EIR Daily Alert Service
MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2019
Volume 6, Number 4
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
Shedding Light on Planet Earth
Changé-4 Rover Yutu-2 Is Off on Its Lunar Exploration
Chinese Space Scientists on Changé-4 Mission,
Éxploring the Unkown Is Human Nature
Wall Street Threatens Trump with ‘Staggering Stock Market Meltdown”,
If He Touches the Fed
EIR Daily Alert
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed over the weekend that NASA’s invitation to Russian Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin to visit the United States had been cancelled, due to pressure from U.S. Senators committed to unrelenting confrontation with Russia. This decision is not just one more provocation by the U.S. “War Party,” which orbits tightly around the British Empire’s policy establishment. It comes at a crucial moment of potential cooperation of four major powers—Russia, China, India and the U.S.—on the most critical of matters facing mankind: scientific cooperation on space exploration, the next great frontier of mankind’s growing dominion over our universe. Efforts to thwart such needed cooperation are truly a crime against humanity.
As Wu Weiren, chief of China’s lunar program stated so eloquently right after the spectacular Chang’e-4 lunar landing: “Exploring the unknown is human nature. The Moon is a mysterious world to us. We have a responsibility to explore and to understand it. Exploration of the Moon will also deepen our understanding of Earth and ourselves.”
The pressure applied in this instance by U.S. Senators, is just one component of the British Empire’s strategy to use the new U.S. Congress—including its media-magnified drive to impeach President Donald Trump; the ongoing Mueller witchhunt; and international pressure by “foreign powers” (i.e., the British), to put a straitjacket on President Trump. They are deployed to simply prevent him, by hook or by crook, from governing as President, based on the policies for which he was elected.
Also indicative of this approach are the 11th-hour efforts to sabotage Trump’s Syrian withdrawal policy, since they fear its potential for totally reorganizing Southwest Asia away from decades (even centuries) of the British Empire’s bloody geopolitical Great Game.
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche today counseled: Ignore the distractions. Keep the nation’s attention focused on the realissues facing the world: Four Power cooperation to create a New Paradigm along the course being charted by China’s Belt and Road Initiative; ending British geopolitics and its attendant wars; and defeating the onrushing trans-Atlantic financial debacle with LaRouche’s Four Laws, starting with the Glass-Steagall firewall— which is also the only effective “wall” for actually stopping Dope, Inc.’s new opium war against the U.S. and others, as Lyndon LaRouche has long stated.
Man’s new presence on the so-called “dark” side of the Moon, and win-win cooperation on the new era for mankind which it has opened up, can shed new light on solving these central issues back on Planet Earth.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—About 12 hours after the landing of the Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the Moon, the Yutu-2 rover rolled off the lander to start its mission of exploration. The camera on the lander took a photo of Yutu-2 on lunar soil. (The name chosen for the rover, from 42,945 entries, recognizes that it is the successor to the Chinese rover a hemisphere away, on the near side of the Moon.) The rover will next take a photo of the lander, and then explore until Jan. 12, when the two-week lunar night sets in. The rover will then fold its solar panels to provide a “blanket” to keep it warm while it is dormant, waiting for the next lunar day. At 140 kg it is the lightest lunar rover in history, which was made possible by advances in technology, Chinese scientists explained. It is designed to travel 10 km and operate for three months.
An article today in Science & Technology Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese Science and Technology Ministry, describes the challenges in landing Chang’e-4 on the Moon’s far side, and the care that was taken before setting the rover out on its course. The spacecraft hovered at about 100 meters, so that cameras could identify obstacles to avoid. The landing site was not chosen by mission control engineers, but through autonomous guidance on the spacecraft. Although the communication delay between Chang’e-4 and Earth is only 60 seconds, the precision needed for the landing required quick decisions, so the spacecraft had to make its own decision where to land. The article reports that the required autonomous landing “raised China’s spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control technology to a new level.”
The preparations needed for the separation of the rover from the lander included testing the relay satellite communication “bridge,” measuring the environmental parameters, testing the state of the equipment, and determining the angle of incidence of the Sun. “The conditions for the separation of the two spacecraft were confirmed by final inspection,” the article reports. The rover is equipped with a panoramic camera, ground-penetrating radar, an imaging spectrometer to study the composition of the lunar surface, and an analyser to observe how the solar wind interacts with the Moon.
After Yutu-2 successfully rolled off the lander, the lander photographed the rover and its tracks in the lunar soil.
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—There is extensive coverage in the Chinese media of the astonishing Chang’e-4 achievement, and the ongoing activities of the lander, the rover, and the relay satellite. Comments by a number of China’s top scientists involved in the project are also reported:
“Exploring the unknown is human nature. The Moon is a mysterious world to us. We have a responsibility to explore and to understand it. Exploration of the Moon will also deepen our understanding of Earth and ourselves,” said Wu Weiren, chief of China’s lunar program. On CGTN’s “China 24” program this morning, Wu said that although China started late in its lunar program, unlike the U.S. program it is not a race, but scientific, and started from a higher ground. He said China’s lunar program welcomes contributions, even in subsystems and system integration.
“It is a perfect display of human intelligence,” said Jia Yang, deputy chief designer of the Chang’e-4 probe, from the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).
“Solving those problems might help lay the foundation for future space exploration. High-precision landing is a necessity for further exploring the Moon and asteroids. We hope to be able to reach the whole Moon and even the whole Solar System,” said Sun Zezhou, chief designer of Chang’e-4 probe from CAST.
“Exploring the far side of the Moon is one contribution China is making to the world. Although we still don’t know what we might find, this exploration might influence several generations,” said Shen Zhenrong, a designer of the lunar rover.
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—In a Jan. 3 Twitter message, Bolivian President Evo Morales extended his congratulations “to the Chinese people and their President Xi Jinping for having achieved the first landing on the far side of the Moon by the Chang’e-4 probe, an achievement that places your nation in the vanguard of global astronautics.”
Also saying he was “proud to be China’s technological partner,” Morales observed that “not even Russia or the United States have achieved this.”
In Argentina, aeronautical scientists are expressing pride that the country played a role in the Chang’e-4 mission, through the space tracking, telemetry and command facility which the China Satellite and Tracking Control General (CLTC) company built in the Patagonian province of Neuquén, in an agreement with Argentina’s Space Activities Commission (CONAE).
CONAE’s director Raul Kulichevsky told the daily Perfil last July that Argentina “offered the physical space, the logistics and supplies for the construction of the base,” in exchange for which it will have use of 10% of the station’s giant parabolic antenna for national research into deep space. The agreement to build the tracking station was signed during the Presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was firmly committed to developing her nation’s scientific and technological capabilities.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has apparently bowed to political pressure, and rescinded the invitation to Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin to visit NASA headquarters, the Johnson Space Center, and Rice University. In an interview with the Washington Postprinted today, Bridenstine says, “We had heard from numerous senators suggesting that this was not a good idea. And I wanted to be accommodating to the interests of the senators, and so I have rescinded the invitation.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) had ranted on Jan. 2: “Rogozin has a proven record of choosing conflict over cooperation, and this invitation weakens the U.S.’s global standing by demonstrating the ease by which Russian officials can get around trans-Atlantic sanctions.” Similar objections were voiced by Russophobe Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
Over this past week, it was clear that the NASA leadership was trying to decide how to deal with the situation. Mid-week, the agency said it was working on the timing of the trip. On Friday NASA had announced it would “postpone” the Rogozin visit, and the following day, “as the criticism mounted, the agency decided it was best to withdraw the invitation entirely,” the Post gloats.
Bridenstine has frequently pointed to the importance of the U.S.-Russia space cooperation, and urged that it be recognized as a model for how nations with disagreements on various political issues can work together toward common aims. His invitation to Rogozin, he told the Post, was an effort to “keep a strong working relationship that was kept separate from geopolitics and even partisan politics in the United States, and that’s been good for both countries.”
The NASA Administrator, himself a former Congressman, has likewise expressed his view that the Congressional ban on space cooperation with China could easily be removed.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—Dmitry Rogozin, director of Russia’s Roscosmos, on Jan. 3 wrote a letter congratulating China for its Chang’e-4 mission landing on the far side of the Moon. In a letter published on the Roscosmos website, Rogozin stated: “On behalf of Roscosmos State Corporation and on my own behalf, I want to congratulate you and the entire team of the China National Space Administration on the successful launch of the Chang’e-4 mission—the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon in the history of mankind.” He further said, “We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang’e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russia. I am confident that in the future we will have many more opportunities for effective cooperation for the benefit of our countries.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—Wall Street and the City of London are mighty worried that President Donald Trump is going to act on more of his campaign promises and clip the wings of the Federal Reserve System and its Chairman Jerome Powell. Their nightmares may even include the reinstatement of FDR’s Glass-Steagall law.
An article in the Jan. 3 The Hill hyperventilates about how disastrous it would be if Trump acted on his recent sharp criticisms of Powell, by firing him: this would be a “calamity … economic chaos”; it would cause a “staggering stock market meltdown … massive reaction from financial markets … [and] catastrophic to his entire presidency.”
The Hill article threatens: “Experts say the bigger concern is that any move on that front [dismissing Powell] would ignite a chain of calamities that could derail the global economy and financial markets…. Making a drastic move against the central bank’s chief policymaker could unleash economic chaos at a time when the President prepares to seek reelection. An attempt to fire Powell would be an unprecedented test of the Fed’s independence and the laws meant to protect the central bank from politics in Washington. The move could also trigger a staggering stock market meltdown, spark intense congressional backlash and damage the country’s role as the world’s largest economy. ‘If he were to actually be stupid enough to do it, it would trigger a massive reaction from financial markets that would be catastrophic to his entire Presidency,’ said Daniel Alpert, managing partner at investment firm Westwood Capital. ‘There will be all sorts of hell to pay.’ ”
The article concludes: “The Fed is considered critical to the stability of the U.S. economy, and its policies have profound influence over foreign counterparts. Analysts say if Trump threatens the Fed’s independence, it could throw the global financial system into chaos.”
Powell himself was asked if he would resign if Trump asked him to, and he responded simply: “No.”
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—The Labor Department’s monthly employment report this morning showed very strong jobs growth in December, over 300,000 with seasonal adjustments. The total increase in employment over the year 2018 was reported at 2.6 million compared to 2.2 million in 2017; and the added goods-producing jobs within that total were 665,000 (280,000 in construction, 284,000 in manufacturing, and 81,000 in mining). Moreover, the labor participation level was up 0.2% in December and 0.4% for 2018 with labor force participation rising in December by a reported 419,000.
Wage growth for the year was somewhat higher than in the previous months, at 3.2% for all workers and 3.0% for production and non-supervisory workers. The average workweek rose by a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours.
Despite the growth in overall employment, the real extent of joblessness in the American population remains: 6.3 million officially unemployed; 6.2 million discouraged or forced into part-time work; and most tellingly, 3.6 million people ready and able to work but not having looked for a job for more than a year. If all those were included, the “real” unemployment rate might be about 9.5%; but more importantly, the great majority of the last category are relatively young (18-54) potentially productive workers, who have dropped out for some time.
The Wall Street stock markets rose sharply after this report, but also after Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell made a statement which came close to promising the Fed would not raise interest rates any further for most if not all of 2019. Economic growth in the United States economy has slowed down in the final quarter, and indices of industrial production, although still indicating expansion, have dropped significantly. The pattern in Europe is the same, though at a much lower level.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—Federal Reserve System Chairman Jerome Powell issued statements on Jan. 4 which were far more “dovish”—favoring a looser monetary policy—than any he had issued recently. He reassured the markets that “We’re listening carefully with sensitivity to the message that the markets are sending, and we’ll be taking those downside risks into account as we make policy going forward.” Powell further said that the Fed is able to “adjust policy quickly and flexibly” if it sees problems, and that “we wouldn’t hesitate to change it and that would include the balance sheet. We’re hearing a lot from different groups of people about the role the balance sheet normalization may be playing in the market.”
Balance sheet normalization is Fed key and code for tapering and even reversing the last decade of quantitative easing, which has bankers panicked, given the overwhelming insolvency of the entire trans-Atlantic financial system. Said Powell: “If we came to view that the balance sheet normalization or any other aspect of the normalization was part of the problem, we wouldn’t hesitate to make a change,” he said.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)—Xi Jinping, speaking yesterday to the Central Military Commission (CMC), said that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) must be prepared to win a war. “The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development,” Xi said, as reported in Global Times.
President Xi, who is also chairman of the CMC, said the entire armed forces should have a correct understanding of China’s security and development trends, enhance their awareness of danger, crisis and war, and make solid efforts on combat preparations in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the Party and the people, as paraphrased by Xinhua.
This year will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and will be celebrated by a major military parade in Tiananmen Square. Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert and TV commentator, said: “The parade will be a demonstration of PLA’s real combat capability and its training results since 2018. A military that can fight and win a war will be presented then.”
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—National Security Advisor John Bolton spoke with reporters accompanying him on his current trip to Israel and Turkey, and made on-the-record statements that indicate that there is an effort underway to qualify, delay and put conditions on President Donald Trump’s announcement of withdrawal from Syria. On Jan. 6, Bolton stated:
“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal policy decisions that we need to implement…. This is a cause and effect mission. Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfillment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see. And once that’s done, then you talk about a timetable.”
Bolton also suggested that the U.S. withdrawal would not be total, pointing to the Al Tanf base in particular: “The primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria. So it’s going to be a different environment after we leave, there is no question about that. But there is no desire to see Iran’s influence spread, that’s for sure. Then there is the Al Tanf garrison, which is still very strategically important in connection with our determination that Iran not achieve this arc of control stretching from Iran through Iraq into Lebanon and into Syria.”
As for Turkey, Bolton said: “We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the President’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered.” News wires are interpreting this as a statement that the U.S. is going to demand of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he not attack the Kurds, as a condition of U.S. withdrawal. Turkey considers the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia to be a branch of the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party separatists.
Bolton will be in Israel Jan. 6-7, and will then be in Turkey on Jan. 8, where he will be joined by Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, flanked by the Secretaries of Defense and Navy, issued a call two days ago for tens of thousands of Mexican youth to join the new National Guard that is being created to help restore peace and public security to the nation.
“I am calling on Mexicans, women and men, on families, to help us … confront together our great and grave national problems, and give you the security that it is an honorable, decent, job, with a social dimension … a contribution to the country, to the nation, to society,” López Obrador said in his Jan. 2 morning press conference.
With this dramatic announcement, López Obrador is setting out to recruit thousands of youth into defending their nation, before they are recruited by force or lack of options into the ranks of the drug cartel armies which have taken over huge chunks of the nation, and given Mexico one of the highest homicide rates in the world. López Obrador has stated explicitly that he has the model of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s mobilization of American youth in mind.
The President, Gen. Luis Crescencio Sandoval Gonzalez and Adm. José Rafael Ojeda Duran explained that youth between 18 and 30 years old who wish to join the National Guard will receive training, labor stability, a secure and decent salary, education and professional development at military academies, housing, food, clothing and equipment, vacations, transportation expenses, life insurance, and comprehensive medical care for themselves and their families. Parents of youth who join can also receive medical care in any military facility in the country, Secretary of Defense Sandoval Gonzalez specified.
Recruitment is to begin now for the National Guard, which is to have 50,000 members when it is fully established as a separate branch of the military by 2021. They hope to recruit over 21,000 recruits during 2019. All 18- to 30-year-olds are eligible, if they are citizens, have no police record, and meet the same physical and mental health criteria required to join the military.
They will have, “most importantly, the honor of serving the nation,” the Presidency emphasized in its press release.
It is through the announcement of such measures—some more audacious, some less—at his daily 7 a.m. press conferences, that President López Obrador is laying the groundwork to successfully govern and reverse the economic, social, political and security breakdown into which Mexico was driven under the dying British liberal paradigm.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro told SBT TV last week that he is open to letting the United States operate a military base on Brazilian soil, to counter alleged Russian influence in neighboring Venezuela. “Nowadays the power of American, Chinese and Soviet [sic] armed forces extends to the whole world, independent of bases, but depending on what might happen in the world, who knows if we might have to talk about it (a U.S. base) in the future,” he first said. The next day, he reported that the U.S. is discussing establishing a South American military base with Brazil’s neighbors, also, while his Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, in Lima, Peru for a meeting of the anti-Venezuela so-called Lima Group, reported that Bolsonaro would discuss the base idea with President Donald Trump when he visits Washington in March.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately jumped into the discussion, telling O Estado de Sao Paulo yesterday that “We are pleased with President Bolsonaro’s offer…. This is something that we have been wanting very much.”
Such a base would be anathema to long-standing Brazilian diplomatic and military policy, which is highly jealous of its sovereignty, and there are indications of divisions in the Brazilian military over the proposal. The Ministry of Defense on Jan. 5 said it knew nothing of the plan: “The President has not discussed this with the Defense Minister,” the ministry spokeswoman stated. An unnamed military officer told Reuters that the country’s military was taken by surprise by Bolsonaro’s statement, and that “Brazil’s military would be against a U.S. base in the country.”
Brazil’s right-wing (but not fringe) military publication Revista Sociedade Militar insisted that Bolsonaro had not promised the U.S. a base, but then wrote of a “very remote” scenario which could lead to Brazil allowing the U.S. to place THAAD missiles on its territory, should the U.S.-China trade conflict turn hot, Russia side with China, and the two place missiles in Venezuela.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
|Jan. 4 (EIRNS)—A group of Democrats rushed to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his witchhunt on the first day of the 116th Congress. The incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler of New York, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and Steven Cohen of Tennessee introduced the “Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act” in the House of Representatives yesterday, to codify the existing Justice Department regulation that mandates that a special counsel may be removed only for “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or other good cause,” ostensibly to prevent President Donald Trump from firing Mueller, should he decide to do so. Their bill also requires “written notice to a special counsel outlining the reasons for removal and provides a procedure that allows a special counsel to challenge his or her removal in court,” according to Nadler’s website.The Nadler House bill matches the Senate bill introduced in the last session. Its three sponsors report their bill has 123 bipartisan co-sponsors.Meanwhile, the “Impeachment Now Dems” are enjoying big media hype. California’s Rep. Brad Sherman reintroduced articles of impeachment against President Trump yesterday. Texas’s Al “Greedy” Green says he will do likewise. Michigan’s freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib beat out New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the media’s favorite “I’m a radical woman with a mouth,” by telling a crowd of her supporters last night that “we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker,’ ” a statement for which she has remained unapologetic.Tlaib argued in an op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press the same day that impeaching President Trump should not wait for Mueller’s report, nor be held off for the 2020 elections; “the time for impeachment proceedings is now.” Her op-ed was undoubtedly authored by its co-signer, the same John Bonifaz who has fed Al “Greedy” Green his wildly anti-constitutional argument that a U.S. President can be impeached on a whim, never mind the “high crimes and misdemeanors.”House Democratic leaders Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, et al., are not running with impeachment now, but they are leaving to door open to it. “We have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report,” Pelosi told NBC yesterday. “We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason. So we’ll just have to see how it comes.”|
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