EIR Daily Alert Service
THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2017
Volume 4, Number 73
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- British Are Furious: U.S. and Russia To Establish a ‘Working Group’
- Progress Seen in Tillerson Talks with Lavrov and Putin
- Russia Confronts Britain at UN Security Council: ‘You Fear U.S. and Russia Might Cooperate’
- Putin Slams Western Allies ‘Nodding like Bobble Heads’ over Airstrike on Syria
- Xi Jinping and Trump Discuss Korean Peninsula, Syria in Phone Conversation
- Chinese Envoy in South Korea Says Sanctions against North Korea Are Not Enough
- House Members Tell White House: Congress Must Authorize Any Military Action in Yemen, Syria
- Postol: White House Report Contains No Evidence of Culpability for Syria Gas Attack
- Sen. Richard Black: ‘We Don’t Need the British Pushing Us into Confrontation with Russia!’
- Japanese Prime Minister To Visit Moscow on April 27-28, Kyodo Reports
- Jacques Cheminade Visits Museum of Franco-Chinese Friendship at Montargis
April 12 (EIRNS)—At the UN Security Council meeting today— called to vote on yet another anti-Syria resolution by the U.K., France and the U.S.A.—the truth rang out that the aim of Britain’s foreign policy is to destroy any chance of the United States and Russia working together. This was said forcefully by Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov, directly to British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, who had just denounced Russia for backing Bashar al Assad in Syria. Safronkov told Rycroft that he was acting to thwart the peace efforts of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, and sow confrontation in the Security Council, because, “you are afraid that we might work with the U.S. This is what you lose sleep over.”
In effect, the Russian diplomat nailed the evil nature of the dying British Empire, which is intervening to play off East versus West, and each against all, in attempt to stay on top of the heap, even to the point of risking provoking nuclear war.
In Moscow, the very thing Britain fears so much, came about today, even if in small measure. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, then with President Vladimir Putin. At the joint press conference afterward by Tillerson and Lavrov, they announced that a “working group” would be established between the two nations, to be made up of envoys that Russia and the United States will designate. The mandate is to take up lesser matters, given so many differences; but the consultative process will be underway.
Lavrov said that the two nations share a “special responsibility” for the “strategic responsibility” for the world. Tillerson spoke of how today’s meetings, “represent a continuation of our communications and discussions and dialogue that began in Bonn” at the G20 foreign ministers meeting in February.
It was explicitly stated by both officials that deep differences remain on Syria. But Mr. Lavrov reported that it was discussed with President Putin, to potentially restore the memorandum on deconfliction, given certain conditions.
At the same time, experts internationally are coming forward to expose the British-orchestrated lies about the Syrian government gassing its people. This backs up the growing demand for a real investigation of the charges against Syria, which were the pretext for the April 4 U.S. bombing of the Shayrat airbase in Syria. Russia is filing for such an investigation with The Hague. The British have already responded to that, with Rycroft announcing today, they will “be at The Hague” tomorrow, opposing an investigation.
Today a powerful study was issued, refuting the four-page White House document released yesterday, which falsely asserted that Syria is conclusively guilty of using chemical weapons on its people. Theodore Postol, a weapons technology expert, Professor Emeritus of MIT, wrote a 14-page “A Quick Turnaround Assessment” of the 4-page White House April 11 document; Postol included satellite images and detailed analyses. He states that, “I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the [White House] document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the U.S. government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria … on April 4, 2017.” Postol’s refutation is now getting international attention.
Not only has a critical new connection been made between Russia and the United States, despite all the British Empire filthy tricks, but likewise there is the China-United States connection. It is important that today, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump spoke by phone on the very dangerous situation regarding North Korea, and also discussed Syria.
These are the key developments on the eve of the historic Schiller Institute international April 13-14 conference in Manhattan—“U.S.-China Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and Corresponding Ideas in Chinese and Western Philosophy.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 12 (EIRNS)—“We understand each other better after today’s talks,” was the comment by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following today’s meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also met with President Vladimir Putin for two hours. Tillerson described the latter meeting as “productive,” and according to several media reports, Putin raised the possibility of restoring the memorandum for deconfliction, which Russia cancelled following the U.S.’s April 6 missile attack on the Shayrat airfield in Syria.
While the usual suspects in the lying mainstream media insist that the meetings were fraught with tension, “frosty,” unfriendly, etc., the statements made by both men, as well as the report on Tillerson’s meeting with Putin, suggest something more substantive—moving in the right direction, albeit with small steps. Syria was clearly a major bone of contention: Tillerson insisted that Bashar al Assad was guilty of carrying out chemical weapons attacks against his population, claiming that evidence was “conclusive,” and that Assad can have no role in Syria’s future. Lavrov, Sputnik reported, insisted that Washington has provided “no proof” of Assad’s alleged April 4 chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province, stressing there must be a “presumption of innocence,” until a complete investigation is carried out.
But in public remarks, after pointing out that “there’s a low level of trust between our two countries,” Tillerson said that “the world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship…. We need to attempt to put an end to this steady degradation.” Moscow and Washington, he continued, should end “tit-for-tat” strategies which can provoke tensions. Toward this end, they agreed to set up a working group to address solving low-level problems. Lavrov expressed the hope that the bilateral presidential commission, which “Obama buried,” could be set up.
Lavrov also remarked in their joint press conference that the U.S. and Moscow “are not worlds apart” on many key issues. But, he emphasized, “we need to learn the lessons of the past—otherwise we cannot be successful in the present.” He then recounted the history of NATO’s many interventions in its obsession to remove “totalitarian” leaders, citing the case of the former Yugoslavia, Libya, as well as the disaster Obama created in Sudan and South Sudan. “We’ve seen all this before,” he said, and it doesn’t end well.
According to Fox News, the two governments have agreed to a serious UN investigation into the April 4 incident in Idlib, and in terms of charges that Russia was “complicit” in the April 4 chemical attack in Idlib, Tillerson said the U.S. has no reason to believe that Moscow aided or abetted that attack.
April 12 (EIRNS)—At a UN Security Council meeting called today to debate a slightly-revised draft of the April 5 resolution on Syria presented by the U.S., the U.K., and France, which was voted down, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Vladimir Safronkov, identified the United Kingdom, through its Permanent Representative Matthew Rycroft, as the biggest saboteur of any attempts to resolve the Syrian crisis, and of “complicating” the work of Special UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura in the region.
Responding to Rycroft’s anti-Russia diatribe, in which he had charged that Russia had lost all credibility in the eyes of the world because of its support for the “barbaric” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and had consistently “abused” its veto at the UNSC, Safronkov got right to the point.
“What you are afraid of,” he told Rycroft, is that “we might work with the United States. That’s what you lose sleep over.” As Rycroft looked away, Safronkov told him, “Look at me! I’m speaking to you! Don’t look away!” The U.K. does nothing to achieve a political solution in Syria, he continued. On the contrary, “you invite illegal armed groups to London,” groups that murder Christians and minorities in the Middle East. “You advance their interests. What are you doing” to advance a political solution, Safronkov asked. “Regime change is more important to you” than what the majorities of the UNSC think.
Rycroft’s insulting remarks about Russia were such that Safronkov felt compelled to call on UNSC rotating president, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, to enforce the rules of conduct.
“It is unacceptable,” he told Rycroft, “for you to insult Russia.”
Joining Safronkov in his attacks on imperial Britain was Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al Jaafari, who was attending a UNSC meeting for the first time in three months. This current UNSC session, he said, reminded him of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s appearance in this same room in February 2003, during which he swore that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). It appears, he said, that “Britain’s Brexit from the European Union may have encouraged it to seek a new role for it in the world by using irrational and extreme statements and positions in this Council.” This, he said, “reminds us of the criminal role of Tony Blair, his role in the invasion of Iraq 14 years ago after fabricating lies about Iraqi WMDs.”
Al Jaafari reported that Syria has sent 90 letters to the UNSC documenting the fact that terrorist groups possess chemical weapons, and providing details on the smuggling of sarin gas from Libya, through Turkey, into Syria, with names, dates, and vehicle identification data. The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) confirmed in 2014 that Syria no longer had chemical weapons. Moreover, he recalled, “U.S. ships in the Mediterranean destroyed those chemical weapons. What an irony.” Syria, he reported, has sent a letter to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), calling on it to send a technical mission to Khan Shaykhun, site of the alleged April 4 chemical attack, and also to the Shayrat airbase attacked by the U.S. Tomahawk missiles, April 6, to begin a competent investigation.
April 12 (EIRNS)—On April 11, on the eve of his official visit to Kyrgyzstan and before his meeting with Rex Tillerson, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted an interview to Mir television and radio broadcasting company. After reviewing the international strategic situation, Putin stated that U.S.-Russia relations “have probably worsened” to a point even worse than under Obama.
“We all witnessed the recent U.S. airstrikes against Syria. How did the American NATO allies react? They all nodded away in docile agreement, without even bothering to analyze what was actually happening. Where is the proof that the Syrian government forces used chemical weapons? There is no proof. However, there has been a violation of international law. This is a clear and evident fact. An airstrike has been carried out against a sovereign state without the UN Security Council’s approval. But despite this flagrant violation of international law, they all just nod their agreement and give their support….
“The same thing happened back in 2003, when a pretext was concocted to justify sending troops to Iraq. The country was destroyed as a result, and it was after this that we saw the rapid emergence of various terrorist organizations and groups, the emergence of ISIS and other organizations. Everyone knows this, but here they go, making the same mistakes again.”
Putin suggested two possibilities as to what happened on April 4. “The first is that the Syrian bombs hit a secret chemical weapons facility. This is quite possible, considering that the terrorists have used chemical weapons many times, and nobody has contested this fact. They have used these weapons in Iraq against the international coalition and the Iraqi army. These attacks have been recorded, but they are hushed up. There is no outrage over them, although everyone agreed that the terrorists have used toxic agents…
“According to the second version, it was a staged provocation, a deliberate incident designed to create a pretext for increasing pressure on the legitimate Syrian authorities…. But it must be investigated. We believe that no move should be made against the Syrian authorities otherwise.”
Given that 2017 is the 25th anniversary of founding of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of which Kyrgyzstan is a member state, much of the interview deals with the Community of Independent States (CIS) and the security questions.
April 12 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the situation in North Korea with U.S President Donald Trump on a telephone call on April 12, China’s state broadcaster CGTN said. The White House characterized the call as “very productive.”
According to CGTN, Xi stressed that a resolution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula should be achieved by peaceful means and called for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through diplomatic channels. He said he is ready to maintain dialogue on the issue with the United States. Xi also said China remains committed to the political solution of the Syrian crisis.
“China considers unacceptable any use of chemical weapons in Syria. It is necessary to adhere to settling the Syrian crisis by political means,” Xi was quoted as saying by CGTN.
Following the discussion, Trump said, “I was very pleased to accept President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago, and to hold a meeting with him. This meeting was very successful. Maintaining close contacts between the two leaders is very important. I hope to make a state visit to China.”
April 12 (EIRNS)—China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei has been on a four-day visit to South Korea. High on the agenda of his meetings was the matter of North Korea and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Wu met with South Korea’s chief nuclear envoy Kim Hongkyun, but gave no statements to the media. Kim said that during his discussions, Wu had repeated his country’s opposition to the U.S. deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery. Kim said there was no mention of any military option in his talks with Wu. The two also did not discuss any possible strike against the North by the Trump administration, he said.
“Both sides agreed that despite the international community’s warnings, if North Korea makes strategic provocations such as a nuclear test or an ICBM launch, there should be strong additional measures in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions,” Kim said, and going further that the two sides agreed that “an even stronger UN resolution” must be adopted in the event of additional weapons test by North Korea.
China’s Global Times daily reports that Wu urged South Korea to help resume talks, because only multilateral dialogue will prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Wu also said sanctions against North Korea are not enough to make a breakthrough in denuclearization efforts.
Wu also met with South Korean presidential candidates, including Song Young-gil, the campaign manager of Minjoo Party presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, and Park Jie-won, the chairman of the centrist People’s Party, whose presidential candidate is former software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo. He will also meet the presidential candidate of the conservative Bareun Party, Yoo Seung-mi, and Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong Joon-pyo.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 12 (EIRNS)—Fifty-five Members of the House have sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, demanding that the President seek authorization from Congress before any military escalation in Yemen.
Addressing the report that administration officials are proposing that the U.S. participate in attacking Yemen’s major port, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) warned that any such attack “could push the country into full-blown famine.” This letter, he said, “is a first step in reasserting our Constitutional check on presidential powers. I am committed to pursuing all tools at our disposal to ensure President Trump abides by our Constitution before possibly plunging our country into another senseless conflict…. President Trump does not have the authority to send U.S. forces to battle the Houthis in Yemen, period.”
A similar sentiment was expressed in the Senate yesterday, when Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Military Humanitarian Operations Act, which would require Congressional approval before any military operations were conducted to fulfill a humanitarian purpose. Lee pointed out that President Trump and other administration officials may be contemplating other attacks in Syria in retaliation for other attacks on civilians or for broader humanitarian purposes.
“While such operations and interventions are well intentioned,” Senator Lee said, “recent history has shown they are often risky and may result in unintended consequences that are detrimental to our national security,… They should only be undertaken after serious consideration and approval by the elected representatives of the American people, ensuring that public accountability on war-making decisions exists,” the Salt Lake Tribune quoted him as saying.
April 12 (EIRNS)—Prof. Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, issued a 14-page document today, refuting the 4-page “dossier” issued by the White House, yesterday, which supposedly proves that the government of Bashar al Assad was responsible for the April 4 chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib governorate.
“I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the U.S. government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria at roughly 6 to 7 a.m. on April 4, 2017,” Postol writes.
The evidence that is available suggests, in fact, Postol reports, that the attack was executed by individuals on the ground, and not from an aircraft.
Postol’s own assessment of the imagery used to draw conclusions about the source of the gas is that it “was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House.”
“The only indisputable fact stated in the White House report is the claim that a chemical attack using nerve agent occurred in Khan Shaykhun, Syria on that morning,” Postol writes. “Although the White House statement repeats this point in many places within its report, the report contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft. In fact, the report contains absolutely no evidence that would indicate who was the perpetrator of this atrocity.”
Postol’s report makes use of Google Earth and other images, diagrams, and detailed analysis of the photographs provided by the White House.
April 12 (EIRNS)—State Senator Richard Black, a retired Marine combat veteran, former lead prosecutor for the Army at the Pentagon, and current Republican member of the Virginia State Senate, denounced the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian government airbase last week as a suicidal action, in an exclusive video interview with LaRouche PAC on Monday, April 10.
“I oppose these attacks unequivocally, and I think there is no chance whatsoever there has been a poison gas attack launched by the Syrian government,” Black said. that
“We are moving quite rapidly towards a potential showdown between the United States and Russia,” he warned. “There are some people, I believe, who are looking for that to happen, and are trying to make it occur. Of course, it would be a monumental disaster. The people who are willing to risk that are basing it on the assumption that we can beat Russia militarily. I think what they better remember is that both sides have 1,500 fully operational, ready-to-go thermonuclear missiles, enough to essentially obliterate both Russia and the United States….”
“I see the United States on an utterly suicidal path right now,” Black stated.
Black pointed out that he had been among the most prominent and vocal supporters of candidate Trump in the state of Virginia, but that was largely because he had believed that Trump would draw the United States back from the policy of regime change and incessant war. He agreed fully with Lyndon LaRouche’s warning that there is a British-run coup d’état in process against the Trump administration, which was responsible for the sudden reversal in Trump’s policy towards Syria. “We do not need the British trying to push us into additional confrontation with Russia. We’re already far too far down that line!” he said.
Black encouraged President Trump to immediately initiate a direct
meeting with Russian President Putin, and elaborated on the need for economic development as the bedrock of a peace plan.
The State Senator issued a call to action, imploring all patriots of the United States, regardless of party affiliation, to mobilize to halt any further escalation of this war in Syria. His concluding remark was to commend the work of the LaRouche movement, saying, “I applaud you for the work you’re doing on the Silk Road. I think it’s a very good initiative. And thank you so much for mobilizing people. It is much easier to stop a war than it is to go through a war.”
The full interview can be viewed on the LaRouche PAC website.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 12 (EIRNS)—Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia on April 27-28 to discuss joint economic activities on the Kuril Islands, the Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday citing a Japanese politician, who in turn cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, with whom he had just met in Moscow.
April 12 (EIRNS)—French presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade visited the Historical Museum of Franco-Chinese Friendship in the city of Montargis on April 3, and used the occasion to present what his policies would be towards China, were he to be elected. Some eight journalists followed the exciting tour of this small museum conducted by its founder, Mme. Peiwen Wang.
Montargis is a small city of 15,000, in the Loiret Department, where hundreds of Chinese students came in the 1920s in the context of work-study programs set up by Li Shizeng, a friend of Sun Yat-sen’s, then President of China. Like Sun, Li Shizeng was convinced that for China to become stabilized and To develop, it was necessary to send Chinese youth abroad to learn as much as they could from the West. The Montargis group was the first to form an organization of the Chinese Communist Party abroad and that founding group included several who became China’s top leaders, among the most brilliant of them, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.
Inaugurated last August, the Museum has assembled photos and documentary material, through which people can discover who those youths were, including the experiences of Deng Xiaoping as an industrial worker at the Hutchinson factory, and the foundation of the Communist Party of China at a famous meeting in the Durzy garden.
“I came to visit this museum for several reasons,” Cheminade stated in his introductory remarks. “First, because it marks the history of the links between China and France, from the standpoint of Chinese history: The history of Deng Xiaoping, of Chen Yi, and of someone for whom I have great esteem, Zhou Enlai, who made it possible for his country to avoid going in bad directions.
“The second reason is because today China is proposing to the world something which will go far beyond the Marshall Plan in terms of investments: the Belt and Road Initiative, also called the New Silk Road, which President Xi Jinping also describes as ‘a win-win inclusive order.’ This is to me essential in order to orient the world towards a policy of production, of mutual development, and against the present policies of financial and destructive predatory tutelage, which we have to bear today. This is a project for which I myself have fought, with my friend Helga Zepp-LaRouche, well before the year 2000. We are therefore very happy that China has adopted the concept. It is now up to us to see how this project will become a reality. This is a great occasion. France is already participating in it. But it must go further. Not to merely jump on the bandwagon, but to join in driving it….”