EIR Daily Alert Service
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017
Volume 4, Number 76
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
April 17 (EIRNS)—The British have declared openly that aggressive war may be illegal under international law—but not in the United Kingdom! The Guardian of London reports today that, in a case brought against Tony Blair by victims of Blair’s illegal Iraq War, charging that Blair knowingly lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction and then launching a war of aggression against a nation in no way threatening the U.K., the Queen’s Counsel Jeremy Wright has intervened to dismiss the case. His argument: Blair is immune from prosecution and, most incredibly, that a war of aggression is not a crime under British law. There you have it.
Just yesterday the Sunday Times of London claimed to be speaking for the U.S. government (from “unnamed sources” in the U.S. military) to say that President Trump is about to launch a preemptive war of aggression against North Korea, fantasizing that such an attack could take out North Korea’s entire nuclear weapons capacity. Any sane person knows that an attack on North Korea would unleash a war that would not only rain terror across Asia, but almost certainly provoke a world nuclear holocaust. In fact, Trump himself and his National Security Advisor General McMaster on Sunday said that pressures against North Korea would stop short of military action.
Lyndon LaRouche today pointed to Vladimir Putin, working with China and potentially with the U.S. under President Trump, as the necessary point person for bringing about a sane resolution to the Korea crisis. In fact, Putin had arranged the seed crystal of a solution over the past decade, establishing a new port facility in North Korea’s northeast region of Rason, and shipping Russian coal through that port into South Korea, in league with both private and state-owned entities in South Korea (Hyundai Marine, the state steel company POSCO, and the state rail company KORAIL). This cooperation on joint development by all the countries of the region is the necessary precondition for resolving the political and strategic crisis on the Korean Peninsula, and leading to eventual reunification. The recently impeached former President of South Korea Park Geun-hye, by capitulating to Obama’s drive for military confrontation with China, had shut down every constructive policy between Seoul and the North Koreans, while also agreeing to the highly provocative deployment of U.S. THAAD missiles in the South—a serious destabilization of the balance of power and a provocation against both China and Russia.
LaRouche had played a crucial role back in 1992 in steps to resolve the festering Korea crisis, under President Kim Dae-jung, when on September 18, 2002, the DMZ fences were opened up and reconstruction of the rail connections between North and South Korea were restored. LaRouche had authored the concept of a “New Silk Road” in 1992, building high-speed rail connections “from Pusan to Rotterdam.” President Kim adopted the concept, calling the Korean rail plan the “Iron Silk Road,” saying: “When the Trans-Korean Railway is linked with the Trans-China or the Trans-Siberian Railway, a train leaving London could reach Seoul and Pusan via Paris, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia or China.”
But that was the era of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who moved in to crush any cooperation between North and South Korea, by falsely declaring North Korea to be secretly building nuclear weapons. The IAEA inspectors were then forced to leave, and the North did in fact begin a nuclear weapons program, to the point that they now have produced 10-20 nuclear bombs. After observing what Bush and Cheney did to Iraq, and what Obama did to Libya, when those two nations voluntarily gave up their nuclear weapons programs only to be bombed back to the stone age, there is zero chance that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons program, unless the U.S. also agrees to end its threats of military strikes and regime change.
Will Trump follow orders from London, or will he live up to his campaign promises to be friends with both Russia and China, in order to end the British Empire’s division of the world into warring factions, especially East versus West? The potential now exists to realize LaRouche’s call for a new paradigm, based on development of all nations, through the New Silk Road.
This depends heavily on the capacity of the American people, and their leaders, to identify the British Imperial hand in driving a wedge between the U.S. and its natural partners in Russia and China, willing even to provoke a global nuclear war. Civilization depends on truth and sanity at this turning point in history. As a poster at a LaRouche Political Action Committee rally in Manhattan on Sunday said: “Get Trump Back On Track—Maglev, Not War.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 17 (EIRNS)—In an April 15 article in Politico, William Perry, former Defense Secretary under Bill Clinton, puts forth the argument that the current crisis in the Korean Peninsula, while at an extremely dangerous point, is perhaps the best moment for a solution. He argues that the successful agreement in 1994 (the General Framework) for the North to stop their nuclear weapons program and shut down their plutonium-producing nuclear plant in exchange for a non-plutonium producing nuclear plant, worked very well until Bush and Cheney came in and sabotaged it. The result: the North proceeded to build nuclear weapons, and now have between 10-20.
But, Perry writes, “The danger is not, as some believe, that North Korea will make good on its bluster and actually launch a surprise nuclear attack. The North Korean leadership, while it is evil and sometimes reckless, is not crazy or suicidal…. It knows that if it launches a nuclear attack, the American response would bring death to the leadership and devastation to its country.”
But, the North now worries that Trump will actually attack, just as the Clinton Administration was seriously considering attacked the nuclear facility in North Korea. Therefore, he says, it is urgent that Trump make the same offer Perry and Clinton were offering to go beyond the General Framework: establish normal relations with the North, giving up “regime change” and threats of military action, in exchange for ending the nuclear weapons program. The fact that China is in general agreement is another factor for moving now (and, he should have added, with Russia as well).
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 17 (EIRNS)—The fact that “aggressive war” is not a crime under British law, plus the risk of disclosure of “Official Secrets,” is being used to attempt to protect former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Jack Straw, and Lord Goldsmith from prosecution for war crimes in the 2003 Iraq War, in a case brought against these war-criminals by victims of the Iraq war, the Guardian reported yesterday.
Based on the damning findings of the July 2016 Chilcot Commission, Blair is facing a new private prosecution for the Iraq War, which seeks the conviction of Blair for the crime of lying about Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and launching a war of aggression.
The case had been dismissed, with the ruling that Blair was immune from prosecution in order to protect state secrets.
But that ruling is being appealed. Now, the Queen’s Counsel (Britain’s Attorney General) Jeremy Wright is entering the case, arguing not only that Blair must be given immunity, but that, although wars of aggression are a crime under international law, they are legal under British law!
However, a modern demonstration of Friedrich Schiller’s “Ibykus principle” has provided certain crucial evidence: in his 2003 memo on the legality of the Iraq War, then-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith appeared to concede the key point of those now seeking his (and Blair’s) prosecution: Goldsmith wrote, “Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law.”
Lawyer for the plaintiffs Imran Khan told the Guardian April 16, my client “is baffled as to why it is that despite the Chilcot report making it very clear that the war was illegal, attempts are now being made to prevent those responsible from entering a court, let alone being prosecuted for what they did. Everybody, including the Attorney General [Goldsmith], should welcome this court case. It is an opportunity for many millions of people to get justice for something which caused immeasurable damage not just to the people of Iraq, but all those others that were affected by these events around the world.”
April 17 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke out today against the U.K.’s UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft’s pronouncement at the UN Security Council that samples from the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province on April 4 were sarin.
Lavrov said, “There is an interesting coincidence—the British lead the fact-finding mission, they have not told anyone what this mission is doing, but the U.K. researchers have already examined the samples. I think that we are lodging a request to see what is going on today,” said Lavrov at a press conference.
Lavrov also pointed out that two fact-finding departments of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were headed by U.K. nationals, which “does not really comply with the principles of an international organization which envisages the structure of all the bodies as balanced as possible.”
April 17 (EIRNS)—In an article posted on April 12, Sputnik highlighted efforts in both Damascus and Baghdad at closer cooperation against terrorism between the two countries. The report quoted both Iraqi and Syrian officials and experts stressing that this is a necessity. On April 10, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Feisal Mikdad had told RIA Novosti that Damascus is keen to extend its military cooperation with neighboring Iraq in the fight against terrorism. This, of course, begs the question of the U.S. role in Iraq and Syria, since Washington is officially aligned with the Iraq government, but opposed to the Syrian government.
“We need more and more coordination and cooperation” with Iraq, Mikdad said. “We already coordinate with the Iraqi army and have set up a center in Iraq for military cooperation which is playing a role in one way or another. We need more coordination.” The center to which Mikdad was referring is the information exchange center in Baghdad set up by Iraq, Syria, Russia, and Iran in the fall of 2015.
Iraqi military expert Amir al Saidi told Sputnik that there is an urgent need for the two countries to increase their military cooperation, but the task is complicated by the presence of so many foreign players.
“The relationship between the armies of Syria and Iraq is affected by a lot of players, not only the U.S. but Turkey and Iran, even Saudi Arabia and Jordan,” he said. “How is it that America can carry out an operation to liberate prisoners in Raqqa, but Iraq can’t? Hundreds of people are being held captive by Daesh [ISIS] in Syria. Neither Syria nor Iraq can cope with terrorism on their own.”
Two earlier inflection points in the development of Iraqi-Syrian cooperation against ISIS include the following:
On Jan. 5, Syrian President Bashar al Assad received Faleh al-Fayad, the national security advisor of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi, in Damascus. Syria’s official SANA reported at the time that al-Fayad conveyed to Assad an oral message from al-Abadi in which he affirmed the importance of cooperation and coordination between Syria and Iraq in their war against the terrorist organizations and the need to enhance this cooperation in the coming period. Al-Fayad’s visit to Damascus came as Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militias were marching towards the Iraqi-Syrian border, in an operation to clean ISIS out of western Anbar province.
On Feb. 24, Iraqi warplanes hit ISIS targets inside Syria for the first time.
“We are determined to chase terrorism that tries to kill our sons and citizens, wherever it is found, so we gave orders to the air force command to strike Islamic State positions in [the Iraqi town of] Hosaiba and Albu Kamal inside Syrian territory as they were responsible for recent bombings in Baghdad,” al-Abadi said in a statement after the air strikes. Reuters reported at the time that the strikes were carried out in coordination with the Syrian military and that the U.S. military was well aware of that coordination.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
April 17 (EIRNS)—The Financial Times has deployed its two men in Washington, Patrick Jenkins and Barney Jopson, to push for a “Glass-Steagall Lite” that Wall Street could accept. The FT claims that “support is emerging for a watered-down version of Glass-Steagall” and that Gary Cohn told bankers privately that “little was likely to come of the Glass-Steagall plan.”
The FT backs a compromise solution based on the British ringfencing model of Vickers, and claims that FDIC vice chairman Thomas Hoenig himself had conceded that “the Vickers Commission did a great job.”
What becomes clear is that Wall Street and the City of London are terrified of a real Glass-Steagall.
“It would be very disruptive,” said one top bank lobbyist in Washington. Another top banker said the plan was a “brush fire that threatens to turn into a conflagration.”
Of course, the fact that a full-blown Glass-Steagall bill has been reintroduced by high-ranking Democrats and Republicans such as Warren and McCain—which the FT is forced to report—is at odds with the FT claim that “chances of it gathering broad enough support to get through Congress are not high.” But as usual, reports by British mouthpieces are to be taken as declarations of intent and not as news reports.
Such intents are: get a “watered-down version of Glass-Steagall legislation,” which would “loosen rules governing the levels of capital and liquid funding for investment banking arms.” Such a “Glass-Steagall Lite,” says a Wall Street boss quoted by the FT, “could liberate investment banking to stand on its own two feet.”
April 17 (EIRNS)—Bloomberg today acknowledged that all the hype about China’s pending economic breakdown was bunk. “China Roars Back To Lift Global Outlook as U.S. Consumer Weakens,” ran its headline, reporting that the first-quarter growth figure in China reached 6.9%, above even Beijing’s target for the year of 6.5%. They also note that it was done “without worsening credit risk,” countering another Western mantra that Chinese growth was only due to out-of-control government credit generation.
What they don’t note, is that this growth is largely due to the New Silk Road, through “production sharing” with other nations through win-win cooperation.
Bloomberg acknowledges that the spurt of growth in China means that China’s share in world growth in 2017 will likely be the same one-third as in 2016.
They also write that the rest of Asia’s nations are the most positively affected by this growth, with Chinese imports from the ten ASEAN nations having “surged 22.7% in March from a year earlier,” while imports from Australia increased by 75%.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 17 (EIRNS)—The May issue of News China, published in New York, reports that a TV show called “Chinese Poetry Conference” on Chinese-language CCTV, featuring Classical Chinese poetry from the Tang and Song Dynasties (the high point in Classical poetry), as well as contemporary poetry written in the Classical style, has taken the nation by storm. The show has received 1.16 billion viewers this year.
The show combines recitation competition in a quiz show format, including competitions and questions such as filling in a missing character from poems by famous Classical poets.
Most interesting is that many of the contestants are average working people, some with little formal education, who are passionate about Classical poetry. One is a 65-year-old bike repairman from Inner Mongolia who recited one of his more than 1,000 Classical poems, which he writes and posts outside his shop, offering a free beer to anyone who can suggest a better character in a poem.
The News China report says that such Classical poetry has generally fallen out of education curricula and general popular culture, but that in light of the popularity of this show, “many wonder whether a renaissance of traditional culture is afoot.”
A 16-year-old high school student from Shanghai, Wu Yishu, was the winner of the spring series and has become a national hero, with many articles coming out along the lines of: “How To Educate Your Child To Become Another Wu Yishu.”
It should be noted that Classical poetry did not use the “combinations” of characters used in spoken Chinese, but used single characters which have many different possible meanings, which makes the poetry more complex, more ironic, and subject to many different interpretations, which makes the potential metaphorical implication far more rich. Modern poetry, particularly since the 1919 May 4th movement, is based primarily on the spoken language.
April 17 (EIRNS)—A Chinese business delegation is in Damascus investigating the possibility of investment in the reconstruction and development of Syrian industry. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, Syrian Industry Minister Ahmad al-Hamo met with a delegation from the Chinese-Arab Friendship Association (CAFA) on Sunday over possible Chinese investment in Syria’s industry and participation in the rehabilitation of companies and industrial establishments that were destroyed by terrorist attacks.
The minister pointed to the various industries where Chinese investment would be welcome, including cement, glass, sandstone, basalt, photovoltaic cells, renewable energy industries, and the investment of raw materials available in Syria, in addition to food and pharmaceutical industries.
The visiting delegation affirmed that Chinese companies are keen to contribute to Syria’s industry, and stressed that CAFA has close relations with 200 major Chinese companies which carry out their projects at a high level. The minister said the Association plans to set up a Syrian-Chinese investment conference in Beijing during the coming period. The main objective of their visit, he said, is to convey the true image to Chinese companies about investment opportunities in Syria and to provide lists of projects, investment guarantees, policies of support, financial facilitations, and other incentives to attract Chinese companies to work in Syria and help in the reconstruction phase in all fields.
April 17 (EIRNS)—As the guest speaker at the Mexico-China Cooperation Forum, held April 12 in Mexico City, Gov. Marcos Mena of Tlaxcala emphasized that relations between the two nations stand “at one of their best moments,” which is a source of pride, and offers numerous opportunities for expanded cooperation on a number of fronts.
Mena, who participated in the March 23-27 trip to China of the Mexican Governors Association (CONAGO), told his audience, that the people of Tlaxcala “are very proud of the contact we’ve established with China through the Chinese People’s International Friendship Association,” and underscored that “the possibility of continuing to make progress economically inspires us.” He pointed out that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Chinese President Xi Jinping have established a closer relationship, and mentioned the positive results of the CONAGO delegation’s trip to China.
The Forum’s conference was organized by the Guangdong provincial government, the Chinese Embassy in Mexico, the Mexican Consul in Guangzhou, and China Southern Airlines, among others, El Sol de Tlaxcala reported today. Its purpose was to deepen cooperation at all levels—economic, cultural, tourist, and people-to-people, as well as to establish business relationships and promote educational exchange. Guangdong is one of China’s most important provinces, with a high level of economic development and technological innovation.
Among the attendees were Asian diplomats and businessmen, Mexican government officials and businessmen, representatives of the Guangdong Business Delegation, Mexico’s consul general in Guangzhou, former Mexican Ambassador to China Sergio Ley, now head of the Asia/Oceania Department of the Mexican Foreign Trade Business Council, and the Vice President of China Southern Airlines, whose inaugural flight from Guangzhou to Mexico City, via Vancouver, was completed on April 11.
April 17 (EIRNS)—In a March 25 press conference in Mexico City, Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), spoke of the “enormous opportunities” offered by China’s relationship with the nations of Ibero-America and the Caribbean, in the framework of which, she said, the idea is to create “a win-win situation.” Discussion with China is underway as to how to achieve that, she said, looking beyond Ibero-America’s traditional role as a raw materials supplier, “and it is very interesting.”
Indeed. In an April 7 interview with Xinhua, Peru’s Ambassador to China Juan Carlos Capunay underscored that his nation will benefit greatly from its new membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), once this is completed, but stressed that “sooner or later” all Ibero-American nations will have to turn to this new multilateral financing entity. He noted that the AIIB is very much linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to connect Asia with Europe and Africa. “Now Peru,” he said, “wants to extend the project to Latin America.”
In an interview with Xinhua, quoted by América Economía April 13, members of the Argentine group “Asia Viewers,” made up of Asia experts, stressed the importance of the AIIB for all of Ibero-America and expressed the hope that the Belt and Road Initiative will extend to the entire region, as the latter “requires infrastructure investment and development of connectivity and logistics.” It is also crucial, they said, that Argentina join the AIIB, as it “is a fundamental organization for building the large infrastructure projects required by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.” The advantage of the AIIB, they noted, is that it can provide “considerable amounts to improve the quality of economic growth … while at the same time allowing regional governments to free up their budgets for social investment programs.”
In an April 16 press conference in Beijing, Xinhua reported today, Shao Yingjun, advisor to China’s Commerce Ministry, stressed that “cooperation between China and Latin America on infrastructure has immense possibilities, and an increase in collaboration in that sector will contribute to raising the quality of our economic and trade cooperation.” On June 1-2, parallel to the 8th International Forum on Infrastructure and Construction in Macau, there will be a forum on China-Latin America Infrastructure Cooperation, she announced.