WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Volume 2, Number 121
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Without a Space Program, There Is No Mankind
- Deutsche Bank Leads the Plunge
- Shippers’ Distress: Bankruptcies Expected
- Obama Is Plotting a War-Like Situation in East Asia Using the North Korean Rocket Launch as a Pretext
- Is Saudi Arabia Gearing Up To Invade Syria To Implement the British-Led Plan?
- NATO To Upgrade Its Naval Presence in Aegean Sea?
- China’s State Oceanic Administration Proposes a Joint Arctic Exploration Program with Russia
- Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Dedicates a Full Page to Fusion Power
- Obama’s Budget Request Slams Fusion and NASA, Again
- Washington Post’s Milbank: Bernie Sanders Is Playing the Wall Street/Democrat Game
- Washington, CDC Play Down Zika Virus Threat to U.S., Experts Charge
- Murdered Italian in Cairo Leads to British Connection
Without a Space Program, There Is No Mankind
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Of all the crimes of President Barack Obama, from bailing out a bankrupt Wall Street to conducting permanent warfare, driving the world towards World War III, the most vile crime of all was the destruction of the once vibrant U.S. space program. The space program, especially since the Presidency of John Kennedy, was not only the science driver for the economy of the entire world, but also the vision for mankind as a whole, which provoked true creativity in every child, and placed men and women’s minds in the future, where creativity lies. The destruction of the space program not only stopped human progress, it drove mankind backwards. It turned back history.
Lyndon LaRouche spoke today of the call to restore the space program, and future, to humanity, as the action required for the “rebirth of the mind of mankind.” The LaRouche Political Action Committee announced today that two programs will be produced on its website this week, in particular, to put this at the center of the political agenda of the United States.
One necessity to clear the way, is to face the fact that Wall Street is bankrupt. End the bail-outs, bail-ins, crimes, fraud and murder.
Look at the saga of Deutsche Bank—the biggest derivatives holder in the world. On Monday, its stock fell over 10% from the previous Friday, Feb. 5, for a fall of over 40% this year so far. Amidst Monday’s plunge, the bank issued a statement of reassurance that it has the means to meet its coming obligations. Then Tuesday, its stock fell more. Deutsche Bank Co-CEO John Cryan then issued a statement, that the bank is “rock solid.” Next, none other than German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, in Paris for a finance ministers confab, told the media that, he has no worries over Deutsche Bank.
In fact, the travails of Deutsche Bank, and the increasing financial chaos, show that the system itself is dead, and at the putrefaction stage.
In U.S. Congress, the means exist, in the form of the bills to reinstate Glass-Steagall, to start cleaning up the mess and make way for sound economic activity to power the future, but action is stalled. Ironically, there are even “reality exhibits” scheduled on Capitol Hill this week: several Senators are holding a screening of the movie, “The Big Short” on the criminality of Wall Street, on Feb. 10; and on Feb. 11, a briefing will be given in the Senate on the fact that U.S. farm income is down 50%. Will those who have eyes, see?
If we are willing to face reality, Lyndon LaRouche stressed today, “The idea that you have to do something to help save the banks is crap!”
The “reality imperative” also urgently applies to seeing and acting against the immediate threat of nuclear war. Right now, NATO defense ministers are gathering in Brussels, on the track of pushing for more confrontation with Russia, threatening all out thermonuclear Armageddon. The British/White House geopolitical drive is in full force.
In Russia, at dawn on Feb. 8, a surprise exercise of military forces was announced in the Southern Military District, which extends into the Black and Caspian Seas. Involving also command and control elements of the Central Military District, the sweeping activation has mobility tests spanning 3,000 kilometers, by rail, naval and air transport. The snap mobilization involves 8,500 troops, 900 pieces of military hardware, 50 warships and up to 200 aircraft.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Deutsche Bank Leads the Plunge
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Amidst this week’s financial chaos events, Deutsche Bank leads the plunge. On Monday, its shares fell 9.5% from Friday, despite a Feb. 8 statement from the bank that it had the means to make good on bond payment obligations. This morning, Co-CEO John Cryan personally emailed a statement to staff, saying that they could reassure customers that, “Deutsche Bank remains absolutely rock-solid, given our strong capital and risk position.” He further stated that the bank was on course to continue to keep expenses in line by cutting costs, i.e. laying-off staff.
Even German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble got into the act. He spoke in Paris, where he was in meetings with the French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, and the French and German central bank heads. When asked by reporters about the bank, Schäuble said that he has, “absolutely no concerns about Deutsche Bank.”
Today, the bank’s share value ended down 5% more on the Frankfurt exchange, bringing the loss this year to over 40%.
Among other notable world markets events, Japan’s 10 year government bond actually fell into the negative yield category, at 0.01%—the first ever of a G7 nation. Shippers’ Distress: Bankruptcies Expected
Feb. 8 (EIRNS)—“Record low prices for transporting coal, iron ore and other dry bulk commodities by sea have pushed shipping companies into severe financial distress,” wrote the Financial Times’ Robert Wright from New York Feb. 7. “The suspension of payments to creditors and big write-offs by publicly listed entities are likely to reflect similar hidden crises at smaller, private operators that own most of the world’s vessels for carrying these products.”
Wright reported that rates for Capesize ships, which are the largest carriers, were at $2,824 a day on Friday, Feb. 5, while operating costs are about $8,000 a day.
Companies suspending payments, seeking restructuring, or selling off divisions to stay solvent, include Western Bulk, Norden, Jinhui Shipping, Mitsui OSK Lines, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and others.
Wright added: “Companies were unlikely to seek Chapter 11 protection in the U.S.—as many did in other recent market dips because of the procedures high costs. Banks were also unlikely to offer much support because falling vessel values had eroded their value as collateral.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Obama Is Plotting a War-Like Situation in East Asia Using the North Korean Rocket Launch as a Pretext
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Following North Korea’s latest satellite launch on Feb. 7, President Obama has begun developing a war-like situation in the Korean peninsula. “Without getting into a timeline, we’d like to see this move as quickly as possible,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said indicating a possible deployment of the anti-ballistic missile system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), AFP reported on Feb. 8. “We are beginning the consultations now and in the current days with the South Koreans, and we expect that this will move in an expeditious fashion.” America’s highly deployable THAAD system fires anti-ballistic missiles into the sky to smash into enemy missiles either inside or outside the Earth’s atmosphere during their final flight phase. The interceptor missiles carry no warheads, instead relying on kinetic energy to destroy their targets.
China’s news agency Xinhua reported that it has expressed deep concerns over the proposed THAAD deployment, which it says could worsen the already fragile situation in Northeast Asia. “China holds a consistent and clear stance on the anti-missile issue,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Feb. 7. “When pursuing its own security, one country should not impair others’ security interests.”
In addition, Xinhua cited U.S. defense officials saying today that Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, would meet in Hawaii on Feb. 11 with Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, Chairman of Japan’s Joint Chiefs, and South Korean Army Gen. Lee Sun-jin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the North Korean rocket launch.
At the same time, President Obama had also made separate phone calls to Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and South Korean President
Park Geun-hye to condemn North Korea’s actions and demanding a strong international response, including a United Nations Security Council resolution according to the White House readout. The Korea Herald reported today President Park and the U.S. President and Japanese Prime Minister agreed today to cooperate to ensure that the UN Security Council can adopt a resolution for strong sanctions on North Korea for its latest nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
Is Saudi Arabia Gearing Up To Invade Syria To Implement the British-Led Plan?
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Noises emanating from Saudi Arabia indicate Riyadh is seriously considering sending ground troops to Syria. Following his two days of meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Feb. 8 told reporters: “There is a discussion with regard to a ground force contingent, or a special forces contingent, to operate in Syria by this international U.S.-led coalition against ISIS and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to provide special forces to such operations should they occur,” Reuters reported today.
At the State Department press briefing on Feb. 8, answering a question on the U.S. reaction to the Saudi offer, John Kirby said: “We welcome this proposal by the Saudis to intensify their efforts by introducing some sort of ground elements in Syria to, again, intensify the pressure on Daesh [Islamic State/ISIS]. Exactly what that’s going to look like and how that’s going to play out I just don’t think we can say right now, but if it can lead to further degrading and destroying their capabilities on the ground, well, that’s a good thing, and we want to continue to have that discussion.”
A day after, Asharq al-Awsat, a Saudi newspaper published from London, reported the advisor to the Saudi Defense Minister’s office Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri has issued a statement saying, “Saudi Arabia is prepared for a land war in Syria because it has a serious desire to defeat the terrorist organization.” He issued this statement on the eve of a conference for the defense ministers of countries participating in the international coalition to fight terrorism which is scheduled to be held in Brussels today.
Asiri also revealed that Saudi Arabia will carry out a large military exercise called “Thunder of the North” which he arranged some time ago, and include 21 Arab and Muslim countries participating in it; there will be joint military command centers. The exercise aims to enhance fighting abilities, increase coordination among countries participating in the exercise and facilitate the exchange of information and experience, Asharq al-Awsat reported.
NATO To Upgrade Its Naval Presence in Aegean Sea?
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Following talks with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced joint German-Turkish police deployments to control the refugee influx at the Syrian-Turkish border. She furthermore said that the NATO defense ministers meeting on Feb. 10-11 should examine whether the Alliance could increase its naval presence in the Aegean Sea—supposedly to “stop human traffickers.”
Whether that would do any good to help stem the refugee tide, is more than doubtful, but one can rather assume the orchestration of yet another pretext for NATO to upgrade its presence in the region—against Russia, naturally. The fact that Merkel held Russia “co-responsible” for the new stream of refugees from Aleppo toward the Syrian border with Turkey, seems to fit into that. The planned deployment of AWACS surveillance aircraft from Germany to Turkey, which makes no sense other than being directed against Russia, comes in the same context. (rap)
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
China’s State Oceanic Administration Proposes a Joint Arctic Exploration Program with Russia
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—China hopes to organize a joint Arctic research expedition with Russia, an article in TASS states today. Xinhua cites China’s State Oceanic Administration as hoping to organize a joint expedition to the Arctic for the first time. China will be conducting its seventh Arctic expedition this year. It has been considering international partnerships with countries in the region, and last March expressed interest in building a polar research outpost in Canada. China has about 500 scientists engaged in polar research. With the extension of the ice-free maritime season, the Arctic is now becoming a focal point, not just for polar research, but also for resource exploration and exploitation.
In Antarctica, China operates four research stations. There, China plans to upgrade its research, setting up an “air service team,” a pilot deep-sea mining project, and conducting deep-sea biological diversity research.
Russia has had polar research stations for decades, and has carried out fascinating studies of water under its station at frozen Lake Vostok in Antarctica, looking for a biological presence. In the Arctic, Russia has had research stations since 1937, and has manned a series of stations situated on ice floes. Last April, 17 scientists began the three-month North Pole-2015 expedition, living and working on a floe.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Dedicates a Full Page to Fusion Power
Feb. 8 (EIRNS)—In the wake of the building up of a hydrogen plasma at the German Wendelstein 7-X in Greifswald, initiated in a ceremony with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Feb. 3, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday dedicated a full page to a presentation of that technology. It endorsed fusion power by stating that hydrogen and lithium from which the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium are derived for the fusion into helium, are unlimited resources which will be available for longer than this entire planet will exist. Fusion power has been proven efficient by the Sun, and unlike solar and wind energies (the priorities in the present German policy) it would operate power stations at night and without wind, emit no CO2 and produce no radioactive waste, said the article, which doesn’t mention the use of helium-3 fuel.
The article explained that the German experiment at Greifswald, a Stellarator, is a system which has one big advantage over the Tokamak system at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), namely that unlike the latter’s pulsating method, its can create a permanent plasma, which is what is required for commercial fusion power reactor. The central, twisted ring of the Greifswald machine, by the way, was precision-manufactured by an Italian family enterprise.
The German experiment still has to prove that it is possible to generate a stable plasma for long enough to generate more power than has been put into the plasma build-up, the article noted, adding that the scientists working on it are cautiously optimistic it can be done.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Obama’s Budget Request Slams Fusion and NASA, Again
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—The release today of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 funding requests (in the overall FY17 $4 trillion Federal budget plan) for the fusion and space programs holds no surprises—funding is cut for both programs. For years, the White House has been at odds with the Congress over space policy, and has proposed funding for fusion research, with the advice that American scientists do their research on other nation’s devices.
The request for magnetic fusion research is $398.178 million, from a Congressionally appropriated level for FY16 of $438 million—a 9.1% cut. No funding is provided for MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak, with the scientists encouraged to work instead on General Atomics DIII-D reactor in California, and “engage in collaborations with international laboratories.” What the budget describes as “continued support” for ITER is a request for $125 million, which had been at the minimally necessary $150 million level until last year.
For NASA, if the budget is not substantially increasing, either no new projects will be started, or on-going programs will be cut. The Administration’s NASA budget request is for $19 billion, down from the FY16 Congressional enactment of $19.3 billion. Each year, the Administration proposes to cut programs or delay them, and the Congress angrily restores some of the funding. The planetary science programs are again cut, this year by $112 million, to a level of $1.519 billion. The InSight Mars lander, which has been delayed by a European equipment problem, may not even be continued, if the money is not found to store it until launch.
What will get a loud response from Capitol Hill is the proposed cut of 17% in the exploration programs, which include the Space Launch System rocket, and the Orion crew capsule. At the budget briefing this afternoon with NASA Chief Financial Officer David Radzanowski, a reporter pointed out that this is lowest exploration budget since 2008. At the funding level the Administration has proposed, advanced testing of the Orion vehicle would be delayed by two years, to 2023. But Radzanowski assured the press that the Congress would add money to keep it on schedule!
For years, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has not been at headquarters to brief the press on the budget release. Today, he was AWOL at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where he delivered his “State of the Agency” report, repeatedly stating “the state of our NASA is strong….”
Washington Post’s Milbank: Bernie Sanders Is Playing the Wall Street/Democrat Game
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—Washington Post leading political columnist Dana Milbank today documents that Bernie Sanders is not above big money politics, but is playing the same U.S. election game as all the candidates are. Milbank points to the Iowa and New Hampshire elections, where Sanders created the false impression of endorsements by New Hampshire’s Nashua Telegraph and Valley News, as well as the Des Moines Register in Iowa, along with the League of Conservation Voters and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), and implied other nonexistent endorsements.
Milbank reports that Sanders has nominally been an “Independent” but a de facto Democrat since he arrived in Washington in 1991. In 1996, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee cleared the field of opponents for him. In Sanders 2006 campaign for U.S. Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, heavily funded by Wall Street interests, helped him with about $200,000 in contributions and ads, CNN reported this weekend. The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported, contrary to Sanders’ claim that he doesn’t have a SuperPAC, that Sanders “is also employing professional political tactics, such as the use of entities that can raise and spend unlimited sums,” Milbank writes.
Sanders has hired Obama campaign staffers to do his social media and online fundraising, which has been a bonanza, as it was for Obama. Sanders, Milbank reports, initially bragged that he didn’t prepare for debates and had no pollsters; now he does. When Sanders kicked off his campaign, he said he wouldn’t officially declare himself a Democrat “Because I’m an Independent”; then he said he would be a Democrat, if necessary for ballot status; last week, he said, “Of course I am a Democrat.”
Washington, CDC Play Down Zika Virus Threat to U.S., Experts Charge
Feb. 8 (EIRNS)—Dr. Peter Hotez, founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told Fox News Feb. 5 that the message coming out of Washington, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the danger of the Zika virus to the U.S., is being greatly underplayed.
Washington’s talk of a “small outbreak” is not accurate, he said. “Zika has the ability to cause birth defects,” he said. “By saying ‘small outbreaks’ are going to affect Texas and Florida, are we saying we can tolerate small outbreaks of microcephaly in these states? I would say, No.”
Conditions in many of the low-income areas of the South “mimic those of Brazil and other regions that have seen a Zika outbreak,” Dr. Hotez said. “I believe all of the conditions where [the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the virus] are present in Latin America and the Caribbean are also present in Texas and other Gulf Coast states.” He warned that the number of Aedes aegypti already found in those parts of the U.S. could start multiplying in March, once warm weather begins, “which means we have time [to prepare]—and now’s the time to do it!”
Murdered Italian in Cairo Leads to British Connection
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)—British intelligence is probably responsible for the assassination of a young Italian researcher in Cairo, in a case which is producing political tensions between Italy and Egypt. Egypt’s ambassador to Rome has pointed to the fact that the body was found the day that Italian Industry Minister Federica Guidi was visiting Egypt. “Those who perpetrated this crime wanted to strike at relations between Italy and Egypt,” Ambassador Amr Helmy told the daily Il Messaggero.
Most media and British-influenced political factions are accusing Egyptian security forces, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, of being responsible for the murder.
Giulio Regeni, 28, disappeared on Jan. 25 and was found dead last week, with evidence of torture and mutilation. Regeni was a member of Polis, the Department of Politics and International Studies of the Cambridge University, and was in Cairo officially working on his PhD under the tutorship of a professor in London and another one in Cairo.
His mentor is Giuseppe Acconcia, a Cambridge-based Italian journalist who was once arrested by Egyptian police and who had interviewed ousted President Mohammed Morsi in prison. Acconcia has a master’s in Middle Eastern Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies. He writes for the Italian leftist daily Il Manifesto and, among others, for Soros’s opendemocracy.net.
Regeni was in contact with opposition networks in Egypt and was sending articles under a pseudonym to Il Manifesto.
Contrary to the pro-British factions, some observers in Italy believe that Regeni was killed by “friendly” circles, who believed he was a spy. This is corroborated by evidence including typical, mafia-style mutilations on his body, such as ear-clipping. Ambassador Helmy called it “unacceptable” to blame Egypt’s security forces without evidence, noting drily that “if anyone wants to insist that he was victim of state agents, he should ask why they did not eliminate the body. It would not have been difficult.”
The ambassador stressed that for the first time in Egyptian history, the government agreed to have an Italian investigative team to work together with Egyptian investigators.