Zepp-LaRouche: Getting U.S. and Europe To Join the New Silk Road Is the Decisive Battle for 2018
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—In her weekly international webcast today, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued an appeal to viewers to become active in the fight to ensure that 2018 is the year in which the United States and Europe join the New Silk Road. The present status quo is not going to last, she warned. Time is of the essence.
Zepp-LaRouche pointedly asked: “So, can we in time, before a new financial crash comes down on us—you know, it’s hanging over our heads like a Damocles’ Sword—can we in time get the kinds of changes in the United States in particular, but also in Western Europe, to join in this new paradigm, or will this battle for civilization be lost? I’m very optimistic it can be won, but it requires activity: We’re not experiencing dialectical materialism, or historical materialism, where positive events are just taking on a life of their own; because it is always the subjective factor which plays a very large role, and one place you can see this very clearly is in the person of Xi Jinping, who has really given an already positive Chinese development, a complete upgrade, and a complete transformation into a new paradigm. And we would need such people in the West to do likewise….
“The battle really is, can we move in time, the United States and Europe, into a new paradigm, where Russia and China are not being looked at as adversaries, but that we really move to this idea of a ‘joint future for humanity,’ which is exactly the only way we can survive?”
The Schiller Institute, Zepp-LaRouche said, “is absolutely committed to doing everything possible so that we can get the United States and Europe to cooperate with the New Silk Road, because that will be the decisive battle for the coming year.” She said that the LaRouche movement in the United States has just issued a new pamphlet, “LaRouche’s Four Laws & America’s Future on the New Silk Road,” calling for the implementation of statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws and for the United States to join the New Silk Road. “Work with us, because this is not something which will happen by itself. We need a popular demand for a new paradigm, both in the United States and in Europe.”
It is quite extraordinary, Zepp-LaRouche observed, that when you look at the world, you see there are two realities. The mainstream media in the West, in the United States and some European countries manage to completely ignore the reality of what is happening in China and the developments of the Belt and Road Initiative “to make sure that the people of the United States and many European countries don’t even know about it. This is a big scandal…in the almost four and a half years now that Xi Jinping, the President of China, has put the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road on the table, you see a dynamic which is unbelievable.”
China “is economically exploding with development, with optimism, with absolute ambitious infrastructure projects… and many other countries, I think well above 70 countries and 40 international large associations and institutions, are cooperating with the New Silk Road. And all of these countries have been gripped by an enormous sense of optimism, which some people call the ‘Silk Road Spirit’ which is the sense of entering a new era of mankind, and the rest of the Europeans and Americans don’t know it!” The exception in the U.S. would probably be the people of West Virginia and some other states whose leaders traveled to China with President Trump and came home with enormous deals—$83.7 billion alone for West Virginia.
The key battle in the world right now, Zepp-LaRouche underscored, “is, that you have the old neo-cons, the neoliberals, who want to stick with geopolitics, who want to keep the image of China and Russia as enemies and want to continue the British Empire game of divide and conquer, playing one section against another section; versus what is clearly the winning strategy and that is what Xi Jinping has put on the agenda, with a ‘win-win’ cooperation of all nations of the world, and with the idea of a new paradigm, a ‘community for a shared future of mankind,’ a common destiny: The idea that geopolitics can be overcome. And more and more countries are joining with this new conception.”
Look at the fact that China is committed to fully eliminating poverty by 2020, Zepp-LaRouche pointed out. Europe and the United States should do the same. With a proper focus on infrastructure development—not the limited view that is currently being discussed in Washington—it would be absolutely feasible to lift all 50 million Americans living below the poverty line, out of poverty.
It is crucial, she said, to get the idea of real infrastructure development into the United States—of the kind that China is implementing. There will be a big Jan. 6-7 summit at Camp David in which President Trump will discuss his infrastructure program for the United States with Congressional leaders. The amounts of money being discussed for this is not enough, Zepp-LaRouche added. What is needed is “a mass movement for development, for infrastructure development as India’s Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi had put it a couple of years ago. Because the spirit, if you look at the devastation from the hurricanes in the United States and how slow it goes to repair: Contrast that with the incredibly ambitious program by China to connect every large city by the year 2020 with this fast train system,” with modern infrastructure to make all areas of the country more livable for people.
To do something similar in the United States, Zepp-LaRouche concluded, requires “nothing less than what my husband, Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, has prescribed: You need a full-fledged return to Glass-Steagall, which President Trump had promised in the election campaign, and so far he has insisted that he is going to keep all of his election promises. So the potential that he will implement Glass-Steagall is absolutely there. It’s also clear that Wall Street is trying everything possible to prevent that from happening, but without a return to Glass-Steagall, exactly as Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented it in 1933, in combination with a National Bank in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, and a credit system; then cooperation with the New Silk Road—you need this entire package. And you need in particular, in the United States, the Fourth Law of Mr. LaRouche, which is the crash program in high technology to increase the productivity of the labor force.”
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Astana Plan for Peace in Syria Being Unfurled for ‘Dialogue Congress’ in Sochi
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Russia’s grand plan—with Turkey and Iran—for the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russia, provides an inspiring image of what is possible for mankind now, especially if Presidents Putin, Xi Jinping and Trump work in tandem. Sputnik International transcribed and posted a special interview yesterday with Alexander Lavrentyev, the Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be a two-day gathering, Jan. 29-30, of roughly 1,500 envoys from every section and faction of Syrian society which wants to move from armed conflict to negotiations. “We have proposed to invite a certain number of representatives of, for example, Sunnis, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, and the Arab tribes whose sheikhs command authority and whose opinion can make a difference, who will express their opinion on in which direction the country should move.” Only the terrorists and those who want to continue fighting will be excluded.
Further on this inclusivity: Among all the others, the Syrian Kurds will also be fully represented. Turkey has vetoed participation by the PYD which governs most of the northern Kurdish enclaves in Syria, but Lavrentyev said, “I think the leadership of the PYD understands that there is no point in insisting that the party take part. The most important thing for them should be to see their interests taken into account through the presence of other representatives of the Kurdish diaspora. So I think it is less of a problem than some tend to believe.”
The next Geneva meeting on Syria will be convened on about Jan. 21. But Russia, Turkey, and Ira, the guarantors of the Astana peace process for Syria, are asking UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura to get United Nations endorsement for the Sochi meeting and also for him to attend it as well. “We are counting on it and we have told him so.” The U.S. has not weighed in, but Lavrentyev thinks the U.S. would be invited to observe if it wishes.
Only two days for such a big conference? Lavrentyev said that it would have a tight, structured agenda, to lead towards the next step, which is to begin consultations towards a new Constitution for Syria—in a legal fashion under the current Constitution. A long, unstructured congress might degenerate into squabbling. He said that delegates who want to discuss getting rid of Syrian President Assad should stay home—it is clear that they only want to continue the armed struggle. And only Syrians will have speaking rights—they must determine among themselves how their country is going to work. All of this is laid out in UNSC Resolution 2254. “For us the most important thing is for the intra-Syrian dialogue to be inclusive, that is, that all the social strata be represented, and then let them come to an agreement among themselves.”
The international community is not doing enough to help, “but the most important thing is that these should be efforts in the right direction. The boat of the Syrian settlement should be just one, and everyone should be in it and row in the same direction. If we row in different directions, then we will be spinning in one place….”
The Astana guarantor powers have also established a committee to exchange prisoners in Syria, intending to mediate between the non-terrorist parties there to exchange prisoners and thus increase mutual trust and confidence.
The whole thing is really quite a concept.
In reflections from the U.S.—President Trump tweeted on Dec. 27, “On 1/20—the day Trump was inaugurated—an estimated 35,000 ISIS fighters held approx 17,500 square miles of territory in both Iraq and Syria. As of 12/21, the U.S. military estimates the remaining 1,000 or so fighters occupy roughly 1,900 square miles….”
And in a Pentagon briefing the same day, British Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, representing the U.S.-led “Coalition,” said that U.S. forces would no longer operate in areas of Syria controlled by the Damascus government. “We will continue to deconflict with the Russians, but we have got no intention to operate in areas that are currently held by the regime,” Gedney said, according to Reuters.
New Silk Road Is Not Just for Transport, But for Development
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Larisa Dzhumagalieva, Deputy Chairwoman of the Investment Committee in Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Investment and Development (MID), told a Kazakh TV special on investment perspectives yesterday: “It should be noted that Kazakhstan is the leader in attracting investment in the Central Asian region. Kazakhstan accounts for 70% of investments attracted to Central Asia. At the same time, Central Asia is located on the territory of the Great Silk Road, and we should utilize this opportunity. We are now attracting investors in logistics, infrastructure, and construction of transport and logistics centers on the territory of the Great Silk Road.”
Kazakh TV continued: “According to experts, the New Silk Road is not just a transit-transport project, but a comprehensive plan for the economic development of a number of states, including the republics of the Central Asian region. The transport corridors will facilitate the growth in trade turnover and ensure free movement of investment capital throughout the Eurasian and Central Asian space.”
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
Tillerson Says U.S. Needs To Work with Russia on Syria, But Insists Assad Must Go
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—In an op-ed in the New York Times, entitled “I Am Proud of Our Diplomacy,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. will cooperate with Russia. “While we are on guard against Russian aggression, we recognize the need to work with Russia where mutual interests intersect. Nowhere is that more evident than in Syria. Now that President Vladimir Putin has committed to the United Nations-backed Geneva political process for providing a new future for Syria, we expect Russia to follow through. We are confident that the fulfillment of these talks will produce a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family,” he wrote.
Otherwise he reiterated the administration’s policy on North Korea, especially regarding new sanctions and China’s role in putting pressure on Pyongyang as well. Tillerson wrote: “China has applied certain import bans and sanctions, but it could and should do more. We will also continue to pursue American interests in other areas of our relationship, including trade imbalances, intellectual property theft and China’s troubling military activities in the South China Sea and elsewhere. China’s rise as an economic and military power requires Washington and Beijing to consider carefully how to manage our relationship for the next 50 years.”
Lastly on Iran, he wrote that the “flawed Iran nuclear deal is no longer the focal point of our policy toward Iran” but now entails “confronting the totality of Iranian threats.” He said: “We will continue to work with our allies and with Congress to explore options for addressing the nuclear deal’s many flaws, while building a like-minded effort to punish Iran for its violations of ballistic missile commitments and its destabilizing activities in the region.”
Associate of Senator McCain Subpoenaed over Dodgy Dossier
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—David Kramer, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and currently a senior fellow at the McCain Institute, was subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA). According to Fox News, the committee is seeking to obtain information about Kramer’s meeting with Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent author of the dodgy dossier against Trump.
The committee told Fox News that Kramer visited Steele in London in November 2016, where he reportedly received information and a copy of the dossier, which he delivered to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) upon returning home. The Senator gave the dossier to the FBI in December 2016.
Kramer already spoke to investigators in early December and, according to the report, has been ordered to appear before the committee once again on Jan. 11. Some accounts say that Kramer was given the names of Steele’s “Russian sources,” and the Committee wants them.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Five Offshore Havens Are among the Top Ten in Foreign Direct Investment in Europe
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—At least one-third of financial capital coming into Europe is purely speculative and goes through the EU’s own tax havens, such as Luxembourg. Five offshore centers are among the top ten countries for foreign direct investments (FDI) in the EU. First is the United States with 38.1%; second is Switzerland with 12.2%; third is Bermuda with 10.3%. Among the top ten are also Jersey, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, and the British Virgin Islands. Altogether, those tax havens make one-third of the total FDI, with €1,838 billions.
China is only ninth, with a tiny 2.2% (less than Gibraltar, population 34,408, with 2.7%). But whereas China’s investments are real, all others are of a financial nature or fictional, writes the Italian daily Avvenire.
In fact, that €1.8 trillion goes to Luxembourg (€775 billion); Netherlands (€573 billion); U.K. (€192 billion); and Ireland (€156 billion). These countries are all tax havens and have prevented the European Council from drafting a black list of tax havens. And Luxembourg’s Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is crusading against Chinese FDI.
India’s State-Owned Banks Are Staggering under Bad Debts
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Bad loans in India’s state-owned banks have reached an alarming level and last October, the Modi government pledged 2.11 trillion rupees ($32 billion) in capital for the country’s beleaguered state banks. The government will sell 1.35 trillion rupees of recapitalization bonds, while banks will raise another 760 billion rupees through budgetary support and from the markets, according to the plan, Bloomberg reported earlier. “This was to help these banks resolve bad loans, clean up their balance sheets and to comply with Basel III capital adequacy standards, which kick in from March 2019,” Asia Times wrote.
The bad debts, or the non-performing assets (NPAs) in India’s state-owned banks are a legacy of the past when, under pressure from politicians, these banks handed out money to investors who were not adequately vetted. Billions of dollars were owed by these investors who have gone under over the years. Soured debt is now the highest since 2000, hampering the credit expansion needed to spur Asia’s third-largest economy. “These bad loans have created two problems. They have rendered banks short of capital and reduced banks’ capacity to lend for large long-term projects,” Asia Times reported today.
The weakened state-owned banks have hampered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to provide more money to investors and create jobs for the millions of youths entering the job market every year. It has also created a gulf between India’s healthy private banks and its fragile state-owned lenders, sparking concerns that the swelling pile of bad debt is straining government-controlled banks and preventing them from growing, a report by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, warned back in 2015.
Privately-owned banks, which account for about a third of the Indian banking sector’s assets, are showing faster credit and deposit growth, steady profitability and a lower share of bad loans on their balance sheets, said the report, authored by regulators at the Reserve Bank of India, the Wall Street Journal reported.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Ukraine Prisoner Exchange Brings Hope
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—The success of Ukraine’s largest-ever prisoner exchange yesterday, in time for New Year’s and Orthodox Christmas Jan. 7, despite many problems, has brought hope for a rapid exchange of all remaining prisoners, as called for by the Minsk Accords, and for a final resolution of the Ukraine tragedy which was triggered by Barack Obama and then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in 2013-14. The swap took place at the contact line near Gorlovka. Kiev released 233 prisoners and the Donbas republics 73.
Despite serious charges of bad faith by Donbas representatives against Kiev, the fact the exchange came off at all is sparking optimism about settlement of the conflict overall. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Yuri Grymchak said that another prisoner exchange could take place within a couple of months. “We have such a hope,” he said in an interview with the 112 TV channel. Grymchak stated that Kiev has information about 100 people are kept in Donbas. “But we cannot confirm all of them. The key task is to find these people in the non-controlled territories,” he said. Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement and Kiev’s representative to the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group, said that all the prisoners in Donbas will be released during stage two of the current prisoner exchange, when the “all for all” formula is applied as stipulated by the Minsk Accords.
Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, told TASS that the exchange can be a step towards a real settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. “Of course, this is a very serious step, all the more so because church representatives took part in preparing it,” he said. (The final agreement was mediated by Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill at a monastery north of Moscow.) “This makes it possible to bring people closer to each other at the mental and spiritual level. As for the prospects for further settlement, of course, this step makes it closer.” According to Kalashnikov, “both amnesty and ‘all for all’ exchanges are possible after that, as well as the necessary legislative decisions within the framework of the Minsk agreements…. If we continue to move along this path, the situation will be resolved. These steps contribute to that,” he said.
Japan Deployment of U.S.-Made Aegis Missile Will Affect Tokyo’s Relations with Moscow
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Speaking at her weekly briefing in Moscow today, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the deployment of U.S.-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems in Japan will affect ties between Moscow and Tokyo, including a dialogue on a peace treaty, TASS reported.
Japan’s Cabinet on Dec. 19 approved a plan to purchase two Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense systems to add to Japan’s current two-step missile defense consisting of Patriot Advanced Capability-batteries and Aegis-equipped destroyers. The government explained its decision pointing to the need to drastically improve “our ballistic missile defense capability to protect Japan continuously and sustainably,” an article for the Center for Global Research noted.
As reported by the Japan Times, Zakharova warned that “actions like these are in direct contradiction to the priority of building military and political trust between Russia and Japan, and, unfortunately, will impact in a negative way the whole atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations over the peace treaty problem.” Japan and Russia have not concluded a peace treaty since the end of World War II.
President Putin Declares St. Petersburg Explosion a Terrorist Attack
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—President Vladimir Putin declared today that the Dec. 27 explosion in St. Petersburg that wounded 13 people was a terror attack. “A terror attack was committed in St. Petersburg yesterday. The Federal Security Service recently thwarted another attempted terror attack,” Putin said at a meeting with the military personnel who took part in the operation in Syria, reported TASS.
President Putin noted that he “instructed the director of the Federal Security Service to act within the law, only the law, … when detaining these terrorists.” However, he continued, “if there is a threat to the lives and health of our employees, our officers, to act decisively, not to capture anyone and eliminate gunmen on the spot,” the President stressed.
The explosive device stuffed with shrapnel was detonated in the Gigant-Hall entertainment center on the first floor, near self-storage lockers of the Perekrestok supermarket.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Power Minister: All Indian Homes To Get Uninterrupted Electricity by March 2019
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Addressing the Indian Parliament today, Power Minister R.K. Singh promised that by March 2019, all Indian homes will be provided a 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply. He said 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connections by December 2018, and works in this regard are underway, Press Trust of India reported. He said 1.75 trillion rupees (about $28 billion) are being spent to improve the power infrastructure across the country.
Addressing the Conference of Power and Energy Ministers of States/Union Territories in early December, R.K. Singh said power is at the core of the economic growth of the country. He explained that “without power there can be no development. We are on our way towards becoming a developed country and power reforms are a top priority. Industrialization and job creation is not possible without affordable and quality power for all. We are about to add 40 million new consumers by December 2018, and [with] expected economic growth of 8-9% in the next five years, power demand would increase manifold. Further, electricity will edge out other forms of energy in the coming future as it is more efficient and easy to transport.”
India will be up for general elections in May 2019, and if Singh fails to deliver on his promises, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with Modi as the Prime Minister, will face a daunting task in its re-election campaign.
EIR’s Report on DOJ Role in ‘Lava Jato’ Explodes in Brazil
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—The publication by El Clarín de Chile on Dec. 20 of EIR’s Spanish-language press release on “The Team Running the Coup against Trump Is Running the ‘Lava Jato’ Strikeforce Destroying Brazil, Ibero-America,” has set off a political storm in Brazil, after it was translated into Portuguese and published two days later by one of Brazil’s leading leftist websites, Carta Maior.
Until EIR published that release, no one in Brazil had taken note of the publicly available speech given in July 2017 by then-head of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, Kenneth Blanco, in which he held up the conviction in Brazuil of former Brazilian President Lula da Silva on anti-corruption charges as the leading success of the DOJ’s role in running the “Lava Jato” (Operation Car Wash) which has been bringing down nationalist leaders and executing regime changes across Ibero-America. The case against Lula is particularly flimsy, baldly fabricated in order to prevent him from running for President in the 2018 elections, in which he is leading the polls, and send him to jail instead.
El Clarín de Chile was the leading newspaper in Chile before the 1973 Pinochet coup, and is today published by the President Allende Foundation. It published EIR’s release exactly as issued, and credited it to Executive Intelligence Review. Not so Brazil’s Carta Maior, which changed the headline to take out the reference to the coup against Trump, and credited its note to El Clarín de Chile, dropping all reference to EIR. But the rest of the release was left unchanged, identifying the role of DOJ attorney and member of Robert Mueller’s hit squad Andrew Weissmann in the corrupt coup drive against President Trump, and delivering the message that “with Mueller’s entire assault against the U.S. Presidency now rapidly unravelling, with more and more members of his team being exposed for corrupt and illegal actions, it is certain that their Ibero-American ‘Lava Jato’ operation will also follow them down—and possibly into jail, where they belong.”
Carta Maior’s version has been republished by other major Brazilian websites read by nationalist and leftist circles opposing the takedown of Brazil that is now underway, and some other blogs posted links to the Atlantic Council event where Blanco delivered the speech, thus assuring that it is being read widely, including by both Lula’s and former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s defense and political campaign teams.
Editor’s Note: As usual, we will skip the EIR Daily Alert issue for Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.