China Tells the West: Don’t Be Envious of Belt and Road—Join In!
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—An article in today’s edition of China’s Global Times usefully reiterates what has been Chinese President Xi Jinping’s consistent message to the West: Join us in the Belt and Road Initiative, and all parties will win.
The Global Times op-ed dismisses the endless slanders against China for its role in helping Africa develop through the Belt and Road Initiative, as “fueled by envy.” And it suggests instead that “perhaps it is now time that the Western countries upped their games,” and join in the development of Africa—and implicitly of the whole world.
Given this obvious reality—that all parties stand to benefit from a New Paradigm of cooperation and joint development initiatives—qualified observers in China and other Belt and Road nations are scratching their heads in disbelief at the systemic, suicidal insanity that seems to have swept the West. This Old Paradigm inability to face reality was on display in full technicolor at the recent Munich Security Conference; in the unending slanders against Russia and China, and threats to “contain” them; in the continuing war provocations around Syria and the Korean Peninsula; in the inability of Germany to produce a viable new government, and above all, in the British-run Russiagate circus that continues to dominate the Western media.
Journalist Finian Cunningham, writing in RT about the Munich Security Conference, captured the gist of it: “For this superficial and tenuous case [the 13 indictments for election interference] to be held up by American politicians as ‘an act of war’ by Russia on the U.S. is ludicrous. Insanity has indeed taken hold of mainstream American discourse.” Cunningham went on that “many alternative rational observers in the U.S. and Europe are able to perceive that the Russiagate narrative is collapsing from lack of evidence.”
That is true. It is clear that the British-Mueller operation is in disarray, and that it is still scrambling to recover from the exposure the LaRouche movement spearheaded around the Mueller dossier. U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, not waiting for Mueller et al. to regain the initiative, has just opened a new flank: He has issued a letter to a dozen or more unnamed current and former government officials, instructing them to answer 10 highly uncomfortable and compromising questions about when they knew of the Steele dossier, to whom they circulated it, and so on—or else they will face compulsory subpoenas to do so.
But as useful as these skirmishes are, they are not sufficient. They do not add up to a winning strategy to fully end geopolitics in 2018, and create a New Paradigm, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche has repeatedly stated must be done. That strategy requires winning a war in the domain of ideas, against the very hypotheses which underlie the geopolitical, zero-sum-game worldview, and its bestial concept of man. These are the ideas which have led us into multiple world wars, and the current threat of a new, and likely final one.
Lyndon LaRouche addressed this underlying, most fundamental of battles in his groundbreaking July 1994 essay, “How Bertrand Russell Became an Evil Man,” written for the Schiller Institute’s Fideliojournal scarcely months after being released from prison after five years of incarceration at the hands of the same British-Mueller apparatus that is now targeting President Trump. LaRouche wrote:
“Britain’s Lord Bertrand Russell has been, beyond any reasonable doubt, the most evil public figure of the passing [20th] century…. There is nothing essential in Russell which is not repetition of what had been written by [Lord Shelburne’s lackey,] the founder of the British foreign intelligence service, Jeremy Bentham, now more than two hundred years ago….
“[This is] the British philosophical radicalism of Shelburne’s lackeys, and of the Huxley family and Russell later. Bertrand Russell, while he lived, was a purebred Venetian dog of that Shelburne type…. Understand this, and you understand Russell. Understand Russell in that way, and you begin to understand the past 600 years of European and world history. Then you begin to understand the important features of the now-fading present century.”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out today, “With the insanity of Muellergate and Russiagate, the demonization of Russia and China, this is the course to World War III. The only way we can stop that is with a New Paradigm in the thinking of people. And that is what we should discuss with them. We have the solution with Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws, which is urgent because the next financial crash could happen at any moment. And we must escalate the debate for the U.S. to join with the Belt and Road Initiative, not only to rebuild the infrastructure in the U.S., but to do what Global Times said today: Join efforts with China in Africa to build that continent.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Two U.S. Navy Destroyers Are in Black Sea To ‘Desensitize’ Russia
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—Two U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers, the USS Carney and the USS Ross, entered the Black Sea over the weekend as part of an unspecified regional “proactive” presence mission. “Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive,” U.S. Sixth Fleet commander Vice Adm. Christopher Grady said in a statement. “We operate at the tempo and timing of our choosing in this strategically important region. By nature, ships are flexible, mobile forces.”
A U.S. military official brazenly told CNN that the decision to deploy both the Carney and the Ross to the Black Sea was part of an effort to “desensitize Russia” to the presence of U.S. military forces in the Black Sea. One U.S. defense official based in Europe told CNN that Russia was “putting in the full panoply of their weapons systems” in Crimea, saying Moscow had stood up a new Army Corps there and was deploying “a lot of their new anti-access missile systems, coastal defense, air defense” systems, in addition to the ground troops. Therefore, according to the logic of these U.S. officials, Russia has become “more sensitive” to U.S. military activity in the Black Sea, as shown by “dangerous” intercepts of U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flying near Crimea.
Another U.S. defense official based in Europe told CNN that the Russians “are very sensitive to our precision strike capability” as well as U.S. ballistic missile defense assets such as the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. This, no doubt, includes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that the two ships are likely carrying. “You get ships up in the Black Sea, that makes them feel more threatened,” the official asserted.
Sen. Yevgeny Serebrennikov, the first deputy chair of the Russian Federation Council Defense Committee, told Sputnik that U.S. claims about the Russian military buildup in Crimea “are all direct lies, attempts to divert attention away from the U.S.’s own build-up of armaments and military presence.” He stated that Washington was also seeking “to use this lie for political pressure on Russia,” and further, he said, “Such attempts, as the Russian President and the defense minister have repeatedly said, will not succeed.”
U.S. and South Korea Plan To Restart Military Exercises
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—The South Korean Defense Ministry notified its National Assembly today that the U.S. and South Korea will hold Exercises Key Resolve and the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises in 2018, in order to fully develop operational concepts for use against North Korea missile threats, reports Yonhap. Foal Eagle, which is usually held alongside Key Resolve, was reportedly not mentioned, nor was the schedule for the exercises. Ulchi Freedom Guardian is usually staged in the summer.
Seoul’s Defense Minister Song Young-moo told the parliamentary defense committee that he and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis would announce the resumption date between March 18—when the Paralympic Games end—and April 1. “South Korea and the U.S. government delayed the exercise in the spirit of the Olympics. … We agree to keep the stance of ‘neither confirm nor deny’ on the joint military drill until we make an announcement,” Song said.
North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, responded by accusing the U.S. of seeking to torpedo the reconciliatory mood between Seoul and Pyongyang by resuming the exercises. “Trump and his clique are racketeering to nip peace in the bud that started sprouting on the Korean Peninsula,” KCNA said in a commentary.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Continues To Blast U.S. Plan To Partition Syria
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—“The U.S. should stop playing very dangerous games which could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated bluntly on the first day of the Feb. 19-20 meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow. In partnership with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Valdai conference this year is titled “Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields,” and includes the participation of “well-known politicians, diplomats, experts and public figures from more than 30 countries,” according to the Valdai website.
Lavrov stated that “We are seeing attempts to exploit the Kurds’ aspirations,” and he specifically called on the U.S. to shut down its illegal military camp inside Syria at Al-Tanf, according to RT. “Inside the Al-Tanf zone, which the Americans unilaterally declared under their protection, and inside the refugee camp jihadists are regularly reported to recover strength. On several occasions they conducted raids from there into other territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. This zone must be shut down immediately.” Lavrov went on: “That is why we are asking our Western colleagues who have influence over Jabhat al-Nusra, to make the effort to discipline this structure—otherwise, it is to be exterminated.”
Referring to the U.S., Lavrov said that “[I]n the territories they patronize east of the Euphrates River and all the way to the state border with Iraq, they are creating governing bodies which are designed by intention to have no links with Damascus.”
U.S. Ambassador Huntsman Meets with Russian Chief of Staff General Gerasimov
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman met with Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov on Feb. 19, to discuss bilateral relations in the military sector, TASS reported. They “exchanged views on the situation in the security sphere, as well as views on the current state and prospects for bilateral relations in the military sphere,” according to an official statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian statement quoted Ambassador Huntsman as saying: “There is obviously a low level of trust between our two countries. It is precisely at moments like these, when more communications are needed, not less.”
The Huntsman channel, like the earlier visit to Washington, D.C. by Russia’s top three intelligence officials, is serving to keep sane lines of communication open under conditions of serious strategic tensions between the two countries, which have been deliberately exacerbated by the Mueller circus.
Russians Warn of More Cyber-Attacks as March 18 Presidential Elections Near
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev told a conference on cybersecurity that “Sophisticated scenarios are being devised and implemented of using IT software and hardware aimed at obtaining information” from Russian cyber networks. He reported on three mass encryption virus attacks in 2017, which affected a half-million computers in Russia, including at the Interior Ministry, Rosneft and Evraz. He emphasized that “Ahead of the Presidential election in Russia, we expect that the number of political, economic, and information actions will grow.”
The head of the Central Election Commission Elia Pamifilova told TASS that, “given the current climate, a wave of efforts to discredit the election will mount. Huge resources will be shelled out by those who find it necessary to weaken our country at any price.” She warned about fake news which “so-called independent experts could use to draw conclusions about ‘mass violations.’ ” She said that “We will be ready to take on any provocations at full throttle.”
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Global Times: ‘China’s Inroads into Africa Trigger Envy’
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—An op-ed by Mark Kapchanga published today by Global Times reviews recent accusations against China’s role in Africa, ranging from supposedly bugging the African Union headquarters to paying bribes to win contracts, and states that these false charges are caused by envy over Chinese achievements, and urges the West to instead get onboard with the Belt and Road Initiative.
“Trade between China and Africa has been rising thanks to policy benefits from a cooperative plan laid down by Chinese and African leaders in South Africa in 2015. At the summit, President Xi Jinping announced plans to invest $60 billion into African development projects, saying it would boost agriculture; build roads, ports and railways, and write off some debt…. The ambitious global trading strategy, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which appeared to be gaining traction recently, particularly in parts of East Africa where major infrastructure and defense projects are being built, is also likely to buoy China’s growing investments in Africa.”
This growing positive relationship has led to the attacks on China, Global Times wrote. “The negative reportage about Sino-African relations by Western media has also been fueled by envy due to strengthening ties.” The article concludes by urging the West to drop its envy and join in: “Perhaps it is now time that the Western countries upped their games in investing and trading with Africa if they are to compete favorably with China in Africa.”
Islamic Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Join Hands in African Projects
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—The largest development-financing organization in the Muslim world, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to form a partnership with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to overcome the giant infrastructure gap in African and other developing countries. “We will partner with the AIIB,” IDB President Bandar Hajjar told the Financial Times. “We will co-finance many projects [with AIIB] in the future in Africa. Africa needs … about $150 billion a year to finance infrastructure and there are about 650 million people in Africa without access to electricity.”
Co-operation between the AIIB and the IDB, which are capitalized at $100 billion, and $150 billion, respectively, is set to create a new force in development finance for a swath of developing countries. Many of the IDB’s 57 member countries overlap with the AIIB’s approved membership of some 80 nations. Such co-operation would assist the AIIB in finding projects to broaden its loan portfolio.
In an indication of the IDB’s intent to broaden its financing activities, the bank is planning to “soon” launch its largest single bond—a sukuk (no interest) issue of $2.5 billion—to support infrastructure, education, health, and other projects within the bank’s 57 member nations, Hajjar said. (Sukuk, or Islamic bonds are structured in order to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law, which prohibits interest.) The move would follow a $1.25 billion sukuk bond issued late last year. The IDB has already approved $3.1 billion for Sub-Saharan African countries.
Vienna Conference on New Silk Road Rail Cooperation
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—Russia’s railway company RZD and Austria’s railway company ÖBB are co-sponsors of a three-day conference, “1520 Strategic Partnership (SP1520): Central Europe,” beginning in Vienna today. The theme of the event which gathers numerous rail technology firms, in addition to the 20 railway companies from Europe, Russia, and the other former Soviet republics that are members of the SP1520 organization, is “New Silk Road 1435-1520: Moving Towards Each Other,” referring to the two railway gauges in use on the Eurasian continent.
The conference will be addressed by, among others, RZD President Oleg Belozerov, and Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov on “chances and challenges for rail transport in the Eurasian corridor, as well as new opportunities in the context of the realization of the New Silk Road,” the ÖBB’s announcement says. ÖBB CEO Andreas Mattae himself is a strong proponent of railway connectivity along the New Silk Road, with a prominent role of the Austrians’ cooperation with China.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Nunes Opens Next Flank against Steele Dossier: Questions for All
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes today sent multiple current and former officials from the intelligence community, law enforcement and State Department, a list of 10 questions about their knowledge and use of the MI6 agent Christopher “Steele dossier, funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America (Clinton campaign) and used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application targetting Carter Page,” several media reported this morning.
Nunes gave the recipients until March 2 to voluntarily provide complete written answers, or face a subpoena. Various press were given a copy of the letter with the names redacted of the 11 to 24 officials receiving it (accounts vary), but James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer have been named as recipients.
Nunes is zeroing in on when and how the Steele memo was shopped around within the Obama administration and to the press. The questions get to the heart of the act of information warfare carried out by British intelligence through the Obama administration against the United States during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign—and lay the basis for indictments against U.S. officials participating in this British act of war. The officials must answer:
“1. When and how did you first become aware of any of the information contained in the Steele dossier?
“2. In what form(s) was the information in the Steele dossier presented to you? By whom? (Please describe each instance)
“3. Who did you share this information with? When? In what form? (Please describe each instance)
“4. What official actions did you take as a result of receiving the information contained in the Steele dossier?
“5. Did you convene any meetings with the intelligence community and/or law enforcement communities as a result of the information contained in the Steele dossier?
“6. When did you first learn or come to believe that the Steele dossier was funded by a Democrat-aligned entity?
“7. When did you first learn or come to believe that the Steele dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and/or Hillary for America (Clinton campaign)?
“8. When did you first become aware that the Steele dossier was used to obtain a FISA order on Carter Page?
“9. Was President Obama briefed on any information contained in the dossier prior to January 5, 2017?
“10. Did you discuss the information contained in the Steele dossier with any reporters or other representatives of the media? If so, who and when?”
Influential Senator Confident an Infrastructure Bill Will Pass
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)—Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told the Washington Examiner’s “Examining Infrastructure” panel on Feb. 15 that he expects an infrastructure funding bill can be passed by Congress before the midterm elections—because President Trump has decided to get a bill through, and because “everyone wants it,” Democrats and Republicans alike.
Inhofe chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which is already drafting the framework for an infrastructure bill, he reported. Senator Inhofe, a conservative, has his own “marketplace” views about how to fund infrastructure, but believes federal support for infrastructure is necessary. He believes various ways of funding are all up for discussion now.
Inhofe expressed his confidence in President Trump, reporting how he first met Trump early on in the presidential campaign, when he was invited to participate in a policy discussion in New York. That’s when I saw a Trump you never see on TV, Inhofe said; sitting around a table with 13 invited experts on all kinds of topics, asking questions, listening and taking notes. Trump does one thing at a time, and now he is in “with both feet” on infrastructure, he asserted. My impression is that he decides what he’s going to do, and then he goes ahead and does it—unlike most politicians.
“And this is going to be popular. For that reason, I think, it’s going to move pretty fast,” Inhofe said, recounting that there was a lot of agreement last Wednesday when the House and Senate transportation committee chairs, Republican and Democrat, met with the President. There was a lot of discussion of sources of funding there, he stated.
The Examiner panel discussion was co-sponsored by the Auto Care Association and the Government Affairs Industry Network, and, in addition to Inhofe, featured Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey, Rockville, Maryland Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton, and Jim Corcoran, Board of Directors Second Vice Chair, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.