EIR Daily Alert Service, Sep 7, 2017, Thursday

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2017

Volume 4, Number 178

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

Americans Respond to Houston Disaster—Will They Act To Save the Nation?

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—As the disaster of Harvey in Houston lingers on, the largest Atlantic hurricane in modern history, the Category 5 Irma, is blasting through the Caribbean, expected to hit Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico by the time you are reading this, and reaching Florida soon thereafter. A competent infrastructure plan had been proposed for Texas during the Kennedy Administration which would have eliminated the worst of the horrors of the past week—had it been implemented. In the case of these Caribbean islands, where the existing infrastructure is decrepit or non-existent, the capacity to survive Irma is in doubt.

Across the U.S., the 16 years under Bush and Obama saw trillions of tax dollars thrown into bailing out gambling casinos on Wall Street, while trillions more were spent destroying countries in the Middle East, turning them over to terrorist gangs, driving millions out of their homes as refugees across the region and into Europe. Today, the Korean Peninsula, according to left-over neocons from the Bush and Obama era, must be the next target of their failed military adventures—even while virtually every sane human being is warning that the results would be catastrophic for the entire human race.

And yet, most of the world is now beginning to learn first-hand how China lifted 700 million people out of poverty in 30 short years, as the New Silk Road is bringing infrastructure, industry, health facilities and hope, to the nations and populations subjected to colonial and post-colonial looting and warfare for the past several centuries under Western domination.

Organizers in the LaRouche movement in the U.S. are reporting that Americans are increasingly recognizing the “new paradigm” (as Helga Zepp-LaRouche calls it) emerging out of the China-Russia cooperation, creating new global institutions like the BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These new institutions are reaching out to Africa, Ibero-America and Asia—and even to the dying economies of Europe—through new financial institutions (e.g., the AIIB and the BRICS New Development Bank) offering credit for physical development, without the political and economic “conditionalities” of the IMF which kept nations subservient to British and American imperial dictates.

But these Americans often fail to understand why the U.S. is not undergoing a similar development process. They have been induced to believe in the monetarist myth that freedom means the freedom of British and Wall Street bankers to run the economy, and the world, as they wish. As the New York City subway system collapses, why do we not do what the Chinese would do, and build an entirely new system with state of the art technology, rather than pathetically trying to patch up the hundred-year-old monstrosity? As Houston drowns, why not do what the Chinese did to save thousands of lives every year, building the biggest dam and hydroelectric system in the world at the Three Gorges? The same company which built the Three Gorges is now preparing to save Central Africa through the Transaqua project, moving water from the Congo to the shrinking Lake Chad. Why didn’t the U.S. build the NAWAPA project, and the Houston water control program, and other such Great Projects, as Kennedy had proposed along with his space program?

To know the answer to that question, we must “break things open” in the U.S., Lyndon LaRouche said today. “We must do it—don’t talk about issues, talk about the facts. This must be done for mankind—it’s not anything smaller than that. And now is the time—victory will be in reach.”

The only thing standing in the way is the British Empire—meaning the London and Wall Street institutions which have been allowed to maintain “the independence of the Federal Reserve” and the “free market” takedown of Glass-Steagall and related regulations on the banking system. These were the policies implemented by FDR, which allowed him to direct the nation’s credit to the most massive infrastructure development the world had ever seen, or would see again under today’s One Belt, One Road coming from China. Now, the U.S. economy has collapsed, and the Wall Street banks are bankrupt, desperately trying to bail out their gambling debts by looting not only the developing nations, but the American economy and the American people.

The response of the vast majority of the American people to the disaster in Houston was to put aside the media-created “issues,” issues created to the purpose of making people small, creating artificial conflicts over petty or irrelevant concerns, while their world is collapsing into economic decay and permanent warfare. But after Harvey, thousands of people went to Houston, offering their support to save people in distress, Republican or Democrat, White or Black or Brown, even risking their own lives.

Trump was elected because he was committed to ending the economic decay, and the permanent “regime change” war policies. His effort to build a working relationship with Russia, and to join with China in the New Silk Road, provides the promise of the U.S. becoming part of that new paradigm. The British and their assets in the U.S. are desperate to stop him from implementing that plan, which would mean the end of Empire.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche today pointed to the inspiration felt by all Americans who see the selfless actions of the thousands who are acting to help those suffering in Houston. If we are to give Americans the strength to act against the Empire, to free the nation and the world of the dictates of the City of London and Wall Street, she said, we must do everything possible to elevate people to the level of the sublime, as Schiller understood that term—to find in themselves that goodness which is more precious than life itself, that which locates the capacity of each person to act for the betterment of mankind as a whole. Nothing less than that can succeed, and yet, as Lyndon LaRouche said, if we act in that way, victory will be in reach.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Trump-Democrats Deal Is a Sign of Political Shift

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—In a White House meeting with the four Congressional leaders from both parties today, President Trump surprised Republicans and most media reporting the event, by deciding to support a proposal by Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on budget and debt matters. The meeting has probably cleared the way for both Houses to pass this week a combination of $7.9 billion in recovery aid after Hurricane Harvey (primarily FEMA funds), a three-month lifting of the so-called Federal debt ceiling, and a three-month continuing resolution for funding government operations. Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, had opposed the short-term extensions (Ryan publicly) just hours before.

The leading Congressional Democrats, including Pelosi in public statements over last weekend, have had to acknowledge the dangerous failure of their attempts to whip up “total resistance,” impeachment, or other removal of President Trump from office, even to the point of embracing violent “antifa” anarchist demonstrations and attacks.

The Schumer/Pelosi decision today to offer an uncomplicated, if temporary, opening for large-scale Federal funding of hurricane recovery and rebuilding, is a sign of a shift towards potential collaboration between the President and Congress, completely impossible until now. The Democratic leaders avoided any criticism of Trump or Republicans in their subsequent press conference. On another matter—the Administration’s ending of Obama’s “DACA” executive order on immigration over the next two years—the Democrats suddenly appeared optimistic that Congress would pass legislation quickly to remedy the situation, just as Trump had proposed Sept. 5.

Trump, himself, had earlier gotten the Republican leadership to agree to link the hurricane recovery aid to a raise in the debt ceiling, challenging the “no government spending” wing of the Republicans—a strategy which both required and invited Democratic support.

Also, this development, in the context of the lesson of Hurricane Harvey, has improved the openness of members of Congress to discuss a national credit institution to fund new high-technology infrastructure.

Russia To Sue United States in Federal Court over Breach of Diplomatic Law

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Secretary Rex Tillerson in a phone call Tuesday that Moscow has initiated legal proceedings over the seizure of Moscow’s diplomatic properties in the country by the U.S. government. A Foreign Ministry statement, reported in RT, said that “the seizure of Russian diplomatic property on U.S. soil was a flagrant violation of international norms.” Lavrov said that President Putin had initiated the lawsuit. Russia says that the buildings were subsequently searched, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and that it has been denied access to them, despite their status as inviolable diplomatic properties, reports RT.

“The American decision to deprive Russia of the use of its property is an obvious violation of Russia’s property rights,” Putin said in China earlier on Sept. 5. “Let’s see how well the much-praised American legal system works in practice.”

Member of Back-Channel Dialogue with North Korea Says It Is Time To Talk

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the think tank New America, was part of a team which met with representatives from North Korea in Norway in May, reportedly with the Trump Administration’s approval. DiMaggio, in an interview with National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” this morning, was asked if she had expected the Sept. 3 nuclear test this past week.

“Absolutely,” DiMaggio answered. “And not only in our discussions, which were private, but in their public talk as well, they’ve made it clear that they have an unflinching determination to advance their nuclear program to the point where they are confident that it can ensure its survival—their survival by fending off any attack from the U.S. Their quest to demonstrate that they possess a reliable, nuclear-tipped ICBM capability that can reach here in the United States is their absolute top priority. And they’re well on their way of achieving this. Also, they see having this capacity as a way to strengthen their negotiating position as they contemplate a return to talks, and they are thinking about that.”

She also said that such tests will continue until Pyongyang believes they have demonstrated the capability to reach the U.S. mainland with a weapon, and that they “are quickly approaching this goal.” Therefore, she concluded, “I think the timing is right for the Trump Administration to test the North Koreans to see if they can be serious about diplomatic engagement. And the only way to do so is to talk to them.”

Asked if she thought President Trump would not do so for fear of looking “weak,” DiMaggio responded: “The whole notion of negotiation as appeasement, I think, is absurd and ridiculous. It’s negotiation and diplomacy that prevent wars. And, you know, I think in the case of North Korea, it’s an urgent issue—approaching crisis. And the only way this is going to be resolved is through talking and diplomacy.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Russia Diplomat Warns of Increased War Danger on Korean Peninsula

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov warned yesterday of a disaster in the Korea Peninsula. “The continuing missile and nuclear tests of North Korea, the growing U.S. military presence, dangerous maneuvers and bellicose rhetoric of both sides—all this has moved the situation to a dangerous brink of a large-scale military confrontation with unimaginable and really disastrous consequences,” he said, reported TASS. Instead of further ratcheting up military activity, “consolidated steps are needed for comprehensively easing tensions,” he said, and saying that this requires, among other things, the establishment of a reliable security system in Northeastern Asia.

Nonetheless, the Trump Administration is signalling that it intends to ratchet up the military pressure on North Korea. President Trump, himself, yesterday announced his intention to allow both South Korea and Japan to buy substantially more U.S. military equipment, though this decision will produce no immediate practical effect, because of the time it takes for such sales to be approved. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo agreed in a phone discussion “to strengthen the regular deployment of U.S. strategic assets and joint military exercises on and around the Korean Peninsula, in order to bolster the combined defense posture and deter North Korean provocations,” according to the South Korean Defense Ministry. The ministry also announced that the deployment of four additional U.S. THAAD anti-missile launchers will be completed on Sept. 7.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Puerto Rico’s Aging Power Infrastructure Can’t Withstand Hurricane Irma

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—As Hurricane Irma barrels toward northern Puerto Rico, expected to hit the island this evening, continuing into tomorrow morning, the head of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Ricardo Ramos is warning that the power grid is so vulnerable, “that there are parts of the island that could be without power for four months.”

Lack of maintenance and investment, spanning years, and the loss of skilled personnel as a result of austerity and economic crisis, make for a deadly combination. PREPA, established in 1941, is today carrying a debt burden of $9 billion, and has been the object of wrangling by bondholders and creditors whose only goal is to get their money back.

Despite the fact that Puerto Ricans pay, on average, two to three times as much as Americans on the mainland for electricity, service is unreliable and blackouts are frequent. A September 2016 blackout left 1.5 million people without electricity for several days. According to the Puerto Rican School of Engineers and Surveyors (CIAPR), the equipment breakdowns and lack of maintenance that caused the catastrophe haven’t been remedied, leaving the island vulnerable to another mass blackout at any moment—even without a hurricane.

Most power plants are 50-60 years old. In August 2017, the 602MW Palo Seco power plant was closed, after it was determined it could not withstand winds greater than 40 mph.

Kennedy-Era Texas Water Plan for 50-Year Infrastructure Projects Included Coastal Canal To Carry Run-Off

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—In the 1960s, when the United States was committed to a manned Moon landing and to actively promote development on Earth, the North American Water and Power Alliance proposed a continental-scale project for bringing water to the dry Southwest. The project involved diversion and management of run-off among the Western river basins of North America. Coherent with this, other projects were put forward elsewhere on the continent, especially one to divert “surplus” water from the Lower Mississippi River westward and southward to relieve the frequent droughts in the drylands of Texas.

The Texas “1968 State Water Plan” authored by the state government, featured a 50-year perspective, which it described in maps as the “Texas Water System to the Year 2020” (http://www.twdb.texas.gov/publications/State_Water_Plan/1968/1968_Water_Plan.pdf?d=12915.725000000002). The 1968 report called for bringing in and distributing water via two systems of “major conveyance facilities and related reservoirs.” A northern conveyance route would divert water from the Mississippi River in Louisiana in the east, westward into the Ogallala Aquifer area (west of Lubbock), and down into the Permian Basin.

The second proposal calls for running a conveyance channel all along the Southeast Texas coast (though inland), beginning in Louisiana, and ending up emptying into the Rio Grande River valley and out to sea. Along this “Coastal Canal” would be reservoirs at key points, to control and add water from the many watersheds en route. While proposed as a means to bring in water from the Lower Mississippi Basin, the same channel would serve as a system to capture, manage, and carry off flood-water, to vastly lessen storm damage. As seen on the 1968 report’s maps, the conveyance facility traverses the many river basins, in order, from the Louisiana coast: Sabine, Neches-Trinity, San Jacinto-Brazos, Brazos-Colorado, Colorado-Lavaca, Lavaca-Guadalupe, San Antonio-Nueces, and into the Rio Grande. (http://www.twdb.texas.gov/publications/State_Water_Plan/1968/68SWP_fig2.jpg)

Combined with coastal sea-surge protection, and localized defenses as needed (levees, impoundments, underground cisterns), this proposed Southeast Texas “Coastal Canal” could be an essential component for reducing vulnerability to storms.

The 1968 Texas plans were never built. NAWAPA—received favorably in Congress in the 1960s—was completely blocked by the Wall Street/City of London crowd. Moreover, Britain’s patsy in the Senate, Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-WA), bullied through a law to prevent any “inter-basin” transfer of run-off anywhere, in the name of protecting the environment. Texas Gov. John Connally (R) 1963-1969, who promoted his “1968 Texas Plan,” was subjected to character attacked by a contrived “Milk-Gate” scandal. (Connally was riding in the car in Dallas with President Jack Kennedy when he was shot and killed on Nov. 22, 1963; Governor Connally was seriously wounded.)

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Presidents Putin and Moon Jae-in Meet in Vladivostok, Discuss Peace Through Development

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—Presidents Vladimir Putin and Moon Jae-in met today on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, which is being held on Sept. 6-7 Vladivostok. In a statement to the press afterwards, the two men presented an inspiring vision, and several concrete programs, to work together in the transformation of the Russian Far East, while creating the conditions for a solution to the escalating crisis over North Korea, through a development process that will include both the necessary security and the real development of North Korea and the region.

President Putin praised South Korea as “one of Russia’s key partners in the Asia-Pacific Region,” with bilateral trade increasing over the past six months by 50%, to $10 billion, while more than 600 Korean companies operate within Russia. He said the two Presidents have “agreed to stimulate the operation of the joint investment and finance platforms with the aggregate capital of $1 billion and to create a portfolio of promising projects, primarily for the Far East, where we can make use of the opportunities offered by the priority development areas and the Free Port of Vladivostok.” He also said that the two nations will discuss a trade agreement between South Korea and the five-nation Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)—Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

Most importantly, Putin said: “I would like to say that Russia is still willing to implement trilateral projects with the participation of North Korea. We could deliver Russian pipeline gas to Korea and integrate the power lines and railway systems of Russia, the Republic of Korea and North Korea. The implementation of these initiatives will be not only economically beneficial, but will also help build up trust and stability on the Korean Peninsula.” Their statements are posted to President Putin’s official Kremlin website.

These are the policies which were entirely eliminated under the former government of President Park Geun-hye, under intense pressure from then-U.S. President Obama.

Putin also noted “the potential involvement of South Korean companies in the construction of infrastructure facilities in Russia, including the modernization of Far Eastern ports and shipyards and the joint development of the Northern Sea Route.”

On the crisis over North Korea, Putin said that the North Korean nuclear and missile tests violate UN Security Council resolutions, and pose “a threat to security in Northeast Asia.” However, he said: “At the same time, it is obvious that the Korean problems cannot be settled with sanctions and pressure alone. We must not yield to emotions or try to drive North Korea into a corner. Now is the time for all of us to summon the presence of mind and to avoid taking steps that could escalate tensions.” He said that, “without political and diplomatic methods … it will be impossible to resolve” the crisis.” He called for “all parties” to consider the Russia-China proposal for freezing both the North’s testing and the U.S.-South Korea exercises which threaten North Korea’s security.

President Moon Jae-in also addressed the cooperation in the development of the Russian Far East, noting that his government had created a “Northern Economic Cooperation Committee” under his own leadership, to help make Korea a “leader in the development of the Far East. The Committee is tasked with strengthening economic cooperation with Northeast Asian and Eurasian countries.” He continued: “Next year, we will create a Korean-Russian Regional Cooperation Forum. It should bolster contacts between regional governments in Korea and the Russian Far East.”

Moon noted, “The world’s first icebreaking liquefied natural gas tanker was built by a Korean shipbuilding company and transferred to Russia, opening the era of the Northern Sea Route, which until then seemed to lie in the distant future.”

Like Putin, Moon said the two had “agreed to build up the basis for the implementation of trilateral projects with participation of the two Korean states and Russia, which will connect the Korean Peninsula and the Russian Far East…. The development of the Far East will promote the prosperity of our two countries and will also help change North Korea and create the basis for the implementation of the trilateral agreements. We will be working hard on this.”

Moon Jae-in Tells TASS: No More Wars on Korean Peninsula

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the Russian news agency TASS, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reiterated his position that the question of war on the Korean Peninsula should be decided only by Koreans.

“Our stance is firm—there should be no more wars on the Korean Peninsula. Nobody but Korea is in the position to decide if there may be war on the Korean Peninsula again,” he said. “We have no intention of toppling the North Korean regime or achieving unification by means of a takeover. We seek to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem and to guarantee security to the North Korean regime. We wish to build a system of lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula,” Moon went on. “Also, we wish to create an economic community in which the South and the North might prosper together. This would be useful for the development of Russia’s Far East, too,” he stated.

Moon also said that while he still supports the idea of talks with Pyongyang, now is not the right time.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Will Hurricane Irma Be Strengthened by Space Weather?

Sept. 6 (EIRNS)—How many people know that the tragic devastation of Hurricane Katrina was amplified by space weather conditions? How many people know that we might see similar conditions playing into Hurricane Irma?

Over the next 24 to 48 hours (beginning around 02:00 UTC Sept. 7), NOAA forecasts a strong geomagnetic storm (G3) will rattle and compress the Earth’s magnetic field. This will likely lead to what’s called a Forbush depression (a decrease in the galactic cosmic radiation flux reaching the Earth’s atmosphere). According to the Henrik Svensmark cosmoclimatology theory, this should lower the ionization rate of the upper atmosphere, reducing the rate of water vapor condensation. As Professor Sergey Pulinets and his colleagues have noted, this should also reduce the rate of latent heat release, resulting in a colder upper atmosphere (and, therefore, a greater temperature difference between the ocean and upper atmosphere).

These conditions can lead to stronger cyclones and hurricanes, as shown in earlier studies of Hurricane Katrina and other tropical cyclones: See “Role of Variations in Galactic Cosmic Rays in Tropical Cyclogenesis: Evidence of Hurricane Katrina,” Bondur, Pulinets, Kim (2008); and “Effect of Mesoscale Atmospheric Vortex Processes on the Upper Atmosphere and Ionosphere of the Earth,” Bondur, Pulinets (2013).

When comparing the current conditions surrounding Irma with the case of Katrina, we note that Irma will be a couple days farther offshore of the U.S. mainland when the geomagnetic storm hits, and the coming geomagnetic storm is expected to be a little weaker than the one that hit before Katrina made landfall. We’re also seeing a higher rate of galactic cosmic ray flux in the current approach to the minimum of a generally weaker solar cycle.

It is unclear what the exact results will be, but this is certainly a development worth keeping an eye on.

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