EIR Daily Alert Service, THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2018

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2018

Volume 5, Number 68

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

The British Empire Is Un-Masked, But Desperate

April 4 (EIRNS)—The British Imperial Lords are in a state of shock. Their frantic effort to save the Empire came crashing down Tuesday when the scientists at Porton Down refused to lie for the Empire—refused to say that the nerve agent in the Skripal case came from Russia. Recall that it was David Kelly, the head of the Defense Microbiology Division at Porton Down and a member of the inspection team in Iraq, who blew the whistle on Tony Blair’s “sexed up” dossier claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. As a scientist he refused to lie. Kelly was “suicided” as a result, and the illegal and genocidal war went on.

This time, neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama are around to provide cover for the Empire’s lies. President Trump, to the dismay of the British and American oligarchs and press whores, has refused to say (or tweet) a word about the Russian role in the Skripal case. He spoke to Putin after the incident without mentioning it, and, just yesterday, told the press yet again that “getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

The Empire is exposed, and badly wounded—but not yet dead, and therefore capable of anything to save itself. Lyndon LaRouche has for fifty years warned Americans and others that the British Empire is not a thing of the past, but is at the center of the financial looting and speculation which has driven the Western financial system to the brink of ruin, while manipulating the “dumb giant” in Washington to fight colonial wars on its behalf, first in Indochina, then in the Middle East. He has also warned that the Empire would prefer a global war, even a thermonuclear war, rather than see their Empire disappear.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche today focused attention on this deadly reality. The Russiagate campaign collapsed, and its perpetrators in MI6 and in the Obama intelligence team are now facing criminal charges for their treasonous acts. Theresa May’s controllers then desperately launched the Skripal incident, and demanded that the Western nations join in blaming Russia, with no evidence whatsoever. Only half the EU nations went along, and, while Trump allowed his Administration to expel Russian diplomats, he himself laid no blame on the Russians, and announced that Moscow could replace their diplomats.

But now, the U.K.’s own chemical weapons experts have exposed the evil and dangerous lying of Prime Minister May and her buffoon of a Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Hysteria reigns in London today. Will the Empire take even more desperate actions, by starting a war? Will they use the impending collapse of the multi-trillion-dollar speculative bubble in the Western financial system, which they created, to that end?

The LaRouche platform—for restoring American System methods and scientific progress in the U.S., and for the U.S. to join the New Silk Road, working with China and Russia in global nation-building, as the United States once espoused—must be embraced and fought for now, today, by every person of good will. The Empire is near defeat, but more dangerous than ever.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Trump Still Won’t Say Putin Is the Enemy

April 4 (EIRNS)—President Trump, during a press appearance with the presidents of the three Baltic states, reiterated his belief that good relations with Russia are necessary. “We want to be able, if possible—and this is speaking with the Baltic States—ideally, we want to be able to get along with Russia. Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he said.

When asked if he wanted Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to the White House, he said, “Now, maybe we will and maybe we won’t. And probably nobody has been tougher to Russia than Donald Trump. If you take a look at our military strength now, which would not have happened had the opponent won; if you take a look at the oil and gas that we’re producing now—we’re independent, we’re now exporting oil and gas—this is not something that Russia wanted.”

But then, an unidentified reporter asked Trump if he thought Putin was “friend or foe.” “We’ll find out.  I’ll let you know,” he said.  “I mean, there will be a time when I’ll let you know. You’re going to find out very quickly.  We’ll see what happens.”

President Says Again He Wants U.S. Troops Out of Syria

April 4 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump said again yesterday that he wants to pull the U.S. military out of Syria. At the same time, two of the people charged with executing U.S. policy against ISIS were contradicting him.

“I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home,” Trump said during a press conference with the three Baltic Presidents. “Sometimes it’s time to come back home. And we’re thinking about that very seriously,” he said. Trump went on to say that the “primary mission” for keeping a military presence in the country was the defeat of the Islamic State, reported Politico.  Given that this task is “almost completed,” Trump said, his administration will look to make a final decision on the status of U.S. troops in the region “very quickly.”

At the U.S. Institute of Peace, Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, and Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, were disagreeing with the President, and were both speaking as if the U.S. military would be remaining in eastern Syria for the indefinite future. “The hard part is in front of us” in Syria as the U.S. seeks to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State, aid in resettling refugees and encourage negotiations to end the seven-year-old civil war, Votel said, reported Military.com. “Of course, there is a military role in this,” he said. “At this point in, we’re probably six to eight months ahead of where we anticipated being” in the campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. “The military success we’ve had is quite extraordinary,” but much remains to be done.

McGurk, for his part, said: “We are committed to finishing the campaign against ISIS. We are ahead of where we thought we would be at this time, but we are not finished  and we will get this job done clearing out those last areas of ISIS. That mission is not over.”

Also worried about Trump’s plans to withdraw from Syria is Benjamin Netanyahu. They spoke by phone yesterday, but a terse statement from the White House did not clarify what developments were addressed or what was said, nor was there any immediate comment from Netanyahu’s office, reports the Times of Israel. It only expressed the continued U.S. commitment to the security of Israel. The call comes with Israel concerned that Trump wants to pull out of Syria, a move that they believe would give greater freedom to Iran, which is seeking to set up a permanent presence there, Times of Israel says.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Imperial Fears Rampant That European ‘Alliance’ against Russia May Be Crumbling

April 4 (EIRNS)—Revealing London’s desperation over the crumbling of its “the Russians did it” offensive, The Times of London today remarked that yesterday’s admission by Porton Down chief executive Gary Aitkenhead that it isn’t possible to determine the origin of the Novichok used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal, “risks undermining the international coalition against Moscow.” An unnamed “senior minister” is quoted complaining about Aitkenhead’s statements: “I’d give them [Porton Down] full marks for their scientific work, but low marks for today’s presentation. This clearly isn’t helpful.”

Indeed. As Sputnik reports today, fears abound that the so-called “unified” European alliance against Russia is in fact falling apart. In addition to remarks made by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) to the effect that Germany wants to maintain a dialogue with Russia, now a CDU leader Armin Laschet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia—Germany’s most populous state—chastised London for demanding the expulsion of Russian diplomats without solid evidence.

In a tweet, Laschet asked, “If you force almost all NATO countries to demonstrate solidarity, shouldn’t you have sound evidence? Regardless of what one thinks about Russia, my study of international law taught me a different way to deal with other states.” According to The Times, Laschet, who is one of five deputy chairmen of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, has previously criticized Russia-bashing and has welcomed Russia’s role in Syria and its unification with Crimea.

Head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Makes Stern Warning of New Cuban Missile Crisis

April 4 (EIRNS)—In strongly worded remarks to the opening ceremony of the Seventh Moscow Conference on International Security, Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), compared the West’s confrontation with Russia, which has escalated over the Skripal poisoning, to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union came close to a nuclear war.

“We need to stop raising the stakes irresponsibly, and projecting power onto inter-state relations, to avoid a new crisis,” he said.  The West’s way of projecting power today is “stunningly hypocritical.”

Naryshkin also described the poisoning in Britain of former Russian military intelligence colonel turned British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, as “a grotesque provocation crudely staged by British and U.S. intelligence agencies.” The West, he charged, is using “Orwellian doublespeak,” investing words with the opposite of their true meaning in order to justify its policies. “The situation is counterintuitive and really dangerous,” he warned, reported RT.

Today, Naryshkin went on, there is a greater need “to reset the international relations system to make it work.” For that to happen, countries would have to abandon their double standards “and start speaking in a truly common language of humanity, before it is too late.” So often, he said, “big talk about human rights and democracy was accompanied by military interventions into sovereign nations. Those nations were plunged into bloody chaos that had no place for such a fundamental right as a right to live. Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of innocent people fell victim to NATO aggression in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.”

In an implied reference to the emergence of a new paradigm that the West is ignoring, the SVR chief also admonished that Western nations “cannot and will not face the truth and acknowledge that their own influence, which used to go unchallenged, is now diminishing. They are still trying to build relations with other nations based on old principles rooted in colonialism, on coercion and dictates.” The West is targetting Russia with wild accusations, because it perceives Russia as “a driver for change.”

Washington’s fixation with the fight “against a non-existent, so-called Russian threat … has reached such proportions and acquired such absurd characteristics that it’s possible to speak of a return to the dark times of the Cold War,” Naryshkin asserted.

Moscow International Security Conference Opens

April 4 (EIRNS)—The Seventh Moscow International Security Conference opened this morning, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, with 850 guests participating, including defense ministers and delegations of military departments, experts and academicians from 95 countries. The heads of the following international organizations will address the forum—the United Nations; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; Collective Security Organization; Shanghai Security Organization; Commonwealth of Independent States; and International Community of the Red Cross. More than 700 representatives of domestic and foreign mass media have registered to report on the conference.

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, opened the conference by reading a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he reported that ISIS, despite its military defeat in Syria and Iraq, “retains its significant destructive potential, it can change its tactics and launch attacks in different countries and regions in the world.” Putin stressed that it is now necessary to think about new forms of “multilateral cooperation.” It would allow the parties “to consolidate the success” achieved in the fight against terrorism and “to prevent the further spread of this threat.”

Putin told the conference that the practice of some countries of violating national sovereignty on the pretext of fighting terrorism is inadmissible. “It is important to organize international cooperation in order to terminate the activity of foreign terrorists, including those returning from flashpoints and the effective sharing of information on these terrorists, their movements and plans,” he said. “Countries outside the region should not be allowed to intervene in sovereign states’ domestic affairs under the pretext of the war on terror.”

Aleksandr Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), warned that ISIS and al-Qaeda may merge into one terrorist group that would have cells across the globe and would be able to produce chemical weapons. “Such an organization would have sleeper and active cells in many countries around the world with considerable experience of conducting military and subversive actions in field and city conditions, technologies and infrastructure to produce real rather than fake chemical weapons,” he said, reported RT.

Presidents of Turkey, Russia, and Iran Reaffirm Commitment to Syrian Ceasefire Process

April 4 (EIRNS)—The Presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran, the three countries that are the guarantors of the ceasefire process in Syria, met today for their second trilateral summit on Syria. The three Presidents—Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Hassan Rouhani of Iran—issued a statement emphasizing that the Astana format of ceasefire negotiations in Syria has been the only effective international initiative that had helped reduce violence across Syria and had contributed to peace and stability in Syria, giving impetus to the Geneva process in order to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict.

According to the statement, published on the official Iranian Presidential website, the three presidents “Emphasized their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-sectarian character of Syria.” They therefore “rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combatting terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries.”

With respect to the political process within Syria, the three Presidents “Expressed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict could be ended only through a negotiated political process.” They also “Reiterated the necessity to assist the Syrians in restoring the unity of their country and in achieving a political solution of the ongoing conflict through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process based on the free will of the Syrian people and leading to a constitution enjoying the support of the Syrian people….”

On terrorism, they “Reaffirmed their determination to continue their cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL….” In this respect, separating armed opposition groups from terrorist groups “bore utmost importance with respect to preventing civilian casualties.”

The three Presidents also “Called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase its assistance to Syria by sending additional humanitarian aid, facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage.”

Jeremy Corbyn: Boris Johnson Has ‘Egg on His Face,’ Lied about Alleged Russian Novichok

April 4 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Sky News today, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn argued that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson “has serious questions to answer,” given that his claim on German TV two weeks ago that Britain’s Porton Down had assured him “categorically” that Russia was the source of the Novichok nerve agent used to poison the Skripals, has now been disproven by Porton Down itself. Speaking with Sky News a day earlier, Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, stated that DSTL had not be able to prove that Russia was the source of the Novichok.

So, Corbyn asked, where does that leave Boris Johnson? “With egg on his face.” The Foreign Secretary “seems to have completely exceeded the information he’d been given and told the world, in categorical terms what he believed had happened, and it’s not backed up by the evidence he claimed to have gotten from Porton Down.” Corbyn also pointed out that initially, the Foreign Office put out a tweet supporting what Johnson said, but when Porton Down said “it couldn’t and wouldn’t identify where [the nerve agent] came from, the Foreign Office deleted the tweet!” So, Johnson “needs to answer some questions,” Corbyn emphasized, because “there were clearly huge inconsistencies” in his story.

Amidst calls in social media for Johnson’s resignation from the Tory government, other Labour leaders are also speaking out. In an interview with BBC’s Radio 4 “Today” program, shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott commented that “it doesn’t surprise me Porton Down is saying this because the security services were always very cautious in what they said. What surprised me was that so many were willing to rush into the media and say unequivocally that it was Putin. That’s not necessarily what we were told.” Abbott also said that the opposition Labour Party was correct in not rushing to judgment when this poisoning story first came out in early March.

Johnson, meanwhile, is sputtering to anyone who will listen that Corbyn is “siding with the Russian spin machine” over the poisoning of the Skripals, “and trying to discredit the U.K. over the Salisbury attack,” the Telegraph reported. Attempting to explain the deletion of its initial tweet backing Johnson, a Foreign Office spokesman limply explained that it had been an “inaccurate summary” of remarks made by the British ambassador in Moscow.

Putin Presidential Spokesman: Theresa May and Boris Johnson Must Apologize to Russia

April 4 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the Porton Down revelation, that they have no evidence that Russia produced the nerve agent in the Skripal case: “London somehow will have to offer its apologies to the Russian side, but obviously it is going to be a long story and the idiocy of it has gone too far. The British Foreign Secretary, who accused President Putin, and the British Prime Minister will have to look in the eyes of their EU colleagues after telling them what they said. The situation was iniquitous for us from the very beginning. And now there emerges evidence that these mad accusations the British side voiced just a few hours after the incident are based on nothing.”

Putin himself said today in Ankara that he hoped a line could be drawn under the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, at the Geneva meeting today of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. “We have raised 20 questions for discussion. I hope that during this discussion a final line on what has happened will be drawn,” he said. “We are interested in a full-fledged investigation. We want to be allowed into this investigation and we count on receiving relevant materials as the issue involves citizens of the Russian Federation [Sergei and Yulia Skripal]. I want to add that according to international experts’ data there are around 20 countries capable of producing such neuro-paralytic substances,” Putin said.

The Russian Embassy in London said April 3: “We understood from the very start that U.K. government statements on the nerve agent having been produced in Russia were a bluff. Now this has been confirmed by the head of the secret lab,” referring to Porton Down.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Tariffs and Prospects for U.S.-China Economic Negotiations

April 4 (EIRNS)—The United States and China have now each announced planned—but not yet implemented—25% tariffs on $50-60 billion of each other’s exports. The U.S. list includes more than 1,000 Chinese products—including some on the country’s “Made in China 2025” priority list for technology leadership, and for which the United States is a critical export market. The Chinese list includes 106 products, and includes soybeans, a critical export for U.S. farmers, as well as autos and auto parts, older versions of Boeing aircraft, and chemicals. The lists include many types, models and varieties of the same product, each itemized separately.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) last night reported that negotiations to avoid a trade battle are taking place between officials of the U.S. Treasury and Chinese Ministry of Commerce. These have not been officially announced, although the new head of the Trump’s National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, responded to questions by U.S. News & World Report on April 3 that the broad list of tariffs on Chinese products may not be imposed, and are the “basis for negotiations to get China to level the playing field for U.S. businesses.” He also said, “The Trump administration is focused on growing the U.S. economy. Sometimes the path to this kind of growth is a little rocky. That’s the way the world works.” U.S. GDP growth has been at a 2.3-2.5% annual rate since President Trump took office, higher than Obama stagnation but still low.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had said March 25 that the intention of tariffs on China was to trigger a negotiated agreement to lower China’s trade surplus with the United States, currently about $360 billion/year. As China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai both responded, this requires raising total trade between the two countries: more American high-technology exports to China, and more production in the United States by Chinese industrial companies.

These in turn, could be driven by a high-technology infrastructure-building program on the part of the United States, in which China could invest. This is part of EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” economic proposal.

One member of Trump’s team, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, has previous experience. Lighthizer was Ronald Reagan’s Deputy Trade Representative and vice chairman of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and on his recommendation Reagan imposed significant tariffs in 1983 on auto exports from Germany and Japan. The ultimate result was that German and Japanese automakers set up production facilities in the U.S., and American carmakers did the same in Europe and then in Asia.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Chinese President Xi Jinping To Keynote the Boao Forum April 8

April 4 (EIRNS)—It was announced today by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi that President Xi Jinping will give the keynote speech at this year’s Boao Forum for Asia, in Boao, Hainan, which will take place from April 8-11.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up. Xi will review the 40-year process and “announce the country’s new opening-up measures,” Global Times reports, and “reassure the world amid rising protectionism and bolster global confidence in China’s economy.”

Wang Yi said, “China has entered a new era and is now positioned at the start of a new development phase.”

The Boao Forum for Asia has met every year since 2002, and is known as the “Asian Davos.” Over 2,000 guests from all over the world are expected to attend.

OTHER

Military Faction Demands Brazil’s Ex-President Lula Be Jailed on Eve of High Court Habeas Ruling

April 4 (EIRNS)—Brazil’s Army Commander Gen. Eduardo Villas Boas yesterday raised the specter of a military intervention, should the Supreme Court accept former President Lula da Silva’s appeal for habeas corpus today, and not order him to jail immediately. Lula is the latest target in the “Lava Jato” color revolution underway in Brazil, which succeeded in toppling President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. As EIR was first in breaking the story, that Lava Jato operation is being run by the same network in the U.S. Department of Justice that is also trying to overthrow the government of Donald Trump in the U.S.

In a tweet last night, General Villas Boas wrote that the army was “attentive to its institutional missions” and that “I assure the nation that the military, along with all good citizens, shares the desire of repudiation of impunity and respect for the Constitution, social peace and democracy.”

The import of the general’s tweet was lost on no one in Brazil, and caused an uproar across the political spectrum. The head of the Air Force issued a statement disagreeing with General Villas Boas’ comments; the Defense Minister said there was nothing wrong with what he had tweeted; the head of the Western Military Command also backed him up; a large grouping of lawyers and politicians denounced this as the worst threat to democracy in Brazil since the 1964 military coup; and so on.

Perhaps the most revealing response came from the Lava Jato judge in Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Bretas, who retweeted General Villas Boas’ threat along with an applause emoticon, adding that he disagreed with those saying that the general’s comments amounted to a threat to carry out a military coup. Judge Bretas is notorious in Brazil for handing down a vicious 45-year sentence as part of the Lava Jato prosecution against Adm. Othon Pinheiro, revered throughout Brazil and especially among nationalist military layers as the father of Brazil’s nuclear program.

The DOJ’s Lava Jato operation is succeeding in its assigned mission of destroying the Brazil’s institutions, and of dangerously polarizing the country. General Villas Boas is part of a right-wing liberal grouping in the military, who favor British free trade and knee-jerk anti-communism. That grouping has been growing more and more vociferous of late, which includes having a group of top retired officers meet a week ago with “social media” representatives organizing against Lula, in order to map out a strategy of street demonstrations and other protests to insist that Lula be jailed.

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