Helga Zepp-LaRouche Delivers Message to World Citizens for the New Year
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Schiller Institute Founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered the following New Year’s greeting video posted to the International Schiller Institute website, and reposted on LaRouche PAC’s website:
Dear Citizens of the World,
Let me first wish you a good and peaceful New Year 2018. I want to define as the most important goal for 2018 the overcoming of geopolitics. Geopolitics has been the cause of two world wars in the 20th century, and it should clear to everybody that in the age of thermonuclear weapons, war cannot be a means of conflict resolution any more. Geopolitics is also based on the outdated thinking of Cold War and of a zero-sum game, that is, the idea that one country wins the other ones have to lose. It is the wrong idea that it is legitimate to pursue the interest of a nation or a group of nations against the interest of others.
Now fortunately China has put on the international agenda, the new concept of foreign relations, of relations among nations, a win-win cooperation to the benefit of all. The reaction to this has been mixed: China has offered this to the United States and also to European countries to cooperate. Some have reacted enthusiastically, because they see the benefit of cooperation in this field of infrastructure and other areas. For example, Central and Southern Europe have reacted very positively; many developing countries are onboard. Altogether more than 70 countries are already part of this new paradigm.
But some others have reacted with hysteria, which is increasing right now, because they see the rise of China, and they know that this is a more successful model which is more attractive to many countries in the world. They claim that the China model is a threat to their democracies.
But maybe the Chinese are doing something more correctly than these Western democracies. After all, China has moved 700 million people out of poverty, and they have declared that they want to bring the remaining 42 million also out of poverty by 2020. China has even pledged to eliminate poverty worldwide by the year 2050.
Now, that obviously would mean, Europe has to overcome poverty for 90 million citizens who are living in that condition, and the United States has about 42 million: This is absolutely possible if they cooperate with the New Silk Road.
One of the biggest challenges for geopolitics to be overcome is the outcome of the fight in the United States, where you have right now hearings in the Congress, where the unbelievable collusion of the Obama administration, the Hillary Clinton election campaign, the Democratic leadership, the heads of the secret services from the Obama administration, in collusion with British intelligence have clearly tried to steal the election from Trump in 2016, and if this all comes out, and Trump is successful in his efforts to reestablish a decent relationship with Russia and China, which was the first reason for Russiagate, then, indeed, a new era of civilization can start.
The cooperation of all nations with the New Silk Road is also the only way how we can prevent a crash of the financial system in 2018, which, if it would happen, would be much worse than 2008. It would require to end the casino economy in the West, to go for a Glass-Steagall banking separation, establish a credit system, and then, cooperate with such banks as the AIIB, the New Silk Road Fund and others, to go into the reconstruction of the real economy.
This is not only important for the United States and Europe, but especially if we want to reconstruct the Middle East after many years of horrible wars, which were the result of interventionist policies, regime change, color revolution, then we need to cooperate with China and the New Silk Road to extend that conception to the Middle East.
The only way we are going to solve the refugee crisis in a humane way, in a human way, is to cooperate with China in the economic development of all of Africa. If we do that in the coming year, we have the potential for incredible breakthroughs for world peace, but also in the area of science and technology, where, for example, real breakthroughs in the accomplishment for thermonuclear fusion power are on the horizon. If we succeed in this, then we can have energy security and raw materials security.
If we combine all of this with a dialogue of cultures where each nation represents the best traditions of themselves, so that the others can know about it, I’m absolutely sure that this will result in greater love for mankind.
So there is all reason for optimism for the coming years, because solutions do exist. Let us just implement them in a decisive way: Have a good year.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
China Completes Major Work on World’s Longest Sea Bridge
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Xinhua reports today that the major work on the world’s longest sea bridge was completed Sunday as scheduled, after its lighting system was installed and tested, authorities said. This is the bridge over which Helga Zepp-LaRouche travelled on Nov. 29.
It took six years of preparation, and eight years to build the 55-km bridge linking Zhuhai on the mainland at the mouth of the Pearl River, with Macao and Hong Kong.
Major work on the bridge consisted of a 22.9 km main bridge, a 6.7 km tunnel and an artificial island off the bridge, which is considered the most technically demanding part of the whole construction.
In the next month, engineers and constructors will test the coordination of the bridge’s various systems and equipment, and proceed with inspection and cleaning work, said Zhang Jinwen, project director with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Authority.
“The bridge will be put into trial operation after its port project is completed and taken over by customs, inspection and quarantine, and border control authorities,” Zhang said.
Russian President Putin’s New Year’s Address: ‘Forgive Mistakes, Forget Old Grudges’
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Below is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “New Year Address to the Nation,” posted on Dec. 31 on the Kremlin website:
We are on the threshold of a New Year, year 2018. Although we celebrate this every year, we are always happy to usher the year in as something new, hoping that the wishes we make at the stroke of midnight do come true.
New Year’s Eve is above all a family celebration. We mark it just as we did when we were children, with presents and pleasant surprises, as well as with a special warmth and expectation for change.
Change will certainly come to our lives if each of us takes care of our parents and values every minute we spend with them, if we try to better understand our children and their aspirations and dreams, and if we support those nearest to us who need our help and our generosity.
The ability to help, to show concern and understanding for others and to do good deeds fills our lives with true human meaning. As we celebrate, be it with family and friends, or out in the streets, we all share the same festive mood, while modern technology allows us to share our feelings with our nearest and dearest who may be hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away.
As usual, my special words are extended to those who are working at the moment, who are doing their military or professional duty at hospitals or on board aircraft or trains.
We are all together on this wonderful New Year’s night. We are also together in our everyday life as well. Unity, friendship and selfless love for Russia multiply the strength we need for worthy deeds and high achievements.
I am sincerely grateful to all of you for believing in yourself and in our country, for your work and its results. I hope there will always be trust and mutual understanding in your life.
A New Year, year 2018 will begin in just a few seconds. This is the time when we should say the most important words to each other, forgive one another’s mistakes and forget old grudges.
Embrace, say words of love, and show that you really care. May the life of each family and individual improve for the better, may you all be healthy, may children be born that make us happy.
I wholeheartedly wish happiness and all the very best to all of you, as well as peace and prosperity to Great Russia, our one and only homeland.
Happy New Year!
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Warnings of Financial Crash in 2018
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Morgan Stanley’s research department anticipated a crash of the corporate debt bubble in 2018, in an end-of-year research note circulated Dec. 30. The NASDAQ website summarized the Morgan Stanley report as follows: “The research team [of Morgan Stanley] now takes a very gloomy view of the credit markets. The bank says that corporations have issued much too much debt, especially because they used the cash to buy back shares; and with rates and yields likely to rise, this could put many in trouble. Apple is one of the companies cited as at-risk. ‘Markets expect a seamless unwind of quantitative easing. We don’t.’ MS expects investment-grade markets to be hit just as hard as junk debt markets.”
Banking historian and former investment banker Nomi Prins gave the warning in more detail in Truthdig on Dec. 29: “By Oct. 1, U.S. investment-grade corporate debt issuance had already surpassed $1 trillion—beating 2016’s pace by three weeks. The amount of speculative-grade (or junkier) corporate debt issued during the first three quarters of 2017 was 17% higher than over the same period in 2016. Altogether, that means that U.S. corporate issuance is set for another record year, as well as the sixth consecutive year of increased corporate debt issuance.
“As history has shown us, all bubbles pop…. Corporate debt of nonfinancial U.S. companies as a percentage of GDP has surged before each of the last three recessions. This year, it reached 2007 pre-crisis levels…. And whereas, in the past, companies used some of their debt to invest in real growth, this time corporate investment has remained relatively low. Instead, companies have been on a spree of buying their own stock, establishing a return to 2007-level stock buybacks.
“Financially speaking, 2018 will be a precarious year of more bubbles inflated by cheap money, followed by a leakage that will begin with the bond or debt markets…. If there is another financial crisis in 2018, it will be worse than the last one because the system remains fundamentally unreformed, banks remain too big to fail and the Fed and other central banks continue to control the flow of funds to these banks (and through to the markets) by maintaining a cheap cost of funds.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Kim Jong-un New Year’s Message Draws Favorable South Korea Response
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—The New Year’s message of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was quite conciliatory toward South Korea in tone, and has gotten a favorable response from the R.O.K.
Back on Dec. 16, Kim Hong-gul, the son of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung had told Yonhap that he believed Kim Jong-un might “offer an olive branch of some kind” during the New Year message, which could lead to a peace initiative. Kim Hong-gul is now chairman of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), a pro-unification NGO which has a sister organization in North Korea.
The New Year’s message confronts the United States: “The United States should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table. The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range.” Kim also said, “This year, we should focus on mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment. These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened.”
But the message, based on a Reuters translation, cited the necessity to lower tensions on the Peninsula and improve relations with the Republic of Korea. North Korea’s “participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people, and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,” Reuters quoted Kim as saying. The New York Times has a somewhat different translation, which adds, “Above all, we must ease the acute military tensions between the North and the South. The North and the South should no longer do anything that would aggravate the situation, and must exert efforts to ease military tensions and create a peaceful environment.”
Kim’s statement of intent to mass-produce nuclear weapons and missiles during 2018 and ready them for deployment, conflicts with his call to “no longer do anything…”—clearly referring in part to scheduled U.S.-R.O.K. military exercises. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, when asked by press Dec. 30 whether any consideration were being given to postponing U.S.-South Korea military exercises for the Olympics being held in South Korea, simply said, “No.”
In Seoul, President Moon Jae-in’s administration welcomed Kim’s opening. “We have always stated our willingness to talk with North Korea any time and anywhere if that would help restore inter-Korean relations and lead to peace on the Korean Peninsula,” a spokesman for the President said. “We hope the two Koreas will sit down and find a solution to lower tensions and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Zakharova: Japan’s Aegis BMD Deployment May Impact Relations with Russia
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned, yesterday, that the Japanese plan to put two installations of the U.S.-built Aegis Ashore missile defense system may have an impact on Russo-Japanese relations. The decision, she said, causes “deep regrets and major concerns” in Russia. “We see this move by Japan as running counter to efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region,” she went on. “Such actions by Tokyo are directly at variance with the priority task to build trust in the military-political sphere between Russia and Japan and will negatively influence the general atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations on a peace treaty,” she said. She further said that regardless of the ostensible reasons for Japan buying the U.S. system, it “is yet another move towards creating a full-value Asian-Pacific regional segment of the U.S. global missile defense system.”
The Aegis Ashore purchase is just one element of a Japanese military buildup under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that includes military deployments to Japan’s southernmost island chain in the East China Sea, consideration of the acquisition of cruise missiles as well as refitting the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo helicopter carrier to carry the U.S.-supplied F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing version of the F-35 joint strike fighter.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
House Intelligence Chief Gives FBI, DOJ Deadline on Russiagate Documents, Gets Howls
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The House Intelligence Committee has given the FBI and Department of Justice until January 3, 2018 to produce their files on Christopher Steele and the use of his dirty British intelligence-authored dossier in the Russiagate hoax against President Trump. It is believed that these documents will not only implicate top officials of the FBI and DOJ in a British-instigated conspiracy against Donald Trump. They will lead to full exposure of Barack Obama and all of his intelligence chiefs as part of this conspiracy.
As the House Intelligence Committee closes in, the screams and whines of the U.S. political establishment have reached a fevered pitch. The last few days’ news feeds included Clinton and Washington superlawyer David Kendall imploring, “Leave Robert Mueller alone,” and Obama CIA chief John Brennan and fired FBI Director James Comey tweeting in support of compromised friends at the FBI and Department of Justice. Both Brennan and Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have been claiming that Vladimir Putin is somehow playing Donald Trump.
In his Dec. 28 letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes revealed who is actually obstructing justice. According to Nunes, the FBI and Justice Department played a three-card monte game with documents concerning the use and payment for the dodgy British intelligence dossier requested by subpoena from the FBI by the House last August. In response to the August subpoena, DOJ flatly denied the existence of any basic FBI investigatory documents, such as FD-302 interview summaries regarding the Steele dossier. Then, in early December, shortly before Nunes was to meet with Rosenstein, numerous FD-302s were discovered to exist. According to Nunes’s letter, not only did documents exist that were directly responsive to the Committee’s subpoenas, but they involved senior DOJ and FBI officials who were swiftly reassigned when their roles in matters under the Committee’s investigation were brought to light. In addition, the Justice Department has refused to produce FBI documents concerning meetings between FBI officials and FBI confidential human sources concerning the Steele dossier. The House Committee is now challenging that refusal.
Nunes also demands interview dates for former DOJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr (who held unauthorized meetings with Christopher Steele and whose wife Nellie Ohr worked for Steele’s U.S. business partner, Fusion GPS, on the Steele Trump/Russia project); FBI lovebirds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (both deeply involved in the dodgy dossier as resistance fighters against Trump); former FBI attorney and James Comey confidant James Baker; and FBI attorney Sally Moyer; and Director for Congressional Affairs Greg Brower. It would seem that all of these people are deeply implicated in the new-found documents.
Trump Now Plans Speaking Tour on Projects after State of Union
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Each report received about President Trump’s public (and Congressional) introduction of his plan for new infrastructure legislation, places the “roll-out” later in January, and therefore suggests its presentation will be a major theme of the President’s Jan. 30 State of the Union address. ABC News now reports that the State of the Union will be followed by Presidential events around the country to mobilize support for whatever that plan is. “Rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and railways is expected to be a major theme [of the address], an administration official tells ABC News. The official says administration is also finalizing plans for a post-address tour around the country where Trump will take the podium to sell his plan directly to Americans.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders is the latest leading Democrat to state that he is ready to work with Trump on infrastructure legislation. But that is put at risk by the lack of any consultation except with GOP leaders, and above all by the lack of any idea, on either side, of creation of national credit for projects and of focus on scientific and technological breakthrough.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
China’s Chang’e-4 Mission to Far Side of Moon Will Launch First Spacecraft in June
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—China is preparing the relay satellite for the Chang’e-4 mission for launch mid-year, to conduct a first-ever in situ study of the far side of the Moon. So far, the half of the Moon that is not seen from Earth has only been observed by spacecraft and Apollo astronauts, both from lunar orbit.
The mission, which has two spacecraft, will first station a communications relay satellite 60,000 km past the Moon in June, to be in view of both the lunar lander and rover, and the Earth. This is the only way the lander can communicate with mission control, from the far side of the Moon.
After appropriate communication checks have been made, the Chang’e-4 spacecraft with lander and rover will be launched, and will be guided to a safe landing by the relay satellite. The two surface craft will study geological features of the far side, which are distinctly different from the visible hemisphere, and can shed light on the evolution of the Moon and the Earth. The lander also has onboard a container made of an aluminum alloy, which is filled with seeds and insects.
Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container, explained that “The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds, and silkworm eggs to the surface of the Moon. The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,” reported China Daily. Such experiments will contribute to China’s plans to have a manned lunar base on the Moon by the 2030s.
As Britain’s Guardian put it yesterday, “This time next year, there may be a new world leader in lunar exploration.”
This “bold” exploration program by China should spur the U.S. to restart its return to the Moon, with the prospect of working with Chinese scientists in the future.
U.S. Development of Small Nuclear Reactors for Domestic Use and Export Encouraged
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is pushing for President Trump’s forthcoming national infrastructure legislative proposal to include development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) both for use in the United States and for export.
The Washington Examiner reported Dec. 28 that the NEI is proposing that the 250 MW advanced reactors be supported in a national infrastructure bill by tax credits for development and production, by regulatory streamlining (already begun by Energy Secretary Rick Perry), and by support to the national laboratories developing the SMRs.
NEI Vice President John Kotek told the Examiner that this is the next wave of nuclear technology to be developed and built by U.S. industry and scientific labs, both for domestic installation and export. He said the national labs particularly needed to build new test reactors and supercomputers to aid in construction of the next generation of nuclear technologies.
Energy Secretary Perry agrees with this push, and has urged that small modular reactors be sent to Puerto Rico in order to rebuild its electricity system. There are none yet that have been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or manufactured, so the projects underway have to be accelerated. This is the function of legislation to create new infrastructure platforms using cutting-edge technologies.
France and China To Build China’s First Nuclear Reprocessing Plant
PARIS, Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—French President Emmanuel Macron’s first official visit to China is set for Jan. 8, and could be the occasion for a mega-nuclear power deal.
While the trip has been under tight planning since the Macron’s election, it is not yet clear how he will deal with the question of an eventual French or European participation in the Belt and Road Initiative as such. However, the French are apparently working full time to get breakthroughs in traditional bilateral cooperation.
The main area which has occupied the two capitals strongly in the last months and could lead to a major breakthrough during Macron’s visit, is the mammoth deal under consideration since 2013 between the French nuclear giant, Areva, and the China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), for the first-ever construction in China of a reprocessing facility.
Areva has developed solutions enabling the recovery of 96% of the materials in spent nuclear fuel. In the recycling process, uranium and plutonium are recovered from the used fuel, and used in the manufacture of new fuels, including MOX (mixed oxide fuel), comprised of uranium and plutonium oxides. This year Paris injected €4.5 billion into restructuring Areva, which sold its nuclear reactor division, renamed Areva NP, to Electricité de France (EDF), and redirected its remaining activities exclusively to three areas: uranium extraction, enrichment, and reprocessing, in brief, the complete closed nuclear fuel cycle.
While France rejected a direct Chinese participation in Areva’s capital, it opted to help China develop its own reprocessing facility. The French are willing to transfer this highly sophisticated capacity to China in exchange for getting access to the only nuclear market on the rise today.
The size of the project in cost would be comparable to the Three Gorges Dam (€23 billion), half of which would return to Areva. The French company would be in charge of design and would provide the key equipment and services to start the facility, while CNNC would take charge of constructing and managing the plant. If confirmed, the deal would create work for about 2,500 engineers in France for at least the seven years of the plant’s construction. Building will take off in 2020 and the plant could be operational as soon as 2030.
This win-win deal “has never been closer to signature than now,” reports the French daily Les Echos. Areva Chairman Philippe Varin was in Beijing early December and again on Dec. 21 to meet with CNNC Chairman Wang Shoujun. “Discussions are going in all directions,” an industrialist confirmed to Les Echos. “The aim of the future company in China is to reprocess the spent nuclear fuel and to recycle a part in the form of MOX, using the technologies developed by Areva…. It will have the capacity to reprocess 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel per year, and would be the first factory in China to be able to do so, confirming China’s choice in favor of the complete nuclear fuel cycle.”
EIR’s Mueller Dossier Spreads to Spain, South America Media
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—On Dec. 27, the respected Spanish website InfoLibre published a commentary by Juan José Torres Núñez on EIR’s dossier on “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If You Let Him,” under the headline, “The Scandals of ‘Russiagate’ and of Robert Mueller.” The article liberally references Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the EIRdossier’s author Barbara Boyd exposing the true purpose of Mueller’s “investigation” of Donald Trump.
The leftist-oriented InfoLibre generally reflects the views of intellectual resistance networks in Spain. Today, the Torres article was picked up by the widely-read, Spain-based Chilean daily El Clarín de Chile, which on Dec. 20 published EIR’s press release exposing the fact that the same corrupt Justice Department apparatus trying to overthrow Trump is also behind Brazil’s “anti-corruption” Operation Car Wash (“Lava Jato”) witch hunt. Brazilian websites and dailies have subsequently republished El Clarín’s coverage, setting off a political firestorm in Brazil.