EIR Daily Alert Service
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2017
Volume 4, Number 40
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)—Some of you reading this today will later go on to become astronauts exploring new worlds. That is the significance of a piece of non-fake news (at last) which the Washington Post covered on Feb. 15. They wrote that “President Trump has indicated that he wants to make a splash in space. During his transition, he spoke with historian Douglas Brinkley about John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 vow to go to the Moon before the decade was out. Now Trump and his aides may do something very similar: demand that NASA send astronauts to orbit the Moon before the end of” 2019. The Post goes on to note that NASA had planned to test its new rocket, the Saturn-V class SLS, with the Orion astronaut capsule, in an unmanned mission in late 2018. No manned launch was planned until several years later—but now, President Trump’s Administration has ordered NASA to study the possibility of adding astronauts to that first flight, for a manned orbit around the Moon before the end of 2019.
Space News reported Feb. 24 that NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said the study should be ready in about a month. “We need to go look at what do we really gain by putting crew on this flight. Does this really advance significantly our overall ability to get to a capability to take humans, routinely as it can be, to the vicinity of the Moon and operate safely?” Deputy Associate NASA Administrator Bill Hill added, “We know it’s going to take a significant amount of money, and money that will be required fairly quickly to implement what we need to do.”
In related developments, President Trump has not yet announced his choice for NASA Administrator, but Space News and other media claim that three persons are bring considered most closely: Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who is actively campaigning for the appointment; former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin; and highly-decorated test-pilot and astronaut Eileen Collins. Eileen Collins addressed the Republican Convention, but reportedly did not endorse Donald Trump in her talk; we have no other knowledge of her views at this time, but we do have knowledge about the other two.
Representative Bridenstine was a Navy pilot. Part of his campaign for the NASA position was a substantial Dec. 29 blog post, “Why the Moon Matters.” Although he does not mention Lyndon LaRouche, he bases his policy for returning to the Moon as a base to conquer space, on Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative which LaRouche designed. He goes on to urge development of lunar resources in a manner reminiscent of Krafft Ehricke, writing, for example:
“From the discovery of water ice on the Moon until this day, the American objective should have been a permanent outpost of rovers and machines, with occasional manned missions for science and maintenance, in order to utilize the materials and energy of the Moon to drive down the costs and increase the capabilities of American operations in cislunar and interplanetary space.
“This is also the first step for manned missions deeper into our solar system. A permanent human presence on other celestial bodies requires in situ resource utilization. The Moon, with its three-day emergency journey back to Earth, represents the best place to learn, train, and develop the necessary technologies and techniques for in situ resource utilization and an eventual long term human presence on Mars. Fortunately, the Space Launch System and Orion will start testing in 2018. This system, with a commercial lander, could quickly place machines and robots on the Moon to begin the cislunar economy. With the right presidential guidance, humans could return in short order as well; this time, to stay.”
“Space utilization has transformed the human condition, including how we communicate, navigate, produce food and energy, conduct banking, predict weather, and perform disaster relief. While many of these gains are a result of private investment and commercial markets, they are only possible because the United States government took the lead and retired risk for these capabilities. Today, we are experiencing a space renaissance… A renewed focus on utilizing the Moon can help further these advances and achievements. The choices we make now can forever make America the pre-eminent spacefaring nation.”
The second candidate, Mike Griffin, is well known to us. After a career as a leading aerospace engineer and executive, he was the NASA Administrator who resigned when Obama cancelled the Constellation program, a cancellation for which Lyndon LaRouche said that Obama merited impeachment. Griffin fully agrees on a permanent return to the Moon as a base for the exploration of Mars and beyond.
Wikipedia reports, “In 2004 testimony to Congress on the future of human spaceflight, he stated, ‘for me the single overarching goal of human space flight is the human settlement of the Solar System, and eventually beyond. I can think of no lesser purpose sufficient to justify the difficulty of the enterprise, and no greater purpose is possible.’ In his testimony he also advocated heavy-lift launch capabilities, development of space-qualified nuclear power systems, in situ resource utilization, and cost-effective medium-size transport to low Earth orbit.” Like President Trump, Mike Griffin questions presumed anthropogenic global warming and the measures being taken against it.
Now all of the above corresponds to the well-advertised views of President Trump himself. Although his critics of the British imperial faction continually repeat that President Trump’s views and policies are some sort of “mystery,” there is in fact no recent Presidential candidate other than Lyndon LaRouche, who has made his policies so crystal-clear as Donald Trump has, and repeatedly so.
Last Oct. 25th, for example, candidate Donald Trump told a rally in Sanford, Florida:
“I will free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low-Earth orbit activity—big deal. Instead, we will refocus its mission on space exploration. Under a Trump Administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars.
“A cornerstone of my policy is we will substantially expand public-private partnerships to maximize the amount of investment and funding that is available for space exploration and development. This means launching and operating major space assets, right here, that employ thousands, and spur innovation and fuel economic growth.”
In his Jan. 20 Inaugural Address, President Trump said, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, and to free the earth from the miseries of disease.”
But for Lyndon LaRouche’s tireless work over so many decades, we could never have attained the possibilities which are so evident today to everyone who is not totally morally blind. But for Lyndon LaRouche’s leadership into the future, these never-before-seen opportunities, which embody the dreams and aspirations of all past generations of humanity, as Krafft Ehricke understood, would be missed and lost. The realization of these hopes requires Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” of June 2014.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—Italian State President Sergio Mattarella gave an interview Feb. 23 to China’s state TV network CGTN (formerly CCTV). Here is the report from Corriere della Sera English edition:
“Italian President Sergio Mattarella was asked for his opinion on Donald Trump. In what was a balanced, cautious reply, he said: ‘It’s still early days, and we should wait and see how things develop before making judgments on this new president and deciding how to engage with the U.S.’ He was also asked about protectionism and the threat of a trade war between Washington and Beijing that could have global repercussions. ‘We strongly hope that there will never be a trade war, because cooperation and mutual openness not only benefit all countries and peoples, but strengthen world peace. This is clearly in everyone’s interest, and I am convinced it will be reflected in U.S. policy.’ ”
Mattarella was on an official visit to China over Feb. 21-26, during which he met President Xi Jinping, who invited Italy to attend the May 14-15 summit “Belt and Road: Cooperation for Common Prosperity.”
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)—The Arctic Council, made up of representation from eight governments that have territory in the Arctic, as well as six Arctic Indigenous Peoples organizations, is planning a ministerial level conference for Fairbanks, Alaska on May 10-11, 2017. Prior to that, senior officials from the Council members will meet in Juneau, Alaska on March 8-9, 2017 to finalize the agenda for the ministerial meeting. According to a Feb. 22 press release issued by the council, the participants in the Juneau meeting will discuss and review the Council’s ongoing work, including programs and projects from the six Working Groups and other subsidiary bodies. Among other items, the release reports, the agenda includes discussions on scientific cooperation, telecommunications, health, Arctic economies, renewable energy, protected areas, shipping, prevention of oil spills, marine biodiversity, invasive species, the Arctic cryosphere, food security, chemical contaminants, and black carbon emissions. During the ministerial meeting, Finland will take over the rotating presidency of the Arctic Council from the U.S., and set forth its goals and plans for the coming two years. Besides Finland, the governmental members of the Arctic Council include Russia, the United States, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
The potential for cooperation in the Arctic represented by the Arctic Council is, however, challenged by those who look at the world through the lens of geopolitics. Russia, in particular, has put a high priority on development of its Arctic territories, to include defense of its sovereignty, and this is seen by some in Washington as a military threat. In a Feb. 21 letter to the White House, the chairman the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) argued that the U.S. needs to “project power” in the region, and not let Russia roam unmatched. By power projection, what Hunter means is Coast Guard icebreakers, of which the U.S. has two, but one of them is out of service. Russia, on the other hand, has 40, plus 11 more under construction, one of which will be the largest icebreaker ever built. “Russia is not just exceeding the U.S. in icebreaker production and Arctic presence, they’re in a class by themselves and setting a standard, supported by enhanced capability, that is unmatched,” Hunter wrote. “We must act with the same sense of urgency.” Hunter is calling for the construction of six new icebreakers for the Coast Guard, which would enter service between 2023 and 2026.
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—The website 28pages.org has published a devastating exposé of the Saudis’ latest effort to kill JASTA, or the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Site director Brian McGlinchey revealed in an exclusive article that the Saudi lobbying firm, Qorvis, has been bribing American war veterans with “five star vacations” at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, to suck them into lobbying against JASTA, all the while hiding the fact that the effort is being financed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
McGlinchey was able to interview several veterans who were duped into the lobbying scam, who gave a detailed account of the way the veterans were lied to, were herded into lobbying sessions with Members of Congress, and who were given buttons from the Purple Heart Association to add to the pressure. Iraq War veterans David Casler, Tim Cord, and Dan Cord gave McGlinchey the detailed account of their experience during one of the recent junkets to Washington, which was originally advertised in a personal email to them, which read “Do you want to go on a cool trip?” No mention of lobbying was included, and no mention was made at any time about the Saudi money behind the whole effort. Qorvis and Advocacy Group, Inc., the two lobbying firms on the Saudi payroll behind the fraud, never indicated they were working for Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that they were registered as foreign lobbyists. All told, 40 veterans participated in the four-day excursion to Washington.
According to the eyewitness participants in their account to 28pages.org, the whole D.C. lobbying effort began with a lavish banquet at Trump International Hotel, where Jason Johns, President of NMLB Veterans Advocacy Group in Madison, Wisconsin, told the veterans “We’re really passionate in our community about JASTA, and, first and foremost, this is not funded, none of this is being taken care of by Saudi Arabia.” This was a boldfaced lie, as the three veterans who spoke to McGlinchey found out several days later, when they saw one of the Qorvis “handlers” receiving gifts from the back of a Bentley SUV from a Saudi. Jason Johns was one of a “score” of individuals who registered as Saudi agents in October and November, following the override of Obama’s veto of JASTA. He revealed that he was on the Qorvis payroll at a salary of $100,000.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche released a message to the Berlin “Conference on the Forgotten War Crimes against Yemen,” which stated:
“The war against Yemen, which the Saudi Arabian-led coalition and the United States have supported in many ways, has killed 10,000 people over the past two years, and now threatens the lives of more than 12 million who have been totally cut off from sustenance and medical supplies due to the systematic bombardment of the country’s agricultural infrastructure…. This war, by the official definition of the United Nations, is a genocide.
“There is no case which better exemplifies the insufferable hypocrisy of the so-called ‘free West,’ than the lack of reporting on the war crimes which have been committed on a daily basis against the population of Yemen for the past two years. Where are all the advocates of “humanitarian intervention? … Where is the coverage of the bombardments of funerals and hospitals, of the use of cluster bombs banned under international law, of the deaths of over a thousand children per week who are dying of preventable diseases? Where is the outcry about the destruction of mankind’s magnificent cultural heritage?”
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—“Activists Accuse Obama of Coup d’Etat in Ukraine,” Sputnik’s Spanish and Portuguese language editions reported front-page on the demonstrations on the third anniversary of the Maidan coup organized by the international Schiller Institute “in various cities of the United States, as well as Berlin.” On the “Day of Truth” EIR released a 17-page dossier, entitled, “Obama and Soros—Nazis in Ukraine 2014—U.S. in 2017?”
Linking to LaRouche PAC’s English website, Sputnik’s story features in bold the statement from the LaRouche PAC leaflet: “You, like most Americans, have been systematically lied to about what happened in the so-called Maidan color revolution, and these same lies are now being used to feed a national hysteria against Putin and Russia which risks World War III.”
The story posted on Sputnik’s French site includes a group of four photos of the Day of Truth organizing, taken from a LaRouche PAC tweet. Clearly visible is the “Jail Obama and Soros for Treason!” banner and an organizing table with a poster reading “Glass-Steagall Shuts Down Dope, Inc.” A hyperlink to www.larouchepac.com and to the EIR dossier was included, and the French story reported there were Schiller Institute demonstrations in Boston, Houston, and Berlin, as well as New York, and that the demonstrators handed out a dossier warning of the danger of a new “color revolution” but this time in the United States, aimed at Trump.
The story identifies Lyndon LaRouche as an American political figure “who considers that Russia is one of the key actors in the international scene and confirms that Russia, along with China, India, and the United States and some other countries it could save the world from an unprecedented crisis.”
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)—U.S. military officials have said they want to elevate the level of discussion with the Russian military in Syria on air collision avoidance, to a higher level, somewhere in the range of one- to three-star generals, with Russian counterparts of the same rank, reported the Washington Post on Feb. 23. Right now, the discussion that takes place is at the colonel level, using what amounts to a commercial phone line between the two headquarters. The level of discussion needs to be elevated, they say, to improve deconfliction and improve safety for U.S. and coalition pilots. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Middle East, said the current arrangement does not leave many options for U.S. officers. “Our perspective has been that there needs to be another layer that allows us to have a more senior-level discussion, and we’ve got to work through where that layer is,” Harrigian told reporters in Baghdad this week. One complicating factor is legislation passed by Congress in 2014 banning military-to-military contacts with Russia unless Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine. Mattis can waive it, but has not yet done so. Concern about mid-air collisions is said to be very high, with U.S., Russian, Syrian and Turkish planes all operating in the same airspace, especially around al Bab.
Harrigian’s call was echoed by Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command, on Feb. 24, reported Reuters. He noted that as the territory on the ground that ISIS controls shrinks, so does the available airspace for combat operations. “It is going to become more and more complex as time goes on, and as we continue to squeeze ISIS and take continually more territory away from them, it becomes even more complex,”
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—The Russian and U.S. delegations to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met in Vienna on Feb. 23, and discussed creation of a joint anti-terrorism working group, according to Pyotr Tolstoy, a member of the Russian delegation and State Duma Deputy Speaker. “We have been speaking that we need to intensify an inter-parliamentary dialogue, to create a working group on the problem evident to everybody—a war on terror,” he said after a meeting with U.S. lawmakers on sidelines of the OSCE PA winter session.
Another member of the Russian delegation and OSCE PA Special Representative on Anti-Terrorism Nikolay Kovalev told TASS that they also said, “Our joint task is to organize the meeting as soon as possible. From this platform, we have agreed to further cooperation,” he said.
According to TASS, someone in the American delegation—no doubt a Democrat—raised the allegations of Russia’s hacking and interference in elections, to which OSCE PA Special Representative on Anti-Terrorism Nikolay Kovalev, a member of the Russian delegation, countered that they had presented no evidence whatsoever, in remarks to TASS yesterday. At last year’s OSCE PA session in Tbilisi, Kovalev had proposed a special group on terrorism and cyberattacks, reported Sputnik.
TASS quoted Kovalev, a member of the Duma, “The issue of ‘interference in the elections’ has been raised. … Hacking was affirmed as a threat to democratic foundations of a state and (it was said) it was necessary to fight the phenomenon,” he said. “There was no mention of the evidence, so we said that we were ready for joint work but on the basis on concrete documents.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)—China International Studies, a publication of the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), which works under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published an article by EIR’s Bill Jones entitled “The Belt and Road Initiative—Charting a New Trajectory for Mankind,” in its January-February 2017 (#62) issue.
In his article, Jones recounts the history of the Belt and Road, noting the work of Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute in the early 1990s to promote the project of the Eurasian Land-Bridge after the fall of the Soviet Union, leading to the 1996 conference in Beijing, sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. Jones also notes the nature of the Hamiltonian dirigist policies China (and other Asian countries) have utilized in carrying out its development strategy. Jones also discusses the nature of the financial crisis over the last two decades, in which the world was placed on a downward trajectory, which was reversed by China’s initiation of the Belt and Road and the establishment of new financial institutions like the AIIB and the New Development Bank.
Jones notes that the development of China, and the continued development of countries like Russia and India, has created a world situation where the traditional role of the U.S. as a “world leader” has changed, creating the need for a new style of global governance. Tracing the development of the financial crisis and the failure of the G7 to resolve it, he shows how it became necessary to bring together a broader group of nations to deal with the crisis. This was the origin of the G20, which decided in its most recent meeting, hosted by China, to launch a program of global poverty elimination. The post-Bretton Woods structure is at an end, Jones writes, and therefore there is the need to create a world economic order of a different type. He notes China’s emphasis on a win-win situation, which, coming as it does from a different cultural matrix, does not want to continue the old zero-sum game of geopolitics.
The article ends with a quote of Confucius, “The superior man is aware of righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.” Jones writes, “The Belt and Road Initiative, at the deepest level, is concerned with the question of ‘righteousness’ in economic affairs, characterized by President Xi’s continual emphasis on the feature of its “win-win” cooperation. The regional projects are thus developing into a world land-bridge, he writes, and the new Trump Administration, with its emphasis on building infrastructure in the United States, could well expand the Belt and Road perspective to North America, thus benefiting itself and the world.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—China plans to expand its nuclear power sector in 2017, kicking off construction of eight reactors this year with installed capacity totaling 9.9 gigawatts, the National Energy Administration said. These include Unit 1 at the Sanmen nuclear power plant in Zhejiang province, Unit 4 at the Fuqing plant in Fujian province, Unit 4 at the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in Guangdong province and Unit 1 of the Taishan plant in Guangdong, adding 6 GW of nuclear power capacity.
China will also accelerate the preparations for more reactors, such as Sanmen Units 3 and 4, Ningde Units 5 and 6 in Fujian, which will in total generate 9.9 GW after being put into operation.
The rollout is necessary for China’s nuclear sector to develop step-by-step to meet high safety requirements, said Han Xiaoping, Chief Information Officer at Beijing-based industry consultancy China Energy Net Consulting Co. “Building nuclear power stations requires at least 10 years of preparatory work, including the eight units, which are about to kick off construction soon,” Han said.
Han said China is at the forefront of nuclear power technology worldwide, with rich experience in building and operating nuclear power stations. After Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011, China had also set higher standards in the nuclear sector to ensure safety, he said.
The country is moving to strengthen technical cooperation with Russia and the United States in the nuclear power sector and further promote cooperation with Pakistan, Turkey, Romania and Argentina. Han said it is necessary for China’s nuclear power utilities to tap overseas markets, to release capacity in the context of overcapacity in the domestic power sector.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday issued some updates to its earlier report on drug overdosing and death rates for the period 1999 through 2015. Overall, the age group for the highest rate of drug overdose deaths is among adults 45 to 54 years old. Moreover, several states had much higher rates than the national average, including include three in the Ohio Valley: Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
The updated report stresses that, although opioids are rampant and lethal, heroin remains foremost. In 2010, roughly 8% of all drug overdose deaths were from heroin; but in only five years, this shot up to 25%.
The local and regional reports are horrifying. In Baltimore, for example, the hospital system is trying to deal with addicted newborns. The Feb. 18 Baltimore Sun reported in a front page feature, “More Babies Born with Drugs in Their Bodies,” that, “The number of babies born in Maryland with opiates, alcohol, narcotics or other drugs in their systems has increased 56.6% in the last nine years to 1,419 cases in 2015, the latest numbers available.”