EIR Daily Alert Service
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017
Volume 4, Number 102
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
May 23 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump, now in Italy, met earlier today in Bethlehem, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, where they spoke of what lies ahead. Trump expressed hope that America can help. He said, “If Israelis and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East … [that] would be an amazing accomplishment.”
In fact, it is the New Silk Road—the World Land-Bridge—that is the means for achieving this dramatic accomplishment everywhere in the ‘process of peace,’ even in the most besieged, forsaken lands. This aspect is being taken up, along with the true meaning of “economics,” in follow-on discussions in many places, of the historic Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, May 14-15. For example, today’s South China Morning Post observes that Japan and China can now successfully come together, collaborating on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated this point explicitly, in her presentation to last week’s Beijing Belt and Road Forum (BRF). She posed how the BRI must also be extended to the entire Southwest Asia region, which China has already proposed to do; and extended as a “Grand Design development plan for all of Africa.” For decades, she and Lyndon LaRouche have promoted this peace principle internationally, as, for example, in two 1988 international conferences and book, “Development Is the Name for Peace.”
Now the concept must be brought home to the United States, where Americans are otherwise being bombarded by propaganda and black ops, to demonize Trump, demonize Russia and China, demonize “big projects,” and life itself. The source of this is the expiring British empire, mobilized to attempt to bring down the Presidency and the United States with it. A new slew of Russia-bashing video clips was generated today from a hearing by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, on Russian “active measures” against the 2016 elections.
It is worth repeating the advice on these dirty operations, from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), a senior lawmaker and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, when asked by Fox News on May 10 what he thought about the comparison of Trump firing FBI Director James Comey, to Nixon getting caught for Watergate. Grassley said, “My message is: Suck it up, and move on.”
The geographic vision for the development of the Americas was laid out last week by Zepp-LaRouche in her Beijing presentation. “Looking at the world land map, the United States is not merely a country surrounded by two oceans and two neighbors, but can be a central part of an infrastructure corridor which connects the southern tip of Ibero-America through Central and South America, with the Eurasian transport system via a tunnel under the Bering Strait.”
One part of this North American picture, needing immediate attention, is New York City, whose transportation infrastructure is in breakdown mode, throughout the entire metropolitan region—the largest on the continent—but especially in Manhattan. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter May 21 to President Trump, asking for Federal help. Across all modes—the Amtrak passenger trains, Penn Station, LaGuardia Airport, the Metro system—there are accidents, outages and dysfunction. Lyndon LaRouche has commissioned the formation of an action committee to lay out what needs to be done, and “make a war cry” about it. Put a program together; get the international input. “Physically, it can be done.”
President John F. Kennedy, whose 100th birthday anniversary is May 29, frequently raised the principle of peace through development. On March 1, 1961, when he signed his Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps, he spoke of Americans being willing “to sacrifice their energies and time and toil to the cause of world peace and human progress.” He said Americans “must exercise more fully their responsibilities in the great common cause of world development.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
May 23 (EIRNS)—Reverberations from the May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation continue to be felt in every corner of the globe, as the word “gets out” that there is an alternative to geopolitics and economic collapse already underway in which all are invited to participate.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post pointed in its editorial today, to the Belt and Road as “a way for Japan and China to repair ties.” This is a way to build the mutual trust required to establish “a sustained improvement” in Sino-Japanese relations otherwise hung up on “unresolved historical issues,” complicated also by Japan’s “warming ties” with Taiwan, it wrote.
“The disclosure of a conciliatory personal letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to President Xi Jinping, delivered on Abe’s behalf after the recent Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, is therefore a welcome development…. The Belt and Road plan could be a starting point for China and Japan in the further normalization of their relations…. If it is instrumental in paving the way for talks between Japan and China, that would be a bonus for the region,” SCMP concludes.
In his latest article in Forbes magazine, New Silk Road supporter Wade Shepard hailed the BRI for “its brash disregard for the established geopolitical divisions of the world.” Monarchies, democracies, dictatorships, theocracies and even “borderline failed states” are welcome, as long as they are “willing to step up to the table and do business.” It is in Europe’s interest to participate, too, he suggested. Europe should stop worrying about transparency in China’s markets, and realize that “the BRI is making Europe relevant again, one trans-Eurasian rail line, financial district, and revitalized port at a time.”
Not to be left out, the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) is “delighted” with the prospects coming out of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in which it participated, Sino news network reported yesterday. The CBBC reports that it will be preparing joint reports with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC) “on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to ensure that U.K. companies are best placed to take advantage of one of the most far-reaching global business initiatives in modern history. The BRI vision is becoming a reality, and the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing this weekend demonstrates China’s ambition for BRI.”
Even those fixated on money-making are waking up. European banks should get in on this project, Alicia García-Herrero, of the Brussels-based economic think-tank Bruegel and the Spanish monarchy’s Royal El Cano Institute, wrote today in an article headlined “China Can’t Finance Belt and Road Alone.”
Likewise, Tony Boyd of the Australian Financial Review wrote that the Australian “federal government’s lukewarm response to China’s massive One Belt One Road infrastructure plan should not deter Australian businesses from coming up with their own comprehensive engagement strategies.” The opportunities are huge “for bankers, construction companies, infrastructure investors, consultants, professional services firms, equity fund managers and exporters. Businesses need to understand the financial and economic implications of a co-ordinated infrastructure spending program that spans up to 65 countries.”
PARIS, May 23 (EIRNS)—While all of France is mobilizing for the June 11-18th legislative elections, and domestic policies are just beginning to come into being, French President Emmanuel Macron is moving to define his territory in the international arena. Clearly, Europe and the Franco-German relations are, at this point, his top priority, and he made his first trip to Germany to confirm that choice.
Through Xi Jinping’s and Putin’s initiative, however, the urgent questions of peace and the international order have come knocking at his door. While Xi made a point to invite Macron personally to come to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Putin is doing his best to repair the tense relations that developed between Russia and Macron during the Presidential election.
The day after the election, on May 8th, Putin first congratulated Macron on his election and called upon him “to go beyond the mutual distrust” and to “unite forces to ensure the stability and security internationally.” Again on May 18th, on Putin’s initiative, both Presidents had a telephone conversation and agreed on that occasion “to work together on international and regional questions, including the fight against terrorism.”
Today, a meeting between both Presidents was announced for next Monday, May 29. A most appropriate historical event, the inauguration of an exhibit at the Grand Trianon of the Versailles Palace, celebrating the 300th anniversary of Peter the Great’s visit to France in 1717, has been taken as the occasion to organize this meeting. “The development of Franco-Russian relations in all areas, will be at the heart of the discussions,” stated the Kremlin in a communiqué.
The Atlanticists are already beginning to panic and rationalize Macron’s opening to Putin by saying, as did French Institute of International Relations’ Russian expert Thomas Gomart, that “this meeting has come up quite soon,” but that it is only happening after the trip by Macron to Berlin and this Thursday’s NATO summit on May 25, and the G7 meeting over May 26-27 in Taormina, Italy. Gomart insisted that it “is a message that underlines that the French priority is Germany and the European project.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
May 23 (EIRNS)—President and Mrs. Trump arrived in Italy tonight, after their activities in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, where Trump’s main theme was promoting the resumption of the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for peace and resolving national status.
This morning, Trump was received with ceremony in Bethlehem, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump said afterward that he is “truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people.” He stated as his firm belief that, “if Israelis and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all through the Middle East.” He said, “[T]hat would be an amazing accomplishment.”
Standing alongside Trump, Abbas said that Palestinians “are committed to working with you to reach an historic peace deal between us and Israel.” Abbas also said, “Once again, we reassert to you our positions of accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, the state of Palestine with its capital as East Jerusalem, living alongside Israel in peace and security.”
On May 21, a few economic concessions to the Palestinians were authorized by Israeli authorities, after a request by Trump. They include keeping open the Allenby Bridge link between the West Bank and Jordan 24/7; building two industrial zones, at Jalameh in the northern West Bank and at Tarqumiyeh in the south; and easing some restrictions on construction of Palestinian housing.
May 23 (EIRNS)—Despite the best efforts of the treasonous media to hype it, former CIA Director John Brennan’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today was a crashing bore, leaving anyone with an ounce of intelligence to say what most Americans are saying, to wit, this is all a lie.
The Democrats on the Committee had already moved on, for the most part, from the “Russia hacked the election” hysteria to grandstanding around the latest piece of dung thrown against the wall to see if it will stick: alleging that Trump is obstructing justice by asking that the witchhunt about non-existent crimes, be brought to an end.
The Republicans, having bought into the upside-down world of accepting the “Russia hacked the elections” nonsense as true, continued to attempt to navigate the view from their inappropriate headstand position. Here, before them, was Obama’s Grand Inquisitor Brennan, accused by the well-informed of orchestrating a coup against the elected President of the United States, and not one of them asked him whether he was the source of leaks to the media, or pressed him on his role in the coup.
There were some noteworthy exchanges, nonetheless. Brennan, in his opening statement, said that, in essence, in his briefings to the “Gang of Eight” Senators in August and early September, he had said nothing different than what was in the widely discredited, factless Obama Administration assessment of January 2017 concerning Russia attempting to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. He said that knowing that the Russians had hacked the DNC’s computers, and knowing that members of the Trump campaign were having contacts with the Russians, he had referred the matter to the FBI for follow-up. He does not know whether said “contacts” were benign or nefarious. When asked to characterize what his evidence was, he replied that he didn’t “do evidence”; he does “intelligence.” He denied that the dossier by “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele had anything to do with the CIA’s conclusions about Russian hacking or the January intelligence “assessment.”
In response to Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Brennan said, with considerable squirming, that it would be a mischaracterization of the classified materials he had viewed, and that the Committee has viewed, to state that they demonstrated collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
May 23 (EIRNS)—Kim DotCom, a German-born hacker based presently in New Zealand, has come forward to claim that he was in contact with Seth Rich, and he knows that Seth Rich was involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks. Rich was a Bernie Sanders supporter who worked in Washington for the DNC as Director of Voter Expansion Data. He was murdered on July 10, 2016. WikiLeaks released 20,000 DNC emails 12 days later on July 22, 2016. Leading experts have argued that the emails were not hacked by the Russians as claimed by U.S. intelligence officials, but rather leaked by an insider. If it can be proven that Rich leaked the emails, the entire narrative that the Russians did it would collapse immediately.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
May 23 (EIRNS)—The “Joint Statement Between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America” signed by President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud at the end of President Trump’s visit, was posted today by the White House. The statement repackages the British Empire’s long-standing war-however-we-can-get-it policy, laundered through its Saudi Arabia outpost. The U.S.-Saudi alliance against Iran and its allies which it outlines, were its policies to be carried out, would screw up the collaboration with Russia and China against terrorism which President Trump has otherwise initiated, and wreck the urgently needed participation of the region in the New Silk Road.
The 28-point statement announces “a new Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century” between the two nations, to be institutionalized through a “Strategic Joint Consultative Group,” which is to meet at least once a year, alternating between the two countries. The Bush-Obama policy of covering up Saudi Arabia’s flagrant role in sponsoring Wahhabite terrorism around the world (including in the 9/11 attacks) is maintained, with praises of Saudi Arabia’s “achievements” in disrupting terrorism.
The discussion of creating “a robust, integrated regional security architecture,” to which other countries in the region should be pulled in, joint Saudi-U.S. “protection” of Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz,” etc., is openly targetted at Iran. The two leaders “agreed on the need to contain Iran’s malign interference in the internal affairs of other states, instigation of sectarian strife, support of terrorism and armed proxies, and efforts to destabilize the countries in the region,” and “stressed that … the nuclear agreement with Iran needs to be re-examined in some of its clauses.”
While Saudi Arabia continues its unconscionable genocidal war against Yemen, Point 25 states, “President Trump commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Yemeni people.”
President Trump’s mistaken attack on Syria over the British-orchestrated “chemical weapons” attack is praised, and the two agreed to pressure (“support”) the Lebanese government in disarming Hezbollah.
May 23 (EIRNS)—Asked today about President Donald Trump’s remarks on Iran while in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov replied, as reported by TASS:
“Tackling any problems, including those we see in the Middle East and Northern Africa, will be possible only on the inclusive basis. This implies the need for all ethnic, religious and political forces of any country concerned, be it Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Libya, to participate in each particular case.
“It also applies to the need for the involvement of all external actors who one way or another influence the situation on the ground. To a full extent, this also refers to Iran and to what has to be done to settle the Syrian crisis.
“The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) focuses precisely on the principle of inclusiveness, the principle of involving all external actors, and Iran is in the nucleus of this group…. The Astana process is also based on the principle of inclusiveness, considering that Russia, Turkey and Iran have come up with an initiative for a direct inter-Syrian dialogue with the participation of the government and the armed opposition.
“Within this trio, Turkey also acts as a representative of some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ministers of these countries confirmed during their visit to Moscow that Turkey also represented their approaches at the Astana venue. The fact that the Astana format and the decision on the ceasefire that was reached late last year, guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, was approved at the UN Security Council, demonstrates quite vividly the attitude of the international community to this situation,” Lavrov said.
May 23 (EIRNS)—UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council that the sixth round of the Syria peace talks in Geneva last week had made incremental progress, even if the tight schedule didn’t allow for full discussion of all of the issues on the table. In his statement, published on the Special Envoy’s website, de Mistura particularly praised the Astana (Kazakhstan) track and of the role of Russia in the overall process.
“Astana produced, in my modest opinion, a promising step: a memorandum between the three guarantors [Russia, Iran, Turkey] on the creation of de-escalation zones,” de Mistura said. “The reports which I received so far indicate a significant drop in violence, including in aerial bombardment, in most of the areas identified by the memorandum.” In the designated areas, life is starting to return to some sort of normalcy, where Syrians “take their own future and their present in hand,” de Mistura said. “We welcome this, and the efforts of the Astana guarantors should be praised, because we want them to succeed.”
As for the Russian role, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov held meetings last week with all of the parties in the talks—de Mistura, the Syrian government delegation, and all of the opposition groups, including the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, as well as the Moscow and Cairo groups. Gatilov, de Mistura said in a press conference May 19, “was extremely supportive of what we have been trying to do.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN SYSTEM
May 23 (EIRNS)—At yesterday’s meeting of Euro area finance ministers—the Eurogroup—the finance ministers of Germany and the Netherlands prevented a discussion about debt relief for Greece, and instead mandated Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem to produce an opinion on the issue. Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) is said to be the strongest opponent to a debt deal.
May 23 (EIRNS)—American Banker reported today that “Santander Consumer USA, one of the biggest subprime auto finance companies, verified income on just 8% of loans it recently bundled into bonds, according to Moody’s Investors Service.”
The fact that such income verification is supposed to be required by law, and that Santander Consumer does not appear to deny that it does not do so, indicates the high degree of risk of a default-triggered explosion in the $300 billion of securitized subprime auto loans.
American Banker continued, “The lack of checks may be one factor in explaining higher loan losses experienced by Santander Consumer in bond deals that it has sold in recent years, Moody’s analysts Jody Shenn and Nick Monzillo wrote in a May 17 report, which reviewed data required of asset-backed bond issuers that’s recently been made available….
“While the market for the debt is much smaller than the subprime-mortgage market that triggered the Great Recession, regulators have grown concerned that lenders are taking advantage of borrowers and putting them in cars that they can’t afford.”
May 23 (EIRNS)—In an interview published today by EE Publishers, the CEO of the South African National Space Agency Dr. Valanathan Munsami, explained SANSA’s new strategic plan, which aims to bring the African continent as a whole into the use of space technology and applications. The five-year strategic framework focuses on applications in two areas, telecommunications satellites and navigation satellite services, in order to upgrade the economic development of to all of Africa.
Dr. Munsami reported that he will be going to China “to sign an agreement for a joint satellite program under BRICS,” which has been proposed by China.
Munsami said SANSA “will be developing partnerships with other African research institutions.” The idea is to integrate various capabilities that South Africa has scattered among various government departments, into a “platform for the African continent.” Data that is collected by satellites operated by SANSA will be made available without cost to other African countries, with the focus on food security and water. SANSA recently signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and a technical working group will be set up to see where space technology can be used to meet NEPAD’s requirements.
South Africa is also looking at how it can broaden its use of other nations’ space capabilities to other African nations. South Africa, Munsami explained, has access to data from the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, and in arrangement with China, will distribute satellite imagery through the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The rest of Africa will gain access to the imagery, working with Brazil. South Africa, itself, has a new agreement with the German space agency, and one with the European Commission.