EIR Daily Alert Service, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018

EDITORIAL

Resolved for the New Year: Out with Geopolitics!

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—As of the first week of 2018, the priority of the New Year is clear: dump geopolitics, and make way for a new era of development relations between nations, and for domestic economic good as well.

At present in the United States, the Russia-gate/Trump-gate operation is in increasing trouble, from its goal of bringing down the Presidency, in order to prevent President Trump’s beneficial collaboration with Russia and China. On Wednesday, Jan. 3, the FBI and Department of Justice are under orders from the House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, to provide records pertaining to the 2016 anti-Trump dossier crafted by British intelligence, which documents were withheld and lied about in 2017.

Trump himself remains on the offensive. He tweeted at predawn today, raising questions about guilt and jail for James Comey (FBI Director Sept. 4, 2013 to May 9, 2017, when he was fired); and called out the FBI’s favoritism to “crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin,” who violated security protocols when she transferred classified e-mails to her husband’s computer. He said, “Deep State Justice Department must finally act” against the trio.

But there is no room for complacency. Trump advisor Roger Stone rightly pointed out this week in an interview, that there are three scenarios in play against Trump and the nation. The enemy’s Plan A is Russia-gate; Stone sees this as being in trouble. Plan B is to activate removing Trump by the 25th Amendment; Stone sees the persistent attacks on Trump as “unfit,” as serving this option. Finally, Plan C is assassination. Recall, this is basically the same perspective put out on Trump a year ago, by the London crowd in The Spectator (“Will Donald Trump Be Assassinated, Ousted in a Coup or Just Impeached?” Jan. 21, 2017.) Stone refers to individuals in this camp, including inside Trump’s own Administration, as “globalist insiders.”

This is the context for comprehending the battle we have in apparent “economic” policy matters. It’s all the same fight as geopolitics. The “Wall Street”/London element in Washington, D.C., epitomized by Steven Mnuchin and others in the Trump Administration, is pushing the line that, things are great in the U.S. economy. Why? They say, “the stock market is up; all can get rich; the deficit will be cut,” etc. And Trump must go along for the ride. He must just “talk” about infrastructure, and forget about jobs, reality, and his campaign pledges. Today Trump is meeting on infrastructure at the White House with Gary Cohn, Director of the White House National Economic Council, and formerly head of Goldman Sachs.

To bust through this controlled environment, hard copy of the LaRouchePAC pamphlet, “LaRouche’s Four Laws; The Physical Economic Principles for the Recovery of the United States—America’s Future on the New Silk Road,” will be delivered to all 100 offices of the Senate on Jan. 4, by volunteer teams. Next week, it will likewise go to the House of Representatives. Along with e-availability of the report—whose first version was posted in Spring 2017, this new initiative puts forward the only way to really act on “infrastructure”—with Glass-Steagall/Hamiltonian banking and credit reorganization, and a commitment to science.

Look at a successful instance of foreign policy for infrastructure in Africa. On New Year’s Day was the celebration of the official opening of commercial operations on the new electrified railway, running 756 km from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first and longest such cross-border rail line in Africa, it was built by firms from China, whose Ambassador to Ethiopia called it yesterday, a “railway of friendship.”

All this stands in contrast to the latest, dangerous breakout of geopolitics, centered on the push for destabilization and regime-change in Iran. Listen to the BBC for the London “script” on human rights abuse charges against the Iranian government over treatment of protesters. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is now following the script to the letter, mooting action by the United Nations, amidst a chorus of other wild threats and accusations against Iran.

The source of this geopolitics will be discussed at a special LaRouchePAC event in New York City Jan. 5, titled, “End the Coup, Stop the Next War, Build the World Land-Bridge.” The panelists are William Binney and Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS,) and Barbara Boyd, author of the LaRouchePAC pamphlet, “Robert Mueller Is An Amoral Legal Assassin; He Will Do His Job If You Let Him.”

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Roger Stone Warns of Assassination Threat to President Trump

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the New American magazine, quoted by the Daily Caller Jan. 1, Trump friend and collaborator Roger Stone warned that the “globalist cabal” which hates the President will stop at nothing to remove him, including assassination if all else fails.

“It’s easy to forget that the shocking upset that Donald Trump pulled off has never been forgotten or acknowledged by the globalist cabal that has really infected both of our major parties,” Stone explained. And, he continued, “it’s easy to misread the deep enmity and hatred that the globalists and the insiders have for the President and to underestimate their resolve to remove him.” Trump, he said, is a real “anti-establishment figure,” whose independence and rejection of the status-quo “terrifies the elites.”

Stone describes a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C which the “Deep State” has devised to deal with the President. Plan A is to bring him down through the investigation run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That seems to be falling apart, however, Stone pointed out, so Plan B will entail efforts to portray Trump as mentally unfit to serve and invoke the 25th Amendment. Hence, the uptick in “Trump is crazy talk.”

He cautioned that there are some very senior Administration officials who would throw Trump under the bus if given the opportunity. There are “globalist insiders” in the cabinet who would readily “stick a dagger in his heart.” For one reason or another, Stone said, individuals “who do not share the President’s vision of reform, and are not loyal to him” got into the cabinet, naming former Chief of Staff Rence Priebus and current National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster as two examples of the problem.

Stone doesn’t mention the case of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who tells Trump it’s a good idea to keep Wall Street happy and assume that the stock market is a measure of economic wellbeing. So Mnuchin is given free rein, despite the real suffering his policies cause to the American people. Moreover, there’s little news on the progress of deals which Trump signed in China. Are they moving forward?

Trump Demands ‘Deep State Justice Department’ Prosecute Comey, Clinton, and Her Aide Abedin

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—In feisty tweets early this morning, President Trump demanded that the “Deep State Justice Department” get to work prosecuting “crooked Hillary,” former FBI Director James Comey, and Huma Abedin, a former aide to Hillary Clinton.

“Crooked Hillary’s top aide Huma Abedin has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put classified passwords into the hands of foreign agents,” Trump tweeted. His tweets followed the State Department’s Dec. 29 release of parts of 2,800 of Abedin’s e-mails that were recovered by the FBI from the laptop belonging to her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner. Some of the emails were marked as classified.

According to the Daily Caller Dec. 31, Abedin had e-mailed State Department passwords accessing government systems to her private Yahoo account, prior to the repeated hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts, thereby putting the information at risk.

After the e-mails were discovered, then-FBI Director Comey announced in October 2016 that he would reopen the investigation into Clinton’s private e-mail server, but then reversed himself two days before the Nov. 8 election, saying that that nothing of significance had been found in the e-mails.

In this morning’s tweets, Trump also asked “Remember sailor’s pictures on submarine?” a reference to a former Navy sailor who was jailed for taking pictures of a nuclear power system when on a submarine. “Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey and others.” The message was that Abedin and Clinton should also be jailed.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Iran Points To Foreign Hand behind Protests, Especially Saudis, and Also Washington

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—In statements issued today, against the backdrop of continuing street protests, top Iranian leaders are pointing to the role of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States in fomenting the protests that are now wracking several cities. The death toll thus far is 22.

President Hassan Rouhani has been careful to acknowledge that there are real economic problems in the country and vowed in an address today to the heads of various parliamentary commissions that he would redouble efforts to resolve unemployment, inflation and air pollution. He particularly pointed out the Saudi role, however, warning that the Saudi Kingdom was angry with Iran’s achievements—especially the 2015 nuclear deal—its success in fighting terrorism and expanded ties with many nations.

Against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s tweets attacking the “brutal and corrupt” Iranian government, and warning that “the U.S. is watching,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, as well as the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, among others, also took aim at the Saudis, the Fars news agency reported.

Shamkhani charged that the Saudis have hired people to provoke Iranians to participate in street protests, by using social media. In an interview with Lebanese pan-Arabic al-Mayadeen news channel, he said that 27% of the hashtags which have been made belong to the Saudis, although backed by the U.S. and Britain. He warned that the Iranian terrorist group Mojahideen-e-Khalq (MEK/MKO) “are tools and infantry units” of the Saudi-led destabilization effort.

In a speech today addressing families of Iranian martyrs, Ayatollah Khamenei warned that Iran’s enemies “have been waiting for an opportunity … to enter and deliver a blow to the Iranian nation,” and have provided “money, weapons, policy and security organizations.” Gen. Ramezan Sharif, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said that “overt and covert support of the U.S., the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia for the rioters and vandals” helped the Iranian people distinguish between “peaceful protesters” and the “foreign-stimulated rioters.”

The foreign ministries of several nations, including Russia, Syria and Turkey, have expressed concern over the situation in Iran, warning against any foreign intervention. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the situation in Iran is an “internal matter” and that any foreign intervention “is totally unacceptable.”

Regime Change Cabal Seeks To Raise Tensions against Iran

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—Those for whom regime change in Iran was already on the agenda, are using events of the past several days to demand it. No big surprise is former Bush U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, who baldly told Fox News “our goal should be regime change in Iran,” and laid out the specific steps by which it could be done. This was in response to the Fox reporter’s question, “Can we use the Iran protest to favor our geopolitical goals?”

President Trump continued with his provocative tweets, this morning praising Iranian individuals for acting against the “brutal and corrupt Iranian regime,” and repeating the charge that Iranians have “little food, big inflation and no human rights.” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi retorted that Trump would do well to concern himself with his own domestic affairs, which include the fact that 43 million people live in poverty, and suffer from hunger and homelessness.

According to the Wall Street Journal today, the Administration is lobbying countries around the world to support Iranian people’s right to peaceful protest, saying it “is prepared to impose fresh sanctions” if protests are harshly repressed.

Vice President Mike Pence added his two cents, praising the “bold and growing resistance of the Iranian people…. We must not and we will not let them down,” the Washington Examiner reported. Various of the Fox News stable also weighed in. In a Fox opinion piece entitled “Trump’s Iran Opportunity—Give the Mullahs a Push,” Hudson Institute historian Arthur Herman argues that “the fate of not only Iran, but peace in the Middle East depends on whether those demonstrators succeed or fail—and that the U.S. can act to help them succeed.”

The Administration’s resident banshee at the UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley, threatened today in an “impromptu video statement” that the U.S. will be calling for an emergency session of the UN Security Council in the coming days, because “the freedoms that are enshrined in the UN Charter are under attack in Iran … the people of Iran are crying out for freedom!” Responding to Iran’s charges that foreign actors are involved in the protests, Haley retorted that they are totally “spontaneous,” but announced that the U.S. intends to “amplify the voices of the Iranian people.”

The BBC offered detailed reports of Haley’s threats, but its New York correspondent pointed out that the UNSC deals with threats to international peace and security, making it unclear whether the U.S. could garner necessary support for such a meeting among UNSC members.

Note that Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein demanded in a statement that Tehran open all closed social media sites, as these are “legitimate avenues for communication,” Fox News reported. “Even though many social media sites have been blocked, Iranians can reach our State Department FB [Facebook] and Twitter sites, which are in Farsi,” through a virtual private network (VPN), he said. He reported that the State Department was sending Arabic speakers to discuss the protests on Arabic television networks in the Middle East. “We want to encourage the protesters to continue to fight for what’s right and to open up Iran,” he explained.

South Korea Proposes for High-Level Meeting with North Korea on Jan. 9

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—South Korea has proposed high-level talks for Jan. 9 with North Korea in response to North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Day speech in which he expressed a willingness to resume inter-Korean dialogue. However, it appears that so far, the South Korean proposal has yet to be answered. “(We) tried to communicate with North Korea at around 4 p.m. through a communication channel in Panmunjom, but North Korea remained unresponsive,” the Unification Ministry said Tuesday, reports the Korea Herald. “We hope that South and North Korea will sit down to discuss the North’s participation in the games and ways to improve inter-Korean ties in a frank manner. The government has a willingness to have dialogue with the North regardless of timing, place and format,” Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a press conference earlier today. “We look forward to candidly discussing interests from both sides face-to-face with North Korea along with the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics,” he was quoted by Reuters. “I repeat, the government is open to talking with North Korea, regardless of time, location and form.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is seeking for the government to move quickly in response to Kim’s openness on inter-Korean dialogue. “I hope the Unification Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Sports will swiftly come up with measures to quickly restore South-North Korean dialogue and realize the North Korean delegation’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics,” Moon said in a Cabinet meeting. “I view Chairman Kim Jong-un’s remarks about sending a North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics and holding government-level dialogue as a response to our proposal to turn the PyeongChang Olympic Games into a groundbreaking chance to improve South-North relations and establish peace,” Moon stressed.

The Trump administration has so far been non-committal on Kim’s opening. “We are in close contact with the R.O.K. (South Korea) about our unified response to North Korea,” Voice of America quoted a State Department official as replying when asked to comment on the address. U.S. President Donald Trump only said “we’ll see,” when asked a similar question yesterday.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

White House Meetings on Infrastructure This Week

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—President Trump’s schedule today included a meeting on infrastructure policy with Gary Cohn, Director of the White House National Economic Council, whose credentials include being former head of Goldman Sachs. Advance coverage by Newsweek and Politico of what is expected from Cohn on Trump’s forthcoming policy, is that Cohn will reiterate platitudinous evasions about how the scheme is supposed to work, of having $1 trillion go into infrastructure over 10 years, with $800 billion coming from states, localities, and PPP deals. The special pitches said to be expected from Cohn are: reduce the time spent on pre-approval of projects (bridges, roads, etc.,) reduce regulations involved, and favor privatization.

Cohn’s advance comments along these lines, reported in Newsweek, include such pronouncements as, “The biggest single thing we can do for infrastructure in this country is we can shorten and improve the approval process.” Do that, and “there is money,” he says.

Meantime, there are expressions of disgust at this cant, and demand for real action. The New Year’s Day edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carried a statement by the editorial board, titled, “Time To Build: Infrastructure Should Top U.S. Agenda in 2018.” Referring to the American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card mark of D+ for U.S. infrastructure, the paper reviewed the “disgraceful” condition of all categories of structures, including such examples as the 11-hour power outage to the Atlanta International Airport recently, exemplifying aged electrical systems. “Infrastructure investment was a priority for Mr. Trump during the campaign season.”

Trump on Jan. 4 is to meet with Republican Congressional leaders at the White House, with Marc Short, his legislative liaison.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Japan Seeks Cooperation with China in Four Major African Development Projects

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—As reported in Yomiuri Shimbun, the government of Japan will ask China to join in Japan’s development projects in Africa. This is a substantial shift in Japan’s traditional practice to only fund Japanese projects abroad. (It would fit Europe as well to also begin such kind of cooperation with China and Japan in African projects. So far, Europe has been more than reluctant to do so.)

The four projects Tokyo is considering for Chinese participation are: the “Growth Ring” plan to link West African nations via major roadways; development and improvement of roads and bridges in Kenya; development and improvement of the “International Corridor” road that connects cities in Cameroon and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville); and road improvement in Rwanda.

The “Growth Ring” project is a 3,200 km road running in a huge loop from north to south, linking Burkina Faso with Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo, and the 1,000 km road stretching east to west, connecting five countries from Nigeria to Ivory Coast. The project is expected to create a new economic bloc by connecting Nigeria, which has a relatively large economy, with other countries in the region. The Japanese government has decided to provide a sizable amount in loans and grants, and will announce concrete plans during January.

Improving Kenya’s transportation system is part of the Japanese development assistance for Mombasa Port, which serves as an international trade hub in the eastern region of the continent. Japan has dominated the work for the port’s development project, but now hopes to divide responsibilities with China on the ¥59 billion project to develop and improve a road and a bridge connecting the port with the adjacent area.

For the “International Corridor” project and the road work in Rwanda, Japan will partially finance them and encourage Chinese entities to take part in the projects.

Africa is expected to see explosive population growth and is deemed to be the last mega-market.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Along the Belt and Road: Ethiopia-Djibouti Railroad Officially Opens to Much Enthusiasm

Jan. 2 (EIRNS)—The Ethiopia-Djibouti railroad officially began commercial operations yesterday. Built by the China Rail Engineering Corporation and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation with a $4 billion investment, the 750 km electrified rail line connects landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti and is seen as a crucial contribution to the development of both nations, promoting their economic integration as well, Xinhua reported.

During yesterday’s inaugural ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Ahmed Shide hailed the project as a milestone of China-Africa cooperation. It will have major positive impact on the efforts to build a new Ethiopia, he proudly stated.

China’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian emphasized that the project would contribute to the industrialization and diversification of Ethiopia’s economy. “This is the first trans-border and longest electrified railway on the African continent,” he said. “We, the Chinese, see this an early beneficial product of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is regarded by many as a lifeline project … for Ethiopia and for Djibouti. And we see this as a railway of development; as a railway of cooperation, and as a railway of friendship.”

Djibouti’s Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah said that the rail line “is an important corridor … we are working for economic integration between our two countries.”

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