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EIR Daily Alert Service, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2019

Volume 6, Number 215

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

  • ‘We Are Walking Blindfolded Through a Minefield’
  • Peskov Praises Trump For Baghdadi Raid: Turks, Kurds Take Credit For Providing Intelligence
  • Esper Confirms That U.S. Troops Are in Syrian Oil Fields
  • Lavrov Speech Honors Late Yevgeny Primakov as ‘Outstanding Statesman’
  • Financial Markets in Stress Over New Argentine Government; IMF in ‘Delicate Situation’
  • The Argentine Disaster is Also a Lagarde Legacy
  • Soros Buys Up U.S. Congress in Run-Up to Democrats Impeachment Campaign
  • What the Media Are Covering Up on Trump-AMLO Cooperation Against Drugs
  • House Ready to Vote in Minor Due Process Concessions In Sham Impeachment Charade
  • Dope, Inc.’s Drive to Legalize Drugs in Mexico…& the U.S.
  • Regime Change Drive in Bolivia Creates Chaos, But the Fight is On

EDITORIAL

‘We Are Walking Blindfolded through a Minefield’

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—“The world is spinning out of control,” Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated yesterday in a discussion with associates, “with a full-scale collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system now upon us,” despite the desperate attempts of the Federal Reserve, the ECB and the central banks to put off the inevitable with one last hurrah of quantitative easing and other attempted bailouts. As an Italian analyst put it succinctly in Il Sussidiario on Oct. 25: “We are walking blindfolded through a minefield.”

The minefield is not only financial; it is also political. There is a mass explosion of protests internationally against the bankrupt existing institutions—from Chile, to Lebanon, to Argentina, and even to Italy and Germany, as made evident in the recent elections in those European countries. Under these conditions, Zepp-LaRouche stated, it is ludicrous to think that the Malthusian green financing plans of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, or European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, will work. If you try to “nudge” the population into accepting further fascist austerity—as the behavioral economics crackpots propose—you will only cause a complete explosion.

As the financial and political crisis becomes more virulent, the British Empire’s operation to drive President Donald Trump from office, lest he act against their interests—as he has just done in Syria—is escalating dangerously. The Democratic leadership in Congress has drawn up a Resolution formally launching an impeachment investigation that they will try to ram through this week, despite the fact that a growing majority of the American population is in no mood for this coup. There is a double danger in these developments: It is dangerous to its perpetrators, because it leaves them so thoroughly exposed to popular repudiation; but it is also dangerous to the country and the world, given the stated intent of the British Empire’s advocates to stop at nothing to achieve their goal.

We are facing a breakdown crisis of historic proportions, Zepp-LaRouche added, which is far greater even than the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. But unlike then, an alternative system is in place, which is coming together around China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Such conditions of a crumbling financial system, combined with a growing international revolt against the policies and institutions of that old order, means “we have to bring in the entire spectrum of Lyndon LaRouche’s ideas,” Zepp-LaRouche said. This battle is winnable, she concluded, so long as we succeed in winning back the U.S. and Europe to their own best Classical traditions, which find their highest expression in the life’s work of LaRouche.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Peskov Praises Trump for Baghdadi Raid; Turks, Kurds Take Credit for Providing Intelligence

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—When he first announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. military raid on Oct. 27, President Donald Trump thanked the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq as well as the Syrian Kurds for the support that they gave that made the raid possible. While the Russians were standoffish and even dismissive at first, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that, if confirmed, al-Baghdadi’s death could only be good news. “If this information about al-Baghdadi’s death is indeed confirmed, in general we could speak about the U.S. president’s serious contribution to the fight against international terrorism,” Peskov said, noting that the news about the IS chieftain’s death could not trigger negative response from Russia’s authorities.

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, while not confirming reports that the raid was launched from Iraq, did confirm that the U.S. military “coordinated with appropriate militaries and other organizations in the region through established deconfliction mechanisms.” Given the airspace that the raiders had to fly through to get to their target, the U.S. military clearly had to notify the Russian military in Syria, but also the Turkish military, through those deconfliction lines.

Milley also reported that “Intelligence from numerous organizations throughout the Department of Defense, and across the entire interagency, identified the target location approximately four miles from the Turkish border in Idlib Province of Syria.” Over the last 24 hours, officials in Turkey, and among the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq have also rushed to claim credit for the part that intelligence that they provided played in the successful raid.

Esper Confirms That U.S. Troops Are in Syrian Oil Fields

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley explicitly confirmed, during a press briefing at the Pentagon yesterday, that U.S. troops are occupying the Deir Ezzor oil fields in eastern Syria. Esper claimed that the U.S. military intention remains unchanged, and that is to ensure the defeat of ISIS. “Additionally, the United States will retain control of oil fields in northeast Syria…. U.S. troops will remain positioned in this strategic area to deny ISIS access to those vital resources, and we will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces there,” Esper continued. “These oil fields also provide a critical source of funding for the SDF, which enables their ability to secure ISIS’ prison camps and conduct operations against ISIS, among other things.” The SDF, or Syrian Democratic Forces, that he was referring to is the U.S.-backed Kurdish-dominated militia. Esper confirmed that the new deployment is already underway, but didn’t give details as to its size and composition other than to say that it includes mechanized forces.

In response to the question of whether or not the U.S. presence was also meant to deny the oil fields to the Russian military and the Syrian government, Esper replied that “the short answer is yes, because in that case we want to make sure that SDF does have access to the resources in order to guard the prisons, in order to arm their own troops, in order to assist us with the Defeat-ISIS mission.”

The Russians, as is well known, are opposed to this U.S. action. “Doubtlessly, these oil fields must be under the control of the Syrian government, and we believe that it is the only solution,” Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian special envoy for Syria, told reporters this morning.

Britain’s daily Guardian reported that “The change of mind” about keeping troops in Syria “reportedly came after Pentagon officials persuaded the President that it was essential to protect east Syrian oil resources.” Yesterday, President Donald Trump told a gathering of police chiefs in Chicago, “We’re keeping the oil.”

Lavrov Speech Honors Late Yevgeny Primakov as ‘Outstanding Statesman’

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered an address yesterday at the meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of World Economy and International Relations, IMEMO RAS Academic Council, on the 90th anniversary of the birth of Yevgeny Primakov, the former Prime Minister (1998-1999) and Foreign Minister of Russia, who played a decisive role in designing Russia’s post-Soviet foreign policy, including the formation of the RIC (Russia-India-China) relationship, and the subsequent BRICS. According to the Russkiy Mir Foundation, “Yevgeny Primakov became the author of the concept of multipolarity. His strategic vision allowed him to discern how unviable the unipolar model is.”

Lavrov described Primakov as “an outstanding statesman, diplomat and scientist … a personality of global dimensions, and his activities were diverse and all-embracing.” He added: “When Mr. Primakov became head of the Foreign Ministry, he quickly and clearly articulated and put into practice conceptual foreign policy principles which Russian diplomacy continues to rely on today.”

Lavrov emphasized that Primakov was “a consistent opponent of archaic ‘zero sum’ games,” and drew special attention to his expertise and approach on the Middle East, which is particularly relevant today:

“Mr. Primakov played a special role in Middle Eastern affairs, which he knew inside and out. He understood better than others the dangers of geopolitical engineering and democratizing this region without due respect for its peculiarities. Regrettably, the West failed to listen to his knowledgeable opinion. Those who went into Iraq, Libya and Syria were like a bull in a china shop. We see the results of their activities today: destroyed statehood, outbursts of terrorism, erosion of the ethnic and religious mosaic and a large-scale migration crisis. The consequences of the ventures by the United States and its allies will still have to be overcome. As you know, this is what we are doing by primarily facilitating the eradication of terrorism in Syria and promoting the resolution of humanitarian issues, the return of refugees and the launching of the political process.”

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Financial Markets in Stress over New Argentine Government; IMF in ‘Delicate Situation’

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—Financial markets and allied media are in a tizzy, threatening and speculating about how Argentina’s new Fernández-Fernández government may deal with the nation’s debt and economic crisis. A period of cat-and-mouse games between the vulture funds/creditors’ cartel on the one side, and the Fernández-Fernández government on the other, seems likely.

The vultures will threaten and possibly run capital flight—which is already massive thanks to Mauricio Macri’s policies—to try to convince President-elect Alberto Fernández to not take the more “radical” route they say is associated with Vice President-elect Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and negotiate instead. They may even agree to some sort of a haircut so long as the new President plays ball, and the rating agencies don’t call it a credit incident, since that would trigger all the credit default swap (CDS) clauses, and could lead to the blowout of the entire global financial system.

Alberto Fernández could threaten creditors with going the more radical route, if they don’t give him concessions. But, right now he is playing his cards very close to the chest. He has said he intends to be pragmatic, won’t ask for a restructuring, preferring instead a plan to extend maturities, without a haircut. He has yet to name his Finance Minister.

BlackRock executive Axel Christensen told Bloomberg Oct. 28 that the “markets” have already priced in an Argentine debt restructuring. But here’s the reality: Argentina has close to $300 billion in foreign debt, which is unpayable. Mauricio Macri contracted $100 billion in new debt over the past four years, $57 billion of which was with the IMF. As Christensen emphasized, the IMF is facing a “very delicate situation.” Over 60% of its loan portfolio is made up of Argentine debt. The debt repayment schedule to the Fund, arranged by Macri is, $5.6 billion in 2020; $21 billion in 2021; $22 billion in 2022; $7.5 billion in 2023. And this of course, excludes other debt payments, interest on public bonds, etc. There are no funds to cover any of those payments.

Is the IMF nervous? New Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva congratulated Alberto Fernández onhis election, tweeting “we look forward to engaging with his administration to tackle Argentina’s economic challenges and promote inclusive and sustainable growth that benefits all Argentines.” But the Wall Street Journal worried today in its editorial that Alberto Fernández “is courting the Chinese as creditors instead of the IMF.”

The Argentine Disaster Is (Also) a Lagarde Legacy

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—While the canonization of St. Mario Draghi continued on Monday at the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, with the participation of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Sergio Mattarella, Wolfgang Schäuble, and others, economist Thomas Mayer reminded us of some things about Draghi’s successor as ECB President, former IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who will take office Nov. 1. “One year ago, Mrs. Lagarde promoted an aid program for Argentina,” Mayer wrote today in a guest column in FocusOnline. “With a total volume of $57 billion, this is the largest program in the history of the IMF. Mrs. Lagarde remarked that the money would ‘strengthen the confidence of the markets.’ This proved to be a serious mistake. Since mid-August, investors are fleeing the country and savers are clearing out their deposits. Argentina is heading towards the ninth bankruptcy in its history. Now, Christine Lagarde is succeeding Mario Draghi as president of the ECB.

“The markets have reacted to Mrs. Lagarde’s nomination with a rate cut. They expect that the new ECB president will continue the course initiated by Draghi that has put the central bank at the service of politics. They may be right. Like Draghi, she will do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro, even if this means breaking the rules.” (Focus Online, Oct. 28: “With Lagarde as ECB President, the Bundesbank Tradition Will Perish Completely”; “Mit Lagarde an der EZB-Spitze stirbt die Tradition der Bundesbank vollends”)

Mayer is a former Deutsche Bank chief economist and works now for the Flossback von Storch Research Institute. He also worked for Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, the International Monetary Fund and the Institute for the World Economy in Kiel. He is an Austrian School economist who calls for eliminating bank credit (“active money”). But as it happens also with broken clocks, he might be right twice a day. In 2011 he called for Greece to leave the euro and be granted a debt cut.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Soros Buys Up U.S. Congress in Run-Up to Democrats’ Impeachment Campaign

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—No surprises here. The world’s leading spokesman for the menticidal drug trade, known British-asset and looting speculator, George Soros, dumped record amounts of money into buying up the U.S. Congress in the third quarter of 2019: $15.9 million, in fact, according to media reports on the latest report filed with relevant Congressional officials by Soros’s Congressional lobbying arm, the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC).

That $15.9 million is almost triple what the OSPC spent in the prior quarter ($5.9 million), according to Politico’s Oct. 22 report.

Call that money spent for impeachment. Soros promised the New York Times in the interview published Oct. 25, that the “aberration” of President Donald Trump can be ended in 2020. (That’s the same interview in which he nominated Elizabeth Warren as the leading candidate for 2020.)

One America News Network, in its report on OSPC’s filing, pointed out that the OSPC had spent more than $72 million since January 2017—when Trump assumed the Presidency—as compared to only $4 million per year it had spent on lobbying Congress from 2002 to 2016. In other words, Soros more than quadrupled the funds he poured into Congress once Trump entered the White House.

Putting a fine point on the matter, Roll Call reported on Oct. 22 that Sarah Margon, OSPC director of foreign policy advocacy, said in an email that the OSPC is working on a bipartisan basis to get members of Congress in both parties to live up to their responsibilities, “not only when it comes to authorizing the use of force but more generally across a range of other related national security powers and oversight obligations.”

What the Media Are Covering Up on Trump-AMLO Cooperation against Drugs

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—In his early-morning daily press conference last Thursday, Oct. 24, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) played a clip from President Donald Trump’s Sept. 24 speech before the United Nations General Assembly, accompanied by Spanish translation, in which the U.S. President thanked López Obrador, by name, for “the great cooperation” the United States is receiving from Mexico in the fight against human and drug trafficking. López Obrador called reporters’ attention in particular to Trump’s statement at the conclusion of the clip, that “Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return.”

It was as an unprecedented action by a Mexican President, and one very zealous of his nation’s sovereignty, which has gone unreported in the United States—and hardly in Mexico, either.

Reporters were hammering AMLO about comments by a State Department official, in the wake of the drug cartel’s Oct. 17 crushing display of force in Culiacan, Sinaloa, that Mexico was not adequately cooperating with the United States in developing an anti-drug strategy.

López Obrador asked, in reply, that the video be shown, because it had not been publicized in Mexico. He ended up showing the video clip twice, emphasizing that he found it curious that the media had effectively blacked out Trump’s comments.

“Fortunately, we have a very good relationship with the government of the United States,” he went on. “We determine our security policy, as they in a sovereign manner decide their policies. Within this framework, it is understood that there is cooperation on confronting problems which affect our two nations.”

As if to confirm the charge that there is a policy of censoring news on this front on both sides of the border, the following day the Wall Street Journal reported López Obrador’s objections to the State Department official’s comments, but did not report that López Obrador had shown the section from President Trump’s speech! The Wall Street paper apparently is not interested in cooperation against the drug trade, since it likewise dismissed the decision by the two governments in the wake of the Culiacan crisis to form a taskforce to employ advanced technologies to detect and shut down cross-border arms and narcotics trafficking as just talk.

House Ready To Vote on Minor Due Process Concessions in Sham Impeachment Investigation

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—Caving to the pressure of 50 Republican Senators condemning the overt Star Chamber proceeding being conducted by Adam Schiff in the House basement, Nancy Pelosi has created a draft resolution on procedures going forward in public while “affirming” everything that has gone on to date.  The Senators had signed on to a resolution put forward by Lindsey Graham (R-SC) condemning the Schiff proceedings, which completely deny due process to the President and the Republicans, as the Democrats leak selected secrets from the hearing to an obliging press in order to drive the President’s poll numbers down.

Pelosi has scheduled a vote on the new procedures, which do not constitute a vote on starting a formal impeachment proceeding, on Thursday, Oct. 31.

The new procedures govern public hearings to be held before the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence chaired by Adam Schiff.  They include a verification that the procedures conducted so far have been legitimate. And, while the Republicans may question witnesses, subpoenas for witnesses whom the Republicans may wish to call are conditioned on Schiff’s approval and the Democratic Party-controlled committee. There is no provision for President Donald Trump to be represented in the proceedings before the House Intelligence Committee, contrary to press reports. Rather, the Committee on the Judiciary is to promulgate procedures for the President to participate in any impeachment proceeding in the Judiciary Committee which has traditional initial jurisdiction concerning impeachment.

House Republicans have condemned the resolution as a sham, pointing out that Schiff, even today, would not allow Republicans to ask the most mundane testimony of the witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, “who did you talk to after the July 25th call?” Vindman, a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council staff, supposedly heard the July 25 phone call between Presidents Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky. Many believe Vindman is the “White House official” who spoke to the bogus CIA whistleblower.

As many have pointed out, impeachment is a political process for which the argument must be won on the merits with the population. That is what LaRouche PAC has undertaken. The President continues to argue in his direct way, just read the transcript and listen to the President of Ukraine, nothing was improper.

OTHER

Dope, Inc.’s Drive To Legalize Drugs in Mexico … and the U.S.

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—In the immediate aftermath of the Sinaloa cartel’s bloodbath in Culiacan on Oct. 17, in which they seized control of a city of 1 million and forced Mexican authorities to release drug capo Chapo Guzman’s son Ovidio, Dope, Inc. is making a full-court press to use the environment of terror they created to ram through their long-standing policy of drug legalization.

Mexican media reported on Oct. 27 that Sen. Mario Delgado, of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s MORENA party, would be presenting legislation on Oct. 29 to fully legalize medical and recreational marijuana, with the idea of having it approved by Oct. 31. Delgado’s proposal, which had been elaborated and promoted for months by an entire faction in the AMLO government headed by Government Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero, is to have the federal government take charge of growing and selling marijuana both in the country and abroad, creating a Mexican Cannabis Institute which would grant licenses and “regulate” the drug trade.

But not so fast. The daily Cronica reported yesterday that Ricardo Monreal, the Senate Majority Leader and also from the MORENA party, pulled the plug on the plan for fast track approval, explaining: “I’m going to slow it down a bit, I’m not going to approve it. We are going to try to pass a law without hurrying, because a lot of economic and social interests have been unleashed by it, and I want to do things right.”

Monreal went on: “Obviously, we aren’t going to open the doors so that those who have historically been recognized drug traffickers embed themselves in the legal trade.” Cronica also explained that Monreal “revealed that many Canadian, European, and North American companies have arrived who want to get in on this emerging business.”

Monreal stated: “So I think we have to be very careful. This is a very sensitive issue. There are disagreements in society.”

Although Monreal didn’t say it, it is understood at the highest levels of the Mexican government that the Trump Administration in Washington is strongly opposed to any such legalization in Mexico, since it would obviously be conducive to legalization in the U.S. as well—a process which was openly promoted by the Obama government.

Regime Change Drive in Bolivia Creates Chaos, But the Fight Is On

Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—The oligarchic opposition around Carlos Mesa has given up all pretense of accepting an electoral route to power, announcing today that their supporters will stay in the streets until it is agreed that President Evo Morales will leave office in January 2020. In cities they dominate, which includes the capital, La Paz, their supporters are blocking traffic and attempting to close down economic activity.

Morales’ Interior Minister Carlos Romero rightfully called this an attempted coup.

The government, however, has a strong support base, with a well-known history of action. Ethnic Indian groups, miners and others have already activated tactics used historically to overthrow governments: blockading the highways between key cities, thereby cutting off their supplies. Clashes between the contending groups are spreading.

The Mesa “damn the elections” strategy has an added problem of legitimacy, from President Morales’ offer last week for the Organization of American States to join the government in auditing the Oct. 20 election results. If it is determined that there were significant irregularities, Morales says his government will accept holding a run-off second round election to decide the winner. The opposition clearly believes there is too great a chance that they would lose a second round election.

The global and regional political upheaval being what it is, Mesa’s international backers have decided they cannot reject the Morales offer out of hand. Negotiations on the terms of OAS participation in such an audit are ongoing.

On Oct. 27, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement that the U.S. does not recognize the new Morales government (as the Argentine and Mexican governments, among others, have), because it is “deeply concerned over the irregularities in the vote counting process,” and so it “stands with our partners in the region and the OAS observers in calling for an accurate accounting of the votes cast, or if that is not feasible in the opinion of the OAS observer mission, a second round that is credible and transparent.”

Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935

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