EIR Daily Alert Service
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Volume 4, Number 32
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Stay above the Turmoil; Push for Sanity and Silk Road in U.S.
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—In the present turmoil in Washington, D.C., oligarchical forces are generating fresh demands to investigate and oust the new President of the United States—simply for having “Russia connections.” This is pure geopolitical hogswallop, following hard on the orchestrated resignation of Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) last night, over imputed charges of mis-speaking to Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. in December, and not revealing the content of the calls. But, as Trump himself tweeted this morning, “The real story here is, why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal with North Korea, etc.?”
Is the NSA spying on our own government?
Details aside, what we are seeing is a frenzied mobilization out of London, by the British Empire’s war party, to stay on top of its dying system, by smashing any collaboration between the United States and Russia, and by thwarting a U.S. breakaway into economic growth, by means of a Glass-Steagall reorganization, and alliance with the new, world “Silk Road” coming out of Eurasia.
Lyndon LaRouche, reviewing all the wild developments, struck a positive note, advising, “Don’t let up on ‘the push for sanity.’ ” He said, “It’s not so bad;” seen from the overview. There are other elements in our government, and other nations and leaders in the world, moving in the right way.
The London-based mobilization is blatant and evil. The BBC, The Economist, and London Review of Books, among others, are blatant in their issuance of wild calls for action against Trump and Russia. One of five BBC stories on the subject early this morning, was titled, “Russia—The Scandal Trump Can’t Shake”; it asserts that Flynn’s departure is just the beginning to bring down Trump for associating with Russia. A post on today’s LRB Blog from the London Review of Books, titled, “The Deep State,” by the New York Times contributing writer Adam Shatz, takes up the thought that, “He [Trump] will have to be removed from power by the deep state, or be assassinated.” (The deep state refers to military, bureaucratic or other institutional layers.)
In an ugly display of group-think, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and six Ranking Democrats on as many House Committees, fell into line. They (Pelosi, Engel, Neal, Cummings, Schiff, Conyers, B. Thompson) held a press conference on Capitol Hill, calling for 1) an investigation of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials; as well as for, 2) an investigation of how the Trump Presidency ignored the warning by Sally Yates, of the Department of Justice, that General Flynn had withheld information about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. But, one may ask, how did she know?
The truthful reality is that the entire trans-Atlantic region, under the dead British Empire war and austerity system, is in collapse. And, as LaRouche has repeatedly stressed about the nations involved, “People want a way out. They don’t want to die.” They want the system to be changed: to work, and work better. There is still an American impulse, that, “If the thing is wrong, fix it!”
Doing that is now of great urgency, for the banking, credit and production potential of the United States, Europe and generally. At any moment, an uncontrolled blow-out can start, with killer-chaos results, unless we have a pre-emptive Glass-Steagall re-organization and new credit system. In the latest developments in Europe, yet another Greek bail-out crisis is underway, after rounds of deadly austerity show it was wrong from the start. In Italy, a new scandal reveals that the government is highly exposed, and losing money, on billions of derivatives deals gone bad, which it had denied even existed, to Parliament. The system itself is gone.
LaRouche PAC teams will be out in force on Capitol Hill this mid-week, to press home the necessity of reinstating Glass-Steagall, as is called for in the new H.R.790 “Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2017.” There are only three more days left, before Congress takes off for the week of Presidents’ Day holiday. When they return to Washington, D.C. Feb. 28, President Trump is to give his State of the Union address. He must commit to his pledge on Glass-Steagall.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
British Use Flynn Ouster To Gear Up ‘Oust Trump’ Operation—Even Impeachment, Assassination
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—Yes, such Obama operatives as former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and the Washington Post, among others, played their designated roles in orchestrating the ouster of Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor. However, as Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly advised, look to the British to find who is directing this chorus, and to what end.
Key British media today flaunted their intent that Flynn’s ouster not be the end, but the beginning of the drive to oust President Donald Trump from office, furious that he has dared propose that the United States and Russia should cooperate for the greater good of all nations.
Look at British Broadcasting Corp., whose lead story throughout the day has been Flynn’s ouster. BBC still operates under a Royal Charter, as it has since its founding.
BBC’s target is Trump, with no less than six overlapping “news” stories to this effect. “Russia: The Scandal Trump Can’t Shake”; another trumpets that “the Flynn controversy may sharpen the focus on Donald Trump’s past pro-Russia statements.” BBC says, “the really big question [is] what does this say about President Trump’s relationship with Russia?” Why does Trump “refuse to say a bad word about … Vladimir Putin. Not ever”?
BBC shamelessly revives the discredited dossier prepared by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele which circulated what were then admitted to be lies on Trump activities and ties in Russia, to imply he is blackmailed by Russia. “Why the love-in with Putin? What is driving this? … Does Putin have some kind of leverage over the new American President?” BBC writes.
London’s Economist magazine dismisses Flynn’s ouster as the sign of “some deeper infection.” It and BBC imply the Trump administration could be brought down most efficiently by entrapping it in alleged scenarios of covering-up ties to Russia.
Should such a Watergate impeachment scenario fail, a contributing editor to the London Review of Books raised another option today: assassination of Trump. “There is no inherent harm in fantasizing” about such a killing, Adam Shatz wrote on the LRB Blog. Shatz echoed what BBC’s U.S. reporter Paul Wood suggested in his Jan. 21 article in London’s Spectator magazine, which asked “Will Donald Trump Be Assassinated, Ousted in a Coup, or Just Impeached?” Wood’s mootings followed his Jan. 12 BBC article revealing his coordination with Obama CIA head John Brennan in fabricating the “Trump Russian agent” lies. The question is raised: Whose bidding are the Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders doing by calling for full-scale investigations into the Flynn affair?
Geopolitical Mice Fear Trump May Attend Belt and Road Summit in May, Join AIIB
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—Voice of America put out two wires on Feb. 13, between them dismissing China’s great Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Belt and Road international forum being organized in Beijing in May to advance it, as well as any use for China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS’ New Development Bank.
VOA does not report that President Trump has been invited to attend the BRI summit. Instead, it lies that the May forum is being organized against Trump, writing that “China is also trying to raise and consolidate international opinion against actions by U.S. President Donald Trump, who is expected to impose restrictions on Chinese goods and investments, independent analysts said.” Its source? China-bashers from Washington’s CSIS and Germany’s Mercator Institute.
VOA’s companion wire, “Experts Weigh Influence of China-Led Development Banks,” is more open about the fear that Trump might adopt win-win relations with China. VOA does admit that AIIB head Jin Liqun has reiterated his offer that the U.S. join the bank. Jin is quoted telling Chinese media that “I was told that many in his team have an opinion that Obama was not right not to join the AIIB, especially after Canada joined, which was a very loud endorsement of the bank.”
VOA wishfully writes that “the Trump administration has yet to comment on the AIIB. Some observers do not believe the United States is likely to join.” Its sources? Wall Street defenders such as the Peterson Institute of International Economics.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
While Greece’s Creditors Destroy It, China Is Investing in Greece
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—While Greece’s creditors propose further steps to destroy it, China is planning and carrying out new investments. Kathimerini reports three major Chinese funds will soon send missions to Athens for talks on investments focused on infrastructure, logistics, and commercial real estate.
In fact, 2017 is the “Year of Cultural Cooperation between Greece and China,” and economic and cultural events are being held all over Greece. In September, the Thessaloniki International Fair, the biggest industrial fair in Southeastern Europe, will feature China is this year’s honored country. Greek and Chinese government and business representatives have been preparing memoranda of cooperation which could be signed at the fair so that their implementation can begin.
Dalian Wanda Group, a private Chinese group with assets of $85 billion and active in a broad range of activities, from property to shopping malls and from tourism to cinema, will be sending a delegation to Greece already next week.
Next month representatives from the Silk Road Fund will be in Athens. This fund, with capital totaling some $40 billion, was set up two years ago by the Chinese government to finance infrastructure projects along the New Silk Road.
Representatives from a global fund by newly created Cosco Shipping and by Chinese real estate developer Greenland Holdings Corp. will soon arrive in Athens. The fund, whose main shareholder is the City of Shanghai, aims to invest in logistics and housing and tourism projects in the U.S. and Greece.
China’s Ambassador in Athens Zou Xiaoli has told Kathimerini that “cooperation has advanced at a rapid rate through coordinated action by the two governments and the business communities,” and that “many enterprises will come over seeking partnerships” for the September Thessaloniki International Fair.
The Greek-Chinese Economic Council, according to a Feb. 11 report in the website “China and Greece,” has developed a network of partnerships in China, with central and local governments, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, and major Chinese business enterprises.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
MEP Zanni Exposes that EU Commission Seeks To Blow Up Italian Banking System
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—The Italian national daily Libero published an op-ed on Feb. 12 signed by European Parliament Member Marco Zanni and former Undersecretary for Defense Guido Crosetto (who is now head of the Association of Aerospace and Defense Industries), exposing an attempt by the EU Commission to bankrupt Italian banks by pricing a risk on Italian government bonds.
“A small amendment to Art. 507 of the rules on capital requirements (CRR) provides for entrusting the EBA, the European Banking Authority, with the power of changing the approach on bank exposure towards states and their sovereign debt: Government bonds owned by banks will no longer be considered risk-free, if they have a rating lower than A.”
This means that Italian banks must either find additional capital to offset €400 billions of Italian sovereign debt notes they currently own, or dump that debt—whose value would collapse.
Zanni and Crosetto blast “the choice of putting in the hands of financial markets the determination of yields on government debt, [and thus] removing national sovereignty and making the ECB independent. … By removing monetary sovereignty and pushing ECB independence, you create a problem with government debt, then you destroy the financial system with the rules of the Banking Union, and eventually you take everything … by sending a caretaker and the Troika.”
Zanni and Crosetto exposed the non-reaction by the national government, the national Parliament, and the Italian Members of the European Parliament. Zanni reiterated it in an interview published by Sputnik Italy yesterday, under the headline “Germany Tries the Big Shot: Caretaking Italy within 2017.”
Italy’s Derivative Bomb Blows Out (Politically, For Now)
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—The weekly magazine L’Espresso has published documents on government exposure to derivative contracts—an exposure which the government has so far denied to members of Parliament. The papers show that of a total of €150 billion derivative contracts, the Italian government was running a loss of €36 billions at the end of 2015.
The Espresso revelations have created an uproar, at a time when the government is scrambling to find €3.4 billion for the budget “correction” demanded by the EU Commission. Some opposition members demand that Treasury Minister Carlo Padoan resign.
Many of those contracts were signed when Mario Draghi (now President of the European Central Bank) was General Director of the Italian Treasury, and they included a clause giving the seller the right to unilaterally close the contract. This clause was used by Morgan Stanley in 2012 to force the Monti government to close the contract and pay €3.1 billion on the spot. Last year, the Italian Court of Accounts ruled that this was a fraud, and is demanding €3.8 billion damages from Morgan Stanley.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Geneva, Astana Peace Settlement Meetings for Syria Move Forward
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—The various processes towards a political settlement in Syria are continuing to move forward, though not without difficulty, with meetings set for Astana on Feb. 15-16, and under UN aegis in Geneva, next week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during a joint press conference with visiting Foreign Minister of Mongolia Tsendiyn Munkh-Orgil, reported that the meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan will convene with the participation of the three countries guaranteeing the Syria cease-fire, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, as well as representatives from the armed opposition groups that are observing the cease-fire and from the Syrian government. In addition, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has been invited in his capacity as mediator of the Geneva peace talks, and the U.S. has been invited to participate as an observer.
De Mistura’s office announced yesterday that he has sent out letters of invitation for the Geneva talks, now set to begin on Feb. 23, with initial consultations taking place on Feb. 20. “We can confirm that letters have been sent today, and also that consultations are continuing,” his spokeswoman Yara Sharif said yesterday. Meanwhile, it appears that despite the announcements made over the weekend, the opposition delegation may not be all that solid. Jihad Makdissi, a representative of the Cairo group of political opposition, told TASS his group will not participate as part of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) delegation. “No, we already told them we don’t agree [with the initiative of Riyadh group or the High Negotiations Committee]. We don’t want to be an accessory in their delegation.”
“We offered to create a delegation from three platforms instead: Moscow platform, Cairo platform, and Riyadh platform. Since they created their own delegation, it means the answer (to our proposal) is ‘no,’ ” Makdissi said. According to the TASS report, the Moscow and Cairo groups were offered one seat each on the HNC delegation. No word from the Moscow group whether they’ve accepted the HNC offer of one seat.
China’s Global Times Appeals to Trump To Change Obama’s Failed North Korea Policy
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—China’s Communist Party (CPC) daily newspaper Global Times asked in an editorial today, “Will Trump Revise Washington’s N.K. Policy?” strongly appealing to President Trump to end the Obama idiocy of simply blaming China for North Korea’s continued nuclear weapons and missile development programs, while expanding sanctions and threatening to invade North Korea. “If Trump’s government falls into the past U.S. mindset over Pyongyang,” the editorial says, “the North Korean nuclear issue could be either stuck in a deadlock during his presidency or risks the possibility of war on the Korean Peninsula, bringing this crisis to an end in massive bloodshed.”
The CPC paper addresses the cause of the crisis: “Trump must understand that North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is an extreme response caused by the remnants of the Cold War on the peninsula. It is a problem between Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang rather than one between China and North Korea. If there is no major thaw in U.S. and South Korean ties with Pyongyang, China won’t be able to change the latter’s mind to give up its nuclear weapons.” The editorial points out that Pyongyang responds to the increased threats and the refusal to talk “as a reason to hasten their nuclear and missile tests.”
China, they note, “has done the most to resolve the issue. Beijing had organized Six-Party Talks and joined international sanctions against North Korea. Its relationship with Pyongyang has changed the most due to the sanctions, with China paying a diplomatic price.”
The UN Security Council yesterday unanimously condemned Pyongyang for its recent Feb. 12 missile test, but took no further action.
Munich Security Report ‘Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?’ Reveals Its Fears of the Future
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—The 53rd Munich Security Conference convenes Feb. 17 with dozens of high-level delegations, many led by Defense Ministers, but also including U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi—all expected to make remarks.
Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger released a Munich Security Report 2017, titled, “Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?” yesterday, which, according to a summary by the Germany’s Deutsche Welle news agency, indicates that the theme of the meeting will be the defense of the dying trans-Atlantic paradigm. “A withdrawal of the U.S. on the world stage could allow others to take advantage of the power vacuum,” reports DW. From a power vacuum caused by a possible U.S. withdrawal from the global stage to the heightened threat of military escalation, the report, entitled “Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?” accentuates the threats to the international order in what Ischinger described as an “illiberal moment.”
“We may, then, be on the brink of a post-Western age, one in which non-Western actors are shaping international affairs, often in parallel, or even to the detriment, of precisely those multilateral frameworks that have formed the bedrock of the liberal international order since 1945,” Ischinger said. Ischinger probably wouldn’t admit it, but the “post-Western” age he fears so much, will likely by criss-crossed by Chinese high speed trains.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Matlock: “Is NATO Obsolete? Absolutely!”
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)—Deutsche Welle accompanies its report on the Munich Security Conference with an analysis based on comments from Jack Matlock, the last U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Joachim Bitterlich, Germany’s ambassador to NATO during the late 1990s.
“Is NATO obsolete? Absolutely!” Matlock said. “It was formed to prevent a Communist Soviet Union from encroaching on Western Europe. Russia is not capable of confronting and dominating the rest of Europe,” he said. “To think that our disputes will be solved by military posturing is a dangerous illusion,” Matlock went on. “The sort of military jockeying that NATO and Russia are indulging in today reminds me of the geopolitical games played by the Great Powers in 1914.” Bitterlich wouldn’t quite go so far as to say NATO is obsolete, but he said he does believe that it is “in need of reform.”
They both agreed that Russia is not going to attack Europe. Matlock said that Russia had hurt its own interests with its actions in Ukraine, but that had there been “no Western or U.S. involvement in Ukraine during the Maidan uprising, there would probably have been no Russian annexation of Crimea, or support for the insurrection in the Donbass.” Bitterlich put in that Russia is not interested in Poland or the Baltic states, but that President Putin sees the Caucasus and Ukraine as his “red line,” a point completely misunderstood by the U.S. and its European allies, Bitterlich said. “I believe that both the Americans and the Europeans have simply made too many mistakes towards Russia since the beginning of the century: that they misjudged Russia; needlessly cornered it, not hearing the warnings about NATO expansion; about Georgia, and about Ukraine,” he said.
Mexico Wants To Go After Drug Cartel Money-Laundering and Banks
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)— Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is working to replace Mexico’s more than a decade-old anti-drug strategy of focusing on going after drug cartel kingpins, and instead go after the drug money, former Drug Enforcement Agency International Operations chief Mike Vigil said, according to Business Insider website yesterday.
As Vigil (who personally took down cartel kingpins in his days in the field) put it, the strategy of going after top cartel figures is “like the proverbial hydra, where you cut off a head, and then a hundred take its place.”
Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong and the Peña Nieto administration instead intend to go for a “top-to-bottom dismantling” of the cartels, with an emphasis on going after money-laundering, Vigil said. “They want to go after their assets. They want to attack money-laundering. They want to deal [with] banks that are helping launder money, and want to incorporate all of the security forces,” Vigil told Business Insider.