EIR Daily Alert Service
MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017
Volume 4, Number 90
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
May 7 (EIRNS)—It is an ironic sign of the times that the Argentine Ambassador to China Diego Ramiro Guelar published an article this week, on the eve of the Beijing Belt and Road summit, praising China for becoming the super-power of the 21st century “without firing a single shot.” Guelar reported that China had stepped into its new global role with “responsibility” and “leadership,” and he praised their spectacular economic achievements in poverty reduction, extending longevity, and global infrastructure development.
It was ironic because, until now, the government of Mauricio Macri of Argentina has been a Wall Street darling stridently opposed to cooperation with China, the BRICS, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And it was a sign of the times, because nearly every nation on the planet is now turning in the direction of China and the BRI, with hope for a New Paradigm for humanity.
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche captured the essence of this strategic opportunity in remarks today, noting that Ambassador Guelar’s comments are a most fitting example of the current global dynamic. “That is clearly the trajectory of things, and we should escalate our campaign for the United States to absolutely join with this effort, because it is the only meaningful way in which all of the geopolitical conflicts of the world can be overcome.”
Zepp-LaRouche stressed that, although some positive steps have been taken to defuse various global hot spots, such as the agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and America’s Donald Trump to set up four “de-escalation zones” in Syria, “we are by no means out of the danger zone. We should not have any illusions, because things can go wrong very quickly.”
The global financial crisis is top among these imminent dangers. “We are still faced with a potential blowout of the financial system. We still don’t have Glass-Steagall and Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws. And we still don’t know what kind of Glass-Steagall is really being discussed” by the Trump administration and others in the U.S.
Nonetheless, “I think we have a very optimistic outlook overall. In one week we have the historic BRI summit in Beijing, and I’m absolutely certain that, as a result, the dynamic of the BRI will become even stronger. It is actually moving in the direction of the New Silk Road becoming the World Land-Bridge,” which is the policy for which the LaRouche movement has been fighting for decades. Zepp-LaRouche stressed the speed with which these strategic changes are happening. “This is all occurring only three and a half years after the New Silk Road policy was first pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping. And if you think of the speed at which this dynamic has taken hold globally, it is quite breathtaking.”
Zepp-LaRouche then addressed the central strategic question of the relationship of the United States to this emerging New Paradigm. “It would be the absolutely natural continuation of these last three years, to include the U.S. in the Belt and Road Initiative, to include Europe, and develop every landlocked area of the planet and uplift every human being living on this Earth from poverty. In this way we can really start to define the common aims of mankind, to develop the community of the joint future for civilization, and to start tackling those problems which are really worth tackling: namely building settlements on the Moon; developing a better understanding about the laws of the Universe; finding solutions for incurable diseases.
“We have all kinds of fantastic projects to carry out, working together as one human species. And why should that not be possible? Let us really go forward optimistically to bring about the breakthroughs which are absolutely necessary.”
Zepp-LaRouche stressed that the American people are not as divided as the mass media would have everyone believe. But “those who disagree with the media-created divisions, should openly step forward and help us to bring the U.S. into the New Paradigm, around the policy ideas presented for decades by Lyndon LaRouche.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
May 6 (EIRNS)—The White House has made public that President Donald Trump’s first overseas trip will be to centers of the three great Western religions, Islam, Judaism and Christianity—the “Religions of the Book”—Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. One focus will be the international fight against terrorism. In a presentation to Catholic clergy in the Rose Garden Thursday, Trump discussed his plan to visit Saudi Arabia, “the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam,” where he said “we will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism and violence and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries.”
Reflecting Secretary Rex Tillerson’s May 3 comment that it is not the administration’s intent to impose our values on others (i.e., no “color revolutions”), Trump said: “Our task is not to dictate to others how to live but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East.”
The trip begins in Saudi Arabia on May 19. Also on the agenda is the NATO meeting in Brussels on May 25 and the G7 meeting in Sicily on May 26. He will also meet again with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and with Italian President Mattarella.
May 6 (EIRNS)—De facto cooperation between Russia and the Trump Administration concerning Syria is obviously going forward. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has even characterized the de-escalation zones agreed upon at this week’s Syrian cease-fire conference in Astana as being based on ideas put forward by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this year. Furthermore Lavrov spoke by telephone on May 5 with Tillerson to discuss Syria, and Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov also spoke today by phone.
“The focus was made on the topic of the Syrian settlement,” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said about the Lavrov-Tillerson discussion. “In the light of the results of the international meeting on Syria in Astana on May 3-4, the two top diplomats discussed the tasks of de-escalating the situation in that country, ensuring sustainability of the ceasefire, building up anti-terror efforts and enlivening external support to the intra-Syrian negotiating process. The sides also discussed a number of other regional problems and issues of the bilateral agenda. The two top diplomats agreed to continue Russian-U.S. contacts.”
On the de-escalation zones, Lavrov told MIR TV: “The United States proposed at the beginning of this year, with a view to creating conditions to ensure safety of civilian population, to stop violence in those regions where fierce fighting was underway between government and armed opposition forces. It is not by chance that the United States welcomed the results of the meeting in Astana, specifically, an agreement on setting up de-escalation zones,” he was quoted as saying by Iran’s FARS news service.
Meanwhile Russia, Turkey and Iran will form a joint working group on “de-escalation zones” in Syria in two weeks, in order to delineate the lines of the de-escalation areas and security zones, as well as to resolve other operational and technical issues. This includes preparing maps of security zones and de-escalation areas within a month by June 4, according to the document seen by the Hürriyet Daily News.
The four zones went into effect today after midnight. “Creation of the de-escalation areas and security zones is a temporary measure, the duration of which will initially be six months and will be automatically extended on the basis of consensus of the guarantors,” read the document.
According to RT, the Defense Ministry report on the call between Generals Dunford and Gerasimov confirmed the deconfliction arrangement which had been temporarily canceled after the April 6 U.S. air strike on the Syrian airbase, but also agreed to “additional measures to prevent conflict situations during joint operations against ISIS and al Nusra.”
This striking statement was not elaborated, but confirms the Russia and the U.S. are moving towards more direct cooperation in the war on terror.
U.S. Joint Chiefs spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks confirmed in a statement that Dunford and Gerasimov “talked about the recent Astana agreement and affirmed their commitment to de-conflicting operations in Syria. Both also agreed to maintain regular contact.”
May 5 (EIRNS)—In what CNN gleefully describes as a “re-boot,” there are continuing “color revolution” maneuvers against the Trump Administration, under the banner of bashing Russia. On Monday, May 8, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism holds a hearing titled, “Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election.”
Susan Rice, Obama’s former National Security Advisor, has refused a request to testify. On the hotseat over her conduct demanding names of numerous Trump associates then under surveillance by the FBI/NSA, Rice is stonewalling. On May 3, Rice’s attorney gave a run-around snub to the subcommittee, saying that Rice wants “to assist Congressional inquiries into Russian election interference because of the important national interests at stake,” but since she was only asked to testify by the chairman, and not also by the ranking Democrat of the Committee, she would not comply with the request.
Trump took note of this in a May 4 tweet, “Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor to President Obama, is refusing to testify before a Senate Subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials. Not good!”
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC,) a leader of House investigations into the same matters, has spoken out sharply against Rice’s arrogance. In comments to “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News, Gowdy said, “There are things called subpoenas. You shouldn’t have to use them with a former national security advisor, but if you do, you do.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
May 5 (EIRNS)—The British press is reporting that Theresa May, after her expected big win in the elections on June 8, will call on the Parliament to vote on launching a war on Syria. In classic British style, the Daily Mirror headline reads: “Theresa May Plots Snap Vote on Bombing Syria… But Is She Turning into Trump’s Poodle?” (Recall that the Brits portrayed Tony Blair as Bush’s poodle, rather than the other way around.)
They write: “The Daily Mirror can reveal the British government is now convinced Assad’s forces were behind the sarin gas attack which killed 80 men, women and children. May wants the vote approved so Britain can take part in punitive strikes against Russian-backed Syrian forces.” They quote a “senior Whitehall source: ‘If you want to stop the use of chemical weapons you have to take out the aircraft.’ ”
Other reports say May would call for the attack in the case of “another” chemical attack (to be provided by the British-owned White Helmets, of course).
Labour Party shadow foreign minister Emily Thornberry said “such a move would risk open conflict between our armed forces and those of Russia and Iran and could lead the U.K. to repeat the mistakes of the Iraq war.”
In 2013, the Parliament voted down Cameron’s call for war. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last month that the U.K. might launch such airstrikes without parliamentary approval. Sources in the U.K. told EIR that a newly elected Tory majority would likely vote up a call from May for war.
The likelihood of a big Tory victory was shown May 4 in local elections across the U.K. Conservatives made the biggest gains by a governing party in a local election for more than 40 years, gaining more than 563 seats (to 1,899), while Labour lost 382 (to 1,152). UKIP lost all but 1 of its 145 seats, and the Liberal Democrats lost 42 (to 441). The Tories are getting all the pro-Brexit vote.
May 7 (EIRNS)—The situation in North Korea is hurtling toward war, but the new promising strategic collaboration between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could dramatically shift that toward peace. This is the view of Shanghai-based author Eric Li in a May 5 op-ed in the Washington Post, entitled, “If Trump Can Live with Kim, He Can Rid North Korea of Nukes.”
Citing an April 30, 2017 paper to the Brookings Institution of Mme. Fu Ying, who chairs the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, Li states, “In North Korea, the United States is closer to nuclear war than at any other time since the Cold War…. Heated words are exchanged on a near-daily basis between the world’s only superpower and its small and impoverished, but nuclear-armed, antagonist. If posturing tips over into actual violence, 1 million people could die on the Korean Peninsula alone—that is, if the conflict doesn’t go nuclear….
“At the same time, Washington and Pyongyang may also be closer to peace than at any point in nearly two decades. This is because the United States appears to be shifting away from a policy that exacerbated the conflict … [under] the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.” Li cites Ms. Fu, who as then-deputy foreign minister headed the Chinese delegation in the talks, that these two Presidents sought North Korean denuclearization and unacceptable regime change, continuing: “But the threat of regime change is the very reason, the [North Korean] regime wants a nuclear deterrent.”
Trump is scrapping the Bush-Obama policy. “Trump seems to be freeing the United States from the neoconservative and liberal- interventionist policies of the past,” Li writes. “For the first time in 16 years, the American side has come out and said rather unequivocally that the foremost priority is disarmament. ‘We do not seek regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula,’ ” he quotes U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson telling NPR, on April 28.
The chemistry and collaboration of Trump and Xi is now the difference-maker. “[T]he United States and China finally have a clear path pressuring North Korea from their respective directions to first halt its nuclear program and then negotiate its rollback in exchange for the survival of the state. And the unprecedentedly close working relationship between presidents Trump and Xi Jinping on the Korean nuclear issue (one bilateral summit and two telephone calls in the same month) can help keep it moving forward.” If Trump sticks to dropping regime change, “the United States may finally get what it wants.”
May 7 (EIRNS)—A principal source and foremost spokesman for the claim that Syrian President Assad used sarin gas against his own people on April 4, is Dr. Shajul Islam. Islam is a British national who went to Syria in 2012 to work with jihadists; he was charged in 2012 by the British government with kidnapping and terrorism; and yet he managed to return to Al Qaeda-dominated Idlib province in Syria in 2016. He is apparently a protected British Intelligence asset and provocateur.
On May 5, the U.K. Daily Mirror reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May will seek a snap vote in Parliament, following Britain’s June 8 national elections, so that Britain can “take part in punitive strikes against Russian-backed Syrian forces.” Such an assault would put the world on the trajectory of nuclear annihilation. It would be based, in part, on the testimony of Dr. Islam.
On the day after the alleged April 4 sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, NBC News ran a video exclusive, entitled, “For Syrian Doctor, Gas Attacks Are a Chilling Reality.” The broadcast presented Dr. Shajul Islam as the authority, treating on the scene those who had allegedly been gassed. Dr. Islam talked into the cameras, “The gas attacks are continuing every day. And no one is doing anything to stop these gas attacks. They’re [the Assad government] dropping [gas] on the civilian population.” To whip up American and international hysteria, Islam stated, “You know, now it’s the civilian population of Syria, soon it will be the civilian population of America, in a subway or something.” Dr. Islam concluded, “I can’t give you my exact location.” Thus, one does not know who dropped the gas, or if the scenes are recent, or from years ago. Or if the scenes were staged outright.
Curiously, Dr. Islam, who was also featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, Canadian CBC TV, etc., was shown on the NBC News video wearing no chemical-protective outerwear or gloves, or respiratory-protective face gear, that would be necessary to treat actual sarin gas victims.
So who is Dr. Shajul Islam? In 2012, the British national Dr. Islam (born in London), then 26, entered Syria to collaborate with Salafist jihadis. On July 17, 2012, Islam and a gang of 30 terrorists inside Syria reportedly kidnapped, John Cantlie, a British photojournalist, who had written for the Times of London and Daily Telegraph; and Jeroen Oerlemans, a Dutch photojournalist. Cantlie would later tell the Guardian that, “Those bastards [the jihadis] constantly threatened us with death. Always cocking their weapons, getting us to stand as though we were being led out for execution, sharpening knives for a jihadist beheading.” Cantlie and Oerlemans were beaten.
After his July 26, 2012 release from captivity, Cantlie told the media that “it is a bit of a surprise to find an NHS [U.K. National Health Service] doctor as one of our captors with an AK-47, and preaching sharia law. This doctor spoke with a south London accent and said he had taken two years out from his work as an NHS doctor to fight jihad.” Cantlie did not know the doctor’s name at the time; MI6 pursued the case. The physician turned out to be Dr. Shajul Islam.
On Oct. 9, 2012, returning to England through Heathrow Airport, Dr. Islam was arrested. He was accused of belonging to a jihadist group that kidnapped the two journalists, and along with his younger brother Najul and a third individual, he was imprisoned at the high-security Belmarsh prison.
On Nov. 11, 2013, as Islam’s trial was scheduled to begin, Crown Prosecution Service’s lawyer Mark Dennis stunned everybody by dropping the prosecution. He said that he would be unable to call the key witnesses. It is reported that Cantlie went back to Syria and had been captured a second time, but according to newspaper reports, Oerlemans was available. However, prosecutor Dennis openly averred in court he had two other viable alternatives to move the case forward: as the Nov. 11, 2013 Guardian stated, “to apply for the trial to be adjourned or for the witness evidence to be heard in absentia.” He chose neither, and Islam walked free.
According to various British press accounts, during his pre-trial incarceration, Islam provided some information on other terrorists to the authorities. Frequently, when a jihadi makes a deal with MI6 intelligence, he then afterward works for them—unless he was an MI6 agent from the outset.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
May 5 (EIRNS)—Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, became the second Wall Street bank head—after Richard Kovacevich of the scandalous Wells Fargo—to come out swinging against restoring the Glass-Steagall Act. Evidently worked up, Moynihan on May 4 called Glass-Steagall re-enactment “crazy” and attacked President Trump for suggesting breaking up the Wall Street banks on May 1.
“It would be against America’s interests to break up the large banks,” Moynihan said at a Bloomberg symposium.
He claimed that Bank of America’s takeover of the failing Merrill Lynch in September 2008, proved that large commercial banks’ patriotic duty is to rescue casino-gambling investment firms which are failing, and to make the commercial banks’ insured deposits available to them at other times, while having to be bailed out themselves by the government. “What’s better, to have Merrill Lynch standing alone or tucked inside?” he asked, suggesting tender paternal feelings for the wolves of Wall Street. “We can stabilize it in times of stress.”
Moynihan didn’t mention that “stabilizing” Merrill Lynch, when the latter was again downgraded by the credit agencies in 2012, meant transferring Merrill’s then-$52 trillion derivatives exposure onto Bank of America’s Federally insured commercial bank’s books, where it remains today. This blatantly violated parts of the Glass-Steagall Act which had not been repealed—known as Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act—but the Federal Reserve refused even to request a report from BoA on the immense, illegal and dangerous transaction.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
May 5 (EIRNS)—“Trump Encouraged To Attend Belt-Road Forum,” China Daily’s U.S. edition reported today, citing Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche on the benefits to world peace of the U.S. President doing so.
“The best would be if President Trump would attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in person,” Zepp-LaRouche told China Daily New York reporter Wang Linyan, in an interview published today. “The second best would be a second personal summit between him and President Xi Jinping immediately afterwards in China.”
Zepp-LaRouche emphasized the multiple benefits that would be generated by the United States joining the “gigantic dynamic” developing around “the biggest” infrastructure program in history. “Only if the U.S. joins the initiative is there a way to overcome geopolitics, which was the cause of two world wars in the 20th century. Once the institutional forces in the U.S. recognize that it is more in the interest of American industry, jobs and society in general than to be outside of the initiative, a potential Thucydides’ trap or a war over hot spots can be avoided,” she said.
She elaborated on how the resulting economic benefits would “help to rejuvenate the American economy,” while the two nations could participate in joint ventures around the world.
Rushing to throw cold water on such a bold move by President Trump was none other than the dean of the Wharton School, a notorious outpost of British intelligence and imperial neoliberal economics ensconced at the University of Pennsylvania. American companies may participate, “investment liberalization” talks go ahead, etc., etc., Dean Geoffrey Garrett told China Daily; but President Trump joining the Belt and Road Initiative: oh no.
May 5 (EIRNS)—Chinese investment in Africa has increased dramatically, making the country the single largest contributor of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital and jobs in Africa in 2016, according to Ernst & Young’s (EY) Africa Attractiveness Report, released on May 3. Xinhua reported: “Since 2005, China has invested in 293 FDI projects in Africa, totalling an investment outlay of $66.4 billion and creating 130,750 jobs. Chinese FDI into Africa is well diversified across sectors, covering resource-oriented ones as well as services and manufacturing, the report said, also revealing the diversification of Chinese investment across more countries, covering both resource-rich nations, such as South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, and agricultural exporters such as Kenya and Ethiopia.
“In 2016, jobs created from Chinese FDI projects hit an all-time high, more than double the number in 2015 and more than three times the number of jobs created by the next biggest investor, the United States…. ‘This highlights the job-creating impact of Chinese FDI on Africa,’ the report notes, also pointing out that Chinese companies have financed and built many infrastructure projects across the continent, including ports, roads, railways, dams, telecom networks, power stations and airports.” This creates a win-win situation for both China and Africa, the Xinhua coverage continued.
The report notes that since the late 1990s, Sino-African trade has grown rapidly, with China now Africa’s largest non-African trade partner. In 2016, China’s exports to Africa stood at $82.9 billion while imports from the continent were valued at $54.3 billion, according to Ernst & Young report.
May 7 (EIRNS)—In the context of the May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum taking place in Beijing, the Argentine government, through the state company that builds nuclear plants, Nucleoelectrica Argentina, S.A., or NASA, will sign an agreement with China’s National Nuclear Corp., CNNC, in which the latter will build two nuclear reactors in Argentina by the end of 2019.
This “commercial agreement” will be signed on May 17, the pro-government daily La Nación announced May 5, and financing in the amount of a 20-year, $12.5 billion credit, is expected to be provided by the Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) on preferential terms.
Note: In 2014, Macri’s predecessor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her Planning Minister Julio de Vido, signed agreements with China for the construction of these same two plants—the 720 MW Atucha III, to be the country’s fourth reactor, and its fifth, a 1,150 MW reactor, as yet unnamed. But when Macri took office in December 2015, he announced shortly afterwards that these agreements were “harmful for Argentina” and stalled on beginning any construction, claiming the contracts had to be reviewed and entirely revised.
Now, the neoliberal Macri, who has wrecked the Argentine economy, increasing poverty and joblessness, is singing a different tune, and NASA and other national authorities are scrambling to come up with revised contract by May 17. Macri is also bringing a large delegation of businessmen with him to Beijing, in hopes of signing many business deals. On May 2, Macri met in Buenos Aires with Jack Ma, CEO of China’s giant Alibaba firm, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding, by which Alibaba will market Argentine wine and fresh produce through its e-commerce platforms.
May 5 (EIRNS)—United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, dropped in on the Philippines, unofficially, this week, to lecture the Duterte government to stop its war on drugs. According to Salvador Panelo, chief legal advisor to President Rodrigo Duterte, Callamard attended a forum at the University of the Philippines Diliman, telling them that waging a war on drugs would not solve the problem but only makes matters worse.
“She just cannot come here and read newspaper reports and hear the talks of some critics and watch some videos and make a conclusion that there is something wrong the way this government is doing its job,” Panelo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer and other media today.
In her speech, Callamard reviewed the 2016 UN meeting on drugs, concluding: “What the governments did not commit to last year was the ‘war on drugs’ approach. Quite to the contrary…. In April 2016, the General Assembly of the world’s government recognized explicitly that the ‘war on drugs’—be it community based, national or global—does not work…. [T]here are other ways, better ways; evidence-based, scientific ways, of combating drug abuse and trafficking, ways that do not make matters worse.”
A clearer statement of support for the drug banks and drug cartels to have free rein in mass murder and menticide could not be imagined.
The Duterte government, early on in its administration, had invited the UN to send an envoy to investigate its war on drugs, asking only that the investigation be coordinated with the government. This was rejected (as demonstrated by Callamard referring to the UN as the “world’s government,” which it is not).