Monday, March 12, 2018, EIR Daily Alert Service

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

Volume 5, Number 50

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

The West Has Been Outwitted, But the Warmongers Are Panicked and Pushing for War

March 11 (EIRNS)—The West has been “sleepwalking, in their arrogance,” said Helga Zepp-LaRouche this weekend, first missing the boat on China’s New Silk Road, and now outflanked by Vladimir Putin’s dramatic announcement on March 1 that Russia has successfully developed weapon systems based on new physical principles which render the entire missile defense system deployed around Russia and China to be useless, obsolete. The pathetic effort to discredit the Putin announcement as a hoax, based on the fact that he used animations to demonstrate the new hypersonic missile rather than videos, fell flat today as the Russian Ministry of Defense posted videos of the successful testing of the Kinzhal aeroballistic hypersonic missile, as we report below.

The response from the criminal gang that constituted the Obama administration—who are increasingly being exposed by courageous members of the U.S. Congress as complicit in the criminal effort by British MI6 to bring down the U.S. government of Donald Trump—have now shown their hand completely, setting up a new organization called “National Security Action.” The organization, a virtual who’s who of the Obama Administration, is explicitly aimed at removing Trump from the presidency, and returning to Obama’s preparation for war against Russia and China. Composed of 68 of the leading members of the Obama administration (they should be dubbed “The 68ers” in honor of the unleashing of the counterculture in the 1960s, which drove the country into economic and social disintegration), their policy documents declare Trump “unfit to lead,” that he is “reckless” for exposing and cleaning out the corruption in the FBI and elsewhere, and, most blatantly, that “Instead of confronting Vladimir Putin over his brazen and ongoing attack on our democracy, Trump bows to the whims of Moscow,” and refuses to “stand up to China.” While Trump’s visit to Beijing last November brought home $283 billion in Chinese investments in U.S. infrastructure, industry and agriculture, as part of Trump’s dedication to restore the American economy, the pathetic “68ers” ignore that, and only complain (falsely) that the “Trump family businesses received special deals after Trump met with the Chinese President.”

Ironically, one of their complaints is that “Trump’s erratic behavior has raised the risk of a catastrophic conflict with North Korea.” This document was released on Feb. 27, only days before the historic March 8 breakthrough in resolving the Korea crisis, when Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong-un for denuclearization talks. It was the Obama administration which refused to talk to North Korea—in fact, they welcomed North Korea building nuclear weapons, as that served as an excuse for the massive nuclear weapon and missile system buildup around China, known as Obama’s “pivot to Asia.” Trump has declared the “pivot” to be finished, and achieved the breakthrough in Korea by working closely with China and Russia. So who “raised the risk of catastrophic conflict,” and is still doing so today?

The fact is, the Silk Road Spirit is winning, and those nations which are being left behind have only themselves to blame, for clinging to the City of London and Wall Street, rather than listening to the wise words of Lyndon LaRouche to restore the American System of physical economy and join the New Silk Road.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Senators Urge Trump Administration To Rush New Strategic Talks with Russia

March 9 (EIRNS)—Four U.S. Senators urged the Trump Administration to begin a new round of strategic talks with Russia without delay in a March 8 letter.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov already responded today, from his visit in Ethiopia, saying “We have always stood out for further dialogue on strategic stability between Russia and the United States.”

The four Senators, Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “A U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent, following President Putin’s public address March 1, when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing, including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone, which are not currently limited by the New START treaty, and would be destabilizing if deployed.”

The Senators’ letter acknowledged that the U.S. had disagreements with Russia on various matters, including alleged violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections and foreign policy matters. “However, it is due to these policy rifts, not in spite of them, that the United States should urgently engage with Russia to avoid miscalculation and reduce the likelihood of conflict,” the Senators wrote.

The letter continues that the INF Treaty can resolve an alleged “violation by Russia through existing INF Treaty provisions or new mutually acceptable terms.” The letter also states that the New START treaty which entered into force in 2011, and which provides thousands of data exchanges and on-site inspections, “could also govern two of the new types of nuclear weapons referenced by President Putin on March 1.”

The letter concludes: “There is no guarantee that we can make progress with Russia on these issues.  However, even at the height of Cold War tensions, the United States and the Soviet Union were able to engage on matters of strategic stability. Leaders from both countries believed, as we should today, that the incredible destructive force of nuclear weapons is reason enough to make any and all efforts to lessen the chance that they can never be used again.”

Oleg Deripaska Fingers Soros

March 10 (EIRNS)—Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch provoking curiosity from Robert Mueller, Judicial Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, British intelligence, and others, wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller on March 8, in which he had some interesting things to say.  Deripaska largely blames Russiagate on the necessity of increasing defense budgets by 2% in the West in order to fund the military-industrial complex.  Under conditions of trillion-dollar debts in Western economies you need a bogeyman to pull that off.  Enter the Putin villain, Deripaska argues.

In support of this thesis, he cites Victoria Nuland’s speech at the Feb. 16-18 Munich Security Conference in which she stated that, on behalf of a panel of U.S. Senators, “We are Deep-State proud loyalists giving a broad message about continuity.”  He notes that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse reiterated Nuland’s theme saying that what the unwashed call the Deep State is really a band of “knowledgeable professionals.”

He then states that Daniel Jones, the former FBI agent and former lead staffer of Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Intelligence Committee told Deripaska’s Washington lawyer and lobbyist, Adam Waldman, that Fusion GPS was funded by Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros.  He says that his lawyer testified to this conversation with Jones before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov. 3.

Deripaska calls Jones a “Fusion GPS associate” in his op-ed. Jones’ investigative firm, Penn Quarter, has been widely reported to be leading an investigation to substantiate Christopher Steele’s bogus dossier.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is interested in Deripaska because of his longstanding relationship to Paul Manafort and the belief in British circles that Deripaska is Putin’s favorite oligarch and has some sort of relationship to Trump’s circles. Grassley is interested in Deripaska for the same reasons but with the added factor that Adam Waldman, Deripaska’s D.C. lobbyist, is also a close friend of Christopher Steele’s. There are indications that Deripaska himself is a client of Steele’s British intelligence front.

It is clear that Tom Steyer, the Silicon Valley billionaire leading the national impeachment effort against Trump has been a client of Fusion GPS in the past.  The Soros angle would be most explosive if proven true. Thus far, the only response to the column from that front has been a Media Matters condemnation of the Daily Caller and Matt Drudge for posting Deripaska’s “Russian propaganda.”  Media Matters, of course, is significantly funded by George Soros.

President Putin Reveals His Insights on President Trump to NBC’s Megyn Kelly

March 10 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin made several interesting comments on President Donald Trump and U.S.-Russian relations in his exclusive March 1-2 interview with NBC News’s Megyn Kelly, that was broadcast on as “Confronting Putin,” on March 9.

“Despite the fact that he is a first-time President, he is a quick study and he understands very well that this level, where we are, engaging in mutual accusations, this is a road to nowhere,” he said.

Putin replied to a question whether Trump was an effective leader: “He clearly has leadership qualities. They are clearly present because he takes responsibility for making decisions…. This is undoubtedly a sign of having leadership qualities.”

As for claims that Trump treats him with reverence, Putin replied, “I don’t think he treats me personally with reverence. I believe that he is an experienced person. He’s a businessman with vast experience. And he understands that if it is necessary to establish a cooperative relationship with someone then you have to treat your current or potential partner with respect. Otherwise nothing will come of it. I think this is a purely pragmatic approach.”

Asked if he ever reads Trump’s tweets, Putin replied, “No,” and said he never uses Twitter because he has “other ways of expressing my point of view or implementing a decision. Donald is a more modern individual.”

Denying repeatedly that he gave orders to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election (Kelly ignored his denials, asking over and over again why he “meddled” in the U.S. election), Putin stated, “No, we don’t encourage them and we don’t order them.”

Referring to the individuals who were indicted by Mueller, he said, “You tell me they are Russians. So what? Maybe, being Russian, they were working for some kind of an American company,” Putin said.

On the anti-Russia sanctions, Putin countered, “Listen, sanctions have nothing to do with the myth of some Russian interference in the U.S. election. Sanctions are about something else entirely: The desire to halt Russia’s progress, to contain Russia. This policy of containing Russia has been pursued for decades, on and off. Now it is back. It is a misguided policy, which not only affects Russian-U.S. relations but also U.S. businesses because it frees up space for their competitors on our market.

“I think it is impossible to contain Russia anywhere. You need to understand this. Listen, you cannot even contain North Korea.” As for Russia being contained by cyber-warfare, Putin retorted, “What are you talking about? Why would you do that? Why do we have to contain, attack or cast suspicion on each other? We are offering cooperation.”

U.S. Emergency Room Visits Show Sharp Rise of 50-80% from Opioid Overdoses

March 10 (EIRNS)—Data from hospital emergency rooms on the visits from opioid overdose cases, show a rise of 30% to 100% from September 2016 to September 2017, according to an analysis of 52 jurisdictions in 45 states, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released March 6. The average is 35%.

Sub-patterns were also analyzed, which show that the highest jump in emergency room opioid cases was for large central metropolitan areas, with an urban center population over 1 million, where there were rates over 50%.

Another pattern showed significant increases in all states reporting in the Midwest, including Wisconsin (109%), Illinois (66%), Indiana (35%), Ohio (28%), and Missouri (21%.)

In the Northeast, Delaware had a 105% increase in opioid overdose ER visits, and Pennsylvania, 81%.

The comparative rates of year-on-year increase of opioid ER visits among the five large regions of the 48 states are: Midwest (70%), West (40%), Northeast (21%), Southwest (20%), and Southeast (14%.)

CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, MD, in reporting the statistics, said in the March 6 statement, “Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses. This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines, and is still increasing in every region in the United States.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Another British-Saudi Arms Deal, Amid Saudis’ Genocidal War in Yemen

March 10 (EIRNS)—It was no accident that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s first trip to a Western country was to the United Kingdom. According to press reports, he left with a deal for the Saudis to buy 48 Typhoon jets, manufactured by the infamous BAE. It’s so infamous, in fact, that the Guardian was unable to resist reporting that “Arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been dogged by scandal since allegations of illicit payments to land the Al Yamamah contract—Britain’s biggest arms deal, worth £43 billion—surfaced soon after it was sealed in 1985.” It even mentions that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair stopped the Serious Fraud Office investigation in 2006 “after the Saudis threatened to stop sharing intelligence on terrorism.” The Guardian, however, does not go so far as to admit that the Al Yamamah deal produced a $100 billion slush fund that was used to fund Anglo-Saudi covert intelligence operations throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, including the creation of al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and eventually to carry out the 9/11 attack on the U.S.

Otherwise, the press coverage of the Typhoon deal is dominated by the British link to the Saudi war of genocide in Yemen. Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the Campaign Against Arms Trade, is quoted in the Guardian saying that the U.K. has licensed £4.6 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the Yemen war, even before the latest proposed deal. The production contract for the Typhoons has yet to be signed, but Sky News indicates that that would be expected in 2-3 months.

Prime Minister Theresa May defended the U.K.’s ties with Saudi Arabia earlier this week, saying all arms sales are strictly regulated, Sky News reported. Otherwise, even though he had no public events, it appears that MBS, as the Crown Prince is known, was fawned over by the British establishment while in London. His visit was accompanied by “An unusual advertising blitz that saw adverts promoting Prince Mohammad and Saudi Arabia appear in national newspapers and on taxis and electronic billboards across London,” reports Reuters.

Philippines Denounces UN ‘Human Rights’ Chief for Wild Attack on President Duterte

March 11 (EIRNS)—Sounding every bit as hysterical and rabid as the British assets’ attacks on President Trump, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, told a news conference on March 9 that President Duterte “needs to see a psychiatrist.” Al-Hussein has attacked the Duterte government repeatedly for human rights abuses because of the President’s war on drugs, but the current diatribe was prompted because Duterte filed a petition in court calling for 600 people to be declared criminals for their support for the communist insurgency in the country. The list included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, whom Duterte included as a senior member of the country’s Maoist rebel group.

Tauli-Corpuz, a Filipina, has a filthy record going back to the days of President Ferdinand Marcos, when she led campaigns by indigenous groups to stop the development projects sponsored by Marcos. She was exposed by EIR as a front for George Soros in 2009 when she tried to stop dam construction in India on the basis of oppressing indigenous people (see “Pro-Drug Mafia Behind Opposition to Dam-Building in India’s Northeast,” EIR, Nov. 6, 2009)

Al-Hussein said Duterte’s attacks against UN special rapporteurs cannot go unanswered and the UN Human Rights Council must take a position. He said the Philippine leader needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano countered al-Hussein: “The Philippines take grave exception to the irresponsible and disrespectful comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that cast untoward aspersions regarding the President of the Republic of the Philippines.”

The current UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard has also openly organized within the Philippines against Duterte and his effort to crush the drug mafia in the country. The Philippines welcomed a UN investigation into Duterte’s signature war on drugs but rejected Callamard’s involvement, as clearly biased and not qualified.

Cayetano said further about al-Hussein’s attack: “This could set a dangerous precedent that the council would have to immediately address, as otherwise member-states could also fall victim to those who seek to politicize and weaponize human rights to undermine legitimate governments.”

Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said al-Hussein’s language was an affront to Philippine sovereignty.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Some European Union Tariffs Are Higher Than Those in the U.S.

March 10 (EIRNS)—The media are filled with endless stories on President Donald Trump signing off on the plan for a 25% tariff on imports of steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum, as if this were unprecedented. However, the European Union routinely increases tariffs on various imports as it sees fit, not to mention imposing sanctions. Last year the EU slapped a 73% tariff on Chinese steel imports. Except for China, there was not much protest. Furthermore, the U.S. has a 2% tariff on car imports, while the EU has a 10% tariff.

While details still have to be worked out on what countries are exempt, Canada and Mexico are already exempted.

“Steel is steel,” said Trump at the signing ceremony. “Without steel you don’t have a country.”

On the resignation of National Economic Council director Gary Cohn over the issue, Trump remarked on March 8, “This is Gary Cohn’s last cabinet meeting. He’s been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him. I have a feeling you’ll be back.”

More than 100 Republican House members signed a letter on March 7 expressing “deep concern” about the plan. They pressed Trump to change course and “avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers.”

At his European Central Bank press conference in Frankfurt, ECB President Mario Draghi, called unilateral tariff decisions “dangerous.”

China Confirms, Our Loans Never Demand Collateral

March 11 (EIRNS)—China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang sharply rejected a statement by the head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center Zhuang Guotu, in the Global Times regarding loans to the Philippines, that “Chinese loans are usually accompanied by repayment agreements, which use certain natural resources as collateral.” This had provoked concern in the Philippines regarding Chinese loans for infrastructure projects.

Geng Shuang countered Zhuang: “China has never asked and will never ask relevant countries to use natural resources as collateral in loan agreements. In this vein, our assistance and support to the Philippines are provided with no strings attached.” Geng continued that Zhuang “only represents himself, not the official stance of the Chinese government.”

He said further: “China will not link the South China Sea issue with bilateral economic and trade cooperation projects,” and that Beijing fully supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” policy. He said that the Chinese government and financial institutions have also provided financing support to the Philippines, including preferential buyers’ credits, and assisted the Philippines in issuing panda bonds, which effectively ensured the implementation of relevant projects.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Tillerson, State Department Praise China’s Involvement in Africa: ‘China Builds Things’

March 8 (EIRNS)—Both in his March 5 speech at George Mason University before leaving for Africa and in his first remarks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson moderated his statements on China and said the U.S. will help African nations to fight terrorism and integrate their economies through infrastructure development.

“We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,” said Tillerson in a press conference with the head of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki. “It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.”

Tillerson’s approach to China was explained in a briefing by the State Department on March 2, which included an attack but also a recognition of China’s good work. “China builds things,” the official said. “We don’t construct. And so in that regard China can play a helpful role. The other issue, too, is that China has some really good ideas on development in developing areas, such as how to do better healthcare, how to do water production. So those are things that are good. Also China did a good favor for us in Sudan, providing an engineer battalion to provide assistance to the UN operations there.

“So when you look at China, it’s a very complex relationship. We have a lot of areas and issues that we’re in conflict, but the issue comes in is that we’re trying to find the areas where we can build some type of support and cooperation that will be to the betterment of Africa. But one area that’s not to the betterment, is these loan rates, which is terrible.”

The State Department official said that they have invited the Chinese to come to Washington “to talk about their programs in Africa.”

At George Mason University, Tillerson also had praise for Nigeria’s effort in the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram, which had been sabotaged by the Obama administration. “The Multinational Joint Task Force—created by Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Benin, and Cameroon—along with the Group of Five Sahel nations, or the G5—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger—are pooling expertise and resources. Their work is instrumental in achieving African-led solutions to terrorism and instability.”

Tillerson also said that private enterprises can help Africa to develop, “But significant transcontinental infrastructure is necessary to support the development, spur economic growth, and boost intraregional trade on the continent.” On Nigeria, he said that “Nigeria is going to be critical to how Africa succeeds as a continent. And I spoke about the need to integrate African economies more, trade more with the neighbors. I think too often the U.S. in its approach—it’s all been about trading across the transatlantic corridor. We really need to promote African intracontinental trade. That’s actually going to open more opportunities for American investment and participation. So Nigeria is a big country, a very important country to the future of the continent.”

Tillerson has a chance to demonstrate his willingness when he visits in Nigeria on March 12-13 and meets President Muhammadu Buhari, who just presided over the International Conference on Lake Chad, by helping Nigeria in its military efforts to eradicate Boko Haram and eliminating poverty by restoring Lake Chad and building the Transaqua infrastructure.

MIT’s Postol on Putin: Don’t Try for Nuclear Superiority over Russia with Missile Defense

March 9 (EIRNS)—Theodore Postol, professor emeritus of Science, Technology, and International Security at MIT, and a specialist in nuclear weapons systems, BMD and arms control policy, told The Real News in a two-part March 8 interview with Aaron Maté, that Russian Vladimir Putin’s message to the U.S. during his March 1 Address to the Federal Assembly, was that if anyone thinks the U.S. has a first-strike capability against Russia without fear of retaliation, then what Putin unveiled shows that Russia now has weapons systems that U.S. missile defense won’t be able to do anything about.

At the outset of the interview, Postol observed that the U.S. media coverage of Putin’s address got almost nothing about it right. What Putin did was lay out the factual history from the time that the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 ABM Treaty. Not only did Russia oppose that withdrawal, but the Russians tried to make their case from the time the U.S. administration first began talking about withdrawing in 2002, and that nothing Russia said had any effect on U.S. decision-making.  Postol repeatedly stressed the point that no matter what the Russians said about missile defense, the U.S. side simply dismissed every proposal Russia made.

Postol also stressed that what Putin said was that by withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, the U.S. gave the appearance of building a system to prevent a Russian retaliatory strike to a U.S. first strike, and that Putin thinks this was a very bad idea. Putin thinks “it’s very dangerous,” Postol said. “He doesn’t believe the United States could successfully do it [a first strike]. But he intends to make it clearer and clearer through the development of new weapon systems that it will not in any way, either theoretically or otherwise, be possible for the United States to get away with this kind of scenario.”   Postol went on to say that Putin is worried that there are people in the U.S. who think such a scenario is, indeed, possible, and what Putin has made clear is “don’t try.”

Former State Department Northeast Asia Official Extremely Positive on Korea Breakthrough

March 9 (EIRNS)—John Merrill, who resigned as head of the Northeast Asia division at the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) during the Obama Administration, told EIR the agreement by President Trump to meet Kim Jong-un is “extremely good news.” Merrill was a very vocal critic of the Obama “strategic patience” policy, which was to refuse to talk to North Korea, essentially letting them build a bomb, providing an excuse for the “pivot to Asia”—i.e., a U.S. military buildup around China. He has been cautiously optimistic about Trump’s chance of making a breakthrough, and generally agreed with EIR that there had been serious negotiations going on behind the bluster on both sides, while most analysts and news media were completely wrong.

He said that Kim Jong-un, following his last missile test last year (which, if projected differently, could have hit the U.S. mainland), announced that his policy of building a nuclear deterrent had been “completed.” Kim Jong-un’s policy of “dual track”—building a nuclear deterrent and building the economy simultaneously—had become unbalanced, in part because of the sanctions, but in any case, he needed to focus more on the economy.

Merrill’s one concern is that there is not an adequate team in place to handle the intense diplomacy that this will require. He was sorry to see Joseph Yun, the special envoy to North Korea, resign at the end of last month, as he had done much of the back-channel contact work with Pyongyang over the past year. Merrill does have confidence in the acting Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs at State Susan Thornton, but there is no special representative to the North and there is no U.S. Ambassador to Seoul. His concern is that there will be a push from certain circles to appoint someone from the outside who could screw things up—but he’s glad Trump will be personally involved. He said that Trump’s flexibility, much criticized by his opponents, is one of his strong points.

Susan Thornton, it should be noted, after the Trump inauguration last year, said that the U.S. will remain heavily engaged in Asia, but that the pivot was a thing of the past, an Obama policy which was finished. Thornton is a leading China hand, who speaks both Chinese and Russian.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Scientists at MIT Make Progress in Working Towards a Fusion Reactor in 15 Years

March 10 (EIRNS)—Undaunted by the unconscionable shutdown of MIT’s Alcator C-Mod fusion experiment in 2016, MIT scientists have announced that new developments in advanced high temperature superconducting magnets—four times as strong as what is being used now—will lead to smaller, and cheaper, fusion reactors. MIT has been a leader in magnet technology for decades, and the Alcator is a high magnetic field, compact tokamak. MIT President Rafael Reif summarized the development, stating, “This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach.” The higher the magnetic field, the higher the plasma pressure, the closer you are to meeting the criteria for fusion.

The Italian energy firm ENI has invested $50 million in the project, with $30 million going to MIT over the next three years. MIT scientists have also formed Commonwealth Fusion Systems, as a separate commercial entity. The plan is to develop a prototype fusion reactor within the next 10 years, and then a 200 MW pilot plant, by 2033.

Elder statesmen in the fusion community are impressed with the research the MIT scientists continue to carry forward. “If MIT can do what they are saying—and I have no reason to this that they cannot—this is a major step forward,” said Steve Dean, head of Fusion Power Associates. Stewart Prager, former director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, was supportive, saying it is good news that MIT is attracting private capital, but cautioned that private investment cannot make up for the inadequate fusion budget.

Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, said that the MIT scientists hope that their work will generate more government interest in fusion, Nature reports. “If we can change that narrative, we can potentially reinvigorate the rest of the [fusion] program,” he said.

Russian Defense Ministry Airs Test Demonstration of Kinzhal Hypersonic Ballistic Missile

March 11 (EIRNS)— The Russian Defense Ministry reported today that a Russian MiG-31 interceptor jet made a training launch of a Kinzhal aeroballistic hypersonic missile, which hit a target on the test range, TASS reported.

“A MiG-31 fighter crew of the Russian Aerospace Forces made a training launch of a hypersonic missile of the Kinzhal high-precision air missile system in the predetermined area,” the Defense Ministry said. The MiG-31 departed from an airfield in the Southern Military District within the framework of a testing air alert. “The launch was normal; the hypersonic missile hit the preset target on the test site,” the ministry continued.

The airborne-launched Kinzhal (“Dagger”), which President Putin mentioned among a new group of weapons systems in his March 1 annual address to the Federal Assembly, has an effective range of 2,000 km, and can travel at speeds up to Mach 10. It is reportedly equipped with its own radar detection, which provides the missile complex with complete independence and operational activities, making it highly maneuverable.

The ministry press release states the Kinzhal system has been tested 250 times in test flight sorties, under all sorts of weather conditions, during day and night, since the beginning of 2018. The Kinzhal is not just a concept; it is being evaluated for operational ability.

RT’s coverage today included a three-minute Defense Ministry video, which shows an actual Kinzhal test run, from the moment the pilots are scrambled to the high-altitude release of the missile and its firing, to the MiG-31 fighters landing, and interviews one of the pilots.  (https://www.rt.com/news/420947-russian-hypersonic-missile-tests/ )

To the delusional doubters in the West, it calmly makes the point that President Putin announced in his March 1 speech: “nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem, and nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now.”

President Putin stressed that these new weapon systems, which render practically useless the U.S. BMD system, are an overture for peace, and U.S.-Russian discussion.

These new weapon systems, which involve lasers and effectively in-flight, plasma-forming fronts around some of the systems, have potential enormously revolutionary benefits for the civilian physical economy.

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