History Will be Measured by Humanity’s Decisions Today
April 11 (EIRNS)—Tens of thousands of the emergency LaRouche PAC statement, “Enough! Call Congress and Your Senator and Tell Them To Shut Down Robert Mueller, Stop the British Drive to War,” have been distributed and emailed across the country in the past 48 hours. Circles around President Trump in particular are being alerted to the danger. The totally transparent manufacture of a fake chemical weapons story in Syria, by British “White Helmet” assets within the jihadi networks, lacking any evidence or motive on behalf of Syria and Russia, has been used to drive President Trump away from carrying out his stated intentions: to make friends with Russia and China, and pull the U.S. military forces out of Syria, ending the insane and genocidal “regime change” wars once and for all.
The impact of the LaRouche movement’s intervention should not be underestimated. The statement points to the war hysteria, and the blatant FBI raid on Trump’s personal lawyer under Robert Mueller’s direction, stressing: “These two outrageous events are completely related. Unless you rise up with us right now to stop it, this country is in grave, graver peril. The outright attempt to blackmail this President into the war he was elected to stop has been escalated beyond anyone’s imagination.”
President Trump appears to be getting the message—that the war provocations are being run by the same British assets who are running the Russiagate coup attempt against him. Although he issued a belligerent tweet this morning, saying that missiles would soon be flying, and denouncing Russia and Assad for the supposed chemical weapon attack, he soon followed with two more tweets, saying that there is “no reason for” the current severe crisis between the U.S. and Russia, and that the two nations need to work together on both economic and strategic issues. Trump concludes: “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!”
President Putin today, speaking to new foreign ambassadors arriving in Russia, spoke calmly: “Indeed, the state of affairs in the world is a cause for concern. The situation in the world is becoming more chaotic, nevertheless we still hope that common sense will eventually prevail, and that international relations will take a constructive course, and the entire world system will become more stable and predictable…. As for Russia, we will continue to consistently advocate the strengthening of global and regional security and stability and continue to rigorously comply with our international obligations, and build cooperation with our partners in a constructive and respectful manner, guided by international legal standards and the UN Charter. We will promote the world’s positive, forward-looking agenda and work to ensure the sustainable development, prosperity and well-being of humankind.”
This “forward-looking agenda” is now embraced by the majority of the nations of the world, in the form of participation in the New Silk Road initiated by China, and in the defense of sovereignty over foreign-sponsored terrorists—be it from the Saudis or the British or the British assets in the U.S. Uniting the world in the spirit of the New Silk Road, to end poverty and war, is no longer just a dream—the new paradigm is within our grasp, if the dying beast of the British Empire and its bankrupt financial powers can be put to its final rest, freeing the people of the world to work in harmony. The British people themselves are increasingly aware of this fact, as the population, and even MPs from both Labour and the Tory side, are denouncing Tony Blair’s and Theresa May’s lying drive for war, based on the same lies about weapons of mass destruction used by Blair to launch the Iraq war, the mother of today’s misery and chaos across Southwest Asia.
Spread the LaRouche PAC statement everywhere, and mobilize people of good will around the world to join us in this moment of decision for the future of mankind.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Nunes Threatens To Impeach FBI Head Wray and Deputy AG Rosenstein over Documents
April 11 (EIRNS)—Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, threatened yesterday on Fox News that he would impeach FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should they continue to withhold the documents that in 2016 launched the FBI’s probe of alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
Other GOP legislators are backing Nunes’ demand that the documents be handed over immediately.
Speaking to Fox News, Nunes said “we’re not going to just hold in contempt, we will have a plan to hold in contempt and impeach.” Nunes has been trying to obtain, unsuccessfully, the unredacted, two-page document which the FBI used to launch its investigation of Trump, despite a subpoena and demands dating back to August 2017. Today is the deadline which Nunes established, by which he expects to receive the unredacted document. The decision on contempt will depend on whether Wray and Rosenstein comply.
Last December, in an attempt to divert attention away from the Steele dossier, the New York Times reported on the document, claiming that the investigation of Trump was launched based on an intelligence tip that the drunken twit George Papadopoulos had revealed to an Australian diplomat, that Russia had obtained dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Any attempt to impeach either Wray or Rosenstein would have to first be approved by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who today announced that he would not run to retain his seat this year.
Flash—Rosenstein released the unredacted document to Nunes this afternoon.
FBI Whistleblower: Raid on Michael Cohen’s Office To Divert from Crumbling Russiagate Probe
April 11 (EIRNS)—Former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley told Sputnik Radio’s “Loud and Clear” program that yesterday’s raid on the home and offices of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is related to the fact that Mueller’s Russiagate investigation is falling apart.
The raid suggests that Mueller’s investigation “appears to have gone up in smoke,” Rowley remarked. “Michael Cohen is involved with Trump, who has a lot of issues … one issue that has gotten lost in the mix is Russia collusion. This all started out of these allegations [but] in respect to Trump, it seems to have really gone up in smoke.”
Rowley further said, “I think the way Mueller would fit into this picture … is that if the FBI … gets Cohen to plead…. If they threaten him for a significant prison sentence, it will then be in Cohen’s interest to plead guilty. The first thing [the FBI] is going to ask him is if Trump knew about the non-disclosure agreement” with porn star Stormy Daniels.
The FBI would say that “this is something we have to send back to the Special Counsel. That’s how it would work,” Rowley pointed out. She agreed that much of what’s been going on is a witch hunt aimed at Trump, even though it wouldn’t be hard to dredge up “all sorts of things [on Trump] … but it’s not too different from many other former Presidents,” including Bill Clinton and even John Kennedy. “History is repeating, because it doesn’t look like there’s much evidence, if any, on Russian collusion, which is how this all started…and now it’s morphing into this sex scandal and improper payments.”
Russian Ambassador to Beirut Misreported by Hezbollah Saying Russia Will Defend Syria from Aggression
April 11 (EIRNS)—According to RT, Russia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin was quoted by Lebanon’s Al Manar TV network (run by Hezbollah) saying: “The Russian forces will confront any U.S. aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads.” President Trump responded to this with a tweet threatening to send missiles.
However, Zasypkin said he was referring to a statement made by Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, on March 13, in which he referred only to an attack on Russian forces in Syria, not any attack on Syria. Gerasimov had said that “in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles.”
Vladimir Frolov, a foreign affairs analyst in Moscow, told Britain’s Guardian that he believed the Ambassador’s remarks were mistranslated, and said that the Russian envoy had referred directly to Moscow’s stated policy, which is specific to a threat to Russian forces.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russian Defense Official: No Evidence Exists of Syrian Chemical Attack
April 11 (EIRNS)—In statements reported today by Sputnik, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department, reported that the day after the alleged April 7 chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, Russian experts in radiation, chemical, and biological defense were on the scene of the attack to analyze soil specimens and fragments from the “so-called place of the alleged chemical weapons attack.” The specialists’ analyses “showed the absence of nerve agents and chlorine-containing poisonous substances.”
“As a result of the examination of the territory, the visit to the medical facility shown on the set of the White Helmets, the interview of the medical staff and patients, neither facts of the use of poisonous substances nor injured among the inhabitants of this city were detected,” the general stated.
He also reported that, beginning April 12, Russian military police will be deployed to Douma, in order to provide security, maintain law and order, and “organize assistance to the local population.”
General Poznikhir recalled what has been reported previously, that on March 3, underground tunnels were discovered in the town of Hazram, “which turned out to be a militant workshop for the backyard production of explosives with poisonous substances.” He also charged that the current alleged chemical attack was “staged and filmed” by the “notorious” White Helmets “who operate as part of a terrorist group.”
Is Theresa May Looking for Real Evidence or Worried about Embarrassment in Parliament?
April 11 (EIRNS)—The Times of London reported early this morning that British Prime Minister Theresa May had told U.S. President Donald Trump, during a phone call yesterday, that Britain would need more evidence of a suspected chemical attack by the Assad regime before joining a military strike. The presence of OPCW inspectors in Douma, the Damascus suburb where the chemical weapons attack allegedly took place, is given as the reason for rejecting any swift attack. The Times reports that Trump did not ask May for U.K. participation in air strikes.
“Mr. Trump had promised on Monday that he would decide the U.S. response within 48 hours. As that deadline approached, it appeared that he too was drawing back from an imminent strike,” the Times further reports.
News updates since report that May is inclined to launch a missile attack on Syria but wants to avoid the embarrassing defeat that opponents of the missile strike in 2013 handed to then-Prime Minister David Cameron, a “defeat [that] still burns in Tory memories,” reports the BBC. The Guardian reports that May has not ruled out committing the U.K. to join the U.S. in any attack without consulting the Parliament, but claims that the process is really driven from Washington, by President Trump’s pressing for quick action. This should remind everyone of the fraudulent claim that Tony Blair was George Bush’s “puppy dog” in the war on Iraq in 2003, whereas the opposite was clearly the case.
May and ministers allied with her are said to be making the argument that Parliament should not stand in the way of quick action against Syria.
Mattis Says U.S. Military Still Assessing Intelligence on Alleged Chemical Attack
April 11 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense James Mattis is at the very least expressing caution about the possibility of U.S. military strikes in Syria in the wake of the hysteria over the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7. Today, during a brief press appearance with Netherlands Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, Mattis refused to blame the Assad government of Syria for the alleged chemical attack.
“We’re still assessing the intelligence ourselves, and our allies. We’re still working on this,” he said. As for whether or not the U.S. military is ready for action in Syria, he said: “We stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate, as the President determines.”
According to a report in Politico, Mattis has been pushing President Donald Trump and his advisors to look beyond the “spray and pray” approach of cruise missile attacks to consider what the U.S. is trying to achieve in Syria and whether it has a plan to achieve those aims.
“Mattis will not want a strike if it doesn’t combine with an overall strategy toward Syria, which this administration does not have,” James Jeffrey, who was ambassador to Iraq at the time that Mattis was head of U.S. Central Command, told Politico. Jeffrey also said that he thinks Mattis is worried about losing focus on North Korea, which could result from an attack Syria.
Former U.K. Diplomats Decry ‘Stampede to War’ over Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack
April 11 (EIRNS)—RT today reports on extensive comments from the U.K.’s former Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, and former U.K. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, pointing to the “dodgy” evidence of an alleged Syrian government chemical weapons attack in Douma.
Ford was quoted from a “heated” debate on BBC Radio Scotland, in which he said he doubted that President Bashar Assad had committed the alleged attack: “We have to engage our brains as well as our emotions here, not be stampeded by those videos which are described as being unverified, but which, by dint of being repeated over and over again, come to acquire a spurious credibility,” Ford stated. “We have to ask ourselves, what are the sources in this stampede to war?”
The only correct response, he remarked, is to get inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the site of the alleged attack. He also said that in August 2016, jihadis mounted a chlorine gas attack and “tried to make it look like a regime operation.” Today, he said, “mark my words, [the jihadis will make it look like the regime did it] and it will get the warmongers coming to tell us that Assad is defying us and we must go in more heavily into Syria.” When the hostile BBC host demanded to know what would be the jihadis’ motivation, Ford replied, “A child can see that the intention was to produce hysteria.”
In a post to his own blog, under the headline “The Four Horsemen Gallop By,” Craig Murray charges that Theresa May and the media have moved on from the Skripal case, and are now focused on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. “It … ‘could only be’ by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent,” he points out.
“There is a reckless disregard for evidence based on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinized, the dodgier it seems. Finally, there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply skeptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.
“The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without [UN] Security Council authorization, any such action is illegal in any event.”
Journalist: Jihadis Claim Chemical Attacks Whenever Syrian Army Threatens To Defeat Them
April 11 (EIRNS)—Vanessa Beeley, the English independent journalist who has played a crucial role in exposing the so-called White Helmets as a British intelligence-created pro-terrorist propaganda front, told Sputnik in an interview that the timing of the claims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria always coincides with times that the jihadis are under pressure from Syrian government forces.
“If we were to map the chemical weapon claims in each terrorist-held area undergoing liberation by the Syrian Arab Army, we would clearly see the claims are commensurate with pressure felt by extremist factions, as the Syrian Arab Army closes in on their strongholds,” she explained. “In other words, as the SAA [Syrian Arab Army] nears victory, we are expected to believe they use chemical weapons against civilians in a densely packed urban area as their enemies withdraw into a shrinking combat zone, taking civilians with them as human shields and hostages.”
Sputnik reports, “In essence, she concludes claims of chemical weapon attacks are a ‘propaganda tactic’ employed by terrorist factions to play for time, secure a ceasefire and cultivate calls for a ‘no fly zone’ in Syria—the precursor to ‘humanitarian’ intervention from the international regime-change alliance.”
Unlike most journalists reporting on Syria, Beeley is actually on the ground in Syria and actually visited Eastern Ghouta on April 6, the day before the latest chemical weapons attack claim appeared. Sputnik published two photographs that Beeley took, in what had been a jihadi arms factory, one showing munitions and another showing an improvised guide on how to make chemical bombs.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
U.S. Subprime Debt Bubble More and More Resembles 2007
April 11 (EIRNS)—As EIR has reported, the current shakiness of the U.S. corporate debt and related bubbles as interest rates rise, has seen the big U.S. banks exiting from the most overleveraged debt and offloading it to others: debt securities to investment funds, subprime lending, itself, to “non-bank lenders” or shadow banks. A Bloomberg News article today reports that the latter, direct subprime lending shed by the Wall Street giants, has reached about $350 billion. The meaning of the figure Bloomberg reports is not completely clear, because it may refer to subprime auto loans alone, and not subprime forms of other non-revolving credit such as mortgages. But in any case, it means that major Wall Street banks have managed to shift a bubble of subprime loans about as large as that of subprime mortgages was in 2007 before imploding with multi-trillion-dollar consequences.
The big banks are carrying out their “exit” from subprime by making large “warehouse” loans to non-bank lenders which are usually less capitalized, taking the individual subprime loans these non-banks make as collateral. The loans, themselves, get securitized—usually by the investment banking units of the major banks—and sold to investors.
Were the Glass-Steagall Act in effect now, it would bar the megabanks from lending into securitization operations in this way and thus dumping the losses onto the rest of the trans-Atlantic financial sector, as they notoriously did during 2006-07.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Wells Fargo Bank has had the largest volume of such offloading of subprime, having made $81 billion of loans to shadow lenders. This has become the fourth-largest category of corporate lending for the entire U.S. banking system.
“Loans to nonbank lenders got several banks into trouble during the crisis,” the daily writes. “Montgomery, Alabama-based Colonial Bank, for instance, became one of the largest bank failures of the era after a nonbank mortgage lender misappropriated more than $1.4 billion from its credit facility with the bank, according to the Justice Department. During the housing boom, banks thought they had unloaded the risk of subprime mortgages to other institutions through collateralized debt obligations or vehicles known as conduits. Yet in the stress of the crisis, they found the risk landed back with them.”
This time is different, though. “Banks say that this time around they have figured out how to structure the credits to avoid problems.”
German Economy Will Be Hurt by New Sanctions Against Russia
April 11 (EIRNS)—The Russian German Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK) issued a report April 10 warning of the negative impact for bilateral trade of the imposition of new U.S. sanctions on Russia.
The report specifies that the German economy will lose more than €100 million ($123 million) in the short term. Projects valued at several billion euros could be at risk in the longer term, it warned.
“The growing administrative costs due to additional inspections are an additional obstacle for German business,” it added.
AHK board chairman Matthias Schepp stressed that urgent efforts are needed, “from both Moscow and Washington, as well as from the EU and responsible parties involved in the conflict of states.”
Speaking more broadly, according to Sputnik, the head of Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) urged that existing sanctions on Russia be “critically scrutinized” and partially lifted. VDMA President Carl Martin Welker was quoted by Reuters as saying, “ultimately, economic sanctions have little impact…. We want them critically scrutinized. The things that work should be upheld and others should be loosened if possible.” He expressed the hope that the “fruitful partnership” between Germany and Russia will soon be restored.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Vienna Boys Choir in China To Help Teach Singing, Many Joint Projects in View
April 11 (EIRNS)—China’s Fosun Group conglomerate and the Vienna Boys Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben) signed a cooperation agreement in Beijing which envisages a vast expansion of projects of education in Classical music in numerous Chinese cities. The agreement was signed yesterday in the presence of visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
Following the 2008 “Silk Road” concert tour of the Vienna Boys Choir 10 years ago, about which also a film, “Vienna Boys’ Choir: Silk Road,” was produced, Vienna’s musical input into China has continuously grown. Gerald Wirth, director of the Vienna chorus, has been giving classes to Chinese youth throughout the country in recent years, stressing that the training of one’s voice is good not only for the individual person but also for society as a whole, because it ennobles the character. Ping Gong, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the Fosun Group, agrees: “Music—and in particular singing—is an essential part of human culture. Singing connects peoples.”
China Will Help Africa Green Its Deserts
April 11 (EIRNS)—China has approved a project to offer technological support for the construction of Africa’s Great Green Wall, the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday. Proposed by the African Union in 2007, Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative aims to reverse desertification spreading drought, famine, and poverty through the Sahel region.
According to Lei Jiaqiang, director of the XIEG, China will cooperate with Mauritania, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, among other African countries, to systematically diagnose desertification and the technical needs in the region.
The project will bring China’s desertification-prevention and -control technologies, materials, and products to Africa, and conduct environmental adaptability assessments. It will also include personnel training and capacity building on anti-desertification measures in African countries. Some Chinese enterprises dealing with prevention and control of desertification will also participate in the project.
“We hope to bring China’s wisdom in anti-desertification to Africa and help enhance the capability of desertification prevention in African countries along the Great Green Wall,” Lei said.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Budget Cuts Could Leave NASA with Rovers on Mars That It Can’t ‘Talk To’
April 11 (EIRNS)—Mars exploration on a wing and a prayer. NASA could end up having landers and rovers on Mars with which it can’t communicate, because it doesn’t have enough money to send an orbiter to act as a communications relay. At the present time, NASA has two rovers on Mars: Opportunity and Curiosity. Soon they will be joined by the InSight lander, which is to conduct seismic studies of Mars. Landers and rovers are not equipped with large, heavy communications systems that would allow them to communicate directly with Earth. So, the data they collect and the commands they receive from mission control are conveyed via orbiting relay satellites.
Currently, although NASA has newer orbiters at Mars that can, to varying degrees, serve as communications relays, the workhorses on orbit that were specifically designed as relays, are the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey. They were launched in 2005 and 2001, respectively. Although NASA planetary spacecraft rarely cease operating at their nominal lifetime, perhaps five-years, the Mars exploration program is being asked to depend upon these two aging spacecraft for another decade—and they are already more than a decade old. There are other orbiters, from other countries, that could possibly function as relays, but MRO’s high-speed, high-resolution capabilities are unique.
NASA has had a plan to launch a new orbiter in 2022 as a replacement for MRO. It was to relay data from spacecraft on Mars, and also locate safe landing zones for a later Mars mission to return samples to Earth, slated for the mid-to-late 2020s. The sample-return mission is the priority, but in the budget,s there is no providing funding for both a rover to collect samples and a new orbiter.
Consequently, NASA has been asked to keep MRO operational. Considering its age, and the fact that critical components are already aging, the U.S. could end up blind on future missions to Mars.