EIR Daily Alert Service
TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2017
Volume 4, Number 126
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
June 26 (EIRNS)—Judging from reports from the Democratic Party, the “charm” is wearing off the British game of eliminating American Presidents who promote the American System of economy rather than the imperial world order. Playing “Russia-gate” against President Donald Trump—McCarthyism for donkeys—is not supported by the Democrats’ working class constituencies. And it is a deadly threat to the United States, including the threat of world war.
China, with Russia’s full cooperation, has put the Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects into high gear, and effectively launched a new economic order of “win-win” growth and development. The United States joining the Belt and Road would make it unstoppable, and “Make America Great Again” as well.
The President has been the target of attempted overthrow and even potential assassination because he favors just this collaboration, and has repeatedly said so.
To put an end to this dangerous attempt at a coup, the focus of efforts should be on two sets of meetings occurring 10 days from now, which will help decide for that new order of economic, scientific, and space-faring cooperation of nations.
All reports are that President Trump is looking forward to holding a full bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the on July 7-8 sessions of the G20 in Hamburg—not a mere “pull-aside” but effectively a summit—and to hold a second such meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping there as well. Such British media as the Independent and Daily Telegraph are quite appalled at these reports (initially by Associated Press), fearing that Trump and Putin may make decisions about cooperation, as Trump and Xi did in Mar-a-Lago.
That same day the Schiller Institute and the China Energy Fund Committee and the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture will hold a major “Food for Peace” conference in New York thinking forward to United States participation in the Belt and Road Initiative; this conference with its focus on progress in food production. It will be a major collaboration on bringing America into the New Silk Road, to revive its own economy, technology and agriculture; it will feature agricultural experts from both countries.
The crucial importance of such events is that President Trump cannot defeat the British-instigated drive to force him out of office, alone. It is up to the American people to reject and defeat “Russia-gate,” stop the coup attempt, and back the President in working with Russia and China for peace and economic development of the United States and the world.
The success of the Schiller Institute conference is equally critical with that of President Trump’s prospective summit meetings. Schiller Institute founder and Chair Helga LaRouche and EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche were the originators more than 30 years ago of the “Eurasian Land-Bridge” concept which now, through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is becoming the World Land-Bridge. This involves rebuilding a new economic infrastructure for the United States; but to do it, Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws To Save the Nation” is essential. They encompass reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, a new Hamiltonian national banking and credit institution, and revived emphasis on space exploration and the fusion energy frontier.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
June 26 (EIRNS)—The Democrats’ complete lack of economic program and the scapegoating of Russia are being blamed for their failure to win even one of the four special elections created by Trump cabinet postings. This has led to some useful soul-searching by party loyalists and “outsiders.” The most insightful critics are targeting the Democratic National Committee directly.
Perhaps it was Bernie Sanders who first pierced the dam, in the wake of the surprise upset victory of Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K.—something he had a hand in. Writing in a June 13 op-ed in the New York Times, “How the Democrats Can Stop Losing Elections,” Sanders said that instead of just complaining about Trump, “The Democrats must develop an agenda that speaks to the pain of tens of millions of families who are working longer hours for lower wages and to the young people who, unless we turn the economy around, will have a lower standard of living than their parents.”
This morning, The Intercept published an interview with longtime Democratic activist Ralph Nader, who shared the same sentiment. Asked to give a chronology of Democratic decline, Nader volunteered to give eight “millstones that are milestones,” beginning all the way back in 1979 when Democrats began looking for “corporate” sources of money to replace declining income from labor. “Increasingly they began to judge their challenge to Republicans by how much money they raised,” he said. “You talk to [Rep. Marcy] Kaptur from Cleveland, she says, ‘we go into the Democratic Caucus in the House, we go in talking money, we stay talking money, and we go out with our quotas for money.’ ”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Monday, warning that all the “Russia” talk was a “distraction” from the economic message. “The Democrats have to be hyper-focused on an economic message that tells people that the Republican Party is all about economic growth for millionaires and billionaires. And the Democratic Party is about economic growth for everybody. And I think [Washington Post reporter] Robert Costa is right. The fact that we had spent so much time talking about Russia has, you know, has been a distraction from what should be the clear contrast between Democrats and the Trump agenda, which is on economics.”
This sentiment was amplified by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who said that the Democrats were “doomed” if they didn’t make changes at the top. “The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party’s narrative energy into hysteria about Russia,” he wrote on TwitLonger (an extension of Twitter). “It is starkly obvious that were it not for this hysteria, insurgent narratives of the type promoted by Bernie Sanders would rapidly dominate the party’s base and its relationship with the public. Without the, ‘We didn’t lose—Russia won’ narrative the party’s elite and those who exist under its patronage would be purged for being electorally incompetent and ideologically passé. … The Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a political dead end.”
June 26 (EIRNS)—It is anticipated that a high-level U.S. delegate will attend international negotiations on Syrian reconciliation in Astana next week, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said today. Delegations from the three guarantor countries, Russia, Turkey and Iran, as well as Jordan, and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will also attend the meeting on July 4-5. “It is expected that the U.S. will also send its high-ranking representative to participate as observers in the next round of negotiations in the Astana process,” Abdrakhmanov said.
“We received confirmation of participation by all guarantor states at the level of the Russian President’s and the Russian foreign minister’s special representatives, the deputy foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey,” Abdrakhmanov told reporters. De Mistura and a Jordanian delegation have both confirmed their participation, he said.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
June 26 (EIRNS)—Stealing depositors’ money turned out to not be the smartest election strategy: The smashing defeat of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) in yesterday’s run-off elections in Italy supply the best evidence of that. Elections took place in many Italian municipalities (4.3 million voters in 111 municipalities). The PD, although still the ruling party in Italy, lost in many of its historical strongholds and was not elected even when its candidate ran unopposed.
The center-right won most of the run-offs, with a few going to the M5S. The center-right won in Genoa and La Spezia, in L’Aquila and Catanzaro, and elected a non-leftist mayor for the first time in the postwar period in Pistoia. The PD loss of many municipalities in Tuscany, a historical stronghold, is particularly painful. What the center-right did not get, went to the M5S, which took over Carrara.
In Trapani, Sicily, the PD candidate was running unopposed, but he was not elected because voter turnout was too low. Voters preferred to have a caretaker government rather than the PD guy.
The center-right alliance is composed of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the Lega Nord and the right-wing Fratelli d’Italia (FdI). The last two are prominent supporters of a Glass-Steagall legislation at national level and have filed draft bills to that purpose. The Democratic Party has opposed Glass-Steagall and endorsed the EU Banking Union, including bail-in regulations.
The recent decision to bail-in Veneto bank bondholders and bail-out the bank debt with over €10 billion in taxpayers’ money has surely, albeit not exclusively, affected voters’ decision to punish the PD, including from the center-left camp. In one case, anti-euro “leftist” economist Alberto Bagnai, who has 41,000 followers on Twitter and whose website has won the prize for the best economic blog in the past years, called on all his followers to vote for the anti-PD candidate, to send a signal against the pro-EU policy.
The case of the two banks in the Veneto region, Veneto Banca and Popolare Vicenza, Bagnai wrote, “reminds me what they did with Greece: Get by and let the situation become gangrenous. Avoid solving a small problem, by letting it grow in order to doom a country—which is run by a submitted political class, compromised with foreign financial interests—to perennial enslavement.”
June 26 (EIRNS)—A strong endorsement of reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, from a new institutional source, appeared in the June 21 issue of Credit Union Times, which goes to 11,000 credit unions. The article by Kathy Geary and Bernard McLaughlin, both presidents of credit unions, called a May 18 Senate Banking Committee hearing “the official start of the debate on a 21st-Century version of the Glass-Steagall Act,” and came down on the side of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) of that day’s confrontation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Any new form of Glass-Steagall, no matter how it is tailored for the current economic situation, would be vehemently opposed by the banking industry,” Geary and McLaughlin write. “The American Bankers Association stated, ‘There is broad agreement, including among all our bank regulatory agencies, that Glass-Steagall would not have prevented the crisis or the housing market collapse.’… Not a surprising statement given the source.
“This debate is important to credit unions because it will decide whether or not banks will retain the ability to conduct both commercial banking and risky investment banking activities all under one roof. Unfortunately, immediately following the 2008 financial crisis, our industry missed its opportunity to effectively establish that we didn’t start the fire and that an unrestricted banking industry was largely to blame….”
Their conclusion is a call to mobilization. “As the Glass-Steagall debate unfolds in the coming months, the call to action to credit unions is clear. We ask that credit unions, credit union leagues and our two national trade associations join together with one voice on this important debate of a 21st Century version of Glass-Steagall. To ignore it could leave our industry, our members and our entire country open to a repeat of the crisis of 2008.”
As the piece appeared, the American Banking Association’s “top members,” the 34 biggest U.S. banks, showed a projected $500 billion in losses in a “recession stress test” run by the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Losses of $21 billion were projected for a single bank, Capital One; the losses were concentrated in corporate debt, credit card debt, and counterparty failures (derivatives markets).
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
June 26 (EIRNS)—While the European Union continues to push Greece into economic ruin, the Greek government is moving ever closer to the survivors club, increasing its cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the Belt and Road Initiative of China.
On June 24, Greece and the Eurasian Economic Commission signed a joint statement of cooperation for expanding relations. The EEC is the executive body of the EAEU whose members are Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus.
“The start of our cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission, in the context of Greece’s obligations as a member of the European Union, will give us the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation with countries we maintain deep historic and cultural ties,” Greece’s Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos said. “We have close economic cooperation with Russia, but we are looking forward to the prospect of strengthening and deepening our economic relations also with Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus.”
Katrougalos, who also is co-chairman of the Russian-Greek Commission on Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, said that Greece is looking forward to cooperation between countries and regions as well as cooperation at the international level in the belief that it will contribute to mutual understanding and overall growth. He met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov, and said a new impetus was given to their economic relations.
Greece has been in discussion with the EEC for the last two years, especially through the Greek-Eurasian Business Council, which is the first of its kind between a European Union country and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Meanwhile for the first time, Greece took part as a full member in the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) meeting in Jeju, South Korea June 16-18. The Greek delegation was headed by Prof. Panagiotis Roumeliotis, also a member of the advisory board of Greek-Russian Business Council, and key figure in discussion of Greece’s possible membership in the BRICS New Development Bank. The Greek Government Council for Economic Policy had decided Greece should join AIIB in July 2016; the bank was founded in January 2016.
June 26 (EIRNS)—Presenting the outline for the just-signed Russian-Chinese project of a high-speed railroad between Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk, Boris Dubrovsky, Governor of the Chelyabinsk Oblast (District), said the route will not only serve passenger transfer between the two Russian cities, each with over a million population, but that its geographical proximity to the Russian-Kazakh border also opens up the option of integration with the envisioned grand route between Beijing and Berlin, via Astana and Moscow.
Because of that perspective, the 275 km project, whose realization will cost some $2.5 billion, is also met with interest among potential investors from Germany, Italy and South Korea, in addition to Russia and China, Dubrovsky said.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
June 26 (EIRNS)—Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in a new exposé published in both English and German in Welt am Sonntag (the Sunday edition of Die Welt), reports that President Trump issued the order for the cruise missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase on April 6 “despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.”
Hersh’s is an important exposé confirming that the allegations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical weapons attack were completely fake. It comes at a time when, under Russian leadership, a substantial de-escalation of violence in western Syria has been accomplished and considerable progress has been made against ISIS in southeastern Syria. It also comes less than two weeks before the July 7-8 G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where there’s strong possibility that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet face-to-face for the first time.
Therefore, a repeat of the false-flag scenario of a chemical attack blamed on Assad would be disastrous.
“The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha,” Hersh reports. “Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the President’s determination to ignore the evidence.”
Hersh describes, in considerable detail, how the deconfliction process between the U.S. and Russian militaries in Syria works, including how they share intelligence information and inform each other of planned strikes. Outright cooperation and collaboration is not allowed by the U.S. ops order governing the engagement with the Russians, but coordination is, and it extended to the Syria air strike on Khan Sheikhoun. Hersh reports that the Russians had passed on intelligence that there would be a high-level jihadi meeting, there, in a particular building, and that they were working with the Syrian air force, to include the provision of guided weapons, to destroy that site while the meeting was underway. The Americans involved in that coordination ridiculed the notion that the Russians were helping the Syrians drop a chemical weapon on the town. There was just no way they could fake it and make it look like a conventional 500 lb bomb when a leak would kill those loading the bomb on the airplane unless they were in hazardous materials suits. After the attack, there was evidence from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) that the symptoms from those who died indicated exposure to a range of chemicals, including those consistent with chemicals used in pesticides and fertilizers; in other words, what the Russians said, that there were chemicals in the building that they had been unaware of, which were spread as the result of secondary explosions after the initial hit.
Totally missing from Hersh’s account is the British role in manipulating President Trump with fake information, leading him to make the decision for the cruise missile strike on April 7. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon practically bragged about this in the hours after the strike. “The American Defense Secretary Jim Mattis consulted me early yesterday evening about our assessment of the [Syrian] regime’s culpability for the chemical weapons attack and we reviewed the need to understand and to deal with any likely Russian reactions to the attack,” Fallon told BBC Television early on April 7. “He was then reviewing the different options to put before the President, he then called me later on to advise us of the President’s decision and to give us notice of the attack and our prime minister was kept informed throughout,” Fallon said.
June 26 (EIRNS)—A movement is afoot in the U.S. Congress to force U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. At the same time, reported a June 24 story in Politico, there is also a “fierce debate” within the Trump administration over withdrawal. The movement is based on U.S. accusations dating back to the Obama administration that Russia has developed and deployed cruise and/or ballistic missiles that are in violation of the treaty, which bans all ground-launched missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 km. The logic behind the calls for U.S. withdrawal is that if Russia now has weapons that violate the treaty, the U.S. should therefore withdraw from the treaty to free itself to develop corresponding weapons of its own.
The draft defense authorization bill in the House Armed Services Committee already contains language providing the framework for a U.S. withdrawal from the treaty. It would require the Pentagon to establish a program of record to develop a dual-capable (both conventional and nuclear) road-mobile ground-launched cruise missile system with a range of between 500 and 5,500 km. It would declare Russia in “material breach” of the treaty. It would require the President to make a determination whether or not Russia has engaged in noncompliant activities, and if such determination is made, it would provide that the United States is no longer bound by the limitations of the treaty. It would also prohibit the expansion or extension of the new START treaty for reduction of strategic arms, if Russia is determined to be in violation of the INF Treaty.
However, there are also loud voices both within and outside the government against withdrawal, especially on what it would mean afterwards. Both the Pentagon and the State Department oppose exiting the treaty, reports Politico. “It can only lead to greater danger,” said former Secretary of Defense William Perry. “The chance of blundering into a nuclear conflict is greater [with such missiles] than with long-range missiles because they are not based on our shores.” Perry warns that it’s not just the INF Treaty that’s on the line, but the entire system of arms control, including New START. “These missiles are highly destabilizing, they’re capable of reaching Moscow within 15 minutes,” Alexandra Bell, a former State Department official who is senior policy director for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said, “Withdrawing from the INF Treaty would be a terrible mistake.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
June 26 (EIRNS)—The first high-speed train made entirely in China went into service today between Beijing and Shanghai. The “Fuxing” (Rejuvenation) train has a top speed of 400 kph. The ticket price remains the same.
There are four types of in-service high-speed, or bullet trains in China, introduced from Japan, Germany, France and Canada, Prof. Zhao Ting of the Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times. “The China-designed train will largely reduce system maintenance costs, since 84% of its products are of Chinese standards—and China will gradually replace existing trains with the new ones within a couple of decades,” Zhao Ting said.
The new train has a 30-year service life, compared to 20 years from the older trains.