Asia Plans Global Development; NATO Plans World Destruction
March 2 (EIRNS)—Schiller Institute founder and Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche today addressed a conference in New Delhi, calling on India, China and Russia to join forces, hopefully with others, to immediately extend the Silk Road process into Southwest Asia and North Africa, as the only means of saving the world from the looming threat of thermonuclear war.
“The new agreement between Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, covering a ceasefire for Syria,” Mrs. LaRouche said, “is potentially a game changer for the entire strategic situation, provided that especially China, Russia and India immediately work with the countries of Southwest Asia to implement a comprehensive build-up program, not only for the war-torn countries of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but for the entire region, from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf. With the trip of President Xi Jinping to the region—to Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia—the extension of the Silk Road in now on the table.”
Yet the threat of global war is escalating rapidly. This could not have been more clearly stated than in the deranged testimony of Gen. Philip Breedlove, Commander of NATO and of the U.S. European Command, before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Breedlove said that the U.S. military in Europe needs to be prepared to “puncture” Russia’s regional defenses and “rapidly reinforce” troops moving eastward in the event of a conflict. “Russia has created a very dense pattern of ‘A2-AD,’ or Anti-Access and Area Denial…. We need to be investing in those capabilities and capacities that allow us to enter into an A2-AD environment.”
Note that this supposedly threatening defense capacity of the Russians which Breedlove wants to “puncture” is within Russia’s own borders—i.e., Breedlove is speaking openly about an invasion of Russia. Lyndon LaRouche responded that something serious is afoot, that they are trying to provoke a war, “but they may not get what they expect.”
This open threat of global war is in total contrast to the ceasefire deal in Syria, which is holding for the fifth day—precisely because of direct collaboration between the U.S. and the Russian military. And, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth today after 340 days in space, as one of the few remaining heroes of the remnants of the American manned space program—in a Russian space craft.
The fact is: The British are desperate. The entire trans-Atlantic financial structure is ready to blow; it cannot survive the collapse of the speculative bubble now spreading across Europe and heading for Wall Street. And, LaRouche noted, the British know that if Putin continues as he is today, that the British Empire is gone.
This is situation in which we must bring America back to sanity, based on the principles which Mrs. LaRouche laid out today in New Delhi.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Breedlove: U.S. Must be Ready To Wage Offensive War against Russia
March 2 (EIRNS)—Gen. Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander, U.S. European Command, put on quite a display yesterday for the war party in Washington. First at the Senate Armed Services Committee, and then before reporters at the Pentagon, Breedlove hyperventilated about the alleged threat presented by an “aggressive” and “resurgent” Russia. This being budget season on Capitol Hill, one aim of Breedlove’s testimony was to justify to Congress the Obama Administration’s quadrupling of money available for the so-called European Reassurance Initiative; that is, the military build-up on which the U.S. and NATO have embarked in Eastern Europe, right up to the border with Russia.
Breedlove told the Senate committee that the U.S. military in Europe needs to be prepared to “puncture” Russia’s regional defenses and “rapidly reinforce” troops moving eastward, in the event of a conflict.
“We need to be able to rapidly reinforce. That sounds very straightforward. It is not,” he said. “Russia has created a very dense pattern of ‘A2-AD,’ or anti-access and area denial.”
Just to be clear, the “A2-AD” capabilities to which Breedlove was referring, are air defense systems and other military capacities that Russia has installed on its own territory in its Kaliningrad enclave and in Western Russia, placed there in response to NATO’s expansionism of the past few decades. But no matter. “We need to be investing in those capabilities, and capacities that allow us to enter into an A2-AD environment and to be able to reinforce,” Breedlove went on, asserting wildly that Putin’s objective is to “fracture” NATO or the European Union, or both.
Breedlove later told reporters that he has asked for more U.S. forces to be permanently based in Europe, but provided no details. A senior U.S. official told the Associated Press that Breedlove has asked for more Army troops than could be ready to respond quickly to any crisis or military need. The official would not say how many troops Breedlove had requested.
Breedlove Resurrects Cold War Map To Raise Fears about Russian Submarines
March 2 (EIRNS)—During his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, NATO commander Gen. Philip Breedlove particularly hyperventilated about Russian submarine activity, resurrecting the Cold War-era map of the so-called GIUK,— the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. gap, the chokepoint through which Soviet submarines from the Northern Fleet had to transit in order to get into the open Atlantic Ocean—to make his point.
“We are challenged to be able to watch all this activity. And the Russians understand the utility of those submarines, and have invested heavily in those submarines, and it does challenge our abilities,” he said. This, he noted, has put on the table the prospect of reopening the former U.S. air base in Keflavik, Iceland.
This is not the first time that a possible reopening of the Keflavik Air Base—which was closed in 2006, except for a U.S. Navy communications station—has been raised. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work visited Iceland last year to discuss the possibility with Icelandic government officials, and the Navy revealed last month that it was in discussions about stationing a squadron of P-8 maritime patrol aircraft there.
The Russian submarine threat, however, is greatly exaggerated. While the Russian Navy has been exerting a great effort to improve the quality of its submarine fleet, both in terms of shipbuilding and the fleet’s operational capabilities, it is nowhere near the size of the Soviet Navy at its peak, the time of the Cold War. The 61 boats of today’s Russian Navy include 21 conventionally-powered boats which will never be seen in the Atlantic, though they may cause problems for NATO in the Baltic and Black Seas. In 1990, at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Navy had about 260 submarines, including 64 nuclear attack submarines and 63 ballistic missile submarines.
U.S.-Russia Military Cooperation Takes Syria Truce into Day Five
March 2 (EIRNS)—By all accounts, the Russian-U.S. brokered truce in Syria is still holding on its fifth day, despite complaints from both the neo-con crowd in Washington and the Saudi-sponsored opposition grouping. The Russian air base in Latakia is reported to be quiet, compared to the constant noise of jets taking off and landing until last week, and civilians are reported to be in the streets carrying out normal activities, in some places for the first time in five years. There are occasional incidents puncturing the truce, and fighting against ISIS and Al Nusra holdouts goes on, but, by and large, the level of violence is a fraction of what it was before the truce.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone again, yesterday, on the implementation of the truce, stressing the importance of U.S.-Russian military coordination. According to Russian Defense Ministry officials, the coordination center at the air base in Latakia is taking phone calls and working continuously to monitor and maintain the truce. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov particularly stressed the coordination with the similar U.S. center in Amman, Jordan.
“Virtually every two hours, colleagues from the American Center in Amman communicate with our officers at the National Centre for Reconciliation at the Hmeymim base,” Konashenkov said.
Turkey Opposition Leader Calls Erdogan a Narcissist, after President Proclaims Disrespect for Court Ruling
March 2 (EIRNS)—The leader of the Turkish opposition called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a narcissist, as expressed in Erdogan’s recent fit of rage after Turkey’s Constitutional Court ordered the release of two journalists who were being held on trumped up “espionage” charges for revealing documents exposing illegal weapons trafficking from Turkey into Syria.
“The President of a country should set a model for the society and should obey the judiciary and the law. But if his or her narcissism shows up, then he doesn’t recognize any rule, because what he says is the law itself. He doesn’t comply with the law, the Constitution, or any of the other rules,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kiliçdaroglu told media on March 1, when asked about Erdogan’s explosion on Feb. 28 that he would not respect the court ruling that the arrest of the journalists was illegal.
“What is the law?” asked Kiliçdaroglu. “The law is the assurance of all living people in a society. Who distributes the law? The courts,” Kiliçdaroglu responded, answering reporters’ questions during a visit to the Union of Chambers of Certified Accountants of Turkey.
Meanwhile, another CHP deputy proposed that Erdogan be given “psychological treatment.” CHP deputy Akif Ekici charged that the President was “dragging the country into a disaster” due to his policy toward Syria. “In our hometown, some elderly people don’t want to go to the doctor even though they are sick. But then family elders and leading figures of the neighborhood gather and persuade this person to get treated. Let’s form a quartet to get this Recep Tayyip Erdogan psychologically treated, because he has lost his consciousness,” Ekici said.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Hillary Clinton’s British Accomplices Put Out the Hit Order on Qaddafi
March 2 (EIRNS)-The New York Times’ exposé of Hillary Clinton’s pivotal role in the overthrow and assassination of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya is reverberating internationally, and is but the latest evidence that a Hillary Clinton Presidency would be a replay of the worst aspects of the Bush and Obama administrations.
Well-placed Washington sources have added damning new details to the picture presented in the New York Times. In his memoir of his time as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates made clear that, from the outset, it was obvious to him and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the so-called “humanitarian” intervention into Libya, starting with the creation of a no-fly zone, was an all-out war that could only end in regime change and chaos. In pushing the decision to go into Libya, Hillary Clinton broke decisively with Gates and the JCS, and went fully over to the side of the R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”) mafia in the Obama White House, centered around Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Valerie Jarrett. Secretary Clinton capitulated to the very people who were gunning for her from the time of the 2008 campaign.
The ouster and assassination of Qaddafi, the sources confirmed, was a British operation from top to bottom. In fact, it was a group of British “mercenaries,” who were part of Qaddafi’s personal security detail, who provided the precise location where Qaddafi could be found, captured and assassinated. That nasty detail about the British role has not yet come out publicly, but it underscores the British ownership of the Obama Presidency, and, by extension, of Hillary Clinton. The recent Clinton endorsement by neo-con thug Robert Kagan, the husband of Victoria Nuland, is one more reminder of the real score.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
U.S. Financial and Trade Warfare on China
March 2 (EIRNS)—Moody’s and the U.S. Commerce Department both launched economic warfare operations on China this week.
Moody’s downgraded its outlook on Chinese government debt from “stable” to “negative” today, citing “uncertainty over authorities’ capacity to implement economic reforms, rising government debt, and falling reserves.”
In its coverage, the British news service Reuters smugly notes that this comes days before the National People’s Congress, which will vote on the 13th five-year plan. Reuters writes: “Analysts will closely scrutinize the NPC’s final text for hints on the likely trajectory of reform and policymakers’ thinking on the appropriate growth strategy for China—key factors highlighted by Moody’s in the report issued on Wednesday.”
Moody’s itself wrote: “Without credible and efficient reforms, China’s GDP growth would slow more markedly as a high debt burden dampens business investment and demographics turn increasingly unfavorable. Government debt would increase more sharply than we currently expect.”
Reuters wrote that Moody’s downgrade “was driven by expectations that China’s fiscal strength will continue to decline, as well as the fall in its foreign exchange reserves—which have shrunk by $762 billion over the last 18 months. It also said that policymakers’ credibility was at risk of being undermined by incomplete implementation, or partial reversals, of some reforms.”
One day before, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed a massive 265% tariff on Chinese cold-rolled steel, used to make auto parts, appliances, and shipping containers. The Department claims the tariffs are meant to punish dumping, which China denies. The huge losses at U.S. steel companies are not due to China, but due to the failure of the U.S. to rebuild its collapsing infrastructure and industrial capacity, as outlined in the LaRouche PAC pamphlet, “The U.S. Joins the New Silk Road.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Former French Prime Minister Raffarin Promotes China, Silk Road
March 2 (EIRNS)—French Sen. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who served as Prime Minister of France from 2002-2005, praised China’s Silk Road as “the only major new and global project,” adding that this was the role of real leaders. In a written interview with Xinhua, Raffarin wrote that China’s One Belt, One Road project has made it one of the world’s pioneers, which will “play its unifier and innovator role.”
“In a meeting last year at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), Chinese President Xi Jinping told me: ‘Be assured that in the 21st century, no country can succeed solo.’ The whole world has understood this message, with over 70 countries engaged in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A community of interest is created,” Raffarin wrote.
Raffarin also said that multinational investment projects were being studied in all areas, including industrial, financial, agricultural, and scientific fields, in a way to bolster “more relevant and important multi-national investment…. China claims its rights, but assumes its duties for world peace.” He said that Paris and Beijing shared a common approach to global governance and win-win solutions to multilateral international cooperation.
“Our destiny is a common one, because world disorders weaken nations. By better understanding each other, respecting differences, and by analyzing all the threats, a common destiny will be formed,” Raffarin told Xinhua.
Raffarin praised the “excellent relations” between China and Europe, arguing that China had helped the euro area when it faced financial troubles.
AIIB President Jin Liwung Introduces New Paradigm Policies to Denmark
COPENHAGEN, March 2 (EIRNS)—On his first foreign visit after being named president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (to Denmark and Finland), Jin Liwung gave a lively, provocative presentation on the Alibi’s mandate and approach to a public event organized by Copenhagen University and the Copenhagen Business School. Representatives of the Schiller Institute present provided the following report on the highlights of his speech.
The purpose of the AIIB is to promote win-win economic and social development through infrastructure investment. Jin said that he does not believe in poverty reduction in and of it. In 1980, when mainland China replaced Taiwan in the Bretton Woods institutions, China had nothing but human population. Then, they started to borrow to build infrastructure, and some were worried about debt creation. But the benefits of infrastructure investment appeared 25 years later, when the economy started to take off. At the same time, other countries were borrowing to sustain consumption. But China’s policy enabled it to lift 600 million people out of poverty.
The Alibi’s purpose is not only to finance the One Belt, One Road projects, he said. The bank is owned by the 57 member nations, and 50 others want to join, 30 of which have made the decision to join. This is not China’s bank; there has to be a balance between financing projects across the regions.
The purpose is to finance sustainable economic development, wealth creation, and infrastructure in Asia which contributes to connectivity in the vast Eurasian land mass, not just Asia proper. For example, high-speed rail has cut the cost of transportation between Europe and Asia, and it is now easier to travel from Beijing to Europe, than between Asian nations!
The AIIB will do things that have not been done before by the Bretton Woods financial institutions, including the World Bank, because it will learn from their pluses and minuses. Asia is awash with liquidity, but now that money has to go to Europe and the U.S. before it is recycled back to Asia.
Infrastructure investment can be wasteful if there are not good, thought-out projects; he cited cases such as building a power plant, without a modern transmission system. The AIIB will help to design coordinated projects.
Yes, there are disputes in the South China Sea, but the joint infrastructure projects between China and the ASEAN nations have built mutual confidence, and win-win cooperation. Look at Syria, he said. We don’t want to see that happen elsewhere, but we must learn to lessen chaos, and work out differences.
Development also helps environmental protection. You are not worried about the environment, if you are worried about how you are going to get breakfast the next day.
In response to a question from Tom Gillesberg, chairman of the Schiller Institute in Denmark, on how the AIIB will be different from the World Bank, which refused to finance infrastructure projects if, for example, a frog species would be endangered, Jin replied that you sometimes have to sacrifice a little on the environmental impact in order to get development, and the net effect will be positive. Development is the solution.
“We still cannot be weaned from fossil fuels…. But because of development, we humans can come up with a technology, achieve breakthroughs in technology. Eventually, we can tap solar energy directly, but you cannot leapfrog this stage…. People are afraid of nuclear power, but if we could have a breakthrough in nuclear fusion, we may solve the problem once and for all. How can we achieve this? Development! Let’s work together” to achieve breakthroughs.
The Schiller Institute’s exclusive video of Jin’s hour-and-a-half English-language speech with question and answer period, is posted to its website.
El-Sisi on Tour to Kazakhstan, Japan, and South Korea
March 2 (EIRNS)—Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is today in South Korea, the last stop in a three-country tour of Asia that has opened great prospects for mutual cooperation with Kazakhstan, Japan and South Korea.
Cooperation on nuclear power and space were reported as leading items on the agenda when el-Sisi met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Feb. 26, as well as strengthening their commercial, agricultural and transportation relations. Following their meeting, President Nazarbayev situated this cooperation within the Silk Road Economic Belt Project, in which he noted both Kazakhstan and Egypt play a significant role.
In Japan, el-Sisi signed ten memoranda of agreement, as well as three concessional loan agreements with Japan International Cooperation Agency, worth more than $450 million, to finance energy and transport projects. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke of Japanese companies taking part in Egyptian projects to the amount of some $17.7 billion in the electricity and other sectors.
Speaking before the Japanese Parliament on Feb. 29, el-Sisi praised the Japanese economic development experience, expressing “the Egyptian people’s and my personal appreciation of what the Japanese people offer: a role model and a unique civilization, which managed to transform honorable, ethical principles and teamwork into a concrete reality everywhere in Japan.”
El-Sisi presented Egypt’s major projects, especially the Suez Canal area development project and the road network project, encouraging Japanese investors to contribute to such projects. He continued, “Egypt seeks cooperation with Japan in the education sector to benefit from its wonderful experience which combined high-quality education with extreme care for incorporating honorable, humanitarian principles of patriotism and teamwork, which are essential for economic and social development.”
Japan agreed to issue annual scholarships for 2,500 Egyptian students and interns for five years, and el-Sisi told Asahi Shimbun in an interview published on Feb. 27, that he aims to send 100,000 Egyptian students to study in Japan.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
One-Year Space Mission and Astronaut Twin Studies Will Further Science
March 2 (EIRNS)—NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned this morning in Kazakhstan, from their nearly one-year stay together aboard the International Space Station. It was the first time a NASA astronaut spent 340 continuous days in microgravity, although more than one cosmonaut had done that aboard the Mir space station in the 1990s. Scientists were able to deploy the most advanced biomedical and other technology for this mission, which was not available on the earlier Russian flights. Almost 400 scientific experiments were carried out by the entire ISS crew during the past year, with 17 specifically related to physiological changes during the two-man, one-year mission.
Kelly looked chipper as he was taken out of the Soyuz capsule; chatted with NASA medics and the press, and now goes through months of physical rehabilitation. Even during the mission, changes were seen in Kelly’s biology in response to microgravity, as samples of blood, urine, etc. were periodically sent back to Earth.
An added bonus was the parallel participation in the experiments by Scott Kelly’s twin brother Mark, a former astronaut, who acted as a “control” on the ground to Scott’s exposure to microgravity, and other factors in the space environment—such as increased levels of radiation. It was the brothers themselves who suggested to NASA that they do the twin study. Clearly, a major difference between being on-orbit and at home, is the isolation and related social stress in space. Scott Kelly was in touch continuously with followers via Twitter; sent back a continuous flow of spectacular Earth images from orbit; engaged with schoolchildren and the media; contributed comments to a space conference, and even talked with Congressmen during hearings. He always maintained both his sense of purpose, and his sense of humor.
NASA Administrator Bolden and other NASA officials attribute the importance of this long-duration mission to preparation for trips to Mars. But since we are not going to send human beings on a more than 700-day mission to Mars using chemical propulsion, with two-thirds of that time spent in microgravity, many of the deleterious medical effects seen in microgravity today will not be an issue. The importance of the scientific results of the mission actually lie in what we will learn about human physiology, biology and medicine, basic sciences, and technology spin-offs, to improve health and extend life on Earth, and to extend our knowledge into space.
China’s Chang’e-3 Lunar Lander Sets a Record on the Moon: Two-Plus Years in Operation
March 2 (EIRNS)—China’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander, which deployed the diminutive lunar rover Yutu in December 2013, has set a record for the longest operating time on the Moon, according to Ye Peijian, chief scientist for the Chang’e-3 mission, reported China Radio International yesterday. It has completed more than two years of operations on the lunar surface, and continues to send back data. “It seems that Chang’e-3 will continue to keep working,” Ye observed.
The State Administration for Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense announced last month that the lander had automatically awakened after another two-week lunar night, and that its astronomical telescope and other instruments were still working well.
Yutu has not been unable to move since its first encounter with the nighttime cold, but despite the “mechanical control abnormality” it suffered, Ye explained, engineers have used an “innovative temperature control system” to keep the rover functioning. Yutu continues to conduct radar imaging studies under the surface, and transmit data back to Earth via the lander.