Americans Mobilize: Trump Must Join United States to the New Silk Road
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche today said that Trump’s supporters must mobilize for the President to bring America into the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative of worldwide building of new infrastructure. The issue of that “win-win” initiative, and whether the United States joins in its worldwide projects and also builds its own new-technology infrastructure, is central to peace between the United States and Russia and China; to Trump’s surviving the ongoing coup against him; and to the revival of the United States as an industrial power.
On Aug. 20 both China Daily and Peoples Daily ran major articles highlighting Lyndon and Helga LaRouche’s role both in conceptualizing the New Silk Road or World Land-Bridge policy decades ago, and in bringing that policy to the United States and Europe as China adopted it. Their movement is the power to bring the Trump Presidency to it. Helga LaRouche said that movement must now mobilize Trump supporters to get Trump into the Belt and Road. British-driven efforts by Stephen Bannon, for example, to poison Trump’s base against the Belt and Road Initiative, have to be countered by this movement.
On Aug. 26, Helga LaRouche addressed a Manhattan conference on “Reviving Alexander Hamilton’s American System through LaRouche’s Four Laws,” which itself brought together overlapping circles of Trump activists and Chinese-American activists, along with engineers and citizens organizing to rebuild the New York region’s crumbling transportation system. “Just think what enormous potential is opening up if the United States would cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative,” she told the conference. “This could rebuild its own middle level industry. They could invest in all of the projects in Latin America, Africa and along the Eurasian Land-Bridge. It would just completely change the situation and also rebuild the United States. You could have complete change in the United States. You could have 50 new cities. Why not build 50 new cities? Basically, between the coasts, there are many states which are completely thinly populated, almost no cities; you could connect those cities with those of the coasts with the fast train system, you could have science cities….
“I think it is really important to imagine a completely different system. If the United States would now do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did—a New Deal, Glass-Steagall, cooperate with China—the United States could experience an industrial revolution bigger than any time in its own history. People just have to imagine that we are right now at the end of a system, a system which cannot be saved. We need to replace it with a completely new system, and most people have just a hard time to imagine that, but there are examples of such changes. For example, the Marshall Plan in Europe was such an example, and the Meiji Restoration in Japan was such an example—what Roosevelt did with the New Deal, so people have to just think that such a dramatic change is absolutely possible today.”
The real problems the President must deal with—whether the opiate addiction scourge, or now the worst Gulf storm ever to hit Texas, requiring many thousands of rescuers, massive rebuilding of housing, infrastructure—demand the principle of the general welfare, the common good of humanity. Trump cannot do this on his own and under attack. Americans must mobilize so that “dramatic change is absolutely possible today.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
People’s Daily Highlights LaRouche in Transaqua Coverage
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)—In a long Aug. 21 report on the newly increased prospects for the long-planned “Transaqua” great infrastructure project, to transform Lake Chad and sub-Saharan Africa, China’s People’s Daily highlighted the role of Lyndon LaRouche and his movement. It also placed this crucial water and power project in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or “New Silk Road,” in which Helga and Lyndon LaRouche’s historic role was highlighted Aug. 20 by China Daily.
“Hopes have been revived for the 40 million people who depend on Lake Chad for their livelihoods,” People’s Daily wrote, “following the signing last June in Hangzhou, China, of a deal between Chinese construction giant, PowerChina and the Italian firm, Bonifica Spa. However, the news was only made public at the beginning of this month.
“The agreement concerns the carrying out of feasibility studies on transferring 100 billion cubic meters of water per annum from River Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, D.R.C., to replenish the fast shrinking Lake Chad, a distance of 2,500 km. The project is also known as Transaqua. According to the website of Executive Intelligence Review, EIR magazine, the letter of intent was signed at a meeting between the executive of the two companies in the presence of the Italian Ambassador to China, Gabriele Menegatti.”
Under the headline, “Role of LaRouche”, China Daily said, “Thanks to the fight taken up by LaRouche organization over the years and the initiators of Transaqua, the project is today becoming reality within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Executive Intelligence Review magazine and Schiller Institute in 2015 arranged the first meeting between LCBC [the Lake Chad Basin Commission—ed.] and the brains behind Transaqua. This was followed in December 2016 by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between LCBC and PowerChina, and subsequent contacts between Bonifica Spa and the Chinese company.”
The paper also notes that “The Lake Chad Basin Commission resolved the issue of funding studies on water transfer by creating a new Silk Road to Lake Chad. PowerChina, one of the country’s largest multinationals that built the Three Gorges dam, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LCBC last December.”
The Peoples Daily’s article, by Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, is far too thoroughly illustrated and too extensive to review here; it presents the existential sub-Sahara problem of the 50-year shrinkage of Lake Chad in detail; its results in terms of economic destruction and the rise of terrorism in the region; and the extraordinary scope of the Transaqua project to transform the region. This is potentially one of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche’s greatest works. (see http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/0821/c90000-9258249.html)
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Major Failure in Germany Shows Again that PPPs Do Not Work
Aug. 25, 2017 (EIRNS)—The major German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung on Aug. 23 featured news of the failure of a large “public-private partnership” (PPP) infrastructure project under the headline “Autobahn Privatization Suffers Bitter Setback.” The largest PPP in Germany, it involved expanding and renovating the Autobahn between Hamburg and Bremen, directed by the “infrastructure company” A1 Mobil on behalf of a British infrastructure investment fund. A1 Mobil on Aug. 20 warned the Federal Transport Ministry it was in an “existentially threatening situation”—about to go into bankruptcy—and made a claim for an immediate government bailout of about $700 million (€640 million).
SDZ called it, the “showcase project” for public-private partnerships in Germany. The construction work was done, but the project was launched nine years ago, and the British private consortium expected returns of both its capital and interest by now—which did not occur. The PPP was to get the tolls on the new autobahn for 30 years, but these have been much lower than projected; the European economy has been flat since 2008. So A1 Mobil now demands the government essentially pay its entire investment in the project, plus interest, or promises bankruptcy.
SDZ notes that this threatening bankruptcy constitutes “a debacle” for the German Federal Transport Minister, Christian Democrat Alexander Dobrindt, who has promoted so-called “partial privatizations,” or PPPs.
It should also be yet another nail in the coffin of the myth of PPPs, which are the fantasy refuge of elected officials who do not want to fund desperately needed infrastructure projects, and the fantasy payday of investment bankers’ clients.
Get on the Belt and Road initiated by China, instead.
Yellen and Draghi Did Not Mention the Pin in the House of Bubbles
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)—Standing before a threatening crash of debt markets and thus of banks, both Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank Chair Mario Draghi chose, in their speeches at the Fed’s Jackson Hole international conference, to “warn” that the Dodd-Frank and related EU regulations should not be relaxed. These regulations, both said, were part and parcel of the excellent job their central banks had done making the banking system “safer.”
But neither said anything about what really had to be “warned” about: their own plans to reduce their quantitative easing programs, which have bailed the Wall Street and London-centered megabanks out. Together with the Bank of Japan’s and Bank of England’s quantitative easing, some $13 trillion in net bond purchases have been done by the central banks. The Fed’s imminent attempt to start selling off, however slowly, these immense portfolios actually now form the biggest “trigger” threat of the new financial crash.
As the U.S. banks themselves “warned” the Treasury last week, even slight resulting upward moves by interest rates threaten a cascade of falling junk-type debt, which totals $2.5 trillion in the U.S. corporate debt bubble. And threatens the equivalent of margin calls on the much greater volume of “financial engineering” debt companies have taken on in order to buy their own stock or make mergers. This is what Yellen and Draghi should have “warned” about; but neither said a word about their immediate future actions, starting with the Fed unwinding the reinvestment of its QE income.
The Washington, D.C. publication The Hill ran an Aug. 25 column by former IMF Deputy Director Desmond Lachman, “Central Bankers: Beware of Bursting Bubbles.” Lachman gave the central banks too much credit for having “restored [much too little] growth,” but cited Alan Greenspan’s warning, among others, that the global bond market bubble is ready to crash. “Those at Jackson Hole should be thinking of the asset bubbles they’ve created. They should be drawing up contingency plans for dealing with the bursting of these asset bubbles,” Lachman wrote. But as in 2008, they are not.
Fundamental Marker of U.S. Economy Falling Through Zero Growth
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)—The rate of household formation in the United States has fallen dramatically, and has dropped to zero growth or below three times since the 2008 crash, including in 2016-17—it is now again at zero growth. This is reported and graphed, using U.S. Census data, by Deutsche Bank Economics. This may be attributed, above all, to unemployment or misemployment and the unaffordability of housing—with rents rising 5-7% a year for a decade, and new home prices extraordinarily high (the national average has reached $360,000 for new homes, 75% higher than in 2017).
The rate at which residents of a nation between the ages of 18 and 34 form new households—not in their parents’ or grandparents’ households and often not in the same city or town—is a fundamental measure of economic and social advancement and mobility. The United States through the 19th Century and early 20th Century had a household formation rate unequaled in history by any nation or region; connected to that, it also exhibited an extraordinarily high rate of formation of new cities and towns, representing both transportation infrastructure and emergence of new economic sectors and industries.
Currently a comparison to China’s economic progress can be made. Approximately $1.1 trillion was spent on new home sales in China in 2016, compared to $200 billion in United States. This represented about 10 million new units in China, compared to 550,000 units in the United States: a ratio of 18:1 compared to a population ratio of 4.32:1 between the two countries). There were 11 million first-time marriages in China in 2016, compared to 2 million in United States; a ratio of 5.5:1).
(see https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/an-overlooked-indicator- just-plunged-and-that-could-signal-trouble-ahead.html)
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Secretary of State Tillerson on North Korea, Afghanistan
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, appearing on Fox News Sunday, gave this reply to a question about North Korea, “Our government must be prepared. We have held two Cabinet meetings on this…. North Korea has three short-range missiles.” Of D.P.R.K. Leader Kim Jong Un, Tillerson said, “He’s continuing to make his points. We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign, working with China; working with allies.”
On Afghanistan: “We want the Taliban to know that we are not going anywhere, and that they will not win militarily. We may not win, but neither will you.” For now, the message, said Tillerson, is “No timelines or deadlines. Our patience is not unlimited, but there are no arbitrary deadlines.”
“But we will obliterate ISIS. Our objective is to deny any terrorist organization any territory to stage attacks. The President has been clear: We will defeat ISIS. We ended their Caliphate in Iraq, and Syria. Our effort is global.”
To host Wallace’s question about “globalists vs. America-firsters in the Trump Administration, Tillerson said:” “I don’t think there is any division.”
Tillerson turned aside questions on Trump and Charlottesville, saying only that the State Department had made American values very clear to all other nations.
On Aug. 27, Alice Wells, the top U.S. official overseeing South Asia diplomacy, will visit Islamabad, following up President Trump’s warning to Pakistan. Wells is the Acting Assistant Secretary of State in-charge of South and Central Asia; is fluent in a number of Asian languages, including Pakistan’s official language Urdu, and will meet with a number of officials during her visit. She will be the first high-level official to visit Pakistan since Trump’s speech last week, which issued the bluntest warning so far to Pakistan by a U.S. President: that it has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists. This is the second trip to Islamabad this month by Wells, who is also the Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Texas Policy Institute to Study Diplomacy in English and Chinese
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)—On August 28, the China Public Policy Center at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin will open its doors. It promises to be an institution that can have a significant influence on U.S.-China policy, due mainly to its head, David Firestein, who is fluent in both Russian and Chinese, and served in diplomatic posts in the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Beijing. According to China Daily’s a profile of Firestein, he first visited China with his parents as a high school student in 1984. Throughout his professional career, he has specialized in U.S. China relations, and was described last year as “one of the best non-native speakers of Chinese in the world.”
Firestein made use of his language skills as the first foreigner to have a regular column in a Chinese-language newspaper, the first sitting foreign diplomat to publish a book and host a television series while serving in China.
Firestein sees language as central to the cultural understanding between peoples. “Our goal will be to have two official working languages, English and Chinese,” he tells China Daily. He advises that “if the United States wants to be serious as a nation in terms of dealing with China and really understanding this country, then we as a nation have to get to a point where we’re as comfortable doing conferences and events in Chinese as so many Chinese are doing in English.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russian General Staff Reports On Its Military Campaign In Syria
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)—The Russian military campaign in Syria has been a major topic of discussion at the Army 2017 International Military Technical Forum being held in Moscow this week. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the Chief of the Main Operation Directorate of the Russian General Staff, provided an overview history of the campaign from its start on Sept. 30, 2015 to the present. In particular, he stressed that over the course of the campaign, the Syrian government expanded the amount of territory that it controls from 19,000 sq km to 78,000 sq km. “Actions of the Russian force grouping have significantly damaged control and logistics systems of terrorists. Main weapon and munitions supply routes have been cut out. The terrorist organizations have lost financial income sources from oil trafficking,” he said. “Russian aviation performed 28,000 combat sorties, and conducted about 90,000 strikes during the operation in Syria.”
“Results achieved in fighting against terrorism in Syria made some political actors possess the situation in a new way. This allowed the launch of the political settlement process,” Rudskoi continued. “As a result of agreements between armed opposition and Syrian government, which had been achieved under the facilitation of Russia and Turkey, the ceasefire regime has been established in the Syrian Arab Republic.” The establishment of de-escalation zones, he said, “allowed a ceasefire between armed formations of moderate opposition and government troops and stabilizing the situation in southern and central Syrian areas.”
The head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Department, Gen. Igor Korobov, reported that some 9,000 ISIS terrorists are estimated to remain in Syria, along with 15,000 Nusra terrorists. “Al-Nusra Front, like the IS, is forcing radical Islam in controlled areas,” he said. “Violation of sharia laws is severely punished, including by death sentence.” About 9,000 Nusra terrorists, Korobov noted, are in Idlib province, where they aim to disrupt the establishment of a de-escalation zone, there.
Colonel General Sergey Surovikin, the Russian military commander in Syria, reported that the jihadi groups have lost over 8,000 gunmen and 1,500 pieces of armament, military and other hardware just over the last three months. “To support the offensive by units of Syria’s Armed Forces the Russian aviation carries out 60 sorties every day. Only over the past three days, Russian pilots have made 163 sorties, destroying 415 targets.”
Russia and Syria Have Created a Joint Air Defense System
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)—Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Major General Sergey Meshcheryakov told a round table dedicated to the Syrian experience at the Army-2017 International Military-Technical Forum, that Russia and Syria have created a fully integrated national air defense system. “Today, a unified integrated air defense system has been set up in Syria. We have ensured the information and technical interlinkage of the Russian and Syrian air reconnaissance systems. All information on the air situation comes from Syrian radar stations to the control points of the Russian force.”
Meshcheryakov said the Russian air defense group in the Hmeymim airfield area includes a radio engineering battalion; a battery of the Pantsir-S air defense missile and gun systems, and the S-400 air defense missile systems. “These air defense missile systems are capable of destroying targets within a range of up to 400 kilometers at an altitude of up to 35 kilometers.”
One wonders whether this is a message to Israel, which is the only country that has consistently violated Syrian airspace, and his threatened to attack Syria if Iranian forces or proxies entrench themselves along the Golan Heights ceasefire line.
U.S. Navy Ships Are Hard To See and Poorly Operated
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)—Two aspects of U.S. Navy operations, especially in the Pacific, have come to the fore as a result of the collisions of two U.S. Navy destroyers in Asian waters in the last two months. One is that while merchant ships take every measure to see and be seen, especially at night, naval vessels are designed to be hard to see. They are shaped to be harder to see on radar; they’re painted gray, and their lighting is subdued. “Hard to see and hard to track electronically, naval vessels have long posed special perils to nighttime navigation,” reports the New York Times in an article that lends ammunition to the Chinese charge that the increase in U.S. naval vessels operating in Asian waters are a hazard to maritime navigation. “Naval ships, designed to avoid detection by enemy fleets and aircraft, are exempt from an international requirement that vessels automatically and continuously broadcast their position, course, and speed,” the Times further reports. The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority has said that it had no data on the USS John S. McCain until it actually hit the merchant vessel Alnic MC, carrying 12,000 metric tons of fuel oil, on Aug. 21. Military vessels, according to the Times, reportedly carry the same beacons as merchant ships, but their captains prefer not to broadcast so much information about themselves. The U.S. Navy did not comment on this, saying that the investigation of the McCain collision is still ongoing.
The recent series of mishaps, four in all, that the U.S. 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, has suffered since January of 2017, has also put the spotlight on the training and competency of its officers and sailors. Two days after the McCain collision, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift fired 7th Fleet Commander V.Adm. Joseph Aucoin. The Navy statement cited a loss of confidence in Aucoin’s ability to command. Military Times notes that Swift lamented that these mishaps, which all occurred during “the most basic of operations.”
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
New Physical Principles Versus “Brilliant Pebbles”
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)—The Russian military is developing weapons based on “new physical principles,” Sputnik reported Aug. 24. The Russian Defense Ministry has tasked the Russian Federal Nuclear Center with the development. Not surprisingly, there are few details contained in the report, except that Russia has also developed the first radio-electronic weapons system, including weapons “samples” based on new physical principles, under which it includes “beams, geophysical, wave, kinetic and other types of weapons.” It also mentions a November 2016 statement by the Land Force’s missile and artillery troops Major General Mikhail Matveevsky that the military was developing lethal warheads based on new physical principles.
Meanwhile, under the heading of “old physical principles,” former SDI head, High Frontier Director, and Heritage Foundation Visiting Fellow, neocon Henry Cooper, co-authored an article for Newsmax pushing Defense Secretary Mattis to develop and deploy “brilliant pebbles.” This technology, abandoned in the early 1990s, would consist of swarms of very small kinetic interceptors, designed to hit launch vehicles in their boost phase. This, they argue, is more cost-effective than having a small number of large interceptors which could only neutralize a few warheads and decoys.