EIR Daily Alert Service, October 5, 2017
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017
Volume 4, Number 198
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Trump: Puerto Rico Debt to Wall Street Is Wiped Out! Now for New Silk Road Paradigm of Credit and Construction
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump, near the end of his visit to Puerto Rico Oct. 3, stated the obvious truth about the situation: Devastation has wiped out the estimated $72 billion in Puerto Rican debt, along with the entire infrastructure base of the island; its economy must be rebuilt for the people. Wall Street has gone ballistic. The President’s assertion of reality has called the question on the Wall Street system. The full LaRouche Plan of Action, released Aug. 31 after the first landfall of Hurricane Harvey, on Glass-Steagall, credit creation and economic rebuilding, must be adopted.
Trump spoke in an interview with Geraldo Rivera, shown on Fox News, on Hannity last night. Asked about rebuilding, Trump said, “We have to look at their whole debt structure. You know, they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. And we’re going to have to wipe that out…. You’re going to say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that. We’re going to have to do something about that. The debt was massive on the island…We are going to help the people out.”
The President then added:
“We are going to get the electric going again. You know, that was a complete wipeout. That wasn’t like a couple of poles that came down. That was generating plants. That was a lot of very valuable equipment, but it was equipment in bad shape. But we’re going to put it in good shape.”
Right away came the squawks from Wall Street. To begin with, Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget, started speaking out, to try to walk back what Trump said. Mulvaney told CNN, “I wouldn’t take it word for word with that….” The New York Times first put out the questioning headline early this morning, “Trump Vows To Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt, Can He Do That?” Then the Times issued a second version, “White House Dials Back Trump’s Vow To Clear Puerto Rico’s Debt.”
But the truth is the truth. Not only the economy of the entire island of Puerto Rico has been destroyed, but—to a greater or lesser degree—there are some 90 million people suffering from disasters all across the mid-latitudes of the Americas, stretching from earthquakes in Pacific Mexico, to the hurricane belt reaching to the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, with the Gulf states in between. In Puerto Rico, the initial stage of rescue and emergency relief is still underway. Military and civilian teams are working to the max, and received Trump’s congratulations yesterday. Things never done before are being done, to overcome the crisis, such as the Army Corps of Engineers commander report last night that they are trying an air-drop to stabilize the broken spillway at the Guajataca Dam—a 100-year- old earthen structure at risk.
The ultimate rebuilding phase for Puerto Rico cannot be merely an extrapolation of these rescue operations, nor even the eventual stabilization phase of response to the disaster. You can’t run an economy on diesel generators and bottled water. The island needs its first-ever rail network. (It had only 10.7 miles of urban transit.) Its first-ever nuclear power plants. And, for example, the fulfillment of the intention of Ponce, on Puerto Rico’s south coast, to become the “Port of the Americas,” on the world Maritime Silk Road.
The necessity to link up with the Belt and Road Initiative is clear. Look, for example, at what is now happening in Haiti—right in the center of the Americas’ hurricane and earthquake zone. China and the Mayor of Port-au-Prince have announced a multibillion-dollar program to rebuild the city and hinterlands, including storm defenses, power and water supplies, safe residences and all, to a new, productive level. Look at the contrast with how the Obama Administration, acting for Wall Street, flatly refused the proposal to take an “Army Corps of Engineers” approach to save and rebuild in Haiti after the horrific 2010 earthquake, with subsequent disease and suffering over the last seven years.
We can now expect—after Trump’s remarks—an escalation of the already-outrageous attacks on him. Remember what hit President Bill Clinton, after he said in September 1998, that the world needed a “new financial architecture.” Within three months, impeachment proceedings were started against him. The pedigree of these attacks is the same—the expiring British monetarist system, as laid out in the new EIR dossier, “Bob Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If You Let Him,” a report which can finally bring down the whole enemy operation.
We are proud to announce, that in this breaking situation, that at noon Eastern time, on Thursday, Oct. 5, will begin the new weekly international webcast, by Schiller Institute Founder and Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche, on the “New Silk Road Spirit.” (See http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/blog/2017/10/04/new-schiller-institute-webcast/)
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Energy Rick Perry sent an eight-page letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sept. 28, instructing it to adopt changes in the rules governing energy pricing in order to prevent U.S. nuclear and coal plants from going bankrupt under current Wall Street policies, and thus ensure that the United States has a reliable, resilient national electric grid, which functions day-to-day and in the face of disasters, natural and man-made.
What Perry proposes is a “parity policy” for energy, under which electricity prices reflect the cost of production of reliable energy. His proposed “rule requires the organized markets to establish just and reasonable rate tariffs for full recovery of costs and a fair rate of return.”
Nuclear plants, for example, have been shutting down across the country, because, under Enron-styled “free market” rules, they have been forced to financially “compete” with heavily subsidized “renewables” which only provide energy when the Sun shines or the wind blows, and with fracked natural gas.
Perry warned that “the resiliency of the electric grid is threatened by the premature retirement of … fuel-secure traditional baseload resources” such as coal and nuclear. “In the wake of the devastation wrought by the Polar Vortex [of 2014], Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria … it is especially urgent to prevent premature retirements of the resources” which can “keep the lights on for all Americans in times of crisis. Those industries take a long lead time to build up, and it is critical to ensure the technical expertise is there to maintain them; if … we lose our educated workforce or no longer have the ability to build and operate our baseload plants because of short-sighted policies, it will not only weaken our workforce, but will threaten our energy dominance and national security.”
Perry invoked a basic principle: “Ensuring that American families and their businesses have access to reliable, resilient and affordable electricity is vital to the economy, national security and quality of life. From heating homes in the winter to cooling them in the summer, providing lighted streets so people can walk safely at night, powering machines and technology that create jobs, and connecting us through smart phones and the internet—electricity is a key driver of America’s economic prosperity and the basic necessities of life. Our economy, government and national defense all depend on electricity. Therefore, ensuring a reliable and resilient electric supply and corresponding supply chain are vital to national security.”
The Wall Street protection racket is gearing up the tired old lie which should have died with Enron, that “interfering” with the market to secure reliable energy is against consumer interests and raises electricity prices. Top among these idiots is New York Attorney General (and anti-Trump fanatic) Eric Schneiderman, who promised that “my office will forcefully oppose this and other efforts of the Trump administration to put the interests of special interests ahead of the health, safety, and wallets of New Yorkers.”
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in response to an anti-New Silk Road, anti-China question from Sen. Gary Charles Peters (D-MI) during an Oct. 3 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also spoke unfavorably on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Senator Peters began, “The One Belt One Road strategy seeks to secure China’s control over both the continental and the maritime interest, in their eventual hope of dominating Eurasia and exploiting natural resources there, things that are certainly at odds with U.S. policy,” as reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI). “So what role do you see China playing in Afghanistan, and particularly related to their One Belt One Road?” he asked.
Mattis responded, “In a globalized world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘one belt, one road.’ ” He continued, “That said, the One Belt One Road also goes through disputed territory, and I think, that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate.” His unstated reference is to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $60 billion joint infrastructure project. Mattis paid a visit to India last week, where he met with Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It is indeed the case that the CPEC does pass through disputed territory, but there is no reason for Washington to weigh in on that. However, what Mattis was conveying is siding with India on abstaining from joining the Belt and Road Initiative.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—This morning’s New York Times headline summed up Wall Street’s fears: “Trump Vows To Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt. Can He Do That?” Wall Street remembers how Franklin Roosevelt wielded the power of the Presidency over Wall Street, and they are panicked. “Reached late on Tuesday, investors who hold Puerto Rico’s debt and their advisers said they were taken aback and unwilling to comment,” the Times reported.
The Times piece marshalled its arguments as to why the President of the United States does not, could not, and had better not have the power to defend American lives at the expense of Wall Street’s debt. They used such legalistic arguments, as that Puerto Rico’s debt is in the form of municipal bonds, which are governed primarily by state laws, not by the federal government; or, yes, the Internal Revenue Service can step in under certain circumstances, “but not simply to ‘wipe out’ the debt.”
Bloomberg news service, also, argued that “it is not clear how Puerto Rico’s debt could just be made to disappear outside of bankruptcy court.”
The Times, Bloomberg, and other financial media are waving around as a threat, that Trump’s statement on “wiping out” Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in debt will be responsible for blowing out the municipal market generally. But the President simply stated reality. Puerto Rico’s economy has no basis to pay Wall Street’s usurious debts; the only solution is the FDR Glass-Steagall reorganization of the system as EIR’s Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche has insisted.
Wall Street headlines changed mid-morning today, using Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s statements to CBS and CNN to reassure themselves that the White House had “walked back” President Trump’s commitment. “I wouldn’t take it word for word with that. I talked to the President at length yesterday as we flew home on Air Force One,” Mulvaney said. He echoed Wall Street: “Puerto Rico’s going to have to figure out its errors that it’s made for the last generation on its own finances.”
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—Promoting, at the ongoing Conservative Party’s national convention, the ill-bred idea of building a new global Empire after the Brexit, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson added another atrocity with cynical remarks about the situation in Libya. At a sideline event yesterday, Johnson said: “I look at Libya, it’s an incredible country, bone-white sands, beautiful sea, Caesar’s Palace, obviously, you know, the real one. Incredible place. It’s got a real potential and brilliant young people who want to do all sorts of tech.
“There’s a group of U.K. business people, actually, some wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte on the coast, near where Qaddafi was captured and executed as some of you may have seen. They have got a brilliant vision to turn Sirte into the next Dubai. The only thing they have got to do is clear the dead bodies away,” he said, laughing.
Johnson provoked a wave of instant protest, including from prominent Conservatives. Reacting on Twitter, Tory MP Heidi Allen wrote: “100% unacceptable from anyone, let alone Foreign sec. Boris must be sacked for this. He does not represent my party.” Fellow Conservative Sarah Wollaston called on Johnson to apologize and urged him to “consider his position,” saying his comments were “crass, poorly judged and grossly insensitive—and this from the person who is representing us on the world stage.”
Even from the government, Johnson prompted protest: Damian Green, the First Secretary of State, told BBC 5 live he believes Johnson’s remarks were unacceptable. “It was not a sensitive use of language.”
Labour Party Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry likewise said: “It is less than a year since Sirte was finally captured from Daesh [ISIS] by the Libyan Government of National Accord, a battle in which hundreds of government soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire, the second time in five years that the city had seen massive loss of life as a result of the Libyan Civil War…. For Boris Johnson to treat those deaths as a joke—a mere inconvenience before U.K. business people can turn the city into a beach resort—is unbelievably crass, callous and cruel.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the London-based, Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the U.S.-led coalition and the Syrian rebel forces they support, consistently act in a way that helps Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
“In some cases, these forces mount allegedly accidental strikes against the Syrian Armed Forces, after which Islamic State counterattacks. In other cases, they inspire other terrorists to attack strategic locations over which official Damascus has restored its legitimate authority, or to stage fatal provocations against our military personnel,” Lavrov said.
While firmly reiterating Russia’s desire “to establish real coordination” with the Trump administration, including “in the area of counter-terrorism,” Lavrov characterized Washington’s current policy as guided by “double standards” in Syria.
“We are concerned over—and we have spoken openly of this concern of ours—the tactic of half-measures pursued by the United States and their allies. If you apply double standards, divide terrorists into ‘bad’ and ‘very bad,’ force others to enter the coalition on political motives, forgetting about the necessary UN sanction to approve these actions, then it’s hard to speak about the effectiveness of an anti-terror campaign,” he said.
Similarly, Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the participants of the 16th meeting of foreign intelligence, security, and law enforcement chiefs organized by the Federal Security Service (FSB), which opened in Krasnodar today, warned against such “double standards,” without naming the United States. He said: “We support an integrated approach to countering terrorism, the spread of its ideology and funding illegal armed groups, as well as rejection of the double-standard policy in the fight against the major modern threat,” TASS reported.
Joint efforts against international terrorism are needed, Putin insisted; militants have “started creating new strongholds in other states and regions,” and the return of militants “who passed ideological brainwashing and sabotage training in armed conflict areas” abroad are returning to their countries to continue conducting terrorist activities.
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran this morning on an official visit. He was greeted at the airport by Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari. Chief of the Turkish General Staff Gen. Hulsi Akar, who has been in Tehran since Oct. 2, was also on hand.
Erdogan’s first meeting was with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. During a joint press conference afterwards, they discussed the broad range of relations between the two countries, including strengthening economic and financial ties, but the matter of the Sept. 25 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan dominated their public remarks.
Erdogan said, “We do not recognize the illegitimate referendum of the northern Iraqi regional government. Turkey shares some 350 kilometers of its borderline [with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government] and to the east is Iran, to the south is central Iraq, and Syria to the west. Why is northern Iraq holding this referendum? There is no country in the world that recognizes it other than Israel. The decision made while sitting at the table with Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] cannot be legitimate, it is illegitimate,” reported the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
Rouhani said for his part, “We want security and stability in the Middle East … the independence referendum in Iraq’s Kurdistan is a sectarian plot by foreign countries and is rejected by Tehran and Ankara.”
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—World Nuclear News, in reporting Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s “remarkable action” to ensure the financial viability of traditional baseload industries such as coal and nuclear, as reported above, also noted that the following day, Sept. 29, Secretary Perry announced that the federal government will extend up to $3.7 billion in further loan guarantees to ensure that construction of the two advanced nuclear reactors, Units 3 & 4, at the Alvin W. Vogtle nuclear project in Burke County Georgia, can be completed.
Completion of the two additional Generation 3+ design plants, with increased safety, and other improved features, had been in doubt since the March 2017 bankruptcy of Westinghouse company, which had started construction.
The Department of Energy release announcing the decision, quotes Perry: “I believe the future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright and look forward to expanding American leadership in innovative nuclear technologies. Advanced nuclear energy projects like Vogtle are the kind of important energy infrastructure projects that support a reliable and resilient grid, promote economic growth, and strengthen our energy and national security.”
The release sums up the national importance of this project, which has already created for Georgia approximately 6,000 onsite construction jobs, and will see approximately 800 permanent jobs once the units begin operation, thusly:
“The Vogtle project is the first new nuclear power plant to be licensed and begin construction in the United States in more than three decades. The two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000® nuclear reactors at Vogtle represent the first U.S. deployment of this innovative technology. Once online, these new nuclear reactors are expected to provide more than 17 million megawatt-hours of clean electricity annually. This is enough reliable electricity to power more than 1.6 million American homes while avoiding nearly 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.”
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—On Sept. 17, Bolivian President Evo Morales proudly announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be traveling to Bolivia to attend the Nov. 21-24 Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in the city of Santa Cruz. This is the first time in Bolivian history that a Russian President has visited, and it has provoked a great deal of excitement.
This annual international conference, held for the last several years in Santa Cruz, has often served as the venue for important Bolivian government announcements. At last year’s conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera announced that his government intended to develop fusion power, and in 2014, he announced Bolivia’s intention to go nuclear. In a clear reference to Prometheus, he called nuclear energy “the fire of the 20th and 21st centuries,” and stated that Bolivia would seize this new “fire” and develop it for the benefit of all Bolivians.
Putin will be arriving just two months after Russia’s atomic energy agency, Rosatom, and the Bolivian government signed the final contract by which Rosatom will build Bolivia’s Nuclear Energy Science and Technology Research Center in El Alto, near the capital, La Paz. Construction is expected to begin soon, and be completed in two years. In a Sept. 29 interview with Sputnik, the president of Rosatom Overseas, Yevgeni Pakermanov, offered exciting details on what this center will mean for both Bolivia and the surrounding region, as it includes a research reactor, several scientific laboratories, a radio-pharmacological cyclotron, food irradiation capabilities, nuclear medicine, and an extensive educational and training program for Bolivian personnel.
“The creation of this center in the country represents a great technological advance,” Pakermanov said, “one that will undoubtedly elevate Bolivia to leadership in the region in terms of the peaceful use of atomic technologies.”
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)—On Thursday, October 5, at Noon EDT, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the Founder and Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, will inaugurate a weekly English-language webcast, to spread what she calls the “New Silk Road Spirit” to the world. Mrs. LaRouche is one of the most prominent intellectual authors of the concept “The New Silk Road becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Since Chinese President Xi Jinping put the New Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative, as it is now called, on the agenda four years ago, it is lifting tens of millions out of poverty, and puts an alternative to the dangerous idea of geopolitical division of the world. Known internationally as “the Silk Road Lady,” Mrs. LaRouche is often featured in the Chinese press for analysis on the BRI, and the global strategic situation.
See the broadcast at noon Eastern Time at http://www.newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com
Each week, Mrs. LaRouche will provide a concise update of strategic developments, and a strategy for establishing a new paradigm in international affairs, shedding light on the forces behind the “Maidan”-coup against President Trump, who is targeted, because he has promised to place the relationship between the U.S. on the one side, and Russia and China on the other, on a good basis. Despite the effort of the trans-Atlantic mainstream media to keep the lid on the issue, if the populations of the U.S. and Europe were adequately informed about the enormous progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, they would have a much more optimistic view of what the future can look like.
In speaking to an American audience in New York City last Saturday, Mrs. LaRouche said that to bring the United States into this New Paradigm, “you have to somehow develop a perspective which is not bound and not affected by your daily environment and your daily experience, but you have to inform your vision about something else: you have to have an idea where mankind should be in 100 years from now. You should have an idea of the physical laws of this Universe, and why our opponents are just poor, opinionated idiots who cannot succeed.
“I think if you take an international aspect as your reference point, you will be much better in a position to be an American patriot, because you are a world citizen first … and that is how I have been doing it—and that works, I can assure you.”