EIR Daily Alert Service, Monday, JANUARY 21, 2019
|MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019|
Volume 6, Number 14
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Will the War Party Control Trump’s Missile Defense? Helga Zepp Answers…..
- ‘Fool Me Once’ The Strange Tale of BuzzFeed & The Integrity Initiative
- Lebanese President Aoun Proposes Arab Reconstruction and Development Bank
- Nigerian President Buhari Again Stresses His Commitment to Restoring Lake Chad
- Idlib Terror Mini-State Shows Consequences of Keeping Syrian Army Out
- DOD Official Claims U.S. Missile Defense Program Responds to Russia, China Hypersonic Arms
- ITALY’S Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio Pushes Glass-Steagall On Major TV Show
- Italy Can Sustain At Least 50 Billion Euros Investment
- NASA Proposes Space Cooperation With China on Lunar Missions
- Mexico’s Obrador Takes on Massive Oil Theft
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)—During Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s weekly strategic webcast of Jan. 19, she was asked by host Harley Schlanger whether President Donald Trump’s just-announced Missile Defense Plan could become Lyndon LaRouche’s and Ronald Reagan’s SDI?
Mrs. LaRouche replied: “While it is very interesting, and many media actually referred to the SDI of President Reagan, I would say, I would like to wait and see if it’s an offer which is including Russia and China, because that is what the Reagan SDI actually was, or is it, as some of the commentators, also in Russia and the Chinese media are worrying, is it an attempt by what one can generally call the ‘war party’ in the United States to try to establish superiority in space and as Global Times for example said, is it an effort to make sure the United States could possibly attack a country with nuclear weapons and not fear that the United States itself would be counterattacked? They call this an illusion which will not work, that it will lead to the destruction of Mutually Assured Destruction and deterrence. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing, because, if you remember, when my husband actually developed what became the SDI, it was the explicit idea to replace Mutually Assured Destruction through the concept of Mutually Assured Survival.
“Now, this was the response of my husband to the medium-range missile crisis, the SS-20 and Pershing II, which had a launch-on-warning condition in the beginning of the ’80s, and the danger of an accidental nuclear war was extremely high. So, my husband, starting in the late ’70s, developed this proposal that the two superpowers, together, would develop new weapons systems based on ‘new physical principles,’ develop them together, install them together, and in that way, make the defensive, for the first time, less costly than the offensive, and in that process making nuclear weapons obsolete.
“We had, at that time, for one full year, so-called back-channel discussions on behalf of the National Security Council of the United States, with official representatives of the Soviet Union, and my husband and I were involved in these discussions for one full year. And then, in February ‘83, the answer came back from Moscow, that they did not like this proposal, with the argument that it would bring the West more advantages than to the Soviets: which, by the way, would not have been true, because President Reagan offered twice, once in March 1983, and again eight months later, that the United States would help the Soviet Union to apply the breakthroughs in the new military technology, the application of those in the civilian sector, and that way, overcome certain bottlenecks in the civilian economy of the Soviet Union. And my husband then elaborated this proposal to make it a so-called ‘draft protocol for the superpowers,’ whereby they would go for a joint science-driver program, increasing the productivity of the world economy, and through a gigantic technology transfer to the developing countries, would overcome the underdevelopment of the third world. Now, that was the real SDI….
“So therefore, given the fact that this was a fantastic idea, to do away with both the Warsaw Pact and NATO, and it would have changed the course of humanity if it had not been rejected by the hardliners on both sides—both the Bush faction in the Reagan Administration, and the Ogarkov faction in the Soviet leadership.
“Now, since Trump has made only an initial statement, and the three representatives from the United States who presented this to the press, also basically said things—one of them was saying, this is just in response to the hypersonic missiles of Russia and China; another one basically said, this is not something which will come off the shelf, it will be developed—so it looks like it’s a gigantic R&D program at this stage. But the key question, and I insist on that: Will it include cooperation with Russia and China, or will it be against them? And that will determine the question, if it is in the footsteps of the SDI or not, and let’s hope for the better, because President Trump is seeking a better relationship with Russia; he’s doing very good things now with China; he wants to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. So, I absolutely give him the benefit of the doubt, and let’s see what it turns out to be.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 19 (EIRNS)— On Jan. 18, BuzzFeed published a “bombshell” story that Donald Trump had ordered his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower project in Moscow. They sourced it to two anonymous FBI agents who claimed to be completely familiar with what Special Counsel Robert Mueller had on this. Saturday, the Democratic Party and its media appendages in the United States collectively went crazy, hyperventilating (while attempting outright seriousness and pomposity): “Now we are definitely in impeachment territory.” They proclaimed the President’s impeachment imminent due to the BuzzFeed bombshell well over 200 times on U.S. outlets. The only problem was that the BuzzFeed bombshell was so fake that it even drew an unprecedented rebuttal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He stated publicly that BuzzFeed’s claims were not accurate.
There is the saying, traced to the Italians, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” BuzzFeed was chosen, somehow, by the highest levels of British intelligence and its lackeys here, to fully publish the Christopher Steele dirty dossier about Donald Trump on January 10, 2017. It had been leaked to BuzzFeed by John McCain’s aide David Kramer, long associated with the National Endowment for Democracy and other British-associated intelligence and regime-change operations in the United States. There followed a flurry of articles pumping Steele’s credibility and that of the dossier by various reporters and officials who have since been linked to the Integrity Initiative, the British military’s psywar and info war apparatus now working with the U.S. State Department. The Integrity Initiative itself lists BuzzFeed as a “friendly publication” to its anti-Russian, any dissent, information warfare and censorship campaign, noting that BuzzFeed allows publication of the Initiative’s anonymously sourced materials. The Initiative references planned meetings with BuzzFeed for purposes of complete integration and “strengthening” the bonds.
The early 2017 “vouching for Christopher Steele’s bona fides” campaign aimed at overcoming the stench from what was, on its face, an easily discernible, sloppy British intelligence hoax, included the former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood, a bigwig in the Integrity Initiative and with Christopher Steele. Wood initiated the Steele-McCain-Kramer leak. It also included Luke Harding of theGuardian, and Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast and The Interpreter, which is the journal of the Institute of Modern Russia. A major piece in this campaign was authored by Howard Blum for Vanity Fair. As opposed to the others, Blum has yet to be directly linked to the Integrity Institute. Some will remember him, however, as a long-timeNew York Times defamer of Lyndon LaRouche. So, a British hit piece, which otherwise dwelled on a site famous for cat videos and other clickbait, became the “backbone” of Russiagate. Its widespread introduction to the American public was timed to go with Donald Trump’s election, introducing the trope that Trump was a Manchurian candidate who engaged in perverse sexual acts in Moscow.
On Friday, Jan. 18, BuzzFeed, the Integrity Institute’s friendly publication, tried to up the impeach-Trump ante with the fake Michael Cohen story. Like the Steele Dossier, the BuzzFeed claims about Cohen stunk to anyone with minimum intelligence. If Mueller had the information BuzzFeed said he had, he would surely have included it in Michael Cohen’s indictment and plea deal. It was probably thought Mueller would stay silent as the media storm accelerated, as he has, so reliably in the past. One of the authors of the fake story, Jason Leopold, has used exactly the same scenario in the past, alleged reliance on “two FBI agents with knowledge of the investigation.” Previously, he relied on two FBI agents, cited anonymously, during the Valerie Plame scandal, to report that Karl Rove was to be indicted imminently. The “two” FBI sources did him no better back then. The Rove indictment never happened, nor was it ever planned. Leopold was fired from Salon for plagiarism, is a convicted felon and a former cocaine addict. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith describes BuzzFeed’s practice as posting first what people are otherwise seeing on the Internet and correcting any errors through the social media mechanism of Twitter complaints. The Columbia Journalism Review’s discussion of BuzzFeed is headlined, “Who Cares If It’s True?” Think about these widely known facts when reviewing the sanity of the Democratic Party officials who went to the ramparts Saturday over yet another piece of easily recognizable crap.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)—Echoing the Schiller Institute’s continued calls in recent years, President Michel Aoun of Lebanon said in his opening speech of the Arab Economic Summit held in Beirut Jan. 20, that he proposes the creation of an Arab bank for reconstruction and development, and the reconstruction of the Arab countries that have been affected by war and terrorism in recent years should become a priority. Aoun said he “has titled this summit ‘prosperity is the name of peace.’ ”
“I hereby put forth my initiative aimed at adopting the strategy of reconstruction for development, calling to set up efficient mechanisms that live up to these challenges and to the requirements of reconstruction, at the top of which the establishment of an Arab Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” Aoun said. According to a wire published in the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA), he also stressed the necessity of setting up efficient mechanisms that live up to the requirements of reconstruction and development in the Arab world. “Against this background, I call on all the Arab institutions and financing funds to meet in Beirut during the coming three months to discuss and finalize these mechanisms,” he added.
The Schiller Institute, as recently as November 2017, issued a call for the creation of a regional bank for reconstruction and development, in the Special Report Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, (Chapter 4: “Financing Regional and National Infrastructure”) outlining the credit mechanism through which such a bank could function in accordance with Lyndon LaRouche’s and Alexander Hamilton’s concepts of productive credits. The same call was published in the Arabic translation of the EIR Special Report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge which was launched from Egypt at a special event hosted by the Egyptian Transport Minister in February 2016.
On April 7, 2017, then French Presidential candidate and Schiller Institute associate Jacques Cheminade met with President Aoun in Beirut to discuss the prospects for peace and development in Syria and the wider region. In his press conference after meeting with President Aoun, Cheminade emphasized the importance of economic development as the basis for any durable peace in the region. (See EIR, “Jacques Cheminade Meets Lebanese President, Works To Bring Peace Throughout the Middle East,” April 21, 2017)
In July 2018, President of China Xi Jinping pledged in his speech at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum conference, to provide $20 billion for a reconstruction fund targeting specifically Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen. Xi addressed this issue in the context of the Arab countries joining the Belt and Road Initiative. Later, China and Arab officials met in Lebanon to discuss the mechanism of a joint reconstruction fund, incorporating the Chinese funds with Arab funds. This is obviously what President Aoun is hinting at.
However, given the fact that the wealthiest Arab countries are British-controlled, and given the massive control the IMF and World Bank have historically enjoyed over the poorer Arab countries, this idea might be derailed from its real intention as expressed by President Aoun, President Xi and the Schiller Institute. EIR will follow up this issue in the coming months.
Jan. 19 (EIRNS)—Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called for more commitment from the international community on redirecting water to Lake Chad on Jan. 14, warning that the 40 million people who rely on the lake in the region would pose adverse migration and security challenges to the world.
The Transaqua project to refill Lake Chad was approved at the Feb. 26-28, 2018 International Conference on Lake Chad in Abuja and soon the feasibility study financed by the Italian government should start. The cost of the entire 2400 km system of dams and canals will be in the order of several dozen billion dollars.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria Philip Baker at the Presidential Villa, the President said the tragedy of the shrinking Lake Chad would continue to fuel more illegal migrations, banditry and provide willing hands for terrorism since majority of the people have lost their means of livelihood.
A statement by the special adviser to the President on media and publicity Femi Adesina said that Buhari warned that “the about 40 million population in the region will pose adverse migration and security challenges to the world” if the lake should dry up completely. The President pointed out that banditry, illegal migration and terrorism would worsen if the lake were not rescued. He said: “An academic rightly predicted that unless there was a redirection of water to Lake Chad, it would dry up. Now, whenever I go for any global meeting or visit a country, I will always draw the world’s attention to the adverse effect of climate change on the lake, and the resulting negative effects.”
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)—The Washington Post, among other media, carried reports on Sunday that the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadi terror group—a reincarnation of al-Qaeda—has taken essentially full military control of Idlib province in Syria, forcing the surrender of other, less extreme armed jihadi groups which have recently had the backing of Turkey. Ironically the article, and a number of its sources in Idlib, are as much or more concerned that the Syrian Army may now decide to fight to restore sovereign rule over Idlib, as that an al-Qaeda mini-state with millions of trapped residents now exists.
One year ago, in fact, the Post, New York Times, other national press, and loud voices in Britain, France, the U.S. Congress and government, were furiously opposed to any Syrian Army move against Idlib’s terrorist forces. Military strikes were threatened not only against Syria but also against Russian forces stationed there, if the Syrian Army moved on Idlib; Russia was accused of organizing a genocide in the province or, by the “calmer” voices, of triggering an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. As a result, Russia and Turkey came to the Sochi Agreement, the implementation of which seems increasingly unlikely, but which gave a year of peace.
Letting the Syrian Army, with Russian assistance, deal with Idlib is now again on the agenda. The Syrian army, with Russian help, liberated almost of all of Homs province and half of Deir Ezzor—including the city of Deir Ezzor after a three-year ISIS siege—from ISIS at considerable cost, which is also almost never acknowledged. ISIS also had considerable presence, alongside other jihadi groups, in the Damascus region and areas of southern Syria that the Syrian Army also cleared out.
Jan. 19 (EIRNS)—Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, during a briefing by three senior Pentagon officials following the rollout of the Missile Defense Review on Jan. 17, blamed Russia and China for the “need” for U.S. missile defense programs. One question that kept coming up during the briefing was whether or not the promised systems mean the U.S. will be able to launch pre-emptive strikes against ballistic missile sites? Rood replied that the MDR is not about pre-emption and otherwise complained about the hypersonic weapons that both Russia and China are developing. Those two countries, he said, have “very large scale and very robust programs they have already been pursuing.” In the MDR, he continued, “emphasis [is] being given to the robustness and size and scale of our missile defense response being very closely tied to the missile threat we face from countries like North Korea and Iran.” With respect to China and Russia, “you will note language in the report which talks about the United States continuing to rely on nuclear deterrence to—in order to deter and prevent a long-range missile attack on the United States.”
Otherwise, reporters’ questions during the briefing mainly focused on two aspects of the policy: How much will it cost? And how feasible are the technologies? In effect, the three officials were describing a program that amounts to a very large research and development program alongside incremental improvements to existing kinetic kill systems. Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin stressed that most of what will be seen over the next few years will be experiments, prototypes and tests “to see how well they work.” The one thing there will be rapid progress on, Griffin said, is the space-based sensor layer. Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, stressed that the objective is to deliver more than is promised. “Prove things in the laboratory, prove things on the ground, maybe go to air, maybe go to space if that’s where it ends up,” he said, adding that “you won’t see us jumping to the objective system immediately.”
Rood said, “The budget that will be rolled out [in a month] is consistent with the Missile Defense Review, and will carry it forward.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio pushed Glass-Steagall on the popular “Porta a Porta” TV talk-show yesterday. Di Maio was interviewed to explain the measures the government finally approved yesterday concerning basic income and pensions. Following a long explanation on how those social measures will work starting in April, Di Maio was asked about the newest conflict with the EU institutions on banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs). “To demand that NPLs should be fully reset within 2026 means to tell Italy, which has one-third of all NPLs, ‘close your banks,’ ” was his answer.
“Before intervening in Monte dei Paschi we must do three things,” he continued. “First, a rule that separates speculative banks from commercial banks, from those banks that make loans to the real economy … I mean, between banks that gamble on the stock market and banks that use our deposits to lend to the real economy. It is called ‘Glass-Steagall Act’ [in English] and we must do it as soon as possible.”
The host asked, do you want to go back to the old Banking Law, referring to the 1936 Banking Act that was repealed in 1995 by Draghi-Amato. “I believe that Italy demonstrates that going back to good old practices of our fathers and grandfathers is not always a bad habit or a wrong thing. And in fact, many countries are going back into that direction. England, for instance, has started a process in the last years. It is a slow process,” Di Maio said, showing a bit of confusion.
The third thing, Di Maio said, is a “Public Bank for Investments.” “The year 2019 must be the year when the Public Investment Bank, to help for investments and support firms, is created” as promised in the government coalition contract.
Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—The weak flank of the Italian government program is that the agreement with the EU Commission for a budget deficit lower than 2.04% of GDP prevents an expansion of investments. Minister for European Affairs Paolo Savona has warned about the danger that this would result in no GDP growth and has insisted on a larger investments quota.
Economists Antonio Rinaldi and Fabio Dragoni have explained what Savona meant when, speaking in the Chamber of Deputies, he proposed an extraordinary investment plan of €50 billion, exactly the amount of Italy’s trade surplus. “As all first-year economics students know, by boosting domestic demand with less taxes, more government spending and more investments, you have a growth of imports. Nothing to be worried about, because our current account surplus amounts exactly at €50 billions.”
Those words have unfortunately not been listened to. “We crawled into surrealistic disquisitions about some plus-minus zero comma something in the deficit, with an EU Commission with a cheese-like expiration date on it. In the 2001-2017 period, Italy has had an investment rate of 2.7% of GDP, lower than the 3% average in the Eurozone. Apparently a small difference, which however in 17 years makes a total investment gap of €95 billions, which would have been sufficient to build, for instance, an additional 1,600 km of high-speed railways or, if you prefer, 900 modern hospitals.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 19 (EIRNS)—In a statement yesterday, NASA has proposed areas of cooperation with China on lunar exploration, Xinhua reported. The article reports that NASA has held discussions with counterparts in the China National Space Administration over the past month “to explore the possibility of observing a signature of the landing plume” of Chang’e-4, similar to what it had done for the Chang’e-3 landing. This refers to how lunar dust is ejected upward when a spacecraft lands, which could inform future missions, NASA said in the statement.
NASA also said its scientists had been exchanging, collecting, and analyzing data with the Chinese team in order to have the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter go over the Chang’e-4 site to take high-definition pictures. LRO will be in the right position to do that on Jan. 31. The photos would be very useful to the Chang’e-4 team.
NASA emphasized that the cooperation on lunar research would have to be “transparent, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial.” (It is not clear if they had to get permission or a waiver from the White House, as under the Wolf Amendment.)
The two sides also agreed that any significant findings from the cooperation would be shared with the global research community next month at the Vienna meeting of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—After less than one month in office, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Dec. 27 that his government would shut down the highly organized operation, which for decades has been stealing a huge percentage of the petroleum, gasoline and other manufactures produced by Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex. He began by ordering the military to secure Pemex facilities and pipelines. Yesterday, as the battle continues, the government announced the creation of an inter-agency task force to go after the robbery from the money-laundering flank.
Although the President did not say so, Mexican and U.S. government agencies have long been aware that the narco-terrorist armies of the drug cartels are at the core of the oil theft, which, in turn, is organized with the connivance of leading oil multinationals, including Royal Dutch Shell, Sunoco, Conoco Phillips, BASF petrochemicals, among others. The laundering of the proceeds also involves major international banks that have proven large scale involvement in laundering dirty drug money.
This is no “Mexican” matter. The Atlantic Council has an “Oil Theft” project which estimates that $133 billion a year is stolen in similar operations globally. The Council acknowledges that Mexico is a case study of these operations, and that the drug cartels play a key role in it.
Exposed in the Mexican case is the single, integrated black economy of drugs, terrorism, arms trafficking, oil and coal robbery, human trafficking, etc. which lies at the core of the British Empire’s “free trade system.” The López Obrador government is showing great courage in taking on the oil component of that apparatus. Doing so directly calls the question on London’s entire Dope, Inc. apparatus, and Mexico will require international allies to launch and win that war.
The scale of oil theft in Mexico had grown over recent decades to reach 60 billion pesos—US$3 billion—a year by 2017, López Obrador reported. Oil and gas being siphoned off from Pemex pipelines fill an average of 600 tanker trucks, each carrying 15,000 liters, a day, he said. This theft, dubbed “huachicole” in Mexico, constitutes a “parallel Pemex”; with what has been stolen in 2018, Mexico could have financed 40% of a new refinery. Put differently, he said, with the proceeds of three years of this theft, Mexico could have built a new refinery.
The beneficiaries were the oil cartels. A former press liaison for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Joshua Crescensi, was identified as playing a key role by Project Reckoning, and turned state’s witness in return for a sweetheart deal. In 2010 and 2011, Pemex filed suits against the multinationals for their role, including those named above.
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