EIR Daily Alert Sercice, THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2018

THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2018

Volume 5, Number 138

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

Fireworks Begin at NATO as Trump Prepares for Putin Summit

July 11 (EIRNS)—President Trump continued his demands on the European NATO countries to pay their agreed share for the defense of Europe, but the question should be: defense against whom? Trump has not, as yet, repeated his charge issued during the election campaign in 2016, when he said NATO was “obsolete” and “disproportionately” too expensive, and that terrorism was the primary concern. But he has insisted, repeatedly, that “it is a good thing to be friends with Russia and China.” Certainly being friends with Russia and China should render NATO obsolete.

Trump recognizes that Russia is no threat to Eastern or Western Europe, nor any other nation, and refused to characterize Russia as a “foe” on his way to the NATO summit. He has also repeatedly acknowledged that Russia is playing a crucial part in countering terrorism, especially in Syria.

Trump’s effort to establish friendly relations with Moscow, starting with the historic summit with Putin next Monday in Helsinki, is driving the British and British assets nuts. Rabid Anglophile Nicholas Burns, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, said today that Trump’s approach was “Orwellian—he’s making our friends out to be our enemies and he’s treating our enemies like Putin as our friends.”

Trump pointed out the irony that Germany and France want the U.S. to put up billions to defend them from “enemy” Russia, while they buy billions in gas and oil from Russia. While there is no legitimate basis to oppose the Nordstream 2 pipeline, it is to be hoped that Trump, in his discussions with NATO leaders today and tomorrow, with Theresa May on Friday, and with Putin on Monday, will state that any money, or any foreign troops, used to defend Europe from Russia is a waste, based on a lie.

The situation inside the U.K. is totally chaotic. The May government could fall virtually any day, even during Trump’s three-day visit starting Friday. Lunatic Boris Johnson’s resignation was a not-so-subtle announcement of his desire to be prime minister, while Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “Brexit caucus” of 80 MPs met today, declaring that Johnson would be a “brilliant” prime minister. May is replacing those members of government who are resigning with her closest supporters, regardless of their lack of qualifications for the various posts. The Tories are likely to come together to tell May to leave, and choose a new prime minister, but the situation could get out of control and force new elections, which could bring in a Corbyn Labour Party government.

In any case, the massive derivatives bubble in the City of London financial institutions and their assets on Wall Street is primed to explode. There is only one solution to that existential threat to the Western financial system—put it out of our misery with a new “Bretton Woods” agreement to establish a fixed-exchange-rate system. This could be brought about by the very same “friendship” Trump is forging with Russia and China, with support from India, Japan, South Korea and others which recognize the urgency of creating a new financial architecture to replace the bankrupt British imperial system. Only such a new financial architecture, centered on the Belt and Road Initiative, can bring about the required era of development for all the world’s sovereign states, and prevent a new global depression and war.

The tit-for-tat tariff policy initiated by Trump against China is a dangerous ploy, and has been firmly renounced by China’s government. The Trump Administration announced July 10 that it was preparing to impose 10% tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports, to go into effect in two to three months. The Chinese Commerce Ministry said today that it would complain to the WTO, calling the action “completely unacceptable” and an act of “bullying,” and that China would respond in an unspecified manner. Senior Trump Administration officials told the press that the U.S. wants talks with China to reach a resolution, but no talks have been set as yet.

While unilateral tariffs will only cause losses on both sides, the “deal” that Trump wants to negotiate will only be successful if—as with the threat of the derivatives bubble bursting in the West—it is based on a new global financial system, as Lyndon LaRouche has promoted for the past 50 years. Now, finally, there is no denying that his warnings were correct, and that his proposed solutions are both necessary and possible. It is precisely through a major-power agreement between, especially, Russia, China and the U.S., that the power required to replace the dying British system becomes feasible.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Former FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Defies Subpoena, Could Face Contempt of Congress

July 11 (EIRNS)—Former FBI attorney Lisa Page, who exchanged the notorious anti-Trump texts with her lover and top FBI official Peter Strzok, refused to comply with a subpoena to appear before the joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committees today, claiming she had not been given time or the necessary documents needed to prepare. Her lawyer issued a statement justifying her non-appearance.

In response, House Speaker Paul Ryan said today he’d be willing to hold Page in contempt of Congress, should she continue to defy the subpoena, which, he said, “is not optional…. She was part of a mess that they have uncovered over at DOJ. She has an obligation to come testify … she has to comply,” Politico quoted him as saying.

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) warned that Page apparently “has something to hide.” She’s known for months that the Judiciary Committee sought her testimony, “and she has no excuse for her failure to appear.” Americans across the country are fed up with this type of behavior, Goodlatte stressed, and said it is incumbent on Congress to conduct “vigorous oversight” to ensure that the type of bias exhibited by Justice Department and FBI officials “never happens again.”

Development on the Agenda When Pompeo Meets with Mexico’s López Obrador

July 11 (EIRNS)—It was announced today that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will lead a delegation to Mexico to meet on Friday, July 13, with President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and members of his transition team and his future cabinet.

Pompeo will also meet separately with outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Accompanying Pompeo will be Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, presidential advisor Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen, and the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires William Duncan. Immigration, security, and NAFTA negotiations are among the topics to be discussed, according to El Financiero.

However, in a press conference yesterday, López Obrador emphasized that his priority agenda item will be “programs for the welfare and development of the region,” and used the phrase “Alliance for Progress” to refer to a program that would bring development and jobs to Mexico and Central America. The original Alliance for Progress was, of course, the program launched by President John Kennedy in 1961, through which he sought to partner with Ibero-American governments in promoting hemispheric economic development.

Praising President Donald Trump’s respectful attitude and demonstration of good will in sending the delegation, AMLO said this shows that the U.S. President views “the proposal to base our relationship on well-being for development very positively.” To deal with the immigration problem, he said, “we have to look at the causes that produce migration. People leave their places of origin by necessity, not because they want to. This shouldn’t happen because of lack of opportunity or poverty, much less because of insecurity or violence…. We know that the best way to tackle the migration phenomenon and the problem of security … is to spur development in Mexico.”

Associated Press suggested that the Trump Administration may be interested in getting Mexico to agree to serve as a “safe third country,” in which asylum seekers from Central America would have to apply for refuge in the U.S. from within Mexico rather than at the U.S. border. AMLO didn’t reply to questions as to whether such a proposal would be acceptable. He did say that during the July 13 meeting, he will hand Secretary Pompeo a letter for President Trump, but indicated he won’t reveal its contents until after the meeting.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

At NATO Summit Turkey Defends Its Purchase of S-400 Air-Defense System from Russia

July 11 (EIRNS)—While U.S. President Donald Trump is getting all the attention, he is not the only one giving the NATO leadership headaches. Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan attended as well, and is defending Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-built S-400 air defense system. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is accompanying Erdogan, argued before an Atlantic Council forum in Brussels that Turkey needs the S-400 to defend airspace not covered by NATO. “NATO can protect only 30% of our airspace. Who will protect my nation in case of an attack by the Assad regime [in Syria] or from elsewhere?” Cavusoglu was quoted as asking by Hurriyet Daily News.

“We could not obtain these systems from our allies,’ Cavusoglu said. “Russia has approached us with the best offer. Now, we are purchasing [these systems] from Russia,” he said, stressing that this was a technical decision and not a political one. He also reassured his audience that Turkey is staying in NATO. “No, Turkey is not moving anywhere. Turkey is a NATO ally, a part of Europe and member of various European institutions. Turkey has been trying to become a member of the European Union for 60 years,” said Cavusoglu, thus answering the accusations that Turkey is moving into Russia’s “sphere of influence.”

Earlier, upon his arrival in Brussels, Cavusoglu reported that the first S-400 batteries will be delivered to Turkey from Russia by the end of 2019, reported the official Anadolu Agency.

Syria Raises Flag in Hasakah

July 11 (EIRNS)—Al Masdar News reported today that the Syrian Arab Army has raised the Syrian flag in a district of Hasakah city, the provincial capital of the eastern province also named Hasakah. This move by the Syrian Army comes just days after government officials met with a Kurdish delegation inside of Qamishli city in northern Al-Hasakah, reports Al Masdar. As they have been since the first reports of a rapprochement between the Syrian Kurds and the government in Damascus emerged on July 3, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces denied there was any agreement, or that the Syrian flag has even been raised in Hasakah. “I can say that almost all those reports are false,” said SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel, reported Kurdistan 24 broadcaster. Regardless, according to Al Masdar, the Syrian government has brought military convoys to Hasakah and set up new points around the city.

The U.S. military has so far made no public comments on the reports of a rapprochement between the Syrian Kurds and the government in Damascus.

Soros Foundation Had 150 Agents in the Putschist Ukrainian Government

July 11 (EIRNS)—Israel’s Ynetnews reports on evidence that George Soros’s Open Society Foundation was used to promote Soros’s business interests in Ukraine and elsewhere. This follows a report in Politico that Israeli corporate spy agency Black Cube was used against Soros during Hungarian elections. Black Cube’s involvement was allegedly intended to influence the elections, but company officials deny the allegations and new details indicate that they were hired for financial motives, as part of a feud against another billionaire.

Independently, Ynet obtained testimony from Prof. Yevhen Bystrytsky, a Soros associate and managing director of the International Renaissance Foundation, the Ukrainian division of Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF), for the last 19 years. He spilled the beans on how the foundation influenced Ukrainian political events in 2014: “We had a decisive influence over the Ukrainian revolution,” he said referring to the Euromaidan coup. “It is a very sensitive matter. The foundation was active in the early stages in support of the opposition. We are very attached to elements within the Ukrainian government and its key ministers. We had 150 people working to influence the government’s policy,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the affidavit, the OSF promoted and financed the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych’s legally elected government in Ukraine in 2014. Later, Bystrytsky claimed, Soros planted his people as advisors to the new Ukrainian government ministries and exploited his advisors to promote the privatization of the national oil company “Naftogaz” for Soros’s own economic interests.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

U.S. Neo-Cons Threatened by Chinese Belt and Road Initiative in Central America, Caribbean

July 11 (EIRNS)—The thought that China is bringing the Belt and Road Initiative to Central America and the Caribbean is provoking hysteria among those defenders of the old paradigm of geopolitical confrontation.

U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes, an Obama appointee, is warning of the dangers of Chinese “penetration” of Central America and the Caribbean, and specifically of the “alarming” possibility that China may invest in development of the Cutuco container port in El Salvador’s La Union department (province)—a project that EIRidentified in its June 6, 2003 issue as a regionally significant one, benefitting Honduras and Nicaragua in addition to El Salvador, and potentially becoming part of the World Land-Bridge. Ten years after its 2008 inauguration, the port is still not operating, as no company was granted the concession to run it, supposedly because there is “no demand for cargo,” according to the president of the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA).

El Salvador’s Finance Minister Luz Estrella Rodriguez, confirmed during a TV interview July 8, that China is very interested in relaunching the La Union port, elsalvador.com news website reported. In fact, China’s CITIC Group has met with both government and CEPA officials to discuss investment opportunities not only in the port, but also in the international airport and railroad lines.

God forbid! Speaking to the “Frente a Frente” interview show, and later to a businessmen’s forum July 8, Manes expressed alarm over the negative consequences of Chinese investment, and charging that China is attempting to “penetrate” the Central American and Caribbean region militarily and economically, looking for “vulnerable flanks” which it can take advantage of. Manes went so far as to tweet on July 9 the New York Times article “How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough up a Port,” to warn of the dire outcome of allowing China to build ports.

There is clearly also great fear from Taiwan that more Central American nations—El Salvador has been mentioned as one—will bolt and establish diplomatic ties with China, adhering to the one-China policy. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will tour El Salvador and Belize for five days beginning tomorrow, to relate Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s desire for strong bilateral ties with them, the Taiwan Times reported today. All U.S. ambassadors posted to Central American and Caribbean countries also met recently to discuss the growing Chinese “threat” to the region, Manes reported.

López Obrador’s Team Plans for Key Rail Projects for Mexico

July 11 (EIRNS)—Mexican President-elect López Obrador’s National Rail Plan will include the Mexico City-Querétaro high-speed rail line which is vital to integrate the central industrial area of the country, his designated Communications and Transport Secretary Javier Jiménez Espriu told El Financiero, yesterday. The Peña Nieto government had signed a contract with China Railway to build that Mexico-City Querétaro line in 2014, only to immediately cancel it under threats of reprisals from the Obama White House and the British Crown.

Another priority, Jiménez said, is modernizing the railway connecting Mexico’s Salina Cruz port on the Gulf of Mexico and Coatzacoalcos port on the Pacific, across the narrow Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This was one of the key projects for regional development envisioned under the government of Mexican President José López Portillo (1976-1982) and promoted by the LaRouche movement for decades.

“Our idea is to establish a national railroad network. The network has different important sections, and within those we will determine which sections are most urgently needed, based on the impact they will have at both a social and economic level, because those sections will trigger regional development projects,” Jiménez told El Financiero.

Besides those two key routes, Jiménez spoke of a passenger train from Cancún to other key cities in Mexico’s Maya tourist area, and starting construction on two routes connecting central Mexico to the U.S. border, from Guadalajara to Tijuana and from Querétaro to Nuevo Laredo.

Ports, airports, and highways related to the rail lines under consideration will be modernized or built as well, he said.

While Jiménez was not reported to have mentioned China in his interviews, an economic advisor to López Obrador, Gerardo Esquivel, certainly did. Esquivel told El Financiero on July 6 that the new President intends to announce the Trans-Isthmus Corridor project on his first day in office. Esquivel pointed to China as a potential source of funding for the project, because it is investing in trade corridors in 65 countries through its Belt and Road Initiative. “This is the type of project in which China surely would want to invest, because they are long-term infrastructure projects with clear positive yields.”

Commentaries appearing in the Mexican press mooting that the country will turn to China to gain leverage in NAFTA negotiations with the Trump Administration, or to counter U.S. pressure, miss the point. Such projects are exactly the kind of endeavors in which the United States and China should cooperate, bringing the Belt and Road into the Americas to transform the economic platforms of the whole hemisphere.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

China Researching Technology To Combat Desertification in Belt and Road Partners

July 11 (EIRNS)—A research team at China’s Chongqing Jiaotong University has developed a technology that holds great promise for combatting conditions of desertification, which pose a danger to key parts of the planet. According to an article in Global Times July 10, the research team that has developed this exciting technology emphasizes that it can serve countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The technology, known as “desert soilization” is able to convert desert lands into arable land, by mixing sand with a special solution obtained from plant extracts, “which endows sand with the ability to store water, nutrients and air, and the ability to breed microorganisms as arable soil does,” according to Zhao Chaohua, a member of the research team.

The university has signed a cooperation agreement with the Mawarid Holding company of the United Arab Emirates by which the team will be given 10 sq. km of desert to cultivate desert grass, vegetables and shrubbery, where 85% of the land is considered to be “naturally degraded” by the U.A.E. government.

Prior to its involvement in the U.A.E., the research team successfully set up five experiment sites in China, covering a total of 666.7 hectares; at one of them, in the Ulan Buh Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, they successfully cultivated more than 70 plants, including wheat, corn and sunflowers. Zhao reports that countries in Southwest Asia, North Africa and Australia have contacted the team for potential cooperation.

The head of the research team, Yi Zhijian, told the Abu Dhabi daily The National that with this technology, “we hope to serve the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative … many countries along the route are suffering from [desertification] and are in need of the ‘soilization technology.’ ” At a July 3 press conference in Abu Dhabi, Li Tian’an, Communist Party chief of Chongqing Jiaotong University, stated that this new technology can not only assist the U.A.E., “but also provide a solution to the desertification issue, the ‘cancer of the Earth.’ ” China’s Engineering journal reported in 2016 that desertification is expanding at a speed of 50,000 to 70,000 sq. km globally every year.

Zimbabwe Launches Zingsa National Space Agency

July 11 (EIRNS)—With the goal of advancing the country’s research and innovation, Zimbabwe yesterday launched its own space agency, Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency, or Zingsa. The aim is to enhance the nation’s capabilities to use space technology, including for agriculture, minerals mapping, life sciences, wildlife management, and weather and climate services.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zingsa would build technical expertise and institutional capacity, according to Xinhua. Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira said that the venture into space would open the door for skilled Zimbabweans living abroad to return and help build a space industry.

Turcia Busakwe, from the South African Space Advisory Company, offered to help Zimbabwe’s new space agency. Given advancements in technology, she said, it is not too expensive for more countries to invest in developing space technologies.

OTHER

More ‘Drip, Drip’ of Resignations from Theresa May’s Tories

July 11 (EIRNS)—While British Prime Minister Theresa May promises an “orderly” Brexit, she can’t say the same thing about her own government, as two more Tories quit. May appeared at a press conference in Brussels with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where she promised that her government can achieve a “smooth and orderly Brexit.” Just a few minutes earlier, the Conservative Party vice-chairman resigned in protest at May’s soft Brexit negotiating plan. Furthermore she was questioned on her reactions to President Donald Trump’s comment that the U.K. was in “turmoil.”

Merkel, whose government is not much more stable, gave May a modest boost, saying it was “a good thing we have proposals on the table.”

The latest resignations involve MPs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield, two of eight vice-chairs of the Conservative Party. In his resignation letter, Bradley said the proposals made last week at the cabinet meeting at Chequers, would leave the U.K. “tied to EU trade regulations” and the outcome would be “the worst of all worlds” because it would “not deliver a Brexit in spirit.”

For her part Caulfield wrote: “I cannot support the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations, which in my view do not fully embrace the opportunities that Brexit can provide.” She went on: “The policy may assuage vested interests, but the voters will find out and their representatives will be found out. This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party. The direct consequences of that will be Prime Minister Corbyn,” referring to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.  Bradley similarly warned, “If we do not deliver Brexit in spirit as well as in name, then we are handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10”—i.e., the Prime Minister’s office at No. 10 Downing Street.

While not government ministers, their exit, following that of five government ministers earlier this week, are said to be part of the threatened “drip, drip” of resignations promised by Brexit hardliners aimed at undermining May.

Former FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Defies Subpoena, Could Face Contempt of Congress

Development on the Agenda When Pompeo Meets with Mexico’s López Obrador

At NATO Summit Turkey Defends Its Purchase of S-400 Air-Defense System from Russia

Syria Raises Flag in Hasakah

China Researching Technology To Combat Desertification in Belt and Road Partners

Zimbabwe Launches Zingsa National Space Agency

 

 

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