changed? And, it is not sitting back, and trying to write a book full of proposals for future generations. You have to act now, to save people now. You don't kill people, and then hope that you glory in the fact that they should have acted that way; they should have acted as you proposed.
Askary: There is actually a recognition, especially among people from older generations, for example, in the Middle East, people, even religious personalities, who are aware of your role. And they actually recognize the fact that the United States, when they were students in the '40s and '50s, represented something totally different from what you see today. But, they refer to that America. They say, you are—Lyndon LaRouche is the representative of that America. You yourself talk about a mission for the United States. What is this mission?
LaRouche: We've come to the point where the purpose for which we were created, is now on our plate. We were created by Europeans, who despaired of being able to create a true republic in Europe at that time, under those conditions of the 18th Century, in which the British had just begun the empire. And, you had the British, and then you had all these reactionary types, like the Habsburgs and so forth, running loose. So, it was impossible for them.
The idea was, by creating a republic in North America, sponsoring it, that they would create the conditions under which you could spread it into Europe. Well, it never happened, because of the French Revolution, which the British orchestrated. So, Europe never had a true republic. The closest we came to it in Europe, was with de Gaulle, in the high point of his period. We never had a true republic in Europe.
And, the institutions in Europe are based on Anglo-Dutch Liberal standards. This standard gives you a government, which is, first of all, it's impotent, in a crisis. It may work fine, from time to time. But it can not respond effectively in a time of crisis, not on its own. It can follow other people, but it can not take the initiative. And, so, that's the nature of the situation. And also, there were two world wars in Europe. Europe has been destroyed by two world wars: demoralizing effect. This has cumulative effects, which go from generation to generation. It does not have the courage to do that any more.
So, we have a responsibility in the United States, of performing the mission which was assigned us by Europe: of being the key example, which was supposed to unleash a wave of transformations of governments in Europe. And the next government on the list, was supposed to be France. At that point, France was destroyed, and turned into a monster, by the Jacobin Terror and by Napoleon. We never recovered in Europe, from that. It still goes around to this day.
You still have—human beings are human beings, and therefore, good human beings will always develop things which are progressive, beneficial to humanity. So, we have institutions in Europe, and developments, which are highly beneficial. But! They were never allowed to stay in charge. Always, the bankers came in. The Anglo-Dutch Liberal bankers and similar influence came in, and always managed—by wars, by orchestrating wars and so forth—to control the situation, so that every time some durable thing was being proposed in Europe, it got smashed, by some kind of interference.
And that's the situation today. So we, as the United States, we have a moral responsibility, to free the world from the legacy of Anglo-Dutch Liberal tyranny. And give the world a sense, that we can run the affairs of nations without any of this dictatorship.
Askary: So, it's not a natural state of affairs in history, that great powers usually become like an empire. That was not the intention of the founders of the U.S. republic?
LaRouche: No! Actually, this intention goes back to Mesopotamia, things like that. The Persian Empire, for example, is one expression of it. Or the Babylonian Empire, before then, which rotted out, and was replaced by the Persians. Then, the Peloponnesian War in Greece, which was an imperial kind of thing; the Roman Empire; the medieval imperial system, run by Venice and the Norman chivalry. And, then, the attempt to found empires again, by the Venetians, afterwards, against the Renaissance. Then, you've got the British Empire emerging, in the attempt to try to create a new empire, to prevent this kind of reform from occurring.
So, what we had is, we had a legacy of empire, which is based on this idea, that some small group has to dominate the world. And, basically, in Europe today, it's the Roman Empire, the legacy of the Roman Empire. And we have to get rid of that legacy.
Askary: Or, the Western side, like people in the Middle East, for example, in the Arab and other nations—they see themselves all the time as victims, that they are weakened nations at the moment—
LaRouche: They are!
Askary: And their only reaction is frustration, and desperation. But in the context of your proposal, your statements of policy, you refer also to the question, that the Muslim and Arab nations could play a role, in the sense of a dialogue among civilizations. Not that the Arab and Muslim ones are always the receivers, or the subjects of a certain policy, but, what is their role, as a culture or as a people of historical background, in bringing about these kinds of things?
LaRouche: Very simple: You have an area of development, an area which needs development. The worst example is the Middle East desert.
Now, you know, I was in Iraq, in 1975, and went up the Euphrates River. And I saw—which I had known before, because I knew the period of Haroun al-Rashid—here I was, in a country, it's in the 20th Century, and the population of Iraq now, is lower than it was under Haroun al-Rashid. And when I go up the Euphrates River, and there are these [irrigation water] wheels: Where they function, you have the village, and the fruit and so forth is fine, very good. Then, you go to the next place, where there used to be a village: It's not there—the wheel doesn't turn, it's not there any more.
So therefore, the destruction of what had been built up, in the various parts of the history of the area, to where there had been a population estimated at 35 million people—under more primitive conditions economically, in the world—had a higher standard of living. And the collapse, of course, of the Caliphate was actually another story. But, nonetheless, under the Caliphate, under al-Mamoun and so forth, things had developed to a certain point.
And you go into the country, and you see: This is wrong. The water system is still there. It has to be managed. We can do synthetic things with water supplies; we can change the climate, if we just get enough plant growth going, by micro-weather systems, will come in.
The population of Iraq, at that time, for example, as I knew it in '75, it was in a highly progressive mode. Baghdad, I think, was about 2 million people, at that time. It was a small country, but you could see building everywhere—building, building, building! You'd walk the street, you'd see there's a new Pakistan-designed mosque that's going up, probably some Saudi prince was paying for it. And you see, building, building, building! And the spirit of the population, which is a highly cultured population—many whom I dealt with were fairly ordinary Arabs—they spoke English fluently (because of the benefit of the British occupation). But, they are a highly cultured people. And with a very strong passion for improving their country. It was destroyed!
So that, if we did the obvious thing, this area, because of its geographic location, under conditions of development of Asia, in Asia generally, and in Europe, would become—actually, as I described it in Abu Dhabi: It would become a crossroads of development, not merely for pipelines for petroleum; but actually, that the movement, as in the U.S. continental railroad, transcontinental railroad, when you move a system of transportation, along a route, it becomes a zone of production. If you move power and water along that route, this becomes a zone of production. So that, the railroad costs you nothing, because it makes possible the production which otherwise would not occur. You, therefore, transform the area into an area of agriculture and industrial production, which more than pays for the cost of maintaining and creating the railroad.
So, if you take the Middle East as that way, you say: Europe is going to develop. Asia is going to continue to develop. Here's an area which is the natural crossroads, between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. So, it's obviously an area of great potential for development. You look at the population of the Palestinians, or, what it was some time ago—they've been brutalized since. But the Palestinians are a well-educated population, in general, highly culturally motivated. Given an opportunity, they would become a very positive factor. You have an Egyptian population, which has the same qualities. You put some of these—.
What I saw in Abu Dhabi: In the development there, within 20 years, just what occurred in 20 years, a place with two buildings on a sparse desert, next to just the edge of the water of the Gulf: And here, you have a bustling city, of people from all over the Arab world. Some are citizens, and some are not. But they have permanent visas, they work there. You look at the conditions of life of these people, the habits; and you have a city, which is a beautiful city—developed out of the desert—with plans to develop the whole country.
The whole area has a natural potentiality for development.
Askary: It's quite seldom, in the context of political discussions, and conversations, and interviews, that economic issues come up in the discussion. This is one of the major problems, in, for example, looking at politics in the Middle East, the way people look at it that way. Because what we have, is a similar situation, in the Palestinian-Israeli peace agreements: Everybody wanted to talk about political solutions! And nobody was willing to discuss economic solutions, as if these are two separate things! They would say: "Let's get the political agreement, to these long-standing historical problems first, and then we will think about the economy."
LaRouche: That's absolutely the wrong way to do it.
But now, there were people who did want to do it. But: The point was, that the World Bank intervened on the Oslo Accords, and ruled out the allowance of development; and said, "You can have micro-development."
We're in an area that needs water to develop, as in Jordan. I mean, we went through Jordan: You've got sand—and a couple of enclaves. Sand, sand, sand, sand! You fly from Sudan, and you go in there, and it's sand, sand, sand! So therefore, obviously, development—water development and power development—are the major keystones to development of the area. If you want peace, if you don't have enough water, for both the Israelis and the Palestinians, how are you going to have peace? If you take all the water away from the Palestinians, how're you going to have peace?
Askary: So, Mr. LaRouche, what is the next step you're going to take, immediately now, in the coming days and weeks?
LaRouche: I'm just trying to see what—I'm going to do what I'm doing, in this area; what I've laid out as a policy and doctrine.
I think we're getting people interested in Europe in this, some important people that I've talked to. We're getting response from some people, in the Arab world in particular. Others are interested.
We have among people in the United States, who are influential in the Presidential system and in certain parts of the Congress, we're getting interest. I mean really, immediately, interest.
I'm actually discussing, with some people, who are senior people, to come on as a task force with me, under the auspices of my Presidential campaign, who are experts in this area: to be prominent Americans associated with me, people who have certain special capabilities, to make themselves apparent, both as advisors to me, and so forth. So, that if we get the situation, where people in that part of the world are able to respond, and we signal that we can then go, by an escalation, a rapid escalation of international discussion. And I'm sure that there are people in various parts, like Cairo and so forth, who will tend to sponsor that kind of discussion, and to get a general idea—not a detailed contract, not a contract; but a principled agreement on objectives. And make very simple lines: "Here are the things that have to be done, to bring about peace."
That would mean—and I've had technical discussions with people on this, how we actually go about it. Get the Iraqi military, get the Iraqi technicians, back into employment, immediately. Give them back their government, under their constitution. Forget all experiments. Don't try to settle every problem. Get the country functioning. And, we draw the U.S. forces, and other military forces in there, as supporting forces, for the Iraqi military. Because Iraq will demand, by instinct, it will have the capability of defending themselves. So therefore, an Iraqi army has to be rebuilt. That's one of the tasks to turn this thing around. We're not coming in as enemies: We're coming to help you build something for you, so you can defend yourself.
Askary: Ladies and gentlemen, we thank Mr. Lyndon LaRouche for this enlightening approach, and his patience and time.
LaRouche: Thank you.