Putin Drives Ahead With Syria Peace Initiative; Urgent To Cast Aside Obama, and the British
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin is driving ahead this week on the new Syria ceasefire initiative with its full implications, to back down the warmongers. Elements in this process, over the Feb. 22-23 period, are serving to tie down Obama, and his London controllers, with more and more constraints. The geopolitical crowd is finding it harder and harder to pull off their usual, old dirty tricks. This creates a renewed opportunity for us to act to set Obama aside, and truly make a break with the British imperial paradigm causing the devastation in the first place, in the Mideast-North Africa and in Europe. The current circumstances are the perfect conditions for sane forces throughout the United States—and worldwide—to step up and accomplish this.
“There is no option,” Lyndon LaRouche said today, emphasizing the urgency and necessity. “Unless something special is done to throw Obama out of office,” there is no chance for success. It is important, he said, to “break the British hold. That’s the only chance for humanity. Obama’s got to go one way or another. That’s the only way.”
On Feb. 22, the formal agreement for “Terms for a Cessation of Hostilities in Syria” was reached by the co-chairs of the ISSG (International Syria Support Group)—Russia and the United States—after a phone call between Putin and Obama, held at the Kremlin’s request. Next, Putin issued a full and official “Special Address” on the significance of the new agreement, which includes reiteration of principles, and very specific implementation. On the question of compliance, Putin’s address states: “To achieve this goal, we will establish a communication hotline and, if necessary, a working group to exchange relevant information….”
He further stressed that conditions must be created, “for launching a long-term political process through a broad inter-Syrian dialogue in Geneva, under the auspices of the UN.”
Then, within 24 hours, Moscow announced more implementation. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, issued a statement today, saying that Russia has prepared the logistics for the hotline between the U.S. and Russia, and submitted them to the U.S. for activation. Second, Russia has established a “Coordination Centre for Reconciliation” of warring sides, at the Kheimin airbase, near Latakia, in western Syria. Its functions are to “render the maximum assistance” to everyone who applies for it. Hotlines will be manned, to monitor the truce. The Centre will assist in humanitarian relief efforts.
In contrast, Obama followed up the phone call and agreement with Putin with no statement, and only a two paragraph “read-out” posted on the White House news site. The first paragraph merely confirmed the call and agreement; the second paragraph reported that Obama berated Putin for wrongdoing in Ukraine. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond followed suit, by ranting that the new agreement “will only succeed if there is a major change of behavior by the Syrian regime and its backers. Russia, in particular, must honour this agreement by ending its attacks on Syrian civilians…” and so on.
In reality, the Putin Syria peace initiatives constitute a framework for the Silk Road/Marshall Plan proposed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the international Schiller Institute mobilization, and implied in President Xi’s recent visit to the region. This is the means to end the strife, and restore a future across the entire region.
What’s blocking this, is that Americans are still putting up with Obama in office, and the British imperial occupation. It’s past time to cast it off.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russia, United States Upset British Game Board; Reach Agreement for Syrian Ceasefire
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Feb. 22 evening, that an agreement had been reached on conditions for a ceasefire in Syria between all but the jihadi terrorists. All parties involved in the conflict, outside those terrorists, have until Feb. 26 at noon, to indicate their willingness to participate, with the ceasefire then to go into operation the following day. Taskforces have been set up to work out details.
The address given by President Vladimir Putin to the Russian people on the agreement on Monday night, after the conversation with President Obama which he initiated, best summarizes the terms reached and commitments made. Putin made clear this was no “quick fix,” but rather grew out of much work, including making “use of the positive experience we accumulated over the course of cooperation in eliminating chemical weapons in Syria.”
Enforcement of the ceasefire between the groups which agree to participate is to proceed thus: “Russian and American troops will jointly delineate the territories where these groups are active. No military action will be taken against them by the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian Armed Forces, and the U.S.-led Coalition. In turn, the opposition will cease all military action against the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic and other groups supporting them,” Putin stated.
Strikes against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other UNSC-designated terrorist groups will continue.
A communication hotline and, if necessary, a working group to exchange information, will be set up. “Russia will conduct the necessary work with Damascus and the legitimate Syrian leadership. We expect that the United States will do the same with regard to its allies and the groups it supports,” said Putin. These actions “will be enough to radically reverse the crisis situation in Syria. We are finally seeing a real chance to bring an end to the long-standing bloodshed and violence.”
Most important: “Russian-American agreements on the cessation of hostilities in Syria, and their joint implementation in coordination with all nations participating in the International Syria Support Group, can become an example of responsible actions the global community takes against the threat of terrorism, which are based on international law and UN principles,” he concluded. A far cry from the disasters in Somalia, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen which resulted from “one-sided actions not sanctioned by the UN.”
Less than 24 hours later, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov reported that Russia had provided the U.S. the contacts for the hotline, and had set up a “Coordination Center” at its airbase near Latakia, Syria, tasked to monitor compliance with the ceasefire; facilitate contacts between the Syrian government and opposition, and provide humanitarian aid.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced that Parliamentary elections will be held on April 13, and Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Lebanese television channel Al Mayadeen that “Damascus has agreed to stop military operations” against all but the terrorists.
In a joint press conference in Washington with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon, Secretary Kerry reported that he hoped to hear soon that the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), then meeting, also accepted the ceasefire. All parties involved—Syrian government and opposition, and other countries—must make the commitment to implement the agreement, he said, singling out no party in particular (unlike the British).
Reflecting the global effects and efforts which went into this accord—which now must be made to stick over British imperial sabotage—Kerry cited the Chinese role in creating conditions for this ceasefire. Kerry pointed out that Foreign Minister Wang had flown the longest and the farthest of any Foreign Minister, to participate in the international discussions on an end to the Syrian conflict held in Munich.
British Stomp that U.S.-Russia Ceasefire for Syria Must Fail
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond issued a “welcome” of the announcement of a U.S.-Russian Cessation of Hostilities in Syria yesterday, with a vituperative attack on Russia:
“It will only succeed if there is a major change of behavior by the Syrian regime and its backers. Russia, in particular, must honor this agreement by ending its attacks on Syrian civilians and moderate opposition groups, and by using its influence to ensure the Syrian regime does the same. Russia needs to demonstrate its compliance by clearly only targetting Daesh [ISIS] and those recognized as terrorists by the international community,” he stated.
Gareth Bayley, U.K. Special Representative for Syria, raised at the same time, that there can be no peace without war crimes tribunals against Assad and other officials. Bayley denounced Daesh solely for destroying Syria’s “cultural heritage,” while denouncing Assad for all the torturing and killing.
Speaking to the House of Commons today, Hammond was more specific that the British Empire insists Russia must stop its airstrikes, which turned the tide against the advance of the barbaric ISIS. As he put it:
“Whatever the technicalities, the big picture is this: Unless the level of Russian airstrikes dramatically decreases, this ceasefire will not hold, because the moderate armed opposition cannot lay down their weapons and will not lay down their weapons while they are being annihilated from the air.
“The ceasefire agreement will allow continuing operations against Daesh and al-Nusra, and no one would disagree with that. The problem is, the Russians claim to date that all of their action has been against those groups, so on the face of it, the Russians could be entering into this arrangement on the basis that they are not going to change their behavior at all. If so, it will fail before it gets off the ground; so everything hinges on Russia’s good intentions.”
Turkish Government Caught Lying about Ankara Bombing
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—The Turkish government claim that Syrian Kurdish organizations in the pay of the Syrian government and Russia were behind the Feb. 17 suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 29, is now proving to be a lie. Most people—especially foreign governments—do not believe the government anyway.
DNA testing has confirmed that the suicide bomber responsible for last week’s Ankara bombing was a Turkish citizen, Abdulbaki Somer, who was a member of the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), which took responsibility for the attack. The government claims the bomber’s ID card named him as a Syrian, “Salih Muhammed Neccar,” whom they identified as a member of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)—the very agency which happens to be fighting ISIS in northern Syria.
Somer was born in Van province in eastern Turkey. He was reported missing in 2005 and had been in the police files as a “missing child” since then. Now the government claims that Somer used the false identity card to cross into Turkey, and claimed he was a Syrian escaping the violence of the Islamic State. Of course this is a rather ham-handed lie, since Somer was Turkish; he would have had to speak perfect Arabic, if he had been claiming be a Syrian. The government doesn’t even try to explain this minor anomaly; nonetheless, the report prepared by Turkey’s counter-terrorism and intelligence police, based on what they claim was a comprehensive study, makes this bald-faced assertion.
Based on information drawn from 14 detained suspects, the authorities believe the bombing was ordered by members of the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK): Mehmet Dogan (nicknamed “Baran”) and Ishak Özçaptu (nicknamed “Erhan”). The investigation has also revealed that the bomb used in the attack was made at a construction site in Ankara. The investigation neglects to ask, then, why Somer would have had to cross into Syria and return with a false identity card.
It seems that President Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has managed to convince only itself of the false claims.Hurriyet columnist Semih Idiz writes today that the government “has failed, however, to convince its allies.” He concludes that the government’s Syrian policy is a complete failure: “Whichever way one looks at it, Ankara’s Syrian debacle is deepening. The political mistakes of the government with regard to the Syrian civil war are coming home to roost in ways that are increasingly worrying for ordinary citizens, who are already witnessing Syria-related massacres by this or that terrorist group in the heart of their capital.”
Hurriyet’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Yetkin also wrote, “Now, after the bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 military and civilian army personnel on Feb. 17, the Erdogan-Davutoglu duo is getting ever closer to a crossroads in their Syria policy. Erdogan, with his main agenda of changing Turkey’s political system into a presidential one to consolidate all executive powers, could soon find himself having to take a radical decision to find an exit for both the country and himself.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Kerry, Wang Agree Diplomacy Must Shape U.S.-Chinese Relations
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—That there is a way out of geopolitics and permanent war, if the United States is freed from the grip of the British Empire—that is, Obama is removed—was also demonstrated in the press conference given by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary of State John Kerry, after their meetings in Washington today. Although the nuances of their nearly hour-long conference await the transcript and review, the spirit is exemplified by the following.
The press conference was opened 45 minutes later than scheduled by a strong statement by Secretary Kerry, that both nations understand that the U.S. and China share one of the most consequential relationships in the world, and they must act accordingly. Both nations are deeply committed to dialogue, and recognize that their two powerful nations, with the two largest economies in the world, have the ability to make good things happen, despite clear differences in specific areas. Areas of cooperation on global affairs were identified, and only within that context were the contentious areas of North Korea and the South China Sea diplomatically elaborated.
Foreign Minister Wang agreed; we have more points of agreement than disagreement. As diplomats, our responsibility is to identify problems and resolve them; to clear the way ahead and remove obstacles.
Both emphasized the necessity of talks, and knowing each other’s thinking, if “misjudgments,” which could become dangerous, are to be avoided. Kerry specified military-to-military talks as crucial.
In his final answer, Wang said that Middle East peace, African development, fighting diseases, non-proliferation, all require U.S.-China cooperation. Our two countries should make “the pie of our common interests” bigger, he suggested. And, we should look through a telescope to visualize the future, rather than a microscope to magnify our differences.
More Leaks on NSA Tapping of Merkel, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, and Tremonti
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—WikiLeaks has published documents on NSA phone-tapping operations carried out during December 2008, involving Merkel’s communications with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, (then-President of France) Nicolas Sarkozy, and other leaders, including Italian then-Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, with particular attention to his “economic philosophy.” This is the period in which Italian media identified Lyndon LaRouche as being one of Tremonti’s sources of inspiration.
WikiLeaks has also published 2011 cables concerning wiretapping of then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s collaborators a few days before Berlusconi’s government was toppled by an EU conspiracy.
According to the wire reports, the global warming issue and Obama’s views on that seem to have been a major topic of the Merkel-Sarkozy talks, but there are certainly other issues. There ought to be something there (but maybe not in these leaked pages) on the global financial crisis, which was at its peak at that time, leading even Sarkozy for a period to call for a New Bretton Woods.
As for Tremonti, the Italian daily La Prealpina mentions a cable dated Oct. 30, 2008, two weeks before the G20 meeting in Washington for the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy,” which is the subject of the cable from the Rome Embassy. The cable indicates “the possible Italian position” in the G20 and Tremonti’s “desire to abolish hedge funds and create new roles for the IMF and the World Bank as supervisors of financial markets.”
The “top secret” cable mentions the Oct. 18 issue of The Economistquoting Tremonti, who explained his action for “radical reforms in international finance and an expansion of the G8.” The cable ends by stating that “Tremonti has always expressed strong doubts on the benefits of globalization, and an eclectic economic philosophy.”
What “eclectic” meant had been explained ten days before the cable by Italy’s most prestigious daily, Corriere della Sera, with an article in its weekly economic supplement titled “The Bretton Woods 2 of LaRouche and Tremonti,” in which Italy’s Finance Minister acknowledged his “appreciation” of LaRouche’s ideas. The article also reproduced honestly LaRouche’s proposal to separate commercial banks from investment banks.
Reached in New York for comments today, Tremonti said that the NSA description fits his profile.
Governors, U.S. Senators, Police and Health Officials Attack Obama FDA’s Fostering of Drug Addiction and Death
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—The Obama Food and Drug Administration’s rubberstamping of drug companies’ production of addictive and deadly opioid painkillers is going “full steam ahead,” despite objections this week from the bipartisan Governors Association, leading Democratic Senators, law enforcement officials, and medical officers.
Obama’s new choice to head the FDA, Dr. Robert Califf, who has been handsomely paid for consulting by the major drug companies while at Duke University, is headed for easy confirmation in the Senate; only six Senators opposed him in procedural votes today. Both Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) put procedural holds on the nomination of Califf last month, because of his close ties to “Big Pharma” drug companies.
“The Food and Drug Administration is supposed to be our nation’s pharmacist, but right now it is prescribing dangerous and addictive painkillers without limits, without supervision, and without consequence,” Markey said at a press conference yesterday. “This must stop.”
Markey continued, “We need the leader of the FDA to be a tough cop on the beat, not a rubber stamp approving the latest Big Pharma painkillers that are the cause of this deadly scourge of opioid addiction and overdoses.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) at the press conference, and said 51 Americans die daily from opioid overdose; “The FDA needs a champion who is committed to changing the way the agency handles opioids.”
The Centers for Disease Control emphasizes the link between the increase in fatal opioid overdoses (up 200% since 2000) and the rise in opioid pill prescriptions over the past several years. The CDC reports health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012.
Obama himself refused the Governors’ request for the FDA to impose tighter limits on prescriptions for opioids at a reception for the Governors Association yesterday., Obama told them, “If we go to doctors right now and say, ‘Don’t overprescribe,’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have … then we’re not going to solve the problem….”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
OECD Interim Economic Outlook Blasts Austerity; Calls for Public Investments Instead
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—The last Interim Economic Outlook, published by the international Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation Feb. 18, blasts fiscal austerity and central banks’ monetary policies; warns of “substantial” financial risks, and calls for public investments in infrastructure. Notably, the report shows that deficit-financed investments in infrastructure have a multiplier which increases budget sustainability, whereas austerity has failed to do so.
“Current policies,” says the report, “will yield a low-growth equilibrium—characterized by low demand, low investment, low inflation, unsatisfactory labor market outcomes, and weak productivity growth. In this context, desired improvements in living standards and in distribution of income are unlikely. A recovery in private sector investment and wage growth is needed for global economic activity to accelerate.”
Whereas “reliance on monetary policy alone has been insufficient to deliver satisfactory growth,” “a commitment to raising public investment collectively would boost demand, while remaining on a fiscally sustainable path. Investment spending has a high-multiplier, while quality infrastructure projects would help to support future growth, making up for the shortfall in investment following the cuts imposed across advanced countries in recent years.”
The report has a graph which shows the result of a simulation based on a two-year increase in the level of government investment equivalent to 0.5% of GDP: a GDP growth between 0.6% and 0.8% for the U.S.A. and 0.6% for the Eurozone. The effect on debt is a reduction of 0.4% in the Eurozone, which has been calculated as a weighted average of Germany, France, and Italy.
The report pays lip service to “structural reforms,” saying that they would work in the context of such growth.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
IAEA To Give Brazil a Gamma Cell Irradiator To Battle Zika Mosquitoes
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced today that it will provide Brazil with a gamma ray irradiator to aid it in winning the battle against the Zika virus. Within a few months, the irradiator could increase the production of sterile male mosquitoes to stop the reproduction of mosquitoes in areas most affected by the virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The IAEA release states, “The equipment, a cobalt-60 gamma cell irradiator, is expected to be transferred to the Brazilian non-profit Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) center, Moscamed, in Juazeiro, Bahia. The machine is an essential component in the use of SIT, a form of pest control that uses ionizing radiation to sterilize male insects mass-produced in special facilities. Once released, these males mate with wild females who do not produce any offspring, effectively suppressing the insect population over time.” The IAEA provides a citation on the potential use of the technique, athttps://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/nuclear-technique-can-help-control-disease-transmitting-mosquitoes.)
The director of Moscamed, Jair Virginio, said that the irradiator would allow the facility to produce up to 12 million sterilized male mosquitoes a week, reaching up to 750,000 people in 15 municipalities in the Brazilian states of Bahia and Pernambuco in Brazil’s Northeast, particularly hard-hit by Zika.
The gamma cell sterilization is distinct from a genetic modification process used in Brazil to try to kill off the mosquitoes, which has its problems, as was described by Debra Hanania-Freeman in the Feb. 12 issue of EIR, in an article titled “The British Monarchy and the Zika Virus.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
German Mittelstand Needed for Developing Africa and Mideast
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—German Development Minister Gerd Müller reiterated that investing in infrastructure, schooling, and jobs onsite in Syria and Iraq, and in African crisis countries too, is the only way to halt and reverse the refugee streams into Europe and Germany, in a lengthy interview with the Kreisbote news daily in his election district of Kempten today. Some 90% of the refugees, from both Syria and Africa, are still there; none of them would want to take the risky voyage to Europe, were real perspectives offered to them at home. If these perspectives are not offered, refugees will continue to try to make their way to Europe and Germany. This will be the situation for another 10 years in any case, because of the unresolved crises, Müller said.
Reconstruction projects in Syria and Iraq are being promoted by his Ministry with the “cash for work” program which employs refugees with needed skills, like craftsmen, nurses, and teachers, in projects that improve the situation of refugees in the camps and emergency housing areas, with school programs for children; with rebuilding of residential areas; and water and power supply, Müller explained, reiterating his frequent proposal that €10 billion spent in Syria and the region might suffice, as a starter for the reconstruction. A ceasefire and peace are the preconditions, and the Russian-American talks on the sidelines of the recent Munich Security Conference are a sign of hope.
For Africa, Müller demands that free trade be transformed into fair trade, with fair prices paid by Europe for African products, to enable African economies to develop. Education, science, and technology transfer are required. There is no need for any human to suffer from hunger, Müller said, quoting Mahatma Gandhi that “Hunger is murder.” This planet has resources to provide for 10 billion humans, actually, Müller said, adding that the present allocation of resources, where $1.750 trillion globally is spent every year for military armaments, while only $140 billion is spent on development projects, must definitely be corrected. But it’s not money alone that’s required: The know-how of the European and German Mittelstand to develop the infrastructure in African cities, is very much needed, Müller said.