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Building an Oasis of Hope in a Desert of Despair

April 13—Today's Schiller Institute Meeting, “The Oasis Plan: The LaRouche Solution for Peace Through Development Between Israel and Palestine and for All of Southwest Asia” is motivated by the following conceptual premise, stated by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche yesterday in her opening address to the 45th consecutive Friday meeting of the International Peace Coalition: "But it’s very clear that unless we get to what we have been discussing from the very beginning—a New Paradigm, where we overcome geopolitics with a ‍ new international security and development architecture, which includes all countries of the planet—the scenarios, or the theaters of the potential war, will just shift from one crisis spot to the next, until we have a really different approach on world politics.

“As long as that is not given, there is the danger that things could go out of control very quickly. According to the judgment of a highly-placed person we talked with recently, he said, ‘Yes, you are absolutely right. In the best case, we are weeks away from an explosion and a disaster.’ I think that should fuel our efforts to really fight for a peace solution which has to be just to all sides, because the lesson from the Peace of Westphalia is that, unless it is just, and unless it takes into account the interests of all, it cannot work.”

Peace may seem to be impossible to some, but “A purpose, which higher reason hath conceived, that men’s afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned.” As President John F. Kennedy said at American University, June 10, 1963: “Our problems are manmade—therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable—and we believe they can do it again.”

Optimism is a scientific principle. JFK proved that, and provided that, in the 1960s Apollo Manned Mission to the Moon—an outrageous demand on, not merely the United States, but humanity itself, but a demand which was met on schedule, within the decade that it was proposed. Today, the “Apollo Project” of our time demands an optimism that cannot be derived from war. It demands one, two, many "Oasis Projects" for the world, designed like the apparently impossible, but actually completely doable project posed for Southwest Asia. Optimism about humanity is, in that sense, both the topic and organizing principle of today’s conference.

That 21st century “Apollo Project” is the ending of colonialism, and of its derivative diseases of “poverty, famine, disease, and war itself.” This is a task to which the majority of the world is already committed. It is through the application and unleashing of the technological powers and creative scientific and artistic capabilities of the world’s nations, including through joint missions to the Moon and Mars, and on Earth; through the “crash” joint development of thermonuclear fusion energy, for power “too cheap to meter” and readily available to all; and through the building of new cities and development corridors of a first-time-ever World Land-Bridge, that this can be achieved.

Today’s conference is convened both on the threshold of greatness, and the edge of annihilation. Which direction prevails, will depend upon our strength to not only remember, but to embody, what poet Friedrich Schiller wrote: “A purpose, that higher Reason hath conceived, which men’s afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned.” The ghosts of many Gazas, and the eyes of universal history will be watching, to see which direction we take.

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