EIR DAILY ALERT (LAROUCHE PUB(LICATIONS))
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2016
Volume 3, Number 46
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Obama Weakening Rapidly vs. Putin and Xi; That Is the Nuclear War Threat
- U.S. Opposes Nuclear Weapons Ban; Moves To Block Action in the United Nations
- Duterte Travels to Japan To Expand Economic and Security Cooperation
- Philippines Details Chinese Investment Agreements
- Obamacare House of Cards Collapses on Killer Obama
- Fed Officials’ Remarks Expose Rodham Clinton’s ‘Infrastructure’ Fraud
- One Step Forward for Critical East Coast Infrastructure, Upgrading Aged Baltimore Rail Tunnel
- Draghi Calls for ‘Constitutional Reforms’ To Allow Bankers’ Fascism
- TVA’s New Nuclear Power Plant Should Be a Lesson for Japan
- After the Nov. 8th U.S. Election, Expect Saudi Megabucks Effort To Repeal JASTA
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Are you really willing to bet your life that Barack Obama will not start war with Russia (or China) in the three months he has left? The only way to ensure he does not, is a strong bipartisan mobilization to shut him down, force him out, and begin a rapid rebuilding of our wrecked economy based on the principles of Alexander Hamilton. That will bring America into productive economic cooperation, and space collaboration, with the Asian powers Obama has been trying to provoke into war.
That objective, and not the sorry candidates competing to follow Obama in office, should focus our concentration.
The obvious strong pressure on Obama from the British Monarchy and allied Conservative government, for a major retaliation in Syria against Vladimir Putin’s successful intervention there, has set off battles in Obama’s White House over war policy.
Obama clearly wants to show Putin down, and has the same animus toward China’s President Xi Jinping, but is incapable of doing anything about it, short of war which can quickly become “the unsurvivable.” But he has advisors and members of his Cabinet, and above all the British, telling him “risk it.”
Putin, strongly backed by China and India, is in charge in terms of bringing “endless war” to an end in the Mideast. Xi’s economic “win-win” policies have left Obama with no Asian allies either for trade war or South China Sea war.
He refuses to join Putin or Xi; neither in peace negotiations, nor in fighting terrorism, nor in building new infrastructure corridors and exploring space.
They are in charge—unless Obama goes to provoke full-out war with them.
Experienced sources in Washington now say that Obama is greatly weakened by the explosion of Obamacare and the failure of his Dodd-Frank legislation to stop constant criminal behavior by the Wall Street banks. His Presidency is marked by constant, unsuccessful or downright disastrous wars. Drug and suicide epidemics in America have hit 50 states, and become the number-one concern in many; Obama has—very charitably speaking —done nothing about them.
That is just why the most dangerous of the two major presidential candidates remains Barack Obama. This is not the time to take the pressure off against Obama just when his “legacy-seeking” could kill us.
The priority for this nation remains a bipartisan movement to take Obama’s hands off American military capabilities; and to take charge of economic recovery with Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws,” based on Hamilton’s principles.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—The UN General Assembly may vote as early as next week on a resolution sponsored by Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa, which calls for the convening of a UN conference in 2017 to begin the process of negotiating a treaty banning all nuclear weapons. The administration of President Barack Obama, who once talked about a nuclear-free world, is not only opposed to the ban, but is arm-twisting U.S. allies, especially those in NATO, to oppose it as well, and in the process showing that they aren’t really sovereign states. The U.S. is citing alleged aggressive behavior by Russia and China, as well as North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, as reasons to oppose such a ban, reports Foreign Policy
“The security climate is not such that it is conducive to nuclear disarmament,” dissembled a senior U.S. official, asserting that a treaty could undermine the nuclear deterrent in Europe and Asia. “Until we have a relaxation of these tensions, and you’ve got a Russia that is willing to engage in further nuclear disarmament, it’s going to be difficult to make progress,” he said.
Regarding a nuclear weapons bank, “I would argue this is consistent with Obama’s vision of having a world without nuclear weapons,” Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told Foreign Policy. “The legal prohibition of nuclear weapons is by no means a substitute for the disarmament actions that need to be taken, but it can contribute to further delegitimization of nuclear weapons.”
The resolution is said to already have the support of 120 nations, a number assuring passage. The irony is that the U.S. is aligned with China and Russia—the two countries cited most often as needing to be deterred by U.S. nuclear weapons—as well as Britain and France, in opposing the resolution. Some other states resent the heavy-handed U.S. lobbying against the resolution and have declared their support for it as a result.
The U.S. is telling NATO members, as well as South Korea and Japan, that they have to vote against it or they’ll be undermining the alliances. One European diplomat told Foreign Policy that Washington has warned states considering voting in favor of the resolution, that a ban could jeopardize defense arrangements with allies around the globe.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Japan today for a three-day visit, just days after his historic visit to China. He spoke with the press before his departure, emphasizing that he intends to strengthen both security and economic ties.
“I go to Japan with full trust that we can understand each other, and Japan will understand my position vis-à-vis the foreign policy that I want to implement. It’s just a question of a policy that is really truly Filipino,” said Mr. Duterte.
“We will discuss, among others, greater politico-social and defense cooperation, particularly in maritime domain awareness and maritime security,” he said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that, on security issues, his policy was to discourage the entry of foreign soldiers in the country and their basing within Philippine territory, whether for short periods within the year or long periods.
“I do not have to dovetail what the policies of our countries are, and especially in the matter of stationing of military troops in my country. I really, I really hate it. I don’t want it. We don’t need it. We are not going to war, and there’s not going to be any war in the future,” said the President.
When a Japanese reporter asked him which country he liked more, the President quickly replied: “Between China and Japan, I think I love the Philippines more.”
On economic relations, Duterte said he is looking for investment in key infrastructure development, especially in public transportation, and that investments in Mindanao would be a primary focus.
“I look forward to meeting business leaders in Japan,” he said. “I will tell them clearly that the Philippines is open for business. The visit will be an opportunity for me to personally thank Japan for its pre-eminent and peerless role as the Philippines development partner. I shall seek the strengthening of this role through more high-impact projects that will benefit our nation.”
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—In addition to the Clark-to-Subic railroad, connecting the two former U.S. military bases that are now industrial zones, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez listed the other major agreements between Chinese and Philippine private sector companies, recently concluded. They include:
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—This past weekend saw it exposed that Barack Obama was so indifferent to the rising epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction deaths in America, that he stopped enforcement actions against the pharmaceutical distributors pouring billions of opioid pills into pharmacies and the black market. Obama’s administration’s strategy, the Washington Post reported in lengthy detail, was to “work with” the big pharma distributors and big pharma companies, to find “healthier” forms of opioids.
Now the other major plan on which Obama worked hand-in-glove with big pharma and big insurance—Obamacare—is biting American living standards hard, and is a near-universally acknowledged failure.
The “headline news,” two weeks before Election Day, is that the average Obamacare low-silver-plan premium is rising by 25% across the country in 2017, as announced officially by Health and Human Services. Last year’s increase, for comparison, was 7.5%.
This 25% will be the basis for raising the tax-credit subsidies Americans get to pay the premiums. Desperately, the administration is pushing the idea that Obamacare premiums will remain “affordable”—already a joke even if the coverage were not getting poorer and poorer.
But in fact, a map and report published by USA Today show that 13 states already have approved increases higher than 30%, with some 21 states now having approved individual premium increases of 20% or more, average for the entire state, in 2017. Illinois is the most recent, approving average increases of 50% for the lowest-priced bronze, silver, and gold plans. Four of these states have approved average increases of 50-75%.
Millions of Americans, then, will be looted outright for these spiking premiums, tax-credit subsidies or no.
Five more states have insurers requesting increases which average over 20%, although not yet approved.
“The Predicatable Obamacare House of Cards Collapse” was a typical headline, in the New York Daily News.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Comments by two top Federal Reserve officials quoted by Bloomberg News today, indicate the Fed will raise interest rates quite rapidly if “the next President” tries an economic stimulus program. The remarks were publicized the same day Hillary Clinton—imagining she is already “the next President”—said that in her first 100 days she would push through an “infrastructure” program allegedly involving $275 billion in investments.
Clinton’s program is a fraud; but Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren (on Oct. 24) and Deputy Fed Chairman Stanley Fischer (on Oct. 14) both said that the Fed would react to any “stimulus” program by raising rates much more rapidly. Rosengren was more specific, implying that even a $100 billion spending program could cause the Fed to raise rates an additional three times in 2017. This would, of course, make the “stimulus” substantially more expensive for the government, unless Alexander Hamilton’s principles of national credit were employed.
So much for the idea, pushed by Wall Street and gullible Democrats, that Federal Reserve zero-interest policy has made money so cheap—“virtually free”—that the Treasury should borrow several trillion dollars “for infrastructure.” That mirage has hovered over the desert for nearly eight long years, without any Trans-Atlantic government daring to take a drink. But zero interest and quantitative easing were for the large Wall Street and European banks, and for governments carrying out “structural reforms,” not for governments investing in the real economy.
Clinton’s plan is a fraud which purports to build infrastructure by lowering taxes. So did Obama’s 2009 ARRA “stimulus act,” which has produced zero-productivity growth in the economy for six years. Clinton, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), will lower the corporate tax by two-thirds, from 35% to 10-14%, for multinationals which repatriate any of the trillions they’ve stashed offshore to avoid taxes. The companies would reap a bonanza, from restating the tax treatment of their cash assets and watching their stocks soar.
Aside from the fraud of claiming that such as “smart grids” and highways with multiple toll lanes are “advanced infrastructure,” Clinton’s plan would depend on the multinationals to decide the amount and timing of their repatriation of tax-avoiding cash. No real infrastructure projects could work that way.
And if a President Clinton resorts to additional borrowing to supplement the faltering tax giveaway-cash repatriation, the Fed would rapidly make that borrowing more expensive.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) committed Oct. 24 to get both state and Federal funds for modernization of the Howard Street Tunnel under Baltimore, one of the critical infrastructure bottlenecks of the U.S. freight rail system. During 2016, Hogan met with Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama about the relatively modest costs of the important rail project, needing $155 million from the Federal FASTLANE Project. “Our indication is that our project scored very high, that we just missed the funds last time,” Hogan told the Baltimore Sun—a polite way of saying that Obama turned it down.
The Port of Baltimore is potentially the most capable on the U.S. East Coast because of its great depth (enough to handle “New Panama” supertankers) and its extensive modern freight moving and storage capabilities. It leads all ports in handling agricultural equipment and automobile shipping, for example. But it is under-utilized, and mainly dependent on over-the-road trucks, because the antiquated (1879!) rail tunnel leading from the port, cannot allow double-decker container cars to pass. The New York Metropolitan Area, though served by multiple ports, suffers from the same bottleneck—the lack of a modern rail tunnel under the Hudson River—but with an order of magnitude larger investment needed than in Baltimore.
“Cargo coming out of the port moves at half the pace that it can leave other facilities,” the Sun reports. “If the tunnel were expanded, 178,000 containers that now leave the port on tractor-trailers each year could be moved by rail. Previous estimates put at more than $1 billion the cost of creating two feet more clearance in the tunnel.” That cost has apparently been lowered now by new engineering technology which allows the tunnel floor to be lowered and the ceiling modified rather than raised. The state and CSX Railways are committing $270 million, and asking the Federal government for just the $155 million.
Hogan spoke of 500 construction jobs in modernizing the tunnel, and 3,800 new port-relating jobs from expanding its utilization.
The CSX route out of Baltimore to the West (the former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) and the Pennsylvania Railroad’s route are the two original rail highways across the United States.
More CSX traffic on the route could spur Amtrak development of separate high-speed passenger track—if there is a Hamiltonian commitment to building the country through Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws To Save the Nation.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—ECB President Mario Draghi provided evidence for what many in Italy think: that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform, to be voted on in a national referendum Dec. 4, was dictated by the financial markets, as reflected in the famous JP Morgan blueprint to eliminate anti-fascist constitutions (“The Euro Area Adjustment: About Halfway There”; see also EIR Press Release, “J.P. Morgan Report Says European Post-World War II Anti-Fascist Constitutions Are an Obstacle to Reimposing Fascism”).
In a speech at the German Institute for Economic Research, DIW, in Berlin today, Draghi defended his quantitative easing policy, but stressed, however, that it won’t be effective unless governments implement the necessary structural reform. During the Q&A period, Draghi explained that on top of such reforms is “constitutional reform.” His formulation was: “Do you believe that low interest rates have an influence on constitutional reforms, judiciary reforms,” etc?
Prof. Paolo Savona, former head of Italy’s Interbanking Deposit Guarantee Fund, recently exposed in an article that the key aspect of Renzi’s reform, besides the Mussolini-like electoral reform, is the introduction into the Constitution of passages that refer explicitly to the primacy of EU law over Italian national law. The current Constitution does allow for alienating portions of sovereignty through international treaties, but it maintains the ultimate sovereignty in the national Parliament. If Renzi wins the referendum and his reform passes, it will be a dangerous and total surrender of sovereignty, Savona wrote.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Today’s Yomiuri Shimbun runs an editorial with advice to sane layers in Japan, who have been trying to reopen the nuclear power plants that have been shuttered in that country since the Fukushima accident in 2011: Use last week’s commissioning of a new nuclear plant in the U.S. by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a “point of reference” for the continued use of nuclear power in Japan.
On Oct. 19, Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee became the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. to come on line in this century. The article reminds readers that the reactor was built by Westinghouse, which is, in fact, now owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp.
In order to remedy the effects of a decades-long hiatus in nuclear plant construction, the U.S. government began to fund programs in R&D and in education, with the result that the current generation of reactors has improved safety, the article says.
Therefore, it is proposed, the TVA example should be used as a reference for Japan.
“Many Americans oppose nuclear power,” but “the starting up a new nuclear reactor in the United States amid this background can be used as a point of reference for a Japan that is calling for continued use of nuclear power.” The article concludes: “The most important thing is to restart the operation of reactors whose safety has been verified. The construction of new nuclear reactors should also be considered.”
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)—Leaders of groups supporting the 9/11 families in the passage of JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) are warning that after the presidential election, the Saudis will launch a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign to reverse JASTA. And the John Brennans and James Clappers of the military intelligence apparatus, together with Obama, will attempt to create fear that our soldiers will be at risk because of JASTA.
The passage of JASTA gives American courts the authorization to award civil claims against a state for physical injury or death that occurs as a result of an act of international terrorism.
In the McGill International Review of Oct. 20, Anna Sibal reports that the Arab Project is pushing the Iraqi government to seek compensation for the killing of civilian targets and destruction of property during the 2003 U.S. Iraq invasion. Though these questions on the U.S. invasion of Iraq have been raised before, no action has resulted.
The strongest objection to JASTA arises from the supposed violation of “sovereign immunity” that it allows. Sibal writes that the concept that “the sovereign state can do no wrong” has been used historically by governments to remain free of tort liability, and in more recent history, to declare themselves legally untouchable in cases of criminal prosecution by other states.
“Weakening sovereign immunity may prevent it from being used as a deflection whenever states engage in a dubiously legal action in other states,” Sibal writes, but “a full suspension of sovereign immunity is not practical, and will most likely never occur. However, a weakening of the principle’s power” may force states to consider before using violence in foreign policy. States should fear the consequences of JASTA and the newly-affirmed vulnerability of their absolute state immunity rights,” she writes.
In the lead-up to the passage of JASTA, New York Rep. Peter King’s legal counsel wrote a memorandum on the subject on his website, stating:
“JASTA does not apply to military activities of a foreign state. JASTA is expressly unavailable in relation to any act of war, as defined under existing law. This limitation, coupled with JASTA’s requirement that the claim arise from an act of international terrorism on U.S. soil, as also defined under existing law, precludes JASTA’s invocation in relation to any military activities of a foreign sovereign.
“The enactment of reciprocal legislation poses no risk to our military personnel. Given the limitations described above, the enactment by a foreign government of legislation mirroring JASTA would present no risk of lawsuits against U.S. military personnel. To the extent the issue is instead the potential that a foreign government might enact different laws that allow claims against U.S. personnel, it would not be reciprocating, but rather engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression, and the U.S. would be expected to respond by making clear the economic, diplomatic, social, and military consequences of such aggression, as it would in any other case.
“The United States Already is Subject to Claims Abroad for Civilian Casualties of Drone Strikes and Pays Compensation to Unintended Casualties of Those Strikes. The United States already responds to claims in foreign jurisdictions for civilian casualties of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has a program in place to pay compensation to the families of unintended casualties of those strikes….”
[Memo by Jamie Tricarico Matese, Office of Rep. Peter King (R-NY)]
JASTA is a U.S. law which allows American citizens to seek judgments in U.S. courts that Saudi-British sponsored terrorists killed American citizens on U.S. soil on 9/1l. The only problem with JASTA is that it doesn’t allow Americans to sue Obama for killing Americans.