EIR Daily Alert Service
FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
Volume 4, Number 59
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
March 23 (EIRNS)—It was exactly 34 years ago that an earlier U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, acting out of his own deep personal conviction, made EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) the policy of the United States.
LaRouche responded the next day by saying, “Only high-level officials of government, or a private citizen as intimately knowledgeable of details of the international political and strategic situation as I am privileged to be, can even begin to foresee the earth-shaking impact the President’s televised address last night will have throughout the world. The words the President spoke last night can never be put back into the bottle. Most of the world will soon know, and will never forget that policy-announcement. With those words, the President has changed the course of modern history.
“Today I am prouder to be an American than I have been since the first manned landing on the Moon. For the first time in 20 years, a President of the United States has contributed a public action of great leadership, to give a new basis for hope for humanity’s future to an agonized and demoralized world. True greatness in an American President touched President Ronald Reagan last night; it is a moment of greatness never to be forgotten.”
The SDI was no gimmick, nor a military tactic. Rather, it was the pivot-point for a turn of the whole world into a new world renaissance—as LaRouche’s June 2014, “Four New Laws,” with the U.S. concomitantly joining the New Silk Road, are for today. LaRouche and Reagan had picked up the flag which Franklin Roosevelt had carried as far as he was able—the same flag which John Kennedy had later begun to hoist in the very short time allowed him.
Ronald Reagan had already been subjected to a crippling pre-emptive assassination attempt before his SDI announcement, and then, later, to multiple pressures against the SDI—but he never abandoned it as long as he lived. He reiterated, for instance, on August 6, 1986, “In SDI, as elsewhere, we’ve put technology that almost boggles the mind to work, increasing our productivity and expanding the limits of human potential…. The future is, literally, in our hands, and it is SDI that is helping us to regain control over our destiny.”
As part of the operation which tried to kill President Reagan, Lyndon LaRouche was railroaded to prison and his association busted up, but LaRouche survived nevertheless—as did his ideas—or better, his creative ability to create new, valid ideas. These could not, would not be killed. Thirty-four years later, almost to the day, another American President has taken up LaRouche’s ideas, even though, unlike Ronald Reagan, he has never met the man himself.
What is meant by that is the following. President Donald Trump has publicly committed himself to the American System, out of his own deeply-held personal conviction. He has done it with full inner commitment. There can be no question but that the President has significant in-depth knowledge of what he’s talking about. On the other hand, his associates, especially in their broader circles, almost certainly lack that in-depth knowledge.
The last American President to have publicly avowed the American System was William McKinley, at the very beginning of the 20th century. This was before the two devastating World Wars and the Cold War which followed (its end precipitated by the Soviets’ eventual rejection of LaRouche’s SDI). It was before Einstein, before atomic energy, and before the practical conquest of space beginning in 1957.
What the American System means today, is no longer what McKinley meant—even if the same in principle. It means Lyndon LaRouche. He is the one who has carried forward the immortal concepts of Alexander Hamilton into the late 20th and now the 21st century—and not merely in scholarship, but in action, including successful combat actions, as Hamilton himself had done repeatedly.
To speak of the American System in 2017 is to speak of the work of Lyndon LaRouche. Everyone who hopes to translate the commitments of this President into successful action, had better study the works of Lyndon LaRouche, and master his concepts for themselves. And now.
U.S. ECONOMIC & POLITICAL
March 23 (EIRNS)—In 2015, Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton documented a shocking rise in the number of white, non-Hispanic Americans dying in middle age.
On March 23, 2017 the two professors released the results of their follow-up study on the causes of the rise in death rates in this cohort. The new study, “Morbidity and Mortality in the 21st Century,” published by the Brookings Institution, shows that the death rates of working-class white Americans with a high school education or less, which were about 30% lower than the mortality rate of blacks in 1999, grew to be 30% higher than black mortality by 2015. This increase occurred across the U.S. demographic spectrum, among men and women alike, the Washington Post reports today.
Professors Case and Deaton point to despair as the cause, and argue that “education level” is a significant counter to despair, with college-educated people reporting better health and contentment than those with only some college, while those with some college, are doing much better than those with no college.
The Washington Post reports that in a teleconference call with reporters this week, Professor Case said the new research found a “sea of despair” across America, of which one striking feature was the rise in physical pain. The pattern does not follow short-term economic cycles, but reflects a long-term disintegration of job prospects. “You used to be able to get a really good job with a high school diploma. A job with on-the-job training; a job with benefits. You could expect to move up.”
The U.S. obesity epidemic may be another sign of stress and physical pain: “People may want to soothe the beast. They may do that with alcohol; they may do that with drugs; they may do that with food,” Case stated.
Professor Deaton said that the act of suicide could be triggered not by a single event, but by a cumulative series of disappointments: “Your family life has fallen apart; you don’t know your kids any more; all the things you expected when you started out your life just haven’t happened at all.”
UCLA Economics Prof. Adriana Lleras-Muney said that less-educated white Americans tend to be strikingly pessimistic when asked about their prospects: “It’s just a background of continuous decline. You’re worse off than your parents. Whereas for Hispanics, or immigrants like myself, or blacks, yes, circumstances are bad, but they’ve been getting better.”
Death rates for non-Hispanic middle-aged white men with a high school degree or less, increased by 130% from 1998 to 2015; yet for those with a four-year college degree by only 44%. For women with a high school degree or less, the death rate increased by 381%; for women with four years of college or more, the death rate increased by 70%. Case and Deaton suggest that white men today are about twice as likely as they were in 1999 to die from one of the “diseases of despair” as they were in 1999, while women are about four times as likely.
March 23 (EIRNS)—In an article published yesterday in the Daily Reckoning financial e-letter, author Craig Wilson reports stunning lying from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Glass-Steagall. Wilson points to the massive Wall Street banks inflating in size, and says “ignoring a modern Glass-Steagall Act is too dangerous to repress any longer.”
He reports that in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) March 15 meeting, Federal Reserve System Chair Janet Yellen “in a rare, but insightful Q&A session” replied to a reporter’s question:
“The administration recently reiterated its support for reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has called for a 21st Century Glass-Steagall. Keeping in mind that there’s no specifics on this proposal, is the fundamental idea of separating commercial banking from investment banking a fruitful line of inquiry? Is this the right path to be pursuing?”
Yellen replied, “So, I’ve not seen any concrete proposals along this line. I don’t really know what a 21st Century Glass-Steagall would look like. I think my reading on the financial crisis is that wasn’t the major source of the financial crisis; in fact, many of the problems emanated from firms that were investment banking units. To me, an important reform in the aftermath of the crisis was to make sure that investment banking activities that were a core part of the shadow banking system where leverage had built, that those were appropriately capitalized; had appropriate liquidity, and their management was strengthened, and that’s what we have tried to do. But obviously we would look at any proposals that are put forward. I’m not aware of anything concrete to react to” (Wilson’s emphasis).
Wilson reports that Yellen cited no evidence that the Fed had ever investigated what could prohibit another Wall Street 2008 debacle; no actual research; no data or analysis. In lying she has “nothing to react to,” he points out, Yellen ignores “countless books” from financial analysts, and especially from Lyndon LaRouche, it should be added, whose forecasts, including of the 2008 crash, have been uniquely borne out.
Wilson cites former Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nomi Prins: “The notion that Fed policy has helped bankers, rather than other people, remains largely divorced from bipartisan political discussion.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
March 23 (EIRNS)—UN aid agencies are warning that Yemen is “at the point of no return” as some 17 million people (out of a total population of 28 million) are facing severe food shortages. A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency, one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure—with a further 10.2 million in crisis, reports the Guardian.
Taiz and Hodeidah governorates, home to almost 25% of Yemen’s population and the scene of intense conflict since the outbreak of civil war in 2015, are at particularly heightened risk of famine. “We keep on talking about a country that’s on the brink of famine, but for me these numbers highlight that we’re at the point of no return,” said Mark Kaye, Save the Children’s Yemen spokesperson. “If things are not done now we are going to be looking back on this and millions of children will have starved to death, and we’ll all have been aware of this for some time.”
According to the Guardian, the Saudi excuse for not opening the ports, particularly the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, where 80% of Yemen’s food imports entered the country prior to the war, is to keep Iranian arms out. “They are using the port as a military base to import guns, and rockets,” one Saudi source said, though no evidence of this has been presented. In any case, the complaint about Iranian arms becomes an excuse to allow millions of Yemenis to starve to death, deaths that could otherwise easily be prevented.
An Al-Monitor article from two years ago, March 26, 2015, when the Saudis began their aggression with Obama’s support, shows that the same legislators who are now leading the chorus of fake-news attacks against President Trump were then in the lead for this genocidal war. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued a joint statement which said, “Saudi Arabia and our Arab partners deserve our support as they seek to restore order in Yemen, which has collapsed into civil war…. We understand why our Saudi and other Arab partners felt compelled to take action. The prospect of radical groups like Al-Qaeda, as well as Iranian-backed militants, finding safe haven on the border of Saudi Arabia was more than our Arab partners could withstand.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
March 23 (EIRNS)—A new study of infrastructure investment in the United States by Moody’s Investors Service compares the recent “infrastructure report card 2017” of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to actual investments in public construction and infrastructure over the past four decades. The report finds a complete erosion of the role of the national government in investing in infrastructure since at least 1980. It follows that U.S. Presidents and Congresses have not been setting forth any important infrastructure missions, either.
Moody’s shows that the Federal, formerly leading component of infrastructure investment, going back to President Franklin Roosevelt’s indelible projects, has collapsed over time. Federal infrastructure investment had grown only from $50 billion annually to $95 billion annually over a full 40-year span, as charted in the report. It has actually been falling since 2010 under the Obama Administration despite the ARRA, or so-called “Stimulus Act” of 2009.
This has made states and cities the primary investors in public construction, to such an extent that they more than triple Federal investment with about $300 billion in 2016, for example. This means that what investment there is, is going into local repair, maintenance, and local new projects which can range from pocket parks to—at best—light rail systems.
Moody’s also compares the investment to the necessary level, outlined in detail by ASCE in its report, simply to maintain and replace existing infrastructure. It finds that taking all levels of government together, there is a $1.1 trillion shortfall in just the next three years, against ASCE’s estimated needed investment of $2.67 trillion. And this $1.1 trillion shortfall, again, is merely for maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure; not for the creation of any national mission such as high-speed rail networks, water management systems, nuclear desalination systems—let alone the great “intergalactic highway system” of the U.S. space exploration future.
March 23 (EIRNS)—A racist statement by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem has provoked a wave of protests and calls for his resignation throughout Europe, with a few exceptions. The Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa has demanded the resignation of Dijsselbloem for being “racist, xenophobic and sexist.” In an interview with Die Zeit on Monday, Dijsselbloem had said that the southern European countries became over-indebted because they spend their money on “on booze and women.”
“Europe will only be credible as a common project on the day when Mr. Dijsselbloem stops being head of the Eurogroup and apologizes clearly to all the countries and peoples that were profoundly offended by his remarks,” Costa told reporters at a press conference in Estoril, Portugal. The Eurogroup, an unofficial EU organization within the European Council, is comprised of the 19 euro area finance ministers.
“Mr. Dijsselbloem’s words are absolutely unacceptable, “said Costa. “And they are also very dangerous, because they demonstrate well the danger of populism, and that the danger of populism is not only in those who assume that they are populists, but it is also in those who wear sheep’s clothing and make racist, xenophobic and sexist speeches, as was that speech of Mr. Dijsselbloem.”
Costa also criticized the European Central Bank’s technical report on the conclusions of the European Commission’s mission, which accuses Portugal of not carrying out the structural reforms, saying “it is based on outdated data.”
Costa received support from political leaders in other countries, such as Matteo Renzi, Italy’s former prime minister, wrote on his Facebook page: “If he wants to offend Italy he should do it at the sports bar under his house, not in his institutional role.” Renzi called Dijsselbloem’s statements “stupid” and called for his removal. “Jeroen has seen his party going from 25% to 5% in the recent [Netherlands] elections…. There are leaders in Europe, who have trouble in being voted for by their closest relatives.”
The Dutch government nonetheless backed Dijsselbloem, who claims he was not referring to any country—which no one believes—as did German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, whose spokeswoman said Schäuble valued Dijsselbloem’s work.
March 23 (EIRNS)—Handelsblatt Global, the German financial daily’s English-language international edition has leaked a paper by Germany’s federal auditors to the Parliament, the Bundestag, which “is concerned that the European Central Bank lacks accountability in its oversight role in the banking sector.” The report comes a few days after the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore exposed a glaring lack of ECB supervision of derivatives risk, although the German attack on the ECB might have different motivations than Italy’s. (See EIR Daily Alert for March 22.)
The Handelsblatt article says, “the Federal Court of Auditors, an independent body, in a report submitted to the German parliament’s budget committee, says its EU counterpart, the European Court of Auditors, is unable to perform ‘an extensive review of the bank supervisory functions’ at the ECB. In its report, the federal auditor says bank oversight is an important public function that does not fall under the rubric of central bank independence, noting that national banking regulators like Germany’s used to be fully audited before the ECB took over the responsibility in 2015. The federal government should explore all options for closing this oversight gap.”
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
March 23 (EIRNS)—Approving the application of five regional prospective members—Afghanistan, Armenia, Fiji, Hong Kong, and Timor Leste—and eight non-regional prospective members—Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, Sudan and Venezuela, Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said: “The interest in joining AIIB from around the world affirms the rapid progress we have made to establish the bank as an international institution,” the Shanghai Daily reported today. The 13 prospective members, who will join with the 57 members who joined at the time of the AIIB’s 2015 founding, “will officially join AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the $100 billion bank.”
Earlier it was reported that the AIIB will focus on three major tasks this year: sustainable infrastructure, cross-country connectivity and mobilization of private capital.
Reporting on the AIIB’s announcement to include 13 more nations, Xinhua quoted Chen Xulong, a researcher with China Institute of International Studies, saying, “These prospective members are at different stages of economic development, a testimony to the inclusiveness of the bank, and contribute to inclusive global development.” Another Chinese academic, Wei Ling, director of Institute of Asian Studies at China Foreign Affairs University, welcoming the new member-nations, pointed out to Xinhua that globalization has suffered setbacks in Europe and the United States. “The AIIB can not only improve connectivity, but can speed up regional integration,” Wei added, Xinhua reported.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
March 23 (EIRNS)—On March 15, on the sidelines of the Second Nuclear Industry Summit Latin America (NISLA 2017), held in Buenos Aires, the president of Rosatom America Latina Ivan Dybov signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the head of the Argentine Nuclear Youth Association (AYNG), Christian Vega, to advance cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Latin America, Rosatom’s press service reported March 15.
Expressing his pleasure at the signing of the MOU, Dybov underscored that AYNG “is a promising association, which is composed, indeed, of the future leaders of Latin America’s nuclear industry.” The AYNG is unique, he said, “from the standpoint of awakening the interest of young people in the nuclear sector which is indispensable to bridge the gap between generations of nuclear workers in Latin America.”
Vega stressed that the MOU with Rosatom is very important for AYNG. There is a need, he said, “to keep promoting the leadership skills of young people in the nuclear sector.” As an example of this, he pointed to Rosatom’s support for AYNG in winning the bid to host the 2018 International Youth Nuclear Congress + Women in Nuclear (WIN), which will be held in Bariloche, Argentina. It will be the first time the event will take place in Ibero-America. Bariloche is home to the Balseiro Atomic Center and the Balseiro Institute—the latter the premier educational facility in Argentina for the training of nuclear physicists and engineers.
AYNG, Rosatom’s press statement explains, is made up of young professionals from several different institutions connected to both Argentina’s and other nations’ nuclear sectors. It partners with young Brazilians, among others, in order to “communicate and promote the benefits of nuclear energy in its peaceful use for the society and the development of the region.”
March 23 (EIRNS)—According to a report in Nigeria’s Premium Times today, on March 22, China said it will invest $5 billion in infrastructural projects in the country. “Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian revealed this when he visited the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and members of the APC National Working Committee at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja,” the daily said.
Zhou, who briefed the APC National Chairman and members of the APC National Working Committee on China’s domestic politics and China-Nigeria strategic bilateral relations, called on the Nigerian government “to ensure ‘full execution’ of the One China Policy between the two countries and changing the name: ‘Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan)’ to ‘Taipei Trade Agency, Lagos,’ ” and relocating the mission to Lagos, Premium Times reported.
Zhou said: “China and Nigeria have been very good friends since 1971…. Unfortunately, in 1999, Nigeria’s ministry of commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan which led to the setting up of a Trade mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Nigeria. That is two Chinas. For years, we have kept the pressure on Nigeria. Last year President Muhammadu Buhari was in Beijing for a state visit, and the Chinese President raised the issue. Upon return to Nigeria, President Buhari sent out directives to the Ministry of Affairs to honor and implement Nigeria’s One China policy,” Premium Times reported.