A Tale of Two Worlds
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—As Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Today it is not two cities, but two visions of the future of mankind, and of the fundamental nature of man.
The world is watching the devastation in Houston—a natural disaster, of course, but one which found a “little people” (as Schiller said of the French population at the time of Dickens’s tale), who have allowed the nation’s infrastructure to decay to the point of collapse. Houston is notoriously unprepared to deal with flooding during even annual storms, let alone hurricanes or the current 1,000-year flood. Already in 2012, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the city a C- on its “report card” regarding flood control. The two primary flood control dams for Houston, both on the verge of overflow or even collapse in the current storm, were built in the 1940s and are 20 years past their life expectancy.
But Houston is no different than essentially every part of these United States. Our greatest city, New York, is undergoing a general breakdown in transportation, sanitation, water, and more—a reality addressed on Aug. 26 at a Schiller Institute forum in Manhattan. The infrastructure deficit has created powder kegs across the nation, only needing a spark to set them off, as we saw with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, with superstorm Sandy in New York City, or with the drought in the Southwest.
On the other hand, the “spring of hope” vision of the world is becoming a reality, as the New Silk Road is bringing large-scale infrastructure across Asia, Africa, and Ibero-America, infrastructure which was denied them throughout the colonial and post-colonial eras. In particular, two of the Great Projects proposed by Lyndon LaRouche over the past decades—the Kra Canal in southern Thailand, and the replenishing of the nearly-depleted Lake Chad in Africa through diversion of water from the Congo—are now close to realization. These projects have been fiercely opposed by the former colonial powers, and are still opposed in the West under the fraudulent guise of environmental damage and unprofitability. In both of these Great Projects, the role of China’s Belt and Road Initiative is the central driving force, viewing mankind not as subjects of an oligarchy, but as the reason for the existence of governments.
Why can’t the U.S., and Europe, participate in this world-changing development process? The only reason is the continuing power of the bankrupt financial empire centered in London and New York. The degeneracy of the Western banking system into a sprawling gambling casino, only willing to “invest” in speculative binges, driving ever-greater decay of the physical economy and the standard of living of the “lower 90%” of the population—this is the reality which brought about the election of Donald Trump. This is the reality which is driving the ongoing coup attempt against him by the powers of London and Wall Street and their slavish, totally-owned political leaders and media whores. “The U.S. must not be allowed to join the New Silk Road,” bellows the modern day Ozymandias, from Shelley’s poem. “The government must not interfere in Wall Street,” he adds. “The U.S. must prepare for war with Russia…. My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Houston must serve as a wake-up call. Of course the American people will awake from their slumber to help the people of Houston in this disaster—but they must also, finally, act to restore the American System, to demand the end of the casino mondial, and the creation of a Hamiltonian credit system, immediately, to generate the credit needed to rebuild our cities at a modern level, our transportation networks, our water systems, our power generation, our schools, and hospitals. As Helga Zepp-LaRouche said at the Manhattan forum on the infrastructure crisis Aug. 26, “Why not build 50 new cities?” China has done it, and is taking it around the world through the Belt and Road. We can, and must, join them.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump Reiterates Wish To Improve U.S. Relationship with Russia
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—In President Trump’s press conference today with Finnish President Niinisto, a Finnish reporter appeared to be trying to get Trump to say something negative about Russian maneuvers in the Baltic. She first tried to put Niinisto on the spot with a similar question, asking what advice he had given Trump with regard to dealing with such an “adversary”. Niinisto replied that there were several maneuvers ongoing in the Baltic, by NATO as well as by Russia, but added that Finland was working above all to promote peace in the region.
“So we have to be very careful,” he said, “that this huge training, huge military trafficking over politics doesn’t cause any accidental problems. Because we know that from accidents might grow whatever. And that is why I think it’s important that we continue to work with NATO to enhance, like I said, dialogue between Russia and NATO. And it is going forward.”
The same reporter then asked Trump whether he considered Russia a security threat. Replying that he considered many countries security threats considering the conditions in the world today, and pointing to Vice President Pence’s trip to U.S. allies in the region, he then rather deftly replied, “I would consider many countries threats, but these are all threats that we’ll be able to handle if we have to. Hopefully, we won’t have to handle them, but if we do, we will handle them.” When she went on with her badgering, asking him what he would do if the circumstances deteriorated, Trump said simply, “We are very protective of that region.”
Later, in reply to a question from another Finnish reporter, who asked whether Finland could be of help in improving the U.S. relationship with Russia, Trump replied, “Well, I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia. That’s very important, and I believe someday that will happen. It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia.”
“Finland is respected by Russia,” Trump continued. “Finland has been free of Russia, really—just about one of the few countries in the region that has been—for 100 years. And Russia has a lot of respect for Finland, so that’s always good. But I think Finland is doing fine with Russia, and I hope that the United States will someday be able to have a very good relationship with Russia also. I think that’s very good for world peace and for other things.” In reply to the same question, Niinisto said, “I don’t feel myself or Finland being any advisor to anybody, but we try to do our best, and hopefully we get also results from that. I want to remind you that, in a NATO meeting, a year ago approximately, it was stated by all NATO countries that with Russia you have to be deterrence, but you have to exercise dialogue, too. These two-way elements have to be there.”
Trump Is in Texas on Tuesday; Urgent Agenda: Immediate Aid, and Credit for Big Infrastructure
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—On Tuesday, President and Mrs. Trump will be in Texas to visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster firsthand, as Houston and many other areas all along the Gulf coast remain flooded. Meteorologists warn that the superstorm is re-gathering some strength overnight from swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, for again hitting Texas and Louisiana with continued heavy rains on Tuesday. Air Force One will likely have to fly into Corpus Christi, avoiding Houston’s airspace.
Houston is significantly paralyzed, as are locations all along parts of coastal Texas and Louisiana, and the upland areas hit by the storm. Multiple thousands are homeless. The post-storm prospects for necessities are dire, from sanitation to power. As utility experts point out, you can’t put new electric poles down in mud.
A third of all U.S. chemical production has been disrupted. E.G. Bloomberg estimates that 37% of U.S. chlorine and 40% of ethylene output capacity are affected. Gas, oil, and other sectors, likewise, are affected.
The epic storm poses the fundamental issue for the nation: the United States must restore a nation-serving credit system, for both immediate aid, for support and rebuilding, and for big infrastructure, and fast. Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws are the only emergency solution.
In Congress, Houston Rep. John Culbertson (R) signaled his intent today, for getting an emergency supplemental funding bill together to be acted upon fast. He spoke on Bloomberg TV, which also reported that Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) concurs. Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee said she will tack a “robust” relief measure onto a spending bill on the House floor shortly.
Trump said at his news conference today, “You’re going to get your funding.” He expects the formal request for emergency funding for Harvey victims to come soon. Meantime, FEMA spokeswoman Stephanie Moffett says, expenses from dealing with Harvey’s destruction are “quickly drawing down the remaining balance” in FEMA’s disaster-relief fund, which earlier today stood at $3.3 billion.
Steve Bannon’s Clash of Civilization
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—It was known that Steve Bannon advocated trade war with China, but in his interview with The Economist on Aug. 25, after being driven out of the White House, he let it all out, joining fully in the Samuel Huntington “Clash of Civilizations” British view that Western Judeo-Christian culture was fundamentally opposed to Confucian culture (and, of course, like Huntington, he believes the same of Islam).
In the interview, Bannon said: “Let’s go screw up One Belt One Road,” adding: “I want the world to look back in 100 years and say, their mercantilist, Confucian system lost. The Judeo-Christian liberal West won.”
He referred to his hated “elites:” “These are the guys who gave us happy talk on Iraq, who let China into the WTO and said it would sign up to the rules-based order.”
Antifa Defies Pleas for “Peace,” Turns Demonstration into Assault
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—Antifa anarchists descended on a right-wing “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally Sunday afternoon, immediately turning what had been a peaceful demonstration at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park into a violent and bloody event. After a mostly peaceful demonstration in San Francisco, Saturday, this separate event in Berkeley saw fourteen arrested, including one charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Several hundred black-clad, masked Antifa radicals, armed for battle with clubs and plastic shields, and deployed as part of a crowd numbering in the thousands, overwhelmed the contingent of 400 police. The smoke-bomb-deploying anarchists pursued their victims with such intensity that police and other “peace-minded” liberals, even media members, were forced to come to the aid of the targetted “Trump supporters” to ensure their safety. Antifa also attacked media members who filmed or otherwise documented their rioting, threatening to confiscate cameras and phones.
Having gotten wind of the planned activities, event organizer Amber Cummings had actually cancelled the event on Friday, citing “grave concerns for the safety of people,” in her statement. In what the police called a “strategic move,” barricades around the park were abandoned after the Antifa began their assault. After the violence, Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin actually praised the 7,000 people “who came out today to peacefully oppose bigotry, hatred and racism,” adding that, “the violence that small group of protesters engaged in against residents and the police, including throwing smoke bombs, is unacceptable.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
South Korean Foreign Minister Urges Pyongyang Not to “Pass Up the Opportunity” for Renewed Negotiations
[Note – This was written before North Korea launched a long-range missile Tuesday morning Korea time which crossed over Japan before landing in the Pacific.]
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—In extensive remarks in a press briefing today, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha addressed the potential for resuming negotiations with North Korea, provided that Pyongyang ceases further provocations, so as to create a positive environment for talks, Yonhap News Agency reported.
“The North should not pass up the opportunity” to do this, particularly since China, Russia, and the U.S. are sending “signals” on their willingness to resume negotiations on denuclearization, Kang said.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that the North’s safety and economic development can be guaranteed “only by its denuclearization. Should it make the right decision, we are willing to provide a bright future together with the international community.” She suggested that the month of October could provide a general timeframe in which denuclearization talks might be considered, “if things are well under control.” Among key anniversaries celebrated in October is the tenth anniversary of the Oct. 4, 2007 joint declaration, signed at the inter-Korean summit meeting between late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, which laid the basis for reconciliation and economic cooperation between the two countries. That was later sabotaged by the Obama administration.
Kang did not want to set any specific date by which Pyongyang would prove that it had ceased provocations, however, as her government wants maximum flexibility in addressing the North Korean situation. She did say that in pursuit of resuming talks with the North, the Seoul government will make use of all available diplomatic channels, and will also closely communicate with the United States. One option, she explained, would be to try to contact North Korean embassies in foreign countries, in order to explain Seoul’s diplomatic overtures and encourage Pyongyang to respond positively to offers of resumed dialogue.
China’s Foreign Ministry weighed in on the issue today, calling on all parties interested in settling the North Korean nuclear issue to consider the Sino-Russian “double-freeze” proposal, “refrain from provoking each other…and make joint efforts to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
U.S. Ukraine Envoy Volker Issues New Threats Against Russia; Russian Senator Pushkov Responds
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker took the occasion of an interview with London’s Financial Times to issue new threats against Russia, warning that U.S.-Russian relations will be “crippled,” unless Russia decides to resolve the Ukrainian situation to Washington’s satisfaction. He appears to miss the point that relations are already quite crippled, as Russian officials frequently point out.
Volker’s message is, of course, that the Ukraine crisis is entirely Russia’s fault, adding the threat that “very senior levels” of the Trump administration are “seriously considering” whether to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. These statements follow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s visit to Kiev last week, in which he said he favored arming Ukraine.
“Russia is going to have to make some fundamental decisions” on whether to comply with the Minsk accords,” Volker warned, blaming Russia for lack of progress in implementing that agreement. In fact, he added, Russia’s involvement in Ukraine “isn’t working out very well for them….and frankly, the situation is going to get worse over time, not better.” Then, reflecting the mindset of those stuck in the muck of the old paradigm, Volker warned that unless Russia bends to Western demands, it “is going to be frozen out of diplomatic relationships, of economic relationships, because of this.”
Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov, head of the Committee for Information Policy of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council, responded sharply to Volker, RT reported today.
“Volker’s attempt to frighten us are in vain. Russia will never be ousted from the system of diplomatic and economic relations. Obama’s experience has shown that the U.S. lacks the power to do this,” Pushkov tweeted.
China-India Troop Standoff in Doklam Region Comes to an End
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—India’s External Ministry issued a statement today indicating an end to the two-month-plus stand-off between Chinese and Indian troops in the Doklam region near the tri-junction—Tibet (China), Sikkim (India) and Bhutanpoint—that began on June 16. The statement said: “In recent weeks, India and China maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam…we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is ongoing.”
The standoff started when Bhutan resented China building a road that runs through the disputed Bhutan-Tibet (China) border and evoked its security arrangement with India. India sent troops to stop the road construction. The new agreement will ensure maintaining status quo prior to June 16 and immediate withdrawal of troops by both sides.
According to available reports, both sides agreed not to escalate the situation further following Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to China and meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in Beijing on July 28. In the interim, details were worked out.
The timing of the agreement suggests it was reached in light of the upcoming BRICS Summit (Sept. 3-5) in Xiamen, where the heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are scheduled to meet to further the BRICS role in the world economy and security. Without the agreement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have been under political pressure within his own country not to attend the Summit.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Kra Canal Conference Brings Great Project Close to Realization
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—EIR’s friend in Thailand Pakdee Tanapura, who has led the fight for the Kra Canal since his collaboration with Lyndon LaRouche to that purpose in the 1980s, has announced the agenda for a conference on Sept. 9 titled: International Conference On Technology For Sustainable Paths To Thailand’s Future Thai Canal: Comprehensive Study of Alternative Logistics Systems for the Maritime Silk Road.” The conference will feature very-high-level speakers from Thailand, but also from around the world, indicating the very real potential that the project can finally move ahead.
It is Pakdee’s view that the departure from Thailand last week of deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (sister of similarly deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra), who fled rather than face sentencing in a politicized trial, may have been facilitated by the government to prevent any return to the polarization of the country, which existed before the coup in 2014 between the so-called Reds and the Yellows. This may also facilitate Prayut’s agreement to proceed with the Kra Canal.
Speakers from Thailand include Thanin Kraivichien, former Prime Minister, former President of the Supreme Court, and former Member of the Privy Council, indicating possible Royal support from the new King (the head of the Privy Council, Prem Tinsulanonda, has shown support for the Canal).
Among the several leading retired generals speaking is Gen. Saiyud Kerdphol, former Supreme Commander, who also spoke at the 1984 conference in Bangkok, addressed by Lyndon LaRouche and others from EIR.
The closing speech will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Suchatvee Suwansawat, President of prestigious King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang.
Dr. Norio Yamamoto, President of Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) Foundation in Japan, also attended the 1984 conference from the Mitsubishi GIF, and will speak in September.
There are speakers on the Panama Canal (from Panama), the Suez Canal (from Malaysia), and the Keil Canal (from Germany). Many western and Asian business representatives will speak, as well as a Chinese representative of the UN Industrial Development Organization.
Many other experts on canals, transportation, and other disciplines will speak. The conference itself should be a dramatic statement on the importance of this Great Project finally coming to reality.
China Welcomes Ibero-American, Caribbean Participation in Belt and Road
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—In an extensive interview with Uruguay’s La Republica daily, published Aug. 17, Chinese Ambassador to Uruguay Dong Xiaojun welcomed Ibero-American and Caribbean participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The upcoming late-November China-Latin America-Caribbean Business Forum in Uruguay, he said, will undoubtedly serve as a platform “conducive to Latin American and Caribbean participation in the Belt and Road’s international cooperation.”
Relations between China and Ibero-America and the Caribbean have expanded rapidly in recent years, Ambassador Dong said, and results have been very productive in several areas.
“We are moving forward, shoulder to shoulder, in the process of building a community of common destiny… We see how the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have a positive willingness to become part of the Belt and Road’s international cooperation.” He underscored the need to strengthen policy coordination and development strategies to promote practical cooperation coherent with the Belt and Road Initiative. This, he said, will contribute to “the prosperity and stability of the world.”
Chile is one Ibero-American nation that has fully embraced the Belt and Road. “Chile Week” in China, which runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, is the occasion for a large Chilean business/government delegation to visit several Chinese cities in search of greater cooperation, trade, investment, etc. Hernan Jaramillo, a director of the government’s ProChile investment and trade office, told the daily La Tercera that Chengdu, one of the cities the Chilean delegation will visit, has become a key economic and logistical center for China in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and thus offers many opportunities for Chile to expand its economic and trade cooperation with this important Chinese city.
Over the next five years, China is also expected to invest $10 billion in Chile.
China Attacks Polluted Water in Chinese Style—8,000 Water Clean-up Projects Worth $100 Billion
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—The build-up of industry and agriculture in China was done with little consideration for the pollution of the air and water, creating a severe crisis for sustaining development today. As usual for China, they are attacking the problem on a gargantuan scale.
“China launched nearly 8,000 water clean-up projects in the first half of 2017 with projected total investment of 667.4 billion yuan ($100 billion), the environment ministry said on Thursday,” as reported by Reuters on Aug. 24.
The projects were developed in 2015, to both treat and prevent water pollution, addressing 325 contaminated groundwater sites across the country, the statement from the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.
“With China desperate to increase supplies to guarantee future food and energy security, it promised in 2015 to make significant improvements in its major waterways and curb untreated wastewater from highly polluting sectors like mining, steelmaking, textiles, printing and oil refining,” Reuters says. The Ministry reports that overall water quality has improved in the first half of 2017, although some regions are not up to the targets.
The lowest grade on the scale used in China, unusable even for industrial or irrigation purposes and described as “black and stinky” water, is represented at 2,100 identified sites. Of these, nearly half have been restored.
They report also, that, to protect rural water supplies, China has identified 636,000 square kilometers of land that would be made off limits to animal husbandry, and it shut 213,000 livestock and poultry farms in the first six months.
Also, 809 new household sewage treatment facilities were built in the first half of the year.
China has appointed 200,000 “river chiefs” throughout the country as part of a new system aimed at making local officials more accountable when it comes to improving water quality and curbing pollution.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
German Greens Propose Fake “Program” for Lake Chad
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—A fake “program” for the Lake Chad region is proposed by the German Greens, published on the eve of the Africa Summit in Paris today. This is part of a review of the G20 Summit, which did not go far enough in the eyes of the Greens. They claim that “climate change” caused the evaporation of 75% of Lake Chad, and it cannot be reversed, while people once living there have migrated to neighboring regions in the states of the Lake region (Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon). These now impoverished migrants, they say, have to receive European aid to “adapt” to the changed situation.
Arranging the water supply by drilling many wells into the sand, and mini-farming, generally decentralized, “climate-friendly projects,” should be funded, they argue; other development approaches than this must not receive export credit guarantees, the Greens demand. Germany and the EU states should furthermore create early warning units at their embassies in African states to monitor so-called climate changes in time so that aid can be decided in time as well.
The Greens also insist that Europe fill the gaps left by the U.S. pull-out from the Paris COP21 climate deal. Global warming alone cannot be blamed for the outbreak of refugee crises, the Greens declare, but it aggravates problems caused by the chronic poverty —which should not, however, be fought with big projects but with many minuscule ones, and “appropriate” technologies.