EIR Daily Alert Service, FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018

EDITORIAL

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Reveals the Secret of Optimism, in the Face of Grave Dangers

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—In her weekly webcast today, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche warned that the world is at “a very, very difficult and very dangerous moment again,” with the resurgence of a neo-con geopolitical policy from within the Trump administration turning upon President Trump’s policy of improving relations with Russia and China. She cited, in particular, recent actions and statements vis-à-vis North Korea, Taiwan and Syria, each an area in which nuclear war could result within minutes of wrong decisions being made.

These vacillations on Trump’s rapprochement policy with the great nations of Russia and China do not come out of nowhere. Zepp-LaRouche pointed to the “absolute coup insanity against Trump in the United States,” which seeks to “pin down Trump so he capitulates to these neo-con policies, and get him ‘reined in,’ as they say,” and to the now-underway explosion of the trans-Atlantic corporate debt bubble, as driving this geopolitical resurgence. On the latter, she stressed:

“There is a direct connection between the worsening of the financial crisis, and the willingness of these same people to go for military adventures which could lead to World War III. Because obviously this geopolitical faction does not want to see a situation where China and the Belt and Road Initiative is growing; the Chinese economy is doing excellently, all the countries which are cooperating with China are doing excellent, while their own system is collapsing. So, I think there is an immediate connection between the danger of a new financial crash, and the military escalation.”

Zepp-LaRouche made clear that the battle within the United States is in no way decided. She recounted how the LaRouche forces in the United States are finding people showing more seriousness about understanding the principles which underlie economist and patriot Lyndon LaRouche’s four-part solution for the crisis: “why a [return to] Glass-Steagall is absolutely urgent; why you need to go back to a Hamiltonian National Bank and a credit system; and why you need a crash program in space exploration and fusion technology in order to increase the productivity of the economy.” But, she urged people to “stay alert … the Democrats are generally not far from Wall Street and neither are the neo-cons in the GOP, so it does require a very strong mobilization from the base of the population.”

The last question posed in today’s webcast offered the Schiller Institute founder the opportunity to address the scientific grounds for optimism that the British Imperial system can be finally defeated.

She was asked: “In the face of all this insanity, you’ve remained a fount of optimism, and a lot of people communicate with me, and they say: ‘What is it that you guys know, that we don’t, that we pessimists don’t know?’ ”

Zepp-LaRouche first addressed the objective source of optimism:

“When you look at the world from the top, so to speak,—I mean, you don’t look at it from inside Germany, or inside the United States, or some other country—but look at it from the overall historical process which is unfolding right now, you see the clear division. You have in the trans-Atlantic world, people generally expect that the future will be worse, that the coming generations will be worse off than they are, that that is a foregone conclusion. After all, they are told that the resources are limited, that you have to have restraint and conservation, and all of this kind of ideology; and naturally, if you look at the social injustices, the rate of poverty in the United States, in Europe … people have a grim perspective of the future…. And you have in large part, politicians who have absolutely nothing to offer as a vision for the future….

“If you look at the world from the standpoint of China, you see a completely different vector of developments. First of all, China has undergone the most incredible development: They have lifted 800 million people out of poverty in 20 years! They want to eradicate poverty by the year 2020, entirely. They are doing wonderful things in Africa, in Latin America, in other Asian countries, even some European countries, so there is a sense of confidence; there is a sense that there is a future….

“We know that the economic underpinning of that vision is progressing with the Belt and Road Initiative, building infrastructure, building R&D centers, building industrial parks, energy distribution and production—this is all a realistic perspective, but it has a cultural dimension to it: They want to have a space Silk Road, a cultural Silk Road. These are all initiatives which have given the Chinese people a tremendous sense of confidence, and that is a spark which has jumped over, so to speak, to the other countries which are participating in the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.

Zepp-LaRouche then addressed the subjective element, the reason why, despite all of these dangers, she is very optimistic:

“There is no point to worry.  You have to have a vision where you want to contribute with your life to the improvement of the human species. And I have a vision which is not exactly the same as that of Xi Jinping, but my vision is also very much like that of my husband, [Lyndon LaRouche] with whom I’ve been working on this since more than 40 years, that we have a world where every human being on this planet can have a decent life, can have fulfillment of all of the potentialities that each person has, and that mankind can become adult.

“And that we go back to the values which are characteristic for the American Revolution, for the German Classical period, for the Italian Renaissance, and other high points of culture.  And I’m optimistic that we can retrieve these qualities by having a cultural Renaissance of Classical music, Classical poetry…. I think that the West should just really re-think, what were our contributions to the advancement of universal history, and then revive them and have a Dialogue of Cultures among the best traditions of all countries.

“I think this is the human nature,” she stated. The idea of geopolitics or ravings or rantings like we hear from Ted Cruz right now, are “not what makes us human. I think we should not regard other cultures as an enemy per definition: China has reached out and said ‘let’s join for a shared future of mankind. We are a community of destiny,’ and I think this idea of a joined humanity, of one mankind, that is what we have to accomplish if we want to exist as a human species.  But I think it is in the human nature that once you have the will and a good plan, and many people are working together for the good plan, you can succeed.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

‘China Seeks Global Partnerships, not Global Dominance,’ Beijing’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai Affirms

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai, speaking at a Chinese New Year celebration yesterday in New York, met the increasing drumbeat about the “China threat” with a clear statement of China’s intentions. “What China seeks in the world is global partnerships, not global dominance,” Cui said. As China is getting closer to the center of the world stage, “what we want to see is a symphony rather than a solo.” Pointing to the Belt and Road Initiative, China Daily quoted Cui saying, “Our aim is to build a new type of international relationships and a community of mankind for a shared future. Therefore, China is continuing to seek cooperation with other countries to improve global governance, maintain international order, build peace and stability and promote common development….

“Recently, I have noticed some voices of doubt about the wisdom of building this relationship, even attempts to question the value of people-to-people exchanges, even trying to raise political obstacles to culture exchange between our two countries.

“Let me say this, nothing is more silly than questioning one’s own success; nothing is more silly and harmful than denying the huge potential and great prospects of building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between China and the U.S.”

Cui was responding to the recent campaign to throw up obstacles to Chinese investment, especially in high-tech industries, the demonization of groups like the Hong Kong-based China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, which are attempting to introduce an understanding of the Chinese language and culture into U.S. colleges and universities, and the ludicrous attempt to stop the construction of a Chinese Garden at the National Arboretum in Washington because it includes a 70-foot tower, which counterintelligence officials claim can be used for “surveillance” purposes.

Has the U.S. Already Prepared a First-Strike Option for North Korea?

Jan. 17 (EIRNS)—China’s Global Times reported Jan. 16 that, for some, given the reduced tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the Jan. 13 false missile alert in Hawaii may have other implications besides human error.

“Apparently Washington is on high alert for any potential threat from Pyongyang. But for some observers, the snafu can even be interpreted as a signal that the U.S. has made full preparations for the worst scenario: a real war with North Korea, following several rounds of insults and verbal threats between the two heads of state,” wrote Global Times’ Liu Lulu. “The alert is only a part of Washington’s precautionary measures against Pyongyang’s threats, but in the meantime, it reminds people that the country may have already prepared a preemptive military strike against North Korea.”

Liu pointed to a number of other signs, including a U.S.-Japan military exercise under way in California and the Jan. 16 meeting in Vancouver of foreign ministers of the countries that were part of the alliance with the U.S. in the 1950-53 Korean War.

“All these events suggest that the U.S. may have already mapped out a comprehensive military plan for North Korea.” The solution to the problem is offering Pyongyang a sense of security. “But there is no sign so far that the U.S. is willing to decrease its military pressure on North Korea.”

“Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula accords with the common interests of all sides,” the Global Times reiterated. “China urges all parties concerned to consider its ‘suspension for suspension’ and ‘dual track’ approach proposals to solve the crisis. China stridently opposes any unilateral move to escalate tensions in the region. The U.S. should act to control risks.”

Russia Will Invite the United States to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Sputnik International, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov said that Moscow had decided to send an invitation to the U.S. and UN Security Council members to participate as observers in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress being held in Sochi Jan. 29-30.

“We consider the Congress as a forum designed to give serious impulses to the negotiation process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva, and to the achievement of the accords by the Syrians themselves by mutual agreement and without preconditions,” Antonov said. “We call on international and regional players that have an influence on the development of the situation in Syria, to take an unambiguous position in support of the Congress.”

Antonov also said he believes U.S. President Donald Trump still wants to improve relations with Russia, but is being blocked by domestic fights. “Donald Trump came to power with the goal of improving bilateral ties,” Antonov confirmed. “I am sure that the President did not give up on that goal. But he was unable to reach it.” He said, “U.S.-Russia ties have deteriorated over the past year, as they have become a hostage of the internal political fight in the United States.”

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Dicky Durbin Has a Track Record of Lying

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)—the sole source of the charge that President Donald Trump called Haiti and other nations “shithole countries” in a private White House meeting on Jan. 11—has been caught fabricating lies against others before.

In October 2013, he fabricated a remark with racist overtones that he claimed had been uttered to then-President Barack Obama by an unidentified Republican leader in a closed-door White House meeting. Durbin himself had not even been present in the meeting, and both White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck denied any such statement was made as Durbin had alleged. Durbin’s office had no comment, despite suggestions that he should “disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegations immediately, and apologize.”

In the case of the Jan. 11, 2018 White House meeting, Durbin is the sole person who claims to have heard President Trump describe any nation in the terms alleged. The President and two Republican Senators present, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, all flatly deny it. Under aggressive badgering in the Senate Jan. 16 by Durbin personally, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen still denied having heard it. A third Republican Senator, the curious Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, refuses to come out either way.

The Anglophile U.S. establishment has long made use of Durbin’s willingness to shamelessly lie on their behalf. On Aug. 3, 1990, Durbin, then a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois, took to the floor to wildly slander Lyndon LaRouche during a debate on campaign finance legislation. The legislation was to create a public financing mechanism for presidential elections, a provision that Durbin called “an answer” to the LaRouche movement’s “prayers.”

“In my home state of Illinois there is an extremist political party at work. They are the followers of Lyndon LaRouche. They spread a gospel of racism, anti-Semitism, and character assassination. The character assassination reaches everyone in this Chamber and everyone in government: state, local, and Federal,” Durbin screeched.

“Although their leader, Lyndon LaRouche, has been imprisoned for criminal activities, they still conduct a massive solicitation and recruitment effort. If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, you can still hear the imprisoned Mr. LaRouche on the radio soliciting support for his extremist effort.” The powers to which Durbin answers were incensed that LaRouche was running for Congress in Virginia’s 10th District even while serving time in prison as the result of a politically motivated frameup run by George Bush, Sr. and the same Robert Mueller now leading the attempted coup against President Trump today. As part of that campaign, LaRouche purchased campaign ads on the leading news station in the area, WTOP radio, to brief Washington, D.C. listeners on the strategic situation of the time.

Durbin also complained that in 1986, “the LaRouche party was strong enough to raid the Illinois Democratic primary and force several of their zealots on the ballot” for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, and bemoaned that LaRouche’s imprisonment “is not going to stop his movement.”

Colonel Blimp Descries China Using ‘Sharp Power’

Jan. 17 (EIRNS)— The attack by Sen. Ted Cruz and others in Texas on what they called China’s “sharp power”—namely, giving funds to a university center—was not the first. The attack is clearly of an imperialist nature, since numerous U.S. and European universities maintain education centers in China’s major cities, and elsewhere all over the world, often with some degree of home-government funding. As often with such imperialist attacks, the attack on China’s doing this—as “sharp power”—occurred already last month in the City of London’s weekly The Economist. This was “China’s Sharp Power,” appropriately published under the heading, “Geopolitics,” Dec. 16.

Now Senator Cruz’s Napoleonic twin, Marco Rubio of Florida, is proposing that all Chinese media be forced to register as foreign agents in the United States, as is being done against Russian media. Rubio teamed up with Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to send a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Jan. 16 “urging” the Department of Justice to require Chinese media to register as foreign agents, because 30 million U.S. households are said to be watching Chinese “state-controlled propaganda” on CGTN network.

We give Chinese Embassy in London’s Jan. 4 Letter to the Editor in response to The Economist, as an antidote to the smug “dull power” of Senators Cruz and Rubio.

“China’s Diplomatic Approach”

“Your article on China’s ‘Sharp Power’ (December 16th) was based on the outdated belief that international relations is a zero-sum game. By describing China’s normal economic co-operation and cultural exchanges with other countries as ‘subversion, bullying and pressure’ you turned a blind eye to the abundant opportunities brought about by China’s pursuit of peaceful development. This sheer prejudice is utterly unacceptable.

“In the New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, China has increased the options for developing countries to achieve modernization. Nevertheless, China will always respect other nations’ choice of development model and will never impose its will upon others. President Xi Jinping declared solemnly in the report of the 19th National Congress that China’s development is no threat to other countries and that China will never seek expansion. China opposes the old concept that strength leads to hegemony. Instead, China is committed to blazing a trail, building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win co-operation.

“Countries are increasingly more interconnected and interdependent. Peaceful development is an irreversible trend. We wish that China-watchers would replace presumptuous speculation and arbitrary defamation with a positive, healthy and peaceful approach to China’s development, which would contribute to greater mutual trust and co-operation between China and Western countries.”

Zeng Rong
Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy
London

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Longest Electrified Railroad in Africa Begins Commercial Operation

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—The Chinese-built 758 km-long electric rail line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti City began commercial operations on Jan. 1, carrying both commuters and cargo: the first trans-border and longest electrified railroad in Africa. It will cut the travel time from around three days to 10 hours, Global Rail News reported today.

Two Chinese companies—China Railway Engineering Corp. and China Civil Engineering Construction Corp.—built the railway, which underwent trials under another Chinese firm, China Association of Railway Engineering Construction, for about a year, Global Rail reported. The total contract investment, according to China’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, was $3.8 billion.

Ambassador Tan put flesh on those important, but dry facts in his speech at the official New Year’s Day opening ceremony, where he was joined by three Ethiopian cabinet ministers, Djibouti’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mehammed Edriss Farah, and representatives of the Chinese and Ethiopian corporations involved.

“The Addis to Djibouti Railway is more than transportation. It is also about improving business environment, about developing the economic corridor. A lot of industry parks have been built along the line. This railway will contribute to the industrialization of Ethiopia, contribute to the implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan. It can and will make a big difference!”

Ambassador Tan noted that there will be challenges in the immediate months ahead, such as assuring a stable supply of electricity, and safety and security along the route, but the three countries are prepared, and “the Chinese companies stand ready to share technology know-how and expertise, help develop human resources and build capacity in the railway area.”

“The Addis Ababa to Djibouti Railway is an early harvest project of the Belt and Road Initiative. In advancing the Belt and Road initiative, we are guided by the principle of planning together; building together; and benefiting together. This Railway is a rail of development; a rail of cooperation; and a rail of friendship. It is a flagship project and the single largest cooperation project between China and Ethiopia.

“Our cooperation could be a role model of south-south cooperation,” he suggested.

Belt and Road Initiative Will Be Key Focus of China-CELAC Forum in Chile

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—There is much optimism about the second ministerial-level conference of the China-CELAC Forum, meeting in Santiago, Chile Jan. 19-22, attended by foreign ministers from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and by Chinese dignitaries, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Founded in July 2014 at the BRICS annual summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, the China-CELAC Forum held its first ministerial meeting in January 2015 in Beijing.

Commentary in recent days from China experts and diplomats throughout the Latin America-Caribbean (LAC) region expresses great hopefulness on the potential for expanding ties with China across many areas and, most importantly, securing this region’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Latin America has great interest in forming part of that initiative,” Alicia Barcena, executive director of the UN’s Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) told Xinhua. Xinhua stated that the BRI will be “one of the pillars” upon which China-CELAC ministerial meeting will be based.

Wang Yi elaborated on this in an opinion piece published in Peru’s official daily El Peruano today, entitled “The Time Is Ripe for Our Cooperation.” He pointed out that, since the LAC region was historically a natural extension of the Maritime Silk Road, today it should be an important and crucial participant in the BRI. One of the goals of the summit, he said, is to achieve “a strategic articulation at the highest level between China and the region in the joint construction of the Belt and Road…. We shall strengthen to the maximum and deepen policy coordination to elaborate a road map and action plan” for that purpose, and “urge more Latin American and Caribbean nations to sign cooperation agreements with China in the framework of the Belt and Road. We will promote infrastructure development to forge new paths of cooperation and development,” Wang wrote.

The summit will produce an action plan for cooperation over the next three years, covering such areas as infrastructure, transportation, science and technology innovation, energy, security, development of human resources, and cultural cooperation. Also likely to be discussed is the creation of a China-CELAC Free Trade Area. There is strong sentiment from Alicia Barcena and others that CELAC must make a greater effort to act as a unified, integrated region, rather than each nation relating to China or to the Belt and Road on a bilateral basis.

Pointing to potential obstacles, Russian specialist Alexandr Jarlamenko, from the Latin America Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik Mundo today that the neoliberal governments of Mauricio Macri in Argentina and Sebastian Pinera in Chile could be an impediment to further regional integration, should they continue to play the anti-China card and decide to stick with the U.S. as their key international ally.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

AIIB’s Loan for Rural Electrification in Bangladesh Has Met with Great Success

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—The $165 million loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to Bangladesh for a Power Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion Project, has emerged as a major success.  The loan, approved in 2016, has helped Bangladesh expand electricity coverage by providing nearly 1 million new service connections in rural areas within four months ending December 2017, Xinhua has reported. The project is designed to expand electricity coverage by providing 2.5 million new service connections in rural areas, and upgrade grid substations and convert overhead distribution lines into underground cables in the north of Dhaka, the country’s capital. Other aspects of the project involve connecting more rural and urban consumers, further reducing distribution losses, and improving the quality and reliability of power supply in Bangladesh.

The director of the project’s Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board Shafiqur Rahman told Xinhua that around 300,000 new service connections are being added every month.

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