Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 EIR Daily Alert Service

EDITORIAL

The Issue of Mueller’s Coup Hasn’t Changed; Trump May Join China and Russia in the ‘New Silk Road’

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—With President Trump set to begin a long series of summit meetings in Asia in just three weeks, defeating the attempt to drive him out of office is not a gradual resistance: It is an immediately urgent fight. If the witchhunt now being led by “special counsel” Robert Mueller is stopped, the President may use this trip to advance the agenda which brought him to office, that of essential cooperation for peace with the great powers China and Russia, and of the transformative infrastructure building which can “make America great again.” The two objectives are linked in the act of the United States joining the Belt and Road Initiative, or “New Silk Road” of great projects across the world.

This potential Trump agenda has been, from the start in early 2016, the motivation of British intelligence, and complicit European elites and American intelligence agencies and media, in conspiring to keep Trump out, or force him out.

The President is under constant attack by all of these, on every issue. Even the largest and most sustained Presidential emergency response in at least 80 years, to the destruction of three successive major hurricanes, has been attacked with bitter partisanship unleashed by Obama Democrats and media.

But what is at stake, for Mueller’s sponsors and Trump’s highest-level Anglo-American enemies, is not any of these “issues.” It is the potential that Trump may break all the laws of British geopolitics and make a major-power, common-interest alliance for peace and mutual economic benefit.

That means China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and thus the World Land-Bridge policy of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, pursued all over the world for 40 years, is the actual potential at stake.

The alternative, if Trump is stopped and does not follow through, is not only a heightened threat of war, but a new financial crash; that is being warned of now, even by those who have most helped cause it, like Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Between now and President Trump’s departure for Asia, Helga Zepp-LaRouche will give three international webcasts on the full meaning of America—and Europe—joining the Belt and Road Initiative. The schedule of these webcasts is reported here.

The Belt and Road Initiative—the “World Land-Bridge” development idea, as the LaRouches spread it for decades—involves large national credit institutions acting by joint agreements on great projects of high-technology infrastructure, and a huge expansion of space exploration and cooperation, together with crash programs to develop nuclear fusion plasma technologies. It involves rising productivity and productive employment—exactly what President Trump aimed for. And Wall Street and the City of London must be put under control by Glass-Steagall measures.

The input and outcome of that Asia trip and its potential is being determined right now, by a mobilization to crush the Mueller coup. That is the real issue of the moment.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Replace British Empire Geopolitics with New Silk Road: Helga Zepp-LaRouche Webcast, Oct. 12, Noon EDT

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—Last Thursday, the Schiller Institute inaugurated a weekly webcast, to bring to the attention of citizens throughout the world the incredible, new dynamic which has been unleashed around China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is defining a New Paradigm for mankind, which means an end to geopolitics, with its endless wars; its bail-outs and bail-ins of bankrupt financial institutions, and its demands for deadly austerity against the vast majority of people. This BRI dynamic, which Schiller Institute founder Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche characterized as the “Spirit of the Silk Road” represents an opportunity for mankind to achieve a new era of peace, through development.

In less than a month, President Trump will travel to Asia, with visits to China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. His meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping has the potential to be world historic, building on the positive rapport between the two from their initial meeting in April in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

The forces of the neocon trans-Atlantic oligarchy are engaged in a desperate deployment to prevent this relationship from developing into full collaboration. That is what is behind the “Get Trump” operation, and why it must not be allowed to succeed.

For the United States and European nations to join the New Silk Road is the only way to escape a new financial crash, which even outgoing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is warning about.

Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute this Thursday, for a full strategic update as this dynamic is unfolding.  The webcasts will air on the Schiller Institute’s New Paradigm site.

EBRD Economist Reports How Belt and Road Is for All of Europe

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—The same day as the Sept. 14 conference on “How Belt & Road Influences China-CEE Relations? Opportunities and Challenges,” in Warsaw, Poland (see yesterday’s Alert), a major report on the Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) and the Belt and Road Initiative was issued through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The report, a 60-page Word document, linked to from an EBRD article, “What China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ Means for the Western Balkans,” confronts Europe as a whole with the challenge of welcoming the Belt and Road as a force for mutual economic benefit. Its author is the EBRD chief economist, Jens Bastian, formerly chief economist of European Reconstruction Agency and a member of the EU Task Force for Greece.

“Countries in the Western Balkans such as Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and F.Y.R. Macedonia are making concessions to Chinese investors and state-owned lenders precisely because they want China to be embedded in their economies,” Bastian told the publication Emerging Europe on Oct. 9. “For countries in the region, such embeddedness can also serve as an additional hedge against Russian, Gulf States and Turkish involvement. But it does not present itself as an alternative to attracting EU investments.”

Bastian said that the countries of what he also calls the Balkan Silk Road “are expanding their trade relations with Beijing and diversifying their lending options beyond Europe. Sino-Balkan initiatives currently primarily focus on large-scale infrastructure projects with Chinese financial institutions providing the bulk of lending on concessional terms. Seen in this light, policy makers in Tirana, Skopje, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica frame the narrative as an emerging win-win strategy. They argue that their countries are opening-up to China, but that at the same time China is opening up to southeastern Europe with investments and lending, trade and cultural exchange.”

The report says that China’s direct (corporate) investments in Western Europe are also focussed on transport infrastructure. Bastian told Emerging Europe, “What China is doing via the BRI is establishing trade links and logistical networks for the shipment and distribution of Chinese goods into Europe via the ports of Greece, onward transport to and through Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia (three land-locked countries) before reaching Hungary, hence high-speed railway projects between Belgrade and Budapest. In essence, the Balkan Silk Road connects China with EU member states, EU candidate countries, NATO members and euro area members. The Chinese focus is on Europe as a whole.”

Bastian’s report is titled, “The Potential for Growth Through Chinese Infrastructure Investments in Central and South-Eastern Europe along the ‘Balkan Silk Road.’ ”

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The British Empire Weighs In with Fake Report against Transaqua Lake Chad Project

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—A major piece casting doubts on Transaqua was published by “The Conversation Africa,” a network of British, Australian and Canadian universities, and picked up by the aggregate site allafrica.com. The report, entitled “The Attempt To Replenish Lake Chad’s Water May Fail Again. Here’s Why,” accurately describes Transaqua, with links to three EIR articles and to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) website, but emphasizes existing political obstacles, and perpetrates a hoax by stating that there are alternatives, whereas there is none.

The Royal Society is among the sponsors of “The Conversation” network. The article was written by two Australians—a PhD candidate, Adegboyega Adeniran; and a senior lecturer, Katherine Daniell, both with the Fenner School of Environment and Society at Australian National University.

Daniell is also member of the “Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers,” founded by the French renewable energy producer Centre Nationale du Rhône (CNR).

“It is difficult to determine whether the [Transaqua] canal will address why the lake [Chad] is drying up. And who benefits, and what the benefits will be to each country, still remain unknown. It’s also possible that disagreement within and between countries could scuttle the project,” the article states.

Acknowledging the great progress towards the idea of a water transfer project for Lake Chad made under President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, the Commonwealth outlet says the process might stop if Buhari’s influence wanes, or if in the 2019 elections the opposition wins.

And here comes the hoax: “The executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Abdullahi Sanusi Imran, has stated that the Transaqua idea is much more appropriate for the situation of the Lake Chad than all other alternative solutions. But an informal conversation with a senior Nigerian government official in the course of research fieldwork expressed concern about the choice of the Transaqua idea over other alternatives.

“These alternatives were presented in the National Audit Report of Nigeria as part of the Joint Environmental Audit report on the drying up of Lake Chad: a report prepared by the Supreme Audit Institutions of each of the states for the African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. Dissenting positions can create unnecessary friction between government agencies and make it difficult to coordinate actions.”

In fact, that report—drafted in 2015 and printed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)—presents noalternatives. It deals exclusively with water management and water control measures on the shrinking Lake Chad. No proposal is made to replenish the lake. The only mention of water transfer is in a footnote and refers to the Ubangi feasibility study, which concluded that one should have a look at Transaqua!

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Trump Meets with Kissinger Prior to Presidential Asia Trip

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—President Trump hosted Henry Kissinger today at the White House for discussions on the world situation. In a photo op before the meeting, Trump said, “Henry Kissinger has been a friend of mine, I’ve liked him, I’ve respected him. But we have been friends for a long time, long before my emergence in the world of politics, which has not been too long.

“It’s an honor to have Dr. Kissinger with us a man of immense talent, and experience, and knowledge. And I’m going to talk to him for a while, and we’re going to learn a lot,” Trump continued. “But I can say from a world standpoint and with many of the countries that Henry and I would talk about before the election, because I would talk with Henry before the election, we’ve made a lot of progress with many of them. We have some outstanding, and we’ll handle that as we have to handle it. But we’ve made a lot of progress in the Middle East with ISIS and so many other things. It’s a much calmer place. But, Henry, I say often, I inherited a mess, but we’re fixing it.”

Kissinger also replied shortly before they ushered out the press: “Mr. President, I didn’t expect this opportunity. It’s always a great honor to be in this office, and I’m here at a moment when the opportunity to build a constructive, peaceful world order is very great. And the President is leaving on a trip to Asia, which I think will make a big contribution to progress and peace and prosperity.”

The meeting with Kissinger followed the President’s meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.

For the Record—Senator Burr Has Found No Evidence for ‘Russiagate’

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr held a press conference Oct. 5 to report the “results” of his Committee’s long investigation of “Russiagate,” the alleged interference in the 2016 election by Russia and the Trump campaign’s alleged “collusion” with that interference.

For the record: Burr said that the Committee had “interviewed more than 100 witnesses in open and closed sessions,” and had “not found any evidence to prove Russian interference in the election.”

Burr insisted nonetheless that “this remains an open question” in his view, because, “You can’t walk away from this and believe that Russia’s not currently active. There is consensus among members and staff that we trust the intelligence community’s conclusions.” Thus Burr stated the Committee has “issued invitations to 25 more witnesses,” and intends to investigate on to the end of the year.

But this obsequiousness to the claims of the “intelligence community”—former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director William Brennan, and former FBI Director James Comey—did not change Burr’s admission, that his investigation has found no evidence to show Russian interference, or Trump campaign collusion.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Saudi King Visit Shows Putin’s Strategic Concept Successful

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—Saudi King Salman’s four-day visit to Moscow, concluding on Oct. 8, demonstrated the success of Russian President Putin’s strategic concept, of finding common interests and utilizing them to advance the common interests of both parties. This is a lesson in how an influential nation should use its power.

Nikolai Sukhov, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in a Oct. 4 pre-summit memo wrote, “In order to achieve real agreements and have them carried out, the Russian government and business community will have to talk to the Saudis from a position of strength; drive the hardest bargain, even on issues that appear inconsequential, while at the same time considering the cultural and psychological peculiarities of their partners.”

In February 2007, Putin had invited then-Saudi King Abdullah during the first-ever Russian presidential visit to Saudi Arabia, to visit Russia. Then, Putin invited the new King Salman to visit a number of times after Putin’s first invitation to Salman in June 2015. Sukhov writes, “The repeated delay of the planned visit can be seen as an indication of problems that existed in the two countries’ relations.”

The Syrian conflict suspended relations between Russia and the Saudis until 2015, when King Salman assumed the throne and sent Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to meet Putin in June 2015.

Sukhov writes that the most significant factor influencing the rapprochement between the two nations was “the successful Russian Aerospace Forces operation in Syria…. It is obvious that the turning of the tide in this country and the return of 85% [91% now, announced by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov today] of territory is forcing the Saudis to speak of ‘common goals’ of Russia and Saudi Arabia not only in Syria, but also in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya…. Today they appear to have come to terms with the failure of this [Syria] project and are ready to coordinate their actions with Moscow, [and] the Russian leadership is also meeting them halfway, recognizing the new opportunities and trying to take advantage. Both states recognize the role and significance of each other geopolitically.”

Russia is closely engaged with Turkey and Iran, not only on Syria, but also on Central Asia with Iran, Sukhov notes. In an April 20, 2017 interview with the Washington Post, Crown Prince Muhammad stated the goal of the Saudis in relation to Moscow as “not to have Russia place all its cards in the region behind Iran.”

The economic factor is significant in the Saudi-Russia rapprochement, Sukhov continues. Saudi Arabia has growing budget deficits and unemployment, which threaten to cause social unrest. There is mutual interest in supporting oil prices and preventing further declines, shown in the December 2016 agreement to reduce oil output. Sukhov says reports are being leaked on Russian companies’ participation in completing megaprojects in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia’s participation in Russian projects on the Arctic shelf. Russia anticipates investments from the huge funds the Saudis have previously accumulated.

Andrey Fedorchenko, Director of Russia’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies of MGIMO, says “The Saudi leadership is interested in Russia’s potential in building and operating a transportation network, considering the Kingdom’s strategic location at the intersection of Asia, Europe and Africa. Of special interest are ground transport lines that connect the [Kingdom] with African countries through Africa.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Announces 91% of Syria Is Liberated

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that over 91% of Syria has been liberated from Islamic State (IS) forces, RT reported yesterday.

The Syrian Army and its allies have encircled IS fighters in the city of Al-Mayadeen, one of the terrorist strongholds southeast of Deir Ezzor, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported.

RIA Novosti reported that “Assault detachments of the Syrian Army are conducting clearance operations on the western outskirts of Mayadeen.” The Russian Defense Ministry said Oct. 7 that dozens of IS militants, including warlords and foreign fighters, were killed in a recent series of airstrikes in Syria. The Russian Aerospace Forces also hit command posts, heavy weaponry, and ammunition depots.

The Foreign Ministry warned yesterday that the terrorist Al-Nusra Front could quickly replace IS if the international community did not take urgent measures against it.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, “It is time for all nations to set aside their ambitions and conflicts and unite for the sake of the final defeat of IS and other extremist groups which, without any exaggeration, have challenged human civilization,” in an interview with the Algerian information agency APS. Medvedev said that international terrorism was a global challenge, and therefore it could be countered only by mutual and well-coordinated efforts on the basis of international law.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Law Professor’s Glass-Steagall Case: Thorough and Authoritative

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—A new research paper by George Washington University law professor Arthur Wilmarth, “The Road to Repeal of Glass-Steagall,” presents the hard facts for policymakers as to how that “Road” led to the global financial crash of 2007-08, and should be reversed before another crisis.

Wilmarth is an attorney and teaches banking law and U.S. Constitutional history at George Washington. He says his article “sheds further light on that debate [whether eliminating Glass-Steagall caused the crash], by describing Glass-Steagall’s positive impact on the stability of the U.S. financial system from World War II through the 1970s and the adverse consequences of Glass-Steagall’s disappearance.”

He presents a detailed chronology of the cancellation of Glass-Steagall regulations, from permitting non-banks to offer uninsured substitutes for checking accounts (money-market mutual funds) in the 1980s, to allowing banks to securitize their commercial loans, to allowing banks to deal in the over the counter (OTC) derivatives markets—ending in permitting American “universal banks” for the first time in 65 years, and full repeal.

Wilmarth then takes on the arguments that these speculations did not lead to the crash. “All three innovations were leading catalysts for the destructive credit bubble that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2009.” By “all three,” he refers to the non-banks’ uninsured “deposit accounts”, the asset-backed securities, and the banks’ broker-dealing OTC derivatives.

The laws which consolidated these regulatory attacks on Glass-Steagall—the Riegle-Neal Act of 1994, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000—“were highly consequential laws because they (i) allowed large banks to become much bigger and more complex, and to undertake a much wider array of high-risk activities, and (ii) permitted securities firms and insurance companies to offer bank-like products (including deposit substitutes), and (iii) provided a blueprint for light-touch supervision of large financial institutions. All of those factors helped to fuel the destructive credit boom of the early 2000s. I therefore disagree with commentators … who argue that those laws did not have any significant connection to the financial crisis.”

As to the “reforms” which can prevent a repeat crash, Wilmarth concludes, “At a minimum, those reforms should (i) shrink the shadow banking system by prohibiting nonbanks from offering deposit substitutes, and (ii) establish a regime of strict separation between FDIC-insured banks and the capital markets. The second reform should include a prohibition that bars FDIC-insured banks from entering into derivatives….”

Reinstating Glass-Steagall accomplishes those ends.

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