WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2016
Volume 2, Number 150
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Without a Mission, You’re Dead
- Terrorists Attack Brussels; ISIS Claims Responsibility
- Putin Calls Brussels Attack a ‘Barbaric Crime’; Zakharova Hits Western Support for Terrorists
- Nuclear Saber-Rattling Makes Tensions Worse
- U.S. Responds to Russian Complaint on Lack of Cooperation on Syria Truce
- China Blasts U.S.-Filipino Basing Agreement
- Geopoliticians Want Action against Libya, after Terrorist Attacks in Brussels
- Ecuador’s President Is Right: New ‘Plan Condor’ Is Underway against South America
- Millions of Africans Face Life-Threatening Food Shortages from Drought
- Boao Forum’s Annual Conference Begins Discussing Asia’s Future Vision
March 22 (EIRNS)—It is hard to imagine a more convulsed and dangerous strategic situation. First, we are sitting on top of a volcano which is the bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system, which can and will erupt into a hyperinflationary blowout at any moment. Do not think that the current policies of endless bailouts and “helicopter money,” as former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was fond of calling it, can hold. You cannot try to bail out $2 quadrillion of worthless, speculative financial assets with another quadrillion of financial trash, and not have it blow up in your face. The governments that are backing this insanity—such as the Obama administration—are equally culpable of the crimes being committed.
The British Empire is totally doomed, Lyndon LaRouche stressed today, and they are acting in total desperation: They won’t accept defeat, and they are prepared to kill en masse. There are strong indications that just that is afoot in the United States, as well as in Europe.
Besides the exploding financial system, we are also sitting on top of a second volcano, which is the stated intent of the British Empire—and its puppet Barack Obama—to bring about regime-change in Russia and China. As Lyndon LaRouche has been warning for years, the crises in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and international terrorism generally, are all vectored towards a thermonuclear strategic showdown with Russia and China. The latest “barbaric” acts of terrorism in Brussels, as Russian President Vladimir Putin called them, are no exception. Speaking of the international sponsors of terrorism—which we know to be the British Empire, operating under diverse flags—Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was blunt: “You can’t support terrorists in one part of the globe and not expect them to appear in others.”
Russia and China continue to play their role in countering this insanity, and building a New Paradigm based on a mission for mankind centered on win-win cooperation around basic science such as space exploration, and concordant great infrastructure projects here on Planet Earth.
But, to succeed, the United States must be brought on board to this New Paradigm. For starters, the Nazis who would turn the United States into a concentration camp have to be denounced for what they are—from the FBI hooligans, to the Obama killing machine, to the genocidal Wall Street banks. Giving them a long-overdue bloody nose is a good way to get your spirits up and rekindle optimism.
Then the country has to reestablish its sense of national mission around the NASA space project, as Kesha Rogers, the LaRouche Democrat who twice ran for Congress in the Houston home district of NASA, is now campaigning for. This will give people back, not just productive jobs, but their very sense of purpose and human identity. And that is a force that the British Empire can’t cope with.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
March 22 (EIRNS)—The city of Brussels, home to NATO and the European Union, was attacked by terrorists today. Explosions were carried out at Brussels’ Maalbeek metro station, and soon after, two blasts ripped through the departure lounge of Brussels Airport. As of this writing, the casualty figures indicate that 34 are dead and 230 wounded, some in serious condition. The blasts came from suicide bombers.
Subsequently, through its propaganda website, ISIS claimed responsibility, posting the following: “Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station. The attacks resulted in more than 230 dead and wounded.”
After the blasts, Belgian officials raised the terror threat level; shut down all public transport in the Belgian capital, and advised locals to stay indoors. Belgian media VTM also reported evacuation of non-essential personnel from the Tihange nuclear power plant, located about 85 km east of Brussels; VTM also said there is no evidence the plant is currently under threat. The precautionary measure was taken ostensibly because Belgian authorities had found what appeared to be video surveillance footage of a top Belgian nuclear official in the apartment of Mohamed Bakkali, who was arrested for alleged involvement in the Paris attacks in November 2015.
March 22 (EIRNS)—Expressing his deepest condolences to the Belgian people, Russian President Vladimir Putin “has strongly condemned these barbaric crimes,” while assuring “the Belgian people of the Russians’ absolute solidarity with the Belgian people in these difficult hours,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, Sputnik reported. “President Putin has already sent condolences to King Philippe of Belgium in connection with the death of civilians in a series of explosions in Brussels,” Peskov told reporters.
“As more and more time and lives are lost, people are beginning to understand that this policy of double standards in evaluating terrorist activities is a dead-end policy,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, soon after reports of the attacks in Brussels trickled in, the BRICS Post reported. “They can’t support terrorists in one part of the globe and not expect them to appear in others.”
Pointing at NATO for neglecting defense of its own backyard, and taking a swipe at NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the head of Russia’s Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, Alexey Pushkov, tweeted that the NATO chief has allowed “people to blow themselves up right under his nose” while “NATO was combatting the imaginary Russian threat,” Newsweek reported, though it neglected to quote his statement that “The series of terrorist attacks in Brussels confirms how right those are who try to direct the European Union towards cooperation with Russia in the struggle against terrorism, and who maintain that the worst threat to European security comes not from Russia, but from international terrorist organizations.”
March 22 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Strategic Command sent out a release yesterday announcing that the Navy successfully fired three Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles last week, as part of what they call a “Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation Test” to “validate the credibility of the nuclear enterprise.” The Trident launches followed two Minuteman III ICBM launches last month, and one Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) Nuclear Weapon System Evaluation Program (NucWSEP) test. In other words, the U.S. test-fired all three legs of its nuclear triad within a 30-day period. The rest of the release goes on to extol the supposed virtues of each leg of the triad, and says this about the bombers, which are the most visible part: “Bombers play a key role in stabilizing and managing crises by providing a visible signaling option and rapid hedge against operational and technical challenges in other legs of the nuclear triad.”
But does “signaling” with nuclear-capable bombers really work? Jim Doyle, an anti-nuclear activist and former employee of Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, in an article published yesterday by the online magazine Breaking Defense, says no. Doyle was not responding to the Stratcom statement, in particular, but rather, directly to a previous article in Breaking Defense that claimed that “the strategic aircraft leg of the triad provides unique ‘nuclear signaling’ capabilities essential to demonstrating the seriousness of U.S. nuclear threats.”
Doyle argues, instead, that “the benefit of using nuclear weapons in this manner is a dubious one, both for America and its allies.” Citing two specific cases of B-52 overflights of South Korea, Doyle reports that, in both cases, “This aerial flexing of nuclear muscle has done nothing to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula or improve North Korea’s behavior.” They had no effect on North Korea’s nuclear program, but instead “raised tensions and provided domestic justification for Pyongyang’s dictatorship, brinkmanship, and nuclear weapons program by confirming the existence of an external nuclear threat from the United States.” Doyle also notes that the deployment of B-52s to England in 2014 and 2015 had no impact on Russian behavior towards Ukraine. “Nuclear signaling is a dangerous game with an unimpressive track record,” Doyle argued, in an evaluation that Lyndon LaRouche found plausible today. Doyle goes on: “In the majority of situations, including the cases of North Korea, Russia and China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea, sending signals with U.S. nuclear forces are apt to increase tensions, reduce stability, and risk unintended escalation.”
Looking at the present state of such deployments, one might conclude that the U.S. Obama Administration’s intention is, indeed, to raise the level of tension around the world. There are currently three B-52s flying out of Moron, Spain, for NATO exercises, and two B-2 bombers were deployed to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean last week. The U.S. is also seeking to place B-1 bombers in Australia on a regular basis. These deployments will not get the kind of responses that the proponents of “nuclear signaling” claim they want.
“Nuclear weapons should be kept in the background,” Doyle concludes. “They are weapons of last resort, and should only be brandished when the very existence of the United States and its allies is threatened.”
March 22 (EIRNS)—The U.S. State Department officially responded to the statement issued yesterday by Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, who warned that if the U.S. doesn’t engage more effectively on responding to ceasefire violations in Syria, the Russians would be forced to act alone, as we reported here. The U.S. response, from State Department spokesman John Kirby, amounted to a dismissal.
“[T]here has been coordination already … through the ceasefire task force in terms of working through being able to collect and analyze information about violations,” Kirby told reporters yesterday. Kirby added that Rudskoy’s statement threatening to act unilaterally against ceasefire violations “runs counter, itself, to the spirit of the cessation of hostilities agreement…. Our expectation is that Russia will refrain from unilateral actions and respond to our counterproposal on the modalities for implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement. So there has been dialogue back and forth; therefore, no reason for anybody to say that there needs to be unilateral action taken.”
Kirby refused to say what the U.S. counterproposal is, and he also said that he knew nothing of any actions taken against ceasefire violations.
“I’m not aware of any specific repercussions. That’s not ruling things out in the future, but there is a process here by which these things—these modalities—are discussed and coordinated with the Russians,” he said. Kirby also wouldn’t discuss what happens if a violation is confirmed, though he promised to get the reporters a “primer” on how it works.
March 22 (EIRNS)—On March 18, the U.S. announced the final agreement with the Republic of the Philippines allowing U.S. military presence on five Filipino military bases (there may be more later). Despite the Obama Administration’s claims that this is “not aimed at China,” the Chinese recognize that the U.S. military expansion in the Philippines is aimed directly at them.
“The U.S.-Philippines cooperation should not target third parties, harm the sovereignty or security interests of other states, or hamper regional peace and stability,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at her regular press briefing. “The U.S. has talked about militarization in the South China Sea. But can it explain whether its own increased military deployment in the region is equivalent to militarization?” Hua questioned.
At the State Department, spokesperson John Kirby insisted that the agreement is only about meeting U.S. security commitments to the Philippines, and is not about China. He said that the United States has “made absolutely no bones about the fact that we take the rebalance to the Asia Pacific region very seriously.” But he added that there is “nothing offensive or provocative” about any of the Pentagon’s deployment of forces to the region. “It’s not about selling it to the Chinese or to anybody,” he claimed. “It’s about meeting our security commitments in a serious alliance with the Philippines. That’s what this is about.”
Of the five bases, Antonio Bautista Air Base on the island of Palawan is only about 180 miles from the Spratly Islands, where China has been engaged in reclamation. The next closest is Basa Air Base, about 40 miles northwest of Manila. An examination of the five bases, however, shows little in the way of infrastructure at any of the airfields, beyond a runway and some ramp space. According to the news reports, therefore, quite a bit of construction is expected before U.S. military deployments begin in earnest.
March 22 (EIRNS)—German Christian Democrat Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, with a thick personal record of anti-Russian activities, including support for the Maidan coup in Ukraine two years ago, used the chaos and shock after the three bomb attacks in Brussels this morning to point the finger at Libya. Brok said that the next big challenge Europe would have to face, is the Islamic State’s (IS) gaining control of the ports of Libya—implying more refugee waves being sent to Europe and IS terrorism moving closer to the Europeans.
Brok called for additional interventions by the naval task force which the EU already has deployed off the coast of Libya to protect Europe. A Libya-intervention scenario has been pushed by NATO geopoliticians in recent weeks, claiming that defeating IS in Syria (as Russia has done) has not helped much, since the terrorist movement is now settling down in North Africa—just across the Mediterranean, and much closer to Europe’s southern coasts.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
March 22 (EIRNS)—Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa hit the nail on the head when he charged last Friday, March 18, that the “regime change” operations being unleashed against “progressive” governments of South America are a new “Plan Condor”—this time using “submissive judges” and corrupt press.
Correa was referring to the “regime change,” or “color revolution” operations, that have been unleashed against the South American governments allied with the BRICS grouping in forging a new, development-centered world order. In the 1970s, George Shultz’s and Henry Kissinger’s “Operation Condor,” like Obama’s re-play in Victoria Nuland’s 2014 “Maidan” coup in Ukraine, used Nazi networks which survived the Allied victory against Hitler under the protection of the British MI6 and the Dulles brothers’ CIA, to install military dictatorships. These imposed Schachtian (i.e., Nazi) economic policies across South America, starting with Augusto Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship in Chile, in September 1973.
“They no longer need military dictatorships; they need submissive judges, a corrupt press, and the judicialization of politics,” Correa said in a March 18 press conference. As Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron has said, “This new Condor Plan does not seek to disappear people, but the truth.”
Pointing to the “very serious” operation against Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and former President Lula da Silva, and what is being done against Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the current governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, and his own government, Correa charged that these forces are seeking “not only the return of neoliberalism; not only to crush humans … but are seeking revenge against those progressive leaders who dared to challenge the power of those elites and the hegemonic power of those countries that have always crushed us,” Correa said.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff spoke in a similar vein today, in a three-hour meeting at the Presidential office, with hundreds of lawyers and judges who have formed the group, “Jurists for Legality and in Defense of Democracy,” against the Constitutional violations being carried out by the “Clean Hands” judges ripping the country apart. “The impeachment against me is being run as if Brazil were a parliamentary system, in which political suspicion against a President is a sufficient condition to bring down a President; but we are a Presidential system,” Rousseff said, in which a President can only be impeached for crimes committed and duly proven. To condemn someone for a crime he or she did not commit is a “brutal injustice…. I was already a victim of that before, during the dictatorship, and I will fight so as to not be a victim again, in full democracy. What is in progress, is a coup d’état against democracy. I will never resign. Those who ask for my resignation … are trying to hide precisely this coup against democracy.”
(For more on Plan Condor, see EIR’s 2005 article, “Nazis, Operation Condor, and Bush’s Privatization Plan”)
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
March 22 (EIRNS)—A Bloomberg article today penned by Whitney McFerron and Frank Jomo, has described the dire food shortages that have emerged in parts of Africa due to an unprecedented drought. They report that “the corn that is a food staple for much of southern Africa is now so expensive it has become a luxury many can’t afford, after the worst drought in three decades damaged crops from Ethiopia to South Africa.”
The article cited UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data which shows that, of the 34 countries that require food aid this year, 27 are in Africa. The World Food Program says that as many as 50 million people may eventually be affected in the region. Ten million more are at risk in Ethiopia alone because of drought, along with millions more in conflict-ridden countries, like South Sudan and Central African Republic.
The authors also report that Steve Wiggens at the U.K.’s Overseas Development Institute says that food costs may double in Zimbabwe, which will need to import as much as 1 million metric tons of grain. “In a normal production year, local wholesale corn in Zimbabwe would cost about $120 to $150/ton, but prices will probably be at least $100 higher this year,” he said.
“The bottom 10 to 20% of Zimbabweans will be in terrible straits in terms of sorting out their food during 2016,” Wiggens said. Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, has appealed for $1.4 billion from international donors. Its government has been buying up wheat in global markets since at least October, including a tender for 500,000 tons this week. The USDA forecasts its wheat imports will nearly triple this year.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
March 22 (EIRNS)—The annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), held traditionally in South China’s Hainan province, began its four-day deliberations today. The theme of this year’s conference is: “Asia’s New Future: New Dynamics, New Vision.” The focus of discussion will be on areas such as inclusive finance; disruptions of traditional businesses and economic models; new banking practices; regional cooperation, and growing links through reforms and initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China Daily reported.
Today, BFA released a report focusing on the growing debt crisis. The report said that the risk of debt crisis is threatening major emerging economies, and that a serious debt crisis may erupt in the E11 (eleven emerging economies) countries, unless they make urgent “de-leveraging” efforts, Xinhua reported. The report also warned of the possibility of contagious financial crisis among some E11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey) that are mired in debt with currencies that are depreciating rapidly against the U.S. dollar.
BFA also said the countries deep in debt have to maintain low interest rates in order to keep up with repayment, which further fuels borrowing and lending. “Some of them might fall into a vicious cycle of borrowing to repay debts when property prices drop or liquidity dries up,” Xinhua reported.