Senator Mike Gravel: US Foreign Policy is Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
MICHAEL BILLINGTON: OK, we’ll begin a few minutes late. I welcome you here to the National Press Club for this EIR Forum. We’re going to be hearing from two speakers today. My name is Mike Billington, I’m with the Executive Intelligence Review; we’re going to be hearing from Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is the founder and chairman of the international Schiller Institute, and the head of the German political organization, the Büerrechtsbewegung Solidarität, and a former candidate for Chancellor in Germany. And she’ll be followed by Sen. Mike Gravel, who was a senator from the state of Alaska to the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1981. I’ll give you a further introduction of him before he speaks.
Helga has been in China perhaps six times in the last two years, I think approximately. She’s been known in China since the 1990s as the “Silk Road Lady,” when Lyn and Helga LaRouche had proposed the New Silk Road concept to unite Europe and Asia, back in the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union. She is also the inspiration and a key author of the report which you’ll see outside, called “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” which is a report basically taking the initiative of Xi Jinping in China for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the “One Belt, One Road” program, to extend that to the world, and I’m sure she’ll be discussing that in her presentation.
She’ll basically locate the two paradigms facing mankind today: That of the collapsing Western financial system, and the perpetual war policy that we see coming from the Obama administration and contrast that to the policy coming from the BRICS nations, for infrastructure, global development, and peace through development. And with that, I will turn it over to Mrs. LaRouche.
HELGA ZEPP-LaRouche: Thank you. Well, let me welcome all of you. I think most people in the world right now are aware that we are really experiencing a civilizational crisis, not only a financial crisis, many military crises around the world, wars, terrorism, hunger, refugees, it’s just an enormous amount of simultaneous crises. And while all of these individual crises have local causes, which trigger them and cause them, I think it’s fair to say that the underlying of the strategic, civilizational crisis, is the fact that trans-Atlantic financial system is hopelessly bankrupt. And it is that dynamic which is behind the war danger, which is behind local crises, and which is the biggest threat to the world right now.
Because contrary to what you read in the mainstream financial media, the crisis is not solved. As a matter of fact, there have been even warnings in financial press like The Economist and other such magazines, that we could have any moment, a repetition of what happened in 2008, that you could have a crash of the financial system of the trans-Atlantic sector, which could be triggered by a whole number of reasons; for example, if only one of the too big to fail banks would go bankrupt, it probably would evaporate the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, in a moment.
If that would happen, obviously, immediate chaos would break out, because contrary to 2008, there are no more so-called “tools” in the toolbox of the financial institutions: Quantitative easing, it has been done to the hilt. You know, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, the ECB have had zero interest rate policies for years. Bail-out has only led to the increase of the debt crisis, of the trans-Atlantic sector; and bail-in, which is now legislation in Dodd-Frank and in the ECB, in the European Union Commission, that would only be enough to deal with 1% of the outstanding derivatives debt. Because the too-big-to-fail banks have increased since 2008 by respectively 40 to 80% and have an outstanding derivative debt contracts of up to $2 quadrillion. And we roughly estimated that if you count all the banking accounts of private people, of businesses, and other financial assets which would go into a bail-in, it would account for about 1% of that debt. So, an instant collapse into chaos is really the danger we are talking about.
Now, there is a remedy to that. The remedy is to introduce Glass-Steagall, the banking separation law which was introduced in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in response to the economic crisis of the early ’30s, and there are several motions in the U.S. Congress and in the Senate — there is actually legislation with the exact, same text in the Congress and the Senate. So if the political will could be mobilized, that problem could be solved. But it has to be solved. There is no other way than to shut down the casino economy of the Wall Street.
Now, as I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and the pursuit of the high-risk speculation of Wall Street, of the City of London and of other financial institutions, you know, it has led to an unbelievable situation! I think 21% of all people in the United States have no access to sufficient food; you have about 7% who are below poverty; you have 93 million people who are not part of the workforce any more, so you have 104 million Americans who are unemployed. The poverty rate in Europe, even without the present refugee crisis, one-third of all youth, average, are unemployed! In the south of Europe; over 60% are unemployed.
And if you look at the condition of what is called generally the “Third World,” like Africa, I don’t know how many hundred millions of people have been killed by a policy denying development to that continent and many other nations.
So now we are hit with an additional problem: the refugee crisis in Europe. Now, I know people in America think this is very far away, but I tell you, this is becoming a key strategic factor, also affecting the United States.
It is now publicly debated in Europe, that this refugee crisis was caused by U.S. and British wars in the Middle East, by a policy of regime change, by a policy of playing the so-called “Islamic card” going back to Brzezinski in 1975, when he initiated this policy; and then having a policy of always supporting the “good rebels,” training them, only to see that the good rebels join the terrorists; then you have to make a new war against the terrorists, then you have to bet on the “good rebels,” and so forth and so on!
This has now led to a situation where basically millions of people are trying to get into Europe. Germany probably will have, minimum, 1 million this year. The UN Human Rights report says that there are presently 60 million in flight right now. So we’re not talking about a temporary refugee crisis. We’re talking about a large migration of people running away from war, hunger, epidemics, mainly from Southwest Asia, but also to a certain extent from Africa.
And it is very clear, this will not stop! This will not stop, and you see right now the effect: The EU has completely failed. They ignored this problem since many years, because they left Italy and Greece completely alone for years; there were hundreds of people drowning in the Mediterranean for years! Some of them arriving in Lampedusa in Italy, and the EU said, “that’s an Italian problem.” The same with Greece.
But now with the recent developments in Syria, this is really exploding and you see the pictures. The official figure is that about 3,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year; that’s officially, so probably in reality you can say double or many times more. And still, people take the risk of a 50% chance of not making it, and they go and try to get to Europe.
Now, the EU has failed, again. Because, just two days ago there was a summit with the Balkan route states, where they then decided to strengthen the outer borders of the EU. Even so, the idea to build a “Fortress Europe,” is completely ridiculous! I mean, that has never functioned and will never function. And then, they said, they want to have certain camps along the Balkan routes; and they said, “Oh, finally, we made the first step to solve the problem.”
Now, this was after months of this going on! And the pictures are horrible! There is no unity in Europe; there is no solidarity, there is no Europe. It now turns out that something, which was transformed into an interest group for the banks — namely, the EU after the Maastricht Treaty — that you can not pretend to have “union,” which is bound together by nothing other than the defense of the banks and the defense of the high-speculation system. There is no unity because all of Eastern Europeans are now refusing to take any refugees; you have a situation where the famous “European values,” where are they? What are we defending against some other cultures when there are no values in Europe?
And naturally, Chancellor Merkel did the right thing, when she said, several weeks ago, “we can manage.” It was the right thing to do! Because these refugees have the right for asylum, according to the Geneva Convention, according to the UN Charter; but naturally, if you stick to the wrong policies, this is now getting out of hand. And the biggest threat right now to this, is the maintenance of the present financial policies of Wall Street, the City of London, the ECB, which is reflected by Finance Minister Schäuble, who says, we must protect the so-called “black zero” which is a synonym for balanced budgets, which is the idea that no matter how many expenses you have spend for the refugees, the budget must remain balanced, and that means you have to cut in other areas, like social expenditures, kindergarten, schools, health system; and naturally, for the people who are in a precarious economic situation already, like the unemployed, like the people who have a low but precarious income, they feel threatened. And therefore, Schäuble’s “black zero” fuels the kind of xenophobic reactions which you have heard about, that already this year 500 housing projects for the refugees have been attacked or burned down, and right-wing violence is on the increase.
You see now that President Putin was absolutely when he said several months ago, or even a year ago, that the big mistake of the West to support Nazis in Ukraine, in the form of the Right Sector, has the danger that this Nazism is spreading to other European countries. And you see right now, a big increase of conservatives — I’m not saying that all the right-wing governments are Nazis, I’m just saying it increases the right-wing reaction and it increases some outright fascist elements in many countries in Europe. And this is very, very dangerous.
So the only solution is, obviously, to change the economic policy, to stop what is high-risk speculation for the United States on Wall Street; to stop what is the “black zero” policy of Schäuble in Europe. And, fortunately, there is an alternative.
Now, very little known, because the Western media in Europe and the United States are generally not reporting it, or if they report it, they misrepresent it, there is an alternative economic system, which has developed. It started, really — well, it started 25 years ago, when we proposed the New Silk Road as a response to the collapse of the Soviet Union; but it was put again energetically on the table by the Chinese government in 2013, when President Xi Jinping announced a New Silk Road to become the policy of China in Kazakhstan in September. And in the meantime, this dynamic, of building a New Silk Road in the tradition of the ancient Silk Road — meaning an exchange not only of culture, of goods, of ideas, but also of technologies, of improving the relation among nations, this has spread like wildfire!
It spread into the BRICS; the BRICS had a big summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014. It was consolidated through another BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, this year; and what you see now is the unfolding of an alternative economic system which is completely based on different principles than the trans-Atlantic high-risk and high-profit speculation.
It is based on real investment in infrastructure, on uplifting populations out of poverty, like China has done in lifting 600 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years; and it is offering now, in reality, the Chinese economic miracle, to other countries that participate in the construction of this New Silk Road
Now, this is really taking off. China is buidling a “Second Panama Canal” in Nicaragua; China is helping to build a transcontinental railway between Brazil and Peru; China is helping to build five canals, between Argentina and Chile. And many, many other projects are happening in the high-technology cooperation among many nations, and up to nuclear energy, space cooperation, and it is really an engine of growth. And do not believe all the bad-mouthing that the Chinese economy is collapsing and that is the cause of all the problems. It is not true. If China has a stock market, that does not affect the real economy which is still on a very healthy trajectory.
Now, with that goes a whole different system of economic and financial institutions, like the AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; which the United States made big efforts to pressure allies that they should not join this. Well, what happened? Some 58 or 59 nations immediately joined. The first one, interestingly enough, Great Britain, because they are a little bit smarter, they know which way the wind is blowing; and then most of the European nations, many of the Asian nations, and this is now becoming a major institution for the financing of infrastructure in real economy. But also the New Development Bank of the BRICS; then you have the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bank; you have the SAARC bank, that’s the bank for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation; you have the Silk Road Fund; you have the Maritime Silk Road Fund. So you have the spread of a whole different set of financial institutions which are deliberately not for speculation, but only for the investment in real industry.
And in certain sense, that existing body of financial institutions is like the lifeboat at the moment when the Titanic of the trans-Atlantic system is sinking.
Now, what we have to do, and there is such a thing like a patent prescription, like a passe-partout, which really would solve most problems of the world. If we can get the United States to implement Glass-Steagall, shut down Wall Street, then implement a credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, go back to the traditional American System of economy, generate large amounts of state credit for production and projects; do the same thing in Europe.
The Greek government has demanded for some time, that the Greek debt is unpayable, and that there must be a European debt conference in the tradition of the 1953 debt conference, which at that time, cut the German debt by 60%, and that referred to the German debt from the period between World War I and World War II, but also the debt coming from the so-called Marshall Plan; and it is generally acknowledged that the German economic miracle in the postwar period could not have taken place, if that debt cut would not have happened. Now, therefore, the Greek government demand to have a debt cut, is absolutely legitimate, all the most, because most of this debt is illegitimate because it was just forced on the Greek governments only to flow by 97% back to the European banks, to cover their situation, and 3% of that debt remained in Greece. So, why should the Greek people be continuously tortured to cut their economy which has been shrunk by one-third through this austerity policy, no, they have the right to write-off this illegitimate debt.
Now, after such a debt conference in Europe, we could go back to the good policies, which helped the German economic miracle in the postwar reconstruction. That is, we would take the equivalent of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the Credit Bank for Reconstruction which was the vehicle of the economic miracle in Germany in the postwar period, and provide state credit in the same way like the Reconstruction Finance Corp. of Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the New Deal.
And that was the mechanism by which Germany made an economic miracle, and exactly that mechanism be used today, for the financing of not only — if you want to solve the refugees problem, we have to provide new credit — and Mr. Schäuble should retire, because he’s incompetent and should really not determine where the future of Europe lies — we could issue credit to build 500,000 public housing units per year for the refugees. Then, we need other investments, like teachers, social workers, training programs, to integrate a lot of these refugees into a the reconstruction of their own housing in Europe.
But this is only one part. Because, I mean, the terrorism problem in the Middle East, as important as it is that Putin changed the strategic situation by militarily intervening in Syria, you know, this problem of terrorism will not be solved by military means alone. Once you defeat terrorism, you need to put in real development. If you look at Southwest Asia, the entire region is desert! From the Atlantic coast of Africa all the way, the Sahel zone, the Sahara, into the Saudi Peninsula, into Southwest Asia into the Middle East, all the way to China, this is a tremendous belt of desert which is expanding, it’s growing. And there is nothing — I mean, look, the Middle East has been bombed back into the Stone Age.
Look at Iraq: Iraq was a functioning country under Saddam Hussein! You may not have to like Saddam Hussein, but it was a functioning country with growing infrastructure, with women having access to universities; the same goes for Qaddafi. You may not have to like Qaddafi, but he developed infrastructure in Africa. Look at Syria. The previous situation in Syria was functioning! You had peace among all religions. You had a secular government, which promoted the wellbeing of their own people, and look at these countries now! They’re being destroyed, they’re being turned into rubble-fields. And if we want to have a stable future, it is not enough to just reinforce the refugee camps in Turkey or reinforcing the outer borders of Europe as a Fortress Europe.
What I’m saying is, the New Silk Road and the policies adopted by the BRICS countries arethe solution to these Middle East problems. Because all we have to do is to extend the New Silk Road into Middle East.
Now, people would say, “That would never function. The Middle East has always been the battleground of all these empires, the British, the French, and various others…” But it has reached a point where mankind is challenged, that either we change the paradigm and establish an order in which all people on this planet can live as human beings, or we will not make it, and we will vanish as the dinosaurs did 65 million years ago because we have proven we are not any smarter.
Now, I think the human species is smarter, and therefore, I’m confident that if we put this question on the table and say that if all the major neighbors of Southwest Asia, — Russia, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Italy, Germany, France, and even the United States, — if we all agree and say, “We should develop a Marshall Plan for the Middle East and for Africa. We must now correct the mistakes of not having allowed the development of Africa, of having allowed wars based on lies in the Middle East; and we now unite our efforts and make major reconstruction in the Middle East!” We could declare a war on the desert; we can make new, fresh water; we can desalinate large amounts of ocean water through peaceful nuclear energy; we can use the water in the atmosphere through ionization of moisture, which is being used already in Israel and some Gulf states — we could do that on a large scale; we could have other water projects. We can put in infrastructure. We can build new cities, we can build agriculture and industrialization in both Southwest Asia and Africa, which is eminently possible, through the approach we have taken by this report, which says, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” by simply extending the existing New Silk Road development into all of these areas.
Now, I think this is eminently possible. I think that all the neighbor countries of the Middle East, have a strategic interest, because terrorism and drugs, is threatening Russia; Russia is just closing the border with Tajikistan, because they are threatened with terrorism and drugs coming in from Afghanistan and other areas. It’s threatening China, because of Xinjiang. India has a big security interest that this problem should be solved, because they have a large Muslim population, and they don’t want that Muslim population to be influenced by the radical form of Islam coming from the Wahhabi Salafists. So there is a common interest, naturally in all of Europe, because you know, as much as we welcome, or at least most of the Europeans or most of the Germans welcome the refugees, it is also clear that you cannot deal with hundreds of millions of refugees without the European Union is really detonated.
So, I think we have a unique chance to turn this around. And it would also be in the interest of the United States.
Now, the United States right now, insists that there should be a unipolar world order. President Obama has just reiterated that in his speech to the United Nations, by saying that the United States has the largest military ever in history; and just today we got news that they have sent the USS Lassen guided missile destroyer to the South China Sea, which has found a big protest from China. They just announced that they will put troops on the ground in Syria, which, from a standpoint of international law is problematic, because they have not been invited to do so; so right now, the United States has chosen another course.
But the United States would benefit by joining with the BRICS, by joining with the New Silk Road in development! In bringing peace to the Middle East, in building up other countries of the world. But, it would not only mean that the United States would join development projects in Southwest Asia and other areas of the world; the United States urgently needs development itself. The U.S. economy is collapsed; you have poverty, you have an unbelievable social situation! I mean the killings, police killings of black people, black-on-black killing, the school shootings — it’s a collapse! It’s a civilizational crisis here in the United States!
There is no fast train! Have you ever travelled one mile on a fast train in the United States? [laughter] Definitely not: You have to go to China, to enjoy travelling for 18,000 km by fast train in China, which is the finest fast train I have ever travelled on: They’re smooth, they’re steady, they don’t shake like European fast trains. So it’s a pleasure.
The United States urgently would need improvement of highways, without potholes into which you can vanish with your car, which is a life hazard every time you travel these roads! So, if the United States would say, we’ll go back to an FDR policy, and rebuild our economy, have collaboration to not only build a fast train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but to build a real system, a transcontinental railway system, with high-speed trains, new highways; fight the desert in Texas and in California; build some new cities, and the United States could easily transform its military apparatus to produce useful, productive things.
Now, I think the whole world is waiting for that, and what we are trying to do, is, we are trying to cause this shift to happen, because it is an American tradition. It was the tradition of Benjamin Franklin, of George Washington, of John Quincy Adams, of Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Kennedy, so it is not impossible. We just have to evoke the better tradition of America to make that happen.
So that is what I think we are at. I think we are really in danger, if a collapse of the system happens without the reform of Glass-Steagall to protect the normal population from that, we could really end up in mass killings of an unprecedented dimension. I mean, if this would happen in Europe, on top of the refugee crisis, I think we would have civil war in Europe, and we probably would have civil war in the United States.
So I think the incentive to change policy as long as there is time, is gigantic, and the optimistic note is that the alternative is already in place. Thank you.
MICHAEL BILLINGTON: Thank you. Let me mention that we scheduled this until 4, but we can go beyond that; and after Senator Gravel’s presentation, we’ll have plenty of time for questions. I encourage you to think of questions or comments that you want to make; we’ll have the time, and I think it would be very productive.
Senator Gravel, who as I said, was the Senator from the state of Alaska from 1969-1981, had many accomplishments. He’s personally responsible for the building of the Alaskan pipeline; he’s been fighting various extreme environmentalists all his life in order to get development, rather than zero-growth. He ran for President in 2007; and in those debates at that time, before Obama was elected, he identified Obama as a war President and won Obama’s hatred for the rest of his life — which he’s very proud of, I’m sure.
And he’s most famous for the fact that at the time of the Vietnam War, when one of our intelligence agents, Daniel Ellsberg, decided that the lies coming from the Nixon administration about what was going on in Vietnam were too extreme, that he decided to release confidential secret documents which he had partially written. And the government took an injunction against those being published in the American press. Daniel Ellsberg then went to Senator Gravel, who had the courage to stand up on the floor of the Senate, and read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, under the Constitutional guarantee that Congressmen cannot be prosecuted or even questioned for what they say on the floor of the Senate through the separation of powers. And the Nixon administration’s effort to crush that separation of powers and prosecute Senator Gravel went all the way to the Supreme Court; and he won, and has been courageous ever since in continuing that fight. And as he will discuss, we have a similar issue with the 28 pages in the 9/11 report [of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry], which need to be released; and he will discuss that with you.
So, I’ll leave it at that, and we’ll ask Senator Gravel to come speak.
SENATOR MICHAEL GRAVEL: Thank you very much. Wasn’t that a fantastic expose by Helga LaRouche? [applause] It leaves no room for me to talk!
All I can do is underscore her comments in this way: Stop and think that in the world today, you have really two choices. You can either grow and prosper as a result of growth; or you can turn around and follow a different path of militarism. As an American citizen, I say it all the time, I’m very patriotic; I love my country, I love the world more, but I do love my country. And I’m embarrassed, absolutely embarrassed at the conduct of my country for the last 40 years. And your choices are very simple, when you look at what China is offering with the Silk Road vision, it’s an offer to unify the world economically through mutual growth; addressing the problems that are so vital to our personal benefit as human beings. That’s what China offers. And now, what does the United States offer? We try to sabotage institutions that will be able to finance growth; we turn around — and I’ll go deeply into this — we try to antagonize China.
Now, you read in the American press, particularly this morning there was in the paper about the — and Helga referred to this — about a destroyer that was sailing very close to this Spratly Islands, an island just bordering the 12-mile limit. Why are we doing that? These are silly boys playing with silly toys! That’s really what it is. It makes no sense at all. This destroyer came out of Japan, and so this is a provocation. So, this is our approach, the American approach, to dealing with the crises of the world, is to provoke China. Because of what? China is in the ascendancy economically in the world; there’s just no question that with their present plans that China will be the country of the 21st Century. And its vision, to share that growth, with the rest of the world, it’s just awesome as a vision, and will define what the 21st Century is all about.
And it won’t be the American Century. And I would only hope, and it just stands to logic, that if the United States would join forces and hold hands with China and proceed to develop the entire world; boy, would this be a human accomplishment nonpareil. And so, is that what’s happening? No. Somebody’s ordered an admiral to order a captain to sail his vessel in provocation to China.
So you clearly understand what’s going on in the China Seas. China is doing no different, what all the other countries who have claims have done before. The difference is, they do it with a little bit more money, because they have more money. But some have been as ridiculous as getting a truckload of cement and pouring it on some rocks and saying, “OK, that’s our cement, therefore, that’s our property.”
What China is doing is trying to create a marker; it’s not trying to militarize these islands. It makes no sense. One missile could take out any one of these islands. And I might want to say, that when we think that we’re threatening the world with our 11 nuclear armadas — and that’s what they are; they’re not just a nuclear flat-top; there are armadas that go around with them. One missile could take that aircraft carrier out. So, the expenditures that we make in terms of defense become — when you analyze it very closely — very, very ridiculous; just plain ridiculous.
Let me give you an idea of what’s ridiculous. In 1996, the leadership in the Philippines Senate, passed a law telling the United States to get the hell out of their country. I thought it was a great move; very courageous because we’re a superpower. But that was right after the explosion of the Pinatubo volcano, that really made Clarke Air Force Base — at the time the largest air force base in the world — it made that somewhat obsolete. And so our priorities were shifting, so we just packed up and left Subic Bay. Well, since that time, the United States, through three various mutual forces — like they just did a “training exercise”; we play war with these countries. So, we have co-opted the Panamanian government to support our interests. Now, do the calculations in China. If they looked at what’s happening in the Philippines, they can only conclude that the Philippines is in the back pocket of the United States.
Now, China has every right to be concerned about their security, because they are essentially developing throughout the world. So, when you look at the China Sea, this is a major avenue, an area of major importance to China and also the bordering countries; but more to China because of their trade position.
So, what do we have, is we go in that area, and create this poking sticks at China; and we say we’re doing it because we’re really interested in maintaining freedom of the seas, maritime passage. Is there a greater element of hypocrisy, than our making that statement? Because what protects the freedom of the seas, is the Law of the Sea; it was really launched in 1993. I was very active in the Senate; in fact, I lost my Senate seat, because of my leadership on the Law of the Sea.
So, now we have the United States, which has not ratified it; it’s one of very few, I think it is less than three or four countries that have not ratified it. So, that’s the document; the legal international document that protects the freedom of the seas; not the American military. That’s the document that does it.
So, we have a situation in the Philippines, where the United States is moving forward to aggressively move — you know we have a Marine division that’s very unpopular in Okinawa. Well, the talk is, that we’ll placate the Okinawans and we’ll move that to the Philippines. Then we’ll go back into Subic Bay; that’s all on the shelf, right now; that’s in process. Now those of you who are American taxpayers, I don’t want to see one sou of my money going into military establishments in the Philippines. If you look at the map, you’ll see that the Philippines borders essentially China; it’s right at the heart of the Chinese mainland.
And so, for our strategic point of view, we don’t want to, we’re not interested in defense; if we were in defense, we would concentrate on the Western Hemisphere, we wouldn’t go clear across the Pacific Ocean to get to the doorstep of China and try to harass them. And so, what we’re doing in the Philippines is a plan to arm it to the hilt; and this will be from what we pivot, into control of Asia.
Now, when I look at what’s happened in the Middle East, I’m reminded of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: that’s our foreign policy. For those of you who may forget, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine; War; Destruction; Death. That’s our foreign policy! You can call it, Obama has the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and he’s riding it like a chariot. When you really in depth look at these elements, it just breaks your heart. Because as Helga just outlined, it’s so easy to pursue the other course; it’s so much more humane to produce the other course.
And when you look at what we’ve done here; you read the American press, and of course, everything is Putin has been demonized. We are demonizing China and to some degree Xi Jinping; and this is wrong. These people shouldn’t be demonized; they’re heads of governments. You don’t see them demonizing Obama; you see people like myself demonizing Obama, and rightly so. But who started the problem in Ukraine? Does nobody remember what the Under Secretary Victoria Nuland said over the telephone that was taped? I won’t repeat it, out of politeness, but I say that word often. Essentially, “Screw the UN! We’ve got a candidate for this position who’s going to run the country after we effect this coup.”
So, don’t you think for a moment how this was financed by the CIA? If you don’t have any knowledge of how the CIA functions, just reflect on it. This did not come down from Heaven; this came by some concrete acts. And a pattern, my God, we did this to Mossadegh in 1953 in Iran; and I’ll talk about Iran in a moment, since I’ve segued into that.
At the signing on July 15 of the nuclear treaty with Iran, the greatest statement that was made was made by the President, Rouhani. He said, “Thank God, we now have a treaty which will deny Iran to acquire the bomb; which we never wanted to do anyway.” And most people don’t realize; when you realize that you had 20 years of Netanyahu shouting “Fire!” in the theater and saying that “The world’s coming to an end; the Iranians are going to have the bomb and they’re going to —” Do you forget? I’ve been to Iran, and I went to the war museum in Iran. And do you realize that they have a plaque there, where there’s a UN resolution condemning Iran for the war, that was started by Saddam Hussein at the instigation of the United States of America?
And Iran, the whole world was against Iran; and the military of Iran went to the Ayatollah, and said, “Look, we can have some gas. We can eventually get a bomb.” Because keep in mind, it was the United States that gave the Shah the reactor, that could build a bomb; that the Ayatollah inherited. So now you’ve got the Ayatollah says — and so you understand the position of the Ayatollah, and Khamenei today, is, he’s like the Pope; he interprets what God says, period, in the Quran. This is what I interpret the Quran to mean, and that’s gospel in the society. And so what the Ayatollah said, “I read the Quran, and it does not permit us to have weapons of mass destruction.” So, he issued a fatwa at the time; they were desperate and all alone fighting Saddam and the rest of the world, for their own survival. That’s when he issued the fatwa. Now, Khamenei, the present leader, he has also issued a similar fatwa, saying “No way do we want the bomb.”
But the entire Western press was mesmerized by this crazy leader of Israel; and I say he’s crazy. Israel is a great country; it could be greater if they didn’t have a Netanyahu that led it. So, he’s the one who’s been shouting for 20 years that we’re about to be bombed by the Iranians. And in 2010, boy, I’ll tell you, if you read some of the dispatches that have been leaked from that period, we were very close to either giving him permission to attack and roping us into a war with Iran. And that’s a tragedy. I view Iran on the level of Israel as a scientific nation; Iran has great scientific capability. They build their own missiles; they didn’t get any help from anyone else. They have their own fighter jets; and so, they’ve done this.
In point of fact, the sanctions — which were illegal — what the sanctions have done for Iran is, they caused them to be independent; the only truly insular, independent nation in the world. That’s what our sanctions have done. They need to have these sanctions lifted; they’re grossly illegal. But this is the American leadership; we can sanction anybody if they’re not doing what we think they should do. Not what they think they should do; what we think they should do.
This is the height of arrogance. You know, in the world, there have been about 16 instances where you had an ascending nation that was about to surpass the existing empire in existence. Of those 16 incidences in history, 12 of them have turned to war; and the rest have resolved peacefully. And that’s the tragedy we face today. The United States is in decline. You need but drive on our roads; look at our educational institutions. We’re really in decline; and yet, we continue the arrogance of thinking that we are superior to any other human beings in the world. We Americans are the greatest, the smartest, we do everything unbelievably — this is the height of arrogance that has been promulgated by the leadership of the country to make the average American believe that “Hey! We’re better than anybody else.” When you read about airplane accidents, “Oh, how many Americans got killed?” We don’t know and we don’t care about the rest of the people on the plane, but maybe five Americans got killed. Well, I got to tell you, an American life is no different than any other human life in the world; and we are equal. [applause] Thank you for agreeing with that. But these are the problems we face.
And ever since I was cut out of the Presidential debates, by none other than General Electric and Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic Party, who conspired to get me out. Ever since, mainstream media has treated me like a pariah; I’m not quoted anywhere. But I get more press in the world than I do in the United States. I’m interviewed, on average, once or twice a week by PressTV, Al Jazeera, you name it; it’s flattering, but what they’re interested in, is that they see an American who has been in the highest reaches of our government, who does not kowtow to the duplicity and the manipulative powers of the American government worldwide. And I do this because, you have heard the cliché, “my country, right or wrong.” Well, for me, that’s the most immoral statement you can make. If you love your country, and you see it doing something wrong, you should do something to correct it. And that’s where I have charted my course in life; and at my age, I hope I have another five, six years, and I’m going to try to raise as much billy hell as I can, on our foreign policy. Because that foreign policy is wrong, and as I said earlier, it’s a policy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
And so what can we do about it? Well, the first thing that I’m going to try to do — and I get into very many causes as a result of this, and I become a spokesman or endorser of these various causes, like endorsing what the LaRouche organization is doing with China. And let me come back and make sure I give you what I think the solution is in that regard. Well, I’ll give it to you right now; at my age, I can jump around, and once I jump one direction, I forget where I was.
The solution in the China Sea, and it would be the solution, it would solve the problem of the Philippines; would be to take the bordering nations of the China Sea — that would be north and south — and take those nations and bring them into a forum to discuss the commons. And that’s what they should refer to the China Sea beyond the 12-mile limit; it’s the Commons that we all share. And I would hope that China, being the most significant nation in that area, and one of the most significant in the world, would take the leadership and say, “Look, we want to press for the Silk Road vision. Well, let’s make the China Sea a common area that will be the example for the Maritime Silk Road element that we are pushing for.” And convene this conference under the auspices; don’t wait for the adjudication at the Law of the Sea, where there’s litigation residing. I would hope that China would take the leadership and say to Ban Ki Moon, “We would like to have a forum that would permit all the countries that border the China Sea” — and that does not include us; we can take our destroyers and take them wherever. And so with this forum, we would then realize that we are talking about the commons; and the commons are a shared area.
So, if there’s oil exploitation, we should work out treaties, to share the wealth of that oil. We did this in Alaska on the North Slope. One native organization was going to have most of the resources. We set up a formula so they would have to share this with all the other 13 native organizations. So there’s no reason why this couldn’t be done; and use these islands that everybody are contesting to have refueling stations for Coast Guard cutters of all the various nations; set up the airfields, so they can be used for safety purposes within the China Sea. This is an initiative that China could take, and it would be — and even with the problems that exist with the Philippines; because what’s going to happen with the Philippines, I hope to be able to play a role in going to the Philippines and developing the debate that you, Philippines, here — save yourself. And that is, don’t let us come in and make your country the whorehouse of the American military; don’t let us do that.
And then in addition to that, ask them to help save us from ourselves; because we taxpayers will be paying for all of that. So, we don’t need to be at the doorstep of China militarily; and that’s the plan, to be at the doorstep of China militarily. We don’t need to do that; we can communicate with China very well from San Francisco where I live — very well. And if we want a line of defense, we got Guam and we got Hawaii. We don’t need to be in the China Sea.
And I would say, and I’ve spent three months in Korea; we could solve the problem of North Korea just by turning around and getting the 50,000 American troops out of Korea. And you’d see in three or four years, the unification would take place. These are people no different than the Germans; they want to unify. They are family, and they want to act as family.
So, what you do is, you’ve got to take away the military provocations; and that’s what’s there. And as I think I said earlier, that Marines want to move their facility in Okinawa; we should get out of Japan. Why do we need to be there? Why put up with that cost? Do you know we have 800 military bases where we have uniformed American personnel around the world? This is diabolical. When we’re afraid of China, which has increased its defense budget because of the rhetoric coming out of Washington to less than one-third of what the U.S. budget is; and our “defense budget” which is a joke, it’s not — it’s offense. Our offensive budget exceeds half of what the entire world spends on defense.
Just ask yourself in your own mind, and this is what I would pose on a radio broadcast; a person said, “Well, you know, we’re afraid that China would attack us.” What do you mean you’re afraid? Why would China want to attack the Philippines? They’ve got more than they can say grace over in the way of problems in western China. And with their expressed vision of unifying the world economically, they’ve got no reason to attack anybody. They do want to stake out their interests; they’re entitled to do that, as we do that. So, it just becomes so diabolical that it truly does not make any sense from a foreign policy point of view.
And so, I would hope that the Philippine leadership — it’s not the present Philippine administration, but they’re having elections in May — that the Philippine leadership would tell the United States to leave. Not with rancor; they should continue to be good friends with the United States, but they should be good friends with China, who is the most important element of the economy in Asia. Does that make sense? And so that’s what we hope that we can make that case in the Philippines as part of their electoral process; because right now, it’s not even talked of. Because many of these agreements are just subtle, nuanced, and in secret; and that’s the way we play our foreign policy game.
So, let me rest on that; and just say, that I’m delighted to be associated with the LaRouche organization and the wisdom they’ve brought forward in the leadership role. And here, I’m taking a page out of their book, suggesting that the leadership of China should take the initiative and bring the Silk Road to the commons of the China Sea. Thank you very much. [applause]
BILLINGTON: Thank you, Senator. And let me mention that Senator Gravel has drafted a friend of the court brief, which will be submitted to the Philippines Supreme Court in the next days, which effectively lays out what he just said. There is a case in the Supreme Court, because ironically, with all this going on, there is a Constitutional clause in the Philippine Constitution which says “no foreign bases on our soil.” This was implemented in the 1990s, when they forced the U.S. out.
So what is Obama doing? And what is his, the head of the Philippines, who I won’t go into the details? They’re saying, “Oh no, we’re not setting up bases; we’re setting up eight Air Force/Navy/Army bases within the Philippine bases, and we’re just guests. These aren’t our bases; these are their bases, but we’re going to have the most advanced air, sea, and land forces in that country preparing for a confrontation with China.”
So, this is being challenged in the Supreme Court; it’s not clear which way it’s going to go. It’s clearly unconstitutional under their Constitution, but Senator Gravel has introduced a very strong appeal. Not on the legal basis, but on the political-moral basis of what he’s just laid out today, and we will make that public eventually. We’re not sure when that can go public.