New U.S. Congress Opens, as Truth Stalks the Land
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—With the swearing in of the new, 115th Congress today, the truth that there must be a policy shift in the United States—away from economic collapse, war, and lies—is more and more inescapable to anyone potentially human. LaRouche PAC teams were on hand, to greet lawmakers with specifics of this imperative, in terms of what to do—re-enact the Glass-Steagall law, and put the U.S. on course for productivity, through a new credit system, and re-commitment to science and economic development.
Furthermore, the light of truth is burning holes through the current, most-favored Big Lie of the Obama Administration, namely that demon Russia is hacking America to pieces. First, today’s Washington Post had to eat crow, and retract its claim made last week that Russia had hacked a New England utility company, threatening blackouts. The Post’s front-page article today is titled, “Vermont Utility Apparently Isn’t Target of Any Russian Hacking.” The Post had incorrectly reported that the utility itself was hacked; that the malware was Russian-associated; and that the utility—Burlington Electric—was at risk of blackout. None of this was true.
Bear in mind, this is the same Washington Post, which, along with the New York Times, originated the assertion that Russia had hacked computers of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, manager of the Clinton campaign, capturing emails then released by WikiLeaks, and throwing the election to Trump.
In that connection, WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange has spoken out against this assertion, saying that he is a thousand-percent sure that Russia did not provide WikiLeaks with hacked emails. “We can say, we have said, repeatedly over the last two months, that our source is not the Russian government, and is not a state party.” Assange said this and more, in an exclusive interview conducted last week with Sean Hannity, of Fox News, Part 1 of which is to be aired at 10 p.m. Jan. 3 (EST). This is the first-ever cable TV interview given by Assange, and his pre-released comments are already getting wide attention internationally, causing havoc for the Obama crowd, including among Republican Party Russophobes.
These exposures underscore the point stressed recently by Lyndon LaRouche, about the final days of the Obama presidency: “Remember who is behind Obama.” He refers to the dying, British City of London/Wall Street crowd. But, he adds, as their system expires—and as long as there is no forced policy shift to extinguish it—they are dangerous, and capable of atrocities.
In Southwest Asia, look to this network in connection with who is responsible for the New Year’s mass shooting in Istanbul. Investigations by the Turkish authorities, and cooperating governments in Asia, are still ongoing and secret, but LaRouche noted: Look for the hand of the British-Chechen networks in this atrocity. In addition to certain “signature” empirics connected to the incident, there is the glaring reality of the evil purpose of such an act—to attempt to sabotage the ongoing Turkey-Russia-Iran collaboration for a Syrian ceasefire, talks in Kazakhstan next week, and a political resolution. However, today, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus vowed that Turkey will remain resolute in its commitment.
The same day as occurred the mass shooting crime in Southwest Asia—the venue of the old British Empire “Great Game,” with all its decades of bloodshed—there occurred in East Asia, the annual New Year’s address by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who explicitly stated the truth that mankind can act in a way to be at peace in the world. After reviewing China’s accomplishments in 2016, especially in the realm of space, the One Belt, One Road, and of lifting up 10 million more citizens out of poverty, Xi concluded:
“The Chinese people have always believed that the world is a commonwealth. We Chinese not only aspire for good living for ourselves, but also hope people in other parts of the world lead a decent life. At present, people in certain countries and regions are still troubled in wars and turbulence; many are suffering from diseases and disasters. We sincerely hope the international community will make concerted effort; work in the belief that mankind shares the same fate as a community, and build our planet into a more peaceful and prosperous place to live in.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Washington Post Forced To Admit: Russians Did Not Hack a Vermont Utility
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—Despite Washington Post headlines to the contrary at the end of last week—no, the Russians didn’t hack Burlington Electric, a Vermont utility, and threaten a power outage. The Post today admitted to “incorrect” reporting, and otherwise backpedaled on various of its lies of last week. The article is titled, “Russian Government Hackers Do Not Appear To Have Targeted Vermont Utility, Say People Close to Investigation.”
In a thinly disguised admission that it was peddling a lying political line, and not reporting “news,” the article reports that officials investigating last week’s “suspicious Internet activity,” have found no evidence that the incident was linked to any Russian government activity, which the paper had reported as “news.” Not only that: The activity wasn’t really that “suspicious,” and is possibly “benign,” as intrusions from this particular IP address are not unique to Burlington. The Post “immediately corrected its article” it states—which is not true, and even added an editor’s note explaining that the laptop in question was not even connected to the electric grid system, and therefore could, in fact, do no harm. This, after reporting that Russian hackers had penetrated the entire U.S. electric grid.
The Post attributes its fear-mongering partially to “the murkiness of the information,” and blames “authorities” who were “leaking information … without having all the facts…”
Most remarkable, the Post says that its alarm was triggered because the IP address of the hack is “associated by authorities with the Russian hacking operation that infiltrated the Democratic Party,” which accusation itself was first peddled by the Post and the New York Times, and has been denied by the Russians and by WikiLeaks, which released the emails. WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange gave a full interview on this lie, part 1 of aired tonight on Fox News.
Pam Martens: President Trump Should Press To Restore Glass-Steagall after Taking Oath
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—As the U.S. Congress convened today, financial writer Pam Martens posted a timely article in the financial blog, Wall Street On Parade, that she writes with her husband Russ, calling on Donald Trump to act on restoring Glass-Steagall from Day One as President. Martens first summarizes the highlights of a recent Office of Financial Research (OFR) report, which revealed that U.S. banks have more than $2 trillion in exposure to many near-bankrupt European banks. She then concludes:
“President-elect Donald Trump and his closest advisers should make it their top priority to read this OFR report carefully, reflect on the current and future ramifications of the reckless and irresponsible U.S. banking model on its citizens and economy at large, and immediately begin to press Congress for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act upon his swearing in on January 20.”
The Martens article is titled, “U.S. Quietly Drops Bombshell: Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Istanbul Attack Points Once Again to the British-Trained Jihadis
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—The deadly News Year’s attack at an Istanbul night club points to the bloody hand of British intelligence. Unlike many of the previous attacks, this one was not carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Turkish media, including Hurriyet, claim that the attacker in the Istanbul night club shooting is from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan or even from among the Uyghur terrorists in Xinjiang, China operating under the banner of the Islamic State, a/k/a Daesh.
Yeni Safak reports that an analysis of the attack method used at the nightclub was similar in nature to the June 28, 2016 terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport. It has been predicted that the gunman responsible for the New Year’s Eve attack was from the same Daesh terrorist cell.
This is significant because at the time, the BBC reported that the June 28 attackers were from the Russian North Caucasus region, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and that they were possibly Chechen. CNN ran a similar report; Turkey itself had identified two of those attackers as Russian nationals Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, while not identifying the third.
Lyndon LaRouche commented at the time of that June attack that the Chechen connection points to a hard-core British intelligence-controlled network. In fact all of Central Asia; that is to say, former Soviet Union republics and the Russian Caucasus, as well as the Uyghurs in China are British-controlled.
Today, LaRouche again advised, to look to the hand of the British-Chechen networks for those who perpetrated the New Year’s atrocity.
Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that it is investigating the possibility that the gunman was Kyrgyz. “Our consulate in Istanbul has been instructed to investigate the news stories claiming the gunman was Kyrgyz,” said the Ministry’s spokesperson Aiymkan Kulukeyeva.
Syrian Opposition against Participating at Astana Talks, To Sabotage Russian-Turkish Truce
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—A collection of a dozen armed Syrian opposition groups signed a statement Jan. 2, announcing that they had suspended talks on the planned peace negotiations with the Damascus government to begin later this month in Astana, Kazakhstan. These dozen groups, apparently led by the Free Syrian Army, are complaining that the government offensive in the Wadi Barada valley, northwest of Damascus, is in violation of the truce agreement announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 29. Since then, the opposition groups have been trying to force Russia to recognize Jabhat Fateh al Sham, the group formerly known as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra, as part of the truce. The group, however, remains designated as a terrorist group, not only by Moscow but also by the UN and the U.S.
The battle is over the water supply to the city of Damascus, itself, but there is next to no media outcry about the danger to the 5 million or so inhabitants of Damascus posed by the jihadis of Jabhat al Nusra controlling—and poisoning, according to the Syrian government—the water supply.
AP breathlessly reports that the pumping station at the Ain al-Fijeh spring and water processing facility has been destroyed “apparently in airstrikes,” but images posted on social media by the jihadis themselves show them bragging about bombing the facility.
The armed groups in the Wadi Barada area have issued a statement, circulating on Twitter, offering to allow government teams in to repair the facility at Ain al-Fijeh, if the government stops the assault by the Syrian army and its Hezbollah allies. It is not clear whether the statement was issued before or after the latest assault by the Syrian army in the valley, which began earlier today, but according to Al Masdar News, “This assault today is meant to apply pressure on the jihadist rebels to surrender the Wadi Barada area in order to restore the water supply to the estimated 5 million people in Damascus.”
Moscow Warships Visit Philippines, Anti-Terror Cooperation Discussed
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—A Russian anti-submarine ship and a sea tanker arrived in Manila today for a four-day goodwill visit, with its crew expected to demonstrate anti-terrorism capabilities and hold talks with government and military officials, said Rear Adm. Eduard Mikhailov, head of the Flotilla of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet, Reuters reported. In addition to the military discussions, the ships will be opened to the public, while the crews will be given tours of historical places in Manila, the Manila Standard reported.
The two countries will discuss holding military exercises, as Russia is already holding with Indonesia. Russian involvement in Southeast Asia has increased dramatically since the first Russia-ASEAN Summit with Putin in Sochi in May.
“The biggest problem now in the world is terrorism and piracy,” Mikhailov told a press conference. “We will show you what we can do, and we will see what you can do and show us,” he said, emphasizing fostering stronger security in the region.
President Rodrigo Duterte cut back on annual military drills with Washington, and ended exercises in the South China Sea. Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana visited Russia in December. Lorenzana earlier said that the country didn’t need U.S. military hardware to confront China, since there would be no war with China, but did need military equipment and training to confront terrorism and drug trafficking.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
China’s President Xi Underlines Space Achievements in New Year’s Message
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—In his 2017 New Year’s message, Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined China’s success in space during 2016 as the chief hallmark of its achievements in 2016, noting the Shenzhou 11 mission to the Tiangong-1 space lab; the Wukong dark matter detection satellite; the launch of the Micius quantum satellite, and the first use of the “sky eye” single aperture telescope.
President Xi also emphasized the importance of the major political undertakings: the Hangzhou G20 Summit, the progress on the Belt and Road, and the official start of the AIIB. Xi also underlined that China would resolutely defend its territorial sovereignty and its maritime rights. “We will never tolerate any act that undermines our territorial and maritime rights,” Xi said. In addition, he pointed to the success of China’s poverty eradication program. “We will make sure that no one is left behind on our way to prosperity,” Xi declared. “Over the past year, 10 million more people across the country have been lifted out of poverty. I would like to pay high tribute and express appreciation to the comrades who have worked tremendously in grass root units in fighting poverty.”
He concluded by underlining China’s commitment to making the world a better place. “The Chinese people have always believed that the world is a commonwealth,” Xi said. “We Chinese not only aspire for good living for ourselves, but also hope people in other parts of the world lead a decent life. At present, people in certain countries and regions are still troubled in wars and turbulence; many are suffering from diseases and disasters. We sincerely hope the international community will make concerted efforts, and work in the belief that mankind shares the same fate as a community, and build our planet into a more peaceful and prosperous place to live in.”
Beijing Foreign Minister Wangi Yi To Visit Five African Nations Beginning on Jan. 7
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit five African countries —Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, and Nigeria—during Jan. 7-12, with the aim of speeding up the implantation of the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the five countries at a summit in 2015, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said today. CGTN (formerly CCTV) quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in Beijing, “The year 2017 will be a year when the China-Africa cooperation will advance and be upgraded in an all-round manner. The main purpose of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Africa visit is to speed up, in the face of the new changes in the international political and economic situation and new challenges facing the African countries….”
“Relations with developing countries, including in Africa, are the bedrock of Chinese diplomacy,” Geng said. “Chinese foreign ministers have visited Africa during their first foreign trips each year over the past two decades. The practice has become a much treasured diplomatic tradition for China,” Xinhua quoted Geng as saying.
At the 2015 summit, China announced 10 major plans for China-Africa cooperation over three years, backed with a $60 billion package. As of July 2016, China and Africa had signed 245 various cooperation agreements worth a total of $50 billion. “A batch of early successes related to the summit were achieved in 2016, including the opening of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and progress on the Mombasa-Nairobi line, as well as development of industrial parks and special economic zones.” Geng said.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Fusion Research Advances in Russia
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—Fusion scientists at the famed Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Siberia report that they are completing the first stage of work on an innovative fusion experiment, called a Gas Dynamic Trap. It is a mirror fusion machine, which is an open vessel, like an unwrapped tokamak. They report that they have achieved a plasma temperature “on a scale of 10 million degrees.” Their aim is to increase the steady heating of the plasma by three- or fourfold, through the use of a microwave heating system, which, the scientists told Sputnik, is at the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center in Moscow.
The Budker Institute is seeking financing for its experimental device from the Russian Science Foundation, to support the next two years of the program. Aleksandr Ivanov, the Deputy Director of the Institute, told RIA Novosti that the recent results confirm “a very important milestone for our work. Now we can seriously begin to consider options for the establishment of fusion systems based on open traps.”
Fusion Power Associates (FPA) has produced a summary of the major achievements in magnetic fusion research over the past year, which highlights experimental results obtained on the Chinese and South Korean tokamaks—EAST and KSTAR, respectively. EAST reached a new milestone in its own operations, achieving a greater than 60 second-long plasma pulse, and KSTAR set a world record of 70 seconds of high performance operation—each machine under unique conditions.
FPA founder Steve Dean particularly recognized the scientists’ hard work and dedication shown in the achievement of these results, and, in the Chinese case, the importance of international collaboration.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Il Sole 24 Ore: Italian Banks Should Not Be the Scapegoat for the Rotten EU
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)—A call to arms was published in the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Dec. 30, signed by its editor-in-chief Roberto Napoletano, attacking the victimization of Italian banks by the EU. Il Sole is owned by the Italian Association of Industry (Confindustria), and this fighting spirit confirms what a source had earlier told EIR about the state of mind of Italian elites.
To fully appreciate the significance of this statement, one should know that Il Sole has been the strongest supporter of the euro, and that this same editor-in-chief had endorsed the simil-Troika government of Mario Monti in 2011 and its austerity mandate with the banner headline, “Fate Presto” (Hurry Up).
Today, Napoletano wrote: “Non-performing loans [NPLs] have become the stigma of the European banking sector. Behind them are the keys to the power of an international financial club where Germany and France rule, Spain follows and Italy pays the bill.”
Better late than never, Napoletano accuses the EBA (European Banking Authority, which is part of the ECB) of fixating on the credit side of banks (commercial loans), while ignoring the leverage factor and the derivatives exposure. These factors are what experts such as the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Thomas Hoenig have been exposing for a long time, and also the same thing Italian MEP Marco Zanni (G5S) focused on in his speech at the Schiller Institute in Berlin last June 25-26year.
Napoletano’s attack comes after the meeting between the Il Sole editorial board and Italian Finance Minister Gian Carlo Padoan Dec. 27, where Padoan said that “a civil war” has been fought over Italian NPLs.
“What he [Padoan] is waiting for to take the political initiative to call into question a European sustainability system of the banking and supervision business based on shaky foundations…” The EBA accepts a 3% leverage, which is Lehman’s leverage, and “a dangerous idea of leverage where French and German banks can keep alive in the folds of their balance sheets a sort of ‘Zombie Bank’ and are not asked to raise more capital in the presence of hard-to-value illiquid assets.”
“European attention has instead been focused on troubled loans, especially Italian NPLs, which are high but are backed by real collateral, starting from property assets without a speculation bubble…. The result of this approach is a business model excessively focused on medium-term funds where nobody worries about the junk level 3 assets and similar trash, and everybody is convinced that the problem of Europe is Italian banks and their non-performing loans….
Napoletano then warns that “Italian politics can no longer accept this form of Europe, because at the end of this vicious cycle, the most likely scenario is that French banks buy their Italian peers,” and might even swallow Assicurazioni Generali.
Now the government must act: “Italy should call into question the leverage criteria, and veto the NPL issue unless the discussion includes a different discipline of level 3 assets….”
Although Napoletano and the corporate interests he represents delude themselves in thinking that the euro system can be reformed, if the Italian government moves in the indicated direction, this will accelerate the demise of the euro.