‘As Our Case Is New, So We Must Think Anew, and Act Anew.’ —Abraham Lincoln
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—For an indication of the stormy progress of LaRouche’s Manhattan Project, see the press release immediately below on the New York Schiller Institute’s event upcoming this Saturday, Jan. 7. The growing national power of the Manhattan Project, along with the new circumstances created worldwide by Putin and China, and Donald Trump’s election, will allow us to deepen and broaden a mobilization for passage of Glass-Steagall as the way forward to LaRouche’s Four Laws as a whole, and to bringing the U.S. into collaboration with other nations such as Russia and China.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche is launching initiatives under the headings of flat-out mobilization for Glass-Steagall and the Four Laws, and under much broader headings, which will begin to re-echo over the coming hours and days.
In a related development, New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, attacked the President-elect Jan. 3 as being “really dumb” for challenging heads of U.S. intelligence agencies. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday for getting back at you,” the Senator said on the Rachel Maddow Show. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” Schumer said that he understands intelligence officials are “very upset with how [Trump] has treated them and talked about them.”
Lyndon LaRouche responded that the intelligence community has been corrupted, and all this corruption has to be dumped, so Schumer’s criticism of Trump is not worth supporting.
Trump’s remark which had so upset the intelligence honchos was a Tuesday tweet, which said, “The ‘intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!” But not only was he right: DNI James Clapper and the others still need more time; it became clear today that they won’t be able to get their case together until next week—and they still don’t know what day next week.
Meanwhile, on Jan. 4, the Wall Street Journal reported from sources familiar with Trump’s planning, that he would restructure and pare back the Office of the Director of National Intelligence now headed by Clapper, which he believes is bloated and politicized. (Just look at Clapper…) He will restructure CIA, cutting back staffing at the Virginia headquarters and pushing people out into field posts. “The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized. They need to be slimmed down.” Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn, fired by Obama as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is in the middle of the planned reorganization.
Clapper was called to testify on “Russian hacking of the election” before Lindsey Graham’s and John McCain’s Senate Armed Services Committee today, but he said that until his memo was ready, he was unwilling to say more than he had already said. When that memo is available on some unspecified day next week, Clapper said that he will testify on it before four committees of the House and the Senate, then before the entire House and Senate, and finally release an unclassified version to the whole country.
The memos Obama has had produced so far on supposed Russian hacking have been pretty laughable—computer security professionals of every political tendency have labelled them a botched job. The most recent version, released Dec. 29 by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, carries this warning across the top. “Disclaimer: This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.” Intelligence veterans William Binney and Ray McGovern expose Clapper as a serial liar in an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun today. On March 12, 2013, he gave false testimony to Congress regarding the extent of NSA collection of data on Americans, as he admitted four months later, after the Edward Snowden revelations. Earlier, he had helped Donald Rumsfeld maintain the lie about supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq.
None of these charges against Russia will hold water,—and so the concluding segment of the Jan. 3 John Batchelor radio show with New York University Professor Emeritus and The Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen raised the question whether “Obama might undertake an even more radical step during his remaining days…” LaRouche considered that a worthwhile and significant warning.
LaRouche also advised letting the President-elect play a leading role on Glass-Steagall. Give Donald Trump more legitimate latitude. Get a friendly approach to the incoming Presidency as such. Recognize that he has a tough job to begin with, and therefore we have to give him a certain encouragement. Open the whole matter that way, and don’t get into fine points.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Remembrance of the Alexandrov Ensemble and the Victims of 9-11 at Tear Drop Memorial on Jan. 7
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—The Schiller Institute issued a press release today announcing a wreath-laying ceremony this Saturday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Tear Drop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey. The Memorial was a gift of the Russian government, in memory of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack, and as “a symbol of Russian-American unity against world terrorism.” Dedicated on September 11, 2006, the Memorial stands on the harbor, in direct view of the Statue of Liberty and the site of the World Trade Center.
The release continues that “the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus will be singing the Star-Spangled Banner and the Russian National Anthem at a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tear Drop 9-11 Memorial. The chorus will be joined by the New York Police Department Ceremonial Unit Color Guard, as well as New York Fire Department representatives. Ms. Terry Strada, the Chairwoman of 9-11 Families United for Justice Against Terror and others will make brief remarks.”
“On Christmas Day (December 25th) a plane carrying the entire Alexandrov Ensemble (Red Army Chorus), which is a beautiful gem of Russian culture and good will, crashed into the Black Sea en route to Syria where they were going to give the gift of beauty to people in a nation ravaged by war for five long years. A beloved medical doctor, Dr. Liza Glinka, who is famous for her humanitarian work among the most desperate, was also onboard, with medical supplies for a hospital in Latakia. All 92 passengers and crew perished in the crash.”
The Red Army Chorus and the New York Police Department
“In 2011, the Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands took place on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001. The Red Army Chorus had joined with the New York Police Department Ceremonial Unit to perform God Bless America, but the Russian group turned it into a moving 9-11 memorial with baritone, Grigory Osipov beautifully singing the solo, and a young boy presenting NYPD Ceremonial Unit Lt. Tony Giorgio with a single white rose. Grigory Osipov was among those who perished on Christmas Day.
“January 7th is Christmas Day in the Eastern Orthodox Calendar, and therefore the day to remember those who would have brightened the holidays with their God-given talents, and who remembered our great loss of September 11, 2001. We remember all of them this day, and want their families and the people of Russia, who have suffered a great loss, to know that America remembers.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
The EU Defends Its Increasingly Bankrupt Financial System
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—The Basel meeting to find an agreement on new capital rules, scheduled for Jan. 8, was indefinitely postponed on Tuesday. The issue is so-called internal methods for risk-weighing, which the U.S. wants to practically eliminate and the Europeans (especially German banks) want to keep. If U.S. criteria for leverage are adopted, it is calculated that German banks must increase their capital by 16%, according to Bloomberg.
Currently, according to Basel-defined rules for leverage exposure, Level 3-ridden Deutsche Bank is less risky than Unicredit, and all major European banks, including Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), are less risky than the average U.S. banks. (“Level 3” assets are financial derivatives to which the banks assign whatever value its officers choose, because the derivatives have no “market” valuation, since no one is willing to buy them, and therefore they are, in fact, worthless.)
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank updated figures show that the ECB is becoming the European Central Hedge Fund. December figures for its Assets Purchase Program (APP) show that the ECB owns now a total of €1.532 trillion assets, most of which are sovereign bonds (€1.254 trillion). Of the latter, first come German bonds (€303 billion), then French bonds (€240 billion), Italian bonds (€209 billion), and Spanish bonds (€150 billion).
The ECB has covered bonds worth €203 billion, corporate bonds worth €51 billion and asset-backed securities worth €22 billion.
The ECB has already announced that it will purchase another half-trillion in assets in 2017 and might extend the APP program even further.
While the ECB is providing zombie banks with life-support measures, the reality of the financial crisis is indicated, among other things, by growing imbalances of Target 2, the clearing system among central banks in the Eurozone which measures capital flight. Target 2 showed an all-high credit €750 billion for the German Bundesbank and a €350 billion debt for Italy.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
China Calls on All Sides To Respect Syrian Cease-Fire
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—China expressed the hope that all sides in the Syrian conflict will respect the latest cease-fire and implement the UN Security Council resolution on resuming peace talks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said today. At a press briefing in Beijing on Jan. 4, he announced that “the Chinese government is sending China’s special envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan to visit some countries, including Russia, to discuss the possibility of settling the Syrian crisis.” Starting from Jan. 5, Xie will visit Geneva, the European Union, Turkey, and Russia, Geng said.
“We hope that both Syrian authorities and opposition forces, as well as all other sides, will value the agreement that was reached with great difficulty and will apply joint efforts at implementing the agreement in practice,” Geng told reporters on at his Thursday press briefing. Geng stressed that all sides should exercise restraint instead of accusing each other of violating the cease-fire. “We hope that the sides in Syria will act in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution and uphold their commitments in order to resume peace talks as soon as possible.”
Turkey: ‘Foreign Intelligence Role’ in Istanbul New Year’s Attack; Terrorists Make New Strike
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus suggested that “foreign intelligence services” could be behind the New Year’s attack in Istanbul considering how “professionally” the attack was carried out. “I am of the opinion that it’s not possible for the perpetrator to have carried out such an attack without any support. It seems like a secret service thing. All these things are being assessed,” Kurtulmus told Hurriyet Daily News on Jan. 4. He declined to go into details about which secret services he was referring to.
“As they are supported by some organizations with intelligence capacity, they can conduct terror acts in the way your security system may not even be able to think of,” he continued.
Kurtulmus also expressed the hope relations with the U.S. would be better under a Trump Administration. “We have a strained relationship with the United States at the moment but I don’t think it will last long. I think this tension will soon be eased,” Kurtulmus said. The leading tension is about the Fethullahist Terror Organization, the Deputy Prime Minister said, and its leader Fethullah Gulen who has been residing in the United States and is accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt last year.
Kurtulmus also referred to Washington’s ongoing support for the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh). “Will the U.S. show its existence in the Middle East through cooperation with terror organizations or through its long-standing ally? I believe the U.S. will undergo a clear change in its position and will cooperate with a state like Turkey,” under Trump, Kurtulmus said.
Within hours after his statements were published, most likely carried out by the terrorist Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), blew up in Izmir, killing two on Jan. 5. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated after the Izmir bombing that “Turkey is under a joint attack from various terror groups. Those who do not know us should read about Gallipoli and our War of Independence.”
Gallipoli was a World War I battle in 1915-16, in which the British were sorely defeated by the Turkish army, one of whose commanders was Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic and leader in its War of Independence.
“We were accused of not doing enough to combat Daesh. The games of those who support other terrorist organizations against Daesh have gone to waste. Their aim is not to clear the area of Daesh and other terrorist groups; it is to turn the region into a sea of blood and bullets,” said Erdogan. President Erdogan was speaking in Ankara at the opening ceremony for the Kecioren Metro, a rapid-transit train system built in the Keçiören district in the capital. The new line runs for 9.2 km, and at full capacity, can carry 50,000 passengers hourly. “The story of the people of Keçiören is the story of Ankara, the story of Turkey. Keçiören is perhaps the best example of how we held our heads high in the face of the July 15 coup plot,” said Erdogan.
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
China and Central Asia Are Forming a ‘Three-Dimensional Silk Road’
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—On the 25th anniversary of independence of the five former Soviet Central Asian nations—Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan—from the erstwhile Soviet Union, China’s People’s Daily describes the subsequent relationship they have developed with China over these 25 years “as a role model for new type of state-to-state relations and regional cooperation.
The People’s Daily article by Zhong Sheng elaborates the three phases these 25 years of developments have been. “In the first phase, which lasted from 1992 to 2001, China, together with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, resolved the remaining border issues through friendly negotiations. This success not only turned the shared boundary of the Central Asian countries which spans more than 3,300 km, into a region of friendship and cooperation, but also laid a solid foundation for upgrade of bilateral ties. The second phase ranged from 2001, when the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established, to 2012. The SCO has served as an important platform for China and the Central Asian countries to launch all-round cooperation and pursue regional integration. During the third phase, starting from 2013 when the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative was put forward and until now, China and the Central Asian countries have brought their ties into a new era of building a community of shared interests and seeking common development,” Zhong wrote.
Zhong said the Central Asian countries, in the past three years, have decided to adopt their own development strategies into the framework of the initiative. “Besides, these five countries are beefing up their highway, railroad, port, tunnel, telecommunication line and other flight network constructions with the aim of better connectivity and creating a modern ‘three-dimensional silk road,’ ” Zhong wrote.
Argentine Thinktank Highlights China’s Global Role and Belt and Road Development Perspective
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—Since the beginning of January, China’s Xinhua, CGTN (former CCTV) and People’s Daily have focused attention on a special report just released by the China Working Group at the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI), a prestigious thinktank which EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche addressed during his 1984 trip to Argentina.
The report, “China in 2016: Political Reform, Development Programs and International Economic Insertion,” points to the enormous positive impact on the world economy of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). One of the authors, Carola Ramón-Berjano, told Xinhua that Belt and Road is “probably the most ambitious international political and economic initiative,” which is not only a key piece in China’s foreign policy, but also crucial for its internal economic development as well. Her colleague Gustavo Girado asserts that the Belt and Road “opens the possibility that three continents—Asia, Europe and Africa—will become linked…and that modern explorers will discover development opportunities never before seen.” The AIIB, he adds, is a “privileged platform” of economic cooperation, which will contribute to making the Belt and Road’s infrastructure goals a reality.
The authors highlight the importance of last September’s G20 Summit in Hangzhou, asserting that Xi Jinping’s speech there “showed an attitude of current and future proactivity, transforming that country into one of the undisputed leaders of world governance.” In a separate interview with Xinhua, sociologist Josefina De Rosa points out that predictions that China’s economy would suffer a “hard landing,” never materialized—quite the contrary. In 2017, she said, China “will be the driver of the world economy.”
The report’s chapter that discusses the Belt and Road in more detail, states that designating the city of Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, as the starting point of the New Silk Road is a fundamental step in transforming that city into “a regional growth pole for the western region, a type of ‘Shenzhen of the West.’ ” Xi’an has historically been a high-tech center and is slated to become one of China’s “mega-cities” by integrating it with the neighboring city of Xianyang, the report explains.
China’s ‘Capacity Cooperation’ and the Silk Road
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—A proposal to better incorporate the Pacific Islands into the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was offered today on the East-West Center’s Asia-Pacific Bulletin for Jan. 4, 2017, by Tristan Kenderdine, Research Director at Future Risk and an Assistant Professor at Dalian Maritime University in China.
Interestingly, he writes in “Putting the Pacific on China’s Radar”: “In 2016, China embarked on a massive capacity cooperation funding campaign to develop a parallel trading system which bypasses international capital infrastructure and allows China to invest abroad while maintaining a closed capital account. This campaign forms the vanguard of a state trade strategy with a transformative power over the macro Asian region. Targeted economies include Central Asia, West Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and most recently Central and Eastern Europe.”
But, he continues, “South Pacific looks to be orphaned through yet another period of history. However, the Pacific Islands Forum economies have a huge opportunity to align with China’s global geostrategy through the new capacity cooperation financing mechanisms.” Also, “Beijing now sees a crossroads emerging between South America and China through the Pacific, and has a new strategic interest which goes beyond the Taiwan issue.”
Chinese corporations are already investing in infrastructure in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia, but the Belt and Road funding has not reached these islands. However, they lie at a crossroads to China’s expanding trade with South America. “The development of China’s rail and canal projects is opening logistics infrastructure hubs in South and Central America,” Kenderdine writes. “This means that a new South Pacific shipping corridor is likely to open up. A deep-water container port at a half-way point could replicate Dubai’s air strategy on the sea. Fiji becoming a maritime Dubai would bring investment to the region and facilitate trans-Pacific trade logistics.”
Also: “South Pacific fisheries and food industrialization present an opportunity to feed China’s huge and growing demand for fish protein that neither global wild catch nor industrial aquaculture can currently service.”
Kenderdine addresses many other fascinating aspects of China’s Belt and Road process not normally discussed in the literature.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
After Mars, Indian Space Program Planners Now Aiming for Inter-Planetary Missions
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)— Addressing the plenary session of the Indian National Science Congress, in Bengaluru, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Associate Director M. Nageswara Rao said today: “We are looking at other planets that we can explore … two of them are Jupiter and Venus…. Studies are going on and it may take few years from now to have a concrete plan,” Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Rao as saying. “The chance of launching a satellite to Venus comes once in 19 months,” Rao continued, “considering the distance and Earth’s position. Venus, second in order from the Sun, is nearly 162 million miles away from Earth while Jupiter, which lies between Mars and Saturn, is nearly 610 million miles away from Earth.” However, Rao did not give any timeline for these projects.
On Nov. 5, 2013, India launched its Mars Orbiter Mission, and successfully inserted the Mars-craft, named Mangalyaan, into Mars orbit on Sept. 24, 2014. Rao said a follow-up mission for Mars Orbiter Mission is also being planned. “We want to have a follow-up Mars mission and we want to have a mission to Venus. We want to go close, 70,000 km close” to Mars, Rao said. In his address, Rao also mentioned about India’s plan to send Chandrayaan 2 to the Moon. Chandrayaan 2 will be equipped with a lander and a rover.