Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Optimism that the New Paradigm Can Be Implemented in 2017
Dec. 31, 2016 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche wrote this New Year’s Greeting for the website of the German political party that she founded and leads, the Solidarity Civil Rights Movement, or BüSo (Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität).
The good news, Helga Zepp-LaRouche wrote, is that “many positive tendencies will spill over into Europe, and even into Germany,” in 2017. It will become obvious during the course of the new year that “the strategic reorientation of most of our planet will be defined by the dynamic of the New Silk Road, and thus, of a new economic world order which will prioritize the common good and the overcoming of underdevelopment, rather than maximum profit for speculators.”
That dynamic will be consolidated at two major summits organized by China, Zepp-LaRouche notes, where the tremendous appeal of the economic model of win-win cooperation will again be demonstrated.
Moreover, President Putin, with Russia’s military intervention in Syria, “brilliantly turned around the situation in the Middle East,” and interrupted the “apparently endless series of wars based on lies” carried out since 9/11, laying the basis for peace negotiations and a reconstruction program for all of Southwest Asia, which should be the Schiller Institute’s 2012 proposal for extending the New Silk Road to the Middle East.
Although the Obama Administration still has three weeks to “lob more hand diplomatic grenades,” Donald Trump seems intent on improving relations with Moscow, Helga Zepp-LaRouche writes. He has also pledged to invest $1 trillion in modernizing U.S. infrastructure and create new jobs for the population. For that, the United States should work together with China, for their mutual benefit.
On the perspectives for Europe, Zepp-LaRouche notes that François Fillon may win the French Presidential election next May, in which case France would lift the sanctions against Russia. The Austrian government, which assumes the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in January, has announced a similar intention, while the Managing Director of the Davos World Economic Forum Philipp Rösler has called on the EU to reset relations with Russia. “If Chancellor Merkel wants to stick to her support for sanctions, which she concocted at the mini-summit with the politically defeated President Obama, it will become very lonely around her.”
Given the tectonic changes in the strategic constellation that is expected for 2017, and other imponderables, such as the financial and banking crisis, “it is highly dubious that the EU in its current form will exist and that Merkel will be re-elected” in September.
“The Solidarity Civil Rights Movement will run in these Bundestag elections with the only platform that offers a real response to the refugee crisis: Germany, together with Russia, China, India, Japan, and perhaps with the United States, must be part of large-scale reconstruction programs for the Middle East and Africa. We have laid out concrete plans in the report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, which has already been taken up in many countries as the basis of their policy for the planned development of Southwest Asia and the African continent.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
People’s Daily: Let China Invest, Engineer New U.S. Infrastructure
Dec. 30, 2016 (EIRNS)—In an op-ed on Dec. 30, Communist Party of China newspaper People’s Daily Online published a bold proposal to the incoming Trump Administration that China could both invest heavily in, and help build with new technologies, the new economic infrastructure Donald Trump has called for.
Headlined “Fixing America Will Require Trump To Be Bold, and Work with China,” the op-ed by editor Curtis Stone cleverly uses the example of the extraordinary “world’s highest bridges” China has built with revolutionary bridge-building technology. It reads as follows.
“In U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s book, Great Again, he said, ‘You go to countries like China … and you look at their train systems and their public transport. It’s so much better. We’re like a Third World country.’ Despite his tough talk, Trump admires China for its GDP growth and for its infrastructure investment and engineering. He sees that, while America is aging and falling behind in certain areas, China is growing and moving forward. The U.S. can learn from China on infrastructure building, and benefit from its successes.
“China is leading the world in infrastructure investment and engineering. China’s Beipan River bridge, which connects Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, is a 4,400-feet-long cable-stayed suspension bridge that hangs 1,854 feet in the sky. That is equivalent to 200 stories, roughly the height of four Trump Towers stacked.
“Another example is Guizhou’s high-speed railway bridge connecting Shanghai and Kunming. This amazing achievement caught the attention of some foreign scholars. Duke University Professor Ralph Litzinger (@BeijingNomad) said, ‘Serious infrastructure investment in China makes the [U.S.] look like a backward country.’ Kingston University Professor Steve Keen (@ProfSteveKeen) called it ‘an example of China’s impressive engineering,’ and said ‘Trump could learn a lot from [China] about infrastructure planning.’
“America may be the contemporary example on building a great country, but China is the contemporary example on rebuilding a great country. The two massive bridges in Guizhou are a tiny example of China’s strength in infrastructure investment and engineering. No other country in the world has lifted more than double the size of America’s entire population out of poverty in such a short period of time. Since then, China has opened the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and is building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These are massive cooperation projects, and the hallmark of modern-day China. Meanwhile, America cannot even realize high-speed rail after years and years of planning. Rather than bash China, perhaps America should learn from and work with China.
“Trump wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure upgrades in America to rebuild the nation and put people back to work. The problem is how to pay for it, and how to do it. China knows how to fund and carry out serious infrastructure building, and deep-pocketed Chinese investors want to invest billions more in America. One way for Trump to realize his plan would be to use Chinese funds and technology. This would help return some of America’s investment in China back to America for the benefit of America, and strengthen the bilateral relationship.
“Trump’s plan to rebuild America is bold, but it remains to be seen if he will be bold enough to do what is best for America.”
Kenya’s New Railway Joins Silk Road This Year, with Chinese Help
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Kenya will complete the first section of its first Silk Road infrastructure project this year—the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Kenya’s Daily Nation reports today. It will replace Kenya’s existing railway, which was built in 1899. The SGR will transform Kenya’s Mombasa port, taking cargo and passengers to the Ugandan border in one-tenth the time it takes by road transport. Currently, 70% of the cargo handled at the port arrives by road.
In 2013, an agreement was signed by the governments of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda to develop a railway to link their respective capital cities, Nairobi, Kampala, and Kigali. In 2008, the Kenyan cabinet had approved the SGR project, and then the Ministry of Transport and the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corp. signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the feasibility study and design of the project. The project construction was launched three years ago. Although less of the local supply could be used than had been agreed to, as it was found that local cement and steel did not meet the standards set and the material was imported from China, the plan is for this Silk Road project to upgrade industry in Kenya. The first six diesel locomotives will arrive from China next month, with a total of 56 planned. Five will be used to move passengers, with 40 stations along the line, when the project is completed.
In an interview with Xinhua on Dec. 12, Gerishon Ikiara, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s School of Diplomacy, and former permanent secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Transport and Communication, said, “The Chinese-led Belt and Road initiative is expected to radically change Kenya’s and Africa’s participation in global trade in the coming two decades.” He noted the role the new railway will play in East Africa. Ikiara stressed that China-funded infrastructure projects will catalyze the continent’s industrial transformation, the article reports. He stated that “The SGR project has created about 30,000 jobs in Kenya. It has introduced capacity building program for training Kenyans in diverse railway skills.”
The interview article in Xinhua, putting this project in political context, states: “The Belt and Road initiative will act as a guarantor of Africa’s future economic development, peace, and stability, against a backdrop of shrinking influence of former Western colonizers in the continent, as major emerging economies have enhanced cooperation and ties with Africa in recent years.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump Again Questions Hacking; Wants ‘Good Relations’ with Russia and China
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—At an impromptu press conference before attending a New Year’s party near his home in Florida, President-elect Donald Trump again strongly questioned the outgoing administration’s version of events concerning Russian “hacking” of the recent elections, comparing the allegations to Bush’s fabricated pre-invasion charges of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq.
“I just want them to be sure,” Trump said, “because it’s a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know. And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else.”
Trump also claimed to “know things that other people don’t know,” concerning the issue, adding, “so they cannot be sure of the situation.” When further pressed by the reporter on his secret knowledge, Trump merely said, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Further dismissing reporters’ prying into potential policy questions until after Jan. 20, Trump did offer his “New Year’s” thoughts, saying, “Hopefully, it’s going to work out very well. Hopefully, we’re going to have good relations with many countries … and it includes Russia, and it includes China.” Finally, he said, “It’s time for us to move on to bigger and better things.”
Washington Post Fake News Story Fits Obama Administration Propaganda Program
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Having just last month gotten burned for its shameless promotion of fake news outlet PropOrNot, you might think that the editors of the Washington Post would be more careful. The fact that they weren’t tells an even larger story.
Last Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 under a fear-mongering headline, “Russian Hackers Penetrated U.S. Electricity Grid through a Utility in Vermont, U.S. Officials Say,” the Post claimed that digital evidence had been discovered proving that the Russian hacking operation “Grizzly Steppe” had breached security systems at the Burlington Electric Corp. in Vermont. As exposed today by Forbes magazine, nothing like this happened.
Using digital techniques, Forbes confirmed this sequence of events: The original Post article went up at 7:55 p.m. Friday evening. Between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m., the article “ballooned” to more than double, with the hack now detected on multiple “computers” and now connected to operations against the Democratic National Committee and the Podesta e-mail breaches.
By 9:37, the utility—which the Post had never seen fit to contact—issued its own denial of the charges.
“We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems,” a company spokesman wrote. “We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted Federal officials of this finding.”
“However,” writes Forbes, “it was not until almost a full hour after the utility’s official press release (at around 10:30 p.m. EST) that the Post finally updated its article, changing the headline to the more muted, but still untrue, ‘Russian Operation Hacked a Vermont Utility, Showing Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid Security, Officials Say.’ ” Despite all this, the Post had yet to indicate in the article itself that the story had been modified, and when they did, 11 hours later, its “Editor’s note” appeared at the bottom of the article, not at the top, which is customary.
Everything here conforms to operations of the now-official “Countering Foreign Disinformation and Propaganda Act,” tucked in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, and quietly signed by Obama, Dec. 23, 2016. The Global Engagement Center, at the heart of that bill, brings together the Secretaries of State and Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence (among others), to pay willing news outlets to circulate administration policies.
The Washington Post seems to be definitely on the take. “Federal officials” were its only source for an anti-Russian scare story which had no basis in fact.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
UN Security Council Confirms Russia-Turkey-Iran-Brokered Cease-Fire Agreement For Syria
Dec. 31, 2016 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council adopted, by unanimous vote, a Russian-drafted resolution that endorses the Russian-Turkey brokered truce that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Dec. 29. According to RT, Security Council members welcomed the agreements reached through the mediation of Russia and Turkey, and stressed the importance of its “full and immediate implementation.”
The resolution also expresses support for the “efforts taken by Russia and Turkey and aimed at stopping violence in Syria and launching a political process.” Council members stressed that they see the Astana, Kazakhstan meeting as an important step in the process toward the reconciliation of the Syrian conflict. The UN body also reaffirmed its commitment to the “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic” and reiterated that the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is to begin a complex inter-Syrian political process.
In his closing comments to the meeting, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, told the Council that the resolution just passed speaks to the need for compliance with the cessation of hostilities as well as the meeting on a political settlement in Astana, where delegations of opposition and the government will meet for the first time face to face, under the mandate of the UN as expressed in UNSC resolutions 2254, 2268 and in other documents. “All of this enshrined in the document we adopted today,” Churkin said.
“It’s a very complicated process,” Churkin continued. “Everything we’re able to achieve is the result of enormous work and labor. If you don’t want to help, don’t complicate things. Don’t cast doubt, don’t reinterpret, don’t repeat outdated clichés, it doesn’t help. Let us work seriously and in 2017 we’ll be able to achieve a political settlement.” He went on to say that, if all Security Council members “focus on the essence of the matter and put their private interests aside, it is capable of taking important decisions.”
South Korean Lawmakers Head for China To Discuss THAAD Deployment
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Eight South Korean lawmakers from the nation’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), including the current leading presidential hopeful Moon Jae-in, will visit China on Jan. 4 for a three-day visit. The visit’s purpose is to attempt to ease tensions with Beijing over the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in South Korea, one of the delegates told Sputnik today.
The South Korean lawmakers are expected to hold a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their visit.
“We will tell Beijing that our presidential candidates, including Moon, are calling [for] the THAAD issue to be reconsidered in the next government,” DPK member Song Young-gil told the South China Morning Post. “Plus, we will also discuss China’s role in resolving icy relations between South and North Korea.”
The purpose of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which South Korea agreed in 2016 the U.S. could deploy on its territory by the end of 2017, was supposedly to counter threats from North Korea. Now, it has become one of the main irritations in Beijing-Seoul relations, Sputnik reports. China and Russia have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the deployment of THAAD, arguing that its real aim is to deter the strategic weapon systems not only in the Korean peninsula’s North, but primarily in China’s hinterlands and Russia’s Far East regions.
Syrian Troops Attacking Al Nusra in the Wadi Barada Area
Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Western news media, Reuters and the Washington Post, for example, have been attempting to portray the fighting in the Wadi Barada valley, northwest of Damascus, as the Syrian army willfully violating the truce announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 29. However, Reuters admits that even Rami Abdurrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the Barada area, which is the source for much of the Damascus water supply, is not included in the cease-fire because of the presence of Al Nusra.
A series of reports in Al Masdar News since Dec. 24 clarifies that the situation in the Wadi Barada came about because Al Nusra militants in the area refused a government cease-fire offer that would have had them transfer to Idlib province. Instead, they chose to poison the water supply with diesel fuel, prompting the Syrian army to go on the offensive in order to liberate the valley from the militants.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Engineering Breakthroughs as China Opens World’s Highest Bridge
Dec. 30, 2016 (EIRNS)—A towering bridge hanging 565 meters above a gorge in southwest China opened to traffic yesterday, making it the world’s highest bridge. It was built using engineering technology unique to China’s bridge-building thus far.
The Beipanjiang Bridge spans 1.34 kilometers between the city of Xuanwei in Yunnan Province and Shuicheng County in Guizhou Province. It cost more than 1 billion yuan ($140 million) and took only three years to build, according to China Global Television Network (CGTN, formerly CCTV).
Crossing a river valley at 1,800 feet or so, the Beipanjiang Bridge presented new engineering challenges, like those which made Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Corners” and other great projects so challenging to construction and engineering companies, and produced such rapid gains in technological productivity during the New Deal.
Some $15 million of the $140 million total project cost was its “engineering research fund.” “Many institutes, including Jiaotong University, Guizhou Highway engineering group, and the Guizhou office of transportation joined together to conduct research and development,” project developers told CCTV. “We developed a new kind of technology called cantilever erection by longitudinal launching, and this significantly shortened construction time.”
Construction was affected by “a wind field,” requiring a high degree of precision and ruling out the use of cranes to install sections onto the bridge. A 300-foot-long, 580-ton mobile bridge-erecting machine called the SLJ900/32, designed by Shijiazhuang Tiedao University in Shijiazhuang, built the bridge surface in a way used only once before. The machine travels to the edge of the bridge, and reaches out with a temporary track, to towers or cable points yet to be connected to the bridge surface. Once the track is stable, the machine pulls itself out, towing the new permanent bridge segment, and lowers it into place for the construction crew to build the road on.
Showing that not only high-speed rail compresses time and space in transportation, the four-lane bridge will cut the journey time between Xuanwei and Shuicheng from more than four hours to about an hour.
Message of Condolence to the Alexandrov Ensemble and the People of Russia
Dec. 30, 2016 (EIRNS)—The following message of condolence from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman and Founder of the International Schiller Institute, was received at the Russian Consulate in New York on the afternoon of Dec. 30, and also sent on request to TASS:
“In the name of the International Schiller Institute, I wish to express our deep condolences for the tragic loss of the 92 human beings who died in the plane crash on the way to Syria. This accident is all the more a cause for sadness, as the music and patriotic spirit characteristic of the members of the Alexandrov Ensemble would have brought a message of hope to the people of Syria. This is a population victimized by more than five years of the criminal policies of regime change and treated as the pawns in a geopolitical game in complete violation of their sovereignty.
“The Alexandrov Ensemble has been an expression of the highest moral values of Russia and, like Classical choral singing in general, speaks to the soul and the creative potential of the audience. It is therefore extremely important that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that he is initiating auditions to pick the best talents to fully restore the Alexandrov Chorus.
“The training of the singing voice is important for everybody, since a well-placed voice can express the creative intention of the composer and directly speak to the same faculty in the audience. It represents, therefore, an irreplaceable element of the harmonious development of the character. Let me therefore share with you the idea that, in addition to rebuilding the Alexandrov Ensemble, thousands of Alexandrov choruses be established in schools all over Russia to honor the heroic contribution of Russia in the liberation of Syria and, at the same time, broaden the uplifting effect of choral singing to the young generation.
“There is a New Paradigm in the process of becoming, as exemplified by the integration of the Eurasian Union and the New Silk Road Initiative, establishing a completely new kind of relations among nations. We need a dialogue of the best traditions of each culture for this New Paradigm to grow into a new era of civilization—the knowledge of the best of another culture will lead to a love for it, and therefore supersede xenophobia and hatred with more noble emotions. In this new era, geopolitics will be overcome forever and the dedication to the common aims of mankind will establish a higher level of reason. It is a reason for consolation for all of us, that the tragic death of the victims of the plane crash contribute with their immortality to the building of that better world.”
Chairwoman International Schiller Institute