JASTA Blast Against Obama/Bush/London; LaRouche: ‘Keep Going! Don’t Stop!’
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, simultaneous to the opening day of the UN General Assembly General Debate by world leaders, all hell broke loose against Obama and Saudi Arabia, in Washington, D.C. Two rallies and a press conference took place at the White House and Senate, led by the families of victims of 9/11, bringing activists from the East Coast to give orders to enact S.2040 JASTA, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. As the placards read: “Stop Protecting Terrorism $$!” To President Obama: “Don’t Veto JASTA!” To Congress: “Override Veto!” The bill will allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia.
Overnight, a media blitz has taken the message nationwide, throughUSA Today, Iran’s HispanTV network, and many more. “Why Families of 9/11 Victims Feel Betrayed by Obama,” reads the headline in McClatchyDC today.
Today the leaders for JASTA continue their presence in force on Capitol Hill, insisting on justice for themselves, the nation and the world. JASTA was passed unanimously already by the House of Representatives on Sept. 9, and by the Senate unanimously in May, but Obama said he will veto it. However, even if he stalls on doing so until the end of the week, Senate members have pledged to stay in session and override. Lawyers yesterday said they are on stand-by to immediately file suits against Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the 9/11 victims.
In parallel, still more heat came down today on the Saudis and Obama, in the form of a Senate debate on passage of S.J.Res.39: “Resolution To Disapprove $1.51 Billion Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia.” Its four sponsors, Rand Paul (R-KY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT), all spoke out against the Saudi atrocities in Yemen, and the Kingdom’s backing for radical ideology leading to terrorism. Murphy said that the Saudis actions have “no end but chaos and the increasing of ungovernable space.” Though the bill did not pass, but was tabled (a way to block it, without outright rejecting it) by a vote of 71 to 25. Military export deals typically get support, and Murphy emphatically said in advance that, even if it fails, “it’ll still send a message.”
Lyndon LaRouche, in response to this momentum against Obama said, “Keep going! Don’t stop!” He stressed that we must “extend the scope of what the concerns of people ought to be.” Further: “Get people pulled in together, as a real team.”
This is nowhere more necessary than to carry through the momentum to pass bills in both Houses of Congress to reinstate Glass-Steagall. LaRouche PAC activists put this upfront yesterday on Capitol Hill, to the many individual Congressmen, who were quick to denounce the crimes of Wells Fargo Bank—the dirty bums du jour—but silent and ill-informed on the need for emergency action to re-instate Glass-Steagall, and to take all necessary measures to start the economy, and save the nation and the world. But everybody in Congress knows that it has been the LaRouche PAC activation that has driven Glass-Steagall to the top of the reality agenda. The more that leading citizens and elected officials know about the imminent blowout of the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, the greater the chances of emergency action in time.
In Manhattan, Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s statement addressing the urgent issues on the plate of world leaders gathered at the United Nations for the General Assembly, continues to go out in wide circulation under the headline “Appeal to the United Nations General Assembly: A New Paradigm for the Common Aims of Mankind!”
This morning, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang addressed in his own terms, the concept of the “common aims” among people, by referencing his nation’s commitment to the “win-win” outlook, involved in committing to doing what it takes for economic growth for all nations and peoples. Only economic development can advance human civilization and progress, he said, and can solve our problems, even terrorism. Today the world faces many dangers, but Li said that, “difficult moments call for stronger confidence.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Momentum Builds from 9/11 Families’ JASTA Rally in Washington. Obama’s Goose May Be Cooked!
Sept. 12 (EIRNS)—Yesterday’s very successful rallies in front of the White House and the Senate, demanding enactment of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and excoriating Barack Obama for siding with the Saudis, have unleashed a momentum that could finish off Barack Obama if his expected veto of JASTA is overridden.
In the wake of the rallies, leaders of the 9/11 families’ organization are today holding continuous meetings with members of Congress amidst widespread recognition, not only of the families’ courageous actions over the past four years, but also the crucial role played by the LaRouche movement, in fighting for the release of the 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry and putting the screws on Congress to provide justice to the 9/11 families and the American population more broadly. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) admitted to Roll Call today that Congress’s override of Obama’s veto of the JASTA bill, is “a fait accompli”—and Corker has been working with the White House to amend the JASTA bill to make it less “hostile” to the Saudis.
Last night, Iran’s Spanish language-network HispanTV produced a three-minute story of the rally in front of the White House, showing the marchers and their colorful posters, pictures, and pointed slogans, with interviews of 9/11 families’ leaders Terry Strada, Silvia Carver, Matt Ogden of Executive Intelligence Review, and Jessica White, activist from the Manhattan Project.
Press coverage today is widespread, both positive and accurate, with many quotes from the marchers, who are furious at Obama. A sampling of the headlines of straightforward and positive coverage: “9/11 Families Demonstrate outside White House over JASTA Politics on the Hudson,” (Lohud Journal News, New York); “Congress Urges Obama To Act on Lawsuit Bill” (Washington Times); “Families Protest at White House, Ask Obama To Sign Bill Allowing Them To Sue Saudi Arabia,” with a kicker, “Family members say it’s ‘mind boggling’ and ridiculous they have to protest” (U.S. News & World Report); “Why Families of 9/11 Victims Feel Betrayed by Obama,” (McClatchyDC).
These articles portray family members’ anger, both against Obama and against members of Congress who have sided with him and the Saudis in trying to obstruct or stall on JASTA. Several marchers who were interviewed pointed to the lobbying efforts by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Capitol Hill, and blasted those such as “Little Old Lady from South Carolina” (LOLSC) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for colluding with Jubeir against the American people.
Senate Debates Resolution To Formally Disapprove U.S. Arms Sale to Saudis, but Tables Hot Measure
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Senate, today, voted 71-25 to table, that is, to block S.J.Res.39, a resolution disapproving of the Obama Administration’s planned sale, worth $1.15 billion, of 153 M1 Abrams tanks and associated equipment to Saudi Arabia. A tabled bill can be reintroduced by a simple majority, but for the time being, the Senate has punted once again on doing the right thing, and refused to take action against the Saudi genocide and war crimes in Yemen.
The majority of the Senate was “convinced” of the need for the sale with the specious claim that the Saudis are U.S. allies against Iran, and in the war against terrorism, and that it’s also a jobs program.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the chief sponsor of the resolution, noted the irony of the impending vote: the same Senate that unanimously passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), last May, that would allow the 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia for its involvement in the 9/11 attacks, was about to vote overwhelmingly in favor of selling arms to the same Saudi Arabia. “People believe they were complicit in 9/11,” Paul said. “This body voted unanimously to allow them to be sued. Now we want to sell them weapons? Does anyone note the irony?”
Both Paul and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) presented the evidence that the Saudis are major sponsors of Islamic extremism through their funding of madrassas all around the world. “They teach a version of Islam that leads to anti-Shi’a and anti-Western militancy,” Murphy said. The supporters of the resolution also made the case that the Saudis are bombing indiscriminately in Yemen—a war in which the U.S. is participating without Congressional approval—resulting in thousands of civilian deaths.
‘Recovery High Schools’ Cropping Up in U.S. as Number of Drug- and Alcohol-Addicted Teens Increases
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—In an attempt to address the fact that 1.3 million 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States have substance-abuse problems, some states have established “recovery” high-schools. These are schools financed by a variety of means—public, private, or both—now spread across 27 states.
Were they not so expensive and complicated to set up and operate, there might be more such schools; but they don’t even begin to meet the enormous need, the Washington Post reported Sept. 20. When Massachusetts began to set up its recovery schools a decade ago, 1 out of 10 people, age 12 and older in the state, was dependent on alcohol or drugs. Had real physical-economic and technological development occurred in the United States over the past eight years, instead of Barack Obama’s policies of economic destruction and drug legalization, the U.S. wouldn’t be facing this problem.
But it is, and the growing number of recovery high schools reflects the devastation, although they are only able to treat a tiny fraction of those in need. They must both educate young people and provide them with therapy. The head of one Denver-based nonprofit organization told the Post that such schools can be a “potential diversion for these kids, keeping them out of homeless shelters, foster care, and the juvenile justice system.” Yet, just one block away from Ostiguy recovery high school in downtown Boston, “kids struggling with addiction sleep on park benches” in the Boston Common.
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Without Development, Sustainability Has No Meaning, China’s Premier Li Keqiang Tells UNGA
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)— Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly today, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made abundantly clear the Chinese view of the “sustainable development agenda,” which no doubt ruffled a few feathers in the Green lobby.
“China is among the first countries to submit its own plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The foundation of sustainable development is development itself. Sustainability has no meaning without development,” Li said. “Many problems around the world are caused by the lack of development, including poverty, the refugee crisis, wars and conflicts, as well as terrorism. We need to find the root causes of these problems and solve them through development.” And it has to be “sustainable in all directions,” he stressed, i.e. for both the developed and the developing world. “It must be inclusive and interconnected. Otherwise growth will be stalled.”
He also referenced the recently concluded G20 Summit in Hangzhou, chaired by China, which put forward “a win-win policy for sustainable goals.”
Li also expressed his concerns about the growing tendency toward protectionism. “Globalization faces strong headwinds,” he said, but China will continue its policy of opening up.
To advance sustainable development, “we must uphold the principles of the UN Charter,” and “support the leading role of the UN in global affairs,” he said. “In resolving crises, the world must rely on dialogue instead of alliances. It has been proven over time that military solutions can only lead to more hatred and violence. No one will win this way. All warring sides in regional conflicts should abandon the zero-sum mentality, solve their conflict through dialogue, resolve their differences through negotiation and pursue reconciliation with the spirit of a forgiveness mentality.”
BRICS Foreign Ministers: Global Cooperation Key To Combat Terrorism, Secure Peace and Development
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Meeting Sept. 20 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, the foreign ministers of the five BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), discussed a range of issues but settled on one fundamental point: that only through comprehensive global cooperation and multilateralism will it be possible to make progress toward peace, stability, and the real economic development the world so urgently requires.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted the meeting and made a point of praising member nations for their efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian civil war and for deepening their “strategic partnership” since their last meeting. “We need to continue to be an advocate for using peaceful means, including dialogue and negotiation to solve global hot spots,” he said. The group’s final communiqué highlights Russia’s role in working toward a political solution in Syria, pointing to the importance of the U.S.-Russian agreements reached in Geneva on Sept. 9.
In this context, the ministers also expressed their strong condemnation of terrorism, noting recent attacks on BRICS countries, such as the one in India, the final communiqué stated. “A comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure an effective fight against terrorism,” it underscored, calling for “concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis under UN auspices.”
According to Xinhua, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that an important goal of the BRICS nations is to work for a more just international order, in which there must be effective coordination on key political and economic issues. Xinhua added that Wang Yi reported that the BRICS’ support was a key factor in the success of the Sept. 4-5 G20 Summit in Hangzhou and urged member governments to provide leadership in ensuring that the G20 agreements are fully implemented. A press release issued by South Africa’s Foreign Ministry highlighted “with satisfaction” the progress made by the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, “and called for the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership.”
Of the five foreign ministers, Jose Serra of Brazil was participating for the first time, representing the government of President Michel Temer, who replaced the illegally-ousted Dilma Rousseff. Serra had a hard time, given that as of a Sept. 15 interview with O Antagonista, widely circulating in Brazil, he couldn’t remember which nations actually belonged to the BRICS!
Belarus Boasts It Is the Westernmost Gate of the New Silk Road
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Belarus was one of the first few countries to back Chinese President Xi Jinping’s initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt, Belarus Ambassador to China Kirill Rudy wrote in an interview with Xinhua prior to the 5th China-Eurasia Expo, in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Sept. 20-25. Rudy explained that Belarus’ geographic location set it up to be a platform for “implementing the Silk Road Economic Belt projects in the Eurasian region, as well as [playing] a role as a transport, logistics, information, and communication link,” reported Belarus Telegraphic Agency, BelTA, on Sept. 19.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is the overland component of the One Belt, One Road initiative; the other component being the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Rudy continued that Belarus and China are already working together “in building motorways and bridges, in electrifying and reconstructing railway sections, in building power engineering, information and communication installations, and other infrastructure objects in Belarus.” Rudy emphasized: “But there is one peculiarity. In addition to redistributing goods, we make them and add value. The China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone, the pearl of the Silk Road Economic Belt, plays a special role in it.” Rudy described the Great Stone as an international high-tech project, which symbolizes the sweeping transition from credit cooperation to investment cooperation and the merger of manufacturing potentials between the two countries.
Rudy addressed the project of joining the China-led Silk Road Economic Belt with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a multilateral institution in which Belarus is a member. Belarus also actively supports the operation and expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), he wrote. “Belarus is the western gateway of the SCO. We are an observer country but an active observer… I think that commercial and financial initiatives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to implement joint projects in the Eurasian Economic Union with the assistance of Chinese companies, could help step up interlinkage within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt.”
Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe Sign Memorandum for China-Backed Railway
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—At a meeting on Sept. 9 at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, ministers from Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the three states to a $600 million railway across the three countries. The project involves China as well.
Known as the Port Techobanine Heavy Haul Rail Project, the 2,000 km railway line will connect landlocked Zimbabwe and Botswana with Port Techobanine, near Maputo in Mozambique. That proposed new port will handle bulk and containerized cargoes. The port is expected to be built and financed by China at the cost of $7 billion and to include an industrial and logistics center. The Chinese are also expected to be involved in the building and financing of the railway which will haul coal and uranium from Botswana for the Asian market, especially for China and India.
The agreement was signed by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joram Gumbo, Mozambique’s Minister of Transport and Communications Carlos Alberto Mesquita, and Botswana’s Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila. Minister Mokaila indicated that the project would help Botswana to capitalize on the country’s unexploited coal and recently discovered uranium reserves. Each of the three countries will contribute $200 million. The next step will be the drafting of a detailed feasibility study.
The construction of this railway, to be built with the wide European gauge, would be a first step in replacing the obsolete meter gauge which was built by the former colonial powers of Great Britain and Portugal.
Botswana has also partnered with Namibia to build a railway to Namibia’s Walvis Bay, the Trans-Kalahari Railway, which would presumably be oriented to the European market. Given the fact that there has been no economic growth in Europe and the trans-Atlantic economies, this project has not been able to receive any financing. By contrast, China has already made it clear it would be interested in purchasing coal from Botswana. On the other hand, if both railways were built, together they would constitute Africa’s first trans-continental railway.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
UN Official Admits ‘Airstrike’ Reference to Attack on Syria Aid Convoy Was ‘Drafting Error’
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Despite the atrocities of this week’s attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo, and last week’s U.S.-led airstrike on Syrian soldiers, efforts continue for talks on Syria. Last night the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) met in Manhattan, after which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said “the cease-fire is not dead. We are going to continue to work. We are going to meet again Friday on some specific steps.”
This morning, the UN Security Council held a High Level meeting on Syria (pre-planned), at which heads of state could attend. Initial reports are that it was a rough session, of accusations.
There are rightly many caveats which have been reiterated about the process. As Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said last night, “It is impossible to ask other members of the UNSC to approve the [cease-fire] deal,” if the U.S. side continues to refuse to allow the contents to be made known. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated this morning that “the key priority is to separate the opposition forces from the terrorists.”
Over the last 24 hours, more than one European government official at the ISSG meeting expressed the obvious fear over the whole desperate process breaking down completely: if the United States continues to confront Russia, and no talks are possible, the situation is hopelessly dangerous. Last night, as British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson put it, the U.S.-Russian effort is being seen as “the only show in town.” What if it blows up?
As for the outrageous specific charges from the White House war party that the Sept. 19 attack on the Red Cross/Red Crescent convoy was a Russian airstrike, the initial report from the United Nations has now been corrected by a UN official. UN humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said the references to airstrikes in the original UN aid statement, attributed to the top UN humanitarian officials in the region and in Syria, were probably the result of a drafting error in the text.
“We are not in a position to determine whether these were in fact airstrikes. We are in a position to say that the convoy was attacked,” he said. This corresponds with Russian analyses of photos and other evidence, showing likely ground-based attacks.
Associated Press cited Laerke as saying today that some aid flows would resume Sept. 22. Meantime, talks continue in Geneva to be in readiness for resumption, if the process of dialogue and ceasefire can be righted.
Arms Withdrawal Agreement Announced in Ukraine
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Darka Olifer, press secretary for former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, announced today that the Trilateral Contact Group of Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE had reached an agreement on withdrawing forces and heavy weapons from three areas along the line of contact between the government and the independence forces in the Donbass region of southeast Ukraine.
“The document implies de-escalation around the contact line and actually creates the conditions under which small arms cannot be used for attacks,” Olifer wrote on her Facebook page, reports Ukraine Today news platform. “At the same time, the framework decision provides for full implementation of the previous agreements of the Trilateral Contact Group on withdrawal of all weapons of the caliber less than 100 mm.” She stressed that the pullback only applies to three sites, but the Ukrainian side believes that the implementation of the agreement is the first step to the full withdrawal of forces along the whole contact line.
Last week, French and German foreign ministers were in Kiev, to try to revive the peace agreement.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
European Space Agency Plans To Cooperate with Russia on Moon Exploration
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to cooperate with Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, on lunar research, René Pischel, head of the ESA’s permanent mission in Russia, told Sputnik.
“If the Agency’s member states give their go-ahead at the upcoming ministerial conference in December 2016, the ESA will cooperate with Russia in exploring the Moon,” Pischel said.
This follows an earlier statement by Roscosmos Deputy Chief Sergei Savelyev to the effect that the two agencies are considering joint flights to the Moon as part of ExoMars program, another joint endeavor to search for traces of life on Mars. Savelyev said Roscosmos is now identifying areas of potential cooperation.
Additionally, ESA has plans to set up a “Moon village,” a permanent lunar outpost, possibly launching numerous missions to the Moon with the help of other countries. This project can benefit from the launch of the Luna-27 lander by Roscosmos in collaboration with the ESA, which is in charge of developing the spacecraft’s automated landing system and a package for collecting and analyzing lunar samples.