It’s Still the British, Stupid!
April 23 (EIRNS)—With the British May government’s outburst of dubious chemical weapons charges and demands for war and confrontation with Russia, the leaders of the nations most important to future human progress, are having to make a choice.
The British demand a new Cold War, or worse, with not only Russia, but China. The nations we have long identified as the key to mankind’s greater future if they cooperate—the United States, China, Russia, and India—have been given the new paradigm for that cooperation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a potentially global program of great projects of new infrastructure.
President Donald Trump stands under threat of being forced from office by attacks, originally set off by British intelligence, for every move toward cooperation, or even negotiation, with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for every move to return to cooperation with China.
The British, abetted by their Saudi ally and by France, have driven every one of the disastrous and perpetual “regime-change” wars which have wrecked Southwest Asia, from Iraq to Libya to Syria and Yemen. EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche stated upon the assassination of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, that the British target was to put the United States into a confrontation with Russia; and that is now clear to all.
To make this choice—and to choose the new paradigm of progress the Belt and Road represents—the leadership of these nations really have to turn to LaRouche’s proposals. Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf of Yemen’s government in Sanaa said Sunday, “I would like to personally salute Mrs. Helga LaRouche, Chairman of the Schiller Institute, who is making great efforts in her campaign of solidarity with us here in Sanaa and who is calling for ending the military aggression, reconstruction of Yemen and making it a pearl in the necklace of the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge.”
In the United States, LaRouche’s proposed “Four Economic Laws To Save the Nation” are a break-up of Wall Street banks; formation of a national credit institution; investment of that credit in the most productive, high-technology new infrastructure; and “Project Apollo” programs to revive space exploration and fusion power development.
Turn to these actions to end a decade of stagnation which began with London’s April February 2009 “G20” meeting, where a policy of indefinite central bank bailouts of London and Wall Street megabanks was embraced by Barack Obama, arm and arm with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
This Spring has made clear the alternative policy, which threatens even nuclear war with Russia and China, comes from London. It’s the British, stupid!
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Lavrov Asserts, U.S.-Led Missile Attack Torpedoed Peace Process in Syria
April 23 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at a press conference in Beijing, issued a very strong statement blasting the U.S., U.K. and France for torpedoing the peace process with their April 13-14 missile attack on Syria. “We are very much concerned over the developments in Syria, because when a major breakthrough not only in the fight against IS but also in the struggle against the remaining terrorists emerged—Eastern Ghouta was liberated from terrorists and real opportunities were created for a constitutional commission to be launched in compliance with the decisions made at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi—that was when a provocation was staged under the pretext of the use of chemical weapons,” Lavrov was quoted by TASS as saying. “I think it should be clear to all impartial observers that this was aimed at disrupting the OPCW investigation and undermining the positive direction that was gaining ground largely thanks to the activities of the guarantor countries of the Astana process.”
Russia’s Delivery of S-300 Air Defense System to Syria Is Still on the Table
April 23 (EIRNS)—Still very much on the table is possible Russian deliveries of the S-300 air defense system to Syria. According to the TASS press review, this morning, this issue which “used to be primarily a political angle,” has almost been resolved as Russia is about to start its deliveries. The report came specifically from Kommersant with reference to military and diplomatic sources.
The Syrian government originally contracted for the S-300 system in 2010, but the Russians later agreed to suspend the deal at the request of Israel. Kommersant indicates, this time around, that if Russia goes ahead with delivery, it’ll be done free of charge. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed today, however, that no decisions have yet been made.
According to the Kommersant account, the S-300s will be used as a basis for the creation of a layered air defense system in Syria as quickly as possible to counteract potential strikes by the U.S.-led coalition and Israel. Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security (and former chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces) Sen. Viktor Bondarev believes that “the presence of efficient defense equipment in any sovereign country will sober up some loose cannons not just among NATO military and high-ranking officers,” according to the Kommersant report.
Initially, plans are to keep Russian military advisors on the ground to coordinate actions of their Syrian counterparts, sources told Kommersant, and that if, for example, Israel decided to attack the S-300’s locations, the consequences “will be catastrophic for all sides.”
Graham Allison: U.S. Trade War against China Could Turn Hot
April 23 (EIRNS)—Graham Allison, the Harvard professor who coined the term “Thucydides trap,” warning of a war between the United States and China, has renewed his admonition in light of the growing indications of a trade war. Allison just returned from a visit to China, where, he wrote on April 20 in National Interest, he “had the opportunity to talk—and listen!—to all the leaders beneath President Xi Jinping.”
Allison acknowledges that President Donald Trump has reason to be concerned with the trade imbalance, and that he had called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to offer Vice Premier and State Councillor Liu He an alternative of sorts by asking China to cut the trade deficit by $100 billion, which Allison says could be done quite easily by buying more American gas and oil. He states that Trump himself is following his normal policy of hard-line positions leading to negotiations, but that China’s America-watchers “are coming to the view that while Trump’s language may be more colorful than that of others, this fundamental reassessment of China has now engulfed the entire Washington political class and national-security community.”
Allison reports that the Chinese point to attacks on China in the City of London’s Economist and by Obama “Asia pivot” architect Kurt Campbell in the March/April Foreign Affairs, saying that the West’s assumptions about China “have turned out to be wrong.” He also states that the liberal establishment, naming Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, are cheering on a trade war policy against China.
He writes: “If Thucydides were watching, he would say that China and the U.S. are right on script sleepwalking towards what could be the grandest collision in history.”
German Public TV Breaks Truth, That Douma Chemical Attack Was Probably Staged
April 23 (EIRNS)—Germany’s national public TV channel ZDF broadcast a report from its correspondent in Douma, April 22, that the “chemical attack” there was considered to be a fake. Uli Gack, ZDF senior correspondent interviewed multiple eyewitnesses concerning the April 7 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria.
ZDF’s leading news program, “Heute” (“Today”), reported, “The world continues to puzzle over whether banned chemical weapons were used in Douma. ZDF correspondent Uli Gack is in Syria for us: ‘You were in a large refugee camp today and talked to a lot of people—what did you hear about the attack there?’ Gack responded, ‘The Douma chemical attack is most likely staged, a great many people here seem very convinced,’ ” according to a report by Zero Hedge yesterday.
Zero Hedge also covers the report from British journalist and Middle East specialist Robert Fisk, writing for the Independent on April 17: “There are many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they never believed in gas stories—which are usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups.” Fisk, who favors regime change, describes that he was shocked by his own findings of the faked chemical attack.
Gack further reported to ZDF that the reason the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors were delayed access to Douma could have been that the area was still partially controlled by the terrorists and considered unsafe. In fact, the OPCW itself, upon leaving Douma, stated that the delay—of nearly a week—was occasioned by the United Nations’ teams checking the area’s safety, and UN officials who held off the OPCW’s go-ahead to Douma.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
In Fed-Speak, Fed Governor Warns of Banking Crisis
April 23 (EIRNS)—Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard gave a speech in Washington, D.C., on April 19 on the U.S. economy and the future policy of the Fed. Brainard is considered a monetary policy “dove,” and has spoken against any but the most gradual possible increases in short-term interest rates in recently years; but she was describing a policy of the Fed raising rates at a steadily increasing rate. At the same time, she was warning about this, in her speech, “Safeguarding Financial Resilience through the Cycle.”
While citing statistics and saying that “cyclical conditions have been strengthening” in the economy—as officials have claimed for nearly a decade—Brainard pointed to “elevated asset prices” and “overleverage,” too much corporate debt.
In fact, she gave what is, for a Fed governor, a fairly detailed warning that a default wave is threatening overleveraged corporate debt. Using the required understatement, Brainard said, “Business leverage outside the financial sector has risen to levels that are high relative to historical trends. In the non-financial business sector, the debt-to-income ratio has increased to near the upper end of its historical distribution, and net leverage at speculative-grade [junk-rated] firms is especially elevated.” There has already been a 60% increase in bankruptcies of non-financial companies from March 2017 to March 2018.
Brainard concluded, with the level of understatement becoming extreme: “As we have seen in previous cycles, unexpected negative shocks to earnings in combination with increased interest rates could lead to rising levels of delinquencies among business borrowers and related stresses to some banks’ balance sheets.”
In other words, when the Fed blows up this corporate hyperleverage bubble while trying to reduce it with rate hikes, the banking system will go into crisis again. The European Central Bank pointed to the same crisis when its governors said, last week, that the reduction of its “QE” program from €80 billion to €60 billion a month would have to be put off.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Yemen’s Foreign Ministry Celebrates Silk Road on Chinese-Language Day, Praises Schiller Institute
April 23 (EIRNS)—The Yemeni Foreign Ministry in Sanaa hosted a major event April 22, to celebrate the International Chinese-Language Day. The event which was co-organized by the Ministry and the friend of the Schiller Institute, Fouad Al-Ghaffari’s Yemeni Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS (YAOCB), was keynoted by Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf, who referenced the China-Arab World Policy Paper (2016), pledging to cooperate with China to join the Belt and Road Initiative. Sharaf, spoke in front of massive banner carrying the Foreign Ministry’s logo, the World Land-Bridge map as designed by the Schiller Institute, and pictures of important persons such as Helga Zepp-LaRouche and a text in Arabic and Chinese stating: “Toward Cooperation with China To Eliminate Poverty.”
The Foreign Minister thanked Mrs. LaRouche in the conclusion of his statement saying: “I would like to personally salute Mrs. Helga LaRouche, Chairman of the Schiller Institute, who is making great efforts in her campaign of solidarity with us here in Sanaa and who is calling for ending the military aggression, reconstruction of Yemen and making it a pearl in the necklace of the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge.”
In his speech, Sharaf commended the project launched by the YAOCB and Al-Ghaffari to put together a special report for reconstruction of Yemen and connecting it to the BRI, calling it “The Happy Miracle, which we hope will be a launching pad for an international reconstruction conference.” The projects the minister referred to is a special report called “Operation Felix: Reconstruction of Yemen and Connection to the New Silk Road,” which is a Schiller Institute report being composed in collaboration with the YAOCB and the Yemeni General Investment Authority. It is scheduled to be released in a conference to be held in Sanaa in May.
The Minister also emphasized that Yemen is following with interest the coming BRICS 10th Summit in South Africa, and the Summit meeting of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in China in September 2018. “When we talk about moving towards China and the New Silk Road, we mean a move towards a multi-polar and economically and politically inclusive world. We realize that we are a nation which is rich with natural resources, but we need the financial capabilities and know-how to be able to utilize this wealth.”
Fouad Al-Ghaffari gave the audience a general outline of the reconstruction plan and connecting Yemen to the New Silk Road. He started by thanking the Schiller Institute and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, for their great efforts in support of Yemen. He also showed the first map of the Yemeni Development Corridors, which will be a key element of the report. The audience, according to a report he gave to EIR, reacted with great optimism and massive eagerness to see the reconstruction report when it is complete.
Minister Hisham Sharaf is a member of the General People’s Congress (GPC) party. The GPC together with Ansarullah (Houthis) are in one coalition running the affairs of the capital and territories of Yemen under its control.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate as a result of the Saudi war and total blockade against the country. However, militarily, it has come to a stalemate, as the Saudi coalition is unable to break through in any of the many fronts it has opened. The UN special envoy released a short report last week on his efforts to relaunch the peace talks, failing to mention the Saudis, but with optimism that the Houthi-GPC coalition in Sanaa have expressed their willingness to sit at the negotiations table again. Recently an EU diplomatic delegation visited Sanaa and met with the acting president Saleh Al-Sammad. There are unconfirmed rumors of secret negotiations in which Russia and China might be involved.
China and India Plan Better Economic and Political Relations with Informal Xi-Modi Meeting
April 23 (EIRNS)—While still tentative, recent developments appear to show China and India reaching a decision to improve economic, political and cultural relations.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to China for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping over April 27-28. The meeting between the two top leaders will be held in Wuhan in China, the hometown of the Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui. The formal announcement was made after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Li on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Foreign Ministers meeting April 22 in Beijing.
Swaraj told the South China Morning Post, “My discussion with Minister Wang Yi was to prepare for the informal meeting between our leaders. It will be an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters, with the objective of enhancing mutual communications at the level of leaders.” Foreign Minister Wang stressed that the informal summit would add a new milestone in India-China relations: “We see socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era, and India acts as a crucial stage in its development and revitalization. It is against this backdrop that President Xi and Prime Minister Modi have decided to hold the informal summit.”
The Hong Kong daily SCMP reports today, “India has made goodwill gestures since March and the two countries are now ready to get their ties back on track.” Top economic officials from the two sides attended a strategic economic dialogue in Beijing April 13.
Last week, the SCMP reports, after meeting Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Wang floated the idea of a trilateral economic corridor with India and Nepal as part of its trade initiative. Nepal is a traditional ally of India’s, the daily writes.
Modi’s visit to China will be run in an informal manner; sources say the idea is to facilitate a free-flowing conversation in retreat-like settings on all issues, including contentious ones, between the two Asian leaders without the “restraints” of a formal joint statement. As Wang and Swaraj prepared for the meeting, SCMP reported that both countries will work together on terrorism and global healthcare, and will share data on the Sutlej and Brahmaputra Rivers in 2018.
China’s opposition to India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Dalai Lama’s engagements are among the major irritants in the relationship. But in recent overtures, India supported China’s bid for Vice-Chair on the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
United States Following British Empire Policy in G7 and in Destroying Syria
April 23 (EIRNS)—Forced to choose between Britain’s chemical war hoaxes and demands for war confrontation with Russia, and President Donald Trump’s oft-restated view that “cooperation with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing”; the United States sided with the U.K. in turning the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Toronto April 22-23 into an anti-Russian show. Canada’s Russophobic Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland staged it, outrageously inviting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and giving a dinner in his honor for him to rage against Russia.
But the “senior U.S. State Department official” who gave the administration briefing on the events declared “There was a G7 unity on opposing Russia’s malign behavior.” Klimkin claimed “a great meeting with Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan.”
The senior official further said, “On Syria … the United States does not believe that any reconstruction assistance should go to any areas under the control of the Assad regime.”
The greater part of Southwest Asia/Middle East has been destroyed by a continuous series of genocidal wars set off by the British Empire and their subordinate Saudi Monarchy. If the United States is going to take no part in reconstruction, it should, as President Trump said, leave Syria now; and otherwise let reconstruction take place as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. (See separate report on the Yemeni government’s joint work on this with the Schiller Institute.)
Today the Washington Post, in a 3,000-word front-page story, confirmed Russia’s statements that the U.S.-led “coalition” in Syria is leaving in ruins the entire city of Raqqa, from which it drove ISIS six months ago. This, in contrast to the ongoing redevelopment of East Aleppo by Russian and Syrian institutions since its liberation. The article, “The Danger Lurking in Raqqa’s Rubble,” shows in detail that Raqqa remains razed and unfit for human life, with next to no rebuilding underway, thousands of corpses unrecovered (“most assumed to be of non-combatants”). A detailed building map shows destruction from one end of the city to the other. “The city has no running water or electricity, and there aren’t enough public employees to defuse the hundreds of explosives planted by the militants….
“The destruction of Raqqa and its slow recovery are contributing to a growing sentiment here that the United States wrecked the city but is unwilling to take responsibility for putting it back together,” writes Tamer El-Ghobashy, the daily’s Baghdad bureau chief.
South Africa’s Zuma Blasts British Empire in Televised Address
April 22 (EIRNS)—South African leader Jacob Zuma exposed the long history of British imperial warfare against the people of South Africa, in an hour-long address to a “Blacks in Dialogue” event in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on April 21. It was carried live by ANN7 television and is posted on the ANN7 website. Zuma’s public attack on the British is unprecedented in South Africa. The event was sponsored by Black First Land First (BLF).
The theme of former President Zuma’s address was the need for political unity to get Black majority control of the economy, especially the land. Zuma spent the first 30 minutes just on the British wars, massacres, and punitive expeditions against South Africans throughout the 19th century, which only ended in 1906, when the British machine-gunned 800 Zulus trapped in the Mome Gorge in the Bambatha Rebellion. Zuma went on to note the exclusion of Africans from any role in government and administration when the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, and the continuing dispossession of Africans’ land thereafter. He stated that the British also could not accept the existence of the two Afrikaner republics, the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek of Paul Kruger and the Oranje Vrijstaat, which led to British aggression in the two Anglo-Boer wars.
Zuma called for expropriation, without compensation, of the land seized under the 1913 Native Land Act, which then left Black Africans with only 7% of the land for 80% the country’s population.
The leader of LaRouche South Africa, R.P. Tsokolibane, has long specified that the President of South Africa must sustain a public attack on the British Empire to enable the people of the country to understand what is holding South Africa down.