Helga Zepp-LaRouche Warns of ‘Missed Opportunity in France, Huge Potential at G20’
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—It is now two weeks until the Group of 20 heads of state meeting in Buenos Aires Nov. 30-Dec. 1, which is an historic opportunity for diplomacy among key great power leaders of the U.S., China, Russia, India, Japan and others, to initiate a dialogue for a new world development-serving system of economic and foreign relations. This stands in dramatic contrast to the venality of French President Emmanuel Macron, who controlled staging of the Nov. 11 commemoration of the centenary of the World War I Armistice, in a way to preclude meetings among these leaders.
Macron’s action is an example of what Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche today, in her weekly strategic webcast, referred to as the “Old Europe” outlook of grandstanding and imperial geopolitics. There are other prominent examples. Macron is talking about a new European defense capacity, outside NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likewise talking about NATO in the same terms. In Brussels the EU Commission is hectoring Italy about what it can or cannot do on its own budget and economy. And the list goes on. Meantime, these very figures have so little support, they stand near ouster and government chaos. This has already broken out in Britain, where Prime Minister Theresa May’s Nov. 14 release of her Brexit plan occasioned the resignation of seven top members of her government within 24 hours.
Zepp-LaRouche directed attention to the positive dynamic in Asia: “The ASEAN and East Asia Summit in Singapore, and APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, basically all the leaders from Asia went from the Paris celebrations to these summits and obviously they had many, many bilateral meetings on all Asian issues; the basic focus was to continue to work towards a multipolar world. They made a new fair trade agreement among all Asian countries, which is quite different from the TTIP approach of Obama’s was before. They agreed on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, namely that all conflicts will be solved through dialogue and diplomacy and not any other way, not any unilateral suits or military options—so this is very good. And I think there were discussions, for example, between Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from Japan, that they will resume their negotiations on a peace treaty between these two countries, which obviously would be very, very important. And obviously, the Korea situation was a strong issue,” she said.
“So I think this is all moving in a quite different direction, and it just proves that the real dynamic is in Asia.
“Now, we are now only less than two weeks or so away from the G20 summit, and I think that the opportunity which will be given through the summit of Trump and Xi Jinping, and Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, that this is a focus. I do not expect the G20 as such to come out with some grandiose plan, because you have many different elements in it, but I think the increased weight of the Asians within the G20 should also tend to make that institution a more important one. But what we from the Schiller Institute have basically said is that given the fact that the danger of a financial collapse is absolutely still present—the latest figures are that every day you have $5 trillion worth of assets floating around the globe, and only 2% of these $5 trillion pertain to physical economy; 98% are purely speculative and monetarist. And if you remember, already in 1998, President Clinton at the time had warned of these global financial streams saying that this represents a mortal danger, and he had demanded a ‘new financial architecture’ at that point, which probably was what triggered the Lewinsky affair.
“In the meantime, it has grown into $5 trillion, and this is the Damocles sword which is hanging over us. So a new financial architecture would really be the subject for the G20. But we are pushing that at least the leaders of the United States, of Russia, of China, and India, and possibly Japan, that they should put a New Bretton Woods credit system on the agenda, because this would be actually the forum which could decide that.
“Now, a New Bretton Woods credit agreement would really remove the danger of a financial collapse, and it would provide the kind of cooperation among nations, to actually address all the problems—the financial crash, the lack of development, poverty, reconstruction, refugee crisis—all of these things could be addressed.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Putin To Discuss a New START and INF Treaty with Trump
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Speaking to reporters in Singapore, where he was attending the 33rd ASEAN summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that among the key issues on the agenda of the Russia-U.S. summit will be the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which President Donald Trump wants to leave, TASS reported today.
“One of key issues, certainly, is strategic stability,” Putin told reporters speaking about possible topics at his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina in late November. “We should understand what will become of the New START Treaty and the INF Treaty, and how events will develop here,” Putin explained, TASS reported.
The INF Treaty was signed on Dec. 8, 1987 and took effect on June 1, 1988. It outlawed deployed and non-deployed intermediate range (1,000-5,000 km) and shorter-range (500-1,000 km) ground-based missiles. The New START Treaty, which was signed on April 8, 2010, and entered into force in 2011, stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect, each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed missile launchers, wrote TASS.
Putin said he spoke today with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Singapore, touching on arms control and other issues, the Kremlin reported today.
China-U.S. Trade Talks Are Already On
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are scheduled to address the trade issues at Buenos Aires during the G20 meeting at the end of this month, trade talks between China and the United States have begun again. The two sides are “maintaining close contact” following a Nov. 1 phone call between Xi and Trump, said Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng. He gave no details on the content of the talks or which officials were conducting them. “High-level contacts between the two sides on economics and trade have resumed following the Nov. 1 conversation between the Chinese and American heads of state,” said Gao. “The work team is maintaining close contact to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state,” AP reported.
A similar statement was issued by the White House Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, who told CNBC on Nov. 13 that the U.S. and China have resumed contact at all levels over trade. “There’s no certainty that China will cede to U.S. demands in trade negotiations, but it’s better to talk than to not talk,” Kudlow said in an interview on CNBC. Top Chinese economic negotiator, Vice Premier and CPC Politburo member Liu He will reportedly visit Washington shortly to advance informal talks, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, Bloomberg reported Nov. 13.
Also on Nov. 13, Kudlow had strongly criticized one of President Trump’s trade advisors, Peter Navarro, for comments Navarro had made at CSIS Nov. 9, which included a warning that business executives, whom he repeatedly referred to as “unpaid foreign agents,” should not advise the President on China trade issues, lest they leave a “stench of any deal [with] the imprimatur of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street.” Kudlow told the CNBC that “I think Peter very badly misspoke. He was freelancing, and he’s not representing the President or the administration.”
News reports state that Navarro has been ordered to reduce his public presence. Maybe President Trump had found Navarro’s ravings useful at an earlier stage of his negotiating strategy, but not now.
NASA Administrator Applauds Russian-U.S. Cooperation in Space as Better Than Ever
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared that cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in space is better than ever despite “terrestrial disputes.” “Sometimes terrestrially Russia and the United States don’t get along so well,” Bridenstine said in an address at the Canadian Aerospace Summit on Nov. 14, reported Sputnik International. “We have all kinds of terrestrial disputes, but when it comes to space exploration, when it comes to discovery, when it comes to science and the development of space, the relationship between Roscosmos and NASA is as strong as it has ever been.” Bridenstine said NASA wants to keep that relationship with Roscosmos strong.
On Dec. 3, NASA said it plans to launch in collaboration with Roscosmos a new mission to the International Space Station on the Russian Soyuz rocket, Bridenstine reported. International partnerships are very important in fulfilling space missions such as the one to the ISS, he said.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
More Pacific Islands To Join the Belt and Road Initiative
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Fiji has signed a memorandum of understanding with China in Suva on Nov. 12, expressing its intent to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The two countries also inked a separate agreement on economic cooperation and aid. The Cook Islands will also sign on to the initiative, in time for the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea this week, Finance Minister Mark Brown told RNZ Pacific radio last week. Observers said other Pacific Island countries are set to join Belt and Road at APEC, where China’s President Xi Jinping is set to unveil “important measures for further cooperation” in the region.
Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, who is in Papua New Guinea to attend the APEC Ministerial Meeting, said today at a press conference that Japan is willing to work with China on infrastructure projects, including in the Pacific. Kono said Japan is open to broader cooperation with China. “The idea of cooperation between Japan and China for third countries, including the Pacific island countries, is very welcome,” he said according to Xinhua.
Morocco Launches Its First High-Speed Rail Line, Part of National Rail Network
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Hailing it as a key step in modernizing the country, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron have inaugurated country’s first high-speed rail line. Known as the Ligne à Grande Vitesse Maroc (LGV Maroc), it will connect the economic hubs of Tangier and Casablanca in 2 hours 10 minutes at a speed of up to 320 kph, instead of almost 5 hours by regular train, AP reports. The Moroccan and French leaders boarded the LGV at Tangier.
France financed 51% of the project, Morocco 28%, and the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the remaining 21%.
After 2020, the high-speed Kénitra-Casablanca line will be completed and Casablanca-Marrakech line will be upgraded at the same time to allow travel times from Tangier to Casablanca to be 90 minutes and from Tangier to Marrakech to 2 hours 45 minutes. The Kénitra-Casablanca section is particularly important because of its strategic position in the configuration of the national rail network linking the north, south and east of the country.
Nigeria Plans Railroad To Link Up with Niger in the North
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Among many other projects to develop new 1435 mm (standard gauge railways to augment and gradually replace Nigeria’s 1067 mm narrow gauge network, the government has unveiled plans for a line running north into the neighboring Niger Republic. The 248 km standard gauge route from Kano to Maradi would also serve Nigeria’s northern provinces of Jigawa and Katsina, passing through Dutse, Kazaure, Daura and Katsina before crossing the border near Jibia. Announcing details in the capital, Abuja, last month, Nigerian Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi said the line was being developed by the two governments in partnership. “This is part of our efforts to promote regional integration and trade between our two nations,” Railway Gazette quoted him as saying, on Nov. 10.
The railway would also serve a new oil refinery which is to be built in Maradi under an agreement between Nigeria’s Minister State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and Niger’s Energy Minister Foumakoye Gado earlier this year. Under that deal, Nigeria would assist with the construction of a crude oil pipeline to link the refinery with Niger’s rapidly-developing oil fields, augmenting the existing refinery at Zinder which mainly exports via a pipeline to Chad.
Cameroon’s Nachtigal Dam Gets Financial Green Light
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—On Nov. 8, Cameroonian Finance Minister Louis Paul Motazé signed agreements in Paris for the financing of the 420 MW Nachtigal HydroPower Project dam in Cameroon’s central region. According to the government, 15 international lenders led by the International Finance Corp., which is the World Bank’s private investment arm, alongside a consortium formed by local branches of Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale, Attijariwafa Bank and BPCE group, will help mobilize $1.4 billion (CFA786 billion) to build the country’s largest hydroelectric dam, Business in Cameroonmagazine reported.
Built on the Sanaga River which houses 75% of the country’s overall hydropower potential, the Nachtigal Dam will increase Cameroon’s power capacity by 30%. The project will be carried out by Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), which is 40% owned by Electricité de France (EDF), 30% by Cameroonian government, and 30% by the International Finance Corp. According to an agreement with the state, NHPC will operate the dam for 35 years after it is completed.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Russia Seeking Nuclear and Space Cooperation with Saudi Arabia
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—Russia is seeking cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the areas of nuclear power and space. Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear power corporation, submitted a bid to construct a two-block nuclear power station in Saudi Arabia, according Rosatom’s overseas trading company Tenex. The company said two more blocks may be added at a later date.
It was first reported in February 2018 that Rosatom had submitted its bid for the project, and last October Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev told TASS that the company hopes the results of the tender will be announced in 2020. Reportedly the Saudi Kingdom is planning to build a total of 16 nuclear blocks by 2030.
Russia is also working with Saudi Arabia in space training. Dmitry Loskutov, who heads Roscosmos space agency’s international cooperation department, told TASS on the sidelines of the Bahrain International Airshow on Nov. 14 that it is holding talks with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on a proposal to train their astronauts for a mission on the International Space Station, TASS reported today. “Today we are scheduled to hold consultations with heads of the space agencies of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” Loskutov said. “Two astronauts from the U.A.E. are undergoing training” at Russia’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. “One [is being trained] as the primary [pilot] and the other as the backup one. Under the contract signed with the U.A.E. on Oct. 1, their astronauts’ mission to the International Space Station will take place in 2019,” he said. “We would like to offer our training services to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We have presented our proposals, and now those countries are considering their options.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
UN Security Council Lifts Sanctions against Eritrea
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—The United Nations Security Council has unanimously lifted the sanctions against Eritrea that had been imposed in 2009 and 2013 by Resolution 2244, drafted by the United Kingdom. These included economic sanctions, travel bans, asset freezes and an arms embargo, which are now immediately lifted. The sanctions were imposed following allegations that Eritrea was supporting terrorists in Somalia. The lifting of the sanctions follows the dramatic improvement of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, since the countries ended the state of war between them in July. A similar improvement of relations has occurred between Somalia and Eritrea, and the three are cooperating to stabilize the Horn of Africa in order to accelerate economic cooperation and development in the region. Eritrea and Djibouti are in the process of resolving their border dispute.
“This resolution lifts sanctions on Eritrea and shows the [UN Security] Council’s continued support to efforts to improve peace and security in Somalia,” British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce said during the session.
While Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia applauded the resolution, he pointed out that Eritrea’s troubled relations with Djibouti also need to be resolved. “We concurrently believe that solutions to all issues remaining between these countries [Eritrea and Djibouti] fall within the competence of bilateral diplomacy,” TASS quoted Nebenzia as saying. “If necessary, the sides might avail themselves of mediators’ kind services along with other international mechanisms envisaged for these purposes.”
In the same resolution, the UN Security Council extended the arms embargo on Somalia until Dec. 15, 2019, and voted to set up an expert group to seek solutions to the crisis in that country, TASS reported.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Cracks Widen in Phony Corruption Cases Against Former Argentine President Cristina Fernández
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—In six trumped-up corruption cases against former Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the evidence against her is so clearly fabricated that the cases don’t stand up in court. On Nov. 8, federal Judge Sebastian Casanello ruled that charges against Fernández in the money-laundering case involving businessman Lazaro Baez were “without merit,” because evidence was nonexistent.
There is increasing commentary, even from hostile journalists and political figures, that the many cases against Fernández, in which she is portrayed as the most corrupt politician in Argentine history, have gone overboard, and are tarnishing the image of neo-liberal President Mauricio Macri. The fact that Macri and his compliant justice system have created their own version of Brazil’s U.S. Justice Department/FBI-directed “Lava Jato” (“Operation Carwash”) anti-corruption probe, with prominent businessmen parading through Buenos Aires courts to “confess” to paying bribes to the Fernández government in order to avoid jail, is also being questioned.
The “proof” in one of the cases against Fernández consists of photocopies of notebooks (not the actual notebooks) which the chauffeur of a former government official claims he compiled to show that businessmen were paying bribes to the Fernández government in exchange for public works contracts. Journalist Carlos Pagni, who writes for the Anglophile daily La Nación, noted in his Nov. 12 “Odisea Argentina” podcast, that the notebook saga “is getting a bit complicated” for Macri, “because prosecutors haven’t succeeded in producing the necessary evidence to make the charges and conviction stick.” In statements reported Nov. 5 in “iProfesional,” former Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra also warned about “abuse” of pre-trial detention, as it is now being liberally applied in Argentina, and used extensively in Brazil’s “Lava Jato” operation, calling this “worrisome” and “dangerous.”
British Establishment in Crisis as Trump and LaRouche Make Gains in the U.S.
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)—It may not be coincidence that the British Establishment has suddenly fallen deeper into an apparently insoluble crisis, just at the moment when the Donald Trump Presidency and the ideas and projects of Lyndon LaRouche are moving forward and winning ground in the United States. Why? It may be that the royal gang actually intends that the British Establishment should tear itself to bits, so that they can replace it with new and different ideas, organizations and leaders—new ideas and leaders which they hope could finally succeed in bringing the American colonials to heel, where the current crowd has failed.
Those who know their history know that the British Empire has morphed like this before, as had the Venetians and the Roman Emperors earlier. A bit like a slime-mold.
After an extremely tense five-hour cabinet meeting, where one minister asked for a cabinet vote, only to be shouted down, Theresa May published her partial agreement with the EU on so-called “Brexit” late Nov. 14. In reality, it was not Brexit at all. Among other things, it would leave the U.K. in the Single Market for Goods until the EU allows it to leave, as adjudicated by the European Court of Justice—whereas the Single Market and the ECJ were precisely what the British people had voted to leave in June 2016. By Nov. 15, Thursday evening, there were seven resignations from her government, led by the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the son of the late editor of the London Timesand a leader of the pro-Brexit Tories in the Commons, accused Mrs. May of breaking her commitment, and sent a letter of no-confidence to the 1922 Committee comprised of Tory back-benchers. It is not known how many other members have done so, but if the committee receives 48 such letters, the Tory MPs will hold a vote of no confidence on the Prime Minister.
Conservativehome blog editor Paul Goodman wrote today, “The combination of a future Commons vote on the agreement and a leadership contest, ushering in a new Prime Minister, would be like a cutting-edge experiment with two new chemicals. There is simply no knowing what it would bring.” He went on to say, “But … changing the Prime Minister, in itself, would solve nothing.”
Logic points to a general election sooner rather than later, Goodman writes, with the threat of a Jeremy Corbyn Labour government. Meanwhile, talk of a possible new political party and of a second Brexit referendum is rife.