Lyndon LaRouche addressed a private meeting of diplomats in Washington DC on Thursday, August 2, with representatives from 18 Embassies from Asia, Ibero America, Africa, Europe and the Mideast. Mr. LaRouche's opening statement follows, emphasizing that the world is on the edge of global thermonuclear war. The discussion following his remarks were off the record.Mike Billington
Lyndon LaRouche: "Cooperation Among Nations Can End the Threat of War"
Lyndon LaRouche gave this address to a private gathering in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 2, 2012.
We are presently, as most of you already know, in probably one of the greatest crises in human history, because we've come to a point that the conflict centers on the question of, will thermonuclear weapons be used?
This problem has been on our minds, and threatening us, since, probably the middle of the 1960s, at which point there was the possibility of a Russian super-bomb—one case from that period—but there's been an increasing importance of thermonuclear capabilities. And even back then, during the middle of the 1960s, it was known and fairly estimated by most officials in this business, that thermonuclear warfare is extinction warfare. That does not mean that there would be an immediate extinction of humanity, but there would be a process of eruption which would probably, we would have to say it's estimated, could eliminate the human species.
We are now at a point where that is brought back to us, because we have, between Russia and China, on the one side, who are struggling for peace in the world, and avoidance of this process; on the other side, you have certain forces which are pushing for warfare, using the Middle East cockpit for such warfare, which could be such a threat to mankind. And that threat to mankind is foremost in my attention, and in the attention of people of rank whom I know inside the United States and other countries.
You have some people, such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States, and certain leadership forces in Russia and China, which are working to try to prevent this thing from happening. And it's our concern that this prevention occur. But the danger is going to exist for some time.
Now, the other side of the thing, is the fact that we're in the worst financial crash in world history. The crash is centered in the trans-Atlantic region, and affects, of course, Africa, but Africa doesn't know that, because Africa has been under so much, for so long, that this is not great news. But for the rest of the world, for the trans-Atlantic world, we're now in the point of a breakdown crisis. And what we're looking at is an economic breakdown, which is now threatened, unless certain measures are taken, to occur during this year. If the present President of the United States were by some mischance re-elected, then we would have a terrible situation.
But the current President, of course, is in difficulty for violations of this or that, things which could result in his being removed from office. We've already seen that process: If you look back to the Nixon Administration, and how Nixon was hoisted out of government back in the early 1970s, you know how these things are done. And what is happening now, in the United States, has a certain resemblance to what happened to Richard Nixon back in a comparable period; it's close to that now. The charges are actually there, they're floating outside; the indications are there, and we have generally a mess.
- The Possibility of Something Good -
We have one piece of good news in this whole process. My old adversary, the British Empire, has undergone a certain degree of improvement. The following is extremely interesting, because there is truth in the situation; it is also the possibility of something good, and we just have to take both of these contingencies in mind, and see which one is going to be forthcoming.
Recently, a group of people associated with finance, international finance, inside the British system, have called for a Glass-Steagall adoption by Britain, and also, in collaboration with the United States. Now, this certainly is not coming from Mr. Obama. But a Glass-Steagall introduction now, between certain forces in Britain—if it happens—and certain forces in the United States, which I can say, we are committed to. We're committed to Glass-Steagall, because without Glass-Steagall as a reform, the United States economy will crumble, and will crumble this year. Only Glass-Steagall's installation will save the situation.
So, therefore, the hopeful side is that, first of all, Russia and China succeed, together with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, in preventing the current situation in the Mediterranean from becoming general warfare. That's number one.
Number two, we must have a reform of the economic system, especially in the trans-Atlantic region. Now, of course, a reform in the trans-Atlantic region would be a reform that would affect the world economy, and for most of the world, that reform would not be too difficult.
For Europe, it's a crisis. All of Western and Central Europe is in the process of disintegration right now, economic disintegration. It's being held together with wires and cheese, and whatnot, and whatever else they use to pull things together. But we're on the verge of a general disintegration throughout Central and Western Europe. Economic disintegration. Not crisis, not depression, disintegration.
And the question is, can we stop it?
Because the collapse of the European system, the trans-Atlantic system, would mean a disaster for the relatively better off, momentarily, China and other parts of the world. So therefore, we have a Pacific region, which is more stable, but with many difficulties, and we have the trans-Atlantic system. The trans-Atlantic system is now in the threat of a breakdown crisis, and the whole system is being held together by wire, and whatever, and toothpaste, and whatever else you use to pull things together.
By this order, under the present trends, if what present trends seem to be, were to continue, by the end of this year, we will have a disintegration of the trans-Atlantic system.
That can be prevented.
- A Recovery Depends on Glass-Steagall -
Now, what I want to emphasize with this talk about calamities, I want to emphasize what's important: what are the remedies. What are the possibilities of escaping this crisis?
Now, what you hear from various quarters, is that Glass-Steagall is, for the trans-Atlantic region in particular, the one measure which can prevent a general economic breakdown crisis of the trans-Atlantic system. There would be no great technical difficulties for Asia in participating in such a system. There are measures that have to be taken, but they could be taken. And they're not really controversial. They may be controversial to some people, but they're perfectly reasonable. All the interests of nations, variously, can be represented fairly by this kind of reform. And it is my particular hope that this be realized, and realized this year, so we can bring together, around what we have now, a group of nations who will initiate a kind of reform which means an economic recovery process among nations.
It's going to be difficult, because, as you know, most nations of the world have been undergoing a deterioration, especially in the trans-Atlantic region. There's been a disintegration of the economies of the Americas, and Europe, and so forth. Africa, of course, is continuing to suffer—it's hard to say they're going through a crisis, because they've been in crisis for so long, it doesn't make much difference.
But, the possibility of a recovery does exist. It exists and depends upon a Glass-Steagall agreement. Why?
If you look at the accounts in the trans-Atlantic regions, among nations, you will find that there's not much value in any of it. The physical productive capabilities throughout Europe, throughout the United States, are actually zero. All the so-called wealth of the United States, in terms of money wealth, is fake. There's no value in it.
There are no industries in the United States of any significance left—they're gone. The skills of the people are gone. The deterioration of our population, of our young population, under 25 years of age, is a criminal state of affairs. We are at the breakdown point, and the danger is that the continuation of the process which is behind this breakdown, if it continues, can bring down civilization, by chain-reaction effects. And can actually lead in the process, to the unleashing of thermonuclear war. And a thermonuclear war, if it's stacked up now, and the way the system is stacked up now, is a quasi-extermination event, which can lead to a complete extermination process.
Therefore, we must, we must take certain drastic measures of reform, and take them now, based on agreements among nations for an economic reform, as well as economic-cooperation reforms among nations.
In the trans-Atlantic region, it's very easy to do so, in principle. Whether politically it's feasible or not, that's another question. But in physical terms, solutions do exist. They're not going to be comfortable solutions, because we have lost, in the United States; we have lost in Europe; we have lost the greatest part, since the assassination of John F. Kennedy—we've gone through a process in the United States, and into Europe, which has resulted in a general erosion of productive capabilities in the trans-Atlantic region.
There are very few exceptions, and very small ones.
- The Threat of Thermonuclear War -
So, now we've reached the point that, if we're going to rebuild, if we're going to avoid this great crisis which now threatens us, we're going to have to start modestly, but with great ambition. What we will be able to achieve—we have a labor force that no longer has skills. The majority of our U.S. labor force no longer has productive skills. What they're doing is not production—it's make-work. It's fill-in work.
You have a similar trend in Western and Central Europe. The euro system has been an absolute disaster for all of Western and Central Europe. And the result is, now you have China and India, both of which—China more notably—depend to a significant degree on a European and a U.S. market. And therefore, the threat of the collapse of the trans-Atlantic region is a threat to all nations, to one degree or another.
My view is that we can solve that problem, if the will is there to do it.
And the thing we're starting on, really, is, you have Russia standing in the way, directly, in near-Asia, of thermonuclear war. The danger was, last Summer, after the destruction of one nation [Libya] by Obama—and it was the U.S. forces under Obama which destroyed that nation—and they wanted to extend it immediately into the Near East, into Syria and to Iran. That intention still exists. Russia is blocking the way against the continuation of that war. And implicitly, China is involved in that.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military, have been at the other end of blocking against that war. Because any general officer, especially of this grade, knows exactly what thermonuclear war is. The world knows what the naval capabilities are of the United States in the Pacific region. We have the ability, on a first launch, to virtually exterminate part of civilization. That must not occur. We must prevent that.
So, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States understand that, and do what they can to prevent this thing from being launched. And without their interference, and without Russian interference, that would have happened. You cannot have a war in Syria, and a war in Iran, that does not become a world war. And if it becomes a world war, at that point, it becomes a thermonuclear world war.
European nations generally have very little reserve for military operations, as I think many of you know. They have drained their capabilities. You have two major powers in the world which have, combined, major capabilities. One is the United States. The United States is the only nation that has, on the Western side, an in-depth thermonuclear capability, largely in the naval capabilities. The U.S. naval capabilities can virtually destroy much of the planet. And that's what's being threatened.
What Russia has been doing, in the Middle East, in collaboration of a certain type with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has been blocking the steps that would lead to a thermonuclear war throughout the planet. And, if you go back to the middle of the 1960s, when the first idea of thermonuclear war was possible, we began to recognize at that point that thermonuclear war would be extinction warfare, or would become extinction war, if it kept going on. We've now reached the point that the British have very poor depth, in terms of thermonuclear capability. They don't have reserves. The one nation on that side is the United States, that has in the naval forces, the reserves necessary to virtually destroy much of the planet.
And it's not just the detonation of those weapons. It's the after-effect of the detonation of those weapons, which is what concerns us the most. Because you've got to think about what the weather is after a full-blast shock of thermonuclear warfare, on a strategic level. Not local weapons, not special cases, but strategic. And that's what a few people—a few governments and a few people around this world—have been blocking.
Now, what's the other side?
Well, as I said before, we have a world economy that does not really function as a world economy. You have some parts of Asia, some parts of other locations, where there's still some kind of productivity; there's some growth going. But that growth is largely dependent on the continuation of world trade levels. So, therefore, we're looking at the whole concern of all mankin