EIR Daily Alert Service
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2016
Volume 3, Number 63
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Space and Classical Culture—Repairing the American People’s Minds from Degeneration under Bush and Obama
- Former Ambassador Chas Freeman on the Future under a Trump Presidency
- Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon Denounced Wall Street at a 2014 Vatican Conference
- Former CIA Analyst McGovern: News Media Convinced Most Americans That Torture Works
- Former National Security Council Official Proposes Starting a War with Russia in the Baltics
- Russian President Meets with Military, Defense Industry Leaders
- Royal Bank of Scotland Follows Deutsche Bank, Faces U.S. Justice Department Fine
- Investopedia: ‘Will Trump Reimpose Glass-Steagall? (JPM, BAC)’
- Helga Zepp-LaRouche Presents a Policy Bombshell in Peru
- Italians May Join Moscow-Kazan Project
- China Setting Up Economic Zone in Philippines
Space and Classical Culture—Repairing the American People’s Minds from Degeneration under Bush and Obama
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Across the nation and around the world, leading figures are stepping forward to identify the potential now before the United States and the world to end the death and destruction imposed under the Bush and Obama administrations. Gen. Harald Kujat (Bundeswehr, ret.), the former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (2002-05), pointed to the drastically-improved relations between the U.S. and Russia which Trump and Putin have set in motion as the basis—and the only basis—for resolving the horrendous crises in Ukraine and Syria. Former U.S. Ambassador Chas Freeman, who also once served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense, said in an interview with the “Ron Paul Liberty Report” webcast that Trump “should be mindful that he basically led a revolution—he led a bunch of people whom Hillary Clinton called deplorable to come out to the polls and register their objection to business as normal in Washington, to the frankly degenerate atmosphere in our political culture.” He praised Trump’s insistence that the U.S. must join with Russia and focus on crushing ISIS in Syria rather than regime change against Bashar al-Assad, and added that it was “crazy, frankly, for the U.S. to pretend that we can enjoy absolute primacy in the seas off China indefinitely.”
Political sensibility, driven by the election shock, is overcoming the American and European populations’ acceptance of leaders mindlessly killing hundreds of thousands of people and destroying entire nations, while driving millions out of their homes as refugees.
But what is the cause of the former blind acceptance of such evil? It must be identified in the degeneration of the minds of the populations, the destruction of the human creative powers of people subjected to decades of cultural decay. When the belief in the scientific capacity of mankind to “bring dominion over nature,” both on Earth and in the Universe, is denounced by greenies as the destruction of Mother Earth, and entertainment is reduced to drugs, violence and perversity, when beautiful music is replaced by pulsating noise—it is then possible to convince peoples to close their eyes to the horror being perpetrated in their names.
Now these minds are being awakened, both by the economic destruction of their lives, and by the revolutionary electoral change which provides a flicker of hope.
As statesman Lyndon LaRouche has said for over 40 years, it is at such a pregnant moment in history that optimism in the potential of mankind’s progress can and must be restored, providing a future for all men and women on our planet, through scientific advances that lift our eyes to the stars, and through the beauty of classical art and music, “through which one proceeds to freedom,” as Friedrich Schiller said.
Freedom from the City of London’s and Wall Street’s destructive power over the Western governments is now within reach, as stunned legislators in Europe and the U.S. are faced with the only alternative to the uncontrolled collapse of the bankrupt western financial system: Glass-Steagall reform to shut down the too-big-to-fail gambling dens on Wall Street, with Hamiltonian credit policies through national banking to restore the economy, the space program, scientific research and international cooperation in nation building around the world, taking the New Silk Road to all Mankind.
U.S. ECONOMIC & POLITICAL
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Former Ambassador Chas Freeman, who spoke at the Schiller Institute conference in Berlin on June 25-26 this year, was interviewed today on the Ron Paul Liberty Report webcast titled “China and Middle East Hot Spots: Diplomacy or Militarism?” presenting a hopeful and targetted presentation on the global implications of Donald Trump’s election.
Ambassador Freeman warned that the civilian control of the military was breaking down. Donald Trump, he said, is absolutely right to set the priority in Syria on working with Russia to crush the terrorist networks, and end the regime change policy, which is the only way to “clean up the mess we created in Syria.”
He ridiculed all the press reports about who Trump will choose for his cabinet, suggesting that most of the reports were issued by the wannabes themselves—“draft me” leaks to the press. He said of Trump that “he should be mindful that he basically led a revolution—he led a bunch of people who Hillary Clinton called deplorable to come out to the polls and register their objection to business as usual in Washington, to the frankly degenerate atmosphere in our political culture.”
On China (about which Freeman is one of the world’s leading experts), he said that “China is basically building its capacity to defend itself against navies that are lurking off its coast, and threatening it, as we are.” He said that after World War II, there was a vacuum in Asia, and the U.S. forces maintained the peace, but that is no longer true. China, Japan, India, even Vietnam have significant militaries which can protect the region. “It is crazy, frankly,” he said, “for the U.S. to pretend we can enjoy absolute primacy in the seas off China indefinitely.” He noted that all the talk about “freedom of navigation” was ridiculous in light of the fact that at least two-thirds of the $5 trillion of trade in the region is with China, so that it is the nation most concerned about freedom of navigation.
Asked about the fact that both candidates and the Congress all back increases in defense spending, Ambassador Freeman said: “Ask first, what are the threats? Is Mexico going to invade to take back the land we stole from them? We don’t have a Department of Defense, but a Department of Offense,” pointing to the perpetual warfare around the world against nations that are not a threat to the U.S. The defense budget is treated as a jobs bill, and it is “never audited—never,” he said. No one knows how much is wasted or lost. “Eisenhower was right to hit at the military-industrial-congressional complex. His staff edited out the word ‘congressional,’ but that was a mistake.”
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon addressed a conference by Skype on “Poverty” held inside the Vatican in the summer of 2014, in which he attacked in harsh terms “the greed of the U.S. investment banks,” and the 2008 bailout. Buzzfeed recently released its transcript of Bannon’s speech, excerpted below. The Human Dignity Institute, the conference’s sponsor, was founded by Benjamin Harnwell, an aide to Member of the European Parliament Nirj Deva (Conservative, U.K.) to promote a “Christian voice” in European politics. The HDI has ties to some of the most conservative factions inside the Church.
In his 2014 Vatican speech, Bannon pointed out that before “Brexit” and Trump seemed possible, there was a “global tea party movement,” citing the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and France’s Front National. Bannon asserted that the “racism” of parties like UKIP and the Front National will be “washed out” with economic improvements that lift living standards for all.
Bannon, who freely said he used to work for Goldman Sachs, told the audience, “I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve, and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis…. It is a crisis both of capitalism, but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs…. What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?… I can see this on Wall Street today—I can see this with the securitization of everything; everything is looked at as a securitization opportunity. People are looked at as commodities….
“Putin is very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values.”
Responding to a question of whether the banks should have been bailed out in 2008, Bannon says, “The 2008 crisis, the financial crisis—which, by the way, I don’t think we’ve come through—is really driven by the greed of the investment banks. My old firm, Goldman Sachs—traditionally best banks were leveraged 8:1. When we had the financial crisis, the investment banks were leveraged 35:1. Those rules had specifically been changed by a guy named [former Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson…. He had gone to Washington years before and asked for those changes. That made the banks not really investment banks, but made them hedge funds—and highly susceptible to changes in liquidity. So the crisis of 2008 was, quite frankly, never recovered from in the U.S.”
He continued: “I think the bailouts in 2008 … were absolutely outrageous, and here’s why: It bailed out a group of shareholders and executives who were specifically accountable. …I think you really need to go back and make banks do what they do. Commercial banks lend money, and investment banks invest in entrepreneurs, and to get away from this trading—you know, the hedge fund securitization….” He underscored: “We’ve never really gone and dug down and sorted through the problems of 2008. Particularly the fact—think about it—that not one criminal charge was every brought to any bank executive associated with the 2008 crisis…. That’s one of the fuels of the populist revolt we’re seeing.”
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, speaking about the recent International Criminal Court (ICC) report which raised the possibility of prosecution of American military and CIA personnel for the crime of torture committed in Afghanistan and at CIA black sites in Eastern Europe, told Sputnik in an interview that the news media have succeeded in making most Americans believe that torture works—although it never has. McGovern said that he welcomes the report because “to my great dismay, President Obama was afraid of holding them [all those in the CIA who were involved in torture] accountable.” Calling Obama a creature of the Establishment, he specifically pointed the finger at U.S. media outlets which he said prompted ordinary Americans to believe that torture is a necessary thing. “The media have persuaded most of the American public that torture works even though it does not work. It is illegal because it’s always wrong; it’s in the same moral category as slavery or rape,” he said.
As for the official U.S. position on the ICC report, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said on Nov. 15 that there’s no need for such an investigation into U.S. crimes, though she failed to mention that it was Obama, as McGovern pointed out, who put the kibosh on any serious investigation into the torture policy. “We have a robust national system of investigation and accountability that is as good as any country in the world,” she said. “We do not believe that an ICC examination or investigation with respect to the actions of U.S. personnel in relation to the situation in Afghanistan is warranted or appropriate. As we previously noted, the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute and has not consented to ICC jurisdiction.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Paul D. Miller, an National Security Council (NSC) official under George W. Bush and Barack Obama over Afghan policy, issued a game plan today in Foreign Policy magazine for starting a lovely little war with Russia, worried only that a President Donald Trump may not play along.
Titled “How World War III Could Begin in Latvia,” Miller denounces Trump and others who promote working with Russia and stopping the NATO military build-up on their border, then writes: “Putin believes hegemony over Russia’s near-abroad is necessary for Russian security because of his beliefs about Russian nationhood and historical destiny. Putin (and, perhaps more so, his inner circle) isn’t merely nationalist. The Kremlin appears to be driven by a peculiar form of Russian nationalism infused with religion, destiny, and messianism. In this narrative, Russia is the guardian of Orthodox Christianity and has a mission to protect and expand the faith.”
As if this fantasy were not enough, Miller goes on: “A truly rational Russia would not see NATO and European Union expansion as a threat, because the liberal order is open and inclusive and would actually augment Russia’s security and prosperity. But, for Putin and other Russians who see the world through the lens of Russian religious nationalism, the West is inherently a threat because of its degeneracy and globalism.”
Miller argues that Putin has “already succeeded in eroding NATO’s credibility,” getting away with invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. Therefore: “Putin now has the most favorable international environment since the end of the Cold War to continue Russian expansion…. And the next American president seems openly favorable to Russia and ready to excuse Russia’s irresponsible behavior.”
Thus, Miller asserts, Putin will “instigate an ambiguous militarized crisis using deniable proxies, probably in the next two years. Perhaps Russian-speaking Latvians or Estonians (a quarter of Latvians and Estonians are ethnically Russian) will begin rioting, protesting for their rights, claiming to be persecuted, asking for international protection. A suspiciously well-armed and well-trained Popular Front for the Liberation of the Russian Baltics will appear. A few high-profile assassinations and bombings bring the Baltics to the edge of civil war. A low-grade insurgency may emerge.” Sort of the way we did in Ukraine, he could have added.
Concluding: “If the Alliance does invoke Article V, it will be tantamount to a declaration of war by the West against Russia. And that’s when Trump will have to decide if the defense of Latvia is worth risking World War III.” Miller is clearly rooting for Armageddon.
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin has been holding a series of meetings in Sochi with top leaders of the Defense Ministry and defense industry, meetings that continued today, for a third day, with defense industry heads to discuss the mobilization capabilities of the defense industry and a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council which discussed the situation in Syria, in particular, in the areas of Idlib, Homs and Aleppo.
At yesterday’s meeting, Putin urged the Defense Ministry to incorporate the lessons learned from combat operations in Syria in its training and equipment development. “The experience gained during the military operations against international terrorists in Syria should be systematically put into practice in training and preparation work at the service personnel and command levels,” he said. “It should be put to use when conducting exercises and holding snap inspections, and the defense industry designers and engineers should take it into account when developing new arms.” Otherwise, he said, re-equipment programs are proceeding as planned, with units receiving modern strategic missiles, new naval vessels, as well as air and space defense systems, new aircraft and arms and other equipment. “We have seen good results in operations and combat preparation,” Putin said.
At the same time, he said, this must be done within the context of the development of the civilian economy. “We must carry out this work while at the same time continuing to move towards our set economic growth targets, developing civilian production sectors, and guaranteeing fulfillment of our social sector obligations. There must be no contradictions here,” Putin said. “All of these different areas must be in natural coordination and must complement each other.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—First it was Deutsche Bank, now it is Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) that could face a penalty of more than $12 billion by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its mis-selling residential mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis. The British government owns 73% of RBS.
The Guardian quotes the chairman of U.K. Financial Investments James Leigh-Pemberton who points out that negotiations under way between the DOJ and Deutsche Bank, which was initially fined $14 billion, could affect how much RBS is fined. “It might be $5 billion, it might be $12 billion,” he said, but admitting that “based on what happened to Deutsche Bank it could be more.”
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Writing for Investopedia, author Mark Kolakowski asks the above question, and discusses the effect that reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act could have on various Wall Street banks. Investopedia is an informational website with 20 million unique viewers per month.
Repeal of Glass-Steagall spawned a new breed of megabanks that transformed American business and finance; e.g., JMorgan-Chase (JPM) was formed from its purchase of Bear Stearns; Bank of America (BAC) took over Merrill Lynch; and Citigroup was created in 1998 from a series of takeovers. If Glass-Steagall passes, Cato Institute Financial Regulation director Mark Calabria says the biggest losers would be JPM and Citigroup. Bank of America and Wells Fargo would be hurt less. All this from Wall Street’s speculative point of view, but interesting in that all are discussing the effects of something that may really happen—and soon.
Kolakowski writes that many Wall Street firms actually supported the original 1933 Glass-Steagall Act as an avenue to reduce competition, and Wall Street had sued on several occasions to keep Glass-Steagall from being watered down.
The ubiquitous anti-Glass-Steagall voice Peter Wallison says banks lost ground to securities firms as sources for financing corporations, and thus became “outdated.” He insists that a Republican Congress would never consider, let alone pass, Glass-Steagall. According to Cato’s Calabria, Glass-Steagall has maybe a 25% chance of passing. Sounds a lot like “whistling in the dark.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Schiller Institute founder and president Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered a bombshell policy statement in Peru today, as world leaders prepare to arrive in that nation’s capital, Lima, for this weekend’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. Zepp-LaRouche gave the keynote address today at the XXIII Congress of the Economists Association of Peru, held in the Amazon city of Pucallpa, in the department of Ucayali, with a sweeping overview of the stunning potential for a New Paradigm for all of humanity. The three-day Congress is organized around the subject, “The Peru-Brazil Bioceanic Train: Impact on the Economy of the Amazon Region and the Country.”
Zepp-LaRouche’s overview, titled “The New Silk Road Concept, Facing the Collapse of the World Financial System,” was presented via a 50-minute pretaped video, followed by 20 minutes of live Q&A with some 200 people present in Pucallpa. Her opening video was also broadcast online by the National Economists’ Association, to university economics departments on campuses across the country.
Her presentation provoked such great interest among participants, with many asking for a copy, that the Economists Association is going to make a DVD available to all. Already in preparation for the congress, the Association had printed 2,000 copies of a 60-page pamphlet for participants and others, consisting of excerpts from EIR’s “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” 2014 report which she co-authored, Lyndon LaRouche’s 2014 policy statement on “The Four Laws,” and an introduction by Zepp-LaRouche on the New Silk Road developments since EIR’s special report was produced, in order to provide in-depth conceptual material for people to study.
The three questions asked in the Q&A session were all serious, running roughly as follows:
1) What sort of credit system would be created for the financial platform for construction of regional infrastructure, such as the bioceanic rail corridor?
2) How can changes in economic mentality in China transform the world? How can it help address problems that have arisen under the existing economic model?
3) Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, you are known as the Silk Road Lady. On what principles have you based yourself, to develop that concept of a world model?
Significant last-minute logistical challenges had to be overcome to make it possible for Zepp-LaRouche to make a videoconference address the Economists Association’s national congress. The night before the congress opened, it was announced that the University of Ucayali, where the congress was to be held, had been shut by a strike, as part of a teachers’ strike against education budget cutbacks being held at various public universities nationwide. Congress organizers, deeply committed to creating the policy conditions necessary so that this South American trans-continental rail corridor can bring development to their people, had to move the venue of the entire conference on short notice, and managed to make special arrangements for Internet access to be available, so that Zepp-LaRouche could speak to them live.
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—According to the First Vice President of the Russian Railways Alexander Misharin, a joint working group will be set up to ensure operational coordination and discussion of all issues regarding the participation of Russian and Italian companies in implementation of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway project, as well as in other railway infrastructure projects.
Misharin met yesterday with Giovanni Rocca, a Vice President of Ferrovie dello Stato, which operates the Italian public railways. Italy would be a partner, then, with China and Germany, in this $21 billion project. The Moscow-Kazan route covers 700 kilometers, and China is considering extending this line to Beijing, at some point in the future.
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—China sent a team from its Commerce Ministry to the Philippines to plan for an economic and trade cooperation zone “as part of the two countries’ efforts to advance bilateral ties,” according to Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Sun Jiwen, speaking to a press conference in Manila today, Xinhua reports.
“China is willing to increase imports from the Philippines and encourage Chinese firms to expand investment there,” he said. He added that the two countries will also sign a pact on economic and technological cooperation for the 2017-22 period, and China will consider providing financial support for infrastructure projects in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte also announced today that he will consider following Russia’s lead in dropping out of the International Criminal Court (ICC), especially in light of the threats from the human rights mafia in the West to take him to the ICC for the alleged extrajudicial killings reported as part of his highly successful war on drugs. He has repeatedly asked why ICC has never been inspired to bring the U.S. and Britain to justice for the hundreds of thousands of innocents killed by the U.S. wars in Vietnam, in the Middle East, and elsewhere.