Trump Moves Against the Empire: Announces Pullout from Syria, Development in Mexico and Central America
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—President Trump is beginning to find some room to act upon his actual intentions, having consolidated support in the Senate in the election, making impeachment essentially impossible, while the British Russiagate hoax is crumbling. In the past 24 hours, Trump struck two blows on the Empire, declaring that all U.S. troops and State Department operatives are being pulled out of Syria, quickly, while also declaring that the U.S. and Mexico will proceed with large-scale joint investment into job creating programs in the poverty-stricken (and drug-infested) areas of southern Mexico and the Central American nations of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
On Syria, the President tweeted: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency.” His spokesperson confirmed that the pullout will proceed rapidly. According to the New York Times, some Pentagon officials have been fighting tooth and nail to stop him, or at least make it a phased withdrawal, but Trump wouldn’t break. This happened on the same day that the “Astana Group” of guarantors for the ceasefire in Syria—Russia, Turkey, and Iran—came to an agreement with the Syrians and the UN to establish a Constitutional Committee to draft a Constitution for a new Syrian political structure. Trump has repeatedly stressed that he is not interested in regime change, in Syria or anywhere else.
On Mexico, Trump has found common ground with the new Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO, as he is known) on the necessary means to deal with the illegal migration crisis—create jobs. AMLO on Tuesday morning said: “This is a new, different way of dealing with the problem of migration, which addresses the causes. The day is going to come, very soon, in which people are not going to emigrate from Mexico—at least, that is my dream.” The deal agreed to yesterday will approximately double the U.S. planned investment into the region, perhaps exceeding $10 billion.
Now the battle begins to turn this initiative into the start of the giant regional infrastructure program required for defeating the drug cartels and the enormous poverty in the region—such as building the railroad connecting the continents of North and South America proposed since the McKinley Administration.
It is precisely this commitment to peace through development, and to cooperation with Russia and China in that vision for the future, which has driven the frantic British Empire effort to bring Trump down. The MI6-fabricated “Russia-collusion” scam has been exposed as a total fraud, and, even while Mueller and his team continue to manufacture as many potential charges against Trump as possible (none having anything to do with Russia, Mueller’s assigned target), Trump is moving on.
The British House of Lords let the cat out of the bag on Dec. 18, with a report released by the International Relations Committee, titled “U.K. Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order.” As is the way of the Empire, when the current means of wielding world power is destroyed, they do not slink quietly into the night. Their means for the past several decades, since the deaths of Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, has been to use U.S. “brawn” to achieve British imperial policy—fighting colonial wars in Southeast and Southwest Asia, and imposing “IMF conditionalities” to prevent any real development in the former colonies. The Lords’ report whines that, were Trump to win a second term, “the damage to U.S./U.K. relations (the U.K.’s most important international relationship) will be longer lasting, and the government will need to place less reliance on reaching a common U.S./U.K. approach to the main issues of the day than has been the case in the past.” The danger in this, they add, is that China and Russia also pose a threat to the “rules-based international order” (their euphemism for the British Empire). And India, they fear may also get away from their imperial rule.
There you have it—the Empire is terrified by the potential coming-together of the U.S., Russia, China and India, the “Four Powers” which Lyndon LaRouche has long insisted is the necessary minimum force needed to end the power of the British-controlled world financial system, and, through a new Bretton Woods conference with other like-minded nations, create a fixed exchange rate credit system in its place, based on Hamiltonian principles, for global development. China’s Belt and Road Initiative already exists as the structure (proposed by LaRouche in the 1990s) needed to launch a new paradigm for global development—which explains the current mass outpouring of hysterical attacks on China and the Belt and Road, simply denying the reality of the economic miracle created by China over these past 40 years, and their intention to make that process available to the entire world.
The fact that the current London-Wall Street-based financial system is now in the first stages of disintegration, as increasingly acknowledged by the financial oligarchs themselves, simply increases the urgency of bringing these nations together for a New Bretton Woods process. All that stands in the way is the British Empire. Isn’t it time to end it? Albion delenda est.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
House of Lords Committee Fears British Empire Losing ‘Relevance’ in Face of Four Powers
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations let it all hang out in a 116-page report titled “U.K. Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order,” released on Dec. 18. The report expresses the growing hysteria at the highest levels of the British oligarchy that the U.K. is losing “relevance,” because the post-war imperial “rules-based international order” is breaking down under “political and social waves caused by peoples’ access to information”!
The major powers at the top of the Lords’ concerns are the four which American statesman Lyndon LaRouche identified a decade ago as having, combined, sufficient power to sink the British Empire: the United States, Russia, China, and India.
The Lords named President Donald Trump as their number-one problem, and present his removal as critical to their interests. “Our alliance with the United States remains our top priority and cornerstone of what we wish to achieve in the world,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) told the Committee. The Lords warn that if President Trump or another administration like his were elected in 2020, that alliance through which the British have ruled the world will be permanently lost. In their words:
“The U.S. Administration has taken a number of high-profile unilateral foreign policy decisions that are contrary to the interests of the United Kingdom…. How damaging this will be to what has hitherto been the U.K.’s most important international relationship will depend on whether the current approach is an enduring trend. Should President Trump win a second term, or a similar administration succeed him, the damage to U.K./U.S. relations will be longer lasting….”
The Lords insist the U.K. government continue to “reach out” to its American assets in the “deeply entwined” U.K./U.S. defense and intelligence establishment who “share our views and values,” i.e., to bring down Donald Trump. The British coup attempt has never been so clearly acknowledged.
In their view, the U.K. can’t afford to economically confront China as an adversary at this point, but “in the longer term, the government will need to weigh up the strategic challenge posed by China’s … impact on the rules-based international order,” and its lead in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which “could further alter the balance of power,” the Lords write.
Russia “is a declining power … willing and able … to act as a disruptor in international relations,” whose alleged hybrid warfare and disinformation must continue to be confronted.
As for India, the FCO told the Committee that “the U.K.’s relationship with India was ‘central to our aspirations,’ ” but the U.K. had better hurry to “reset and elevate its relationship with India,” because “other countries are assiduously seeking to engage with India.”
One message is clear: The Lords of the Empire are scared.
U.S. Criminal Justice Reform Bill Shows First Demonstration of Bipartisan Potential
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The Senate, Tuesday night, passed, by 87-12, a criminal justice reform bill, ending many of the egregious sentencing guidelines and making other desperately needed reforms (such as the elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing, which removed judges’ discretion in sentencing for certain crimes), in a thoroughly bipartisan manner, with Democrats and Republicans demonstrating that it is both possible and necessary to work together. As President Donald Trump said after the 2016 election, the Democrats can either go after him personally, or work together to pass needed legislation. This bill demonstrated that the latter is possible.
In a press conference today, the leading Senators behind the effort came together, all praising each other for bipartisanship, President Trump for strong support, and especially Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who led the effort on behalf of the White House.
The Senators at the press conference were Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin, (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tom Scott (R-SC). Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also sponsored the bill but could not attend the press conference. Lee and Booker, at the extreme ends of the so-called right-left divide, had led the fight over the past several years.
As Senator Grassley noted, outside groups also played a key role, “from the ACLU to the American Conservative Union, and everything in between.”
Trump Orders Pentagon To Begin Full Withdrawal from Syria
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—President Trump tweeted this morning: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that “we have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”
The New York Times claims that there is panic at the Pentagon: “Pentagon officials were still trying to talk the President out of the decision early Wednesday morning, arguing that such a move would betray Kurdish allies who have fought alongside American troops in Syria and who could find themselves under attack in a military offensive now threatened by Turkey.”
The Times says that officials have told them that the withdrawal could take place in as little as “several weeks,” but that U.S. airstrikes would continue against the remnants of ISIS along the Iraq border, depending on Kurds on the ground for targetting.
The Times continues: “In a series of meetings and conference calls over the past several days, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior national security officials have tried to dissuade Mr. Trump from a wholesale troop withdrawal, arguing that such a significant national security policy shift would essentially cede foreign influence in Syria to Russia and Iran at a time when American policy calls for challenging both countries…. One possibility under discussion, officials said, was a phased withdrawal of American troops. But Mr. Trump, the officials said, seems to prefer pulling out all forces as soon as possible.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Nazi Bandera’s Birthday Declared Official Holiday in Ukraine
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has declared the birthday of Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera a national holiday. Bandera was the leader of the pro-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and has been the icon of Maidan putschists who overthrew the legal government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
“Stepan Bandera was an outstanding figure and theorist of Ukraine’s national liberation movement,” the Ukrainian parliamentary resolution stated. His 110th birthday will be marked on Jan. 1, 2019 and will become an official holiday in Ukraine. Meantime, the Israeli Ambassador to Kiev expressed his shock that the Lviv Oblast had declared it was dedicating the year 2019 to the memory of Bandera.
The OUN, which is still active in Ukraine, is illegal in Russia, and, as recently as July 22, 2016, the Polish parliament passed a document declaring the crimes committed by the OUN and Ukrainian Insurgent Army against the Polish population in 1943 and 1944, a genocide. The two groups headed by Bandera are considered responsible for the murder of at least 1 million people, including 200,000 Poles, these during a massacre in the Volyn Region, in addition to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Jews, Russians, and multitudes of other civilians, reported TASS today.
The IMF, however, announced today that it will “immediately” release a $1.4 billion tranche of aid to this Nazi regime, in order, it said, to “provide an anchor” for Ukrainian authorities.
Guarantor Nations for Syria Plan Out Constitutional Committee with Syria and UN
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The foreign ministers for the three guarantor nations for the Syrian ceasefire—the Astana group—Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif, have agreed on a plan for forming a Syrian constitutional committee. “We have agreed to take efforts aimed at convening the first session of the Syrian constitution committee early next year. These steps will lead to the launch of a viable and lasting Syrian-owned, Syrian-led, UN-facilitated political process,” Lavrov said after a meeting with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura. The body shall consist of 50 from the Syrian government, 50 from the opposition, and 50 chosen by the UN.
Interestingly, RT quoted U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey, speaking to the Atlantic Council on Dec. 17, as saying: “We want to see a regime that is fundamentally different. It’s not regime change—we’re not trying to get rid of Assad.”
EU Commission Drops Proceeding against Italy for Violation of Deficit Rules
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)— The EU Commission and the Italian government have reached an agreement, by which the Commission has announced today that they drop the proceeding for violation of deficit rules.
Whereas the Commission claims that it is because Italy dropped its hardline stance, according to some media, the agreement was reached after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte directly called EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and warned him that “the string” was about to break. Chamber of Deputies Budget Committee chairman Dep. Claudio Borghi told La Stampa that “the gentlemen in Brussels understood that, had they pulled the string further, people in Italy would start asking again whether it is advantageous to stay in the EU.” This is not a threat to leave the euro, Borghi said, but “facing a closed door from Europe, there was the risk that this debate would resume in Italy.”
This afternoon, Prime Minister Conte briefed the Senate, reporting that the Commission has accepted a planned deficit of 2.04% on GDP, down from the announced 2.4% but well over the expected 0.8% for 2019. Conte has stated that none of the promised social reforms has been dropped.
According to an insider source, everybody knows that the real deficit will be larger than planned, as it has been the case with all preceding governments—and most countries in the EU.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Agreement for U.S.-Mexican Regional Development Cooperation Announced
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—“The United States and Mexico today commit to strengthen and expand our bilateral cooperation to foster development and increase investment in southern Mexico and in Central America to create a zone of prosperity. Both countries recognize the strong links between promoting development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance, and security in Central America,” the State Department wrote on the agreement announced simultaneously in Washington and Mexico City yesterday.
The Trump and López Obrador administrations have agreed to hold a U.S.-Mexico cabinet-level meeting in late January “to agree on a strategic framework” for U.S. cooperation with Mexico in Central America; to establish a U.S.-Mexico high-level taskforce to facilitate the design and implementation of projects in the area, and monitor progress on their implementation; and to convoke a Bilateral Business Summit in the first quarter of 2019, where “a broad range of U.S., Mexican, and international private sector representatives” will participate in discussing how to increase investment and business opportunities in Mexico, “with a special focus on southern Mexico and the Northern Triangle” countries of Central America, the State Department reported.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador welcomed the agreement as a way to address the causes of migration, by creating jobs. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard termed the agreement “very good news for Mexico.”
Between existing U.S. funding and commitments to leverage another $4.7 billion in new monies from the United States, the total discussed is $10.5 billion for investment for southern Mexico and the three Central American nations most wrecked by the drug cartels, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where most migrants come from. The new money is primarily to come from the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), in order to “leverage public and private investment” in the area.
The southern Mexican component of the package is more developed than the Central American side, given that President López Obrador has drawn up plans for several development projects in the south. According to the joint statement, “OPIC is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment,” in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico already in OPIC’s investment pipeline.
The Central American side is more up in the air. Here, the joint statement writes that “OPIC could invest and mobilize up to $2.5 billion more” than current U.S. funding for these three countries, “if commercially viable projects are identified.” Like current U.S. funding, however, the State Department emphasized that U.S. programs include a focus on “anti-corruption,” “institutional reform,” “fiscal management,” etc., programs famously used for regime-change in the region.
However, as Foreign Minister Ebrard tweeted today, the Central American countries will decide on their own projects to receive support, and “another stage has begun of international support for them for development.”
Schiller Institute Representative Visits Urumqi in Xinjiang Autonomous Region
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—A small delegation of American scholars visited Urumqi at the invitation of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region’s CASS Institute of Borderland Studies. (Borderland Studies concentrates on the autonomous regions of China, rather than on the foreign borders.) The delegation was led by EIR correspondent Bill Jones, and consisted of Ralph Winnie and Josiah Henson from the Eurasia Center. In meetings with about a dozen CASS scholars, Jones discussed the early history of the Belt and Road, the role of Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute in getting China to hold the 1996 forum in Beijing on the Eurasian Land-Bridge, and its work to spread the word in the West on the importance of the BRI. Jones also spoke on the danger of a new global financial crisis, the need for a new world order, the British operations against President Donald Trump to prevent his cooperation with China and Russia, and the need for a Four-Power agreement, including India, to establish such an order.
While the other speakers talked about the trade dispute and the political dilemmas of President Trump (both had been delegates for Trump), they either supported what Jones had said, or, in one case, didn’t contradict him. One of the CASS scholars talked about the reasons why China had begun the Eurasian Land-Bridge was simply because of the economy of trade associated with a land-based connection to Europe. Jones pointed out the broader conceptual outlook of the land-bridge as a model of world development which characterized the Schiller Institute viewpoint, as well as that of the Chinese scholars who gathered in Beijing in 1996. The CASS people were also pleasantly surprised to hear the optimism of all of the speakers with regard to the possibilities being offered by a “liberated” President Trump.
The Xinjiang government had also organized a tour of the information center of the Xinjiang Free Trade area, the City Museum, the expanded railroad yard, a horse museum and stables (horses, both wild and tame, are important in Xinjiang culture), and a trip to Urumqi’s main bazaar.
The Chinese scholars were quite thrilled to receive a copy of the Schiller Institute’s Volume 2 of “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge: A Shared Future for Humanity” for further study.
The delegation also stopped in Beijing for a day to meet with the Beijing Chinese Academy for Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Borderland Studies, an entirely separate organization from the Xinjiang group. While the Beijing group consisted only of about five people (the chairman was called away at the last minute), here there was even more excitement, with all the scholars diligently writing down everything Jones said on the international situation and the Anglo-American operation to destabilize Trump. Jones took this opportunity to outline the British attempt to shape U.S. policy through its so-called “special relationship,” but also dealt with the same themes as in Urumqi. The group’s vice-chairman took particular interest, and continued the discussion afterwards at a small banquet organized for the Americans. With respect to the Four Powers, while he agreed that three parties—the U.S., Russia and China—were needed to change the system of governance, he didn’t think India would be a part of it.
Jones also gave them a copy of Vol. 2 of the “New Silk Road” report.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Another Eleven U.S. Nuclear Plants May Close, Threatening New Technology and R&D
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The crisis in the U.S. nuclear electric utility industry continues, with another 11 operating nuclear power plants under threat of closure by 2025. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the peak for operating reactors, at 112, was in 1990. As of August this year, there were 98.
An article published in U.A.E. daily The National on Dec. 17, begins by comparing the imminent shutdown of Three Mile Island, with a loss of 700 jobs, to the growing orders for nuclear plants in the Middle East and North Africa. By 2030, the region is set to add more than 15 GW of nuclear capacity, a “quantum leap” from zero currently.
It goes on to describe a July paper on the role of nuclear power in as a “low-carbon wedge” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors studying the future of the U.S. nuclear power industry are not optimistic, even about the new generation of smaller reactors. While these SMRs are more efficient than the current generation, their capital cost is made significantly higher than comparable natural gas plants, and the siting, safety and licensing procedures are more complex and time consuming.
None of these cost factors, however, is a fact of nature, no matter the plant size. From the higher interest rates charged by Wall Street to allegedly “high-risk” nuclear, to the regulatory over-kill and hysteria about safety, they are all political, not physical or technical factors, which artificially make nuclear “too expensive.” As a result, only one new nuclear plant has come online in the U.S. in this century, and the country has an industry that is in decline.
As the fleet of operating nuclear power plants shrinks, so, too, does the pool of experienced, skilled engineers and operators, along with the capacity of the manufacturing industry, and the investment in R&D. And the industry is quickly reaching that of a poor-nation status.
John Quelch, the dean of the Miami Business School, is quoted byThe National: “Innovation lags when you don’t have the opportunity to bring your ideas to commercial reality. If you need a nuclear power station today, you’d buy it from China, France, Korea, or Russia.”
Belgian Prime Minister Resigns after Revolt over Migration and Austerity
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel resigned today, following street demonstrations against both the government’s signing of the UN migration policy last week and the continued economic austerity conditions. Last week the conservative coalition partner in the government, the Flemish-based N-VA, had pulled out of the government, primarily over the migration issue, and today the leftist groupings refused to back up the prime minister, forcing his resignation. The United Nations migration deal put together last week in Marrakesh is to be signed today at the UN in New York. Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia all refused to sign the accord, as did the U.S.
Michel today addressed the Parliament: “I know that this government doesn’t have the confidence of this chamber. I know it. I can feel it. The question is: Do we want to work together on a project taking into account the interests of our citizens?” But the left forces then called for a vote of no-confidence, and before the vote, Michel submitted his resignation to King Philippe.
This adds to the European governments which are in a state of collapse, as the governments of France, Germany, and the U.K. are all facing possible short-term “regime change.”
Belgium had already a scheduled election in May, and it is possible that Brussels will remain without a government until that time.