EIR Daily Alert Service, FRIDAY, May 4, 2018

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018

Volume 5, Number 89

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

The Empire Based in London Won’t Give Up: They Must, and Can Be Defeated

May 3 (EIRNS)—New war provocations are occurring, in the continuing pattern coming from the London geopolitical alignment, with the latest war threat posed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Earlier this week, he hurled concocted charges against Iran, based on documents, he asserted, which prove that in the past, Iran lied about its work on nuclear weapons. On the charges themselves, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other authorities, have refuted Netanyahu’s claims. It is notable that even in Germany, Netanyahu stands accused of committing a conscious fraud, in his claim that Iran would still be involved in a secret nuclear program.

This should be seen in a longer arc of other such provocative acts, with the invariant of pitting the “West” against Russia, and often China, in a classic and dangerous stand-off, all the while London-centered political and financial interests seek to gain off the confrontations.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in today’s weekly international Schiller Institute webcast, reviewed the longer history, stressing the danger of allowing this to continue; but also, the great gains of the New Paradigm of peace and development coming through the Chinese-instigated “New Silk Road” initiative. Referring to Netanyahu, she said, “This is very, very dangerous. This is obviously a power game, not really regarding the Middle East as such. Naturally, Iran is the thorn in the flesh of Netanyahu, but I think the way to look at the situation, is that the Middle East is once again the theater for a proxy war, where the real issue is the confrontation against Russia and China.”

In dramatic contrast, we have the positive developments in the Asia Pacific. Zepp-LaRouche commented, “I think that the North Korea/South Korea process is one of the most joyful things which is happening right now. Many of the details are not so well known, so let me just mention, that in the meeting between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, the latter—the South Korean President—brought a brochure and also gave a memory drive to Kim Jong-un with a full-fledged development plan for North Korea. It apparently involves, among other things, two railway lines to be built on the southern and northern coasts of North Korea, connecting both with the ancient Silk Road, but also with the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia.

“This is very positive. There has been a CIA team in North Korea for a week, inspecting various sites, and [National Security Advisor] John Bolton commented and said these are all signs of good will. And also, three Americans [captives] will be released by North Korea.

“President Trump has expressed he is looking forward to meeting Kim Jong-un very soon; Kim Jong-un, on the other side, also wants to meet with [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe, and President Moon of South Korea offered to broker such a meeting. And then, [Chinese Foreign Minister] Wang Yi is today in North Korea. So these are all very, very good developments, because if the North Korean situation comes towards a peace treaty and potential unification under Korean sovereignty, this would a very, very important milestone for all of humanity.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

In Pyongyang, China’s Wang Yi Offers Economic and Strategic Cooperation

May 3 (EIRNS)—In meetings today in Pyongyang with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi focused on recent positive inter-Korean developments, particularly North Korea’s commitment to achieving denuclearization, and discussed the need to strengthen “friendly and cooperative” bilateral relations, following Kim’s meeting in late March with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Yonhap News Agency reported, in fact, that Xi is expected to visit Pyongyang following the upcoming Kim-Trump summit. In meeting with Kim, Wang delivered Xi’s greetings, stressing that the Kim-Xi summit had “opened a new chapter” in bilateral relations, and congratulated the North Korean leader on last week’s historic meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Kim, in turn, praised China’s efforts and contributions to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and emphasized that “realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula is North Korea’s firm stance,” according to China’s Foreign Ministry. He also said that Pyongyang is willing “through restoring dialogue and building mutual trust, to explore eliminating the origins of threats to peace on the Peninsula.”

Kim told Wang that bilateral relations were a “valuable legacy,” left by the leaders of previous generations of both countries, and that it was the D.P.R.K.’s strategic goal to improve those ties. Xinhua reports Wang’s remarks to his counterpart Ri that the traditional friendship between the two nations is “a shared and precious treasure,” and that the strategic goal of both countries is to continuously develop this and “pass this friendship on to future generations.” China, Wang said, will work with the D.P.R.K. to implement “in substantial ways” the consensus that Kim and Xi reached when they met, by strengthening communication and coordination between political and diplomatic entities, engaging in “pragmatic economic and trade cooperation,” people-to-people exchanges, and “instilling new vigor” into bilateral relations.

Wang also emphasized that China fully supports the D.P.R.K.’s efforts to “find its own development approach” that is coherent with its national needs and interests, and to focus on efforts to rebuild the country economically.

North Korea Agrees to Inspections and Destruction of ICBMs

May 3 (EIRNS)—The Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reports that North Korea has agreed to destroy its intercontinental ballistic missiles and will give inspectors access to its nuclear stockpile. Citing unnamed sources, the daily wrote that a group of CIA and nuclear experts had been in North Korea for a week-long visit in late April. It was agreed by North Korean to destroy its ICBM arsenal, although the time-frame and what it will get in return remain open for debate.

Seoul Has High Hopes for the Trump-Kim Summit

May 3 (EIRNS)—In a Seoul reception today for more than 100 representatives from the foreign diplomatic corps and international organizations, to brief them on last week’s historic summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, Seoul’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that her government expects that the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will offer a solution to fundamentally resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, and to bringing about lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap reported today.

“We very much want the success and the outcome of the South-North (Korean) summit to lead into the U.S.-North Korea summit,” Kang said. “We very much expect the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea to put everything on the table, foremost the nuclear issue, and come up with an agreement that provides a fundamental solution—a peaceful, fundamental, complete solution—to the North Korean nuclear issue and also a way for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Kang expressed her gratitude for the many messages of support and congratulations that Seoul had received from at least 90 foreign governments, on the occasion of the Kim-Moon summit. They “encourage us even more to work closely with the U.S. for the success of the U.S.-North Korea summit,” Kang said. “But the work doesn’t end there. The nuts-and-bolts work of implementing the agreement that comes out will require another level of diplomatic engagement all around.”

Yonhap reported that Seoul is already seeking to hold a high-level dialogue with the D.P.R.K. in mid-May to discuss ways to implement the results of last week’s summit. President Moon had called for rapid implementation of the steps that can be taken right away, while others may have to be delayed due to international sanctions placed on the North.

A special presidential commission for just this purpose has been established and has already had its first meeting, headed by Moon’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom announced. Aside from Im, a number of other government ministers will also participate.

Three sub-commissions have been established as well, to address improving inter-Korean relations, denuclearizing the North, and promoting bilateral communications. The task force on inter-Korean relations will immediately address the possibility of cross-border cooperation in forestry, an area in which the North urgently needs help.

Will a Knesset Bill Allow Netanyahu To Pull the Trigger on a New War?

May 3 (EIRNS)—Will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be able to pull the trigger on the next war? A bill has been submitted to the Israeli Knesset that could give Netanyahu full authority to decide whether Israel goes to war. Although it has not fully passed into law, it has passed its first reading.

It has been the case that a decision to go to war must have the approval of the full cabinet. The new law would give that authority to the smaller security cabinet. The intention was said to prevent leaks. But then Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) succeeded in passing an amendment giving the prime minister and the defense minister the right to declare war on their own in extreme circumstances—but the amendment does not define “extreme circumstances.”

Ynet points out that Netanyahu has considered firing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in recent months, in which case Bibi would take the Defense portfolio himself, which, according to Dichter’s amendment, would then allow Netanyahu to make the decision alone.

The bill passed its first reading with the required absolute majority, by a vote of 62 to 41, with the amendment included.

Zionist Union (Labor Party) MK Omer Bar Lev said the law is illegitimate, because it does not define what extreme circumstances are needed to allow the prime minister and defense minister to decide to go to war on their own.

“I have been talking to people who have been in the security cabinet, and they have been telling me that this new law is absolutely crazy,” said Ofer Shelah, faction leader for Yesh Atid. “We won’t be able to bring back the soldiers who, God forbid, will lose their lives in a war because one man took advantage of this law and made the wrong decision.”

The bill is also a provocation against Israeli Arabs, since it would set into the Basic Law the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland, with Jerusalem as its capital, Hebrew as its language, and the state’s symbols as its symbols. The legislation would also reinforce the principle of Israel being the home for the in-gathering of the Jewish exiles.

Even Likud MK Bennie Begin, the son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who signed a peace treaty in 1979 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, opposed the bill in both respects. He introduced his own bill that would do more to protect the rights of Arab citizens, and voted against the Dichter legislation.

Another Fake Syrian Chemical Attack May Be in the Works

May 3 (EIRNS)—An anonymous source, said to be connected to Syrian special services, is warning that terrorists are planning another staged chemical attack, to take place near the American base in Deir Ezzor, Sputnik reported today. This source also charged that U.S. intelligence forces are involved in the operation.

“U.S. security services are planning provocations with the use of prohibited substances in Syria,” the source said, and that a former ISIS militant named Mishan Idris Hamash is leading the operation. “The aim is to stage a chemical attack against civilians to be further spread in the media,” the source was quoted as saying. The source said that preparations for this attack began on April 23, and that civilians are already being shipped to a territory near the Jafra oil field, to participate in a staged filming of the attack scene.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

U.S. Trade Delegation in Beijing; Trump Hopes To See Xi in ‘Not Too Distant Future’

May 3 (EIRNS)—Commenting on the arrival in Beijing of the U.S. trade negotiating team, President Donald Trump said he hoped to see China’s President Xi Jinping “in the not too distant future.”

Trump tweeted, “Our great financial team is in China trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade! I look forward to being with President Xi in the not too distant future. We will always have a good (great) relationship!”

Today completed the first of two days of China-U.S. deliberations, with no public dispatches released. The U.S. delegation includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, and White House economic aide Peter Navarro, as well as U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad. The Chinese side is being chaired by Vice Premier Liu He.

Trump’s Initiatives Are Cancelled Out by Russophobia, Lavrov Tells Italy’s Panorama

May 3 (EIRNS)—In an interview in Italy’s Panorama magazine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained that Russophobia and American elites are blocking President Donald Trump’s initiatives to improve relations. “We have said on numerous occasions that we see remarks by President Donald Trump about the desire to establish normal dialogue between our two countries in a positive light,” he was quoted by TASS. “Moreover, we fully share this approach and are prepared to travel our part of the path to break the artificial impasse in bilateral ties the Obama administration steered them into.”

Lavrov stressed that “the situation in bilateral relations continues to deteriorate. If there are some positive signals from the U.S. President, they are fully levelled off by rampant Russophobia in the U.S. establishment, where our country is presented as a threat. They speak out in favor of Russia’s ‘systemic containment’ using sanctions and other pressure tools. Of course, all that stems from internal political feuds in Washington and has nothing to do with reality.”

Lavrov said this had led to the fact that interaction on important global issues “has stalled, while many in Washington continue to plunge into ‘self-replicating’ Russophobia. This has an adverse effect on the global situation, where too many issues, which cannot be resolved without cooperation between Russia and the U.S., have accumulated.”

Lavrov was hopeful that “common sense will eventually prevail in Washington’s corridors of power.” “We would like to establish normal, predictable, even, if you like, friendly relations with the U.S., but not at the cost of trading principles and Russia’s national interests,” he stressed.

“It is clear that the global situation is escalating and becoming less predictable, unfortunately,” he said. “We have repeatedly noted that this state of affairs was chiefly caused by ongoing unilateral actions by the U.S. and some Western states influenced by it.” He further said that it causes situations “in which a sham or a mistake may have global consequences.”

Lavrov pointed out that Russia wants to count on the Western countries’ good sense, wrote TASS, “But this ‘good sense’ means that the leaders of the collective West will be able to act in a highly responsible and predictable manner and strictly observe international laws based on the UN Charter. We’ve doubted this ability of late.”

That means Russia must be the responsible party in preventing the slippery slide into confrontation: “We act as a guarantor of global stability and oppose the Security Council’s decisions aimed at justifying plans of the unilateral use of force against undesirable ‘regimes’ in violation of the Charter of the United Nations,” he said.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

German Industry Warns of Dramatic Consequences of Russia Sanctions

May 3 (EIRNS)—The Ost-Auschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, published a 15-page report on April 16, on the dramatic consequences of the newest U.S. sanctions against Russia. Direct consequences for German companies alone will be in the order of hundreds of millions, but indirect consequences will be higher. Especially the aluminum market will be severely hit, as Rusal has so far delivered 30-40% of the European demand. Price increases and again, hundreds of millions in losses are feared, especially in the car and aerospace industry.

Since international banks are especially threatened with sanctions, this might lead to problems with credits for deals with Russian partners, even if the latter are not hit by sanctions. This means that German firms will lose opportunities in favor of competitors from China, Japan, and South Korea.

Since the text of the sanctions issued by the U.S. Congress on April 6 has several unclarities, enormous bureaucratic work will be necessary to figure out whether in individual cases sanctions would apply or not. For instance, it is not specified when a transaction is “significant” so as to justify sanctions, and what happens with the resolution of existing contracts. This is an additional stress on German firms.

And since abiding with U.S. sanctions is a crime in Russia, German firms could be hit twice.

As dramatic as the report is, the seven actions demanded by the Ost-Auschuss are of a defensive nature, except the first one: “The German government and the EU should clearly speak against an extraterritorial implementation of such U.S. sanctions and protect EU firms from sanctions.” The other six requests to the government are aimed at clarifying aspects of the U.S. sanctions and somehow “regulating” them.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

NASA’s InSight Will Look Below Mars Surface To Discover History of Terrestrial Planets

May 3 (EIRNS)—Early May 5, NASA is scheduled to launch its next mission to Mars, with the unwieldly name, “Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport,” abbreviated to InSight. Although there have been more than a dozen American missions to Mars, none has looked below the surface, where lie hidden the core, the mantle, and the crust of the planet. The geology and material composition in the interior will tell scientists about the evolution of Mars, and also the other terrestrial planets, assumed to have formed though similar processes.

The two instruments that InSight carries that will tell the story are the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structures, contributed by France, and the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, contributed by Germany. The latter will hammer itself up to 16.5 feet beneath the surface, to measure how much heat is flowing from the interior. The seismic study will detect any marsquake activity with extraordinary precision, and any meteorite strikes on the planet.

Riding along with InSight are the first interplanetary tiny cubesats, which will test the ability of such miniaturized spacecraft to survive in the environment of interplanetary space.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Panama’s High-Speed Rail Could Become an Inter-American Line under the Belt and Road

May 3 (EIRNS)—An opinion piece published today in La Estrella de Panamá under the headline “Panama’s Inter-American Train,” points to the proposed high-speed train to be built by China, extending from Panama City north to David, on the border with Costa Rica.

The author notes that some have complained that such a project doesn’t make sense, given the expense and more pressing domestic needs.  But, this view “doesn’t take into consideration the reality developing on the world scene, nor the process of trade globalization. The New Silk Road [is] a network of rail lines, ports and highways promoted by China on several continents… and that Road won’t be exhausted by the 450 km Panama-David line.” It would be unrealistic “to think that China is interested in investing—or lending—$5 billion just to make Panamanians’ lives easier.”

In reality, the author continues, this line is “a small segment of the connection that could well extend from the Mexican capital to Medellín (Colombia), almost 3,000 km, to end up uniting North and South America.” It will “increase activity at the ports on the shores of the Panama Canal, because it will be a valuable point of convergence and transfer of passengers and air, maritime and rail cargo—the only one on the continent.”

This, the column asserts, is a win-win proposal. After recounting China’s extraordinary achievements in connecting various points on the planet via rail lines, it concludes that “connecting Mexico and Colombia is not an impossible dream. The train is an ‘idea’ that can become a ‘project’…. Panamanian entrepreneurs should take advantage of these unlimited opportunities which this Inter-American railroad will offer us, benefits which some, apparently, refuse to see.”

OTHER

New Education Status Report Shows the Destruction of American Youth

May 3 (EIRNS)—In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 25, Defense Secretary James Mattis offered an alarming report on the degree to which American youth have been degraded and their intellectual abilities destroyed by today’s cultural and economic decline.

He stated that in order to ensure the “most lethal and effective fighting force in the world,” the Department of Defense maintains “high mental, physical and behavioral standards.” But, he said, those “necessarily high standards mean that 71% of young Americans (ages 17-24) are ineligible to join the military without a waiver.” He didn’t say how many waivers are granted to young people who might want to join the armed forces.

A further reflection of this reality are the test results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, issued by the Department of Education. According to CNSNews.com, for 2017, the report shows that 65% of U.S. public school eighth graders were not proficient in reading, and 67% were not proficient in math. In urban centers, the results are worse. Detroit public schools, for example, had the lowest percentage of students, 5%, who scored proficient or better in math, and the lowest percentage who scored proficient or better in reading, 7%. In Baltimore, only 11% were proficient or better in math, and 13% were proficient or better in reading.

To attain a proficient level in reading, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) requires students to be able to provide information and summarize main ideas and themes, make inferences about a text and analyze text features.

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