EIR Daily Alert Service, TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018

TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018

Volume 5, Number 16

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

EDITORIAL

His Own National Security Strategy Endangers President Trump More than Mueller and ‘Russiagate’

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—How can it be that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership in Japan have come to see both China and Russia as close partners for cooperation, while President Trump’s Defense Secretary and National Security Advisor declare Russia and China greater threats to the United States than international terrorism?

Japan is America’s closest ally in Asia, closest partner in placing pressure on North Korea to denuclearize, and is an immediate neighbor to both China and Russia and to the Korean Peninsula. Prime Minister Abe, like Trump, has met repeatedly with Russian President Putin over the same time period, and like Trump, has had the intentionof developing cooperation.

But Abe has followed through, and is now following through with China’s Belt and Road Initiative as well; Trump has been prevented. As both Russia and China clearly see, he has been prevented by his McCarthyite opposition, emphatically including in the Republican Party and military.

The “Russiagate” coup attempt against Trump fronted by legal assassin Robert Mueller has been badly damaged by our own and other exposures, and can be defeated.

Now the strategic insanity surrounding the President—epitomized in the new draft National Defense Strategy unveiled by Defense Secretary Mattis—is a greater threat: to him, to the United States, and to the human species. Take to heart the warning of former Defense Secretary William Perry, that the false missile alert in Hawai’i was not a false alarm, but a wake-up call, about how close even accidental thermonuclear destruction is, in a crisis of confrontation of nuclear powers. Take to heart the warnings of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawai’i, that the Bush-Obama “regime-change wars” must be ended—as Trump intended to—or the threat of thermonuclear war will be on the doorstep.

Even if that destruction is avoided, the strategy of great-power confrontations recently pronounced by Vice President Pence, Secretary Mattis, crazed Napoleons of the GOP like Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, etc., takes away all chance of cooperation with China in the Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects, or with Russia in Southwest Asian peace.

New Cold War? Forget it. In the Cold War, the United States had numerous allies. In declaring war on China, Russia, and the “New Silk Road,” America has just one: Great Britain, the great user of American military power and great destroyer of American economic power from within.

The President should declare—as he may do—the new National Defense Strategy null and void, and take the Davos or the State of the Union occasion to declare the U.S. is joining the “New Silk Road.” What that will mean for America’s domestic policies, is what Lyndon LaRouche called “Four New Laws To Save the Nation,” which we are mobilizing to put at the center of the upcoming mid-term election contests.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Japan’s Shinzo Abe Will Pursue Peace with Russia, Belt and Road with China

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the opening session of the Diet, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will pursue a peace treaty with Russia, and will improve relations with China through cooperation on building infrastructure in the context of the Belt and Road policy.

On relations with Russia, Abe said, according to TASS: “Relations with Russia hold the greatest number of possibilities among our country’s relations with other nations. For example, last September former residents of Kunashir and Iturup islands were able for the first time to visit their ancestors’ graves there, using an airliner for that purpose. Our country will deepen its ties with Russia, promoting the joint economic activities on the four northern islands and the eight-point economic cooperation plan. We will consistently, one by one, implement the agreements reached with Russia. The territorial issue will be resolved and the Japanese-Russian peace treaty will be signed on that basis. Based on relations of deep trust with President [Vladimir] Putin, we will build [a] cooperation relationship on various international issues, including the North Korean problem,” Abe stressed.

Abe reiterated Japan’s readiness to push ahead with his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” which pursues stability and prosperity on the basis of an international, rules-based order in the region, according to Nikkei Asian Review. While this policy was originally seen as aimed at China’s maritime assertiveness, Abe said Japan will cooperate with Beijing in building infrastructure in Asia, in the context of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

The Japanese Prime Minister described the two countries as “inseparable,” and said Japan “will seek to meet the expectations of the international community by developing friendly relations [with China] in a stable manner.”

Messages to China-CELAC Forum: Belt and Road a Promising Future

Jan. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—Messages to, and speeches at, the China-CELAC Forum (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), held today in Santiago, Chile, make one fundamental point: Cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative offers a very promising future for all participating nations.

In a message of greeting to the one-day conference, which includes foreign ministers of 33 CELAC nations and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his delegation, President Xi Jinping urged all the Latin American/Caribbean (LAC) nations to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, and forge a “trans-Pacific path of cooperation” that more closely links China with the LAC region. Just as in the past, when the ancestors of the Chinese people and the Latin American people “overcame great difficulties in crossing vast oceans, and jointly created the Maritime Silk Road spanning the Pacific,” Xi said, today the two sides can work together in the framework of the modern Belt and Road.

In referencing the Belt and Road in his opening speech to the conference this morning, Wang Yi pointed out that the “dynamic demand for cooperation from Latin America and the Caribbean, is due to the fact that those nations aspire to fulfill the dream of vitality for their people,” and proposed that the 33 CELAC nations establish a “maritime and territorial inter-connectivity, for greater prosperity and development” by means of innovation in transportation, infrastructure, and energy production, to build “bioceanic railroads and tunnels, maritime and air routes.”

In her remarks to the conference’s opening session today, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet stated that “the great step that China has taken with the Belt and Road Initiative is significant…. [T]he work that we are carrying out for Latin American integration—for example in terms of bioceanic corridors—can link directly to this New Silk Road…. These are initiatives destined to empower us as we seek a better future for our region.”

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Nunes Exposé of Justice Department/FBI Crimes, and Sources, To Be Declassified Soon

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes’ currently classified report on the files Congress finally received on the two-year intelligence agency attempt to eliminate candidate and then President Trump, has sent shock waves across Capitol Hill as GOP members of Congress have read it. Now, statements from some of those members indicate the Nunes memo, and some of its source documents, will be publicly available soon. The ongoing legal assassination of Trump team members by Special Counsel Robert Mueller may not survive this exposure.

According to CNN, three Republican House Committee chairmen met Sunday about coordination of steps to declassify and release the Nunes memo, and at least some of its substantiating source reports. They were Intelligence Committee head Nunes, Judiciary Committee head Robert Goodlatte, and Government Oversight Committee head Trey Gowdy. This was confirmed by Rep. Mike Conaway, who formally took over the Intelligence Committee’s “Russiagate” investigation from Nunes when the latter stepped aside early last year.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is quoted in favor of releasing the sources as well, comparing the Nunes memo to “any document which needs to be referenced or footnoted, and Democrats will attempt to dismiss Nunes’ memo without documentation.” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also: “Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Gowdy and Chairman Nunes all have jurisdiction over some elements, and they are meeting and discussing a process now, that I think will lead to greater transparency.”

None of the participants is yet making the exact timeframe for declassification and release clear; only that it is coming.

‘Sharp Power’ Is NED Creation for New Cold War

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—“Sharp Power,” the geopolitical neologism now being bandied about by the likes of Republican Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) against Russia and China, finds its roots in the bowels of the geopolitical thinktank, the National Endowment for Democracy. On Dec. 6, 2017, the NED held a day-long seminar, “Sharp Power, Rising Authoritarian Influence,” which defined the parameters of the thought-object for a new generation. Earlier postings by the group indicate that the imperialists had been thinking along these lines since at least September of last year.

Until recently, during a previous Cold War, conflict between the superpowers had been characterized as either “hard,” meaning military, or “soft,” meaning cultural or academic efforts of subversion. Finding those descriptions too limited for today’s situation, the term “sharp” power was settled on—in their words, literally as a “catch-all term” for any form of influence which is not otherwise classifiable as hard or soft. As described in the conference literature, “authoritarian influence efforts in young and vulnerable democracies are sharp in the sense that they pierce, penetrate, or perforate the information and political environments in the targeted countries.”

By this description, then, Russia’s efforts at manipulation through media sources such as RT (or alleged Presidential election-rigging) are just as “sharp” as China’s efforts to raise the poor out of poverty, increase productivity by infrastructure construction, or improve living standards for the entire planet. From an article, “The Meaning of Sharp Power: How Authoritarian States Project Influence,” by (conference participants) Christopher Walker and Jessica Ludwig, in Foreign Affairs from Nov. 16, 2017: “The serious challenge posed by authoritarian sharp power requires a multidimensional response that includes unmasking Chinese and Russian influence efforts that rely in large part on camouflage—disguising state-directed projects as the work of commercial media or grassroots associations, for example, or using local actors as conduits for foreign propaganda and tools of foreign manipulation.”

Lavrov, Peskov Blame U.S. Opposition for Worsening Relations

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov blame U.S. opposition for preventing U.S. President Donald Trump from improving relations between Russia and the United States.

In an interview with Russian daily Kommersant, Lavrov said Trump was being forced to make anti-Russian decisions under the pressure of his national political opponents.

“When U.S. President Donald Trump received me in the White House, when he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg and later they held telephone conversations, I did not see U.S. President Trump’s charge [mandate] for any sort of actions, which could undermine his election campaign slogans that he wanted good relations with Russia,” Lavrov said, reported TASS. Lavrov attributed the U.S. stance towards Russia to three factors: the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the outside-the-system character of Donald Trump, and the need to explain why everything does not goes well for the United States in the international arena.

Trump is forced into making anti-Russian decisions under such conditions, according to Lavrov.

“One should probably understand that under conditions, when bills are passed by the majority of votes (95%), the President comes to think not about the essence of the draft law, how real it is, legitimate or decent, but that his veto would be eventually overturned,” Lavrov said. “We are comforted that recently some members of the Congress, political circles in the United States and some diplomats acknowledge quietly in their confidential talks the absolute abnormality of such situation and the need to improve it.”

Speaking on a TV show on the Rossiya 1 channel, Peskov blamed the domestic atmosphere in the United States as the cause preventing Trump from establishing good relations with Russia. “I think so…. We are certain about it, because, while, let’s say, we are barely in a position to give estimations of internal politics inside the U.S., but, nevertheless, it is quite obvious that the internal climate, let’s put it this way, is rather unfriendly regarding our country,” Peskov said.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The British Sabotaged the Second Try for an SDI with Russia

Jan. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—Documents released last month by the British National Archives, reveal that President George Bush “41” had plans to discuss with Russian President Boris Yeltsin a revival of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, Britain’s Daily Telegraphreported Jan. 20. President George H.W. Bush, the secret Cabinet documents show, “was prepared to discuss sharing that technology with Boris Yeltsin, after they met at Camp David in February 1992, and declared a formal end to the Cold War.” Material in the disclosed files includes descriptions of what the program would entail, including “a mixture of land-based and space-based systems,” and “particle beam, lasers, and even chemical lasers to knock out incoming missiles.”

The ensuing British freakout can be seen. Bush had written to allies, proposing that there be a NATO-led system, with Russia as the “principal partner.” In response, Sir Stephen Wall, Private Secretary to Prime Minister John Major, wrote to the Foreign Office, warning that the United States “assumed Russia would permanently be a good guy,” and stating, “We could not make that assumption.”

A briefing note by British diplomats stated: “Any significant increase in Russian ability to detect and intercept our Trident missiles would make it more difficult and more costly to meet our deterrent criteria.” (Of course, that was the whole point….)

British diplomats insisted that (clearly under British pressure), Washington had “taken to heart” the inherent problems of the East and West sharing defense systems, and backed off from the proposal. During the Clinton Administration the Russians initiated a proposal for a joint missile-defense program using “new physical principles.” A first step was taken, to develop a joint satellite-based missile warning system, which program was cancelled by President Bush “43.”

White House Infrastructure Plan Would Make a PPP Blush

Jan. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—There have been many reports and indications that President Donald Trump is increasingly opposed to “his own” infrastructure plan, being developed under direction of economic advisor Gary Cohn, “infrastructure advisor” D.J. Gribben, and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. When an outline of the policy was leaked by the White House today, it was clear why. While having grown from the two-page summary which has been repeatedly used over the past year, to now six pages, it is still the thinnest possible gruel as far as planning for Federal investment into new, high-technology infrastructure projects is concerned. And ignoring the President’s repeated objections to public-private partnerships (PPPs), the unicorn known as private funding of new infrastructure is the main “plank.”

The proposal is primarily a Federal matching-grant program which limits Federal participation to 20% in any new infrastructure, and limits any state’s share of the national total to 10%. The criteria given for selecting projects worthy of Federal support are weighted just 5% for “plans to incorporate new technology”; just 5% for “evidence to support how project will spur economic returns”; and 50% for “how the applicant will secure and commit new, non-Federal revenue”—the more the non-Federal revenue, the higher the project score!

So, municipalities would be asked to scour for private funding—which will expect guaranteed 10-11% annual returns on investment—and combine it with new taxes or bonds of their own, in order to get crumbs of Federal funding.

But the worst criterion is applied to rail and transit project proposals: “Require value-capture financing as condition for receipt of funds for major capital projects.” “Value-capture financing” is new Washington in-talk for attracting a flow of both existing and new user fees, etc. This includes and even emphasizes outright privatizations, as in the air-traffic control system privatization the GOP is pushing: It dreams of entirely new taxes on airlines, passed on in ticket prices, whereas the present system is supported by airport administrations.

This foolish outline will not work, and the President may or may not follow it in his State of the Union speech.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Turkey Launches Military Operations in Syria

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—Turkish military operations against the town of Afrin in northwest Syria continue for a third day. The Turkish operation is aimed against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which they dominate, on the claim that they are fully collaborating with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) which Turkey is at war with inside Turkey. Their aim is apparently to push the SDF and YPG back to the east of the Euphrates. The Turks had warned the United States, which has been supporting the SDF in its fight against ISIS that if the SDF was not withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates, as had been agreed between the two countries over two years ago, it would attack.

“Turkey is a NATO ally. It’s the only NATO country with an active insurgency inside its borders. And Turkey has legitimate security concerns,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters in a plane headed for Asia on Jan. 21. Mattis said that the overall success against ISIS does not remove many of Turkey’s concerns, therefore it is “easy to understand” why Ankara is worried that the conflict will extend beyond the Syrian border. “Turkey was candid,” Mattis told reporters. “They warned us before they launched the aircraft that they were going to do it. We are very alert to it. Our top levels are engaged and were working through it,” he said.

Despite public statements that might say otherwise, Turkey’s Olive Branch Operation has the de facto acknowledgment of both Russia and the United States, according to Hurriyet Daily News Chief Editor Murat Yetkin. Yetkin relayed that the SDF leader on Jan. 20 said the U.S., Russia and Turkey were equally responsible for the attack on them. Murat Karayilan, the current leader of the PKK, pointed out that Russia has allowed Turkey to use the airspace it controls. And Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists, “We have no airspace problem at the moment…. There is 24/7 coordination regarding airspace. We are working to eliminate Iran’s concerns, and Russia does not have objections.”

NATO announced on Jan. 21 that “every country has the right to self-defense,” a statement not possible without U.S. consent. At the same press briefing Yildirim said the “operation was carried out after contacts with the [Syrian] regime through Russia.” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu said an official note was given in writing to the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul before the operation, saying Turkey had no intentions against Syria’s territorial integrity and only “terrorist elements” were being targeted.

China’s Strong Response to U.S. Provocations

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—China’s Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry both issued strong objections to the violation of the 12-nautical-mile limit of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea by the missile destroyer USS HopperGlobal Times reported yesterday in an unsigned editorial. Global Times is published under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper.

Global Times sets out the evidence of growing U.S. alarm about China’s rise: 1) the U.S. National Security Strategy called China a “rival”; 2) the Pentagon gave more importance to competition with China and Russia than the fight against terrorism in its Jan. 19 National Defense Strategy, and 3) U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. “mistakenly” supported China’s WTO membership in 2001.

Global Times goes on, that the U.S. “needs to reckon with the returns and losses and take a high-stake move to turn its diplomacy with China from a controllable process into a gamble.

“Neither China nor the U.S. will win if they enter into a Cold War. Those who advocate it, underestimate its repercussions on the U.S., which is unprepared for the risks and pain required to ‘Make America Great Again.’…

“China’s pursuit of a win for all is not understandable to all Westerners, and may even be taken by some Americans as a scheme to evade U.S. containment. We should just let it be in terms of ties with the U.S.

“With fewer cards, the U.S. finds it difficult to confront China, and sending a naval vessel in the South China Sea is something easier.” China can handle it, the editorial continues, and “the U.S. is doomed to fail in this respect…. China is able to send more military vessels as a response and can take steps like militarizing islands. This can by no means bring honor to the Trump administration.”

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Global Concentration of Wealth Marches Upward

Jan. 22 (EIRNS)—Oxfam’s annual report at the start of 2018 finds that now, 42 multi-billionaires (last year it was 85 such) own as much wealth as the poorer 3.6 billion people in the world’s population. Some 80% of new financial wealth “produced” in 2017 was accumulated by billionaires.

OTHER

North and South Korean Athletes Will March to Olympics under One Flag

Jan. 21 (EIRNS)—In a diplomatic breakthrough after a year of escalating tensions in Korea, as Reuters put it, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday that North Korea will send 22 athletes to the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, to compete in three sports and five disciplines.  Two dozen coaches and numerous journalists from the North were also invited. On Sunday, South Korean officials also said Pyongyang had accepted proposals for South Koreans to travel to North Korea for joint athletic training at the Masikryong Ski Resort and a cultural event at Mt. Kumgang, revered for millennia for its beautiful scenery.

Also on Sunday, a seven-member North Korean cultural delegation led by popular musician Ms. Hyon Song-Wol, arrived in Seoul to inspect venues for performances by a 140-strong art troupe at the Olympics.

All the Korean athletes will be led into PyeongChang Olympic Stadium by the Korean Unification Flag, which bears the image of the Korean Peninsula in blue against a white background. According to the IOC, there will be two flag-bearers, one from each Korea, with one female and one male athlete.  The unified delegation will don a special uniform with the Korean Unification Flag, and the team acronym will be COR, Yonhap reports.

The other very high-profile event will likely be the unified women’s hockey team—the first combined effort in Olympic history for the Koreas. The agreement to walk together at the opening ceremony under a unification flag and to field an inter-Korean hockey team was an unexpected development this close to the games, which begin Feb. 9, the Los Angeles Times reported.

IOC Chairman Thomas Bach, a German and a one-time Olympic fencer, said during his announcement, “Let us not forget that such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago.”  Recalling his own life growing up in a once-divided Germany, Bach said, “I’m sure that this will be a very emotional moment, not only for Koreans, but also the entire world.”

You may also like...

Translate »