EIR Daily Alert Service
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2017
Volume 4, Number 89
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
May 4 (EIRNS)—Today, exactly ten days before the opening of the Belt and Road Initiative world summit in Beijing, far-reaching changes for the better in the entire human condition have become immediate possibilities. The new vision for mankind which has been the life’s work of Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche can be realized, if their ideas are effectively promoted over the coming days and weeks.
How many recognized the truth of the May 2 op-ed of China’s official Global Times? It had said that anxiety about the Belt and Road Initiative “lays bare the stereotypical U.S. zero-sum mind-set…. [But] public opinion in the U.S. is subtly changing from being against it, to attaching more importance to studying it.”
Now the truth of this observation has been underlined in a surprising way, by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s lengthy impromptu address to the entire State Department yesterday. Anglophile news sources have quoted one part of Tillerson’s remarks in order to vilify them: his opening statements where he clearly disavowed the murderous “color revolution” and regime-change policies of the Bush and Obama administrations. Here Tillerson had said that America’s “values” are not necessarily the same as its foreign policies—meaning, as he explained, that to attempt to force American “values” on other nations would often be counterproductive.
But left unreported was Tillerson’s detailed and explicit description of the new administration’s new agreements for dialogue with China. He said that the new dialogue would be one with Chinese officials who report directly to President Xi Jinping—and thus, implicitly, that the Americans would be officials who report directly to President Donald Trump. The intention here on both sides, is that concrete agreements will be reached, rather than merely having a talk-shop like the previous “dialogue.”
But what is the overall purpose of the dialogue? Tillerson emphasized and re-emphasized that its purpose will be to define the U.S.-China relationship “over the next half-century!”
It was Lyndon LaRouche who wrote a book called, The Earth’s Next Fifty Years in 2005.
One implication is that it is still possible for President Trump to join that May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum conference, and the LaRouche movement will continue to fight to make that happen.
Meanwhile—across the globe in the Kazakh capital of Astana—Russian, Iranian and Turkish representatives signed an agreement today, to create demilitarized “safe zones,” or “de-escalation zones” in Syria, with the support of the Syrian government. The U.S., although not a party to the agreement or a direct participant in the negotiations, was represented in Astana by Acting Assistant Secretary of State Stuart Jones. President Putin said that President Trump had supported such safe zones in their telephone conversation of May 2—indeed, they had been a part of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, although they were maliciously mischaracterized as a casus belli for Russia. The Russian government says that the establishment of these zones will finally begin to separate the terrorists from the armed Syrian opposition—something that John Kerry had promised to do for a year, but which Barack Obama would never permit.
At the same time, some U.S. Congressmen have failed to keep up with world developments, such that no Glass-Steagall amendment was filed before the House Financial Services Committee voted up a financial regulation bill today along party lines. The LaRouche movement will continue to mobilize tougher and harder on this, while no longer specifically targetting that committee.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
May 4 (EIRNS)—The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), held an oversight hearing yesterday on the FBI, featuring testimony by Director James Comey. As in most hearings of this type, Comey refused to answer most questions on the grounds that he could not talk publicly about criminal or classified matters, and Senators postured in front of the cameras along established partisan lines, asking questions for the camera which could not be answered.
The notable exception in this fixed process has been Senator Grassley, who has opened a specific and promising investigation of the FBI’s relationship to British MI6 agent Christopher Steele and the “dodgy dossier” of wild fabrications which has served as the core of the fraudulent charges about Putin controlling Trump. Grassley is also targetting Fusion GPS, which employed Steele for opposition “research” against Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign.
In his opening statement today, Grassley continued to cast doubt on the intelligence community’s “firm conclusion” about Russian interference in the election, since it relies solely on the British “dodgy dossier” paid for by backers of Hillary Clinton. Grassley has asked for the details of Steele’s long-time relationship to the FBI in anti-Russian investigations and activities, and details of FBI payments to Steele, including the specific offer of $50,000 to continue his investigations after President Trump’s election, and meetings with Steele.
Obviously, these questions are directly relevant to probing illegalities against the Trump campaign by the Obama Administration and the FBI. The FBI has so far stone-walled Grassley. Comey told Grassley today that he would clear up any confusion about these matters in a classified briefing.
Grassley has also focused on the clear conflicts of interest of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife was a Virginia political candidate funded by long-time Clinton operative Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the tune of almost $1 million. McCabe did not recuse himself from either the Clinton email investigation or the Trump investigation.
May 4 (EIRNS)—The likelihood that South Korea’s probable next President, Moon Jae-in, will attempt to restore the Sunshine policy toward North Korea, and engage it in economic development projects, has alarmed the Wall Street Journal, which warns today that any attempt to do so, would “put Seoul at odds with Washington.” It wishes!
The Journal is working from its profile of a belligerent Trump, ignoring that he is working with China closely on the North Korean crisis; and that Moon, in his interview with the Washington Post as EIR Daily Alert reported yesterday, said that he felt he and Trump were “on the same page” in terms of North Korea policy, although the THAAD missile deployment is a source of real tension.
Moon argues that isolation of North Korea isn’t working, and that if elected, he would seek to reopen two inter-Korean projects from the Sunshine Policy era—the jointly-run industrial business park and a tourist resort. Moreover, according to his advisors, these two projects would just be “stepping stones” toward what he calls “economic reunification,” including many more inter-Korean projects. He would like to also organize a summit to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. One thing that differentiates Moon from his predecessors is that he would link inter-Korean projects with progress on denuclearization.
The Journal trots out various “experts” to warn that Moon’s policy at rapprochement with North Korea will likely bring it into conflict with U.S. policy. A conciliatory policy “could make South Korea a global outlier. I don’t see it meshing well,” said Robert Kelly, a professor at Pusan National University in Seoul.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
May 4 (EIRNS)—Russia and the United States are continuing their contacts in Syria at the working level, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday. “It [the interaction mechanism] cannot but work and the contact is so close that we can’t but work. We have had and continue contacts at the working level,” Shoigu said, TASS reported, and saying that “in this regard, we primarily rely on the need to ensure the safety of our pilots and, naturally, of all those who operate in that sky.” The air regime has become tighter and “now it is of a different, inquiring nature whereas earlier it was of the notifying mode.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
May 4 (EIRNS)—The City of London daily mouthpiece, the Financial Times, offers clinical evidence today of the pathology suffered by the beady-eyed financial oligarchs, who cannot comprehend an emerging new paradigm not based on geopolitics. Hence, the FT insists that the One Belt, One Road (OBOR, now more commonly known as Belt and Road Initiative) is actually geopolitical, a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s, which is really making no progress anywhere in the world! Under the headline, “China Encircles the World with One Belt, One Road Strategy,” FT asserts that, in fact, many observers in China and abroad, are deeply concerned about the “geopolitical nature of the OBOR projects,” as they occur in regions of “great corruption and instability.” The Belt and Road’s main motivation, FT argues, is China’s search for domestic growth, quoting one former EU diplomat who describes the Belt and Road as “a domestic policy with geostrategic consequences.” The Times then goes on to enumerate several absurd characterizations of the Belt and Road, including the lie that practically no OBOR project outside of China has been completed, using the Khorgos dry port on the Kazakh-Chinese border as evidence.
And yet, despite all these alleged negatives, the Financial Times wails, “there is no sign that Beijing is backing down on its plans.” It surmises that this may have something to do with “the wave of anti-globalization sentiment sweeping the developed world,” reflected in Donald Trump’s election, which, it explains, “has even provided an opportunity to present OBOR as the leading vehicle for increasing global trade,” as Xi did in his speech at the January World Economic Forum in Davos.
As if in reply, the Chinese news agency Xinhua titles its editorial “Belt & Road Initiative, Win-Win, Not a Solo Show.” Claims that the Belt and Road Initiative “is a tool by China to expand its economic interests and dominance abroad ignore the key element underpinning the initiative—win-win results,” Xinhua states. Offering details on how much the Belt and Road has invested since its launching in 2013, how many countries are involved, how many jobs created, and economic benefits accrued, Xinhua asserts that, “clearly, the initiative is neither a zero-sum game nor a solo show of China…. [It] is neither private nor exclusive but a wide and open avenue for all. It is in everyone’s interest to be part of the network of global partnerships formed by the initiative, given as it will provide huge opportunities by connecting Asia with Europe and Africa and promoting common development among all the countries involved…. Although facing risks and headwinds, the initiative’s inclusiveness and China’s bright economic prospects reinforce the belief that it will play a part in securing a promising future.”
May 4 (EIRNS)—As we had indicated last week, the financial oligarchy would be not only attack Glass-Steagall, but there would be an escalating pattern of endorsement of Glass-Steagall. Today, three articles refer to Glass-Steagall, and two of the three refer to Glass-Steagall as a “Revolution.”
The on May 2 Thom Hartman’s “The Big Picture” broadcast on RT.com interviewed economist Dr. Richard Wolff, under the headline, “Is the Glass- Steagall Revolution at Hand?” The interview is introduced with the blurb, “New York State has become the 17th state where memorials demanding the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall have been introduced. Will it be enacted before the next crash?”
In a separate article in “Investopedia,” Citadel’s CEO Ken Griffin was quoted telling the Milken Institute Global Conference on May 1 that “It is my fantasy to break up big banks,” echoing similar statements by President Donald Trump. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the hedge fund manager explained that since an overly concentrated market reduces competition, it is a disservice to a free economy. Griffin furthermore elaborated that he is in favor of separating investment banks from commercial banks, for a new Glass-Steagall Act, instead of simply breaking the big banks into many, many small banks.
Lastly, “Market Mogul” author Francesco Zingoni states that “the reintroduction of the Glass-Steagall Act or something similar to it, would probably be the biggest economic revolution of the last 50 years, which could put an end to that fictitious world that is finance, too often governed by greedy speculators and players who have no interest for the common good.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
May 4 (EIRNS)—China’s Global Times takes off the gloves against the New York Times and allied Anglo-U.S. media, which lie about President Donald Trump and his relationship with China, and are intent on fanning the flames of war.
A May 3 New York Times article, “Why Trump’s Budding Bromance with Xi Is Doomed,” claimed that Trump had flattered Xi Jinping because he wanted China to get tough with North Korea on its nuclear program. Another New York Times article called Trump a Chinese agent. In response, a Global Times op-ed today asserted, “stable and enhanced ties” between the U.S. and China, “do not come from one egging or flattering the other,” wrote Ai Jun.
Moreover, “being against not only China but also Trump appears to have become a routine of quite a few in the mainstream U.S. media…. The U.S. media have never been a fan of Trump and have always had a prejudice against Beijing. They believe a rising China might end the current global order which is led by the U.S.” It is that dislike, Global Times points out, that drives the media’s lies about the Sino-U.S. relationship.
The truth is, Ain Jun’s op-ed continues, that the Sino-U.S. relationship determines “whether the international financial system can function well, whether nuclear proliferation and terrorism can be taken under control, as well as the development of many other regional and global hotspot issues.” As for the North Korean nuclear crisis, China and the U.S. also share common interests. “Neither would want to be bogged down in the flames of war, and seeing the North Korean nuclear issue spin out of control does not conform to Trump’s goal of making America great again, which requires peace and a stable global environment.”
Thus, “What kind of relationship between the leaders from both sides do we need? The U.S. media seems to be delighted to hear and see tough words and actions, but they have long been outdated in the current era. Relations between Beijing and Washington are now moving on the right track, which accords with the interests of both sides and cannot be achieved without their joint efforts.”
May 4 (EIRNS)—Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Argentine President Mauricio Macri are the only two Ibero-American heads of state scheduled to attend the May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
In an interview published today with China’s state television CGTN (formerly CCTV), Bachelet said she’s very pleased to be attending the forum, explaining that the goals of Belt and Road cohere very nicely with Chile’s own development goals. Bachelet has had a long-term cordial working relationship with her Chinese counterpart, and said that the May 14-15 event “offers tremendous opportunities to interact—countries from many regions will participate—and concrete projects to be discussed can be identified, listening to different proposals.” President Bachelet recalled that President Xi Jinping raised the issue of the New Silk Road/Belt and Road Initiative during his July 2014 attendance at the BRICS summit in Brazil, at which time he discussed this with members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). At the upcoming forum, she proposed that discussion should go beyond traditional infrastructure projects, such as roads, railroads, or ports, to also include “digital connectivity.”
Macri’s relationship with China is quite different from Bachelet’s. After taking office in December 2015, he did everything possible to stall implementation of the multibillion-dollar infrastructure agreements which his predecessor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had signed with Xi Jinping in 2014. While he couldn’t breach the contracts, as he wished, he used environmentalist pretexts to stall them, which didn’t endear him to the Chinese leadership. Now, with the economic disaster that his neoliberal policies have unleashed in Argentina, Macri has changed his tune. He has scrambled in recent months to get Chinese-financed proposals back on track, and is going to Beijing in hopes of obtaining at least $5 billion to finance additional infrastructure projects.
May 4 (EIRNS)—In President Donald Trump’s first official meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 3, the U.S. President indicated he is considering mediating an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement where his predecessors all failed. Statements were exchanged on the possibility of a Palestinian-Israeli settlement. In his opening statement Trump told Abbas, “I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement—to mediate, to arbitrate anything they’d like to do. But I would love to be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator. And we will get this done.”
Abbas said the Palestinian leadership’s “strategic option” is to pursue a two-state solution for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Appealing to Trump’s leadership President Abbas said, “I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship to—your courageous stewardship and your wisdom, as well as your great negotiating ability, I believe, with the grace of God and with all of your effort—we believe that we can be partners, true partners, to you to bring about a historic peace treaty under your stewardship to bring about peace. (In English.) Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope.”
After this statement by Abbas, Trump again spoke, saying: “So we’re going to start a process. We’ve spoken to Bibi Netanyahu. We’ve spoken to many of the great Israeli leaders. We’ve spoken with many of your great representatives. Many of them are here today for lunch with us. We’ll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Let’s see if we can prove them wrong. Okay?”
After a private meeting, the two Presidents had a conference joined by their staffs. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and senior advisor Jared Kushner were in attendance and later were joined by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and his deputy Dina Powell, along with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt, who recently toured the Middle East, is expected to update Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) about the Abbas-Trump meeting on Thursday in Brussels, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. The two will meet on the sidelines of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee annual spring meeting hosted by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and chaired by Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende. Palestinian and United Nations representatives will also attend the meeting, which coordinates donor funding to Palestine.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
May 4 (EIRNS)—Joining the international burst of robotic missions planned for Mars, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced its Martian Moon eXploration Mission (MMX), with contributions from the French space agency, CNES, and from NASA. It is a bold mission, to take samples from the diminutive Martian moon, Phobos, for return to Earth. MMX is projected to launch in 2024, spend three years exploring the two tiny Martian moons, Phobos and Diemos, and return to Earth with samples from Phobos in 2029. Japan has experience taking samples from small bodies (asteroid Itokawa in 2010) and its Hayabusa-2 craft is on its way to asteroid Ryugu. It is literally a touch-and-go mission, where the lack of almost any gravity on the tiny moon means the spacecraft has to very gently drop down to the surface to snatch some soil and rocks.
France’s CNES will contribute a high-resolution infrared camera, and a spectrometer to analyze minerals on Phobos, and NASA will provide an instrument to pick out individual elements.
There are various theories about how Mars’s two little moons formed; either they were captured asteroids, or were pieces of Mars itself. Studying samples should help shed light on their origin.