EIR Daily Alert Service

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2017

Volume 4, Number 156

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

Support the Embattled President To Choose Great Projects and Not War

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—By far the most important report on “Russia-gate,” the attack on President Trump which has thrown U.S. political leaders into McCarthyite war-mongering, is the July 24 report of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). It is still effectively blacked out by the media despite this group of senior intelligence professionals having proven that the Democratic National Committee’s communications were not hacked, but rather leaked by an insider, and that Russia-gate is based on frauds.

Today an EIR representative intervening in a panel of experts at a leading Washington think-tank discussing Russia-U.S. relations and “Russian interference in our election,” found that none of them was aware of the VIPS report which showed what they were discussing to be a fraud.

“Russia-gate” is a British hoax, initiated out of British intelligence agencies when Donald Trump first emerged as a Presidential candidate in 2015. Its purpose was to continue and intensify Barack Obama’s policy of military confrontation with Russia and China—through a war-President Hillary Clinton and, when that failed, by driving President Trump out of office and whipping up Congress into hysteria against Russia.

Congress last week overwhelmingly voted severe, new anti-Russian sanctions, unconstitutionally grabbing at the President’s powers to conduct foreign policy, and the mere five Senators and Representative who voted “no” have been subject to vicious attacks by media and by their colleagues for it.

The threat of a war between nuclear powers is there, and British imperialists are glad of it. Read this week’s Economist, the City of London mouthpiece, which publishes a detailed “hypothetical account” of a thermonuclear war over North Korea in 2019, in which many millions die but Europe is not involved!

President Trump, under constant attack and surrounded with war scenarios, still continues to pursue a policy of cooperation with Russia and China to end terrorism and regime-change wars, and even to cooperate in economic progress.

EIR and LaRouchePAC are backing the President in this by making the VIPS exposure of the “Russia-gate” hoax known in every political discussion and Congressional town hall, and by spreading the idea of LaRouche’s “Four Laws” for a real economic boom, starting with Glass-Steagall reinstatement and creation of a national credit institution for infrastructure and manufacturing.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is becoming such a massive array of great infrastructure projects across Eurasia and Africa—with so much productive credit going into these from China, Russia, competitively from Japan—that there is all the room in the world for the United States to join in and see its own economic infrastructure built anew in the process. President Trump and his core officials clearly don’t see how to do this, especially with the war attack constantly on them.

Americans have to mobilize, therefore, to defeat the monstrous hoax of “Russia-gate” and give the Presidency an economic rebuilding strategy that can succeed.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Historic Italian-Chinese Agreement on Restoring Lake Chad

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—The following is excerpted from a report in the EIR Strategic Alert, No. 32, 2017.

Backed by their respective governments, the Italian engineering firm Bonifica Spa and the PowerChina, one of China’s biggest multinationals, signed a letter of intent for cooperation in exploring the feasibility, and eventually implement the construction of the largest infrastructure ever envisioned for Africa, the integrated water-transfer, energy and transportation infrastructure called Transaqua.

The letter was signed during a meeting between the executive leaders of the two companies in Hangzhou on June 6-8, in the presence of the Italian ambassador to China, but it was made known only at the beginning of August.

Transaqua is an idea developed by Bonifica in the 1970s, to build a 2,400 km-long canal from the southern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) which would intercept the right bank tributaries of the Congo River through dams and reservoirs, and carry up to 100 billion cubic meters of water per year, by gravity, to Lake Chad, in order to refill the shrinking Lake Chad, and in addition produce electricity and abundant water for irrigation. The canal would be a key transportation infrastructure for central Africa.

In past decades, the situation around Lake Chad has become more and more explosive and urgent. While the drying out of the lake has forced a mass emigration to Europe, the impoverishment of the region has become a fertile ground for recruiting terrorists to Boko Haram. Although Transaqua offered a solution to all those problems, Western nations and institutions had so far refused to accept it, on financial and ideological pretexts.

It is thanks to the fight engaged by the LaRouche organization over all those years, together with the authors of the Transaqua idea, that this project can now become reality in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. EIR and the Schiller Institute have made it possible that the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), under Nigerian leadership, and the Transaqua authors came together, and that Transaqua was recognized to be the only realistic solution. In December 2016, the LCBC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PowerChina, and eventually organized contact between the Italian and the Chinese companies.

Speaking about the 2016 MOU to the Nigeria Tribune July 25, Nigerian Water minister Suleiman Adamu noted that PowerChina is responsible for the inter-basin transfer. “China is doing exactly the same thing, they are transferring water from southern China to northern China. Just like Nigeria, southern China has more water than the north. The northern part, some areas are semi-arid, so they are transferring water. The total canal that they built is about 2,500 kilometers, and that is Phase 1.

Nikkei Runs Extensive Report on Kra Canal Support from Highest Levels in Thailand

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—Although Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has stated that consideration of the Kra Canal must wait for the next government, Japan’s prestigious Nikkei Asian Review today published an extensive report on the extremely high-level campaign for the project within Thailand, and the offer of support from China’s Belt and Road—but only when the Thai government approves it.

The article, “Influential Thais in Push for Kra Canal Project—China’s Belt and Road Initiative May Kick-Start Long-Envisaged $28 Billion Seaway,” by Nikkei writer William Mellow, reports on the role of Pakdee Tanapura, the LaRouche movement’s long-time close collaborator in Thailand who organized the Kra Canal forums there in 1983 and 1984, featuring Lyndon LaRouche as a keynote speaker, and with widespread international support.

The article interviews several retired military officers who are part of the “Thai Canal Association for Study and Development,” which has worked with Peking University and other interests in China, and who are appealing for a new feasibility study with Chinese support. Also involved are former prime ministers, business layers, and two leading institutions: the Prem Tinsulanonda Statesman Foundation (Prem was several times the prime minister and is the head of the Privy Council to the King), and the Thai-Chinese Culture and Economic Association.

The article describes an exploratory visit to the region by Thai and Chinese interests last year, surveying the planned route by boat and helicopter. They are also conducting a “hearts and minds” campaign in the region, holding town meetings to gain support from the population, and have gathered 100,000 signatures on a petition.

Mellow writes: “Should Prayuth agree to conduct a feasibility study into the plan, experts say a 450-meter-wide, 26-meter-deep canal capable of carrying the world’s biggest oil tankers, container ships and bulk carriers could be operational within five years. Canal supporters intend to argue their case at an international conference in Bangkok in September that will be co-sponsored by King Mongkut Institute of Technology, a leading Thai university.”

The estimated cost for the canal is $28 billion, with another $22 billion for the special economic zones at either end, with new cities and artificial offshore islands built from the excavated earth. They estimate that as many as 2.5 million jobs would be generated. As LaRouche has always insisted, this is the only long-term solution to the instability and terrorist threats in the largely Muslim south of Thailand.

Egypt and Russia Reach Final Agreement on Nuclear Complex at El Dabaa

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—Egypt and Russia have come to a final four-point agreement on the construction of a nuclear power plant at El Dabaa, on the northern coast of Egypt. It must now be examined by Egypt’s State Council, or the Supreme Administrative Court, Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said on Aug. 6, reported TASS.

The next step, Shaker said, is for Egyptian engineering troops to prepare the 4,533 hectare site for the plant, including removing land mines left over from earlier wars, so Russia’s Rosatom can supply “a third-generation nuclear plant with the highest security and protection level.”

The project will be Egypt’s first nuclear power station which will eventually include the construction four power units of 1,200 megawatts each. It involves an export loan of $25 billion at 3% for 30 years arranged by Rosatom, to cover about 85% of construction costs, and on which Egypt will not have to start payments until October 2029. The project will create more than 20,000 jobs.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Wilson Center Event Open to VIPS Memo Refuting ‘Russia Hacking’ Lie

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity(VIPS) memo demonstrating that there was no Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. election, was brought up by Executive Intelligence Reviewtoday during the Wilson Center’s Teleconference Forum, titled “What Is the Future of U.S.-Russian Relations?”

The forum drew an audience of 145 foreign policy experts, think-tankers, and others. Sponsored by the Harman Center of the Kennan Institute, it was opened by former House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), director, president and CEO of the Wilson Center. Panelists included William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute; Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, and Editor-at-Large Vedomosti Daily; Andrew Weiss, guest speaker, vice-president of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace; and moderator Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives, and former advisor to the U.S. Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations, 1978-2003.

The first 50 minutes of the hour-long conference call proceeded on the assumption that Russia had interfered in the U.S. 2016 elections, and was pursuing geopolitical goals. EIR’s Patricia Salisbury asked the next-to-last question, and gave a brief summary of the July 24 VIPS memorandum “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence.” She named VIPS leaders, 36-year intelligence veteran of the National Security Agency William Binney, who resigned from the NSA in protest in 2001, and Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, who resigned. Their report shows that the Democratic National Committee emails were not “hacked,” but leaked by a DNC insider and made to look like a Russian hack. Salisbury asked all participants if they were aware of the VIPS report, and if not, in light of the current danger of a confrontation with Russia over the “hacking” allegation, would they give it their urgent attention.

Moderator Miller commented that she had raised “an intriguing and complex question,” admitting that he had not read the VIPS memo, and he then polled each of the panelists to ask if they had read the memo; they all replied they were not familiar with it.

Jane Harman, who was only able to participate in the beginning of the call, made the point that President Trump, in his signing statement on the sanctions legislation, had characterized provisions of the sanctions bill, as “unconstitutional” and “ill-advised.” Harman referred to her hopes that somehow relations with Russia could resume a positive course, and mentioned the Arctic as one area of possible cooperation, and citing the Wilson Center’s own Arctic initiative, which was also mentioned briefly by one of the other panelists.

Lavrov-Tillerson Manila Meeting Covers Range of Issues Including INF Treaty

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met yesterday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila. They went over several significant issues, according to dispatches by TASS.

One subject was Russia’s imposition of counter-sanctions to the new Congressionally ordered sanctions against Russia. Lavrov said: “We had a lengthy meeting with Rex Tillerson. He wanted to know, first of all, and he started with this, the details of those decisions, which we had had to take in response to the law on anti-Russian sanctions adopted in the U.S. Congress. We gave these explanations. Naturally, such actions [the U.S. sanctions], including the illegal seizure of our diplomatic property since December last year, could not be left unanswered…. At the same time, we are ready to normalize the dialogue.”

An important new initiative was establishing a dialogue on the question of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). “We talked about the need to organize a professional, de-politicized and pragmatic dialogue on the issues of intermediate range missiles,” Lavrov said. “It seemed to me that we had found understanding with the U.S. Secretary of State, and instructions to our experts will be given.”

Congressional drafts of a new National Defense Authorization Act have appeared to be intended to force the Trump Administration to violate or exit the INF by developing a new IRBM which violates it. It is an action which would dramatically raise strategic tension with Russia, and one the White House opposes.

Lavrov also confirmed that “Contacts on the Syrian settlement between our representatives continue, including as part of agreements reached by Russia, the United States and Jordan on the establishment of the southern de-escalation zone in Syria.  We expect our contacts with the United States on other aspects of the Syrian settlement, both military and political, will be continued. As a matter of fact, they have never been interrupted.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

The Economist: Let Trump and Kim Jong-un Destroy Each Other in Nuclear War

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—Remember the clever British scheme to install and build up the Hitler regime in Germany so that the German Nazis and the Russian Communists could destroy each other? The British Empire is still at the old game of “let’s you and him fight.”

The cover of the Aug. 5 issue of City of London’s mouthpiece The Economist depicts a mushroom cloud with the faces of Kim Jong-un and Trump superimposed on either side the cloud. Clearly, the Brits are even more anxious to get rid of Trump than of Kim Jong-un.

Reeking with words of deep concern about how horrible it would be for a war to break out between the United States and North Korea, they then proceed to produce a detailed, fictional three-page “history,” looking back from 2019 at how just such a nuclear war came about, how many hundreds of thousands were killed, and so on. They cleverly let Trump “win” the war, while the British Empire is untouched, left to rule over the remains.

With the cover headline “It Could Happen,” (playing off Trump’s tweet that “It won’t happen” in regard to North Korea developing a weapon system capable of hitting the U.S. mainland), they couple their gruesome war scenario with instructions on what to do to prevent the war: “ramp up economic sanctions not only against the North Korean regime but also against the Chinese companies that trade with it or handle its money,” and “formally extend its nuclear guarantee to South Korea and Japan.”

C-SPAN Covers Xi Jinping Speech on 90th Anniversary of People’s Liberation Army

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—In an unusual move, C-SPAN on Aug. 7 rebroadcast the CGTN coverage of President Xi Jinping’s Aug. 1 speech at the Great Hall of the People on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army. Ordinarily such speeches are largely ignored by the U.S. media, including C-SPAN.

There is obviously a growing understanding that the situation in the world is becoming more tense, as President Xi himself indicated in his comments to the gathered political leaders, army officers, and honored PLA veterans. In addition, his emphasis on shaping the PLA into a major world-class fighting force and his firm determination not to allow a single iota of sovereign territory be lost, no doubt had the desired effect. While it was a message focused on maintaining peace in the world, it also underlined the need for China to create an army that can defeat any foe. In addition, Xi repeatedly underlined the need for the army to be totally obedient to the command of the Chinese Communist Party. Xi is both general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

And while he listed the names of the individuals responsible for the success of the party and the army from Mao on, he left out any mention of his immediate predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. This may well be, as people have observed, to underline the qualitative difference of the new and enhanced role of China and the PLA under President Xi, who no doubt commands more authority and respect among China’s military leaders than his predecessors did. In contrast to them, President Xi had also served in a political capacity in the PLA.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

American, Danish Investors Say New Financial Crisis on the Way

COPENHAGEN, Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—“Ten years after the financial crisis struck the first ominous cracks, bubbles both in the housing sector and on the stock market are to be expected,” was the kicker in an article entitled, “Experts Here See the First Signs of a New Financial Crisis,” on Danish TV2’s website.

American investment company director Peter Schiff, who warned of the previous crisis, is now saying that “A bigger crisis than in 2008 is on the way,” because the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is lending money too cheaply, and, as before, housing bubbles can affect credit ratings. “The Fed only saw sunshine and blue sky, even though there was an enormous storm on the way. Today, we have the same situation, but it is bigger.”

Danish investor Jeppe Christiansen is especially afraid of the disproportionate rise in the stock prices of global “disruption companies,” like Netflix, Amazon, Tesla, and crypto-money company Bitcoin, without anything big happening in those firms, similar to when the IT/dot.com bubble burst. He also warned that people are now willing to take higher risks on the introduction of risky financial products, and the danger of housing bubbles, as in Canada.

TV2 states that the Danish National Bank director warned about a housing bubble already last September, and that the European Central Bank also warned of the danger of a Danish housing bubble. And Danish economist Jesper Rangvid says that housing bubble growth in Denmark is similar to that during the last crisis. Christiansen also says that China and Japan have large debts, which he sees as a problem.

As Belt and Road Projects Grow, U.S. De-Invests in Infrastructure

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—Despite the intentions announced by the Trump administration before and after election, infrastructure investment in the United States is going down, not up. Even while the Belt and Road Initiative launched by China is developing great projects of new infrastructure from Southeast Asia to Central Africa, American infrastructure investment continues to be net below zero, and has shrunk further in 2017.

According to the Commerce Department Bureau of Economic Analysis, net (of depreciation) Federal spending on non-defense infrastructure fell to $10 billion in 2013—effectively, to zero—and has been well below zero since. Federally supported infrastructure depreciates by about $100 billion a year in accounting terms, but since major facilities are well beyond their life expectancies, they require complete replacement. Thus far more investment than $1 trillion ($100 billion/year over a decade) is required to accurately speak of “rebuilding” or “building” new infrastructure platforms.

State and local net infrastructure investment still has a positive value of about $60 billion/year across the country, but this has collapsed by more than half since 2000.

Now in 2017, another BEA analysis reported in Reuters Aug. 5 finds that municipal infrastructure bond issuance is down nearly 20% from 2016 to 2017, totalling only about $50 billion so far this year. Infrastructure bonds for electric power projects have dropped by more than 50%. Municipal funding has, since 2000, provided three times as much new infrastructure investment as Federal funding. The municipal bond market is about $4 trillion and it has been the main driver of the little infrastructure investment there is.

For the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative is not an option, therefore, but a necessity; and it requires that a national credit institution, a Hamiltonian National Bank, be formed to generate the credit to make that link.

OTHER

After German Elections, EU Fist Will Come Down on Germany’s Car Industry

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)—The compromise agreement reached at the “National Diesel Summit” in Berlin last week, which extracted from the auto industry’s managers the commitment for technical upgrades for 5 million diesel cars, at an estimated total cost of €1.4 billion, is good only for a few weeks. After the national elections in Germany on Sept. 24 (when car owners will have already cast their votes), the full fist will come down, and industry has to expect fines in the range of billions of euros.

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günter Oettinger (Germany, CDU) said that the EU’s anti-cartel agency knows no mercy. It will decide on “fines that will hurt the concerned companies, without any respect for big names.” The agency will need some time to conclude its investigation, he said, and if it turned out that the upgrades are not sufficient, “then the industry will be forced to make a complete overhaul of the diesel technology if it wants to avoid driving bans for diesel cars.” This would be in addition to fines, naturally, and involve additional several billion euros. Oettinger concluded, “But we must not demonize diesel.”

 

 

 

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