EIR Daily Alert Service
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2016
Volume 3, Number 92
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Lyndon and Helga LaRouche’s Tuesday, Dec. 27 discussion with the LaRouche PAC Science Team and the Policy Committee, exemplified the process which characterizes a renaissance—and a contemporary U.S. economic recovery. In that dramatic dialogue, speaker after speaker came forward with new and varying ideas—all different, but all provoked by a common unspoken intention, and all tending toward an implicit common end, while at the same time they fed each other like sparks of a single fire. One is reminded of Plato’s description of his method of dialogue in his “Seventh Letter.”
They were like trickles, joining to streams and eventually into a great river, always propelled by an unseen, intangible force. What force? The greatest of all forces: the self-subsisting positive, the common aims of mankind. How is it possible that something which you didn’t even believe to exist at one time, can later become the purpose of one’s life?—can become the mission whose importance even far outweighs one’s life itself?
One dichotomy which ran through the discussion, one especially acute in today’s U.S.A., was that of “culture” versus “productivity,” as they are wrongly understood to differ from each other. This false dichotomy goes back to Hegel’s lying distinction between Geisteswissenschaft (the humanities) as against Naturwissenschaft (natural science) in the 19th century. It was exacerbated by Bertrand Russell’s decortication of science, against Albert Einstein, beginning in 1900. Franklin Roosevelt worked successfully towards overcoming it until he was effectively removed from office by the FBI, while he was still alive. Then, after World War II, it was still further inflamed by the poison pumped out by the British Empire’s Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF).
The full Congress for Cultural Freedom program never took hold in the Soviet Union, although there were numerous other severe problems; this is why the great German poet Friedrich Schiller seemed to be more respected at times in the Soviet satellite of East Germany than in Western Germany. Soviet thinking always correlated productivity with the cultural level. Witness the 1972 Soviet movie “The Taming of the Fire,” a heavily-fictionalized portrayal of space hero S.P. Korolyov. Director Khrabrovitsky was forced by the censors to change almost all of the facts and names, but he placed all the more emphasis on some basic truths. Almost as soon as the film opens, pioneering Russian space scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is passionately trying to explain to young Korolyov, how and why the “cultural level” of the entire country must move far, far upwards if its factories are to be able to produce cosmic rockets, artificial satellites (“sputniks”), and space vehicles.
Most everything President Vladimir Putin does, reflects his higher standpoint on this struggle to upgrade Russian culture, as reflected, for instance, in his year-end press conference.
Within the new international paradigm created by Vladimir Putin and the Chinese leadership, and after the dumping of the Bush-Obama dictatorship, a renaissance and a U.S. economic recovery—one and the same thing from two different viewpoints—are now immediately on the agenda if we act to bring them about.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during a televised meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that documents relating to a cease-fire have been signed by Syrian opposition groups and the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche commented today, that the deal is insecure. “It can’t be counted on, because Obama is not nailed down,” he said.
“Reports have just arrived,” Putin said at the outset of the meeting, “that several hours ago there was a development that we all have looked and worked for for so long. Three documents have been signed. A cease-fire between the Syrian government and the armed opposition is one. A package of measures to control the cease-fire is another. There is also a declaration of readiness to enter peace talks on Syrian conflict settlement.” Russia, Turkey, and Iran undertook commitments to guarantee a peaceful settlement in Syria. The deal is the result of Russia’s cooperation with partners in the region, Putin emphasized.
Putin was clear that the really hard work is now beginning.
“No doubt, the agreements reached are fragile and demand special attention and assistance with the goal of preservation and development. But nevertheless, this is a notable result of our joint work, efforts of the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and our partners in the regions,” he said. “As we understand very well, all the agreements reached are very fragile, they demand special attention and patience, a professional approach to these issues, and a constant contact with our partners,” Putin stressed.
According to the Kremlin transcript, Shoigu presented Putin with a list of the armed opposition groups that have agreed to the cease-fire, subsequently published on the Defense Ministry website, and a map of their distribution. He reported that the Defense Ministry, with Turkey acting as mediator, spent two months in negotiations with the commanders of these seven groups, which are composed of some 60,000 fighters.
Lavrov reported that the Foreign Ministry will take steps to ensure that the package of agreements that was signed be disseminated as official UN Security Council documents, and that Security Council members are briefed and their questions answered.
“It is important to increase the number of guarantor countries, and we therefore want at this stage to invite our Egyptian colleagues to join these agreements,” Lavrov said. “Later, at subsequent stages, we could probably get other key countries with influence on events in Syria involved too, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, and Jordan.”
In Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s General Command announced a “comprehensive” cessation of hostilities to take effect at midnight tonight, local time (22:00 UTC).
“The Command added that the terrorist organizations of Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS and the groups affiliated to them are excluded from the agreement, pointing out that the cease-fire comes with the aim of creating suitable circumstances for supporting the political track of the crisis in Syria,” reported the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—This afternoon, President Obama announced that the U.S. would expel 35 Russian “intelligence operatives” (diplomatic personnel), shut down two Russian compounds in the U.S., and impose economic sanctions, diplomatic censure, and public “naming and shaming,” as retaliation against alleged Russian hacking, aimed at influencing the U.S. election. According to wire service reports, the sanctions include the broadening of a 2015 executive order to allow Obama to punish those allegedly involved in cyber-attacks against the U.S. The Treasury Department will be allowed to freeze the assets of those who digitally damaged U.S. critical infrastructure. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security also released a report today supposedly detailing how the Russian hacks occurred.
The response was immediate. Moscow is considering retaliatory measures against the U.S., said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. He said that the new sanctions are an example of President Obama’s “unpredictable” and “aggressive foreign policy,” the Associated Press reported. He also described the new measures as being aimed at trying to “deal a blow to the foreign policy plans” of President-elect Donald Trump. “Such steps of the U.S. administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, deal a blow to the foreign policy plans” of the incoming President.
“We have no other alternative than to abide by a principle of reciprocity,” Peskov said. Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy chairman of the foreign policy committee in the Russian Duma, told TASS that “reciprocal steps” will be taken, adding, “The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and, quite possibly, the consulates, will be cut down to size as well.”
Senator Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in the Federation Council, was quoted by the RIA Novosti, as saying Washington’s decision on Thursday to expel 35 Russian diplomats represented “the death throes of political corpses.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
New Year Greeting from Yemen: ‘Stepping into the New Paradigm of the Right of All Human Beings To Develop’
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The Yemeni Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS (AOCB) has issued a New Year statement titled “2017: Stepping Into the New Paradigm of the Right of All Human Beings To Develop.” The poster of the declaration carries, in addition to photos of the AOCB members’ activities, one photo of Schiller Institute president Helga Zepp-LaRouche and another one of LaRouchePAC activist Marsha Mallouk from the recent meeting on Yemen held in Michigan.
The statement reads as follows:
“January 1st, 2017 Declaration Fouad Al-Ghaffari
“Chairman of the Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS, Yemen
“China will inaugurate, today, its chairmanship of the BRICS 2017 session by announcing its five-year plan for space exploration. While it has called for peaceful engagement among nations, China has offered without stint for the whole world to join its project. This is a declaration of a new era of international relations that humankind has not experienced before, and of the which, humanity is in dire need, going into the direction of building the New Silk Road and Belt into space.
“With this new deal, combined with China’s pledge to help rebuild Yemen, and the pledge made by the New Silk Road Lady, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, to expand the necklace of the New Silk Road and make Yemen one of its pearls, we, the Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS, are declaring our preparedness to promote five goals to develop Yemeni-Chinese relations. These are:
“1. The Pearl Program: Including 14 projects, and new projects in the fields of literature, astronomy/space exploration, and children leaders’ organization.
“2. The road to peace through the right to development: Includes Friends of BRICS Association, and establishing the technical office for sustainable development goals.
“3. Producing the political program of the preparatory committee of The New Silk Road Party, a new political party in Yemen.
“4. Establishing a commerce office to coordinate with the BRICS Business Council.
“5. Petroleum services office to coordinate with the BRICS Energy. All the stages of the above-mentioned projects have adopted the reference points made by modern China and the BRICS together. This is our message of friendship and partnership to China and the BRICS. Happy New Year!”
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The Yemeni Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS (AOCB), headed by friend of the Schiller Institute Fouad Al-Ghaffari, organized the first session of a series of classes on astronomy and space exploration for children in the capital Sana’a on Dec. 28. The class, which was presented by astronomy expert Ammar Al-Bahri, who is the manager of the space agenda in the AOCB, focused on informing the children about the Solar System and its characteristics.
A second session is being planned for both children and adults, which will conclude with a call on the Yemeni parliament and government to legislate the creation of a Yemeni space agency.
Al-Ghaffari made reference to China’s newly released White Paper on “China’s Space Activities in 2016,” and efforts made recently by American activists for an “international space day.”
In a statement released by Al-Ghaffari after the class, he stressed that “this was a unique start for the children of the AOCB,” and “a qualitative shift that brings to mind the role played by Arab astronomers in developing this field of science.” He also emphasized that this also brings to mind the importance of the U.S. space agency, NASA, and the efforts to reduce its budget and manipulate its achievements in areas that do not serve peace and development. He pointed to the BRICS nations’ space vehicles and instruments that are roaming outer space in pursuit of exploring space peacefully, and to China’s June 2016 cooperation agreement with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).
What the people of Yemen, in general, and this small group of intellectuals and activists, in particular, have proven, is that if a people insist on a dignified existence, no power on Earth can subdue them, or, as the Tunisian poet Abulqasem El-Shabi put it: “If a people, one day, demand their right to life, fate itself will obey.”
For the rest of the world to preserve its own dignity and human character, it has to do its utmost to stop the ongoing barbaric and genocidal war against Yemen, launched by Saudi Arabia and backed by Obama and the British government, which has taken a terrible toll on Yemen’s children in this most impoverished of Africa’s nations.
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—A group of leaders active in Portugal’s business, academic, economic, and cultural life have formed the “Association of Friends of the New Silk Road,” to promote China’s One Belt, One Road project and the opportunities it offers Portuguese language-speaking countries, Macauhub reported yesterday.
Prof. Fernanda Ilhéu, considered the leading specialist on business activities between Portugal and China, who founded a business consultancy based at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management called ChinaLogus, told Macauhub that once people come to know about the Belt and Road initiative, they will see that it is “bold, advanced, and long-term.” Founders of the group “sympathize with China’s initiative, and think that this can be good for China, for developed and developing countries, for the world economy, and for relations between various countries.”
Joining leaders, economists, and others in the Luso-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, is the head of the Portuguese government’s Portugal-Africa Foundation.
Portugal has been turning to the New Silk Road as the hope for a future, increasingly since Prime Minister Antonio Costas’ visit to China in early October. Releasing the government’s port- promotion strategy on Dec. 19 in the port city of Sines, Costas reiterated the importance of Portugal’s decision to participate in the New Silk Road, as it allows Portugal to adopt new “ambitious goals” to take advantage of its privileged maritime position.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The State Council Information Office published a White Paper on the “Development of China’s Transport” today. It outlines the results of the last decades’ development of transportation in China and the plans for the next five to ten years. The paper deals with the extensive railroad network being developed, as well as the extensive air and seaport development, serving as important nodes in a transportation grid which is being highly computerized and making maximum use of satellite and other high-tech communications systems for its operation.
By the end of 2015, China’s total railway operations reached 121,000 km, ranking them the world’s second longest, including 19,000 km of high-speed railway, the world’s longest. China now has five east-west and five north-south railway trunk lines serving as the matrix of the total rail network. By 2025, China will have 175,000 km of rail, of which 38,000 km will be high-speed, according to Yuan Chuantong from the Ministry of Transportation. And by 2030, China will have a rail network of 200,000 km.
China’s astounding transportation development has also made it a leader in many advanced technologies, including high-speed rail, which now serve as the main items in its “Going Global” strategy, bringing development to the rest of the world. China’s technologies for high-speed, alpine, plateau, and heavy-haul railways have reached the world’s most advanced level. China’s key construction technologies for offshore deepwater ports, improved technologies for large estuary waterways and long waterways, and construction technologies for large-scale airports, are leading the world. A number of world-class large bridges and tunnels have been built by China with globally advanced construction technologies. The latest example of this is the world’s largest bridge, the Beipanjiang Bridge, now under construction, which will soar 1,854 feet over a gorge separating Guizhou province from Yunnan province, with a span of 1,354 meters, more than eight-tenths of a mile.
Assisting the Belt and Road Initiative, China has established railway connections with 5 of its 14 neighboring countries, with 11 railway crossing points. Multiple container trains operate on railways to Central Europe and Central Asia; highway crossing points in border areas, open year round, are connected to roads at Grade II level and above; and a group of logistics parks and cargo operation centers capable of handling international logistics has been put into use. China actively promotes international and regional cooperation in shipping, and is jointly pushing forward the navigation of the Lancang-Mekong River with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.
By the end of 2015, China’s total highway traffic length was 4.58 million km, with 123,500 km of expressway, ranking it first in the world. There are 3.98 million km of rural highways, connecting 99.9% of towns and townships and 99.8% of administrative villages. Graded highways comprise 88.4% of total highway length.
A water transport network connecting trunk and branch lines has also been established. This forms an inland waterway system composed of two horizontal trunk waterways, one vertical trunk waterway, two high-grade waterway networks, and 18 high-grade mainstream and tributary waterways.
By the end of 2015 China had 210 civil transport airports, forming a pattern with international hub airports in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as centers, with regional hub airport in provincial capitals and major cities, and some other support trunk and branch airports. Radio Frequency Identification, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and other modern navigation technologies have been applied to civil aviation and logistics. The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has become the third GNSS applied in international navigation.
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—“We are writing as scientists, economists, conservationists, and citizens, to urge you to take strong action to save and grow America’s nuclear energy sector,” begins an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump and his designated Energy Secretary, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, published Dec. 22 by the Environmental Progress research group.
“In the 1960s and ’70s, the U.S. was the world leader in nuclear technologies,” the letter says. Today, American entrepreneurs go abroad, including to China, in order to develop new concepts. China is investing in “at least five” different advanced reactor designs, World Nuclear News quotes in its report on the letter. The letter calls for the U.S. to adopt an approach based on President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 “Atoms for Peace” initiative, starting with the financing of U.S.-made reactors for customers around the world, through institutions such as the Ex-Im Bank and World Bank. They specify loans and loan guarantees to foreign customers who could then buy American nuclear technology. In fact, this is the approach that Russia is implementing very successfully.
Environmental Progress continues to circulate the open letter as a petition. In addition to the above points, it states that President Eisenhower’s program, “[r]ecognizing that cheap electricity is a key driver of economic growth and job creation, … financed the peaceful use of nuclear power around the world ‘to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world.’ ”
Environmental Progress president Michael Shellenberger describes the open letter/petition as urging “President-elect Donald Trump and Governor Rick Perry … to unite Americans and the world around an inspiring new vision: making nuclear great again the President-elect and the Congress to ‘take bold action to make nuclear great again.’ ”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales, who recently came out in favor of Glass-Steagall, has suggested that the Italian government go into Monte dei Paschi bank (MPS) with more money and clean it out.
Zingales believes that the Italian banking system needs at least €50 billion, 2.5% of GDP, to be financed with government debt.
“We can issue more debt, and I think this is a good thing,” Zingales says in an interview with Il Giornale. Currently, the ECB is scrutinizing all MPS loans, and it will surely come out with more non-performing loans (NPLs). The government should move preemptively, he says: “You go into [MPS] with such a large amount that any risk of further trouble is neutralized.”
However, “the investment of public money in banks, or in MPS in particular, surely involves an investigation of what has happened…. Once the government becomes a partner, a serious government cannot refuse an investigation.” A Parliamentary committee would be ideal, but “a different thing can be done: the government can appoint a committee of experts which has full access to MPS data, and does a profound analysis in order to say how much of the losses are due to the crisis, how much to mismanagement, and how much to mistakes of a political, or worse, nature. The Executive branch can do that, because it is a shareholder of the company. Eventually, it can report to the country.”
In a comment on this proposal, statesman Lyndon LaRouche said today that the precondition for that to work, is control of the national banking system. A regulation must be put in place, on the nature of bank income, combined with an equal evaluation of the money. This mechanism will be the safety net for the nation.
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating hit a record high this year of 86.8%, a Dec. 24-25 poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center showed. Trust for the Russian leader has reached 62.1%, compared with 59.2% on Dec. 10-11. Over the past week, Putin’s approval rating had also moved up by one-tenth percent. “This is the maximum level in 2016,” the pollster said.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating was 61.2%, while the government’s surged to 63.2% compared with 60.9% on Dec. 17-18, according to the survey. The approval rating of the ruling United Russia party reached 48%.