Crush the Coup!
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—It would be a dangerous farce to limit the focus to international hotspots. The United States is the main issue, not something else. The power to organize people in that situation exists, to bring the whole thing into unified action. There can be no sitting and waiting in any sense. The issue has to be crushed now, while there’s still time. The VIPS, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, are not unknown to the U.S. Congress—which makes it all the more grotesque that the Congress would vote almost unanimously for these unheard-of, recent unconstitutional sanctions against Russia. Lawmakers are being arm-twisted! The Congress is terrified! The message has to be delivered: “Unfortunately, some of our Congressmen have lost their memories!” There can be no sitting by, like spectators. They have to be told, “Wait a minute, buddy! We, the people of the United States, are the authority which has to be considered!”
That’s the pathway that has to be followed, and the consideration that has to be emphasized. That’s the only way to do it. Support from various places around the world has to be mobilized, to get the U.S. government into shape. The issue has to be put on a hot fire—that’s the only way the problem is going to be solved.
We are beginning to turn the corner in the campaign to force through the VIPS memorandum of July 24, and destroy “Russia-gate” as a vehicle for overturning the election and the Constitution. Yesterday’s EIR Daily Alert covered the exhaustive story in The Nation by the prominent international award-winning journalist Patrick Lawrence (formerly writing as Patrick L. Smith). That was followed within hours by a full article by Russian affairs expert Stephen Cohen in the same publication, citing the VIPS and Lawrence, and drawing the conclusion that the “Russia-gate” coup attempt against President Trump creates the real threat of nuclear war.
This morning, Bloomberg News released a full and very competent wire by Leonid Bershidsky, “Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don’t Buy the Russia Story.” Bershidsky marshals all the evidence and citations from the VIPS and their sources, and puts it squarely to the press and government agencies: You can’t hush this up any longer! Everything has to come out now!
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
War Hype Around North Korea—While Steps Are Being Taken To Begin Talks
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—War talk is going on around the world on the North Korea situation, but the reality is different. The “fire and fury” from President Trump, a stern warning from Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis (ret.) that the U.S. could obliterate North Korea in a war, and North Korea’s declared plans to demonstrate the capacity to hit Guam with missiles, are in fact the same sort of rhetoric common after every provocation from either side—be it a North Korean missile or bomb test or a new sanction from the U.S. or the UN.
In fact, in the past week, meetings took place between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho, and between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Ri, while there was a brief greeting between Ri and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, all at the ASEAN events in Manila. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the press Aug. 9 that he is “hopeful” that the agreement of all UN Security Council members, including Russia and China, to approve new sanctions last week “can begin to persuade the [Pyongyang] regime that they needed to reconsider the current pathway they’re on and think about engaging in a dialogue about a different future.” But despite all of the belligerent rhetoric, he said: “Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.” Asked about Pyongyang’s way out, Tillerson replied, “Talks. Talks with the right expectation of what those talks will be about.”
On the ground, nothing has changed militarily. An unnamed U.S. military official told Reuters that “Just because the rhetoric goes up, doesn’t mean our posture changes. The only time our posture goes up is based on facts, not because of what Kim and Trump say to each other.” The facts on the ground in the region confirm that fact.
In South Korea, yesterday President Moon’s spokesman said there was not an “imminent crisis,” and that efforts to begin talks with the North “are working with a belief that the possibility is very high.”
A source in Seoul, in former government circles, told EIR that things are calm there, as they always are when there is hype in the West about an imminent war on the Peninsula, since they believe the West is not crazy enough to start a war which would wipe out much of South Korea and perhaps some other nations. But, the source said, the confidence in President Moon Jae-in is dwindling, primarily because he is trying to play it both ways—acting tough by joining in Western threats, while calling on Pyongyang to begin talks. This will not succeed, the source believes, since it will not be accepted in the North, which requires some assurances of its security guarantees in order to begin talks. Moon is seen as indecisive.
The Chinese-Russian offer of a mutual freeze—a freeze of testing in the North and of U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the South—has not been totally rejected, but is not being accepted by the U.S. at this time.
Russia Expert Cohen: Trump and Putin Stand against Mainstream Drive for War
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—The Nation posted an article by Russia relations expert and Contributing Editor Stephen Cohen today headlined, “Unverified ‘Russia-gate’ Allegations, Irresponsibly Promoted by Congress and the Media, Have Become a Grave Threat to American National Security.” Cohen points out that the new round of sanctions passed by Congress against Russia, in a situation where the Russia-gate allegations prevent Trump from seeking cooperation with Russia, create a situation he calls a new Cold War, that is more dangerous than the 40-year-long conflict we thought had been settled two decades ago. (See https://www.thenation.com/article/unverified-russiagate-allegations-promoted-by-an-irresponsible-congress-and-media-have-become-a-grave-threat-to-american-national-security/.)
Cohen points to the following factors to demonstrate this:
The current conflict includes three areas of potential conflict due to NATO or U.S. military activity: the Baltic and Ukraine on Russia’s borders, and Syria, where U.S. and Russian forces operate in uneasy cooperation.
There is no “mainstream” opposition to conflict, as demonstrated by the virtually unanimous sanctions vote in Congress. Fear of Russia-gate has kept anti-Cold War leaders publicly silent, and the war policy has been adopted without debate.
Cohen cites obvious bias in the building coverage in which Russian President Putin is blamed for “saber-rattling,” when Russia beefs up defenses on its own territory in response to NATO’s military buildup adjacent to it. Another case is the failure to cover the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) report that refutes the Russia hacking myth. VIPS, incidentally, was founded by officers who resigned their posts in opposition to the fraudulent assessment that Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destructions, which was the excuse for the murderous war that left that nation a devastated haven for al-Qaeda and ISIS. Cohen points out that this bias is buttressed by efforts, supported by establishment media and politicians, to censor opposing views.
Cohen’s conclusion is to report the irony that Putin, whom the establishment voices portray as a ruthless tyrant, is a strong voice of moderation against Russian calls for harsher responses to the U.S. actions, just as Trump, with similar reputation, stands alone, possibly with some support from European allies who are targetted along with Russia by the sanctions, as the leadership that might just save us from an open U.S.-Russia conflict.
British Empire Ready for the United States To Go To War in Korea
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—While governments around the world are calling on Washington and Pyongyang to cool things down, for the simple reason that a war on the Korean Peninsula would be disastrous, the British are always ready for the U.S. to go to war.
Matthew Rycroft, the British Ambassador to the United Nations, declared yesterday that the U.K. “stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States” in tackling the nuclear threat from North Korea and making sure it can’t pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, reports the Guardian British daily. He stressed that North Korea “holds the key to sanctions being removed.”
Asked whether President Trump’s escalating rhetoric was hurting prospects for reviving negotiations, Rycroft said “what’s hurting the six-party talks is the inability so far of the North Korean regime to do what it has to do, which is to halt its nuclear program and to halt its intercontinental ballistic missile program.”
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
U.S., International Coverage of VIPS Memo Growing
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—Leonid Bershidsky wrote an opinion for Bloomberg today, titled, “Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don’t Buy the Russia Story.” He supports consideration of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) evidence against the Russia Hack allegation, and points out that the VIPS were right about Saddam Hussein’s lack of weapons of mass destruction, while the rest of the intelligence community was wrong. He also notes that the VIPS identify themselves, while the pro-Russia-gate investigators are anonymous; that no intelligence agency actually examined the Democrats’ servers that were allegedly hacked, but, instead, relied on data from CrowdStrike, which was paid by the Democrats, and linked to the anti-Russian Atlantic Council.
While carefully mentioning that none of the VIPS evidence is conclusive, Bershidsky writes that neither is the evidence supporting Russia-gate. He concludes by obliquely criticizing Russia-gate, writing, “Authoritarian regimes such as Putin’s routinely use external enemies to gloss over domestic divisions and distract the public from problems at home. In a functioning democracy, such tactics should not succeed.” (See https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-10/why-some-u-s-ex-spies-don-t-buy-the-russia-story.)
From Europe, the VIPS memorandum was covered in a website called casopisargument.cz, which describes itself as an independent, Czech and Slovak analytical and commentator site. In the context of an article on the new Congressional sanctions against Russia, author Jan Schneider writes the following (as translated by Google): “The prestigious organization of the former intelligence officers (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) even published its opinion that the alleged Russian interference was subject to a forensic investigation, with the conclusion that there was no Russian interference. This was an internal home leak of information that was copied [within the] U.S. and included a Russian ‘fingerprint.’ There is no forensic evidence proving Russian interference. That this accusation against Russia has been devised and fabricated, and all those who speak of Russian interference know that well.”
The French-Canadian website for Global Research, http://www.mondialisation.ca, carries a French translation of the VIPS memo, originally published by The Saker blog. The Global Research English site reprinted the memo on July 25.
‘After the Coup, Then What?’ Asks Conservative Columnist Pat Buchanan
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—In an Aug. 8 article appearing under the above headline, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan identifies the constitutional coup underway against President Donald Trump, and, while not naming it explicitly, points to the British imperial mindset behind that coup, which views the American people with utter contempt.
Buchanan attacks the fishing-expedition nature of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s grand jury, and especially pinpoints the role of the media, which “preens and postures as the defenders of democracy … but half the nation already sees the media as a propaganda arm of a liberal establishment that the people have rejected time and again.” The Washington Post’s Aug. 2 leak of Trump’s January 2017 conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is, he warns, just one example of “a concerted campaign, in which the anti-Trump media publish leaks, even criminal leaks, out of the FBI, CIA, NSA and NSC, to bring down a President whom the Beltway media and their deep-state collaborators both despise and wish to destroy.” The media collude on a daily basis “with deep-state criminals to bring down the President of the United States….”
Why, he asks, isn’t that a story worthy of media coverage? “Do the people not have a right to know who are the snakes collaborating with the Never-Trump press to bring down their head of state?”
Buchanan recognizes that the intent of the coup is to destroy the United States, although he lacks the optimism of statesman Lyndon LaRouche that it can be exposed and defeated. If Trump is brought down, he asks, “what will be the reaction out there in fly-over country, that land where the deplorables dwell who produce the soldiers to fight our wars? Will they toast the free press that brought down the President they elected, and in whom they had placed so much hope? My guess: The reaction will be one of bitterness, cynicism, despair, a sense that the fix is in, that no matter what we do, they will not let us win. If Trump is brought down, American democracy will take a pasting. It will be seen as a fraud. And the backlash will poison our politics to where only an attack from abroad, like 9/11, will reunite us.”
Both Lavrov and Tillerson Visit Thailand; Obama’s Human Rights Isolation of Thailand Ends
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—Over the past days both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Thailand, following the ASEAN meetings in the Philippines.
Lavrov today met with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, discussing Korea, counter-terrorism and cyber-security, according to press accounts. Lavrov also met with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, calling Thailand Russia’s “oldest Southeast Asian ally,” referring to visits exchanged in the 1890s by King Chulalongkorn and Czar Nicholas II.
Tillerson’s visit was of considerable importance, as relations between Thailand and the U.S. were extremely strained under Obama, over the military coup in 2014 and the Prayuth government’s slow pace in moving toward elections. Freedom House, which destabilizes governments in the name of “defending democracy,” was so upset at Tillerson’s visit that it pictured him in a big smiling handshake with Prime Minister Prayuth, in an article bemoaning the fact that the Trump-Tillerson duo are not peddling the human rights mantra any more, which was Obama’s euphemism for color revolution.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Italy’s M5S Continues Pushing Glass-Steagall
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—Although the leadership of Italy’s Jacobin Five-Star Movement party (M5S) party is soft on the euro, it is not able to suppress the demand for Glass-Steagall coming from one faction of its elected representatives. Thus, they have run a second call for Glass-Steagall, posted on their blog by Prof. Giulio Sapelli, a prominent leftist economist whom they have apparently hired.
“The United States responded to the Great Depression in 1929 with the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, repealed by Bill Clinton at the end of his second term,” Sapelli writes. “Italy had a banking act as well, enacted in 1936, which clearly separated banks and industries, and characterized brokerage as a public function. This law was dismantled by the 1993 reforms and, after decades of basic stability of our credit system, everybody can see what happened.
“Therefore,” he concludes, “it is necessary today to separate the destiny of our savings and deposits from speculators’ perversions, who gamble with oscillations and volatility of the paper economy. We must reestablish financial brokering as a public function, and it is necessary to promote both the return to a real banking ‘biodiversity’ (for instance by ceasing to punish credit unions and cooperatives) and a homogeneous diffusion of banks on the territory.”
It’s On Television, the Crash Is Real!
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—Known economic commentator Franz Bethmann reported yesterday on the German TV program “Heute Journal,” on the “ticking time-bomb” of U.S. private debt. He used charts to show that “ten years after the breakout of the financial crisis, we again have a giant debt bubble in the United States:” $9 trillion in mortgage loans, $2.9 trillion in car and student loans, and $1 in trillion credit card debt, for a total of $12.3 trillion.
These are loans without real collateral, he said. For instance, car loans are backed not by the customer’s solvency, but by the value of the car, which collapses once the car is sold. The next banking crisis is guaranteed.
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Italian Government Showing Interest in Transaqua Plan To Restore Lake Chad, Reports Daily
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—One day after the EIR Strategic Alert broke the news, the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore covered the Italian-Chinese deal over Transaqua. Under the headline “Transaqua, Restarting the Italian Project To Save Lake Chad,” author Alessandro Arona reports on the deal between the firms Bonifica and PowerChina and about the interest from Italian Foreign and Environment Ministries (see EIR Daily Alert for Aug. 8).
The article describes the Transaqua project to refill Lake Chad, and stresses that “it has again acquired a dramatic urgency. In the last 50 years the lake, especially because of scarce precipitation, has lost 90% of its surface area, and some 30 million persons settled around the lake (living on fishing and farming) are losing their source of subsistence. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director José Graziano da Silva spoke about a ‘humanitarian and ecological crisis’ in recent months, and in March the FAO launched a 2017-2019 emergency plan. The area involves Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic, and has also been for years now under frequent attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.”
The daily points out that, according to the FAO, there are already 2.5 million refugees and 9 million people who depend on aid in the area. “The entire basin can become the starting point for new migration flows into Europe.” Both the Foreign and Environment Ministries have received the Bonifica dossier, and according to Il Sole, sources close to the dossier “speak of it as ‘a very interesting project’ and ‘of a certain strategic significance’ for Italy….”
Il Sole quotes Bonifica CEO Romina Boldrini explaining that “the Congo Basin is very rich in water; our project aims at creating a series of dams on some right bank tributaries. Only 8% of the water would be diverted, allowing among other things the creation of hydroelectric power stations, to be eventually channeled towards the Chari River, Lake Chad’s single tributary, with 2,400 km canals in a natural drop. In this way, we will bring 100 billion cubic meters of water a year towards the Lake Chad,’ whereas the Chari carries only 40 billion m3on average.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
China Is Transforming Sub-Saharan Africa’s Agriculture
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Xinhua at Elmina, Ghana, Peter Atimka Anaadumba, South-South Cooperation Program Officer at the African Regional Office of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that Africa has derived enormous benefits in agricultural transformation from China through its South-South cooperation. The interview took place on the sidelines of the five-day workshop on African Regional Knowledge-Sharing on promoting efficient rice farming at Elmina, which Anaadumba addressed.
“China is a major player when it comes to South-South cooperation in Africa,” he said. “It’s a major partner of FAO. When you look at the Africa region, China gave a grant to FAO in 2009 of about $30 million and recently $50 million,” for a total of $80 million. These funds are available to support countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, so they may access technical expertise from China, he told Xinhua.
“China, for example, has been working in Liberia. Now, Liberian rice production stands at about 7 million tons. We did deploy about 500 experts. We have been able to develop piggery in Liberia through insemination innovations from China,” Anaadumba continued.
In terms of South-South cooperation in Tanzania, he reported, China has built a center of excellence in the Morogoro Region which provides training for youth. “It’s like an incubation center where people come and learn how to do crop management, crop budget, water management, livestock, poultry, and so on.” He also said that China has made key contributions to Uganda, where rice production is on the increase, and China is sharing its expertise and also developing aquaculture and apple production.
U.S. Invasion of Iraq Did Long-Term Damage, Beyond Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqi Deaths
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—An article, “War in Iraq, ISIS Crisis Fuels Brain Drain, Making Life Harder for Those Left Behind,” in Newsweek on Aug. 9, gave a graphic picture of “Baghdad’s intellectual and cultural elite who have left its turbulent homeland, fleeing violence, persecution and an economy with fewer and fewer good jobs.” The exodus followed the violence ushered in by the U.S. invasion in 2003 and the horror that continued subsequent to that, because of the rise of the ISIS and the brutalities that followed.
While a large number of Iraqi professionals and academics across the board have left Iraq to avoid violence and torture, the very large number of Iraqi doctors who left their war-torn country has posed a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of the Iraqis who were left behind.
At the time of the U.S. invasion, close to 30,000 doctors were at work in Iraq. “Starting in 2005-06, it is estimated that more or less 50% of Iraq’s doctors migrated either abroad or to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The KRI’s healthcare system in that way benefitted from instability in the south through the recruitment of highly-qualified medical personnel,” reported the Institute of Regional and International Studies, under the American University of Iraq, last December. Many others left after ISIS came into existence in Iraq in 2014.
A March 7, 2017 report by Education for Peace in Iraq (EPIC) pointed out that the healthcare professionals have played critical roles shaping Iraq’s political development since the establishment of systematized public health infrastructure in the early 20th century. Institutions like Baghdad’s Royal College of Medicine, which opened its doors in 1920, helped foster the slow evolution of a sophisticated and centralized healthcare delivery system staffed by local doctors.
The U.S. invasion and the rise of the ISIS have left all that in shambles, endangering the lives of the Iraqis left behind.