EIR Daily Alert Service

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, 2017

Volume 4, Number 122

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

EDITORIAL

Make New York the Turning Point of History

June 20 (EIRNS)—The rapid escalation of tensions between the United States and Russia over the past few days’ developments in Syria has brought the entire planet into a very dangerous, delicate situation. We are closer now to the outbreak of thermonuclear world war than we have been at any time since Barack Obama and his clone Hillary Clinton were driven out of the White House.

Notwithstanding some useful steps away from the brink in the last 24 hours—including the U.S. military announcement that they are taking “prudent measures to re-position aircraft over Syria,” in light of the Russian warning that their most advanced radar systems would “lock on” to any and all flights in Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates; and Australia’s decision to suspend their participation in Coalition flights in the region altogether—the situation remains on a hair-trigger. There are repeated statements coming from various parts of the Trump administration and Congress that the American shooting down of the Syrian jet (over its own national territory!) was justified; that “we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened” similarly in the future; and that Syria effectively is to be partitioned.

None of these policies are those of Donald Trump—not as a candidate, and not as President. They are the policies of the very forces that are out to overthrow his Presidency, or assassinate him outright. They represent layers within the intelligence establishment, the military, the media, and Wall Street financial interests—all run from the top by the British Empire—who have launched these operations to prevent Trump from acting on his stated agenda. Well-informed sources have reported that Trump is besieged and distracted by the interminable, groundless legal threats being arrayed against him—which is exactly their intention.

We must escalate our mobilization to awaken the U.S. population to this danger, Helga Zepp-LaRouche told associates today, and to stop the coup-in-progress against Trump. With popular backing for the urgently needed changes, which we must organize, Trump can be freed so that he can act to create an entirely new set of economic and political relations with China and Russia, in particular.

But no piecemeal approaches will work, Zepp-LaRouche stated. A total replacement of the bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system is required, with a new one built from the ground up, along the policy lines specified by Lyndon LaRouche in his Four Laws: a global Glass-Steagall banking reform, and the creation of a Hamiltonian credit system to foster high-tech infrastructure and related development projects. This is exactly what China has launched with its era-shaping Belt and Road Initiative, which the U.S. must now join.

There is no clearer example of this than the situation around New York City and its crumbling infrastructure. Every proposed piecemeal “fix” of one problem, only makes the situation worse elsewhere. The entire infrastructure grid of the New York region, especially transportation, has to be totally replaced, from the ground up.

Let us take this crisis, and turn it into an opportunity, Zepp-LaRouche insisted. The problem is so deep, that it cannot be solved overnight. But if you have a plan, people will have the sense that a solution is in sight and will be optimistic and will pitch in to solve the problem. If there is only chaos, then we will be facing an upheaval—nationally, as well as in New York City. So let us make New York the turning point in history!

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Piecemeal Approaches Threaten New York ‘Summer of Hell’ Chaos; U.S. Must Adopt the New Paradigm

June 20 (EIRNS)—As at least 1.5 million commuters are already aware, July 10th begins what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the “Summer of Hell.” If leading officials in the New York metropolitan area do not quickly change the way they are thinking about this situation, it will truly become hellish, in ways they cannot even imagine. At issue is the century-old-plus tunnel and rail system which moves millions of people in and out of Manhattan on a daily basis. After derailments in early April, it became clear that repairs on the tracks at Penn Station could no longer be delayed, so these urgently needed repairs are set to begin on July 10th. This means a reduction of trains entering Penn Station, which will affect Long Island and New Jersey commuters who will have to find alternative routes to get into the city. There’s the rub!

Since taking necessary action on the overall rail grid has been so long delayed and squeezed to minuscule proportions due to budget constraints and small-mindedness, there exists no redundancy in any alternative route that allows for 20% or more additional commuters. The rush hour traffic by car is already intense, the bus lanes through Lincoln Tunnel are at, or over, maximum capacity, and the same for the other rail lines.  Governor Cuomo is reportedly trying to make emergency repairs on crumbling roads to handle the extra automobile traffic, and in New Jersey, Morris and Essex County commuters will be rerouted to the PATH Hoboken station, but these trains are also already at, or over, capacity as well. In April of 2019 the L train line will be closed for 15 months to repair the Canarsie Tunnel, damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A proposal to re-route the G Train to help address this problem was shot down by MTA representatives, saying that there are already too many trains using the proposed alternative line.

What no one is saying straight out, is that we’ve reached the end. That is, there is no redundancy. The entire system is at the break point, and closing one section for repair or maintenance risks pushing another section over the limit. Better for half of New York City to just take a two-month vacation somewhere else. Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out today that unless there is a comprehensive plan to solve this, which people are informed of, there will be chaos and potential upheaval.

There are already hints of such chaos as the overloaded system groans on, even before the scheduled reductions in service. A couple weeks ago, a subway car got stuck in a tunnel and the temperatures inside became sauna-like while people waited for 45 minutes to move and get out. Now, passengers are breaking out of stalled trains and walking on the tracks to get to work—an extremely dangerous proposition.

A few weeks ago, Lyndon LaRouche called for assembling a committee to put forward a solution to this crisis. That committee is being assembled. This cannot be addressed through public-private partnerships and piecemeal localized plans. China is building transcontinental high-speed rail corridors in Asia, South America, and Africa. We must think like the Chinese, and join their Belt and Road Initiative. As we develop real high-speed rail—that is trains that travel 250 mph—Boston and Philadelphia will become part of this region. New York City will be the center of that. The new track and stations must be planned to serve a vibrant region of East Coast commuters at least 50 years into the future. Adding sky lights and shopping centers to Penn Station will do nothing, except waste time and money.

The only way to fund an infrastructure program on the scale that is needed, is in the way that Lyndon LaRouche has proposed in his Four Laws. First and foremost, stop the financial hemorrhaging by implementing Glass-Steagall. No more trillion-dollar QE packages; that money is worthless! The banks must be separated by function—that is commercial, savings and loan solvent banks separated from speculative investment banks. This must be followed immediately by a top-down system of national banking and credit, as President Abraham Lincoln did with his successful Greenback policy.

The purpose of such a federal credit system, is to increase the productivity of the American people, through investment in and development of advanced technologies, which will also create massive new employment in productive jobs. Jobs which can become careers, as opposed to taking in each other’s laundry, as millions are now doing with the informal app-based, slave-labor economy of today.

Finally, all of this must be driven by a commitment to harnessing thermonuclear fusion power to supply mankind’s ever-increasing need for the next platform in energy. Not only will a modern rail grid require an abundance of electricity, but moving mankind into space, to learn the secrets of the Universe, and develop breakthroughs in science, means developing nuclear-powered rockets as Kennedy envisioned.

Since New Yorkers are known for being outspoken, cosmopolitan, and impassioned individuals, it is unlikely that they will sit passively on the sidelines as everything breaks down. If this passion can be focused properly, on working with President Trump to implement his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” through American System methods, as LaRouche has proposed, the Summer may well be hell, but the knowledge that a better future will result from the current difficulties will avert total chaos. On the other hand, if leading officials persist in their foolishly small-minded, money-worshipping state of denial exhibited thus far, expect a very hot Summer of chaos and upheaval, with no end in sight. It’s up to you.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

U.S. Military ‘Repositions’ Its Aircraft over Syria, but Still Claims ‘Right’ of Self-Defense

June 20 (EIRNS)—If Russian air defense radars are now going to be lighting American aircraft that fly on the wrong side of the Euphrates River in Syria, as the Russian Defense Ministry warned yesterday, then this is going to be a problem for American pilots. The Pentagon said as much yesterday.

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian regime [sic] and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to re-position aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrew given known threats in the battlespace,” said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman at U.S. Air Force’s Central Command.

The Australians, who have six F-18F Super Hornets flying strike missions as part of the U.S.-led coalition out of the U.A.E., have also decided that this is a problem and have suspended their participation in air strikes altogether. In Canberra, a Defense Ministry statement said today that, “Australian Defense Force protection is regularly reviewed in response to a range of potential threats.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer maintained that the American shooting down of the Syrian fighter jet over Syrian national territory was just another act of American self-defense. He also said that the U.S. would work to keep the lines of communication open with Russia. “ISIS represents a threat to all nations,” he said. “We have to do what we can to work with partners.” This effort to work with partners, however, doesn’t mean that the U.S. won’t down Syrian aircraft if necessary. Spicer said the U.S. has the right to defend its coalition partners. “The escalation of hostilities doesn’t help anybody and the Syrian regime and others in the region need to understand that we will keep the right to self-defense.”

Virginia State Sen. Richard Black Cites U.S. Violations of International Law in Syria

June 20 (EIRNS)—Speaking to Sputnik on June 20, Virginia State Sen. Richard Black (R) scored the unilateral action by the U.S. to establish a military base in Tanf, Syria. Black said, “You can’t get a more obvious violation of international law than to actually move in and set up a military base in a sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards our country.” Black spoke to Sputnik days after a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber near the city of Tabqa.

Black, who met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in April 2016, said he believed, based on recent intelligence he has received, that Assad would get 90% of the vote if an election took place in Syria today. Furthermore, he stated “people are totally supportive of President Assad and the First Lady Asma Assad, who is I think one of the great first ladies of the world.” Black said the Assads were “Totally self-sacrificing people. Unlike many leaders of the world, they are not greedy, they are not hoarding national wealth, they are sacrificing themselves for the future of their nation. So the people love them.”

Black said further that, “There is almost total unity of the religions. The Christians, the Alawites, the Sunnis, the Shi’ites, the Druze, they’re all fighting together to retain Syria.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, Black told Sputnik, has unfortunately given authority to people “who are not well-intentioned and they are using that military authority in Syria.”

However, the Senator also noted that Russia, Syria, and its allies are “definitely on the move. There’s no doubt that the terrorists are being thrown back on every front and I think that’s very encouraging.”

Russian Legislators Speak Out on Syria Crisis

June 20 (EIRNS)—Sen. Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s national legislature, delivered the following unofficial message in comments to RIA Novosti: “We will take all measures to ensure the security of our aircraft during their combat and other tasks by all air defense and aviation assets, both from the ground and from the air, including the S-300 and S-400.” The Russian Senator went on to elaborate: “We won’t allow anyone to do what happened to the Syrian plane to our pilots…. I’m sure that, because of this [the Russian Defense Ministry warning], neither the U.S. nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft. That’s why there’s no threat of direct confrontation between Russian and American aircraft…. [But] a threat for those jets may appear only if they take actions that pose a threat to Russian aircraft.”

Bloomberg reported that the deputy chairman of that committee, Sen. Frants Klintsevich, commented that the Russian “Defense Ministry response doesn’t mean there will be war with the U.S., though it’s a ‘pretty serious’ signal that Russia won’t accept acts of aggression against Syria.”

The Plot To Partition Syria

June 20 (EIRNS)—There are plans coming from certain elements within the U.S. intelligence and military community to de facto partition Syria. These are the same circles who are out to sabotage President Trump’s stated intention not to be involved in any more regime-change wars in general, nor in the internal affairs of Syria in particular.

Former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Col. Pat Lang (ret.), in a June 19 posting to his blog “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” reports that U.S. coalition activity is so aggressive in the Raqqa/Tabqa area of north Syria, and in the southeast around the al-Tanf border crossing (near the Syrian border with Iraq and Jordan), “that it seems clear that the U.S. intends to partition Syria on a de facto basis, with the east being used as a base for a post-IS [Islamic State] campaign against the Syrian government.”

In Russia, the recent U.S. deployment of two HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rocket launchers to al-Tanf is seen by some qualified observers as a sign of those U.S. partition plans. Raqqa is just beyond the HIMARS reach from al-Tanf; therefore, the main goal of the U.S. is enforcing a unilaterally declared “de-confliction zone” in the area to prevent Iran from sending supplies to the Syrian army, reports Russia Beyond The Headlines.

Remarks made earlier this week in Washington at the National Press Club, by Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, also left the door open for those campaigning for partition. Dunford said that, as the U.S.-led coalition supports local efforts to seize Raqqa, another effort led by the U.S. State Department is establishing a governance body that will take over once Raqqa is seized. “That governance will leverage Arab leaders who are from Raqqa and will also work on establishing a security force made up of local personnel so stabilization efforts that will follow the seizure of Raqqa,” Dunford added.

Iranian Missile Strike on ISIS in Syria Carries Multiple Messages

June 20 (EIRNS)—The Iranians are playing up their June 19 missile strike against ISIS targets in Syria, a missile strike that Iranian official said was coordinated with Syrian officials, and was in retaliation for the June 7 terror attacks on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Yesterday, Iranian TV broadcast what appears to be drone footage of the missiles impacting in the Syrian city of Al Mayadeen, on the Euphrates River. Numerous reports have emerged in the past week or so, stating that Al Mayadeen is where ISIS is building its new capital, now that ISIS is on the verge of losing Raqqa.

Iranian commentators have been explicit, however, that ISIS isn’t the only target of the missile strike. “The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message,” Second Brigadier General Ramezan, spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said in a statement issued shortly after the missiles were launched. “Obviously and clearly, some reactionary countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, had announced that they are trying to bring insecurity into Iran.”

Emile Nakhleh, a retired CIA senior intelligence service officer, a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, told the “Cipher Brief” security news website, that the missile strike sends multiple messages: “for the U.S., Iran does not plan to escalate their military involvement in Syria but will not ignore any provocations or attacks on its sovereignty at home. The strike, from Tehran’s perspective, was done in self-defense. For Saudi Arabia: Don’t go beyond rhetoric in vitriol against Iran. Should the Saudis engage in a military action that could threaten Iran’s security, the IRGC has the means and the regional reach to retaliate.”

With Tensions Still High in Korea, U.S. Flies Two Strategic Bombers over Korean Peninsula

June 20 (EIRNS)—Two U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers flew over South Korea in a drill with South Korean fighter jets today. While back-channel talks are proceeding, based on a suspension of bomb and missile tests in the North in exchange for a draw-down of strategic exercises between the South and the U.S., this exercise must be seen as a provocation.

The B-1B Lancer bombers came from U.S. Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. The U.S. bombers conducted mock bombing exercises at the Pilsung Range in Gangwon province, South Korea’s eastern region.

Xinhua noted that South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s envoy to the U.S. last week, Moon Chung-in, told Washington that if Pyongyang stops any further nuclear and missile activities, the deployment of U.S. military strategic assets and the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises can be scaled down through discussions with the U.S. side.

President Moon is scheduled to visit Washington  for his first summit meeting with President Trump, on June 29-30.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

BRICS Foreign Ministers Commit To Deepening Cooperation on All Fronts

June 20 (EIRNS)—In lieu of a formal communiqué, the June 18-19 meeting of the five BRICS foreign ministers in Beijing,  issued a 17-point “Media Note,” touching on the several global issues they discussed, spanning economics and finance, foreign policy, reform of international institutions such as the UN, and security. The last point included strong condemnation of terrorism and urged the creation of a “genuinely broad international anti-terrorism coalition” that will support the UN’s coordinating role.

All states, the ministers said, have the obligation to “prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.”

The egregious point in the statement was the call to “all countries” to implement the COP21 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Otherwise, the ministers agreed to expand their coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues, and decisively condemned “unilateral military intervention or economic sanctions” used against nations “in violation of international law and universally-recognized norms of international relations.” They pointedly referenced the Syrian and Afghan conflicts which, they said, must be resolved through political and diplomatic means, and respect for their sovereignty and territorial integrity. They called for the use of “preventive diplomacy” in addressing the crises on the Korean Peninsula and in Libya.

The foreign ministers “recommit their strong support to multilateralism, and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs.” The five also reiterated their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter “as well as to a fair and just international order, upholding the basic norms of international law such as equal sovereignty and non-intervention in other countries’ internal affairs, promoting greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, building a brighter shared future for the global community through mutually-beneficial international cooperation.”

China: Three ‘Blue Economic Passages’ as Part of Maritime Silk Road

June 20 (EIRNS)—China released a report today titled “Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” published by the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration. The report describes three “Blue Economic Passages” that will connect Asia with Africa, Oceania, Europe and South America, reports Xinhua.

The three blue economic passages include:

  • The China-Indian Ocean-Africa-Mediterranean Sea blue economic passage, running through the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and linking with the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, and the China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridors.
  • The China-Oceania-South Pacific passage will run through the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean and South America.
  • The third links China with Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

The document called on countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to focus on “sharing blue space and developing the blue economy,” which will target issues such as marine environment protection, marine interconnectivity, maritime security and common oceanic governance, Xinhua, which published the full text of the document, reported. “China will adhere to the Silk Road Spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefits, shelving differences and building consensus,” said the document, which was an outcome of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Will Make Loan for Egyptian Railroads

June 20 (EIRNS)—China’s intense activity in the railways of African countries has apparently sparked the EU to become active now as well. Millions of commuters across Egypt will benefit from a €290 million loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) in its fleet expansion and upgrading services. The purchase of up to 100 new diesel locomotives to replace the current ENR fleet of locomotives, which are on average 30 years old, will enable the railway company to provide a more reliable and higher quality service to its customers. GE has reportedly signed a deal with Egypt to be the provider of those 100 new locomotives.

Furthermore, the EBRD will provide technical assistance support to ENR to develop and implement a comprehensive freight reform program and a commercialization plan for freight. This includes the separation of freight operations from passenger transport and the introduction of track-access charging. The project will benefit Egypt’s “development strategy of building new roads, highways, tunnels and connections across the country,” said Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Chinese May Build Railroad in Russia

June 20 (EIRNS)—The state-owned China Railway Group has signed a $2.5 billion memorandum of understanding with Russia to build a high-speed railway in the country, the China Daily reported today. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed during the Fourth China-Russia Exposition held in Harbin, China.

The line will run around 200 km between Yekaterinburg (Russia’s third-largest city) and Chelyabinsk, and is expected to cut the travel time to 70 minutes from 5 hours, said China Railway.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

EU Wants To Shut Down Two Italian Banks

June 20 (EIRNS)—In conformity with their stated policy of shutting down community banks, the European Commission demands a “market” injection of €1.25 billion in the two beleaguered Italian regional banks, Veneto Banca and Popolare Vicenza, as a condition for government aid. This seems impossible to achieve, so now the government is left with only one solution under EU law: separate the good stuff (deposits, performing credit, corporate centers, asset management, and sovereign bonds) from the bad stuff, and sell the former and keep the latter.

Of course, retail customers lose their money through the bail-in of subordinate bonds. As we reported earlier, this has already started, with the government issuing a decree suspending the payment of a smaller Veneto Banca bond coming due on June 21. This might unleash a wave of panic through the entire system of community banks, with customers being motivated to pull their savings out and put them in larger banks.

According to a source in the European Parliament, this was probably the EU intention from the beginning. The source said that first, they wanted to solve the Spanish problem with Banco Popular, to then focus on the Italian banks.

Chair of the ECB Supervisory Board Danièle Nouy was asked yesterday at a Euro Parliament hearing why she, as ECB Supervisor, could not see problems with Banco Popular coming, and let the bank bleed, from the run on deposits. Nouy answered that there is nothing that could have been done to prevent that. It took so long to intervene, because the ECB was assessing liquidity levels of the bank!

Indeed, EU institutions have long since declared that there are too many small banks in Europe, and their policy acts in conformity with such a statement. Small banks are subject to a punitive EU regulatory framework, are made unprofitable through the zero-interest-rate policy, and are either forced to be merged, or carved up and ultimately shut down. Thus, community banks slowly disappear and cancerous TBTF banks grow.

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