EIR Daily Alert Service
FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017
Volume 4, Number 124
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
June 22 (EIRNS)—It is widely expected that Presidents Trump and Putin will meet in person for the first time just two weeks and one day from today, on the sidelines of the July 7-8 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg. This meeting has the potential to be a world-changing event. As we have reported, Russian Sen. Alexander Pushkov said on June 20 that this meeting will be the highlight of the G20 summit if it takes place. “A lot will depend on this meeting,” he said, and “that is why it is so highly anticipated everywhere—from Tallinn to Lisbon, from Beijing to Cairo.” Yes, it’s critically important—but yet no one is talking about it! It’s “hiding in plain view,” as EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche has frequently cited a notion found in Edgar Allan Poe’s story of “The Purloined Letter.”
Those of the British imperial faction are saying absolutely nothing about this soon-approaching Trump-Putin summit, because they are terribly frightened of what may happen there. After all, why else have the neocons and neoliberals spent so many months lying their heads off that President Donald Trump and his associates are somehow Russian agents? Now this fast-approaching expected summit is so important that they refuse even to mention it!
Instead, they have been moving in obvious ways to try to get the Trump-Putin meeting cancelled—or, if they can’t get it cancelled, to try to ensure that it is ruined, and that it becomes totally hostile, so that no positive personal relationship can develop.
It was for this reason that a crazy Russia sanctions bill was rammed through the Senate by a lopsided 98-2 majority just one week ago today—and then misreported as “Trump sanctions” by the lying British-run media—even though the Trump Administration opposes it and is trying to stop it before it can become law. It was for this reason that U.S. forces shot down a Syrian jet on June 18, forcing the Russians to again terminate the hotline through which U.S. and Russian forces had deconflicted their operations in Syria. It was for this reason that Steve Mnuchin’s U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 38 Russian and Ukrainian firms and individuals on June 20, forcing Russia to cancel a planned meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon. And whose NATO F-16 was it that buzzed the jet of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu just yesterday?
And what worse treasonous act will these people commit tomorrow, in their hysteria about the prospect of better relations between the U.S. and Russia?
These sinister forces have refused to recognize the Constitutional election decision of the American people since day one, and they still refuse. Those who support the President and the Constitution must come forth to crush the forces of treason, and support the President to achieve his objectives by joining the U.S. with Russia and China in the New Silk Road, and recreating American infrastructure through massive Federal credit, and in partnership with China, through Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four New Laws” of June 2014. Tomorrow may be too late.
Further indication of the British-loving layer’s hysteria at the prospect of a linking-up of Putin with Trump, can be found in German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s remarks of June 20 (on receiving the Henry Kissinger Prize): “I doubt whether the United States truly believes that the world order would be equally sound if China or Russia were to fill the gaps left by the U.S., and if China and Russia were simply given a free hand to dominate the spheres of influence that they have defined for themselves. That would be the end of our liberal world order.”
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
June 22 (EIRNS)—The Wilson Center and the Arctic Circle, an NGO of scientific, political, and business people involved in the development of the Arctic, sponsored a forum on June 21-22 at the Wilson Center in Washington, offering powerful insights from multiple perspectives on the urgency of maintaining the close cooperation between the United States and Russia in the Arctic, including calls for this cooperation to serve as a model to bring about a restoration of ties more broadly.
Arctic Circle’s initiator Olafur Grimsson, the former President of Iceland, Wilson President Jane Harman, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), gave opening presentations, demonstrating that the event was intended to not only advance cooperation in the Arctic, but also to bring the U.S. and Russia together for international peace and development. Regardless of the few objections, most speakers added their own support for this broader urgent necessity.
Grimsson praised the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council over the past two years, noting that the U.S. had “significant help from Russia,” thus demonstrating that the two countries “can have a very constructive and successful relationship.” Jane Harman, a former nine-term Congresswoman, stressed the importance that the conference was being held in Washington, since “most members of Congress know nothing about the Arctic.” She pointed out that the close U.S. cooperation with Russia in the Arctic “builds a bridge” between the two nations.
Senator Murkowski, who also serves Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region’s Standing Committee, called for “taking this positive relationship here [in the Arctic] to impact broader U.S.-Russia relations.” Cooperation between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the May Arctic Council meeting in Fairbanks, she underscored, facilitated an agreement on scientific cooperation in the Arctic. She also noted that Russia is far ahead of the U.S. in building the necessary infrastructure for Arctic development and the facilitation of the Northern Passage, which is now far more important due to the dramatic recession of the ice cap.
One panel included the former Lt. Gov. of Alaska Mead Treadwell, a close associate of former Gov. Walter Hickel, and Russian Sen. Igor Chernyshenko, who represents the Murmansk Oblast in the Arctic. Chernyshenko praised the work of the Arctic Council under U.S. chairmanship over the past two years, pointing out that there was no potential for conflict now in the Arctic. He described some of the 140 projects underway in Russia’s Arctic, including the huge Yamal gas, oil, port and rail development, and others, which, he also said has significant Chinese involvement. He encouraged U.S. and other foreign investment in the Russian projects, noting that the opening of the Northwest Passage facilitates participation of all nations, not just the Arctic nations, and warned that the current tensions are forcing U.S. companies to lose out on great opportunities.
During the Q&A session, EIR referenced the 2006 Moscow forum on building a rail tunnel connecting Russia and Alaska under the Bering Strait, statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s presentation there, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s description of the project as a “war avoidance” policy, and the support from Governor Hickel, and asked if it were not now even more urgent to proceed with such a project.
Lieutenant Governor Treadwell answered that his friend Governor Hickel had said of the Bering Strait Tunnel: “It will not happen in my lifetime, but we must keep talking about it every day.” Treadwell emphasized that every project, big or small, to drive cooperation with Russia were extremely important, and described a joint ship-monitoring system now being developed for the Bering Sea. He also referenced a recent agreement to pursue the building of a rail connection from the lower 48 states through Canada to Alaska, and that such a rail line could eventually reach the Bering Strait and proceed on to Russia via a tunnel.
In his remarks, Alaskan Rep. Don Young decried the fact that “our media peddles the idea that Russia is our enemy—there is no reason.” The Arctic, he said, is our future. Georgy Karlov, the Deputy Chairman of the Duma (Russia’s lower house) representing Sakhalin, said that developing the Arctic is like developing space, both because of the similar technological problems, and also because the harsh conditions mean that no country can do it alone, and that all nations need to cooperate: “The U.S. and the Russia went to space separately, but now they work closely together.”
June 22 (EIRNS)—Speaking June 19 at the 18th world congress of the International Economics Association in Mexico City, Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), urged the nations of the region to look toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as an example of the economic cooperation and regional integration that Latin America and the Caribbean need, if they are to overcome profound problems of poverty and inequality.
The BRI, she said, “is a very powerful proposal—one of investment, connectivity, of reviving the Silk Road. We as Latin Americans should think in those terms.”
Barcena, who attended the May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, and has worked closely with China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on several occasions, called for “rethinking of capitalism,” to forge a new economic model and “a new paradigm … I’m not saying substitute; all I’m saying is that capitalism and hyper-globalization have brought us social, political, and environmental problems that are unsustainable.”
The UN official also warned that nations must abandon short-term thinking and look years ahead into the future. “Where do we want Mexico to be in 10 years?” she asked her audience.
In her Mexico City remarks, Barcena was echoing themes of her May 14 speech in Beijing, in which she emphasized that Latin America and the Caribbean “have a historic opportunity to deepen ties with China and the rest of the Asian economies,” and that, “at this critical crossroads of human history, Latin America and the Caribbean cannot be left behind…. We look to China for its guidance and support,” she said. “The Belt and Road Forum hands us a civilizing proposal of connectivity and shared prosperity … the BRI represents a renewal and a profound commitment to fundamental values for our global economic and social wellbeing.” She called on the nations of Ibero-America and the Caribbean “to embrace the potential that the Belt and Road Initiative offers, to redefine capitalism through the equality and dignity of human beings.”
June 22 (EIRNS)—This was the message conveyed in a June 21 Global Times article, in which analyst Chris Dalby emphasizes that, “bringing Panama and its canal officially into China’s diplomatic relations orbit is also a huge boost for the B&R initiative…. While the B&R’s impact on Latin America can still appear foggy at times, in Panama, its potential is crystal clear.” As Telesur headlined its coverage June 13, “Panama and China: Is the Silk Road Expanding?”
Specifically, Dalby points out, diplomatic relations “mean that China can set up a dedicated infrastructure along the Canal.” It’s clear from this article and other Panamanian media, that expanded Chinese investment in infrastructure projects in the Canal Zone has been under discussion for some time. As far back as two years ago, the China Railway Construction Corp., Ltd. (CRCC) indicated it wished to support Panama in developing different infrastructure projects planned by the government of President Juan Carlos Varela. Lack of diplomatic ties hindered these plans.
According to Jorge Quijano, head of the Panama Canal Authority (PCA), the PCA will open bidding later this year for development of a logistics park of 1,200 hectares around the Canal. He said last March that talks were already underway, and that interested companies included China Communications Construction Corp., China Harbor Engineering Company and China Railway Group. China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) is promoting the idea of a concession for available land, and Chinese companies can now also bid for a “roll-on, roll-off port terminal to be tendered in 2017,” according to Dalby.
In May 2016, the China Landbridge Group (CLG) bought Panama’s largest port on Margarita island for $900 million. People’s Daily reported at the time that CLG planned to build a modern and efficient deep-water port that will contain four container ship berths—capable of handling China’s mega-container ships, with a yearly capacity of 600 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The port, People’s Daily pointed out, “will play an active role in coordinated development between the harbors along” the Belt and Road.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
June 22 (EIRNS)—A meeting of the Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on June 21 to discuss the reform of the Constitution resulted in a new proposal from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which reverses his call for removing the constitutional mandate against war, written into the post-war Constitution.
Abe, according to Asahi Shimbun today, no longer wants to scrap Article 9 of the Constitution, but calls for “maintaining the current two paragraphs of the article, which renounce war and prohibit Japan from maintaining land, sea and air forces,” while only adding a paragraph recognizing the legal existence of the Self-Defense Forces, which are only authorized to defend against an invasion.
This has caused a fight with the hard-liners in the LDP, who want to revive a draft constitutional revision plan from 2012, which was never approved. That draft proposed removing the words: “land, sea and air forces … will never be maintained and the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized,” while adding words to legitimize a standing military.
Sources in Japan have suggested to EIR that Abe’s intention in his earlier support for dropping Article 9 was to establish sovereignty from the U.S., which still maintains a huge military presence in Japan and has historically imposed a de facto veto power over strategic matters. The sources say that Abe’s establishment of strong ties with Russia over the past two years, explicitly against the counter-demand by President Obama, served to establish Japan’s sovereignty from Washington, so that the militarization push is no longer needed.
June 22 (EIRNS)—Commenting on his view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron said, ““I respect Vladimir Putin. I had a constructive exchange with him. We have real disagreements, on Ukraine in particular, but he has seen my position. I talked to him at length face to face about international issues as wells as defending NGOs and liberties in his country,” he was quoted as saying by Britain’s Guardian June 21, during an interview with eight European dailies, from France, U.K., Spain, Poland, Germany, and Italy (Le Figaro, Le Temps, Le Soir, The Guardian, El País, Gazeta Wyborcza, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Corriere della Sera).
He continued, regarding the Middle and Near East: “My profound conviction is that we need a political and diplomatic roadmap. We won’t solve the question only with military force. That is a collective error we have made. The real change I’ve made on this question, is that I haven’t said the deposing of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for everything. Because no one has introduced me to his legitimate successor! My line is clear: one, a total fight against terrorist groups. They are our enemies…. We need the cooperation of everyone to eradicate them, particularly Russia.
“Two: stability in Syria, because I don’t want a failed state. With me, there will be an end to the kind neoconservatism imported into France over the last 10 years.
“Democracy isn’t built from the outside without the people. France didn’t take part in the Iraq war and that was right. And France was wrong to go to war in Libya in this way. What was the result of those interventions? Failed states where terrorist groups prospered. I don’t want that in Syria.
“Three: I have red lines on chemical weapons and humanitarian corridors. I said it very clearly to Vladimir Putin. I will be uncompromising on that. So the use of chemical weapons will be met with a response, and even if France acts alone.”
His fourth line, reported the Guardian, was “stability in Syria in the medium term. That means respect for minorities. We have to find the ways and means for a diplomatic initiative that respects all those principles.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
June 22 (EIRNS)— During his Beijing meeting with the president of China’s Exim Bank, Liu Liange, visiting Ghana Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government that came to power in January, “is looking for significant investments to do big things, and is putting the necessary legislative and policy framework in place to ensure the private sector thrives in a business-friendly environment,” Ghana’s news media quoted him saying.
Bawumia is on a four-day visit at the invitation of his Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, during which he will meet Chinese leaders and top officials of the Communist Party of China and discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, BusinessGhana reported on June 20.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency that appeared in BusinessGhana June 20, China’s Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Sun Baohong, said that “the major social and economic development plans of the NPP Government are highly consistent with the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the relevant content of China-Africa Ten Cooperation Plans under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation…. Ghana, with its political stability, open market, rich resources and abundant labor forces, has all along been a model for development and openness in West Africa.”
She also noted that in conducting China-Ghana cooperation, “China would continue to carry out the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win results.” China, she said, “would also adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests.”
June 22 (EIRNS)—Xinhua today reported remarks by Cambodian and Chinese officials and academics emphasizing that “the Belt and Road Initiative would greatly benefit all participating countries.” Prince Norodom Sirivudh, founder and chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said “the Belt and Road Initiative, which has become a catalyst of the regional and global order, is an emerging global force against re-emerging deglobalization sentiment taking place in different parts of the world.” Sirivudh is also half-brother of the late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is a new global force of peace, stability, prosperity and harmony, and Cambodia is committed to doing its best to realize the initiative,” he said during a workshop on the outlook of cooperation between China and Cambodia under the Belt and Road, attended by some 100 officials and academics of the two countries. “Every country regardless of size and power has a role to play in the Belt and Road Initiative and will benefit from it,” he said.
Cambodian Transport Ministry Secretary of State Lim Sidenine said that, “in the connectivity infrastructure, the Belt and Road Initiative would offer a greater opportunity for Cambodia to develop expressways, railways, waterways, airports and logistics base…. Cambodia and other countries in the region and in the world will greatly benefit from this initiative.”
The economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, Li An, who also spoke at the workshop, underscored that “the construction of the Belt and Road has gradually shifted from idea to action, from vision to reality. Cambodia, located in the center of the Indo-China Peninsula and the heart of Southeast Asia, is an important partner for China to carry out the Belt and Road construction and international productivity capacity cooperation.”
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
June 22 (EIRNS)—An article by Agnieszka Paczynska, appearing today on the website of the Stimson Center, pointed out that the U.S. does not have an Africa policy. Moreover, it said, in formulating the policy, Washington must do so in conjunction both with China, already a major investor, and with African institutions representing state, businesses and political actors.
Paczynska warned that Washington should remember two things in formulating its policy: “One, the United States is not the only player on the continent. China’s rise to the position of a global power with global reach means that for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is looking at tripartite interactions rather than bilateral ones—or at the very least in addition to bilateral—in various functional and geographic areas. Two, problems and fragilities across the continent are increasingly not limited to any one country or even one region,” but cover the entire continent.
“The best way forward is to build a strategy that focuses on strengthening African actors and institutions themselves rather than on the U.S. competition with China,” she said. Paczynska also urged the United States to develop a strategy that prioritizes strengthening African institutions, arguing that Washington’s strategy “should approach those two points not by focusing on the U.S. and China as primary actors, but by supporting and strengthening African actors and African institutions as the primary focal point.”
June 22 (EIRNS)—The minority Conservative government of British Prime Minister Theresa May is proving to be as weak as the Labour Party has been saying, as demonstrated in the Queen’s Speech, outlining the Conservative government’s legislative agenda, which Queen Elizabeth II delivered to Parliament yesterday. The speech was devoid of most the points laid out in the Tory electoral manifesto, and dealt mostly with legislation required to carry out the Brexit. The watering-down of the speech was clearly aimed at getting the Northern Irish Unionists, the Democratic Union Party, to at least vote for the speech and therefore avoid what could otherwise become a vote of no-confidence and cause the fall of the government.
The Labour Party leader, cheered on by his fellow MPs, taunted Prime Minister May for her weakness in his riposte in Commons, charging that she is heading a government no majority, with no mandate, with no serious legislative program, and led by a Prime Minister who has lost her political authority, and is struggling to stitch together a deal to hang onto her office. Corbyn characterized the Queen’s Speech as “thin gruel.”
In contrast to May’s weakness, Corbyn insisted that Labour is not merely an opposition party. “We are a government in waiting, with a policy program that enthused and engaged millions of people, many for the first time. We are ready to offer real, strong and stable leadership in the interests of the many, not the few. And we will test this government’s Brexit strategy, and what legislation comes forward, against that standard,” he said.
Corbyn declared Labour is preparing to fight against the government, vote by vote. “We will use every opportunity to vote down government policies that failed to win public support and we will use every opportunity to win support for our program,” he said.
The Parliament will vote on the speech next week. The Guardian comments that May will also have a hard time with the House of Lords.