Syria Is About To Be Liberated; Will the British Empire Terrorists Be Destroyed for Good?
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—On the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941—“a date which will live in infamy,” as Franklin Roosevelt declared—a similar shock is spreading through the United States, and the world, as the British Empire is facing its possible final demise. Politically, economically, and strategically, the Empire is trembling, with Mount Olympus crumbling under its feet.
Politically, the overwhelming rejection by the Italian population of the EU-dictated referendum to hand power over to the Brussels bureaucrats acting on behalf of the City of London banks, adds one more blow to the Brexit, the Trump victory, the Fillon victory in France, the Duterte victory in the Philippines, and a sense everywhere that the British “globalization” of the world under bankers’ control is coming to an end.
Economically, the frantic effort to keep the European banks afloat through more Quantitative Easing, more money printing, more bail-ins and more bail-outs—the same failed efforts used by Bush and Obama in the U.S.—are increasingly recognized as a cover for the destruction of people’s livelihoods, shutting down productive employment and productivity itself to save the speculators. Plus, it doesn’t even work to save the banks!
Strategically, the “regime change” wars waged by Bush, Blair, Cameron, and Obama across the Middle East, turning country after country over to bestial terrorist gangs, are coming to an end on the battlefields of Syria. Aleppo is nearly liberated from al-Qaeda and ISIS, the creations of the British and Saudi Monarchies. As Col. Pat Lang (ret.) noted on his blog “Sic Semper Tyrannis”: “What has happened in the cauldron of the civil war is that a new force has appeared in the Levant. A new Syrian Arab Army now exists thanks to Russian training, equipment and advice.”
Further solidifying this rejection of British Imperial policy, Donald Trump last night in North Carolina stated in his strongest formulation yet: “We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about; that we shouldn’t be involved with. This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally come to an end…. We seek harmony and goodwill among the nations of the world.”
The basis of that harmony has been presented in detail in the EIRSpecial Report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, now circulating worldwide in English, Chinese, and Arabic. Over the past week, two political leaders from China, Patrick Ho, former Hong Kong Secretary of Home Affairs, and Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying from Beijing, told American audiences in Washington and New York that President-elect Trump has the potential to bring China and the United States together in global nation-building by joining Xi Jinping’s Silk Road projects, the One Belt, One Road, and accepting the standing offer for cooperation from President Xi, which Obama had rejected in favor of military confrontation with both China and Russia.
Trump has made extremely clear that he will work with President Putin in defeating terrorism, and in other areas to be determined. Today he made another positive gesture towards Beijing by appointing Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the next Ambassador to China. Branstad is a close personal friend of President Xi Jinping, stemming from Xi’s multiple visits to Iowa over the years.
To truly bring America into a cooperative relationship with Russia and China, the bankruptcy of the trans-Atlantic banking system must be resolved, preferably before an uncontrolled breakdown crisis. This requires immediate restoration of Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall legislation, writing off the worthless derivative bubble which is driving the real economy into Hell. Today, teams of organizers from across the East Coast are in Washington, giving the usually clueless members of Congress their marching orders, to join the worldwide revolutionary ferment, ending the British Empire’s financial dictatorship through Glass-Steagall and the restoration of Hamiltonian-directed national credit for industry, agriculture, infrastructure, fusion power, and space exploration. The power to do so is in our hands at this moment, a moment which will also “live in infamy” if we fail. As in 1941, all patriots of their nations, and citizens of the world, have the opportunity to change history for the better by joining this historic international fight to create a civilization worthy of the dignity of all men and women.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
China’s Investment Is Transforming Southeast Asian Nations
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—China’s investment in Southeast Asian nations is transforming their economies, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 5 in a major piece. Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar have expanded as destinations for Chinese exports, driving some of the world’s fastest economic growth rates. China’s move of some production out of China, where it is getting more expensive, can develop its neighbors and increase products sold to them.
- China is investing in everything from railroads to real estate in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar—Asia’s frontier-market economies.
- China Minsheng Investment Group and LYP Group in Cambodia signed a $1.5 billion deal last week to build a 2,000 hectare (7.7 square mile) city near Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, Xinhua reported. The spending equals about one-tenth of the country’s $15.9 billion GDP.
- Work started in 2015 in landlocked Laos on the China-Laos railway, which will run 414 km from the border to the capital, Vientiane, part of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative and cost $5.4 billion. President Xi Jinping met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Beijing last week, where he pledged strong ties.
- Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has engaged China since taking office this year, including visiting Beijing. China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner, Bloomberg says, accounting for about 40% of Myanmar’s total trade in 2015.
- Cambodia’s economy is projected to grow 7% this year; Laos’ by 7.5%, and Myanmar’s currency, the kyat, was Asia’s top performer from January through May. Bloomberg notes that Sino-Cambodian relations have flourished along with trade, with two-way commerce climbing to $4.8 billion in 2015—more than double that in 2012, when Cambodia defended China by opposing mention of China’s “assertiveness” in the South China Sea during a regional ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh.
The Philippines, Russia and Trump: The New World Order
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—Several developments today demonstrate that the Philippines is very much part of the New Paradigm for mankind.
Both Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay are in Moscow. Yasay, following a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, told the press that the Russian pivot to Asia, unlike the Obama pivot to Asia, will increase peace and security: “The Philippines deeply appreciates and fully supports Russia’s stated policy of increased focus and attention to East Asia,” Yasay said. “This comes at the times when the Philippines is turning towards Russia to boost cooperation. The timing is perfect. The Philippines’ pivot meets Russia’s rebalance.”
Defense Secretary Lorenzana met with Alexander Fomin, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, the executive body that regulates the export of Russian defense equipment and dual-use products, Manila Times reported today. They discussed technical cooperation between Manila and Moscow, with Fomin saying that Russia is ready to cooperate and supply the Philippines with whatever it needs.
Referencing Russia’s successful operations in Syria, Fomin was quoted as assuring that “Russia is a flexible and a responsible arms seller and that its equipment, such as attack helicopters and anti-aircraft missile systems, are of high quality.” Russia has also offered the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment.
Back in Manila, the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, appointed by Obama, held his first meeting with President Duterte. One could imagine the sparks flying had Obama’s clone Hillary Clinton been elected. Instead, the meeting was reportedly very cordial, both sides emphasizing the close historical ties between the two countries. Clearly, the hysteria against Duterte’s war on drugs, and other phony “human rights” issues, were not raised, as Duterte would have certainly let the world know what he thinks about such interference. In fact, Trump and his newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions may follow Duterte’s lead in taking on the worst drug crisis in American history, thanks to Obama’s “legacy.”
Meanwhile, the Philippine Senate completed an investigation into the charge of extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs, and the charge that Duterte ran a death squad in Davao while he was mayor there. They concluded that there was no evidence for either charge.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jihadis Reported To Be on the Verge of Surrender in Aleppo
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—In the past 24 hours, the Syrian Army has further reduced the jihadi-held pocket in eastern Aleppo, liberating the Old City and several districts to the east and south of the historic Citadel. The jihadist rebels of Fatah Halab surrendered almost all of the districts of Old Aleppo after the Syrian Army’s swift advances west of the Aleppo International Airport risked splitting them from their comrades farther south, reported Al Masdar News (AMN) yesterday. This comes after a massive rebel counteroffensive failed to yield any gains.
In some districts, militants are surrendering according to terms of an agreement between Turkey and Russia to evacuate some militants to Idlib province. Al Masdar reports that army personnel entered the districts of Kadi Asker and Bab Al-Hadid, today, after the jihadis left as per the agreement. The Wall Street Journal reported today that unnamed militant groups are seeking a five-day ceasefire in order to evacuate civilians and the wounded, “a tacit admission by the opposition that it has been all but defeated in a critical battlefront of the war.” Under the plan that they’ve proposed, if a deal is reached, the government and rebels would negotiate the future status of the city, the Journal reports.
The Russian Reconciliation Center reported today that the Syrian army has now freed 47 districts from jihadi occupation in the last two weeks. How is it that the army, after nearly six years of war, and reaching a nadir in mid-2015 when the West was writing obituaries for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was able to clear so many districts of the city of jihadi occupation? Former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Col. Patrick Lang (ret.) explains, in a Dec. 5 blog article, “The Emergence of a Competent Syrian Army,” which reposted a video from Al Masdar News showing Syrian infantry working with tanks in Aleppo:
“This combat footage of Syrian armor and infantry fighting as a team in East Aleppo is impressive. I know what this is supposed to look like and this is the real deal.
“The two groups are closely coordinated as one team and move forward using each other’s capabilities as reinforcing combat power.
“What has happened in the cauldron of the civil war is that a new force has appeared in the Levant. A new Syrian Arab Army now exists thanks to Russian training, equipment, and advice. At the same time the old truism, ‘whatever does not kill you makes you stronger’ applies.
“The after action effects of combat stress toward the end of the film is in many ways the most impressive thing. I have seen brave men weep and tremble in exactly the same way coming out of a hard fight.” (Emphasis added.)
NATO’s Foreign Ministers Meet in Trump’s Shadow
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels for a second day today, to discuss Ukraine and Afghanistan, continuing to act as if the world had not changed. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that economic pressure must be maintained on Moscow over Russia’s alleged involvement in Ukraine.
Yesterday’s meeting produced a 42-point plan of security cooperation with the European Union, a follow-up to the Joint Declaration issued by the two organizations during the NATO summit in Warsaw in July. The deal, Reuters reports, allows the six EU states outside NATO to benefit from some of the U.S. military support that Trump has suggested could be conditional on greater European defense spending. The proposals are also intended to reassure Europe that the United States is committed to the region despite President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign comments that have unsettled allies, NATO officials said.
“Questions have been asked with respect to the strength of the trans-Atlantic bond,” Stoltenberg said, referring to Trump’s characterization of NATO as “obsolete,” during the campaign. “I think the best way to respond to those questions is to deliver stronger NATO-EU cooperation,” he said.
U.S. ECONOMIC & POLITICAL
President-Elect Trump Vows No More Regime-Change Wars
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—Addressing a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, not far from Fort Bragg, President-elect Donald Trump vowed that under his presidency, the U.S. would not wage any more regime-change wars.
“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” Trump said, with Gen. James Mattis, his nominee for Secretary of Defense, at his side. “This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally come to an end,” he said. Trump gave “a commitment to engage the use of military forces only when it is in the … interests of the United States. … We want to strengthen old friendships and seek out new friendships…. We seek harmony and goodwill among the nations of the world,” he said.
“We will build up our military not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention,” Trump went on. “In short, we seek peace through strength.”
Trump Nominates Iowa Governor Branstad, a Friend of President Xi, as Ambassador to China
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been designated by President-elect Trump to be U.S. Ambassador to China. The assignment is propitious on a number of accounts. President Xi Jinping and Branstad are friends, stemming in part from Xi having visited Iowa several times, making many personal friends, and Branstad, in turn, visiting China often. Iowa and China have significant, long-standing trade relations, especially in agriculture, and also cultural exchanges. Branstad’s son, Eric, was the Iowa campaign manager for Trump.
Coming days after the minor flap over Trump’s phone call with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, and his Twitter response to Chinese objections to that call, this appointment sends a significant positive message to Beijing that the Trump Administration wants to work with China productively.
Xi first came to Iowa in 1985, to Muscatine (on the Mississippi River), where he stayed with a local host family and got to see many aspects of a farm community up close. At that time, Xi was a Communist Party official from Hebei Province, and a director of a feed-processing cooperative. On that trip, he first met Branstad, who was in his first term as governor, which would last four terms over 1983-99.
Subsequently the two met on the several trade delegations Branstad led from Iowa to China, especially during Branstad’s next two terms as governor, 2011 to the present. In 2012, Xi, then Vice President of China, made an official state return visit to Muscatine, for a reunion with his friends, as well as more agriculture activities. During the state dinner, Branstad toasted Xi: “So many Iowans are pleased that a man we befriended those many years ago has risen to such a position of prominence and respect in the great nation of China.”
Branstad’s last of four trade missions to China was last month, especially to promote meat exports. The major Iowa exports to China are corn, soy, and pork.
Marine Gen. John Kelly Named To Head Homeland Security
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—President-elect Donald Trump announced today that he had chosen retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security. Kelly retired at the beginning 2016 as commander of U.S. Southern Command, from which post he repeatedly warned that far too few resources were being devoted to countering drug trafficking from South America. In March 2015, he testified that his command was able to interdict only about 20% of the traffic flow, and that budget sequestration had reduced his intelligence and surveillance capabilities by about 50%.
“Despite the heroic efforts of our law enforcement colleagues, criminal organizations are constantly adapting their methods for trafficking across our borders,” Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee then. “While there is not yet any indication that the criminal networks involved in human and drug trafficking are interested in supporting the efforts of terrorist groups, these networks could unwittingly, or even wittingly, facilitate the movement of terrorist operatives or weapons of mass destruction toward our borders.”
Like Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Kelly is reported to have had policy clashes with the Obama Administration, including with respect to Obama’s failed plans to close the detention facility at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
ECB May Use Banca Monte dei Paschi To Trap Italy, as It Did Greece
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—Sources in the Italian government—to the extent one exists now—have been leaking to British financial media that they are “demanding” the European Central Bank (ECB) extend the time for the recapitalization of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank (MPS), from the end of December, at least to the end of January. The Financial Times reported that “people” in Italy’s government say they will publicly blame ECB President Mario Draghi and the ECB for the mass impoverishment of small bondholders in MPS, unless the ECB agrees to the extension and continues providing liquidity loans to MPS.
In fact, Draghi’s ECB already has been throwing large amounts of “easing” at Italian government bonds and major bank bonds this week, but MPS is insolvent nonetheless. The Renzi government’s attempt at “private recapitalization” of the bank has failed, and if the “people” leaking to Reuters and the Financial Times are to be believed, no Italian government will be able to carry out a public recapitalization—i.e., nationalization—until at least the end of January. Moreover, this nationalization or “precautionary recapitalization” (the term the Financial Times used) will violate the “bank bail-in” rule of the European Commission and the ECB, insisted on by the Merkel/Schäuble government in Germany. It will involve the government buying a large amount of small bondholders’ bonds at face value, to try to prevent public revolt and runs on the bonds of other major Italian banks as well. The government would then swap all the bonds it had bought for stock, becoming the controlling stockholder of MPS.
Thus from having blocked, for many months, all of the Glass-Steagall legislation in both houses of Parliament, the outgoing Democratic Party government is now placing itself under Draghi’s blackmail over MPS. The ECB reportedly may decide at its meeting Dec. 8 whether to grant an extension for recapitalization of MPS; but the ECB liquidity and QE program will then be the only thing standing between Italy and major bank failures and/or bail-in mass expropriations. The ECB will use the leverage, as it did with Greece.
Eurogroup Again Screws Greece
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—The Eurogroup of 19 Eurozone finance ministers once again screwed Greece with their new agreement. In return for a relatively meaningless so-called short-term debt-relief measure that simply adjusts interest rates and stretches maturities to 2060, Greece will have to maintain primary surpluses of 3.5% of gross domestic product for up to 10 years after the official bailout program ends in 2018. This so-called surplus, coming out of the flesh and blood of the population, will go to pay off the debt.
This was apparently forced into the agreement by the International Monetary Fund and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who bluntly stated that if Greece wants to stay in the Eurozone, it has to implement the “reforms” and measures being demanded of it.
According to the Kathimerini daily, the official spokesman for the Greek government, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, was especially critical of the IMF’s European Department head, Poul Thomsen, who represented the Fund at the Dec. 5 Eurogroup meeting. He said Thomsen put more pressure on Greece to adopt extra measures in order to maintain the 3.5% primary surplus after 2018, rather than on the Eurozone to provide further clarity on the medium- and long-term debt-relief measures it plans to roll out from 2018 onward. The government spokesman was adamant that the coalition would not agree to the adoption of any new measures in order to meet the 3.5% primary surplus target after 2018.
The country’s two major trade union federations, representing public and private sector workers, have called a 24-hour general strike for Dec. 8, to protest plans for labor reforms and tax hikes. The Athens and Piraeus hospital doctors association, EINAP, announced it would join the 24-hour general strike. Bus and trolley workers will also be out of service from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., when the shift ends.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Deputy Prime Minister Says Russia Must Develop Sixth- and Seventh-Generation Weapons
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—“The arms race at the end of the last century gave our country an opportunity to leave NATO countries behind in the development of the defense industry and the [creation of] fourth-generation weapons. The fifth generation, let’s be objective, for a number of understandable reasons, related to the collapse of the Soviet Union, was stuck on the level of design offices,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is quoted as saying in Pravda on Dec. 6. “The current task of our defense industry is to enhance fifth-generation weapons and take a step into the future. We need to work on the sixth- and seventh-generation. We already have such developments, and they are very successful, I have to say. Those are absolutely new and sometimes unpredictable weapons.”
EIRNS has recently reported on the new hypersonic maneuverable ICBM that is under development.
The Pravda article proposes that “most likely, Mr. Rogozin spoke about a hypersonic aircraft capable of carrying a nuclear warhead—the U-71.” This “secret” project, first referred to in February 2015, is described as a glider aircraft which is hypersonic, and is equipped with an electronic warfare capability. It could cross the U.S. in minutes and disable all electronic detection stations as it flies overhead. It will also be able to go into space.
Argentine President’s Assault on Science Provokes Fears of New Brain Drain
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)—Thanks to Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s 30% cut in the 2017 science budget, the National Science and Technology Research Council (Conicet), will be forced to reduce by 60% its grants and scholarships to doctoral and post-doctoral candidates, as well as other researchers in key areas of science. Compared to last year, when 943 career scientists and researchers received Conicet funding, next year that number will drop to about 400.
Conicet is Argentina’s premier state-run facility for educating young scientists, a crucial investment of time and money which is required to replace a generation of aging scientists. The scientific community is likening Macri’s anti-science policy to that of Wall Street’s own Domingo Cavallo, Finance Minister in the 1989-99 Carlos Menem government, who on Sept. 24, 1994, said that Argentina didn’t need scientists, and suggested they go out “to work as dishwashers.” The Menem/Cavallo gutting of science led to an enormous brain drain, which only began to be remedied under the Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner governments, during which 1,300 scientists were repatriated and funded by 2015.
Recalling Cavallo’s 1994 statement, on Dec. 6 the daily Página 12published a picture on its front page of an unhappy-looking Albert Einstein under the headline, “Once Again, Go Wash Dishes.”
Conicet researchers and other scientific groupings, university students, etc. are mobilizing to protest, correctly pointing out that the assault on science is an assault on the country’s economic and scientific sovereignty. A physicist from the Argentine Science and Technology group of scientists, stated in a Página 12 article that this policy reflects Macri’s determination to reduce the size of the state, and its policy of fostering scientific activity, forcing Argentina to rely on foreign countries, rather than develop its own capabilities. Speaking to Página 12, former Conicet President Roberto Salvarezza warned that scientists will again be forced to leave the country, or go to the private sector, which, he said, is coherent with Macri’s demand that scientists become “businessmen.” With his neoliberal cabinet, including Science Minister Luis Baranao, Macri is in fact moving to privatize many of the country’s scientific institutions, including its satellite production company, ARSAT.