WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2019 Volume 6, Number 1 EIR Daily Alert Service P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
EIR Daily Alert
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued the following New Year Message by video today, posted on the Schiller Institute homepage:
I wish you a very good New Year. Some of you may remember that one year ago, I defined the overcoming of geopolitics as the most important goal for 2019, and many of you probably thought “Geopolitics, what is that? Is that really the most pressing issue?” And I maintain that because geopolitics was the source of two world wars, that we could not continue with such a confrontational policy in the age of thermonuclear weapons.
Now, see what happened in the year which just passed. You had an enormous amount of breakthroughs, where many regions of the world are in the process of overcoming geopolitics. Just to name a few: You had the historic summit between President Trump and President Kim Jong-un in Singapore, which is leading to a process of rapprochement between the two Koreas. Then you had, all of a sudden, Japan working with China on the Belt and Road Initiative. After the very important summit in Wuhan between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China and India are now working together on projects. And after the election of a new prime minister in Pakistan, there is reason for careful optimism for the relationship between the Pakistan and India.
Also in Africa: In the Horn of Africa you have nations which did not have any relations, or negative ones—namely, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia—they are now working together on infrastructure and have diplomatic relations. The entire African continent is filled with a spirit of optimism because of what China has been doing there, which is now also attracting investments from many other countries around the world.
But maybe the most interesting of all of these developments is the announcement of President Trump that the United States is going to pull out of Syria. This is causing a big irony, because many of the people who were screaming, “Ami [Yankee] go home!” just a few years ago, are now saying the United States absolutely must stay there, it will lead to chaos, it just gives a gift to President Putin, and Rouhani, and so forth.
Now, think about it: Isn’t it better that Trump makes good on his election promise to end the permanent wars of his predecessors? And he has promised the same thing for Afghanistan, that after futile efforts to solve the situation in Afghanistan militarily, there is now the intention to solve it through negotiation, to involve all the big neighbors of Afghanistan. So, isn’t it better to go in this direction, try to seek solutions through diplomacy and negotiation?
However, there are still some forces which are absolutely sticking to the old geopolitical paradigm, that is, the British government. Look at the recent report by the House of Lords, which is a masterpiece of geopolitics of the worst kind. [See: “U.K. Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order”] Then there is naturally the EU and also, unfortunately, also the Berlin government: They absolutely insist that their “rules-based order” must be maintained.
But this is not really very convincing. And I would actually urge you to find out for yourself, which way is better? Look at the New Year’s message of President Xi Jinping of China, which is a very proud listing of all the incredibly many accomplishments China has made this past year, all the industrial parks, the beautiful bridge between Macao, Zhuhai, and Hong Kong, and many such projects. China has lifted 10 million people out of poverty in one year alone, and is confident that it will lift all the remaining poor out of poverty by the year 2020. This is a message of somebody who cares about his country and his people, and please look at this message yourself, especially because of all of the anti-China hysteria going on. And then compare that New Year’s message with the one of Chancellor Merkel, who finds it important to stress as the most important occurrence of 2018 that she announced her resignation, and otherwise, is just more of the same and doesn’t offer any vision whatsoever.
Now, I think we are facing dramatic changes in this coming year 2019. It is not yet clear what these changes will be. It is clear that the old order is disintegrating, a new order is emerging, and what will be exactly the parameters of this new order, the principles, is also not yet decided. But I think if we look at the concepts of previous great thinkers of humanity, who had the vision of the one humanity, who had the vision of a harmonious development of all nations, they are such thinkers we can ask for advice. One of them is Confucius, another one is Nikolaus of Cusa, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and, naturally, also John Quincy Adams, and many others, but just to name these few.
So I think we are at an absolute, historic branching point. We can shape a new era of civilization where we overcome geopolitics for good. And I would ask you, work with the Schiller Institute, so that we can convince the remaining nations which are still sticking to the old ways and get especially the European nations to join the New Paradigm, and we can make a fantastic future if we work together.
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—In his first statement as Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, in contrast to outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, pledged to back President Donald Trump’s program. “As acting secretary of defense, I now look forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision alongside strong leaders including the service secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and senior personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”
Meanwhile, Trump reiterated his commitment to end the “Endless Wars” of the past. Asked what he did to convince Sen. Lindsay Graham, Trump said, “I never said we were going to rush out, I said we’re going to get out. We’re bringing our young great troops home after so many years…It’s time…. But we’re fighting these endless wars, I campaigned on getting out of these endless wars.”
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—On New Year’s Day, Politico ran a major attack on NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s invitation for Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin to visit the U.S. The article, headlined, “Wow: NASA Startles with Invitation to Sanctioned Russian,” is clearly designed to sabotage the visit and disrupt any rapprochement with Russia, on whose manned launches the U.S. relies.
Politico begins: “A Trump administration official’s plan to host a sanctioned Russian nationalist in the U.S. in the coming months is raising alarms among Russia hawks in Washington.
“NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine extended an invitation for his counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, to visit NASA headquarters in Houston in early 2019. U.S.-Russia space cooperation is nothing new. But Rogozin is no typical rocket-science technocrat. He is an ultranationalist politician with a record of stark racism and homophobia who is under American sanctions, which typically bar him from entering the U.S. over his 2014 role, as deputy prime minister, in Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.”
The article quotes Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Evelyn Farkas, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, as hyperventilating how appalling it is to waive the sanctions for Rogozin and allow him to speak at Rice University, Bridenstine’s alma mater.
NASA spokeswoman Megan Powers defended the invitation and said that planning “is still underway.” She said, “the U.S.-Russian relationship in space dates back to the 1970s. NASA has historically invited the head of the Russian space agency to visit the United States. Following this precedent, and Administrator Bridenstine’s October visit to Russia to participate in crew launch activities to the International Space Station, NASA invited the Director-General of Roscosmos to visit NASA facilities in the United States and discuss our ongoing space-related cooperation.”
Other Russia and space experts agreed with the decision to invite Rogozin. John Logsdon, an emeritus professor at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute is quoted, “I think this invitation reflects the ongoing success of the partnership, rather than any broader political tensions.”
The article continues with ad hominem attacks on Rogozin, his politics, and his previous roles as Russian Ambassador to NATO and Deputy Prime Minister.
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—A 2014 article in the English Spiegel Online wrote that Edward Snowden’s exposure of NSA operations included a report on the successful hacking of Huawei, as well as other Chinese private and government companies. The March 22, 2014 article said that among the Chinese targets other than Huawei were “Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Trade Ministry, banks, as well as telecommunications companies. But the NSA made a special effort to target Huawei…. At the beginning of 2009, the NSA began an extensive operation, referred to internally as ‘Shotgiant,’ against the company.”
Spiegel Online wrote: “According to a top secret NSA presentation, NSA workers not only succeeded in accessing the email archive, but also the secret source code of individual Huawei products. Software source code is the holy grail of computer companies.” One NSA document claims that “many of our targets communicate over Huawei produced products, we want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products.”
It continues: “The operation was conducted with the involvement of the White House intelligence coordinator and the FBI. One document states that the threat posed by Huawei is ‘unique.’ ”
Interestingly, the Huawei spokesman at the time, Bill Plummer, toldSpiegel Online: “If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,” he said. “If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation.” That was 2014!
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—“Julian Assange did nothing wrong by publishing Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails, just like the U.S. mainstream media wasn’t punished for publishing the Pentagon Papers,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Fox & Friends Sunday, RT reports. He acknowledged that the hack itself was a crime, but not the publishing by WikiLeaks. “No press person or person disseminating that for the purpose of informing did anything wrong,” he said.
“The Pentagon Papers were stolen property, weren’t they? They were stolen from the Pentagon and given to the New York Times and the Washington Post,” Giuliani said, “Nobody went to jail at the New York Times and the Washington Post. Once media outlets obtain leaked information, they can publish it for the purpose of informing people, and the same applies to Assange,” he said. “You can’t put Assange in a different position. We may not like what he communicates, but he was a media facility. He was putting that information out. Every newspaper [and] station grabbed it and published it.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, who last March childishly told Russia to “go away and shut up,” is promising that Britain will play an even larger role on the world stage after Brexit.
“This is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War, when we can recast ourselves in a different way, we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play,” he told the Telegraph in an interview yesterday. “For so long—literally for decades—so much of our national view point has actually been colored by a discussion about the European Union,” he said. “This is our moment to be that true global player once more—and I think the Armed Forces play a really important role as part of that.”
Williamson made boasted that Britain is returning to the East of Suez, tearing up then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s withdrawal in 1968. “We have got to make it clear that that is a policy that has been ripped up and Britain is once again a global nation,” he declared. This includes that Britain is looking to establish two new overseas bases, typically at naval chokepoints: one in the South China Sea, perhaps in Singapore or Brunei, and another in the Caribbean, possibly Montserrat or Guyana, “within the next couple of years,” said to a source close to Williamson.
|Trump Reiterates, U.S. Troops Coming Home from Syria, No More Fighting ‘Never Ending Wars’|
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—In a Twitter message this morning, President Donald Trump reiterated that U.S. troops will be coming home from Syria, stressing that he had campaigned against his predecessors’ policy of never-ending wars.“If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero. ISIS is mostly gone, we’re slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants,” he wrote. “I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places. Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working. Just doing what I said I was going to do! Except the results are FAR BETTER than I ever said they were going to be! I campaigned against the NEVER ENDING WARS, remember!”Trump’s message followed statements made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after his lunch meeting with Trump yesterday in which he stated that he was reassured by what Trump told him.“He told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria,” Graham told reporters at the White House, reported Reuters. “We still have some differences, but I will tell you that the President is thinking long and hard about Syria—how to withdraw our forces but at the same time achieve our national security interests.” Asked if Trump had agreed to any slowing down of the troop withdrawal, Graham replied, “I think the President’s very committed to making sure that when we leave Syria, that ISIS is completely defeated.”The media spun this into a tidal wave of headlines claiming that Graham said that Trump was slowing the withdrawal. Britain’s Sky News went so far as to say that Graham had said that Trump “had ordered a slowdown” of the withdrawal, but without quoting him to that effect.
Pothead Congressman Boasts ‘We Have Elected Most Pro-Cannabis Congress in History’
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Associated Press has done a recap on 2018 as the year in which legal cannabis finally came to the fore, making great strides in the U.S. and around the world. This brings to mind the cartoon used by the National Anti-Drug Coalition, founded by Lyndon LaRouche in the 1978, prompted by the book-length exposé he commissioned, Dope, Inc., Britain’s Opium War against the U.S.: “Pot smokers can’t remember the brains they lost.”The article exposes how advanced the pot campaign is, a flank in the British Empire’s strategy against the New Paradigm. The AP headline gloats, “Legal Marijuana Industry Had a Banner Year in 2018 with $10 Billion Worth of Investments,” with kicker, “With buzz building across the globe, the momentum is sure to continue into 2019, when the combined North American market is expected to exceed $16 billion.”AP quotes Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of the leading proponents for legal weed, who crowed about the incoming Congress: “We have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in history and more important, some of the people who were roadblocks to our work … are gone.” Blumenauer went on, “If we’re able to jump-start [legalization] in the House, I think there will be support in the Senate, particularly if we deal with things that are important, like veterans’ access and banking.”In the first paragraphs, AP excitedly chronicles 2018 marijuana “progress”:• “Liberal California,” the sixth largest economy in the world, has at long last legalized recreational dope.• “Conservative Utah and Oklahoma” legalized medical marijuana.• Michigan became the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana.• Massachusetts opened the East Coast’s first recreational pot shops in November.• Governors in New York and New Jersey are now publicly backing legalization efforts, as momentum for broad legalization builds in Pennsylvania and Illinois.• Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states now have legalized some form of medical marijuana.Internationally, AP claims the trend is expanding:• Canada “ushered in broad legalization.”• Mexico’s Supreme Court “set the stage for that country to follow.”• Luxembourg is “poised to become” the first European country to take the plunge.• South Africa is “moving in that direction.”• Thailand “legalized medicinal use of marijuana” on Dec. 25.In addition, they say that 2018 was also the year investors “came out of the closet” and started putting their money into what they call “the industry.” While official Wall Street has yet to publicly adopt it—since it’s still illegal under federal law—“venture capital” has filled the void. The article highlights Casa Verde Capital, run by rapper Snoop Dog, which is backing a start-up called Green Bits, supplier of accounting software to pot shops. The company raised $17 million in 2018, and now has 85 employees, who process “$2.5 billion in sales transactions a year for more than 1,000 U.S. retail stores and dispensaries.”
Greece’s Population in Rapid Decline Between Dropping Birth Rates and Emigration
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Greece is slowly being depopulated as a result of the brutal European Union bailout and austerity policy. Greece’s population has already declined by 360,000 (nearly 4%) in the last seven years and is projected to drop by a further 770,000 people over the next 12 years if birthrates and emigration levels only remain at today’s levels. Data collected by experts at the National Center of Social Research and a special parliamentary committee on demographics and social affairs forecast that Greece’s population could plummet by as much as 50% in 35-50 years if nothing is done.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Xi and Putin Commit to ‘Uninterrupted Progress in All Spheres’ in New Year’s Greetings
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a telegram to Russian President Vladimir Putin to wish him happy holidays, Xinhua news agency and TASS reported today. Putin sent greetings to Xi, for the calendar New Year and Spring Festival, which marks the Lunar New Year, celebrated in China, which starts on Feb. 5 this year and usually runs for a week.Xi Jinping said to Putin, “I want to continue cooperation with you in the same spirit for the sake of uninterrupted progress in the development of bilateral relations in all spheres, for the sake of happiness of the peoples of the two countries.” Xi said that 2018 was marked by a strengthening of mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in all spheres. “Our countries successfully implemented important programs of internal political development and entered a new epoch of developing relations,” Xi said, declaring that this cooperation in the international arena was “providing important constructive effects on ensuring justice in the whole world, facilitating global stability.”Putin said to Xi, as reported yesterday by the Kremlin, “The relations of comprehensive trust-based partnership and strategic interaction between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China have reached an unprecedented level.”The Russian President stressed the ongoing substantive political dialogue, the dynamic growth of bilateral trade, the successful launch of the reciprocal years of region-to-region cooperation, and the good results of coordinating the efforts by Moscow and Beijing in addressing important regional and global issues. He also expressed confidence that effective joint work on the bilateral and international agenda will continue in the coming year, which will mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.Vladimir Putin wished Xi Jinping good health, happiness, and every success, and the friendly Chinese people happiness and prosperity.
Syria’s Foreign Relations Continue To Resume with Other Arab Nations
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)—Restoration of relations with Syria continues to grow in the Arab nations in North Africa and Southwest Asia. On Dec. 27 Syria was able to resume the first commercial flight to Tunisia in years. “This trip is the reopening of tourism links between Syria and Tunisia,” Moataz Tarbin, the head of the tourism firm that organized the flight, told AFP. The Arab League will be holding its annual meeting in Tunis in March.In Jordan, trade with Syria has resumed in recent weeks, after a key border crossing was reopened.In Damascus, the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy on Dec. 27, after a closure of seven years. According to an official statement put out by an acting chargé d’affaires, already at work, the U.A.E. was “keen to put relations back on their normal track.” It said that the resumption of ties is intended to “support the sovereignty and independence of Syria” and face “the dangers of regional interference.”Bahrain has also signalled its intention to reopen the Embassy in Damascus, which has been closed since March 2012. A statement by the Bahrain Foreign Ministry said it was “anxious to continue relations” with Syria and wants “to strengthen the Arab role and reactivate it in order to preserve the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and prevent the risk of regional interference in its affairs.”
Kim Jong Un Is ‘Ready To Sit’ with Trump, But Pyongyang Needs Response to Its Actions
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year Message, broadcast on the state Korean Central Television, said: “I am ready to sit with the U.S. President again at any time in the future and will make efforts by all means to produce a result that will be welcomed by the international community.” It was his New Year Message last year in which he made the official opening to talks with Seoul, which led also to talks with Trump.While the tone of the message was far less strident than earlier speeches, Kim did add that he expects reciprocal steps from the U.S. “If the U.S. does not keep its promise made in front of the whole world [in their Singapore summit] and insists on sanctions and pressures on our republic, we may be left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests.”He suggested other steps he expects from the U.S.: The U.S. and South Korea should no longer carry out joint military exercises, which he said were “a source of tension.” In fact, there have been no major joint exercises since the Singapore meeting in June. Kim also said: “War-related equipment—including strategic assets of outside powers—should no longer be allowed to be brought in.”He further said: “If the U.S. responds to our active and preemptive efforts with trustworthy steps and corresponding behavior, (the North-U.S. relations) will move forward at an excellent and fast pace in the process of taking concrete and innovative measures.”Kim said he intended to build on “new relations” with the U.S., and “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula as a basis for lasting peace.
Serbia Will Not Give Up Russian Gas ‘To Please the West’
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the press Dec. 29 that he will not give up access to Russian gas on orders from the West. “I will not pay double for liquefied gas to please someone in the West. I will buy cheap gas so that people can live and industry can develop. Those are not my money, those are people’s money, state money. The main thing for us is to reach an agreement with Russians. We want that, and we will do it,” Vucic said.TASS reports that the topic of gas will dominate the agenda of the Jan. 17 visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Belgrade. They will also discuss the situation in Kosovo, as well as Ukraine and Syria.Serbian media reported earlier, according to TASS, that during Putin’s visit to Belgrade, the sides plan to sign 20 agreements, including in “energy, infrastructure and innovation technologies. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said that the sides may also sign an agreement on the construction of a nuclear center in Serbia.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
New Horizons Explores the Most Distant Object Ever Visited by a Spacecraft
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)—Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) New Horizons spacecraft, which carried out the historic flyby of Pluto in 2015, just past midnight on New Year’s Day flew by an object in the Kuiper Belt of small objects at the edge of the Solar System. It is so far away and small, that it was not known to exist when New Horizons was launched in 2006. Ultima Thule, residing 4 billion miles from the Sun, is so cold it is presumed to constitute a primordial object that has not changed since the creation of the Solar System. Mission principal investigator Alan Stern summed it up: “We’ve never in the history of spaceflight gone to a target that we’ve known less about.”New Horizons was set on a course to fly just 2,200 miles above the surface of the small body, which is estimated to be about 20 miles by 10 miles. The John Hopkins APL reported that signals from New Horizons, which take six hours to reach Earth, confirmed that the spacecraft is healthy, and had filled its digital recorders; it will take 20 months to complete the return of all the science data.
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