EIR Daily Alert Service
TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017
Volume 4, Number 86
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
May 1 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump’s statement in an interview today of willingness to negotiate peace directly with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un—which will give nervous breakdowns to the lying major media of London, New York and Washington—is the beginning of a potential break by the President out of a British war trap. “Under the right circumstances,” he said, and those circumstances may be precisely the multilateral direct negotiations being worked on, hard, by Presidents Xi and Putin.
China and Russia—the nations the British elite has been trying to drive Trump to war with. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Michael Fallon repeatedly announced they knew for sure, that Trump was about to go to war on North Korea, as they had pushed him into the war trap, briefly, in Syria.
It is urgent that every Trump supporter understand this, and push him further to escape from the Brits’ deadly “geopolitics.”
His destination should be Beijing May 14-15, with 30 other heads of state and government, and 101 national delegations in the Belt and Road Forum. That is collaboration with China on economic development worldwide, including a new economic infrastructure in the United States.
The President stunned Wall Street in the same Oval Office interview with Bloomberg, by again saying he wanted to break up the Wall Street banks with a “21st-Century Glass-Steagall.” No doubt they will offer Barack Obama even more—half a million per speech!—to attack Trump. From the February 2009 G20 meeting in London on, Obama followed the British policy lead: Bail out all big banks, and pass anything but Glass-Steagall. It would end London’s role as the world’s imperial financial center.
More important, it would push the Wall Street banks’ speculative derivatives and “casino” operations out of taxpayer support and Federal insurance, and leave them to fail if they will. With an immense, $14 trillion corporate debt bubble starting to default and threatening to fail now, that is the crucial first step to return to economic recovery. As EIR Editor-in-Chief Lyndon LaRouche said today of Trump’s interview, “This financial system has been completely degenerate, a fraud, since well before the crash, which I forecast in early 2007. You simply have to do away with it. Then make steps forward.”
The President is taking steps to escape the deadly British trap of geopolitics and war, which—since FDR—only JFK and Ronald Reagan have broken from at least in part. One was assassinated, the other nearly so. It is a matter of life and death for the nation, that President Trump’s supporters understand what he’s fighting, and what his next step must be.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
May 1 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump told Bloomberg News that, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him [Kim Jong Un] I would be honored to do it,” in an Oval Office interview this morning. “If it’s under, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
Trump continued, “Most political people would never say that,” but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news,” Bloomberg reported Trump as saying. The 33-year-old Kim Jong Un has never met with a foreign leader since taking charge of North Korea at age 27 after his father’s death in 2011.
The Bloomberg story reports that North Korea has become the most urgent national security threat and foreign policy issue facing Trump, who has just completed his first 100 days in office. Right now, Bloomberg points out, the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with North Korea. Some military analysts project that North Korea is on track to develop a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile that could reach the continental U.S. as soon as 2020, the interview says.
Although President Trump has sent an aircraft carrier group and a submarine to the region, the Trump administration has emphasized the use of economic sanctions and diplomacy to persuade North Korea to give up its efforts to develop nuclear missiles.
President Trump has said he’s encouraged by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s efforts to defuse the situation, Bloomberg reports, which implies that China is making efforts to set up talks. Trump and the Chinese President have talked several times since their meeting in March at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
May 1 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump directly reaffirmed his support for a “21st Century Glass-Steagall” bill in a Bloomberg News interview this morning, saying “I’m looking into that right now. There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”
Financial press in New York and London have been full of attacks on Glass-Steagall for the past four weeks, reflecting fear the President might do exactly this; and also showing Wall Street’s awareness that a crash of corporate debt is threatened this year. Capitol Hill publications have also published attempts to debunk Glass-Steagall—and Bloomberg itself is now trying to cloud the President’s words with more such “debunkings.” But no alternative has the credibility with the public, or the track record of Glass-Steagall in preserving stability and soundness in the U.S. banking system.
Trump’s statements came as part of a 30-minute interview by Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev. A secondary report on Bloomberg, however, notes that, although Trump’s mere campaign statements on Glass-Steagall had “roiled” the “more moderate” (free-trade) Republicans, “the grass-roots base of the Republican and the Democratic Parties—people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—have both advocated for the return of Glass-Steagall.”
An hour after the interview, Presidential Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted Trump’s meeting with the Independent Community Bankers of America, and his “looking at 21st-Century Glass-Steagall.” Later Spicer answered a question, “He [Trump] talked about it in the campaign. He’s mentioned before, his idea of a 21st-Century Glass-Steagall, a modernization of it. We’re not at a point where we’re able to roll out details at this time. He is actively considering options on it.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
May 1 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora, following a meeting with North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol on April 30, told TASS that he “called on Korean counterparts to show restraint and refuse from actions which might stir up tensions in that region.”
Han Song Ryol believes that escalation in the Korean Peninsula has been caused by “the U.S.-South Korea maneuvers directed at the D.P.R.K. (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) along with the concentration of strategic weapons of the United States.” Han continued that North Korea “will be persistent in taking measures to bolster national nuclear deterrence forces so as to defend the country’s sovereignty and vital rights as well as peace in the peninsula.”
Meanwhile, TASS also reported that Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told reporters on April 30: “Military pressure against North Korea by the United States only provokes retaliatory steps of the North Korean side. During the (presidency of Donald) Trump North Korea has fired missiles nine times already….
“We call for resuming the formats that already exist, first of all the six-party talks” on de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Russian ambassador said, stressing that the Chinese side says there is no alternative to this format. “Any initiatives won’t work, the Chinese say.”
Denisov said the positions of Russia and China on the North Korean nuclear weapons nearly coincide with both countries Support for the UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Pyongyang. They will never back North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs as they pose a direct threat to security and also provoke the United States to increase defensive capabilities that “in fact have offensive potential,” he said. “Reasonable arguments that both we and China have repeatedly given do not work now but this does not mean that we should not continue persuading others,” he said.
May 1 (EIRNS)—With further talks in Astana, Kazakhstan scheduled for May 3-4, Russia released a four-point proposal on how the Syria ceasefire should proceed. It includes safety lines, checkpoints, and monitoring centers. The paper has been distributed to negotiation members in opposition to Syria’s government, and is reported in Sputnik today:
1) “Russia proposes creating four zones of reduction of tensions in Syria: in Idlib province, north of the city of Homs; in Eastern Ghouta; and in the South of Syria,” the paper states. The warring parties would not be able to use any weapons in these zones, Sputnik reports.
The paper emphasizes it is necessary to create conditions to drive out Daesh and the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations (both outlawed in numerous countries) from de-escalation zones, with the help of the Syrian opposition.
2) Russia also proposes “creating safety lines along all the borders of the de-escalation zones, in order to avoid direct fire between the sides of the Syrian conflict,” the paper which Sputnik had seen, reads.
Such lines would require checkpoints for the entrance of civilians without weapons and humanitarian deliveries, as well as monitoring centers to control the ceasefire regime.
3) “Russian proposals on de-escalation in Syria envisage possible deployment of guarantor states’ armed groups to the country for ceasefire monitoring, and the creation of a joint working group to elaborate a plan with de-escalation borders shortly,” Sputnik quotes the paper as saying.
“It is possible that ceasefire guarantor states [Russia, Turkey, Iran] send armed groups … for ceasefire monitoring…”
4) The guarantor states would have to create conditions in de-escalation zones in which the warring sides would allow a safe return home to refugees and internally displaced persons.
“For solving logistical issues, guarantor states need to create a joint working group for de-escalation, at the level of designated representatives…. The working group will have to present maps with de-escalation zones borders and work plan proposals … as soon as possible,” the Russian paper says.
May 1 (EIRNS)—Stridently harsh rhetoric against the United States continues to pour out of the North Korean government, most recently in the form of a statement circulated yesterday, by the Pyongyang official Korean Central News Agency. The statement vowed that Pyongyang will accelerate its nuclear program in response to the U.S. policy, announced last week, of stepping up the pressure on North Korea. “The D.P.R.K. is fully ready to respond to any option taken by the U.S. … (it) will continue to bolster its military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive nuclear attack with the nuclear force as a pivot,” KCNA reported the statement as saying.
Despite such bellicosity, however, there are signs that Pyongyang may be ready to talk, at least according to Takuya Karube writing in Japan Times. The first sign Karube cites is the fact that there was no nuclear test during the month of April, when there were two very important anniversaries in the history of the D.P.R.K., and a test was expected by most observers. This lack of a nuclear test “could herald a return to behind-the-scenes diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.” Bong Young-shik, a research fellow at Yonsei University’s Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul and who was one of the few voices who did not expect a nuclear test, said it was “too risky for Pyongyang to clearly cross the red line.” In the face of direct U.S. military threats, it is perhaps no wonder that North Korea has opted out of a banned nuclear explosion or a new type of ballistic missile launch, Karube writes.
There are other signals, too, Karube argues. Recent North Korean statements, though bellicose in tone, mostly “hinge on a warning that North Korea will inevitably resort to military means if attacked or if its sovereignty is threatened.” Yet another sign is the re-establishment of the Diplomatic Commission of the Supreme People’s Assembly, which was announced three days before the 105th birth anniversary of national founder Kim Il Sung. “The revival of the panel, endorsed during this year’s parliamentary session, is seen by the experts as a possible sign of North Korea’s preparedness for a new diplomatic offensive against South Korea and the United States,” reports Karube. The North Koreans, he says, are well aware of the May 9 election in the South and of who the candidates are which may be a factor in the re-establishment of the Diplomatic Commission.
May 1 (EIRNS)—A bipartisan group of nine Senators sent a letter to Saudi Ambassador in Washington Khalid bin Salman Abdulaziz on Thursday, April 27, calling on the Saudi Kingdom to cease bombing the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, the single port capable of receiving foreign aid for the war-stricken population. Today, there are signs that the pressure may be succeeding.
Led by Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young, the group also includes Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Ed Markey (D-MA). The letter outlines five points to “alleviate the suffering” of the Yemeni people, leading with lending “full support to [Defense] Secretary Mattis’ call for a political settlement in Yemen.” In addition, they call upon the Saudis to “refrain from bombing” the port; expedite the inspection process for food cargos; facilitate the delivery of cargo cranes; and to “redouble efforts to ensure airstrikes do not hit key economic facilities and civilian infrastructure.”
Last week, the UN hosted a “Pledge Conference” which raised over $1 billion in food aid, unfortunately only half of the $2.1 billion it was seeking. On April 28, following the second direct visit of Defense Secretary James Mattis to the Saudi Kingdom, it was reported by Al-Monitor news site that the Saudis had apparently “shifted” their approach to Yemen, and were now looking for a “political solution” to the fighting. The site quotes former (Obama-era) Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, that this move could have significance far beyond the Gulf region: “Most importantly, if you can get some kind of political agreement on Hodeidah, it might in turn be a confidence-building measure that allows you to accomplish other things, that allows you to move on to getting back to political negotiations,” Feierstein said. “So it could be a real game changer if you can get this done.”
It should be recalled that, in April, General Mattis—in what amounted to a complete reversal of what he had said only a month earlier—had called for a political solution in Yemen, saying that, “our goal is to push this conflict into UN-brokered negotiations to make sure it is ended as soon as possible.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
May 1 (EIRNS)—On April 23, former Sen. Kit Tatad from the Philippines, in his regular column in the Manila Times, covered in great detail aspects of the keynote by Helga Zepp-LaRouche from the April 13-14 Schiller Institute conference in Manhattan.
Senator Tatad first reviewed the dangerous situation in Syria following the U.S. strike on the Syrian airbase and the resultant tension between the United States and Russia. He reported on Secretary Tillerson’s long meetings with Putin and Lavrov, and their expressions of concern that relations were at a low point and must be restored.
He then turned to Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s speech under the sub-head “A Palace Coup vs Trump?” “One German-American scholar, speaking last week in New York, suggested that what has been portrayed as a chemical attack by Syrian forces at Idlib was nothing but a false flag, and that Trump’s swift punitive response was the result of manipulation by the entire neocon and neoliberal establishment. ‘What happened is a de facto coup d’état inside the U.S., after the false flag operation in Syria,’ said Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chair of Schiller Institute, in her keynote to the [conference on] ‘U.S.-China Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.’ ‘The coup is a British intelligence operation, which poses the greatest danger to Trump,’ she said.”
Tatad reviews several major points in Zepp-LaRouche’s New York speech: Trump’s declared intent to break up the British Empire’s division of the world, by making friends with Russia and China; that the United States had been taken over by British neo-con assets after the fall of the Soviet Union, waging “humanitarian intervention” colonialist wars and color revolutions; the British-instigated lies behind the source of the chemical incident in Syria as well as the color revolution against Trump himself; the refutation of the lies about Syria by Scott Ritter, Ted Postol and others; Tillerson rejecting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s demand to dump Syrian President Assad.
He closes with Zepp-LaRouche’s warning that “The clock is ticking, and it is now two and a half minutes to midnight,” with a nuclear war threatened.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
May 1 (EIRNS)—After weeks in which the American public and Congress were getting no warnings whatsoever of the looming corporate debt bubble meltdown here, a stock market newsletter has pointed to what EIR is warning of.
“ETF Daily News” website ran an analysis, “These Sectors Are Most Vulnerable as Corporate Debt Reaches Record Level,” which used charts from the recent IMF “Global Financial Stability Report, 2017.” “U.S. companies have added a whopping $7.8 trillion of debt and other liabilities since 2010…. And in just seven years!” the newsletter reported. “Debt is piling up so fast that it’s nearing the bloated debt levels not seen since the 2008 financial crisis…. When that kind of cash is added at super-low interest rates—unsustainable super-low interest rates—then things get nasty rather quickly for corporate balance sheets when interest rates tick higher. … Since the Federal Reserve began normalizing rates, corporate credit fundamentals have weakened big time. And that’s created the conditions that historically precede a credit-cycle downturn”—a euphemism for a debt meltdown.
The author uses IMF charts to point out that U.S. companies’ interest-coverage ratios—their ratio of earnings to interest payments—are falling fast and have reached the level of about 4.5 characteristic of the 2001 recession and 2008 crash, whereas after years of zero interest rates, the opposite should be happening; their leverage ratios have reached record highs.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
May 1 (EIRNS)—NASA will contribute a high-technology camera for South Korea’s lunar orbiter mission, it was announced on April 28. NASA had set aside $15 million last year to contribute an instrument for the orbiter, and has chosen the ShadowCam camera, proposed by Arizona State University. The science team on the project includes Malin Space Science Systems, which built the cameras on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, (LRO) which has returned photographs of the Moon in stunning detail. The Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter is scheduled for launch in December 2018, and will carry four instruments built in Korean.
A main objective of the mission, which is the job of ShadowCam, is to map the permanently shadowed bottoms of lunar craters. It is believed that these super-cold regions could harbor caches of lunar ice. ShadowCam will be 800 times more sensitive than the LRO’s camera, allowing high-resolution imaging in dark craters for the first time.
South Korea’s Aerospace Research Institute directs the lunar exploration program, and is responsible for the four Korean instruments on board the orbiter. These will map the lunar terrain, study space weathering effects on the lunar surface, map major elements and water in the crust, and measure the Moon’s magnetism.