Do We Go Down with the Trans-Atlantic Financial System, or Join Hands with the New Silk Road?
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Today in New York, the United Nations General Assembly opened its annual debate by world leaders, amidst both great dangers, and great opportunities, as presented by the New Silk Road world development drive. Helga Zepp-LaRouche summarized these circumstances, in a discussion with European colleagues today, making special references to developments in Germany, whose national elections are Sept. 24, in which Zepp-LaRouche is a candidate. The following is an edited transcript of her remarks:
The world is a very quickly moving place, and I would say the key battle will be: Will the financial crash bring down the trans-Atlantic system first, creating chaos and disorder, or will we be able to put it together—the United States and the European nations joining with the New Silk Road in a completely new system of economy? Now that may sound like a difficult thing for many people, but it is actually absolutely within reach.
First of all, the financial crisis is pending. You had the warnings from the BIS, the Adam Smith Institute, Giulio Tremonti, Die Welt, Der Spiegel, and so on. They’re all warning that the coming financial crisis is an “accident waiting to happen.” And it is really becoming a crescendo; it’s just not clear when: Will it be at the end of the present quarter, which is the end the annual fiscal year? Will it be detonated by some other thing?
But the key thing is, the inability of the financial elites—or their unwillingness, their complete unwillingness—to do anything about the causes of the 2008 crisis, is now coming back with a vengeance. All the parameters are much worse than in 2008. If they increase the interest rates just a little bit, the “zombie banks,” the “zombie firms” will come crashing down. And this is the reality.
The present politicians who are covering up for that, are vastly, criminally responsible, because they are risking a tremendous hardship on the normal population if this would occur. It’s already occurring in the form of the rich becoming richer, the poor becoming poorer. And especially in Germany where we have this so-called “election campaign” right now, the complicity of the media to keep all of the relevant issues out of the debate, this is—Goebbels would be ashamed of having been an amateur and a nobody, compared to what these mass media are doing right now in terms of keeping the reality out of this: Both in terms of the dangers of the present system, but also obviously about the potentialities of the new system, the New Silk Road. And if people don’t know about it, what other choice do they have than to be pessimistic?
And that is a crime all by itself. If you deny people the options which are available, you force them to be culturally pessimistic, and then naturally you have such phenomena as the AfD [the right-wing “Alternative for Germany” party]; and then you have journalists like Jacob Augstein who said, Merkel is the mother of the AfD, but then his conclusion is that there’s nothing you can do, so just don’t go vote because there’s no point to it.
So these people are really evil.
On the other side, you have the dynamic of the New Silk Road which cannot be stopped, unless you have World War III, but it is progressing. And I think one of the most hopeful signs is really what former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said at the special conference between the Boao Forum for Asia and some French institutions in Paris last week. He said Europeans should not lose any more time, and get on board the New Silk Road. The European economies need urgent recovery and that’s why they should cooperate immediately with the New Silk Road.
So that is the key dynamic. Anything else is a coverup and diversion. And the key issue for the European nations and for the United States is: Do we go down with the trans-Atlantic financial usury system, leading to World War III? Or do we join hands with the new system, which represents the New Paradigm for civilization?
So, that is the context in which everything else is taking place, including such really dramatic events as the UN General Assembly, which is taking place right now.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump Speech to UN Shows Need To Escalate Fight for Policy Shift towards New Paradigm
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—In his maiden speech before the United Nations General Assembly today, President Donald Trump described the goal of establishing a world order in which “strong sovereign nations … with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect … mak[ing] common cause in the greatest shared interest of all: a future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth.” That means, he said, that as President of the United States, I put America first, “just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.”
But even as he expressed these ideas and reasserted the principle that, “the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition,” Trump proceeded to fall into the British Imperial trap of advocating, in the harshest of terms, a dangerous policy of regime-change against a “small group of rogue regimes” (described variously as “criminal,” “depraved,” “corrupt,” “destabilizing,” etc.), which he asserted are the source of terrorism and refugees, the threat to world peace, which the United Nations must unite to eliminate.
Not the British Empire which created and directs terrorism as an instrument of war against the nation-state; not the imminent collapse of the British monetarist system which has bankrupted the trans-Atlantic nations (he said the U.S. economy is in great shape); but the five governments of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela, which he demanded other governments join in ousting.
While Trump did not attack Russia and China by name, and he thanked them for joining in toughening sanctions against North Korea, he did warn against “threats to sovereignty” in Ukraine and the South China Sea—an implicit attack on those two nations.
Trump reserved his most hostile language for North Korea, saying it was “an outrage that some countries would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.” He then threatened that the United States, “if forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. ‘Rocket Man’ is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”
Trump also demanded regime-change in Iran and Syria, repeating the British lie that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its people, justifying the U.S. missile strike against a Syrian air base last April.
It is telling that whoever wrote this speech for the President, included references promoting the post-war order sought by President Harry Truman, the little man who buried Franklin D. Roosevelt’s project for a world without empire after the war on behalf of Winston Churchill.
Russia, China, France Resist Trump’s UN Declaration on Reform
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—A 10-point declaration on UN reform was issued yesterday by a meeting organized at the United Nations by President Donald Trump, prior to the formal opening of the UN General Assembly debate today. A total of 128 nations signed the statement, which calls for greater efficiency, reducing personnel, and so on. But what is most notable is that Russia, China, and France did not sign—that’s three of the five permanent members of the Security Council. And RT reports that Brazil and South Africa were also “hesitant to sign,” which covers four of the five BRICS nations as well, other than India.
The Russians were particularly wary about the whole exercise, saying that they agreed with much of the content of the declaration, but did not like the method employed by the U.S. Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov explained: “We stand for the reform and believe it should be comprehensive reform. Decisions linked with the reform are to be made by member states through dialogue.” Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya protested that “there was no consultation either prior or following the publication of the declaration.” And Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the Duma International Affairs Committee, was most blunt: “Trump’s reform is a landmark move towards a unipolar world, and the reduction of the role of the UN.”
Xi Jinping and Trump Discuss November Visit to China and the Korea Crisis
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone late Monday on Trump’s upcoming visit to China and on the Korean Peninsula crisis. Xinhua stressed the importance of the call from the standpoint of U.S.-China relations.
Saying he was happy to maintain communications on a regular basis, Xi told Trump that China and the United States share extensive common interests and have seen sound momentum of exchanges and cooperation in various areas at present.
On Trump’s visit to China in November, Xi stressed its importance and the need for both sides to work closely to ensure its success and inject new impetus into the development of China-U.S. relations. Xi called for strengthening high-level contacts at all levels, to carry out the first round of China-U.S. social and cultural, as well as law enforcement and cyber-security dialogue, and to extend bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Xi also expressed his sympathy and solicitude to Trump and the American people for the hurricane catastrophes in the United States, for which Trump expressed his gratitude.
Trump said he is looking forward to his state visit to China later this year, hoping it will strongly move bilateral ties forward. It is satisfactory for the U.S. and Chinese heads of state to maintain close contacts and a fine working relationship, he said. This year, both the United States and China have important domestic agendas, the U.S. President said, and expressed the hope that these agendas will all be smoothly carried out.
The two leaders also discussed the Korean crisis and, according to the White House, they agreed to exert pressure on North Korea through implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions.
Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering Says U.S. and North Korea Are in Informal Talks
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Back-channel, or “track two” discussions are continuing between the United States and North Korea. This was again confirmed by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, and former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering, in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Last May, the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s bureau chief for North America Choi Sun-hee, said she had met with Pickering, not ruling out the possibility of bilateral contacts with the United States “under the right circumstances.”
More recently Ms. Choi, met with Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang to discuss the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, according to the South Korean news agency Arirang. The Russian Embassy in the North Korean capital said she shared candid views on the current situation with Ambassador Alexander Matzegora and vowed to enhance mutual understanding. They agreed to hold further talks.
According to Sputnik, Pickering’s remarks about his back-channel work, follow a Sept. 14 report from Japan’s NHK broadcaster, that last week Evans Revere, the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, had met with Choe Kang-il, the deputy director general for North American affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, on the sidelines of an international conference in Switzerland on security issues in Northeast Asia.
Revere, like Pickering is a former career diplomat, and as Director of Korean Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, was the primary U.S. liaison with Pyongyang.
Media Flaunt Mueller’s Gestapo Acts, as CNN Confirms Trump’s Charge of FBI Wiretapping
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—CNN rushed out a story midday today, whining as to how its “exclusive” story last night that the FBI had wiretapped Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort “before and after the election,” must not be taken to mean that President Trump was right when he tweeted that the Obama Administration had wiretapped him.
CNN’s first story reported that Manafort had been the subject of FBI investigations since 2014, purportedly for his firm’s work for then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych (whom President Obama ousted with a Nazi coup early that year). A first Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order which authorized the surveillance was discontinued at some point in 2016, one of CNN’s sources claimed, because no evidence was found of any illegality. That didn’t stop the FBI from getting a new surveillance warrant from the FISA court later in 2016, as part of the British-instigated investigation into alleged Trump-Russia ties.
“The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump,” CNN wrote. As a Boston Herald columnist put it today, “CNN: FBI Snoop Rumor True.”
Undeterred, the New York Times, CNN, etc. are reporting the FBI snooping, and the current tactics of Robert Mueller, as laudable for being “aggressive” in pursuing the Get-Trump Russiagate. The Timesis explicit that its report on Mueller’s thuggery against Manafort, as sending a message: This is what you will face if you don’t play ball with the coup against Trump.
Manafort was sleeping in his bed upstairs when the FBI raided his home in the early morning hours of July 26, 2017. The FBI did not even bother to ring the doorbell, but entered by picking the lock. Manafort was not running anywhere. He had spoken the day before with the Senate Judiciary Committee; he was scheduled to speak that day with the Senate Intelligence Committee; and his lawyer was already in contact with the Department of Justice about the “investigation.”
Lest the message be missed, the Times wrote:
“The moves against Mr. Manafort are just a glimpse of the aggressive tactics used by Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors in the four months since taking over the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election…. Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as ‘shock-and-awe’ tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry….
“They are setting a tone. ‘It’s important early on to strike terror in the hearts of people in Washington, or else you will be rolled,’ said Solomon L. Wisenberg, who was Deputy Independent Counsel in the investigation that led to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999. ‘You want people saying to themselves, Man, I had better tell these guys the truth.’ ”
Hurricane Maria Wreaks Destruction in North Caribbean; Major Earthquake Hits Mexico Again
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—More devastation has hit the Americas, from Hurricane Maria, and a new earthquake in Mexico today.
The Caribbean islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe were hammered last night by the Category 5 Hurricane Maria, with winds reaching 160 mph, wreaking total devastation. Dominica is described as having been “obliterated.” The storm is now proceeding on course to pass over U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday morning, as at least a Category 4 storm, and then veer north to the island of Hispaniola—the Dominican Republic and Haiti—most likely hitting northern Haiti in the afternoon, the same area slammed by Irma earlier. U.S. military units are already being evacuated from these islands. Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has urged residents of flood-prone, mud-slide prone or coastal areas to evacuate quickly, to one of the 450 shelters already in place. Puerto Rico’s public safety director told people to evacuate, “or you will die.” Rosselló declared a state of emergency for the island, as did President Trump, to ensure that Federal aid would be forthcoming for Puerto Rico.
In Mexico, at 1:13 p.m. today, a major earthquake hit, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter, about 93 miles southeast of Mexico City in the state of Puebla, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One week ago, an 8.1 quake hit the country’s southwestern coast, killing an estimated 61 people.
Today’s quake, felt strongly in Mexico City, as well as in the states of Mexico, Morelos, Puebla and Guerrero, occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the devastating 1985 earthquake which killed 9,500 people in and around Mexico City. There are reports of 19 collapsed buildings and at least 30 dead in the capital, and 26 dead in Puebla, but the full extent of the damage is still being assessed.
President Enrique Peña Nieto flew over the city to assess damage and has called on the population to remain alert and follow directions of Civil Protection personnel. President Donald Trump immediately tweeted “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
U.S. Reportedly Can’t Keep Track of Its Air Refueling Support to Saudis’ War on Yemen
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—According to a new exposé published yesterday by The Intercept, U.S. Central Command is reportedly unable to keep track of the amount of air-refueling support it is giving to the Royal Saudi Air Force for its genocidal bombing campaign in Yemen. In short, the Pentagon is either not keeping good books on whose aircraft it is air refueling there, or it is obfuscating what operation they are involved in. Centcom has even told Congress that U.S. air refueling in support of the Saudi war has ended, while giving a different story in response to press inquiries. In other words, reports The Intercept, the U.S. military says it doesn’t know how much of its own fuel goes to an indefinite number of operations.
“We are still struggling to find out basic things like, do we have people at the Saudi air command center, what are they doing, what access do they have, what ability do they have to influence events,” a Congressional staffer told The Intercept. “How are the Saudis actually abiding by the non-strike list, are they still refueling … those are all things we have no idea about, and the administration isn’t exactly forthcoming about it.”
Worse, there is grounds for inferring that the U.S. military is actively supporting Saudi war crimes in Yemen. “The Pentagon should not only be tracking this information, it should be disclosing it to the public, who has the right to know whether U.S. assistance is contributing to war crimes,” says Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and U.A.E. researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Lavrov Leads Russian Delegation at UNGA, Meets with Tillerson, Wang Yi, and Others
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is leading the Russian delegation at this year’s UN General Assembly meeting. This afternoon, Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after having met with him on Sept. 17 at the Russian UN Mission in New York, where they discussed North Korea, Syria and bilateral relations.
Yesterday, Lavrov met with China’s Wang Yi, where, according to TASS, discussions focused on North Korea and Syria, and both sides reiterated their common position that all the problems can be settled only by political and diplomatic means. “Since we are meeting at the United Nations headquarters,” Lavrov told Wang, “I would like to note that many results of the BRICS summit will be used by the five member-nations, including Russia and China, to further improve our coordination within the United Nations…. We can discuss it today, as well as forthcoming contacts between the heads of government and joint participation of our leaders, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China, in the APEC summit in Da Nang.” This year’s APEC summit will take place in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Nov. 6-11.
Lavrov also met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kona, whom he told: “Naturally, we expect you in Russia in late November for talks between the foreign ministers and participation in a meeting of the intergovernmental economic cooperation commission co-chaired by you and [Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister] Igor Shuvalov….” Lavrov is having numerous other diplomatic meetings.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCAL SYSTEM
UN Secretary General Describes International Financial System as ‘Simply Not Fit’
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Addressing a meeting on financing for global development goals at the United Nations on Monday, UN Secretary General António Guterres called finance “pivotal for success” in meeting the goals of development, and described the current world financial system as “simply not fit” for the purpose of ensuring the development of the world’s people.
Describing the results of the ongoing insane policy of QE (“quantitative easing”) used to bail out the trans-Atlantic sector’s giant criminal banks since 2008, Guterres said:
“The world generates trillions in savings every year. But today, almost $50 trillion of citizens’ savings are earning low or negative financial returns, instead of flowing to finance the 2030 Agenda that will generate inclusive, sustainable growth.
“Set against the imperatives underlying the 2030 Agenda, today’s global financial system, which manages some $300 trillion in financial assets on our collective behalf, is simply not fit for its purpose.”
Wall Street Mobilizes for War against Chinese Investments
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—The editors of Bloomberg news service published a call last night for a coordinated trans-Atlantic campaign against Chinese investment in Europe and the United States, treating this as a question of NATO security.
The words “Belt and Road” or “New Silk Road” do not appear in it, but the editorial statement, “Chinese Deals Need More Western Scrutiny,” reflects just how hysterical the City of London and Wall Street are becoming, as the world joins together in that new paradigm.
Bloomberg portrays “the flood of Chinese money seeking acquisitions abroad” as a security matter for both Europe and the U.S., asserting rather, that “China is neither an ally nor a democracy.” The editorial cites a Department of Defense report from earlier this year which called for revamping the mandate of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, in order to keep China from accessing areas of security concern, and endorses discussions of the European Union taking measures to control Chinese investment.
Fed Economist: QE Produced No Economic Results Anywhere
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Vice President for Research Stephen Williamson produced a report, “Quantitative Easing: How Well Does This Tool Work?” covered by financial media today, which shows the Federal Reserve, ECB, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England “quantitative easing” programs—the real bailouts of the big banks—have had no positive results for the economies of the “Trilateral” countries.
Both by observing economic growth (or the lack of it), and by comparing the “QE” countries to industrial economies such as Canada and non-Eurozone countries in Europe which did without it, Williamson’s report shows no “benefit” whatsoever from QE. Overall economic growth remained extremely low; bank lending to businesses remained below pre-crash levels; productivity did not grow; employment grew at lower real wage levels; and inequality of wealth and income grew dramatically since the crash. The elusive “inflation” so prized by the central banks since the crash, has not reappeared. Only stock and bond markets have gone up.
The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to announce tomorrow that it will start allowing its $4.5 trillion in QE assets to “run off”—i.e., redeem them at maturity—very slowly, at the rate of just $10 billion/month. It may plan to hold the level of QE at about $3 trillion indefinitely, according to reports—if it can get down to that level without triggering a financial blowout.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
China, Panama Pledge Cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative, Infrastructure Projects
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi formally opened China’s Embassy in Panama, just three months after the two countries established diplomatic relations. Wang was very positive about the new relationship, emphasizing the two countries’ cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.
At a joint press conference with Isabel Saint Malo, Panama’s Vice President and Foreign Minister, Wang said the first 100 days of diplomatic relations get “a full score of 100 points.” The two countries have initiated negotiations on more than a dozen cooperation agreements. Among those, China has expressed interest in financing construction of a cargo and passenger train from Panama to the border with Costa Rica, as well as to reactivate the stalled 214MW Chan II hydroelectric project. When President Juan Carlos Varela meets with President Xi Jinping in Beijing later this year, the two will sign the final documents on these two projects, according to La Estrella de Panamá Sept. 18. Saint Malo reported that she and Wang Yi had discussed getting prefeasibility studies on these two projects underway.
“China would like to join hands with Panama tightly,” Wang said, adding that the two sides agreed “that the one-China policy would be the political foundation for bilateral ties.” Xinhua reported additionally that, “They also agreed to enhance high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, and take joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road as an opportunity to promote mutually beneficial cooperation so as to better serve the two people.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Xinhua Documentary: Six Major Economic Corridors Are Pillars of China’s Foreign Policy
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—As part of what it calls a “major documentary series” on the past five years of China’s foreign policy, Xinhua on Sept. 18 succinctly laid out the six major economic corridors at the heart of its foreign policy; the series will air online and broadcast TV to provide an overview for English-speaking audiences.
The six economic corridors are:
1) New Eurasian Land Bridge: “The 10,800-km-long rail link runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and serves more than 30 countries and regions….”
2) China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor: “In 2016, the CMREC became the first multilateral cooperation plan to become part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The CMREC has two key traffic arteries: one extends from China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia and on to Mongolia and Russia; the other extends from China’s Dalian, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin and Manzhouli to Russia’s Chita.”
3) China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor: “CCWAEC links China and the Arabian Peninsula. The corridor starts from China’s Xinjiang region and traverses Central Asia before reaching the Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula.”
4) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: “CPEC is a trade network of highways, railways, pipelines and optical cables, and a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, which are currently under construction throughout Pakistan. The 3,000-km-long corridor starts from China’s Kashgar and ends at Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.”
5) China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor: “CICPEC extends from China’s Pearl River Delta westward along the Nanchong-Guang’an Expressway and the Nanning-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway via Nanning and Pingxiang to Hanoi and Singapore.”
6) Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor: “BCIMEC was proposed by China and India in May 2013, with the objective of linking the two huge markets of China and India and enhancing regional inter-connectivity.”