Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Harley Schlanger, vice president of the analytical center Schiller Institute in the USA and a well-known public figure. The head of the Foundation discussed with Schlanger what Western politicians are willing to do in an attempt to prolong the conflict in Ukraine, how Western censorship strengthens Russophobic sentiments in Europe and the United States and why the statements of the Ukrainian president contradict the basic principles of democracy.
Mira Terada: Good afternoon, dear Mr. Harley! Thank you for taking the time to interview the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Please tell our viewers and readers about what you do?
Harley Schlanger: I’m a spokesman for the Schiller Institute, as well as a spokesman for the LaRouche Organization. We’ve been involved in promoting a plan for a new security and financial architecture. And apparently, if you’re for peace, you end up on the wrong side of the Ukrainian government and NATO, because a number of our members and associates have been put on the hit list of the Committee to Combat Disinformation and Myrotvorets. I’ve been involved in a number of conferences to try to expose this. Especially to expose the fact that this is funded by the US Congress, even though it’s an attempt to silence free speech of Americans.
The US government is funding a Ukrainian national security and defense operation to silence Americans from opposing the war and opposing the shipment of weapons and so on. So that’s what I’ve been doing recently.
M.T.: As an international expert at The Schiller Institute, please comment on how NATO’s policy will change after the inclusion of new regions in Russia? Will the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance continue to pump Ukraine with weapons?
H.S.: Well, so far it appears as though there’s no stopping that. After the announcement of President Putin of the results of the referendum, Biden approved another 600 plus million dollars of weapons. NATO governments have continued to be subservient to the US and the United Kingdom demands for this war. So I don’t think that’s going to stop. We’re hoping it will, and we’re doing everything we can to move people in the Congress. But as you know, there’s a bipartisan support to attack Russia. And this is reminiscent of the worst of the McCarthy era in the fifties and then the Cold War period. In fact, it’s even worse today. So we have a lot of work to do, but we’re seeing some response from the Congress, especially as the US economy is so weak, how can we afford to spend $60 billion to fight a war against another nuclear power?
M.T.: The other day, Ukraine applied for accelerated membership in NATO, to which the Secretary General of the Organization stated that they were not ready to accept Ukraine yet. Do you think this means that Mr. Stoltenberg is aware of the risk of escalation of the conflict?
H.S.: Well, I don’t know how he couldn’t be, although he does seem to be somewhat clueless overall with the idea of Ukraine. And NATO is one of the major reasons for this special military operation in the first place. There’s no reason for Ukraine to be in NATO. There was no threat to Ukraine, but this was used as an excuse for the NATO’s powers to arm Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia. The real issue here is not Ukraine. I don’t think Western leaders really care about the Ukrainian people. If they did, they wouldn’t send the International Monetary Fund to Kiev to impose austerity, which is harming the people of Ukraine. They wouldn’t send weapons to extend this war. They wouldn’t tell Zelensky not to negotiate. So I think the NATO leaders are committed to this but even though in Europe we’re seeing major demonstrations, opposition, which I hope will grow in the period immediately ahead.
M.T.: Despite the statements of the NATO Secretary General, the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance still supply equipment and weapons to Ukrainian servicemen. In your opinion, does this make NATO a party to the conflict?
H.S.: Well, in real terms, yes. The NATO has made it clear that its intention is to degrade and weaken Russia. That was what the US Defense Secretary said at the Ramstein Air Base conference. Now, I don’t know how that’s not a virtual declaration of war. I think the patience of the Russian government so far has been quite remarkable. And if there were a different regime in Russia, if you had Warhawks running the Russian regime, we probably would already be at a full scale war. So I think the idea that NATO’s not in the war, it’s a very thin line that they’re walking right now.
M.T.: In your opinion, are European countries free in their desire to supply Ukrainians with equipment and weapons, or are they forced to do so under the influence of the United States, which, in fact, controls NATO?
H.S.: Well, if you look at the policies of the European Union, they have been very much in line with what the United States has demanded and also what the United Kingdom is demanding. Most people don’t think that the British are a very important force, but the British are, if not the initiating force, certainly the copartner of Washington in this situation. As for the European countries, we just saw the vote in Bulgaria, where a pro-NATO government was voted out, in Sweden, where a pro-NATO government was voted out, in Italy, where there’s a potential fight over whether Italy is going to continue to support the war.
There’s indications that the population of many of the European countries are recognizing that the reason there’s inflation and the reason there’s energy shortages is not because of Russia, but because of European Union and NATO’s policy.
So I think there’s going to be growing opposition. And what Washington and London fear is that the Europeans will get weak kneed and wobbly and decide to pull out. And by the way, if the European countries are democracies, why not have a referendum on whether the people want to support this war? I think it would probably be voted down.
M.T.: I agree with you on your opinion about Great Britain, because when they started Brexit, they started all of it in advance. I used to work for the international company and my project was Citigroup investment. what I was doing in that project is actually I was supporting investments of Citigroup through the process of Brexit. It was 2017. And after that, shortly after that, I was arrested. So that was probably the way I fulfilled my contract with them.
H.S.: Most people in the West don’t understand that the British Empire is still real. It’s not the same empire of the naval power from the 19th century and early 20th century. It’s a financial power. It’s the City of London. And the City of London controls the purse strings for virtually every government around the world, including the United States, and the major trades in derivatives and new financial instruments. As a result, they think they can use NATO arms and American force to keep nations in line. And what we’re seeing is while the European nations are showing absolute cowardice in confronting that, we’re seeing courage in countries such as Pakistan, and India, and Brazil, and Argentina that are resisting the demands of these central banks, that they accept the great reset and that they go against Russia and China. So I think the world is moving in a different direction.
As President Putin said, we’re in the point of a great transformation. And the only problem is because of censorship, the American people in the Western Europeans don’t know that. They think that it’s the Russian empire, that’s the enemy when in fact, it’s the remnants of the British Empire. That’s the enemy.
M.T.: Your personal data, as well as the data of tens of thousands of people from all over the world, were published on the Ukrainian nationalist website “Myrotvorets”, which violates not only the legislation of Ukraine, but also a number of international agreements and resolutions. Tell us, have you received threats because of the activities of the “Myrotvorets”?
H.S.: Well, I’ve received some emails, anonymous emails, saying that I’m being watched and that my destiny is in my hands. Living here in Germany, there are other people in Germany on the list, including some journalists. Alina Lipp is one of them, who is forced to leave Germany. I haven’t heard that kind of pressure. But, you know, I have to tell you, it’s not comfortable being on a list of which has had some of it. Some of the other people on the list have been killed and have been identified as liquidated on the list. So it’s not a great deal of comfort for me to say that I’m on the list. But on the other hand, it’s a sign that there’s something that I’ve been doing, which has caught the attention of the war hawks who want to plunge the world into war. So, you know, in that sense, I’m going to keep doing.
M.T.: And one of our other journalists, when we had a press conference for the journalists on Myrotvorets, said she was concerned because she lives in Germany. And there is so there are so many immigrants right now. And she says, “how do I know that those people emigrate with the good intentions just separating themselves from the conflict and are not nationalists who come after me, which is raises the risk for the people, especially who are in Europe during this time.” Why do you think European and American officials are not fighting or do not want to fight the criminal website “Myrotvorets”, because of the existence of which several journalists have already become victims of harassment and violence?
H.S.: Well, let me reference what Scott Ritter, who’s on the list, said. Ritter is a very prominent American. He was involved in the exposure of the Iraq weapons of mass destruction hoax, which was the excuse for launching the regime change war against Iraq. What Ritter pointed out is that there are Ukrainian groups in the United States which still honor Stefan Bandera, the Nazi era collaborator of Ukraine’s organization of Ukrainian nationalists that collaborated with the Nazis during the early 1940s, including in murdering large numbers of people in Ukraine Jews, Romanians, Poles and others. So Scott pointed out that this is a concern to him for the safety of Diane Sare, who’s one of my colleagues, who’s a candidate for U.S. senator in New York, who is also on the list. So, you know, this is a real concern. Now, in the meantime, the question of why is the U.S. government doing nothing about it?
Most of the people in the Congress, they’re funded by the very networks that are supporting this war. The military industrial complex, the defense contractors, but also the bankers.
The major banks in the United States are of Wall Street, are in complete alliance with the Central Bank of England and also of the European Central Bank in Brussels. And so their policies are being dictated by the very people who are supporting this war against Russia. So it’s not surprising that when you go to the Congress, you find out that they’re either ignorant about this or they support it. And that’s the problem.
M.T.: In your opinion, will the joint petition of the Foundation to Battle Injustice and The Schiller Institute help draw the attention of the United Nations to the criminal activities of the “Myrotvorets”?
H.S.: Well, it should. And I think we are getting indications that our mobilization is being watched and is being is having an effect. Look, The New York Times, for example, on October 5th ran an article which came out of nowhere, which said that the US government protested to the Ukrainian government the bombing in Moscow of Daria Dugina on and her murder. And it said that the US did not support this, did not know about it. Now, whether that’s true or not, I can’t tell you. But what is clear is they were trying to distance themselves from our charges that NATO and U.S. officials have been working with the committee to combat disinformation and Myrotvorets from the beginning, including on September 1st and 2nd. There was a two-day conference in Kiev where 24 nations, mostly NATO members, were there for a briefing from the acting director of the Center for Combating Disinformation and could have raised an objection to what’s being done. None of them did. But because of our work, because of your work with your foundation, we’ve now made this as public as we can. We’ve got to keep the mobilization going, but the fact that we’ve done this probably forced someone in the State Department or the intelligence community in the United States to put out a statement to The New York Times, basically saying, we’re not involved in this. Now, it’s also as Peskov, the spokesman for President Putin, said, this could be a cover for future operations. In other words, if there are further assassinations, the U.S. could say, “see, we’re not involved.” So that’s a concern also. But I think the important thing is we have to press ahead with the exposure. We have to make sure that no one can say we didn’t know. And that’s the best way to secure our safety is to make it clear that there is an assassination bureau which is being supported and backed by NATO countries, using Ukrainians as the assassins.
M.T.: Yeah. My opinion to them is that CIA works well enough to know about such preparation. If you comment on this murder, on this terrorist attack on such beautiful young woman, why didn’t you comment on something previously or why didn’t you comment Crimea being blown up? That means, you support this? You knew about this? So in my opinion, they probably better not to say nothing because there are more questions than answers now.
H.S.: Well, this is also true, of course, of the Nord Stream pipelines. You know, the idea that Russia blew up its own pipelines or you know, I’m surprised they’re not saying that Russia tried to blow up the bridge to Crimea. At a certain point, I did my daily update, the other day and I said they’ve done one lie too far. You know, it’s like someone who has five bullets in their head, and they say he shot himself, you know, at a certain point. The lies discredit the liars. And the question is, will this ever be covered? Because the other problem is the censorship in the Western media that won’t allow. I’ve just one other example. When Biden the other day said Putin has called for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He never did that. He never said that at all. That’s the Western narrative.
Biden put that in Putin’s mouth so that he could say that Russia is bringing the world toward a nuclear Armageddon, when, in fact, that’s the NATO policy, which is threatening a wider war.
So this lying and censorship from the Western media includes the cover up of the Iraq War, hit lists and so on.
M.T.: Over the past few months, the political leadership of Ukraine has banned the activities of at least 16 political parties, which is a gross violation of both international law and the Ukrainian Constitution. Does this contradict Zelensky’s statements that Kiev adheres to the principles of democracy?
H.S.: Well, I think there’s no question about that. I mean, a friend of the Schiller Institute, Nataliya Vitrenko, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, was shut down. They had an appeal that went to the Ukrainian Supreme Court, which was just summarily rejected. And this was one of 16 parties that have been shut down. Leaders of some of them have been arrested.
All the opposition press is shut down. The labor movement in Ukraine was essentially shut down. These are imitations of what Hitler did when he took power in Germany in 1933.
And the argument is, “well it’s an emergency and we have opposition forces in Ukraine that have to be taken care of.” Well, at the same time, the argument from the West is that “we’re fighting to preserve democracy and sovereignty in Ukraine.” There is no democracy in Ukraine. The current government came to power as a result of the coup, the so-called Maidan coup in February 2014, which was funded by the United States government as acknowledged by the point person for that, Victoria Nuland, who said the US government spent $5 billion to build the opposition in Ukraine and they overthrew a democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovich. So the idea that it’s democracy versus autocracy would be a joke, except it’s not a laughing matter because people are dying because of this. And so this is to me the one of the worst aspects of this situation. You can’t even debate this in the West if you try to raise an objection. You’re called a Putin mouthpiece and a Russian propagandist. PayPal is even going so far as to say that they will take $2500 from an account of anyone who’s guilty of misinformation when it comes to the war. So the European Union also is shutting down accounts of reporters who are in the Donbass reporting on the referendum. So how is that democracy?
M.T.: Despite the fact that the leaders of Western countries unanimously condemn the annexation of new territories to Russia, which is a logical consequence of their will, calling them “annexation”, none of the politicians of NATO or the United States even hinted that the Ukrainian authorities neglect the foundations of democracy. What do you think about this?
H.S.: Well, as President Putin stated at the outset, the Minsk accord, which was signed by the Ukrainian government, which would have granted limited autonomy to the eastern Ukrainian republics, was never followed through. Zelensky, when he ran for president, said he would carry out the Minsk Accord. Now, here’s where you see the fraud and corruption from the West. The French and the Germans were involved in the negotiations with Ukraine and Russia for the Minsk Accords. They never put pressure on the Ukrainian government to follow the treaty. The law that they signed that they would give this limited autonomy. Instead, the Ukrainian military was shelling into the Donbas region. Close to 14,000 people, I think had been killed between 2014 and February 2022 by these operations. Where is the outcry against that? Why have Western governments neglected that? And I think that plus the other factor, which is neglected, which is that President Putin identifying the Nazi elements in the Ukrainian security and defense sector, you know, the argument is, well, it’s less than 2%. But as the neo-Nazi leaders of the right sector and so on have admitted that they were the backbone, they were the fighting force that carried out the Maidan coup. So it doesn’t matter if it’s small number. They were the ones who were doing the shooting and the killing that ended up resulting in the coup in 2014. So these are narratives, so to speak. In other words, these lies that there are no neo-Nazis in Ukraine, that the Minsk accord. Well, Poroshenko admitted that the Minsk Accord was signed to buy time for the Ukrainian army to get more training and more weapons. And Zelensky, who said he was going to negotiate, was told by one of the neo-Nazi elements in the Ukrainian security forces, that if you go ahead and do something to end this war, you’ll be hanging from a tree in a public square in Kiev. So I think there’s a lot of corruption and lying that’s going on, which is really the story behind this war.
M.T.: Please estimate the probability of the outbreak of World War III and the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Do the NATO countries realize that there will be no winners or losers in the modern world war?
H.S.: Well, if you look at the documents, the Defense Department documents, and the think tankers and others, there are some lunatics in the U.S. military who think that a limited nuclear war is winnable.
Now, I think anybody who’s sensible, realizes that the problem with once you unleash nuclear war, the retaliation will be swift and massive from either side.
That’s the military doctrine of both sides. And that’s how we’ve ended up not having a nuclear war since the U.S. was the only country to use nuclear weapons in 1945. Now, this is a very risky game that they’re playing. And, you know, they’re egging on Putin. They’re saying, you know, Putin is not defending his country. He’s not he’s letting his soldiers die. All the Russian army is in disarray. All these stories that are coming out in the Western press are designed in part to convince the Russians that they should go ahead with using tactical nuclear weapons. I think President Putin has made clear that this is a last resort only if the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Russia is threatened. Now, when that’s cited as an excuse to use tactical nuclear weapons, I would encourage people to look at the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which is part of the U.S. national security doctrine, which states the same thing, that if the territorial integrity of the US is threatened, only then could nuclear weapons be used. Look what John Kennedy did in October 1962. 60 years ago when the Soviets put missiles in Cuba, and Kennedy brought the world to the brink of war by setting up a blockade, a quarantine to stop Russian ships from bringing in missiles. Now what happened then? Back-channel negotiations, an agreement for both sides to back away from war and to move toward some of the arms negotiations and agreements which the U.S. has thrown out in the last decade or so.
The argument that the Russians are somehow preparing for a nuclear war is a fiction, but it shows the thinking going on inside the U.S. military and defense establishment.
M.T.: Please share your opinion on who is behind the diversions on the Nord Stream pipeline? Who benefits from this and is the United States involved in this?
H.S.: I’ll tell you who doesn’t benefit from it. Russia and Germany. And what I’ve argued from the start is a major effort of this whole war operation is to make sure that Russia and Germany are kept apart, that there’s no cooperation for economic development between the two countries. This goes back to the GOP critical doctrine of Halford Mackinder from 1904, which was largely the basis for World War One, the possibility that Germany would be involved with Russia in the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This has always been seen as a threat by the British. So, you know, just as an explanation for why the British might do this or the US, you know, some people are saying, well, the U.S. wants to sell liquefied natural gas to Europe. And that’s why it was done. I think that’s a kind of simplistic explanation. The deeper explanation is to make sure that Germany would not break the so-called unity of NATO because of the effects on German population as well as Europe in general, from a shut of Russian oil that this is by blowing up the pipeline. It made it clear that the Germans could not go to Russia and cut a separate deal. So that’s why I think the fingers pointed at the U.S. and the British with other NATO countries complicit. I don’t think the Germans were consulted, because I don’t think they care what the Germans think. But former CIA analysts like Ray McGovern and Graham Fuller, who are on the hitlist, have said that it’s their view that it was probably the U.S. and the British working through the NATO’s command that was responsible for the destruction of the pipeline.
M.T.: How do you assess the situation with freedom of speech in the West? How has it changed over the past few years and have you encountered artificial restrictions on freedom of speech?
H.S.: Well, I can tell you that just last night I did a briefing for the Schiller Institute’s weekly Manhattan Project, where I went through some of the things we were discussing right now. And this is now blacked out on YouTube. So you can’t go to YouTube to see the Manhattan Project discussion from yesterday. I think the use of algorithms to suppress the numbers of people who have access to what we’re talking about, what we’re doing. I mean, there are millions of people who are affected by this war who would like to know more about it. And if they knew of what we were doing, what you were doing, they would be listening. They would be taking the initiatives, for example, your initiative to go to the United Nations. They would be signing it. They would be circulating it. So by keeping it out of the press and by saying it’s just Russian disinformation, they’re preventing the mobilization from succeeding doing to stop this. So I think it’s fairly clear that their intent is to silence the opposition. And that’s what our event last week was titled “We Will Not Be Silenced”. And people did speak out and people will continue to speak out. And of course, they just added another 20 names to the list, including people like the president of Uganda, Museveni and Eva Bartlett, a very courageous young woman who’s reporting from the Donbass. So I think they’ll do everything they can to suppress the truth. This is why we compare this to the Orwell novel 1984 with the Ministry of Truth, which of course is the Ministry of Lies.
M.T.: Do you think there are common features between the Caribbean crisis and the conflict that is currently taking place on the territory of Ukraine? What conclusions and methods of solving the political tensions of the last century can be applied today?
H.S.: Well, I think the initial proposal was to go back to the 2014 borders, which is now not possible. But the legal points of contention was Ukraine membership in NATO and of course the Ukrainians Zelensky is pushing that very hard right now. But there’s a reason why the Russian government reacted to that. Because if you have a hostile force with offensive weapons that can strike Moscow within five or 6 minutes and you give them free reign, then that’s something which is unacceptable. And the idea that there could have been a compromise on this. Zelensky himself admitted in the early stages of the war, that he now accepts that Ukraine will not be allowed, and they know that Ukraine would accept neutrality if there were security guarantees. Well, that’s the whole point. Putin made in December of 2021, not just for Russian security guarantees, but also for Ukrainians security guarantees, for security guarantees for every nation. And that’s what the Schiller Institute is fighting for. We talk about a new security architecture there should be security guarantees for every nation, and that means sovereignty, but Ukraine is not sovereign. Right now its soldiers are being sacrificed for the goal of stopping Russia, and stopping Russia from organizing with China and other nations, a new financial system out from under the power of the city of London.
That’s why we’ve been saying this is not about Ukraine. It’s about the fact that the global financial system is breaking down and the attempt to set up a so-called great reset is to take away sovereignty, whatever sovereignty remains of nations that would rather spend their money in developing their nation than in paying debt to the international bankers. And so that’s what this fight is about.
And that’s why nations of the Global South, the former nonaligned movement, are not supporting sanctions against Russia because they’ve been there before. They know what the colonial powers of Europe and the United States have done to their countries. And they’re looking to Russia and China as strong enough to protect them from this new wave of looting that’s coming out from the international banks.
M.T.: What kind of world order awaits us after the end of the Ukrainian conflict? Will the age of American hegemony end?
H.S.: Well, the unipolar order in many ways is dead. It’s already dead. It just hasn’t been buried yet because countries are not going to submit to policies that will kill their populations. Now, a country like Afghanistan for example, which is a victim of an endless war from the United States and NATO, it’s too weak on its own to stand up against this. Iraq was too weak to stand up against it. Libya was too weak. Many other countries have surrendered without being attacked because they know what the United States and Europe will do. But Russia is different. Russia is a nuclear power. China is a nuclear power. India is a nuclear power. They’re not going to be blackmailed by the government of South Africa. The foreign minister of South Africa told when Blinken went to South Africa and demanded that they support the sanctions against Russia. She said to him, “We are a sovereign nation. You can’t come here and bully us.” So the era of a unipolar order, in my opinion, is over. Now, what will replace it? We could have a nuclear war, or if we avoid a nuclear war, but don’t change the policy, the economic policy. We could have a global depression with hundreds of millions of people dying from lack of food, lack of energy and so on. Or we could have a new paradigm based on economic cooperation of nations, sovereign nations working for mutual benefit. This is what was the goal of Lyndon LaRouche for his whole life. This is what I’ve been fighting for, for almost 50 years now. And I think we’re at a point where if we can get through this period and get a peace, a stable peace agreement to stop this fighting, then we have the opportunity to move out from under the petrodollar system and its exploitation of poorer and weaker countries and actually establish a new economic architecture which is based on commitment to mutual development.