|This article appears in the April 25, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche in Italy Outlines
by Claudio Celani
Exit Strategy From War
Lyndon LaRouche's April 8-11 visit to Rome was full of public meetings and private discussions with political, religious, and media representatives in an Italy which finds itself in a paradoxical situation: Its government backs the U.S. war policy; its population overwhelmingly opposes it.
Italy saw the largest anti-war demonstrations worldwide, with up to 3 million people in the streets of Rome, while at the same time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called "legitimate" the Anglo-American decision to invade Iraq, in defiance of international law and the United Nations. As a founding member of the European Union, the Italian government thus gave the most important political backing to the invasion, and created a severe split with EU partners France and Germany. It opened a domestic crisis as well, by alienating a most important constituencyCatholic voters who followed the Popeindicating that Prime Minister Berlusconi might have lost his popular mandate.
LaRouche provided leadership to both opponents and supporters of the government, illustrating the nature of the "chicken-hawk" faction controlling U.S. policy, and indicating how the political class must use the legitimized peace movement to provide a peace-building policy based on economic development strategy. LaRouche's intervention might have cast the seeds for switching Italian policy back to its traditional republican role.
LaRouche outlined the exit strategy from the war policy already in his public appearance April 8 at the Rome Capitol, as a special guest at a conference organized to present the new book by economist Dr. Nino Galloni. Other speakers were Paolo Raimondi, President of the Italian Solidarity Movement; Pino Battaglia, President of the Committee on Social Security Policies of the Rome municipality; Elisa Manna of the well-known CENSIS research center; Matteo Costantini, President of the Young Europeans Movement; and Mario De Luca from the Lazio Region administration.
The Capitol meeting's theme was reiterated throughout LaRouche's Rome visit: The world is characterized by a drive for a world dictatorship led by a fascist clique controlling the U.S. Executive, and by the disintegration of the world financial and monetary system. The relation between the two aspects is similar to the relationship between the economic crisis in 1929-30 and Hitler's rise to power, he said, explaining how the Nazi party was rescued and put in power by Anglo-American money which did not want "New Deal" cooperation between Roosevelt's U.S.A and the von Schleicher chancellorship. Like the 1933 Reichstag Fire, Sept. 11, 2001 was used to carry out a coup in the United States. Europeans must know the real nature of the problem, to take the first step towards the solution.
Peace demonstrations are not sufficient to avoid war, LaRouche said, but they give legitimization to those political leaders who develop actions to stop the war. Above all, these actions must occur on a strategic-economic level, with the perspective of Eurasia-wide economic development, made possible by putting the current bankrupt financial and monetary system through bankruptcy reorganization and establishing a new system able to generate credit for long-term investment and trade agreements on the Eurasian continent.
'Devastating Critique' of U.S. Policy
Nino Galloni's book, Beyond Sustainable Development: Environment as Target, Growth as Constraint, is initiating a revolution in the Italian left. It rejects not only "shareholder value" as the paradigm for economic policy, but also its false alternative, the neo-Malthusian ideology of "sustainable growth." Instead, Galloni maintains, we should go back to scientific and technological growth, the only "constraint" able to generate resources and improve environmental conditions as well.
To make the point, Galloni went through elementarybut forgottenillustrations of how a different, superior technology increases the availability of resources by orders of magnitude. LaRouche developed the subject by placing the issue of the relationships between man and nature in the context of V.I. Vernadsky's scientific theory, according to which human cognitive activity is an indispensable element of the physical development of the universe. This proposition was welcomed by all speakers and by long applause by the more than 100 persons filling the room in the Capitol building.
Commenting on LaRouche's speech, Mr. Battaglia from the Rome municipality remarked that LaRouche could hardly be called "anti-American"; and yet, "his critique is perhaps the most devastating one we have recently heard to the current American policy, and we thank him for that." Other speakers referred to LaRouche as setting the standard for the discussion, while members of the audience posed several questions, such as, "What is the difference between the historical Bretton Woods and the one you are proposing today?" This gave the American Presidential candidate the possibility to develop the idea of a credit-generating system, based on a national-banking policy and on trade agreements among groups of sovereign nations.
This issue was also a subject of discussion the next day, at a meeting with members of the Italian Parliament organized by Senators Patrizia Toja and Oskar Peterlini. Participants raised the issue of re-establishing a regime of international law as a political priority to prevent world chaos, and asked LaRouche whether this should involve a strengthening of the United Nations' functions. LaRouche warned against a world authority as a remedy to world disorder, as a world authority gives impulse to a world empire. The UN is the best thing we have, he said, and we must keep working through it; but he suggested that Italy move through the EU as a group of cooperating nations, to stimulate Eurasian treaty agreements with China, India, Russia, etc.
The national legislators informed LaRouche that an initiative is under way to introduce in the Senate the same kind of resolution for a "new world financial architecture" which was approved in September 2002 by the Chamber of Representatives.
The issue of international law was also up front in private meetings with religious representatives, who stressed the Pope's most recent speeches on the subject. Even political representatives of the government majority, who publicly support the U.S. government, told LaRouche privately that they consider the Iraq war's disruption of international legality as a disaster. What surprised them most, however, was the absence of opposition in the U.S. Congress, even compared to that against Prime Minister Tony Blair in the British Parliament. The problem, LaRouche explained, is that the same financial interests behind the chicken-hawks control the leadership of the Democratic Party. There are members of Congress who only need leadership, which is LaRouche's task, in order to stand up and wage an opposition fight.
The candidate also answered many questions at a meeting with members of the Italian Institute for Asia, where the discussion focussed on aspects of the Eurasian Land-Bridge development perspective, including how to protect Italian production from low-cost imports out of Asia. It has been calculated that 20-40% of Italian small and middle-sized enterprises risk disappearing because of low-cost competition from Asian producers. LaRouche's solution lies in long-term (25-year) trade agreements between EU nations and countries such as China. When such treaty agreements stipulate that European nations will supply China with capital goods and cheap credits, protective tariffs can be agreed upon, based on an estimation of what the long-term trade balance will be.
LaRouche was also guest of the Sandro Pertini Center, a political association named after the late State President (1978-85), Resistance and socialist leader. He was interviewed by the regional television Teletuscolano. The Parliamentary news agency Agenparl reported on the Capitol meeting: "The American economist Lyndon H. LaRouche started off posing the themes dealt with in Galloni's book, in the broader context of the two main crises facing us today: the final phase of collapse of the present world financial system, and the influence of a minority group, ... which supports the logic of war. LaRouche made a parallel with the economic crisis of the 1930s, and the rise to power of Hitler. LaRouche concluded by proposing a perspective of economic recovery for Europe, only through cooperation with Russia and other countries with an economic growth trend, such as India and China." Two other press agencies, AISE and OP, reported the news. Furthermore, on April 9, the online magazine Vita published an interview with LaRouche in which the candidate was quoted that "Bush's chances for re-election, if the U.S.A continues to exist under its Constitution, are less than zero."