‘One Step More, and We Lose Our Humanity’
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—The warning, “One step more, and we lose our humanity,” was a powerful focus in the presentation by Helga Zepp-LaRouche Jan. 26, at the National Press Club forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by EIR, titled, “Only a Scientific and Cultural Renaissance Can Stop the Dark Age Now Descending Upon Humanity.” Her speech was preceded by that of Thomas Wysmuller, a former meteorologist at NASA, and a leading spokesman for, “The Right Climate Stuff”—a group of former NASA scientists, centered in Houston at the Johnson Space Center, who are speaking out against the fraud of man-driven climate change.
Zepp-LaRouche gave a moving picture of the crisis of refugees in Europe, including not only the conditions of suffering and death, but the crisis of the depraved responses by many of the so-called EU leaders. This is the same immoral outlook perpetrating, or going along with, actions now furthering economic collapse, and bringing us ever closer to nuclear war. Zepp-LaRouche made this crystal clear.
However, she said, we can act. We do not merely have to describe and decry, “what is….” We can address what we can do. She called on everyone to “take the approach of the future.” Zepp-LaRouche presented in beautiful detail, a development program for the whole Southwest Asia/North Africa region—a Silk Road Marshall Plan for the “Middle East.”
Contrast this with some of the deadly events of the day. For example, the 50+ years-long British Royalist green campaign for depopulation has reached the stage in the United States, where the entire coal sector is being shut down. The latest push comes from California, where Jerry Brown’s government announced on Jan. 25, that insurance companies doing business in the state, must divest of any holdings in coal companies. With no financing and plunging revenue, coal companies are going bankrupt; mines are shutting down in the Appalachians, and thousands of miners are thrown out of work.
Lyndon LaRouche commented, that this is the “British” plan. They are killing off the ability for production.
But—answering Zepp-LaRouche’s call—“we can commit to find our humanity.” This begins with activating to set aside Obama, and make way for the emergency measures to assure the future.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Lavrov Addresses the Two Systems before the World: Geopolitics or Nations Joining Together To Face Common Challenges
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened his annual year-in-review press conference today, transmitted live in Russian, French, and English, with a theme which ran throughout the conference: there are “two conflicting approaches” in the intensifying “global rivalry” over the shape of a new international system. There are those who seek to form “a more equitable, polycentric international system,” and those who seek to slow that process down, so as “to maintain dominance in global affairs and to impose one’s will on others.”
These differing approaches were contrasted over the course of the press conference in his description of Russia-Chinese relations and U.S. relations with Russia. Lavrov said “the ties between Russia and China are going through their best period ever.” Russia has extensive mechanisms of cooperation with China as with no other country, and their relationship is being built on the basis of international law and the UN Charter.
U.S. relations with Russia, on the other hand, are shaped by the U.S.’s policy of trying to “contain” Russia, which began “long before the crisis in Ukraine.” Asked about a possible “re-set” of Russian-American relations, Lavrov had a useful suggestion for an overhaul of U.S. policy overall:
“We understand that the U.S. is interested in [having] fewer competitors, at least comparable with them. It is clearly seen in the U.S. relations with China and Europe…. The re-set is good, but it should be between the U.S. and the whole world.”
An English transcript of Lavrov’s opening statement is available on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, providing his overview of the global “crisis landscape” and the shifts which occurred over the course of 2015 from the conflicting approaches. He there held up the principles of “genuine equality, mutual consideration for each other’s interests, and joint efforts for common goals” which underpin the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and other integration groupings in the “post-Soviet space” as exemplary of what is needed in the 21st century. Russia stands “ready to work on harmonizing integration processes and building bridges, in particular, between Europe, Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific Region,” he specified, citing the agreement in principle to integrate Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) activities with China’s Silk Road Economic Belt.
“There is no alternative to broad-based cooperation in searching for a way out of crises,” Lavrov said.
“… We are ready for the closest and most constructive cooperation with our Western partners, including Europe and the United States, and are open to a progressive development of cooperation with them. But solely and exclusively on an equitable and mutually beneficial basis, with parties refraining from interference in each others internal affairs and respecting each sides fundamental interests.
“Our Western colleagues sometimes say testily that there will be no ‘business as usual’ with Russia…. We agree with them on this point: indeed, there will be no ‘business as usual’ when they attempted to impose on us agreements that heeded primarily the interests of either the European Union or the U.S., and sought to persuade us that this would not harm our interests. This story is over. A story is beginning that can only develop on the basis of equality and all other principles of international law.”
UN Envoy De Mistura Sends Out Invitations, Syria Talks To Begin Friday
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—Khawla Mattar, spokeswoman for UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, confirmed to the Associated Press this morning, that invitations to the participants in the upcoming Syria peace talks have been sent out. Mattar would not say to whom the invitations were sent, telling AP that de Mistura would not make public the numbers and identities of the invitees until his office gets “feedback from the invited parties”—a sign of the delicacy of his task. The only certainty on that, so far, is that Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS won’t be invited.
Yesterday, de Mistura announced that the talks would begin on Jan. 29 and that they will not be face-to-face, but rather “proximity talks,” in which the delegations will be at separate locations while de Mistura shuttles between them. “We will be holding those proximity talks until we can hold direct talks,” de Mistura said. “We will remain adaptable and creative.” He said that the goal of the talks remained agreement on a national cease-fire, and added that he is seeking to have an opposition “as inclusive as possible.”
The main obstacle remains the composition of the opposition delegation, or delegations. The Saudi-backed opposition group, organized in a meeting in Riyadh last December, is meeting today in Riyadh; participants are accusing the U.S. of adopting Iranian and Russian ideas about how to end the war, which is unacceptable to them. The Saudi-backed group includes the Army of Islam and Ahrar al Sham Islamist groups, which are not acceptable to Russia. Russia is calling for the inclusion of the Syrian Kurdish PYD, which is unacceptable to Turkey. So far, de Mistura—whose mandate comes from UN Security Council Resolution 2254, passed last November, which provides the framework for the talks—remains committed to the process despite these obstacles, as do Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
British To Phase Out Coal and Nuclear, Creating a 50% Electricity Gap in Near Future
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—According to a new report by Britain’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), cited by The Star today, Britain plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025; this and the retirement of nuclear power stations and growing demand for electricity, will leave the U.K. facing a supply gap of up to 55%.
The report is titled, “Engineering the U.K. Electricity Gap.” Concerning the contingency of building new gas plants or replacement nuclear, the report asserts that Great Britain “has neither the resources nor enough people with the right skills” to build this many power plants in time.” It is already too late for any other nuclear reactors to be planned and built by the coal shut-off target of 2025, other than Hinkley Point C,” wrote The Star.
Jenifer Baxter, head of energy and environment at IMechE, and lead author of the report said, “the U.K. is facing an electricity supply crisis. As the U.K. population rises, and with the greater use of electricity in transport and heating, it looks almost certain that electricity demand is going to rise. However, with little or no focus on reducing electricity demand, the retirement of the majority of the country’s aging nuclear fleet, recent proposals to phase out coal-fired power by 2025 and the cut in renewable energy subsidies, the U.K. is on course to produce even less electricity than it does at the moment.” The government needs to take urgent action, she said, on new electricity infrastructure that includes fossil fuel plants, nuclear power, energy storage, and combined heat and power.
Greece Slams Depraved EU Proposals To Make It a Holding Tank for Refugees
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—As reports come in daily of men, women and children drowning as they attempt to make the trip from Turkey across the Aegean Sea to Greece, it is abundantly clear that the European Union is incapable of dealing with the crisis. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble also made that clear when he called for a “coalition of the willing” to implement a Marshall Plan for the Mideast—what the EU is incapable of doing. But only a real Marshall Plan, that seeks Africa’s and the Mideast’s integration into the Eurasian Land-Bridge, can solve the problem.
The informal Jan. 25 meeting in Brussels of EU Interior ministers, called to debate the crisis, again demonstrated the EU’s failure.
Greece, through which most of the refugees come, was the object of absurd pressures and demands. In response, Greek Alternate Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas, who is a medical doctor and founder of Doctors of the World, denounced the demands and threats of expelling Greece from the EU’s Schengen zone, which allows visa-free travel, work and residence among member states. In comments to Greece’s private SKAI TV, Mouzalas also denounced a Belgian proposal that Greece set up a camp for 300-400,000 refugees in Athens!
“Schengen is part of a game for assigning responsibility: If you don’t do this or that, we will do this to you. It is a punishment,” said Mouzalas, adding that Greece did not wish to take part in a process that would lead to nowhere. He said European countries are unjustifiably “in a panic” over the issue. Mouzalas has the moral authority to level this criticism since Greece has been the entry point for close to a million refugees in the past six months alone, while also dealing with its own dire economic crisis. Throughout, it has received very little aid from the EU. Mouzalas also warned that the refugee crisis in Greece would become a humanitarian crisis if thousands of refugees were to be trapped inside Greece.
Meanwhile, writing in the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman floats a refugee-for-debt proposal for Greece, by which Germany would cancel a large percentage of the Greek debt and Greece would host the refugees in camps on Greek Islands, financed by Germany or the EU. The refugees would then be returned to Syria, or Iraq once the war stops. Rachman admits that such a model has obvious problems, as it would require a change in asylum laws. Were the war to drag on, the refugees could be stuck in camps for years. Moreover, Greece itself is in the midst of a catastrophic economic crisis. Rachman admits that “bottling up refugees in Greece sounds chilling…”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
British Killer Green Policy in Action: New Wave of U.S. Coal Mine Shutdowns
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—Yesterday the Jerry Brown government in California took action against coal, to add to the destruction of the U.S. economy already underway. California Commissioner of Insurance Dave Jones announced Jan. 25, that he has asked all insurance firms selling policies in the state to voluntarily divest from any holdings in coal. Jones said he will soon require the firms to disclose whether they have any coal holdings. This is the first state insurance regulator to take such action.
EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche pointed out today, “This is British. It will kill the ability to have production…”
The dangerously nutty heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has assumed personal responsibility for the Royal Family’s drive to shut down fossil fuel use globally, by forcing investors internationally to divest of their interests in the coal, oil and gas industries.
The U.S. coal sector is already rapidly shutting down, from the anti-carbon, green onslaught. Arch Coal, the second largest operator in the U.S., declared bankruptcy earlier this month, as have several other firms. The largest, Peabody, is now trying to refinance. The California move adds to the untouchability of coal mining to continue.
Commissioner Jones referred to this yesterday, as a fact of life, and the reason why insurers must get out of coal. “The movement away from coal and the rest of the carbon economy poses a potential financial risk to insurance companies investing in coal and the carbon economy.”
New layoffs were announced by Alpha Natural Resources yesterday (in Chapter 11 bankruptcy as of August 2015). It plans to lay off 831 miners and many more support workers at eight underground mines, and two processing plants in southern West Virginia. The layoffs will occur around March 25.
These layoffs follow many others over the past couple years. At present, Murray Energy Co., the largest privately owned coal firm, is eliminating some 600 jobs at five West Virginia, and two Ohio mines.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
India Celebrated Its Republic Day with French President Hollande as State Guest
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—India celebrated its 67th Republic Day with a parade that had the French President François Hollande as the state guest. The parade route in New Delhi was filled with marching bands, floats, camels, military hardware, and stunt performers. Both the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and the French President took salutes from the marching soldiers. For the first time, a foreign contingent, consisting of 76 members of the French Army’s 35th Regiment, one of the oldest regiments of France, marched along with the Indian Army regiments.
President Hollande was on a three-day trip over Jan. 24-26 to India, during which, India signed an inter-governmental pact with France to buy 26 French-built Rafale fighter planes, although the leaders of both countries said there was still work to do to finalize the commercial aspects of the deal after months of talks. The two leaders also emphasized the cooperation between their countries in battling terrorism, with Hollande saying that France and its allies will strike “again and again” at the Islamic State.
Also today, a nuclear reactor deal was signed between the French utility firm, EDF and the Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. The formal signing follows several years of preliminary work. The project involves six 1,650 megawatt European Pressurized Reactor plants, in Jaitapur. This will make it one of the world’s biggest nuclear complexes.
As reported on the Kremlin website, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for Republic Day: “India enjoys well-deserved respect in the world, plays an important role in resolving pressing international and regional issues and has a powerful economic potential and rich cultural heritage. We highly value the relations of a privileged partnership that have taken shape between Russia and India.”
Italy, Iran Open New Phase in Bilateral Relations
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi presided over the signing of 13 memoranda for €17 billion of contracts in steel, infrastructure projects, energy, and shipyards, yesterday in Rome. The Danieli group alone signed contracts for €5.7 billion, three in the steel sector and one in the mining sector.
At the press conference with Renzi, Rouhani said that he had chosen Italy as the first leg of his first visit to Europe after the lifting of sanctions, because “Italy has a particular importance. We have a good history of collaboration with you, and the Iranians know Italy and your work, they trust the Italians.” Relations with Italy go beyond bilateral significance and can contribute to security and stability in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa regions, he said, according to IRNA.
Iran can be the hub of security, energy, human resources and development, and geopolitical importance, Rouhani said. Were it not for Iran’s pioneer role in the fight against terrorism in the region, the world would have been witnessing more difficult conditions for the people of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, he stressed.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can be an example to be followed for the settlement of regional issues,” Rouhani underscored. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni referred to the pioneering role of Italian industrialist and political leader Enrico Mattei in the relationships with Iran. It was Iran, which in 1957, signed the first oil deal of a producing country with a company not belonging to the “Seven Sisters” oil cartel, namely with Mattei’s ENI. Mattei launched the competitive formula 25/75, whereby Iran would get 75% and ENI 25% of profits, against the 50/50 formula imposed by the Anglo-Dutch-French cartel.
Mattei’s dream “has become reality,” Gentiloni said. A reality made up of “close political dialogue” and economic collaboration. Gentiloni quoted Mattei: “When we started our activities in Iran, we were dreamers.”
At the Italy-Iran Business Forum, Rouhani said that, similarly to the nuclear deal, “we must start a win-win collaboration in the economy; in the current regional condition, Iran is the most secure and stable country in the entire region.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Rapid Zika Virus Spread Demands Emergency Action, but WHO Drags Its Feet, as It Did with Ebola
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—Reports from the Americas indicate an alarming spread of the Zika virus, with the Brazilian government announcing a national mobilization to combat it, while El Salvador has called on women to delay becoming pregnant for at least two years. The Colombian, Ecuadorean, Brazilian, and Jamaican governments have followed suit, although indicating a smaller timeframe.
U.S. and other medical health experts are asking why Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has yet to convene an emergency committee of experts to advise her on the necessary global response. Lawrence Gostin, director of Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, warned that, as in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, WHO is again missing the chance to take leadership on an urgent public health issue,STAT online medical journal reported Jan. 25. Not only is Zika present in every region of the world, he said, but there is a potential association between Zika and microcephaly in fetuses and newborns. What’s the problem?
WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said the agency hasn’t established a Zika panel, because more evidence and data are needed.
Evidence? Several European countries—Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K.—as well as Israel have reported cases, as have several U.S. states. Most Southeast Asian nations are on a watchlist for a Zika outbreak, and cases have occurred in Australia and in a number of African nations. On Jan. 25, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued a warning that, with the exception of Canada and continental Chile, the virus is expected to spread to the rest of the Americas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are found. David Severson, professor at Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences, reported the highly unusual discovery of a community of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Washington, D.C.—not the usual tropical environment in which they live—and warned of the potential for active transmission of mosquito-borne tropical diseases in “popular places like the National Mall.”
In Brazil, Zika has infected 1.6 million people in 18 states, among them 4,000 suspected cases of Zika-related microcephaly. Health Minister Marcelo Castro warned on Jan. 25 that the government is losing the battle against Zika “badly.” The government intends to deploy 220,000 troops to go door-to-door to assist in mosquito-eradication efforts, Britain’s Guardian reported. In Colombia, where there are now 13,530 cases, President Juan Manuel Santos warned that by July, Colombia could have 600,000 Zika cases, including an estimated 500 babies born with microcephaly, Mexico’s El Universalreported.
“British Empire Compared to ‘ISIS on Steroids’ ”
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)—The Jan. 19 release of a YouGovUK poll which found 43% of Britons think the British Empire was [sic] “generally speaking … a good thing,” with only 19% of those polled calling it a bad thing (and the rest claiming they knew little about it), occasioned an appropriate, and useful flurry of outrage over the atrocities which this bestial Empire has brought upon the world historically.
The Independent took the point in this history lesson, publishing an article on “Five of the Worst Atrocities Carried Out by the British Empire” to accompany its news article on the poll. Replete with sickening pictures of starving Indian children and Kenyans starving in British prison camps during the 1950s’ Mau Mau rebellion, the article concludes with the infamous quote of Winston Churchill on the 1943 Bengal famine, which his government created: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”
The Independent followed up the next day with an article headlined “British Empire Compared to ‘ISIS on Steroids,’ After U.K. Public Says It Is ‘Proud’ of Colonial Past.” It wrote:
“The Sun famously never set on the British Empire at its height in 1922, but its rule was enforced through the starvation of local populaces, brutal detention camps, mass executions and slavery.” Publishing pictures of incidents of mass beheadings and mass killings carried out by the British, posted on social media in response to the poll results, the Independent concluded that some suggest that “the level of death and destruction” carried out by British colonialism far surpassed the bestialities of ISIS today. As one posting tweeted: “The British Empire perfected a long time ago what ISIS is doing now.”
While premised on the fallacy that the British Empire is somehow a matter of past history, the poll results were followed also by new calls for the history of these atrocities to be taught to Britons. (Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested this months ago.) A brawl is ongoing over the demand that Oxford University remove its statue of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes.