EIR Daily Alert Service
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017
Volume 4, Number 68
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
April 5 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump will be meeting with Xi Jinping on Thursday and Friday in Florida, and it has now been announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will go to Moscow next week, on April 11-12. The potential for a historic shift in the order of civilization—ending imperial geopolitics, beginning a new paradigm of peace through development and the ennoblement of all mankind—has never been as great as it is at this moment in history.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the British Empire has launched desperate measures aimed at dragging the United States into a new colonial war, as they did in the cases of Vietnam, Iraq, Libya—and now Syria. The intention is not merely to destroy yet another Southwest Asian nation, but to prevent their upstart former colony known as the United States from forming a partnership with Russia and China, ending the fundamental imperial division of the world between East and West, and thus ending the fundamental premise of Empire.
To that end, an atrocity was created in Syria this week, as chemical weapons were released in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, either by terrorists, or, as Russian evidence indicates, by a legitimate Syrian air attack on an al-Qaeda weapons depot which accidentally uncovered and destroyed a chemical weapons factory used by al-Qaeda’s Syrian branches, releasing a deadly agent which is reported to have killed dozens of people, including children. This analysis of the events was confirmed to EIR by a knowledgeable U.S. military intelligence network with sources on the ground in Syria.
Immediately, the British, French and, unfortunately, the U.S., issued a resolution to the UN Security Council declaring the Syrian government fully responsible and demanding a set of new demands and sanctions. As usual, no evidence was presented. It should be recalled that in 2013, a chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, a superb of Damascus held by rebel forces, was immediately blamed on President Assad, and was used by Obama to prepare a full-scale military “regime change” assault on Syria, which would have left Syria in the same destroyed condition as Iraq and Libya, under the control of warring terrorist factions. Only because then Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey intervened to stop it did the world avoid another war, which could well have led to a global war with Russia. At that time, Vladimir Putin stepped in to arrange the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, which was accomplished. It was eventually shown by the UN’s Organization for Prevention of Chemical Weapons that the al-Qaeda and ISIS forces do indeed have chemical weapons and the means to produce them, and have in fact used them.
Were the British to succeed in dragging President Trump into a war today, despite Trump’s repeated pledges that there would be no more regime change wars and that the U.S. would work with Russia to address the actual threat—that of terrorism—there is no question but that it would quickly lead to World War III, and a thermonuclear war at that.
In the UN Security Council meeting today, both Russia and China, backed up by Bolivia, not only vetoed the insane U.S./U.K./French resolution, but directly addressed the British Ambassador as a liar and a war-monger. In typical British fashion, the Ambassador had blamed Russia and China for vetoing earlier efforts to launch a war on Assad’s Syria as the reason that the new chemical attack had taken place, lying that it was obvious that this new atrocity was done by Assad. “Your statements are not to be tolerated,” the Chinese Ambassador said. “You must stop abusing the UN Security Council and refrain from such action.” The Russian representative accused the British of “introducing provocations, beyond diplomatic norms. You want the UN Security Council to provide legitimacy for your illegitimate plans.”
Will the Tony Blair/George Bush lies, which launched the perpetual Hell in the Mideast with their illegal war on Iraq in 2003, be repeated today? Will the huge potential for peace and development through global cooperation in the New Silk Road be snuffed out by yet another British atrocity, with American duplicity in the evil of “perfidious Albion?”
We are at a crucial turning point in history. It is precisely the willingness to act by every cognizant human being in this moment of decision which will determine if we have war or peace, destruction or development, civilization or a new Dark Age.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 5 (EIRNS)—The United States, United Kingdom, and France convened an emergency session of the UN Security Council today, to urge passage of a hastily- and shoddily-written resolution that blames Syria for the chemical weapons attack which occurred April 4 in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s Idlib region. The resolution did not pass, voted down by Russia, China, and Bolivia.
Despite the fact that there is no conclusive evidence proving the West’s claim that the Syrian Air Force carried out a chemical weapons attack that killed 100 people, as the UN’s Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-Soo had to admit at today’s UNSC session, this did not prevent the representatives of the U.K., the U.S., France, and their allies from insisting that only the Syrian Air Force possesses the capability to launch such an attack. Led by the United Kingdom, they also directly accused Russia and China of complicity, by virtue of having previously vetoed anti-Syria resolutions.
As Russia’s UN Deputy Acting Envoy Vladimir Safronkov pointed out in his remarks to the UNSC, the resolution presented by France, the U.S., and the U.K. was clearly written in great haste, formulated so as to imply that only the Syrian government could have carried out such an attack.
“Have you even checked what you wrote?” he asked the resolution’s authors. It is, he said, ideological, biased, and based on contradictory evidence from such discredited sources as the Syria Observatory on Human Rights, based in London, and the White Helmets, recognized as connected to al-Qaeda forces. “To approve it would be wrong.”
Expressing “outrage” and “horror” that Syrians are suffering from chemical attacks, the resolution arrogantly issues a series of ultimata to the Syrian government—nary a mention of terrorists—demanding detailed information on Syrian flight plans and air operations from April 4, meetings with military officers “within no more than five days of the date on which such a meeting is requested,” and full access to relevant bases “from which the Joint Investigative Mechanism [JIM] and Fact-Finding Mission [FFM] believe attacks involving chemicals as weapons may have been launched” (emphasis added). The UN Secretary General would also be ordered to report to the UNSC every 30 days on whether Syria is providing the information demanded.
In contrast, this morning Russia’s Chief of the Directorate of Media Services Gen. Igor Konashenkov, reported in detail that a Syrian aircraft had carried out an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, “targeting a major ammunition storage facility of terrorists and a cluster of military hardware. The territory of the storage facility housed workshops of projectiles stuffed with toxic agents.”
Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told pan-Arab Mayadeen TV that the Assad government had provided documented reports to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UNSC over the “past few weeks” about the smuggling of toxic materials into northern Syria by the al-Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front.
April 5 (EIRNS)—At today’s emergency session of the UN Security Council, called by the U.S., the U.K., and France to debate their resolution blaming Syria for the April 4 chemical weapons attack in Idlib, British UN Ambassador Peter Wilson tried to set the tone for the discussion with a raving attack on Russia and China which, he said, had “encouraged” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to kill his own people, by vetoing previous anti-Syria resolutions.
The foolish U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley echoed the British rant with her own wild accusations against Russia for supporting the “illegitimate” and “barbaric” Assad regime and blocking the Security Council’s work.
Bolivian UN Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz responded by reminding those present that “we wouldn’t be sitting here today,” after seven years of war in Syria, had it not been for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and regime-change policies that have sowed chaos in the Middle East.
China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi told Wilson to his face that his statements were “not to be tolerated … don’t hold water,” and that Britain should stop “abusing the Security Council” and “refrain from such actions.” More than anything else, Syria requires a political settlement, he warned. The major urgent priority right now, he said, is strengthening counterterrorism.
Wilson had gone so far as to absolve terrorists of any responsibility, proclaiming that the Idlib attack “doesn’t look like the work of terrorists. We’ve seen nothing to suggest that non-state actors have this capability…. Only one air force”—Syria’s—has used these weapons before. He then challenged Russia: “What is your plan? We had a plan, and you blocked it. Stop blocking and start helping! We expect your unanimous support.”
Looking directly at Wilson, Russia’s Deputy Acting UN envoy Vladimir Safronkov stated that yes, Russia does have a plan: to combat terrorism. As for the U.K., it is “irresponsible,” he said. “Have you taken any responsibility in Syria? No, you don’t. You’re obsessed with regime change. You’re trying to get the UN Security Council to grant you the cover of legitimacy for your illegitimate actions,” he charged. The British ambassador, he said, has gone beyond all diplomatic norms, and his charges against Russia and China are unacceptable. “I would have thought that the diplomatic service of the U.K. would have long ago abandoned these tactics,” Safronkov said.
There is no need for “your resolution” to be passed, he told him. Earlier resolutions allow for a thorough investigation by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), but the latter needs support, staff, and membership with a broader geographical representation, which it currently lacks. While chemical terrorism increases in Syria, he warned, the UNSC has failed to take any meaningful action. It has remained indifferent.
April 5 (EIRNS)—The Trump Administration has moved to revive the Arab peace initiative put forward back in 2002, which would lay the basis for restarting talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Arab media sources (the Egyptian Al Ahram, in particular) reports that the Trump administration had requested the revival of the initiative, which was re-endorsed by the Arab Summit held last month in Jordan.
The London-based Saudi daily Al Hayat claims that at the meeting held on Monday between U.S. President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the possibility of holding an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in the United States this summer was discussed. Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt reportedly raised the initiative with Arab officials.
“One of the ideas that was raised in the Egyptian-American meetings in Washington is holding a peace summit hosted by the United States this summer,” American sources told Al Hayat.
Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states would be expected by the Trump Administration to convince the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.
King Abdullah II of Jordan was in Washington at the same time and met with el-Sisi and met with Trump on April 5 with Middle East peace on the agenda.
Egypt’s Al Ahram reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is preparing to travel to Washington to meet Trump administration officials, if not Trump himself.
In a follow-up to Egyptian President el-Sisi’s one-on-one meeting with President Trump, his delegation met with Trump’s security team, including National Security Advisor Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster. El-Sisi told McMaster that he looks forward to a “fresh start” of Egyptian-U.S. ties following “fruitful” talks in Washington with the U.S. President a day earlier. He also said that security cooperation is an “important pillar of relations between the two countries,” a statement by el-Sisi’s office said.
The statement quoted General McMaster as saying that he looks for “intensified coordination with Egypt in combatting challenges in the Middle East and means to reach solutions that help restore stability in the region.”
El-Sisi met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on the same day, reportedly telling him that Egypt is keen to coordinate and consult with Jordan periodically on different issues. El-Sisi expressed his intent to follow up on the implementation of decisions related to joint Arab cooperation that were adopted at the recent summit that was held in Jordan.
El-Sisi met Tuesday with a number of congressmen, including Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan and Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
During his meetings, el-Sisi underlined the importance of reaching a comprehensive political settlement fair to the Palestinians. He also stressed the importance of the United States’ role in reviving peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 5 (EIRNS)—The Financial Times of London reported today, according to Newsmax, that FBI chief James Comey is setting up a special unit in the FBI headquarters in Washington, is designed to give him “greater insight into the case”—i.e., hands-on control over the color revolution operation against the government of the United States.
“It’s meant to surge resources,” an unnamed FBI agent told the Financial Times. Normally, the agency runs probes out of one of its 56 field offices, they report, but it has created special units in the recent past to deal with WikiLeaks disclosures and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State. The new team will reportedly include about 20 agents brought in from throughout the country.
April 5 (EIRNS)— In a March 31 interview with Xinhua U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that President Trump would roll out his infrastructure program in the third quarter of this year.
“We are working on the outlines and possible details of the infrastructure initiative. A package will be coming out later … in the next several months,” she added, without further elaboration. She also indicated that there would be a possibility for foreign companies to become involved in the project.
According to The Hill today, Chao briefed 45 legislators on the program, and in an address to 52 business leaders at the White House yesterday, she indicated that legislation could be ready as soon as May. Speaking at the same meeting, President Trump said that the package will be very large and will focus on projects that can get underway soon.
“So we have to build roads. We have to build highways. We’re talking about a very major infrastructure bill of a trillion dollars, perhaps more,” he said. “We’re going to be very strong that it has to be spent on shovels and not on other programs. If you have a job that you can’t start within 90 days, we’re not going to give you the money for it.” Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, said that Trump’s infrastructure program covers a wide variety of projects. “We’ve taken the broadest possible interpretation of infrastructure.”
Chao told Xinhua that the United States “could certainly learn from other countries,” and that “there are (infrastructure) technologies and skill sets that we don’t possess in the United States.” President Trump has repeatedly praised the up-to-date infrastructure facilities in places like Dubai, Qatar and China. However, Chao said that whether foreign companies would be allowed to participate in Trump’s new infrastructure programs is still a “subject of discussion right now.” Even if they are granted access, she said, foreign companies also need to change their old way of doing business in the United States.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
April 5 (EIRNS)—Germany’s MDR Radio exposed last night that the EU Commission funded the transformation of a onetime farm near the German-Czech border into a bordello, with €40,000. The official name of the outfit is “Party Night Club,” with extreme animations offered in the former pigsty.
The affair is the more obnoxious, as the EU Commission is otherwise unwilling to spend a single euro on any serious investments. The much-advertised European Investment Fund (“Juncker Plan”) is a mirage, as the EU Commission’s role in it consists of nothing more than providing credit risk guarantees in the range of up to €28 billion. This, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (after whom the Fund is named) claims is an incentive for private sector investors to put out €600 billion-plus for projects. However, now two years since the creation of this Fund, no substantial financing has been committed for projects.
April 5 (EIRNS)—One wonders whether the British are pulling out of the European Union in order to have a union with Saudi Arabia. British Prime Minister Theresa May paid a very high-profile visit to Saudi Arabia, supposedly on a post-Brexit mission to sound out the Saudis for a new trade agreement once the British pull out of the EU.
Nonetheless, she is doing what British Prime Ministers do best, selling weapons to genocidal regimes. The fact that Saudi Arabia is using British weapons and ammunition to conduct genocide in Yemen has not gone unnoticed. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized the trip, saying the British-Saudi relationship was “damaging to the people of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the wider Middle East” while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said May was “putting profit before principle and cozying up to Saudi Arabia.”
May’s answer to this criticism is to say that building a relationship with Saudi Arabia is better than “standing on the sidelines and sniping” and she would bring up the Yemen issue with the Saudis.
Yet May’s visit will be followed by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who will all visit Saudi Arabia in the coming months. So much for British hypocrisy.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 5 (EIRNS)—Among other issues, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Finland today touched on China’s interest in the Arctic. Finland begins its rotating presidency in the Arctic Council in May 2017, and Finland will bring China’s voice to the Council to improve plans on Arctic affairs, Lassi Heininen, professor of Arctic Politics in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Lapland, told People’s Daily yesterday.
Currently, the only way for non-Arctic countries to participate in Arctic affairs is through the Arctic Council. The council is an intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by Arctic states and its people, and only states with territory in the Arctic can be members. With support from Finland, China became an observer of the Arctic Council in 2013.
Two factors, its peak population and second-largest economy, proved that China would play a significant role in future Arctic affairs, Heininen said. At present, Arctic countries mostly cooperate with each other rather than with non-Arctic countries, so cooperation between Finland and China in the Arctic Council would be an unprecedented innovative model for state-to-state cooperation on Arctic affairs, he pointed out.
April 5 (EIRNS)—According to World Nuclear News (WNN) today, Nur Bekri, director of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), and Thai Energy Minister Anantaporn Kanchanarat signed an agreement in Beijing on March 29 whereby China and Thailand will cooperate on nuclear power, power networking, power trading and other areas of potential cooperation.
“China is very willing to provide Thailand with the most advanced, most economical and safest nuclear power technology, as well as equipment, management experience and quality service,” China General Nuclear (CGN) stated that same day.
For years now, Thailand has cooperated with China on nuclear power, although Thailand does not have a nuclear power plant. In January Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding signed an equity joint-venture contract with CGN and the Guangxi Investment Group Co .(GIG), for the company to develop, construct and operate the two nuclear power plants for Phase II of China’s Fangchenggang nuclear project.
According to WNN, Thailand’s National Energy Policy Council commissioned a feasibility study for a nuclear power plant in the country, and in 2007 approved a Power Development Plan for 2007-2021, including the construction of 4000 MW of nuclear generating capacity, starting up in 2020-21. The new Power Development Plan 2010-30, approved in 2010, envisages five 1000 MW units starting up over 2020-28.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
April 5 (EIRNS)—Despite the insistence over the past eight years under Obama that there was no reason for mankind to go back to the Moon, it was evident at a panel discussion among 15 nations’ space agency heads participating in a conference panel on April 4 at the Space Symposium in Colorado, that every other nation is planning to do just that.
Until now, NASA has been forbidden to plan manned lunar missions, and instead has had to focus on some magical future mission to Mars. This has opened the door to every crackpot idea for private lunar missions, and one-way trips to the red planet.
In contrast, almost all the space agency heads stated their countries’ plans to go first to the Moon, to develop the science, the technology, and resources that will enable the mission to Mars. This would also allow time to develop the nuclear and fusion propulsion capabilities needed for cargo and crew transport to Mars. As Roscosmos head Igor Komarov said simply at a press conference: “We should go to the Moon.”
European Space Agency head Jan Woerner promoted his “Moon Village” idea, and was supported in that direction by Yulong Tian, Secretary General of the China National Space Administration. “In the coming five to ten years,” said Tian, “we have a few missions to the polar regions of the Moon, including establishment of a lunar base, or part of the Moon Village.” He did not indicate if this would include manned missions to the lunar surface. He outlined China’s planned robotic lunar missions, including the sample return mission which will launch later this year.
NASA is promoting what it calls a “Deep Space Gateway,” which would be a small facility in lunar orbit, built supposedly in partnership with industry, for visits and short-term stays by crew. No manned landings are included. Given a change in policy, and the budgetary back-up, NASA, in concert with the other nations, could pick up development of the Constellation lunar lander project which was cancelled by Obama.