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EDITORIAL

One Hope for U.S. and Europe: Asia’s and Russia’s Leadership

March 20 (EIRNS)—The collapse of the financial systems of the trans-Atlantic countries is close. It was just signaled in the announcement by the European Central Bank head, that it is now studying dropping “helicopter money” into bank accounts all over Europe; and in the German Central Bank chief’s explosive public freakout against this hyperinflation plan. The central banks have tried every form of bailout for seven years, and the financial systems have reached the edge of a thorough collapse.

The nations now have to change policy dramatically and immediately, to save their economies and people from Wall Street’s and the City of London’s collapse.

And only one direction of change will succeed: to policies modelled on those of President Franklin Roosevelt—shutting down Wall Street’s casinos, issuing national productive credit—butcoordinated globally.

To do this, the leadership can come only from Asia: from China, Russia, and India.

China is building land-bridges across Eurasia into collapsed Europe, and perhaps even into the United States across the Bering Strait. Within two years, that nation plans to have spacecraft landed on the far side of the Moon, observing and studying the universe in ways never before possible on Earth or in orbit. It and India are now the world’s most dynamic spacefaring nations.

China’s “New Silk Road” policy of issuing credit and building continent-spanning bridges of new economic infrastructure, may also be on the verge of bringing economic development to the Mideast and North Africa. This is the basis for lasting peace and stability. Driving the New Silk Road development through the Mideast and North Africa, making war on the desert, is the only development perspective for that entire region. And it is the only basis for reversing Europe’s “refugee crisis.”

Vladimir Putin’s Syria initiative has reversed the direction of Mideast affairs, toward negotiated peace and stability, for the first time since George W. Bush’s disastrous war on Iraq.

This is leadership.

The tiny force active in catalyzing this leadership has been LaRouchePAC and the Schiller Institute. Over 30 years, Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s “Eurasian Land-Bridge” policy became China’s policy, particularly toward Russia and India. In a breakthrough last week in Cairo, it publicly became Egypt’s policy, through a conference keynoted by EIR and Schiller Institute representative Hussein Askary and Egypt’s transportation minister.

In crucial conferences March 23 in Frankfurt, and April 7 in New York City, this policy will be put to European nations and the United States: Join the New Silk Road, take the leadership of Asia and cooperate with it, or go into hopeless bankruptcy. Everything depends on the successful influence of these events.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

UN Says Saudi-Led Forces May Have Committed International Crimes in Yemen

March 20 (EIRNS)—UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared Friday, March 18 that the Saudi-led coalition’s one year bombing of Yemen has caused the vast majority of civilian deaths in that war, and said that the Saudis may have committed “international crimes.”

Responding to efforts to divert blame to the rebel alliance, Zeid said, “Looking at the figures, it would seem that the [Saudi] coalition is responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as all other forces put together, virtually all as a result of airstrikes. We are possibly looking at the commission of international crimes by members of the coalition.”

“International crimes” could include war crimes, but an investigation would have to be conducted, yesterday’s Manila Timesreported.

Zeid’s office counted just under 9,000 civilian casualties, including 3,218 killed, since the Saudi coalition intervened a year ago to support President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, after “Houthi” rebels seized large parts of Yemen, including its capital, Sana’a.

On March 18 Zeid expressed alarm at two Saudi airstrikes on a market March 15 in Yemen’s rebel-held Hajja Governorate. The UN children’s agency Unicef said 119 were killed in those strikes, including 24 children. Zeid’s office condemned “The repeated failure of the coalition forces to take effective actions to prevent recurrence of such incidents, and to publish transparent, independent investigations into those that have already occurred.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also demanded an investigation of the incident, one of the deadliest of the war.

Ceasefires Are Holding in Syria: Exceptions ISIS and al-Nusra

March 20 (EIRNS)—The Russian Defense Ministry reported yesterday that no Syrian truce violations had been reported anywhere in the previous 24 hours, notwithstanding the Syrian army move against ISIS terrorists in Palmyra; the Russian bombing of ISIS in Raqqa, and al-Nusra activity in parts of Latakia and Hama.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian officers from their Monitoring Center in Latakia “are in the provinces and on the ground to restrain potential violations,” but that the Russian Center is unable to determine what the American monitoring center in Amman, Jordan is doing.

A front-page Washington Post article on the situation in Aleppo cites local leaders, such as tribal chiefs, saying that truces are close to developing in East Aleppo, the “rebel”-controlled part of Syria’s second-largest city. These rebels would not include ISIS, and probably not al-Nusra, but rather other groups looking to cooperate in re-linking the two parts of the city. The article describes life as largely normal in the larger western government-controlled half, where water service has been restored, but electricity by generators; the university has full class schedules, and other such manifestations of normal life. The eastern part of the city is being encircled by Syrian armed forces.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

EIR-Arabic Concludes Successful Week of Action in Egypt with World Land-Bridge Report in Arabic

CAIRO, March 20 (EIRNS)—EIR’s Southwest Asia specialist and Arabic editor, Hussein Askary, has concluded a very successful one-week trip to Egypt to launch and promote the Arabic translation ofEIR’s Special Report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, and the ideas within the report. The report and the presentations made by Askary were enthusiastically welcomed by top government officials, economists, and media.

The high point of this intervention was the very high-level and well-attended launching of the report under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Transport in a seminar on March 17 at the headquarters of the Ministry, presided and introduced by Minister Saad El Geyoushi personally.

The other high point was the reception awarded Askary on March 20 by the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Adm. Mohab Mamish, the man who oversaw the breathtaking building of the New Suez Canal. Mamish received Askary at his office in Ismailia right on the Suez Canal, and attentively listened to a detailed briefing on the importance of this achievement not only for Egypt’s economy, but also for the region and the global economy, too, if it is utilized as a development zone and hub for the development corridors stretching from China through Southwest Asia to Africa, and also as part of the Maritime Silk Road. Askary’s meeting with Mamish, in which the latter received a gift copy of the report, was preceded by a presentation to the team working under Engineer Nagy Ahmed Amin, Director of Planning and Research Studies Department at the Suez Canal Authority. Askary was later offered a private, guided tour by boat of the New Suez Canal.

At the launching seminar at the Transportation Ministry, Dr. Saad El Geyoushi personally presented Askary, as the Southwest Asia specialist of EIR and representative of the Schiller Institute, and in both his introductory remarks and commentary on Askary’s presentation, Dr. El Geyoushi expressed total concordance with the idea of the New Silk Road, and his government’s plans to integrate Egypt’s transportation networks into the New Silk Road dynamic. He also took the opportunity to announce that the Egyptian government intends to invest EGP1 trillion Egyptian pounds ($100 billion) in roads and railways, not only to develop Egypt’s transportation network, but also to connect Egypt to Asia, and, most importantly, to Africa to the south, in a 50,000 km network.

The packed hall at the Ministry hosted top experts and advisors of the Ministry and other institutions, and several Egyptian TV networks and newspapers. Interestingly, the Chinese Arabic TV channel CCTV-Arabic, was present, and taped an interview with Askary. Two other TV channels also interviewed Askary.

Two other seminars were organized: one by the Egyptian Society of Engineers (founded in 1920), which was held at the Cairo Great Library, and attended by former Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Esam Sharaf (also a former Minister of Transport in several Egyptian governments), who was the main commentator on Askary’s presentation of the New Silk Road concept.

Sharaf expressed his agreement with not only the economic and scientific aspects of the presentation and the report, of which he received a copy, but also with the political, strategic and cultural aspects, too. He stated that he had just returned from a long visit to China, and that he deeply believed that the New Silk Road is the foundation of a new and more humane world order, unlike the current order which has degraded human existence and dignity. He also emphasized the point raised in the report, that the New Silk Road and any other such projects are not mere trade routes, but development corridors that can transform all societies where they reach, along with the nations that decide to participate in them. He highly recommended that the current Egyptian government take this project seriously, and integrate it in its development plans and visions. Sharaf expressed his gratitude to EIR and the Lyndon and Helga LaRouche personally, whom, he said he has taken note of, with their ideas and activities for a long time.

In addition to these events, Askary was invited to three TV shows (“CBC Extra,” “Nile Cultural TV,” and “Nahdha TV”) to present the report and the new world order it represents.

The events taking place this week and all the discussions and debates that followed, clearly indicate that the idea of the New Silk Road and World Land-Bridge, and the utilization of these ideas for the development of Egypt, the Arab World, and Africa, are regarded as a way to save the Egyptian economy, which has been suffering the terrible consequences of submitting to the trans-Atlantic system and its institutions, such as the World Bank and IMF. Egypt is still suffering economically and socially, in addition to the security aspect that has been worsened by NATO’s unleashing of the jihadist terrorist hordes in the region. The urgent demands of the people for reform and betterment of the living conditions are pushing the President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his Prime Minister to resort at times to crisis-management policies. At the moment this report is written, the Egyptian government is facing a new reshuffling, with eight ministers reportedly being replaced. But the clarity of vision regarding the solutions to this crisis, and the resilience and determination shown by the Egyptian people and their leadership, represent a great hope for this nation and the region.

Malaysia, Nepal Enthusiastic about Joining China’s Belt and Road

March 20 (EIRNS)—China’s Belt and Road Initiatives will bring fresh opportunities to Malaysia, said Ong Ka Chuan, Second Minister at Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Ministry told a Forum in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

Ong said the Belt and Road Initiatives, which cover more than 60 countries with a total population of 4.4 billion, will bring opportunities to Malaysia, with a mere 30 million population. Ong told the forum that Malaysia would actively participate in China’s Belt and Road initiatives to give its people the benefit of a huge market.

Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who is about to depart for China, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview yesterday, that Nepal is keen to join China’s Belt and Road initiative, and that Nepal can benefit from China’s progress by joining it.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

New Consensus: Russia ‘Potential Guarantor of Political Stability’ in Mideast, U.S. of ‘Instability’

March 20 (EIRNS)—Putin’s Russia has proven itself a “potential guarantor of social and political stability” in the Mideast, while Obama’s U.S. “coalition” was the “primary guarantor for instability.” An article in Izvestia, translated by “Russia Insider,” written by Alexei Mukhin, Director of the Center for Political Information, uses these words to describe Putin’s transformation of the direction in Syria and Mideast; other news analyses use other words to say the same thing.

  • Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst and current academic, wrote in The National Interest March 18 that Russia has created the conditions in which both government and “rebels” have to eschew a military “victory,” and settle the conflict peacefully—except for ISIS/al-Nusra. But Obama’s policy, Pillar says, was causing the disintegration of Syria and entire Mideast.
  • Defense News, less astutely, comes to the same conclusion, that Putin has “dragged the parties to the negotiating table in Geneva,” except for the extreme jihadis who were previously benefitting from the “Western response.”
  • A New York Times op-ed (“Don’t Fear the Russians”) by Anatol Lieven, professor at Georgetown University in Qatar, says it is Russia that plays the key part in the Geneva negotiations, and Obama’s Washington has been forced to accept Russian positions, which are positive. Lieven adds, “My own sources have confirmed” Seymour Hersh’s report that U.S. military/intelligence leaders “have considered Putin’s strategy of fighting jihadism in Syria and keeping parts of the Assad government in power to be the best course of action.”

China’s official English-language newspaper Global Times features an analysis in an op-ed by Li Weijian, that Putin’s pullout announcement “surprised the world,” but the fact is the Kremlin had no plan for long-term military intervention. Li says Putin also achieved Russia’s diplomatic objective by forcing the West to acknowledge its significance in Syria, reversing the deterioration in the Russia-West relationship since the Ukraine crisis. The United States has now shifted its position, says Li, quoting Secretary Kerry that “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called ‘regime change.’ ”

Li continues, “The Russian withdrawal at this time minimizes the possibility of Sunni intervention,” referring to the threats to invade Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Li concludes, “Moscow’s intervention in Damascus has demonstrated that the possibility of Russia-West cooperation on major international affairs exists. Russia-West tensions have been eased following Moscow’s anti-terrorism operation. An easing relationship will contribute to the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, which will be top of Russian and Western agendas after the Syrian issue is addressed.”

Here the Global Times op-ed unfortunately ignores the collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system and the British drive for world war through their control of the Obama Administration and the present candidates for U.S. President.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Wall Street Firms Cover Losses by Drugs Profiteering

March 20 (EIRNS)—The tale of Turing Pharmaceuticals, actually a hedge fund which acquired the owner of the commonly used hospital anti-parasitic medication Daraprim and raised its price from $13.70 per tablet to $750, is not an isolated horror story.

Other Wall Street-listed hedge funds, like the now-disgraced Turing, have tried to overcome the huge losses the entire sector has been taking in the 2015-16 financial crisis, by buying small biopharma companies and super-profiteering off their drugs.

Valeant, a far larger financial company than Turing, has been making financial news by losing more than 80% of the value of its stock in recent months, and reporting large accounting losses. But earlier, Valeant Pharmaceuticals had managed to grab Nitropress and Isuprel, two injectable heart medications that are widely used in U.S. and Canadian hospitals. In 2015, Valeant raised their list prices by more than 200% and 500%, respectively.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said last Fall, with unconscious irony, that Valeant and Turing “had a strategy more reflective of a hedge fund than an innovative biopharmaceutical company.”

The Washington Post on March 14 reported that hospitals across the United States, already suffering a high rate of closure since 2000, are being drastically affected by spiking drug prices—especially those of generic drugs, which are expected to be cheaper but are a particular target of Wall Street firms turned “pharmaceutical companies.”

The paper quoted Gerard Anderson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “There’s been a huge consolidation of these generic companies … everybody is buying everybody else. If there’s no competition, the prices go up. We are seeing a lot of [drug] shortages, and also price increases. That shouldn’t happen, but it is.” It reported that a price survey of 3,000 medications used in hospitals indicated an average annual price increase of about 10%, with hundreds of drugs in the 20-30% annual spike range, and about 20 of them increasing by many hundreds of percent.

Italy: Senator Leads Rally for Expropriated Savers, Demands Glass-Steagall

March 20 (EIRNS)—Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten interviewed Italian Senator, writer, and consumer federation leader Elio Lannutti on Europe’s financial crisis, reporting he had just “gone to the barricades” for the Italian savers who lost everything in “bank bail-ins” three months ago. Lannutti and his Adusbef consumer association demonstrated at the Italian Economics Ministry March 16, demanding full reimbursement of the expropriated savers.

Lannutti told DWN that “money-printing in the dark of night through derivatives,” dwarfing stagnant GDP, must be stopped; he calls for bank separation “as President Roosevelt introduced in 1933 with the Glass-Steagall Act.

The Senator also said that while the Italian banking sector had been totally transformed since 1999, with larger and larger banks swallowing small ones, Italy’s economy had not grown at all but its government debt had mushroomed, all this under the fundamental straitjacket of the European common currency, the euro. Lannutti wants an Italian referendum on whether to leave or stay in the Eurozone, which he said “can produce surprises.” He clearly wants Italy to leave and return to its national currency.

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