Insanity Is Pulsing through the United States
March 8 (EIRNS)—President Obama on Monday held a meeting in the White House to celebrate the success of the Dodd-Frank Bill in preventing another collapse like that of 2008. The only problem is that the entire trans-Atlantic financial system is in free fall, sucked under by nearly $2 quadrillion in worthless gambling debts which Dodd-Frank did nothing to prevent—in fact, promoted. The Western economies are teetering on the brink, while the populations are being devastated by the worst drug epidemic in Western history, and by suicides committed by desperate middle-aged unemployed working people.
Obama and his controllers in London, meanwhile, are doing everything in their power to bring down the only portion of the world which is functioning—Russia and China. On the top of their “hit-list” is the BRICS, which represents the seed-crystal of a new world paradigm based on development, space exploration, and “win-win” cooperation among nations, as Xi Jinping describes it. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said today: “The Belt and Road was a project launched by China, but the opportunities belong to the world.” But, Wang Yi also had to warn the United States that its efforts at “muddying the waters” by instigating conflict in Korea and in the South China Sea could “plunge Asia into chaos,” and that China could not stand by in that case.
Meanwhile in Europe, NATO leaders continue to deploy greater and greater military forces up to the Russian border, preparing for war.
Yet, Putin has flanked this war drive, moving into Syria, crushing Obama’s support apparatus for the terrorist networks, and forming a working military and political relationship with the sane elements in the U.S. military to impose a ceasefire and destroy ISIS and al-Nusra. Now, Putin is showing that he can wage peace as well as he waged war, signing up more opposition groups every day to the ceasefire and focusing fire power on the last remaining ISIS outposts.
But without turning the United States around, taking on the criminals in the White House and on Wall Street, the onrushing global war will not be averted. Practical thinking in this kind of crisis is deadly. The existing institutions are dead, as evidenced by the clown show called the 2016 Presidential election campaign. To create the required new institutions, the deadening culture must be torn down, through beauty, a return to Classical culture and creativity, in music as well as in science.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russia Prosecuting the Peace in Syria as Vigorously as It Prosecuted the War
March 8 (EIRNS)—Alexander Mercouris, writing for the Russia Insider news site and drawing on a series of reports from the BBC, describes the process in Syria where Russian mediators (from the military) are fanning out across the country to negotiate local peace deals.
Most of the armed groups they’re in contact with are not actually organized opposition, but militias that arose in areas where government authority collapsed after the Syrian army was forced to withdraw. Many of these groups, Mercouris writes, “have in fact paraded at various times under the banner of the Free Syrian Army—the main Western backed Syrian rebel group—primarily in order to get hold of the Western supplies that have been flooding into Syria since the war began.” However, “most of these militias have no very strong commitment to any side in the war, and are reluctant to move and fight outside their own areas.”
These militias see the jihadi groups such as ISIS and Al Nusra as rivals and, since the United States has not been able to guarantee their safety, they have been gravitating towards the Russians and the Syrian government for protection. “Having forced the United States to agree to the truce, the Russians are now busy contacting as many of these people as they can, brokering ceasefire agreements between them and the Syrian authorities, which in reality are not so much ceasefires but rather local peace agreements, delineating territory, agreeing on terms for the provision of supplies, and setting up dispute resolution procedures, whilst preparing the ground for an overall peace settlement, which the Russians are busy putting together in Geneva.”
Mercouris contrasts the Russian approach, to that of the United States in the so-called Anbar Awakening in Iraq in 2007. In Iraq, the United States roped the Sunni tribes into fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq (which then morphed into what we call ISIS, today) directly, instead of the Iraqi army, thus undermining authority of the government in Baghdad. The Russians are working to re-establish government authority in areas where it was lost and freeing up the Syrian army to fight the real threats to Syria, Al Nusra and ISIS. “Since the Syrian army is an institution of the Syrian state, the effect should be to rebuild the state’s authority, not undermine it,” writes Mercouris. “The reason the Russians are able to broker peace agreements where everyone else has failed is because the militias know that if they do not agree to them they risk being branded ‘terrorists’ by the Russians and bombed by the Russian air force, whose deadly efficiency even NATO is now grudgingly admitting.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Lula, Workers Party Propose BRICS-Linked ‘National Emergency Plan’ for Brazil; London Goes Apoplectic
March 8 (EIRNS)—On February 26, Brazil’s ruling PT party approved a “National Emergency Plan” (NEP) which urges President Dilma Rousseff to clip the wings of the usurious financial sector operating in Brazil and sharply reduce domestic interest rates; use the country’s sizeable $371 billion in foreign reserves to establish a National Development and Employment Fund for infrastructure development; and work closely with the BRICS New Development Bank and Chinese banks to achieve these goals.
The plan is reported to have been personally drafted by Workers Party (PT) President Rui Falcão, and has the full backing of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was arrested and hauled in for questioning by police for three hours in relation to the corruption scandal sweeping the country, on March 4, exactly one week after the NEP was released. The emergence of the NEP reflects the fact that there are significant forces in Brazil that are not prepared to roll over and play dead before the ongoing British Empire drive to topple the Rousseff government, as part of their global operations to destroy the BRICS option.
The 22-point NEP reads in part:
“1. A large reduction in the prime rate, as a fundamental element to reduce the Nation’s nominal deficit, and increase public investment … [and] promote the resumption of economic growth.
“2. Use of part of the international reserves for a National Development and Employment Fund, for infrastructure, health, housing, energy renewal and urban transportation projects….
“20. Establishment of funds for investment in special projects, backstopped by credits obtained from the BRICS New Development Bank, multilateral financial institutions, and Chinese banks.”
In a March 3 article written from São Paulo, where he has been deployed to oversee the British Empire plot to overthrow the Rousseff government, Daily Telegraph international business editor and MI6 hitman Ambrose Evans-Pritchard went ballistic against the NEP proposal:
“Demanding a sharp cut in interest rates [is] a move that would effectively strip the central bank of its independence… [The NEP] means a state-financed industrial policy, a blitz of investment in infrastructure, health and housing, as well as job programs and a rise in salaries. The thrust of the policy implies a partial retreat into autarky.” After reporting that “investors” are “horrified” at the proposal, Evans-Pritchard elaborated: “ ‘If the PT taps the reserves, they risk setting off a run on the currency. This is very dangerous,’ said one economist, dismissing the scheme as complete madness.”
Gulf States’ Rail Plan Will Proceed, as in EIR World Land-Bridge Report
March 8 (EIRNS)—The Gulf Cooperation Council Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs Abdullah Bin Juma al-Shibli confirmed the continuation of the rail project connecting all six Gulf States, at the Middle East rail conference held in Dubai on Tuesday, according to the Middle East Eye news organization. The $250 billion project was facing uncertainties due to the oil price collapse, but will now proceed.
The Arabic edition of EIR’s Special Report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, published last month, contains all the maps of this plan, and its connections with Asia and Africa through the Bandar Abbas-Oman and Yemen-Djibouti Link, as well as the Berlin-Baghdad and Hijaz Railways, as prepared by EIR’s Hussein Askary.
The GCC railway network will connect the U.A.E. with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman and is projected to be part of a wider $100 billion rail program in the region, writes Middle East Eye. They estimate it will serve about 16 million passengers and 50 million tons of freight, with 2018 as a target date for completion.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tells Media, Belt and Road Opportunities ‘Belong to the World’
March 8 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress today that notable progress had been made since the Belt and Road Initiative had been initiated in 2014. Wang was responding to a question fromChina Daily, which is posted to the Foreign Ministry’s website.
“Today over 70 nations have expressed interest in the Belt and Road and over 30 countries have agreed to build it,” he said. “And the first Silk Road Fund projects have been launched.” He then pointed to the various rail corridor projects that have been initiated: China-Mongolia-Russia, the Pakistan corridor, a Budapest-Belgrade high-speed railroad, Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail and the China-Laos Railway and China-Thailand Railway, “which are both important parts of the Pan-Asia Railway Network.”
He also said that Industrial Capacity Cooperation agreements had been signed by 20 countries.
“The Belt and Road was a project launched by China, but the opportunities belong to the world,” Wang said. “This project echoes the general trend of Asian and European countries for cooperation and development. It shows that China is transitioning rapidly from a mere participant in the international system to a provider of public goods. In building the Belt and Road we follow the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefit. It is an open initiative, not a Monroe Doctrine or some expansionism. What the Belt and Road Initiative unfolds in the eyes of the world will be a new historical painting of shared development and prosperity on the entire Eurasian continent.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
‘Trump’s Flirtation with Fascism’
March 8 (EIRNS)—The financial oligarchy has already in this century used several front-men to push the nation and the world in incremental steps farther down its road to fascism—Bush, Cheney, and Obama among them. Now some would like to use an uncouth lout, who was long ago picked up by financial crime networks, to plunge further down that road. While not addressing the systemic moves toward fascist regimes, some in the media are focussing on the strongman pageantry of Donald Trump.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank leads his above-named column today with: “So it has come to this: The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, at a campaign rally Saturday in Orlando, leading supporters in what looked very much like a fascist salute.
“ ‘Can I have a pledge? A swearing?’ Trump asked, raising his right hand and directing his followers to do the same. He then led them in pledging allegiance—not to the flag, but to Trump, for which they stand, and for whom they vowed to vote.”
Milbank goes on to note that Abe Foxman, the former head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said Trump leading the rally with “what looked like a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious, and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States. He told the Times of Israel that Trump is smart enough to know what he was doing.”
Milbank then cites right-wing radio host Glenn Beck: “We should look at Adolf Hitler in 1929…. Donald Trump is a dangerous man with the things that he has been saying.”
It’s not only in the United States that the fascist label is being pinned on Trump. Milbank notes, “The Germans, too, find him dangerous—and they should know. Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, last month called Trump ‘the world’s most dangerous man’ and leader of a ‘hate-filled authoritarian movement’ who ‘inflames tensions against ethnic minorities … while ignoring democratic conventions.” ’
The Associated Press reports, “Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto compared the language of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to that of dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in an interview published Monday, and said it has hurt U.S.-Mexico relations.” In making his assessment, Peña Nieto echoed statements by two recent former Mexican Presidents.
To add some bedroom kinkiness to the story, the blogosphere is picking up on a report from a 1990 Vanity Fair article which noted that Trump’s ex-wife Ivana had told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches, My New Order, by his bed.
Hillary Clinton: Why Not Take Wall Street Money? Obama Did!
March 8 (EIRNS)—Some statements speak for themselves. Hillary Clinton’s latest defense of being on Wall Street’s dole, came in Sunday’s Flint, Michigan primary debate. Answering the charge that you can’t fight Wall Street if you’ve taken so much money from Wall Street, Clinton replied:
“President Obama took more money from Wall Street in the 2008 campaign than anybody ever had. And when it came time to stand up to Wall Street, he passed and signed the toughest regulations since the Great Depression, with the Dodd-Frank regulations.”
Right. The Dodd-Frank legislation which authorizes stealing Americans’ saving accounts and deposits (“bail-in”), if and when required to bail-out any U.S. or European bank which goes bankrupt, while explicitly protecting Wall Street’s derivative bubble.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Operating Engineers Launch Ad Campaign against TPP, Timed with U.S. Arrival of Canada’s Trudeau
March 8 (EIRNS)—The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), which represents 400,000 building and construction trades workers in the United States and Canada, is urging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to oppose the 12-nation corporatist Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which it describes as a secret, job-killing trade deal.
The Hill today reports that Obama and Trudeau are expected to discuss trade and border security, and sign a climate change statement, during meetings at the White House this week. A state dinner has been scheduled for Trudeau and his wife tonight.
Obama has called on Congress to ratify the TPP before he leaves office, but Trudeau’s administration has been more circumspect, indicating that it will give people across Canada a say, and ensure the Parliament holds a robust debate—before agreeing to approve the TPP.
The IUOE argues that the TPP “puts jobs, wages, and worker safety at risk.” The ads call on Trudeau to stop the TPP deal he inherited from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whom Trudeau defeated last year, and to protect Canadian jobs. The ad campaign will run in Washington through the week, before expanding into other U.S. and Canadian media markets.
Prospect of New Jersey Rail Transit Shutdown Grows
March 8 (EIRNS)—If nothing is resolved before 12:01 a.m., Sunday, March 13, the NJ Transit system will shut down for the first time in 33 years, making the Monday morning commute from New Jersey into New York City a 25-mile-long parking lot, by some estimates.
This crisis lies on the doorstep of Donald Trump-supporter Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey identified in 2011 as “Obama’s twin” (in all but size) by LaRouche PAC Policy Committee member Diane Sare, for his enthusiasm at imposing Wall Street’s killer austerity. Sare ran against Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial election.
Members of the 11 unions of NJ Transit have been working without a contract since 2011. Now management is offering them a 0.6% wage increase, along with the opportunity to pay 10-20% of their insurance premiums. The premiums, the union coalition officials note, would wipe out any pay increase they might gain. The coalition is seeking average wage increases of 2.5% a year. NJ Transit officials have declared the union proposal unaffordable. It has been recommended by two Presidential Emergency Boards, after hearing arguments from both sides. Negotiators were scheduled to meet again today, but as of last night, no progress was reported by either side.
Well more than 100,000 commuters rely on the NJ Transit rail system. NJ Transit has what it calls contingency plans to deal with the shutdown, but it acknowledges the plan—using shuttle buses, ferries, and other rail lines—can accommodate only 40% of its commuters. Estimates are that an additional 10,000 cars per hour will clog the roadways, making Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 Fort Lee George Washington Bridge tie-ups seem like Bridgeport Speedway.
The Asbury Park Press reports that when the unions’ contract expired in July 2011, the year after Christie became governor, NJ Transit was hit with more than $80 million in state aid cuts. Over the last five years, the agency has lost another $270 million in funding. Its $34 million subsidy in fiscal 2016 is a 90% reduction over 10 years. Christie has proposed an additional $127 million for NJ Transit in the 2017 fiscal budget.
NJ Transit imposed a 9% fare increase last October.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
First Syrian Cosmonaut Lives in Turkey as Refugee
March 8 (EIRNS)—The first Syrian cosmonaut, Muhammed Faris, has been living as a refugee in Istanbul since 2012 when he and his family walked across the border to flee the fighting in Syria. He had participated in the Soviet Interkosmos Program in 1987. Faris served as a research cosmonaut aboard the spacecraft Soyuz TM-3 where he spent 7 days, 23 hours and 8 minutes in space. He was made a “Hero of the Soviet Union” and awarded the Medal of Lenin; he was also named a “Hero of Syria.”
At the time, he was a supporter of President Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s father who had long ruled Syria. Faris got caught up in the Arab Spring movement and had disagreements over the way Bashar Assad was handling the situation. “But when the armed conflict started, I realized that a bullet could hit me too. Therefore, I came to Turkey with my family,” Faris said.
While he opposed the Russian bombing in Syria, he said, “cosmonaut friends, Alexander Viktorenko and Aleksandr Pavlovich, who I went to space with, are like my brothers. When you watch the Earth from the same spacecraft, you become like brothers. This is a feeling that clears away all differences,” said Faris, adding that “The best view you can have there is the Earth. Therefore the most relieving thing for cosmonauts and astronauts is to look at the Earth…. You look at it just like a baby looks at his mother…. And you do not see any borders, no borders, no states, no difference…. I wish they could send all bad people on Earth to space. I am sure once they return, they would realize how beautiful it is and stop being bad.”
Faris’s comments to a recent event by the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Space, Aerospace and Defense Industry Council were widely covered, and a Feb. 29 story in Britain’sGuardian has also been picked up by a number of media.
“In this wave of migration, people from all segments of society are coming [to Turkey]. There are professors as well as ignorant people. But Syrian people generally have occupations. They are not beggars. They would want to earn their money by working and they would work even if the wage is low, as long as Turkey knows how to benefit from these scientists and businessmen with occupations and diplomas. Last year, Turkey’s economy grew by 4%. Do millions of Syrians not have any contribution to this 4%? Turkey has spent millions of Turkish liras for the Syrians in the camps and Syrians in the cities are paying back part of this by working,” said Faris, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Science in China Garners a Large Increase
March 8 (EIRNS)—China’s 13th Five Year Plan, now under consideration by the National People’s Congress, includes initiatives in science and technology, funded by a 9.1% increase in science spending, to $41 billion for this year. (Since there is no detail as to what is included, it should not be compared with U.S. spending. It is the trajectory that is important.)
Areas of emphasis include deep space exploration, a new Arctic observatory, and an Antarctic station. China’s previously neglected space science program kicked off near the end of last year, with the launch of a satellite to detect dark matter.
In his speech to the Congress on March 5th, Premier Li Keqiang stated: “We will implement the strategy of innovation-driven development, see that science and technology become more deeply embedded in the economy, and improve the overall quality and competitiveness of the real economy.”