Global Policy Increasingly Shaped by China’s New Silk Road: Time for U.S. To Join
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—If President Donald Trump can be liberated from the constraints of the British intelligence-directed Russiagate fraud, then he will be free to follow through on his positive inclinations, and begin to address the real problems in the world in cooperation with Russia and China—such as nuclear disarmament, rebuilding the Middle East, and solving the North Korean and Ukrainian crises. This was the message delivered today by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her weekly international webcast. Finally dismantling Russiagate would be a political “earthquake,” domestically and internationally, she intoned.
Why? Because all the above-mentioned issues “are touched by that relationship between the United States and Russia in particular.” The operations against President Trump “have worldwide implications! This is a question of potentially World War III or not.”
Zepp-LaRouche commented that Trump’s Jan. 30 State of the Union address “was not bad … domestically he definitely touched on a sense of optimism.” The fact that the Democrats are hysterical indicates he’s on the right track. However, he didn’t say what he should have said, in terms of the Four Laws put forward by Lyndon LaRouche—Glass-Steagall, and a new Hamiltonian credit system or address the looming financial blowout. But, she went on, “we don’t give up hope that that may still come, because, after all, if you remember, when my husband in 1983 had campaigned for what became the Strategic Defense Initiative, this was not mentioned by President Reagan in the State of the Union address; but then, on the 23rd of March, Reagan publicly announced the Strategic Defense Initiative.” So the hope is that when Trump eventually comes to the issue of how to finance the infrastructure he has proposed, “he will come back to his promise from the election campaign to implement Glass-Steagall.” Thus there are reasons for optimism. Trump is moving in the right direction.
The speed with which the Russiagate operation is falling apart is very significant, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized, as seen by events this past week, in which Republican legislators are zeroing in on the infamous dirty dossier prepared by British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, and on the Democratic Party figures who colluded with him to ensure it would be used to go after the President. The four-page memo prepared by the House Intelligence Committee, documenting corruption and criminal misdeeds at the highest levels of the FBI and Justice Department is likely going to be released by tomorrow.
Zepp-LaRouche observed, “I think there is a lot of fury: You have people warning that the outcome of [Russiagate] will decide the fate of the United States.” On the other hand, the House Intelligence Committee memo “can really be an earthquake…. If what seems to be in this memo becomes public, I think it will change not only the situation in the United States but also it will have an earthquake effect internationally.”
But there is another dimension to the Robert Mueller case, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized. It was Mueller who ran the “Get LaRouche” task force in the 1980s and was responsible for the unjust jailing of Lyndon LaRouche and his associates. And it wasn’t just that LaRouche’s five-year jailing was unjust, she stated, “but that the American people were deprived of his ideas and his solutions, and I think that caused the suffering of the entire American people. If my husband would not have been prosecuted by such people as Robert Mueller” and he could have instead promoted his policies more successfully as a result, the United States would probably not be in its current condition. “You wouldn’t have the kind of drug epidemics, you wouldn’t have the kind of economic problems, so the crime was really committed against the American people.”
Were Trump to be freed from the Russiagate straitjacket, the possibilities are endless, Zepp-LaRouche said. The advances on the Silk Road are “breathtaking” with new infrastructure projects being announced on a daily basis in Africa, Latin America and in more European countries. The Chinese are building a high-speed rail line between Oslo and Stockholm, which is very good, she pointed out “because once this becomes a pattern, that the Chinese are building high-speed railroads in Europe, I think it will catch on.” She offered the example of the debacle in Germany where it took 26 years to complete the first 550 km. high-speed connection between Berlin and Munich. The high-speed train system between Beijing and Shanghai, more than 1,300 km. took only four years!
“This shows you what the difference really is, and how the New Paradigm of the New Silk Road functions very concretely. It is just something which is absolutely doable, but it requires a certain intention to get the result and then you get it. Where that intention is not there,” then you get what happened in Germany which is becoming the laughingstock of the world.
Mrs. LaRouche noted that President Trump has repeatedly expressed that it would be far better for the world if Russia and the U.S. had a more positive relationship. “And I think that is absolutely true, because then you could deepen the sporadic cooperation which we saw in the case of Syria, and we also saw in the background of the Korea situation, and you could also then hopefully start to address the Ukraine problem, which is right now still a very dangerous one.” There are thousands of reasons for such cooperation, “and I think anybody who has a sense of world peace” should understand that Trump, in that sense, is a gift from Heaven, “if you compare it with Hillary Clinton, Obama and with Bush before that.”
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Japan and South Korea Take Steps To Improve Relations
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—Japan and South Korea are taking concrete steps to improve relations, parallel to similar efforts taking place between Japan and China, and between China and South Korea. Cooperation among the three powerful nations of East Asia, in the context of the Belt and Road, will vastly improve the means for a peaceful solution to the Korea crisis, and facilitate cooperative expansion of the Silk Road internationally.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and has arranged to meet with President Moon Jae-in on the morning of the Opening Ceremonies, Feb. 9. There is anger in Japan over the fact that a task force created by Moon concluded in December 2017 that the 2015 agreement over the World War II Korean “Comfort Women” was flawed. However, on Jan. 9 Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha assured Japan that Seoul would not call for the agreement to be renegotiated. Hopefully, the Abe-Moon summit will be able to address other issues of positive cooperation.
Also in Japan, Yomiuri Shimbun reported today that Japan and China are likely to restart their education and training exchanges for defense officials in September, after a six-year hiatus, as another result of Foreign Ministers Taro Kono and Wang Yi’s meeting last weekend in Beijing. China stopped the military exchanges when Japan nationalized the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in September 2012. Japan will now make arrangements with China for Chinese trainees to attend a 10-month program in Japan.
State visits by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are also being planned.
Kazakh President Nazarbayev Succeeds in Getting U.S. Investment into the Silk Road
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—During his Jan. 16 visit to Washington, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev succeeded in signing 20 commercial contracts worth $7.5 billion, at a business roundtable with U.S. companies. Agriculture, where Kazakhstan’s trade with China is growing, is one of three areas of Kazakh-U.S. collaboration named in a joint press statement. Kazakh produce travels into China through railroads and inland “ports,” built as part of the massive regional development program Beijing launched five years ago, CNBC reported.
Now that China has built a railroad linking China’s east coast to Kazakhstan, China is looking at Kazakhstan more favorably for investment. Overall, Kazakhstan exported 150,300 metric tons of oilseeds to China in the marketing year ended July 2017, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, citing industry sources.
In addition, Silk Road development has increased Kazakhstan’s railroad-related equipment requirement. General Electric subsidiary GE Transportation has worked in the country since the 1990s, and announced on Jan. 17 that it had signed two contracts with Kazakhstan’s state-run railroad Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, or KTZ.
“The deals are worth more than $900 million, according to a release, and include the delivery of 300 ‘shunter’ locomotives and an 18-year service agreement for 175 passenger Evolution Series locomotives,” CNBC reported. “Our new agreements with KTZ reflect our ongoing commitment to partner with Kazakhstan to build a world-class rail industry that serves the region and beyond,” said Rafael Santana, CEO of GE Transportation.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
The Gadarene Faction Is Not Long for This World
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—The whole British Empire gang in the United States is shrieking and howling so piteously against the release of California Rep. Devin Nunes’s House Intelligence Committee four-page memo, that they have already ensured that a large part of the English-speaking population of the entire world, will avidly read and reread that memo the first moment it becomes available, which could be Friday, Feb. 2.
Washington Post “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin launched her column this morning by breathlessly informing her readers that “Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is endangering our country.”
The Post had also reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray had gone to the White House Monday Jan. 29, for a last-gasp appeal against publishing it. But the next evening, right after his State of the Union address, President Trump told an inquiring Congressman that it would be published “100%.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the FBI released a rare public statement, which concluded that “we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
Rep. Nunes answered,
“Having stonewalled Congress’s demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies. The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses. Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”
Watermelon-headed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claims that the memo was “secretly altered” by Republicans after the committee had voted along party lines to release it. But Nunes spokesman Jack Langer replied that, “In its increasingly strange attempt to thwart publication of the memo, the Committee Minority is now complaining about minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves.”
The group of Anglophile extremists who have temporarily taken over the Democratic Party, are madly rushing to their own self-destruction worse than Hillary Clinton did in her self-doomed Presidential campaign. They are about to leave a policy vacuum which only LaRouche’s forces can and must fill.
Russian Intelligence Chiefs Meet with CIA’s Pompeo and DNI Dan Coats
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—Last week, the heads of Russia’s three intelligence services, the FSB, SVR, and GRU, were in Washington for meetings with their counterparts—CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats, and “other U.S. intelligence officials,” according to National Public Radio (NPR). A Moscow-based senior U.S. intelligence official was also called back to Washington to participate in the meetings, the Washington Postreported today.
Sergey Naryshkin, head of the Russian foreign intelligence service, SVR, and Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, met with Pompeo and Coats to discuss matters of mutual interest—counterterrorism, aviation security, and preventing foreign fighters from returning to both nations, among other things. There is no confirmation as to which meetings the GRU director participated in.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has gone ballistic over the fact that these meetings occurred at all, screaming in a Jan. 29 press conference, and then in a letter to Coats, that the meetings are “suspicious,” and demanding to know why individuals who are subject to sanctions were allowed to just “waltz through our front door,” referring to Naryshkin. The timing of these meetings, he raved, probably had something to do with President Trump’s decision not to impose new sanctions on Russia, per the CAATSA act.
In a letter to the Minority Leader dated today, Pompeo calmly, but sharply, put the hysterical Schumer in his place, referencing the latter’s suggestion that “there was something untoward in officials from Russian intelligence services meeting their U.S. counterparts.” On the contrary, Pompeo wrote, “we periodically meet with our Russian counterparts for the same reason our predecessors did—to keep Americans safe. While Russia remains an adversary, we would put American lives at greater risk if we ignored opportunities to work with the Russian services in the fight against terrorism.” He went on to say he was very proud of that counterterror cooperation, “including CIA’s role with its Russian counterparts in the recent disruption of a terrorist plot targeting St. Petersburg, Russia—a plot that could have killed Americans….”
He also explained that when these meetings take place, “you and the American people should rest assured that we cover very difficult subjects in which American and Russian interests do not align. Neither side is bashful about raising concerns relating to our intelligence relationships and the interests of our respective nations.” Security cooperation between the U.S. and Russian intelligence agencies, Pompeo concluded, “has occurred under multiple administrations. I am confident that you would support CIA continuing these engagements that are aimed at protecting the American people.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Another British Outsourcing Firm on Verge of Collapse
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)— Carillion, a British construction firm with huge government contracts, went bust two weeks ago. Now Capita, a conglomerate that is deeply involved in providing government services, is on the verge of collapse, not only showing that privatization of government services has proven to be a failure, but also with possible broader ramifications for the financial system. Something is really rotten in London.
Earlier this week, Capita announced in a profit warning that its profits would be halved. Ten hours later, more than £1 billion of its stock value had been wiped out. This has sparked fears of job losses, and forced the government to play down the threat of another collapse only two weeks after that of Carillion. Carillion employed more than 20,000 workers in the U.K., but Capita employs 50,000. Capita is a conglomerate with dozens of subsidiaries in unrelated sectors. It has been buying up other companies in the recent period—which usually means it is in trouble, and buying other companies makes its books look better than they are. According to the Guardian, Capita’s major contracts range from collecting the BBC license fee, to electronic tagging of prisoners.
“Broadly we monitor the financial health of all our strategic suppliers, including Capita, and we are in regular discussions with them regarding their financial position,” said Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman. “And to emphasize we do not believe that any of our strategic suppliers including Capita are in a comparable position to Carillion.”
It seems the markets did not believe him, as Capita’s shares plunged 47.5%. Now the company is trying to raise £700 million to shore up its balance sheet, and has axed its dividend.
While some of the most systemically-risky banks have sold their shares of Capita, the Work and Pensions Committee on Jan. 31 wrote to former investors in Carillion and HM Revenue & Customs as part its inquiry. They asked former shareholders, including major financial institutions BlackRock, UBS and Deutsche Bank, for opinions on how the company was run, and why they chose to sell shares when they did. The latter two banks lost hundreds of millions of pounds in loans that were defaulted on by Carillion two weeks ago.
ECB Plans ‘Super-Junk Bond’
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—The ECB’s European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) High Level Task Force on Safe Assets, led by Central Bank of Ireland Governor Philip Lane, is proposing to securitize Eurozone sovereign debt into sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS). Sovereign bonds would be bought by a Special Purpose Vehicle according to GDP and not to debt, and packaged into SBBS according to three categories: senior, mezzanine and junior (from lower to higher risk) and sold to the market … from the front door. The ECB would then buy them from the back door, through its Assets Purchase Program.
The idea has been welcomed by the City of London and criticized by many in Germany. Free Democratic Party deputy faction leader in the Bundestag Christian Dürr called on Christian Democrats (CDU-CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) to “act on the basis of reason and reject it as quickly as possible.” Such a “super-bond” would be a government-sponsored edition of the asset-backed securities that led to the financial crisis, Dürr said. “Although they have another name, they are still what their kernel is: junk bonds. This would be not only the first step into the debt-union, but also a high risk for the Eurozone.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Explorer 1 Satellite Opened the Age of Space Science, 60 Years Ago
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—When the Explorer 1 satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Jan. 31, 1958, to the American public (and its politicians) the United States had regained its self-confidence, a month after witnessing the spectacular explosion of the Vanguard rocket. But to the scientific community, the Explorer 1 satellite, with the instruments aboard to reveal the characteristics of the near-Earth space environment, would open the age of space science.
Renowned physicist James Van Allen led a team at the University of Iowa, which developed the instruments to detect cosmic rays, the high-energy particles originating beyond the Solar System. But the Geiger counter detected levels of radiation that far exceeded what would be expected from cosmic rays alone. Explorer 1 had discovered two concentric rings of high-energy particles circling the Earth, originating from the Sun. They were later named the Van Allen Belts for their discoverer.
On the 60th anniversary of the Explorer 1 launch, the National Academy of Science held a symposium, to review past and current studies of the physics of Van Allen’s radiation belts, and future directions for research. Following a review of the historic discovery, which NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen described as “a new part of nature that was something beautiful,” there was a presentation of the less-known Soviet research in radiation belt physics. As the Russian scientist who was scheduled to give a presentation was not granted a visa, the Soviet and Russian space physics programs were reviewed by a Russian-born NASA scientist.
The most exciting scientific presentations were made by three younger women, covering current missions and future frontiers in radiation belt research. As many questions remain unanswered, in 2012, NASA launched the twin Van Allen probes, to study the behavior of particles in the belts. One of its discoveries, for which there is not yet an explanation, is the existence of a third belt, which is transitory.
Other nations are also participating in what was a described as a “geospace observatory fleet” of orbiters, to advance the study of the interaction of the Sun with the Earth.
Russia’s Latest Two Nuclear Reactors Are Ready for Startup
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—Two more nuclear power plants in Russia are now getting ready for operation, Power magazine reported today. Rosatom brought Rostov-4, located near Volgodonsk in southern Russia, to criticality in December 2017, and in the same month completed fuel loading of the first unit of the second-phase Leningrad plant in northwest Russia. Leningrad Phase I has four plants. These two new reactors, the 36th and 37th, when connected to the grid, will bring Russia’s nuclear power generation capacity to more than 27,000GW, providing more than 18% of Russia’s total electrical power generation.
Rostov-4 will be the last of the VVER-1000 reactors planned. Russia has already begun the building next generations of pressurized water reactors. Five other nuclear plants are under construction in Russia. Three—Novovoronezh NPP-II 2 and Leningrad NPP-II 1 and 2—will use the third-generation VVER-1200 reactor design, while the other two—Kursk NPP-II Units 1 and 2—will use yet another evolution, VVER-TOI.
VVER-TOI is a new Generation III reactor with special emphasis on safety. It is a two-unit nuclear power plant. It would use VVER-1300/510 water pressurized reactors constructed to meet modern nuclear and radiation safety requirements.
Modi Budget Promises Free Health Care for 100 Million Indian Families
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—In what is the last annual budget of the Narendra Modi government before India goes for parliamentary elections in 2019, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented a sweeping plan to give 100 million Indian families free access to health care. He pointed out that this is the first firm step towards setting up universal health care in India. The health-care plan, as revealed by Jaitley, would offer 100 million families up to 500,000 rupees, or about $7,860, in coverage each year.
That amount, while small by Western standards, would be enough to cover the equivalent of five heart surgeries in India. Officials did not outline eligibility requirements, and many details of the program have yet to be finalized, The Hindu noted.
Addressing the initiative, Modi tweeted in Hindi: “In poor people’s lives, one big worry is how to treat illness. The new program will free poor people from this big worry.”
Syrian National Dialogue Congress Sets Stage for Progress in Peace Negotiations
Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—The success of this week’s three-day Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russia, will have far-reaching implications. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, during her regular briefing yesterday, stated that the Dialogue came off despite predictions that it would fail, and despite the “numerous negative events” in the runup to the Congress. “We hope that the decisions adopted in Sochi will become an asset of the intra-Syrian negotiating process under UN auspices in Geneva and at other locations, to facilitate the Syrian peace process involving Syrian parties, primarily the Astana format,” she said. She also said that among the 53 foreign observers accredited to the conference, were representatives from the U.S., U.K. and French embassies in Moscow—contrary to earlier reports which had denied there would be a U.S. observer mission.
Alexander Lavrentyev, the Russian special envoy for Syria, observed that despite the Riyadh-based Syrian Opposition Negotiation Commission’s “decision” not to go, 11 members of the SNC were present as individual delegates, rather than as members of the SNC. “I hope that gradually, more and more members of the armed opposition realize the need of taking part in an intra-Syrian dialogue, and become motivated to end hostilities and engage in dialogue.” Lavrentyev stressed that Russia is not operating on the principle that if someone didn’t go to the Congress, they no longer have a right to participate in the settlement process, including in the future committee to negotiate a new Syrian Constitution. “Too many people are afraid of expressing their real point of view, sometimes because they fear for their lives. Sometimes they publicly refuse to attend an event, but deep inside they are willing to take part. We give them this chance—the chance of further participation in the settlement process,” he explained.
Lavrentyev also said that some of the moderate opposition groups that attended brought “interesting ideas” to the Congress. “I think that members of those groups have a political future in Syria,” he said. He apparently didn’t specify which groups he was talking about, but TASS reports that among the opposition groups in attendance were the Astana platform (led by Randa Kassis), the Moscow platform (led by Qadri Jamil), the Tomorrow of Syria movement (led by Ahmad al-Jarba) and the Syrian National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (led by Haytham Manna).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone yesterday on the Sochi congress, and both hailed its success. Russia, Turkey, and Iran are guarantors of the Astana process for Syrian peace.