Larouchepac Daily Alert Service
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017
Volume 4, Number 6
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—With only days remaining in his presidency, Barack Obama is continuing to escalate a potential world war confrontation with Russia, while the deadly chaos of his regime-change wars in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan continues to get worse.
In addition to a new, rapid deployment of 6,000 more U.S. troops to the borders of Russia with full ground- and air-combat arms, Obama and his Pentagon chiefs have started forming a 2,000-strong “killer unit” training to assassinate North Korean leaders. Obama has initiated, helped start, or continued nine separate wars while President, all without Congressional authorization or even significant consultation. He is the only President in U.S. history to be at war on every single day of two consecutive terms in office, as Rep. Ron Paul pointed out on his website today. His drone killings have dwarfed those by George W. Bush, and his published drone-war policy puts essentially no limits on a President’s powers to kill by drone anywhere in the world.
Some of these actions, like Obama’s massive, $115 billion arming of Saudi Arabian air forces to bomb and invade Yemen, have had virtually genocidal consequences; some foster more terrorist groups; others threaten an all-out war with Russia or China.
For this war President to boast a Nobel Peace Prize is an abomination, and a threat to peace, in the Syria civil war and worldwide.
On Jan. 9, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche demanded that President Obama return the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to him in 2009, shortly after his taking office. The Pentagon had just announced the formation of a “killer unit” in Korea—an outgoing President together with a Korean government which is itself being removed by impeachment!—and the large new forces deployed to “stop Russian aggression” in Europe.
It is necessary to respond to such escalating war actions in Obama’s final days in office, with a call that he should immediately give back his Nobel Peace Prize; and that this be circulated internationally, continuing after he leaves office.
If Obama has to surrender his ill-gotten Peace Prize, his administration’s attempt to compel the incoming Trump team to continue these wars and great-power confrontations, will be cut down. His last-minute escalations are creating as much chaos and confusion for his successor as possible.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—Saturday morning’s beautiful, snowy-cold tribute to Russia’s beloved Alexandrov Ensemble and to U.S.-Russian friendship organized by the Schiller Institute has shown how music can serve as a higher instrument of diplomacy.
The Russian Federation’s Mission to the UN posted the “Remarks by Mr. Peter Iliichev, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tear Drop 9-11 Memorial.” The Mission pinned its tweet expressing that “Where words fail, music speaks. @RussiaUN took part in commemoration to the #AlexandrovEnsemble at #TearDropMemorial http://bit.ly/2i5GwKt,” at the top of its Twitter page. That tweet links to Ruptly TV’s video clip of the ceremony, and retweets of it are growing.
Russia’s Embassy in the U.S.A. likewise tweeted the news that the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, (Bayonne, New Jersey) Fire Department, and diplomat Iliichev took part in the Christmas remembrance, where the Schiller Institute Chorus sang.
The New York Police Department Ceremonial Unit put out four tweets, before and after the Alexandrov homage, one of which linked to the Schiller Institute video of the ceremony including its chorus singing the National Anthems of Russia and the United States.
Yesterday, Russia’s Sputnik websites in German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish joined RT’s English and Spanish websites in covering the tribute, in some fashion.
By midday on Monday, many more than 340,000 people in countries around the world had watched some portion of the tribute, between the numerous sites had posted links. That rough count—taking into account views of postings by the Schiller Institute, RT and Ruptly’s YouTube, Rossiya 24 (vesti.ru), and RIA Novosti’s YouTube, VK (social media), Facebook pages and website—does not include those who watched Russian TV broadcasts on the tribute.
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—Jin Liqun, the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), talking to Bloomberg today, said that the door to membership was still open to the United States. “The door will remain that way,” Jin said. “We maintain a consistent policy. The AIIB is a multilateral development institution,” he said. “We can work very well together,” Mr. Jin said, pointing out that senior officials in the U.S. government, including Democrats and Republicans, have shared with him their praise for the new institution. “I’m very much encouraged by the very positive comments on AIIB,” he said.
The AIIB’s inaugural projects ranged from a slum upgrade in Indonesia to a new pipeline linking gas fields in Azerbaijan to markets in southern Europe, via Turkey. The bank lent $1.73 billion last year, exceeding an earlier target of $1.2 billion. Mr. Jin said 75% of the China-based bank’s projects so far are proposed and co-financed with existing lenders, including the Washington-based World Bank, Manila-based Asian Development Bank and London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, while AIIB staff selected the remainder.
According to Jin, the AIIB will continue to collaborate closely with those other multilateral lenders while beefing up its own capability and working to increase its disbursements. “The pipeline is getting bigger, and the banks priority is to have a better balance across the regions, countries and sectors,” he said.
With regard to China’s recent measures to stem capital flight, Jin indicated that such measures were probably needed. He said that the global economic outlook this year is more positive than last year. “If you look at the short-term cyclical recovery, and long-term trend, these two factors seem to be doing pretty well. That would in my view favor infrastructure investment both in emerging market economies and in developed countries, which in turn will help sustain the growth. It is gratifying to learn that even in the U.S., they would like to spend more money on the infrastructure,” Jin said.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—President Obama is continuing his war buildup right up until his last days in office, raising tensions with Russia that could otherwise be avoided. Exemplary of this is the arrival into Europe, over the past few days, of the tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, artillery and other equipment of the 3rd Armored Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division in Bremerhaven, Germany. This is being treated by the news media and officials involved as if it were necessary to stave off an imminent Russian invasion of Poland and the Baltic states.
The impression was fostered by, among others, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tim Ray, deputy commander of U.S. European Command. “Let me be clear: This is one part of our efforts to deter Russian aggression, ensure the territorial integrity of our allies and maintain a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous, and at peace,” Ray said in prepared remarks in Bremerhaven, yesterday, reports Reuters.
Ray specified that the 4,000 troops of the 3rd Brigade, along with thousands of other U.S. troops either in Europe or also slated to arrive, will be participating in a more aggressive schedule of exercising over the next several months. “We will also increase the scope and complexity of many exercises in our portfolio focusing on joint interoperability, missile defense and crisis response operations,” Ray said. Thus dropped fig leaf, that NATO ballistic missile defense deployment on Russia’s borders was to intended to defend Europe against Iran’s missiles.
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—Syrian President Bashar Assad expressed the hope that an improvement of Russian-U.S. relations under President Donald Trump would benefit the Syrian peace process. Sputnik also reports that Assad struck a conciliatory note on the proposed peace talks that could be held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
On Trump, Assad said that warmer U.S.-Russian relations, as the U.S. President-elect has suggested, would contribute to resolving the Syrian conflict. “I mean the existing relationship, the improvement of ties between the United States and Russia will have a positive impact on the conflict in Syria,” Assad told French media in an interview posted to the President’s website.
Damascus is ready for settlement talks and will not set limits on the topic of negotiations with the Syrian opposition, Assad told France’s RTL national broadcaster, in remarks published Monday.
Assad also discussed his government’s policy with respect to the upcoming Astana peace talks. “We are ready to negotiate everything. When you talk about negotiation regarding whether to end the conflict in Syria or talking about the future of Syria, anything, it’s fully open, there’s no limit for that negotiations,” Assad told the French media.
“If they [the opposition] want to discuss this point [of Assad’s presidency], they have to discuss the Constitution, and the Constitution is not owned by the government or the President or by the opposition; it should be owned by the Syrian people, so you need a referendum for every Constitution,” Assad said. “This is one of the points that could be discussed in that meeting, of course.”
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday which is a clear opening to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to start a dialogue. The statement said that U.S. officials “spout rubbish” when they assert that Obama’s policies will be continued by Trump, and that “Anyone who wants to deal with (North Korea) would be well advised to secure a new way of thinking after having a clear understanding of it.”
Obama’s “strategic patience” policy has been to allow no official discussions with Pyongyang unless they agree to give up nuclear weapons—which they will not do as long as the U.S. is constantly threatening to do what they did to Iraq and Libya—while the U.S. massively expands its war capacities in the region, and is now openly setting up a South Korean special forces unit aimed at assassinating Kim Jong-un and his circle “in case of war.”
Kim Jong-un’s New Year message said that North Korea is close to achieving an ICBM capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon. The Foreign Ministry statement Jan. 8 continued that “the U.S. is wholly to blame” for the development of its missile program—another suggestion that a different U.S. policy would get a different policy from the North.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—With President-elect Donald Trump and his team continuing to resist intense pressure to declare Russia a leading U.S. adversary, there is now increased British deployment to that end.
British Foreign Secretary and recent Trump-basher Boris Johnson met with Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and the President-elect’s son-in-law Jared Kushner on Jan. 8. BBC claimed that the talks were “positive and frank and covered relations with Syria, Russia and China.” Johnson had only in November held a meeting and press conference in London with Secretary of State John Kerry, in which Johnson (not Kerry) called for a British-U.S. war on Syria like that on Libya. The British Commons squashed that, but Johnson has remained a strident voice for more sanctions against Russia.
Today Johnson was to meet with Republican Senators who are proposing more sanctions against Russia—Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker and Ben Cardin—and with Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan.
Prime Minister Theresa May has also called Trump Twice by phone, but has not thus far, BBC reports, gotten a date for a meeting with him. The Foreign Office is claiming one is likely in March.
Meanwhile, Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with USA Today on today, implied it was likely that Trump would roll back some of Obama’s anti-Russia sanctions, particularly those just imposed on Russian diplomats in Obama’s reprisals for “hacking the election,” as he alleges.
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard continues to campaign for her Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA), using her Twitter to push her petition page in support of the bill on her “Tulsi” website, and giving interviews slamming the “regime change” policy used to get the U.S. into so many wars.
In a Jan. 6 interview with Joshua Johnson of American University’s WAMU Radio, Gabbard argued that the policies of intervention and war, and the trillions spent on them, cannot be separated from the lack of resources we face for the great needs that must be met across the country. We cannot afford to be the world’s policeman. We have to make decisions: Does this action best serve the safety and security of our people? What is our objective? What are the consequences of our actions?
Gabbard came out swinging, when asked about how she answers the (supposed) “international norm” of “Responsibility to Protect” and the moral responsibility to intervene. I challenge those who talk about the need to go into Iraq, Libya, Syria to fight “terrible dictators,” how did it result? Did it improve the lives of the people of Iraq? Libya? Syria? The answer is clearly no, she said. We must understand what the cost has been in money, in American lives, and in the consequences for those people whom we say we are trying to protect.
As a member of the Hawai’i National Guard (she holds the rank of Major), Gabbard recounted how on her first, year-long deployment to Iraq, she was responsible for every day reviewing the list of all the soldiers wounded or killed, to find those from her unit and make sure they were cared for. She said, that made her question if those in Washington, D.C. who voted for these wars stayed up nights thinking about each of these people and their families? This was a major reason that she ran for office in 2012, so she could be in a position to make decisions about whether and when military power is used—and as important, when it is not used, she said.
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—In June of 2013, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced H.Con.Resolution 40, stating that whereas the Constitution “entrusted decisions to initiate offensive warfare not in self-defense exclusively to the U.S. Congress,” the President —that is, Obama— “is prohibited under the Constitution from the offensive use of the United States Armed Forces in Syria without prior express authorization by an Act of Congress,” and any defiance of that constitutional limitations on his authority “would constitute an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.”
The 113th Congress failed to implement that proper and needed action, but the “Committee for the Republic,” a politically-diverse and well-connected group founded by former diplomat Chas Freeman, last week launched a similar initiative, this time aimed to keep President-to-be Trump from being forced into continuing Obama’s unconstitutional war policies.
At their Jan. 5 meeting in Washington, D.C., the Committee kicked off a “No Presidential Wars” campaign, focused on getting current members of Congress to sign a pledge that they, if a Representative, will support an bill of impeachment against any President who commences war against either a state or non-state actor without a declaration of war duly enacted by Congress as required under Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution; or, if a Senator, vote to convict said President under impeachment.
Speakers addressed the nine known wars in which Obama’s United States is currently engaged without Congressional authorization, including wars against ISIS and al-Qaeda, as well as wars in Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Successive Presidents have launched wars and belligerent activities which “have murdered millions of foreigners and generated increasingly savage blowback against us and our allies and friends,” and “have burdened our posterity with previously unimaginable levels of debt,” Chas Freeman said in his remarks to the meeting. “We must ensure that future wars are not launched by secret councils in the Sit[uation] Room, that the purposes, costs, and potential benefits of using American military power are forthrightly debated in Congress.” Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein motivated the pledge, citing Nixon’s removal from office as the Constitution’s finest hour, a standard for today. Washington, D.C. Tea Party head Thomas Whitmore spoke of mobilizing the energy of recent “citizen uprisings”—including in the “raw nerve” struck by both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—towards their Congressmen to sign the pledge to end the “continuous Presidential wars.”
Rep. Thomas Massie, a co-sponsor of Jones’s H.Con.Res.40, spoke at the meeting; Representative Jones had reportedly planned to attend, but was unable not do so due to last-minute Congressional business.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—American population growth has collapsed under the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. U.S. Census figures show that from 1900-2000, the population rose from 76.1 million to 282.2 million, an average annual growth rate of 1.3%. During the 12 boom years after World War II, from 1945-57, and in the 13 years before World War I, growth was significantly higher. During the eight Clinton years, population growth followed the long-term average, 1.3% annually.
But during Bush and Obama’s 16 years, more than one-third of that growth disappeared. The U.S. population 2000-2016 has only risen from 282.2 to 322.7 million, an annual average growth rate of 0.84%. The only comparable period in the last 115 years since the beginning of the 20th century is the period from 1929-45, encompassing both the Great Depression and World War II. Even then the annual population growth rate was 0.88%. In Bush and Obama’s America, it has fallen below Depression and world war levels.
Growth in the workforce has suffered a related collapse. During the Bush-to-Obama decade from December 2006-December 2016, including the 2008 financial crash and so-called Obama recovery, what is called the “civilian non-institutionalized population”—that is, the part of the over-16 population from which the labor force can be drawn—grew by 24.6 million people, from 230.1 million to 254.7 million. But the labor force itself (people either working part- or full-time or unemployed but actively seeking work—grew during that decade by just 6.3 million, from 152.6 million to 158.9 million. So in net effect, three-quarters of all those who became eligible to enter the labor force during that decade, did not do so, or entered and then dropped out again and stayed out.
In the decade 2000-2010, that “labor force abstention” rate was 70%; and it stood out like a very sore thumb from the two previous decades, when it had been approximately 38% (1980s) and 26% (1990s). But the decade since December 2006 has been even worse, with about 75% of those newly eligible, winding up out of the workforce.
This dramatic “flip” in the Bush and Obama presidencies—from previously 60-70% of those newly eligible entering the workforce and staying in, to 70-75% staying out—is itself sufficient demonstration that the cause was not “demographic”; it was collapse of the underlying real economy, disappearance particularly of well-paid, productive employment, and a resulting “culture” of hopelessness among the American people.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 9 (EIRNS)—A team of U.S. and German researchers have now confirmed that the Wendelstein 7-X (W 7-X) stellarator fusion experiment is producing the super-strong, twisty, 3D magnetic fields that its design predicted, with “unprecedented accuracy.” The researchers found an error rate less than 1 in 100,000. “To our knowledge, this is an unprecedented accuracy, both in terms of the as-built engineering of a fusion device, as well as in the measurement of magnetic topology,” the researchers wrote in open source journal Nature Communications, published in November.
Instead of trying to control plasma with just a 2D magnetic field—the approach used by the more common tokamak reactors—the stellarator works by generating twisted, 3D magnetic fields, which can control plasma without the need for any of the electrical current tokamaks rely on. As a result, it makes stellarators more stable, as they can keep going even if the internal current is interrupted.
To measure the experiment at 7-X, a team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Germany sent an electron beam along the magnetic field lines in the reactor. Using a fluorescent rod, they swept through those lines and created light in the shape of the fields. The result showed the exact type of twisted magnetic fields that it was supposed to make. “We’ve confirmed that the magnetic cage that we’ve built works as designed,” said one of the lead researchers, Sam Lazerson from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, in a release last month. They consider their machine as advanced in demonstrating fusion as the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in France will be.