Trump at a Crossroads with Asia Trip: The Mueller Threat Must Be Removed
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—There is great political tension surrounding the preparations the Trump Administration is now making for the President’s Asia trip November 3-14 and, crucially, his meetings with President Xi of China.
Confrontations with North Korea and with Iran are intensifying and threaten great, potentially immediate dangers.
But the now strengthening national debate over how to get new infrastructure built in America, after the unprotected “natural disasters” of August and September, sets an agenda for Trump with China, which is building major new projects worldwide in its Belt and Road Initiative.
Trump own public statements and actions in rushing through emergency funds, recommending public funding of infrastructure and writing off Wall Street’s unpayable debts in Puerto Rico, have intentionally provoked this debate and built on Americans’ desire to unify and rebuild.
China has wanted to participate in this since President Xi invited Barack Obama’s administration to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Obama fought it instead. It represents the goals of national common interests, productivity, and connectivity for which China’s Belt and Road Initiative was founded in 2013, and first suggested by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche in 1989.
Now a “Hamiltonian” national bank combined with an anti-Wall Street new Glass-Steagall Act proposed by LaRouche form the one clear, workable idea for the trillions in credit necessary to build America a new economic infrastructure and a space program restored to greatness. This idea has not been grasped yet in the White House, but if President Trump discusses the Belt and Road Initiative with Xi, it potentially takes life immediately. And Japan, where he will also hold a summit, has now indicated it will be joining the Belt and Road.
The real threat to this prospect is not that Trump will start a war but that he will be impeached. The so-called “Russiagate” affair, a protracted witchhunt against the President, continues although the American people are thoroughly sick of it. U.S. intelligence agencies, driven by British intelligence, are using “special prosecutor” Robert Mueller as a hit-man to drive Trump out of office by any means.
So EIR has taken this one, with a dossier that blows out of the water Mueller’s “fitness” to judge any leader’s actions. It shows how he has been selected to commit serious crimes against the United States for over 30 years; and it is the means to stop the witchhunt. “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If You Let Him” has been circulated by nearly 2,000 people from www.larouchepac.com; its circulation now has to go into the tens of thousands, by social media and in print, to influential Americans and others concerned with America’s future.
The President’s departure for Asia in 25 days should set the deadline for success in this effort.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Infrastructure Investment Breaks Back into Trump’s Agenda
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—Immediate funding for protective and productive infrastructure projects, in multiple U.S. states and in Puerto Rico, has forced its way back onto President Donald Trump’s plans as he prepares for an 11-day trip to Asia which includes a crucial summit with President Xi Jinping in China.
Pundits and Washington insiders had been in agreement that Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure build had “faded on the agenda” and been postponed to 2018 at earliest. But Trump’s own unique comments, against public-private partnerships, for rebuilding Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, and for recognizing that its debt is unpayable, have brought Democrats rushing to the White House to discuss a plan. And Xi Jinping’s China is building major new infrastructure virtually all over the world except in North America, and would invest to help build it here.
First, the White House has requested $29 billion in new funds to FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and HUD for recovery in Texas (which requested $18.7 billion of it), emergency recovery in Puerto Rico (which has requested $8 billion), Florida, and other Southeast states. This can be voted this week in the House, but is not economic infrastructure funding.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told a delegation of U.S. Senators he flew over the island on Oct. 7, that he is preparing another request, for either loans or grants for long-term rebuilding of the island’s infrastructure “within weeks,” not giving any details publicly. A Texas State Representative, Republican Ron Simmons, has called for the formation of a state infrastructure bank to fund reconstruction along the Gulf Coast. Given the size of the investments needed, the state bank would best be supported by a National Bank for infrastructure.
Trump’s legislative aides held another meeting with members of Congress from both parties Friday to discuss infrastructure. These are exchanges of what clearly remain vague ideas on all sides. But Infrastructure Committee chair Rep. Bill Schuster (R-PA) claimed after the meeting that a White House infrastructure plan now exists and will soon be publicized.
Building a new economic infrastructure in Puerto Rico cannot be done, however, without setting aside the great majority of its $72 billion in debt. Even the Control Board set up under Obama’s PROMESA Act of 2016 recognizes that Puerto Rico cannot, even with now-deadly austerity measures, pay more than $800 million or 1% of this debt annually—in other words, not even interest.
It took President Trump, and no other national elected official, to state this publicly and say Wall Street’s debt would have to go. Then, Democrats who had led the “slow, indifferent response” attack on Trump enthusiastically chimed in. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)—who said “Donald Trump, you wanna take care of that one? Hallelujah, I’m with you. If you eliminate the debt, like Donald Trump says, you don’t need a control board and therefore you don’t have to make decisions anymore between paying the bondholders, and many of them are unscrupulous members of Wall Street hedge funds….”—can stand for others like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and others who reacted in much the same way.
But in fact Puerto Rico is already unable to borrow on the municipal bond market, and would be cut off from credit indefinitely if its debt were just “wiped out.” It has to be reorganized, illegitimate debt written down, and the rest made payable over a long period by being absorbed into a Federal credit institution which can help build the new infrastructure. Just as with any Texas State Bank grappling with tens of billions of Gulf Coast rebuilding investments, “setting aside” Puerto Rico’s debt requires a National Bank for infrastructure.
LaRouchePAC and EIR are pushing this clear and necessary idea in the otherwise vague “infrastructure” debate. Its main opposition is the so-called “Delaney plan” of presidential candidate, ex-Rep. John Delaney of Maryland. It would provide perhaps $200-250 billion for national infrastructure investments, gotten from repatriated corporate tax-avoidance funds abroad, and would involve hedge and vulture funds in its capital. LaRouche’s “Hamiltonian” National Bank will provide trillions in credit, and open the door to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Trump Proclaims Oct. 9 Columbus Day, Commemorating ‘Historic Voyage,’ Celebrating Italian Heritage
Oct. 7 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump on Oct. 6, proclaimed Oct. 9, 2017 as Columbus Day, and issued a statement beginning, “Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The voyage was a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation. Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions—even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity….”
He further said, “Columbus was a native of the City of Genoa, in present-day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great nation….”
Ambassador Huntsman Aims To Improve Relations with Russia from Current ‘All-Time Low’
Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Fox and Friends published today, U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, underscored that he’d like to build a more positive diplomatic relationship with Moscow, “separate from” the ongoing investigation into President Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russia.
He said, “We all know that we are facing difficult times, probably the most difficult period in the relationship since the end of the Cold War.” Referring to Moscow’s recent expulsion of 700 U.S. diplomats, in retaliation for Washington’s similar removal of Russian diplomats, Huntsman remarked that “this is a little bit like 1986 all over again, where we went through the same kind of tit-for-tat which serves really no purpose at all.”
Huntsman recalled that in the past, Moscow and Washington “have been hand in hand on the same team in wars in history…. We found ourselves on the same page of certain issues before, but today the relationships are at an all-time low.” The new Ambassador said he will dedicate himself to repairing diplomatic ties between the two nations.
One of the greatest challenges, he said, will be in showing there can be results achieved in the bilateral relationship that are good for the people of both countries. “The last thing I want to tell the President or the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense in the months and years ahead is ‘we did our very best, sir, but we didn’t get anywhere,’ ” he said. “I think the taxpayers expect more than that.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
‘Don’t Underestimate Importance of New Silk Road’ Urges Former U.K. Prime Minister Brown
Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—Speaking to business leaders and scholars at the Sustainable Silk Roads Conference in Edinburgh on Oct. 4, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described China’s Belt and Road trade initiative as “the biggest story in town for the global economy, and a huge opportunity for both the United Kingdom and Europe,” Xinhua reported.
Brown said, “Eurasia, linked by the Silk Road—and China’s new engagement with Europe and the jobs that can come from it—is the biggest story in town for the future of the world economy. There is a huge opportunity for this city, country and continent to align itself with the rising economic power of Asia.”
The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) is a big idea that the West has yet to grasp, Brown pointed out, saying, “I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of the Silk Road.” He elaborated the importance of China’s project because there has been a “fundamental seismic change,” whereby by the majority of the world’s trade, investment, and production has shifted from Europe and North America to emerging economies during the past decade. “I believe that although China will be very strong in defending its regional position, China wants to see cooperation between the big powers of the world so that we can engage, each of us, in the business of creating greater trade and greater prosperity,” Brown concluded.
A similar view from Europe was earlier conveyed by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who wrote an op-ed in the English-language edition of People’s Daily on Sept. 21 that the Belt and Road Initiative offers a “lasting alternative to the risk of slowdown, isolation and confrontation” in the world. “De Villepin said that to promote the project, he and other former European and Asian prime ministers and foreign ministers had created a group called the International Marco Polo Society in tribute to the most famous bridge-builders of the Middle Ages.”
Cato Institute Provides Another Strong Argument for U.S. To Join New Silk Road
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—The Cato Institute has put out an Oct. 6 analysis, “Recognizing the Upside of China’s Infrastructure Push,” by Colin Grabow, a Cato fellow. It references the Atlantic Council’s major Eurasia Center event Oct. 4 which EIR reported on Oct. 5, particularly its stress on benefits to the American economy and those of Europe. Grabow quotes a report he wrote for Cato on Oct. 3 “U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers, bearing no direct financial risk from One Belt, One Road or the [Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank], stand to benefit from those initiatives to the extent that they succeed in spurring more trade and greater prosperity in the region. Policymakers should recognize that, although China may not be operating directly out of the preferred U.S. playbook, its efforts could serve to advance the broader U.S. objectives of peace and prosperity in Asia.”
The Cato commentary criticizes Barack Obama’s hostility to China as essentially a continuation of Bush-Cheney policy, particularly Obama’s actions against the AIIB and his later attempts to explain them away.
Grabow says, “President Trump, for all of his strident anti-China rhetoric on the campaign trail, dispatched a member of his National Security Council to attend China’s first Belt and Road Forum last May, and is reported to have made comments favorable towards China’s infrastructure push.
“Such developments provide encouragement that the U.S. is trending away from its initial skepticism, if not hostility, towards China’s infrastructure initiatives. If so, it is a welcome shift, and one that we should hope continues. These are yet early days, but China’s leadership on this and other economic initiatives in the region could help to literally pave the way towards expanded trade and prosperity.”
Cato Institute is a libertarian think-tank and was in recent years in the orbit of Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Et Tu, Mr. Schäuble? Germany’s Ex-Finance Minister Warns of Crash
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—Having been removed from his long-time position as Germany’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble gave an interview with the City of London’s Financial Times, and revealed that he has been one of those banking “insiders” who see a global financial crash coming. He did not talk about this as Finance Minister, merely stating his view that the problems of Deutsche Bank would not trigger any general banking crisis.
Schäuble told the FT that he would warn that “spiralling levels of global debt and liquidity present a major risk to the world economy.” This, he said was because of “bubbles forming due to the trillions of dollars that central banks have pumped into markets,” as the newspaper reported it.
Schäuble also warned that there were greater risks in the Eurozone, because the balance sheets of its major banks are weighted down by masses of non-performing loans from the 2008 financial collapse.
The now-former austerity controller of German government policy for the entire Eurozone, echoed what former Bank for International Settlements chief economist William White warned of in an FTinterview last month, and the warnings of the IMF in its April annual report and of experts in the United States as well. $14 trillion in money printing by the biggest central banks, while holding interest rates near zero, has created a huge and fatal bubble of corporate debt—spent on the stock markets rather than on business investment—which is going to blow. Particularly the high-yield or “junk” debt within this bubble has deteriorated so far that Moody’s Ratings Service has reported the credit quality of this debt to be the worst it has rated since it began such an index in 2000.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
UN Blacklists Saudi Coalition in Yemen for Killing Children
Oct. 7 (EIRNS)—On Oct. 5, the UN blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen for killing and injuring 683 children in Yemen and attacking dozens of schools and hospitals in 2016, even as it said the coalition had taken action to improve protection of children, reported Reuters. According to the UN’s annual Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) report for 2016, the actions of the Saudi-led coalition “objectively led” to it being blacklisted for killing and injuring 683 children and for 38 attacks on schools and hospitals last year. The CAAC report stressed that all incidents were verified by the UN. The blacklisting was diluted by adding a list of names: the Houthi rebel group, Yemen government forces, pro-government militia, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for violations against children in 2016.
The report apparently has no practical effect other than to “shame” the parties to the conflict to work to better protect children.
Amnesty International, in a statement on Oct. 6, condemned the report for exactly that reason. “While we welcome the overdue listing of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the CAAC report, it is a shame that the UN caved in to pressure and included it in a new category specifically designed to limit condemnation of the coalition,” it said.
The report, submitted to the UN Security Council by Secretary General António Guterres, does not impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but nonetheless the Saudis objected to it vociferously. “We express our strong reservation in respect to this information,” said Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Muallami said in a statement, reported Al Jazeera. “We exercise the maximum degree of care and precaution to avoid civilian harm,” he insisted.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Moon Village Could Supersede Space Station for Space Travel, Mining Helium-3 for Energy Needs
Oct. 6, (EIRNS)—With the International Space Station scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024, space agencies are working on a possibility of having a human colony on the Moon by 2040. Bernard Foing, ambassador of the European Space Agency, talked about the Moon Village at a European Planetary Science Congress in Riga this week. He likened the situation to the growth of railways. Railway tracks were laid down, villages and businesses grew around them. Foing implied that the same could happen with the Moon Village. Starting with an initial settlement of 6-10 persons by 2030, the settlement could grow to 100 by 2040. “In 2050, you could have a thousand and then… naturally you could envisage to having family,” AFP quoted Foing as saying.
There are certain advantages to having a colony on the Moon than another orbital station in space. It is 40 times cheaper to launch a spacecraft from the Moon than from Earth, because of its low gravitational pull. Then, there is an abundance of basalt, a volcanic raw material for 3D-printing of spacecraft, and Helium-3, a rare isotope in terrestrial resources which, once mined on the Moon and sent to Earth, could be used to generate cleaner, safer nuclear energy there. Moreover, the water at the poles could be harnessed to produce oxygen and hydrogen, two gases which are used as rocket fuel.
So, there is ample opportunity for the business community there. However, the futuristic idea isn’t being accepted by politicians. “It is highly frustrating… We still don’t have the top leaders interested,” said physicist Vidvuds Beldavs of the University of Latvia.
Saudi Foreign Minister: Sanctions on Russia Could Soon Be Lifted
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—An array of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia could be lifted in the near future, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told Russian state TV Rossiya-24 broadcast Oct. 6, reported RT, during the first-ever visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to Russia, which extended from Oct. 4-8.
“We hope that an arrangement can be worked out where Russia and the international community can work out their differences so that the sanctions can be removed. And I expect that this will be soon,” Al-Jubeir said.
Al-Jubeir’s statement was in response to a question about whether the anti-Russian sanctions would hamper investment projects discussed between Russia and Saudi Arabia during the Saudi state visit to Russia.
Foreign Minister Jubeir commented that the Saudis see Russia as a “friendly country” and that Saudi Arabia is seeking greater cooperation in energy and other areas: “We believe that a strong Saudi-Russian relationship can help to solve many of the challenges in the region.” He added that Saudi Arabia believes “that Russia’s role in the Middle East is a positive one, and that Russia can particularly play a significant role in the peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and help achieve the two-state solution.”
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his delegation visited Russia from Oct. 4-8. The visit resulted in billions of dollars of deals signed. These included a preliminary agreement for Saudi Arabia to buy Russia’s most advanced S-400 missile defense systems, which RT says will transfer “cutting edge” technologies to the Saudis. It is estimated the contract is worth $3 billion.