EIR Daily Alert Service, Oct 6, 2017

EDITORIAL

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Initiates Weekly Webcast To Spread the ‘New Silk Road Spirit” Worldwide

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—Schiller Institute founder and chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche today presented the first of what will be weekly English-language webcasts every Thursday on the Spirit of the New Silk Road, “to bring to you a full picture of the strategic situation, as well as what can be done to ensure that the situation moves in the right direction,” as webcast host Harley Schlanger stated. The webcasts will air at on the Schiller Institute’s New Paradigm site.

Here is Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche’s opening statement:

We are at a crossroads of human history, much more so than most people are aware of, because you have right now two totally opposite dynamics in the world:  One is what we know from the United States and European nations, that you have a collapsing paradigm.  You have a society which is clearly not functioning, which is reflected in many symptoms, like the Brexit, like the election loss of Hillary Clinton, like the recent vote in Italy against the change in the Constitution, the German election, which is dramatic, and now the Catalonia referendum—these are all symptoms that something is fundamentally wrong.  And it is the fact that the effort by the neo-cons to establish an unipolar world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, went along with neoliberal policies which have shattered the livelihoods of many millions of people, and there is a revolt against this very system, going on right now.

If you look at all of these different cases I just mentioned, they have one thing in common: And that is that the gap between rich and poor is widening, such that those people who are not profiting from this neoliberal paradigm, they somehow don’t see a future any more, they feel despair, they don’t feel represented through the establishments of their respective countries.  So this part of the world is in a deeply troubled situation.

But, what you have on the other side, is that there is a growing number of nations which are working together with China on the New Silk Road.  Now, the New Silk Road is a very exciting prospective.  Most people know that the ancient Silk Road, which existed 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty, brought an enormous development to people of all countries who participated in this ancient Silk Road—not only porcelain, and silk, and book printing, but technologies enabling higher productivity of the populations of these countries.

Now, four years ago, President Xi Jinping of China announced that the policy of China heretofore would be the establishment of a New Silk Road.  In the four years which have passed since that time, more than 110 nations are collaborating in one form or another with this concept.  It has led to an enormous explosion of productivity, of development; China, which has developed in the last 30 years in particular, with something of the Chinese economic miracle, which is the most impressive economic miracle which ever happened in history, and China, with the New Silk Road, has offered that kind of development to all other nations.

This is a completely changed situation, because, for the first time, developing countries in particular, have access to credit.  China and the BRICS countries, which work closely with the New Silk Road conception, have established a whole bunch of different credit institutions:  the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, the New Silk Road Fund, the Maritime Silk Road Fund, and many others.  And they have now given credit for concrete development projects, for Latin American countries, for Asian countries, even for some European countries, and also, especially for Africa.

As a result of that, you have right now a completely new spirit.  It’s call the “New Silk Road Spirit”:  It’s the idea that nations, for the first time, have the hope to overcome underdevelopment, to overcome poverty—China is committed to alleviate all of poverty in China by the year 2020, and China already now has fewer poor people than the United States, namely 42 million, and 43 million officially in the United States. China is also committed to eliminating poverty on a global scale, in collaboration with the other developing countries.

Now, this is a very exciting perspective, and what we are trying to do, with the activities of the Schiller Institute, we are trying to tell people about this alternative. And it is our explicit aim to win over even the United States to work with China, with Russia, with India, with other leading countries of the so-called “developing sector,” to establish a completely new paradigm as it was proposed by Xi Jinping, where countries would stop to have geopolitical confrontations, and work together in a “win-win” perspective.

This is happening, and obviously, the people who are representing the old paradigm, the neo-cons, the neo-liberals, they are absolutely freaked out about the success of the New Silk Road, and they are in the process of launching one attack after the other, accusing China that they would just do the same thing that the Anglo-American imperialism, or other colonialists did before.  But what we want to do with this program, we want to go into depth of what’s happening, and as weeks go along, we want to explain why what is happening with the New Silk Road is really a completely new model of international relations, and it is not a repetition of what was in the past.

So therefore, I’m very happy to have this discussion, and you should also send in questions and participate in this discussion and help to spread the news everywhere.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

General Buchanan: Military Deployment In Puerto Rico Expanding To Include Reserves

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the man in charge of the military side of recovery efforts for Puerto Rico, in a phone interview with the Washington Post on the evening of Oct. 3, explained how he intends to expand the military deployment in Puerto Rico to cover the whole island. He said that at least a “couple thousand” more troops will deploy from the U.S. but he’s also focused on the local National Guard and Army Reserve elements that call the island home. “What I want to do is max out the mobilizations of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard on Puerto Rico,” Buchanan said. “Because that enables us to, first of all, get these people to work, and you know, they know the communities and understand the language. They can be very, very helpful.” Their mobilization was greatly slowed by the fact that they were victims of the disaster, too.

Buchanan also explained that it was Gen. Lori Robinson, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, who decided how the military deployment unfolded. Buchanan, himself, had already been leading the responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and rather than have Buchanan “spread out all over the place,” Robinson put Rear Adm. Jeffrey Hughes, onboard the assault ship USS Kearsarge, initially in charge of Hurricane Maria relief both on- and offshore. That shifted when the scope of the devastation in Puerto Rico became more clear. As additional troops arrive, Buchanan said he anticipates shifting personnel to reach as many people as possible. Marines and sailors are concentrated primarily on Puerto Rico’s eastern side, around Ceiba, but probably will move farther south as additional U.S. troops move to the east.

“If I could do one thing to make a big difference here, I would flood this place with fuel, both gasoline and diesel,” Buchanan said. “Because right now, people don’t have gas, and it’s hard to get back to work if you can’t drive to work.  We’ve got a lot coming in, and we’re just going to keep pushing hard on it.”

Franklin Roosevelt: The U.S. Shall ‘Discharge Fully Its Responsibilities to the Puerto Rican People’

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—On May 28, 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt created via Executive Order the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (PRRA), whose goal was to rebuild the island that had not only been devastated by the Great Depression, but also suffered enormous damage from the 1928 San Felipe II (or Okeechobee) hurricane and the 1932 San Ciprian hurricane.

By December 1935, the PRRA was up and running smoothly, using funds FDR had appropriated from the Emergency Relief Appropriations Acts of 1935, 1936 and 1937. Its purpose was to initiate, formulate, administer and supervise a program of approved projects for providing relief and work relief, and for increasing employment. But as Roosevelt stated in an Aug. 1, 1935 letter, aside from providing immediate relief, the PRRA was committed to the “permanent reconstruction for the island. To this end, the projects in contemplation will seek to ensure every person on the island a position of reasonable independence and security.” While emphasizing that agriculture must be rehabilitated so it could “approach a self-sustaining status,” FDR affirmed that “cheap and available electric power, good roads, reforestation and adequate housing are also essential to effect the Administration’s program…. I am anxious that the Government of the United States shall discharge fully its responsibilities to the Puerto Rican people.”

Contrast this to Barack Obama’s murderous response to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, or his demand that Puerto Rico swallow the insane 2016 PROMESA bill, whose only purpose was to impose vicious austerity to collect on an unpayable debt.

The PRRA operated between 1935-41, complemented by several other New Deal programs, including the Civilian Conservation Corps. Priority projects included building of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, low-cost housing, slum clearance and reforestation. Rural electrification, literacy and cultural programs and medical care were provided to the rural population.

For the duration of the PRRA, three major hydroelectric projects were built and construction on two more begun. In total, the PRRA spent $80 million (over $1 billion in 2014 dollars) in Puerto Rico. In 1937, the U.S.-appointed governor wrote that the program had “benefitted every section of the island. Employment has been furnished to thousands of people, public improvements have been made in every municipality, health and sanitary conditions are better than ever before, and the living standards of many families have been improved so that they now have a better outlook on life and prospects for greater economic freedom.” PRRA made it possible for the largest number of public school students to be enrolled in the island’s history. PRRA public works projects were designed by Puerto Rican engineers and built by Puerto Rican workers, and, the governor reported, “made concrete contributions to the physical security of millions of Puerto Ricans.”

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

French Government and EU Forced To Accept Major Canal Infrastructure Project

PARIS, Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—On Oct. 3, the Paris government made a major breakthrough, reaching an agreement to finance one of the biggest infrastructure programs in European history: a large barge canal connecting the Paris region with the dense canal grid of Northern Europe.

History: “I will make the port of Antwerp into a pistol directed at the heart of England.” This is what the revolutionary republican military genius, and then-Antwerp Governor Lazare Carnot said 200 years ago, while arguing for construction of an inland waterway connecting the Seine basin (Paris) with the Schelde (Antwerp); at the time Antwerp was part of the French Empire.

Concrete plans have been on the drawing board for at least 35 years. But today, the program is set to go ahead under the name of Canal Seine Nord Europe. The €4.7 billion project, the largest infrastructure project of the EU, has three major components: 1) an upgrade of all infrastructure along the Seine and Oise Rivers, especially between Le Havre and Conflans Sainte Honorine; 2) The digging of a new 54 meters wide and 104 km long canal between Compiègne and Cambrai; 3) a massive upgrade of the canal connecting Dunkerque with Lille. Crossing the border, also in Belgium, a massive upgrade of the inland navigation canals is already underway.

With the highways connecting France to Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany totally overcrowded by trucks, major economic players want to move durable goods from road transport to rail and water transportation.

During the election campaigns, then-Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade campaigned for infrastructure, underlining that both the Seine Nord and Le Havre required urgent action. Cheminade proposed a “New Freycinet Plan” inter-modal program aimed to boost the French ports such as Le Havre by massively upgrading their “hinterland” (waterway and railroad cargo connectivity). Charles de Freycinet was a late 19th century minister of public works in France.

The construction work for the new canal could immediately create about 15,000 jobs, and the intermodal platforms connecting rail, road and airports with the canal will generate another 50,000.

Chinese Companies Keen To Invest in Nigeria’s Mining Sector

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—No fewer than 200 Chinese mining companies have declared interest in investing in Nigeria’s mining sector, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported today. According to the news agency, this became evident when the Nigerian Minister of State in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Bawa Abubakar had led Nigeria’s delegation to the China Mining Conference last month. Nigeria and China organized the second Sino-Nigeria Summit to showcase Nigeria’s mineral potentials.

The news agency cited a competent source, who said:  “The first edition of Sino-Nigeria investment cooperation started last year in China, but the 2017 edition was a huge success for Nigeria because of the large number of investors that declared interest in investing in the Nigeria mining sector.”

The main solid mineral resources in Nigeria include coal, iron ore, tin ore, and rare metals (niobium and tantalum). There are also deposits of brown coal, uranium, manganese, tungsten, gold, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, and mining chemical raw materials among others, the Nigerian Daily Trust reported.

Eurasia Center Optimism Breaks Through the Washington Swamp

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—The Eurasia Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of business, political and diplomatic layers committed to getting American business engaged in Eurasia, held a forum in the capital on Oct. 4, titled: “The Silk Road Summit—Second Annual Conference: Exploring Business, Trade & Investment Opportunities on the New Silk Road.” The event had speakers from around the world, all of whom were extremely optimistic about the Silk Road, and committed to breaking the impasse in getting the U.S. to fully join the process.

The influence of the LaRouche movement was openly acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Two EIR representatives attended, posing several issues in the question periods on the danger of geopolitical thinking (a few presentations fell into that) versus China’s win-win worldview—and were met with enthusiastic support in response.

Several of the Eurasia Center leaders have long been familiar with Lyndon LaRouche’s movement and his ideas, but there was a clear shift towards open cooperation. Richard Trifan, their director of government relations, who spoke at a LaRouchePAC Manhattan Town Hall forum in Manhattan on Aug. 25 on the New York City infrastructure crisis, chaired a panel at the Eurasia Center meeting on “smart cities” along the Silk Road—noting wryly that New York City is clearly not in that category.

A member of a U.S. government department who has been dedicated to getting the U.S. into the New Silk Road for several years, but only met a LaRouche representative in the past months, is now following everything on the LaRouchePAC website and strongly advocating for people to get involved, noting privately that the only cogent material on the issue from within the U.S. comes from the LaRouche movement.

EIR raised a question at the last panel, on the often-heard objection from geopoliticians that the Belt and Road is not sustainable, because it invests in areas which are allegedly unstable or corrupt, misses the point that China’s approach is not for short-term profit, but for long-term Confucian harmony among nations through uplifting their economic and cultural standards, even if it means some projects fail economically. The panelists—a major investor in projects along the Silk Road, and an investment banker from Pakistan—both responded enthusiastically, agreeing that China had this higher view of their foreign policy, and gave several examples of major investments in places where no one else would take the risk, with some leading to substantial progress, and some failing—but that even the failures were considered temporary.  “They believe it may take 50 years, but they will complete the projects eventually,” one responded.

A U.S. military officer, in discussion with EIR, pulled out a dog-eared, heavily annotated copy of the EIR Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” which he apparently carried with him everywhere, saying that it was brilliant, especially on Russia.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

EU Police-State on the March

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—The failing European elites are enforcing police-state measures in the hopeless attempt to stop the tide of what they call a “populist” upsurge. This is a partial picture of measures which have been implemented in the last period.

Italy: Two days ago, Google shut down the YouTube page of scenarieconomici.it, the widely followed anti-euro site, with the following motivation: “We’d like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines…. Your YouTube account has been suspended. After review we determined that activity in your account violated our Community Guidelines, which prohibit spam, scams or commercially deceptive content.”

Scenarieconomici.it, run by Prof. Antonio Maria Rinaldi and his collaborators, reported that they had never been notified of any violations, and that their protest of the shutdown was rejected without explanation. The YouTube page included the videos of a conference in Rome on “A ‘Plan B’ for Italy” with, among others, Rinaldi and Jacques Sapir.

The Italian Senate is going to vote on a bill, already approved by the Chamber of Deputies, which introduces mass surveillance methods called “deep pack inspections” by Internet providers. The communications authority can then preemptively block users without a court order. The bill won’t even be debated, because it was introduced as the implementation of a EU Law.

In mid-September, a prosecutor in Genoa seized bank accounts of the Lega Nord in several northern regions, threatening to collapse the political activity of the Lega altogether just a few months before general elections. The action was taken on the basis of a verdict for misuse of public financing. On Sept. 26, a judge ordered the accounts released, but it is not clear how much money had been seized.

Germany: A new law has come into force aimed at regulating social media platforms to ensure they remove hate speech within a given period of receiving complaints—within 24 hours in straightforward cases, or within seven days where evaluation of content is more difficult.

The name of the law translates as “Enforcement of Social Networks.” It’s also referred to as NetzDG, an abbreviation of its full German name, Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz.

Fines of up to €50 million can be applied under the law if social media platforms fail to comply, though as Spiegel Online reports, there is a transition period for companies to gear up for compliance—which will end on Jan. 1, 2018. However the ministry in charge has started inspections this month.

Great Britain: Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that viewers of terrorist sites could face up to 15 years in prison. Rudd said that this will not apply to users who visit those sites only one time, and to media operators, but who knows.

Italian MEP Zanni Urges Spanish Factions To End Their ‘War among the Poor,’ Unite against the EU

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—European Parliament member Marco Zanni (Italy) has intervened into the Spanish crisis by arguing that the factions should end the “war between the poorer and the less poor,” and unite their forces to defend the nation-state against the EU dictatorship. Zanni was interviewed by Sputnik International (its English-language site), and also posted a longer Facebook statement which integrated the Sputnik interview.

In his Facebook post, Zanni makes it clear that neither Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy nor the Catalans are in the right. “It is a war between the poorer and the less poor, where, however, both are losing, and those responsible for it, the real winners, stay behind a window to enjoy the show and their victory.

“The euro and austerity policies, with their nefarious effects on the economy and living conditions of the population, especially the weakest layers, have fed conflicts and tensions within the EU, both among different layers of the population and different territories inside the same state, and transnationally, among states.” Such tensions are bringing us back to historical periods and “socio-political situations that could precipitate the situation in an even more dramatic way. Forget the 60 years of peace and prosperity: Today, the effects of EU policies are feeding a dangerous civil war inside of Europe and inside member states.

“I conclude by reiterating a concept which, beyond everything, I consider fundamental for our battle against the EU dictatorship: Today, the room for discussion and democratic fight inside this rotten system is and will be the nation-state and our national constitutions. Within this state we must continue our fight for a substantial, not a cosmetic democracy, to re-establish social-economic protections written clearly into our Constitution. It is therefore our task to defend the integrity of the nation-state as the natural space for democratic dialectic.”

Zanni concluded with a reference to the consultative referendum organized by the Lega Nord Oct. 22 in Northern Italy: “We can certainly discuss more or less autonomy in the management of resources and competences, and this can be positive, but always within the framework of this vessel [i.e., the nation-state]. Preserving the integrity of the nation-state is a fundamental step to carry out our fight against illegitimate and anti-democratic institutions.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Saudi King’s Historic Visit Brings Russia and Saudi Arabia Closer

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—King Salman’s state visit to Russia today is the first-ever by a Saudi King, and has already resulted in a number of agreements which would bring these two nations closer. Following their closed-door meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “We have held detailed talks behind closed doors to talk about bilateral relations and the situation in the region. That was a very meaningful, substantive and confidential conversation.” He expressed confidence that the visit will give a fresh impetus to the development of bilateral relations, TASS reported. Over the months, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, one of the King’s sons, who is Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, has met with Putin a number of times.

The substantive agreements signed include the Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company’s plan to invest in a Russian grain producer owned by Russian conglomerate Sistema and members of the Louis-Dreyfus family, Sistema said. Saudi Arabia has begun importing all its wheat requirements in 2016, and Russia has emerged as huge wheat exporter.

Russian Energy Minister and Co-Chairman of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Commission Alexander Novak said Saudi Arabia may invest $1 billion in construction of a petrochemical complex, Pulkovo Airport, and 20 more Russian projects, TASS reported. Also, Arabiya TV reported an agreement whereby the Saudis have agreed to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov briefing the media on the meeting between the two heads of state said: “I would like to mention the energy industry, not just the traditional one, but the nuclear energy industry as well, and cooperation in space exploration, the agricultural sector, and infrastructure projects among advanced industries in which agreements were signed today,” TASS reported.

Putin and King Salman also discussed the complex issue surrounding the crisis that has emerged over the six year-old Syrian war. After the talks, Lavrov said: “The Russian President and the Saudi King had an in-depth exchange of opinions on most important aspects of the situation in the Middle East and in North Africa. Special accent was put on Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, the situation in the Persian Gulf and on a Palestinian-Israeli settlement.” Russia supports Saudi Arabia in its efforts to unite the Syrian opposition, he said.

King Salman expressed his appreciation for Russia’s efforts in the Astana ceasefire talks in Syria, TASS reported. He also said the situation in Syria must be settled by political means, which will guarantee security and stability, as well as the country’s territorial integrity. He also called for achieving the settlement in Syria in accordance with the Geneva-1 decisions and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

King Salman invited the Russian President to visit Saudi Arabia, which President Putin has accepted.


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