EIR Daily Alert Service, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2019
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2019
Volume 6, Number 38
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- The British Deploy To Stop Potential Major Advances by Trump With China and North Korea
- President Putin Confirms Russia’s Advanced Weapons Have No Analogues in the West
- Putin Tells Media, We Do Not Want a New Cuban Missile Crisis, But We Are Ready If It Comes
- North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Is On His Way to Hanoi for Feb. 27-28 Summit With President Trump
- Venezuela Braces for Further Violence, Pompeo’s Visit to the Border on Feb. 25
- Russia Key in UN Group To Counter Regime-Change Agenda in Venezuela, Defend International Law
- Pentagon Makes Clear, 400 U.S. Troops Staying in Syria, Not 200
- Trump Extends U.S.-China Talks Past March 1 Deadline
- Xi Jinping Reiterates Absolute Need for Finance To Promote the Real Economy
- Mueller Report Will Not Be Sent to Attorney General Next Week
- Politico Exposed that the ‘Green New Deal’ Came From Obama
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—It’s a predictably familiar pattern: on the eve of major potential progress by President Donald Trump in his policies of building good relations with China and Russia, and ending the Bush-Obama era of perpetual wars, the British Empire and its assets inside the United States orchestrate some sort of a provocation to slam Trump, to change the strategic agenda, and/or to hornswoggle him into backing their suicidal policies.
On April 6, 2017, the very day Trump was holding his historic summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Trump was fed lies to convince him to support an American military strike inside Syria—albeit one that was far less serious than what the British would have liked. It was designed to torpedo U.S.-Chinese relations altogether, but it did not achieve that result.
On July 16, 2018, just as Trump was set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Special Counsel Robert Mueller tried to scuttle the summit by indicting a dozen Russian individuals and companies as part of his so-called “Russia collusion probe.” Again the gambit failed to stop the summit, although serious damage was done to U.S.-Russian relations.
And now, with the U.S.-China trade talks making progress and being extended beyond the March 1 deadline by Trump, with the prospect of a broad deal to be agreed to by Trump and Xi personally in the near future; and on the eve of Trump’s second summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, the British are at it with impeccable timing. Mueller is grandstanding yet again with a sentencing report in the Manafort case, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify before open committee hearings in Congress on Feb. 27, at exactly the moment Trump will be meeting with Kim. And most seriously, the orchestrated Venezuela crisis is heading towards serious violence and a possible foreign invasion and coup d’état as early as this week—with the unfortunate repeated public backing of this policy by Trump himself—just as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Colombia to meet with “Interim President” Juan Guaidó on Feb. 25.
And hanging over all of these strategic developments like the darkest of dark clouds, is the danger of a global showdown of the West with Russia, accelerated by the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and reflected in the sobering remarks by President Putin in his Feb. 20 address to the Russian Federal Assembly.
None of these British provocations and policies can be defeated piecemeal. To have productive U.S.-China relations, the U.S. has to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative to forge a New Bretton Woods system. To stop the perennial regime-change wars, British geopolitics as practice and philosophy must be replaced by Cusa’s invention of the sovereign nation-state and the Westphalian system. To be rid of the danger of thermonuclear annihilation, a Four Power cooperative agreement of Mutually Assured Survival, not Mutually Assured Destruction, needs to be promptly put in place.
In fact, all of these issues and crises, and the international chaos and cultural despair they have unleashed, can only be turned around with a global Renaissance based on a concept of Man as a uniquely creative species—which is the heart and soul of the New Paradigm which Lyndon LaRouche spent his entire life bringing into existence.
It is to that end that we reiterate the importance of achieving the exoneration of EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche, and to honoring the memory of his continuing achievements, as was done in an hour-long tribute to LaRouche broadcast on Dominican Republic cable TV on Feb. 23.
Justice for the man means justice for his ideas.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—In remarks delivered on the occasion of “Defender of the Fatherland Day” in Russia yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that there are no Western analogues to the advanced weapons that Russia is in the process of introducing into its military services. “You know that we prioritize equipping our army with the most modern weapons, control, and communication systems. Our prospective weapons do not have any analogues in the world, at least for now, and I think that they won’t for a long time,” he said, reported TASS.
“Their unique achievements represent the basis for successful development of the army and the fleet in future decades, as well as for security and peace for Russia, for our successful and dynamic development,” he stated. “Russia is a peaceful country, and we conduct responsible foreign policy and strive for strengthening international stability,” Putin said. “We will continue further strengthening the country’s defense potential, developing and upgrading the Armed Forces.”
He gave remarks before attending a special concert on the Defender of the Fatherland Day.
Feb. 22 (EIRNS)—In response to questions from Russian news media following his Feb. 20, nationally televised presentation to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin clarified exactly what he meant when he said that Russia would target decision-making centers of the United States and NATO should America, in the aftermath of the cancellation of the INF Treaty, place nuclear missiles in Europe. In response to a question as to whether or not this meant that Russia would now target Washington and Brussels if it believed that such decisions were being made there, he said that Russia now has the weapons to do this, referring to the ship-based Zirkon hypersonic missile, and can do it from neutral waters. “Nobody can prohibit warships and submarines from navigating in neutral waters,” he said. “Plus, they will not be stationary, they will be on the go, making it more difficult to detect them. It cannot be very difficult to detect them, but it will not be very easy either. So, make your calculations. At a speed of Mach 9, these missiles can strike a target more than 1,000 km away. Under the Law of the Sea, the exclusive economic zone is defined at some 400 km or 200 miles. Do the maths. The distance of 1,000 km at Mach 9. How soon, in how many minutes can these weapons reach their targets? This is it.” According to EIR’s rough calculation, that’s a flight time of about 6 minutes.
Putin repeated that the flight time for missiles based in Europe to reach Moscow is about 10-12 minutes. “The calculation is not in their favor, at least, not today. This is obvious,” he said. “If they create threats to us, they should be aware of the potential consequences, so that they will not accuse us of unnecessary aggressiveness or whatever later.” However, Putin stressed that this can be all avoided. “There are joint mechanisms and instruments for dealing with these problems,” he said. “I hope they will be used to prevent a new global crises such as the Cuban missile crisis. There are no reasons for this, no reasons for aggravating the international situation to this level.”
The situation today is not like the Cold War, Putin continued. “Yes, we do have mutual complaints and different approaches to problems, and the complaints are mutual,” he said. “But this is no reason for aggravating this to the level of the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960s. Anyway, I think we do not want this. If somebody else wants this, they can do it. I have said today what will follow. Let them make their calculations.”
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—China’s Global Times reports that Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s travel plans are secretive, but there are indications that he has already departed Pyongyang for Hanoi, traveling in his special train first to China. He reportedly crossed the border with China yesterday, and is expected to arrive in Beijing on Sunday, Feb. 24. The whole trek, if he does it by train, is 4,500 km long, and would take over 48 hours, so there is speculation he may fly for part of the route.
President Donald Trump tweeted today that he was optimistic about the prospects of the summit. And Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Vietnamese and Chinese TV channels today that the U.S. and Russia were consulting on the upcoming Trump-Kim summit: “I’m not going to make a secret of it: U.S. officials responsible for preparing the summit are consulting with us,” Lavrov told Vietnam’s national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV), and China’s CCTV and Phoenix TV. “We also maintain a permanent contact with our North Korean friends. Motivated by a sincere desire to be helpful, we are expressing our recommendations regarding how results can be achieved.”
Meanwhile the media mice and others in the West are trying to whip up scenarios about how the Feb. 27-28 summit could be a fiasco. For example, Fox News is concerned that “The nightmare scenario heading into the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un isn’t so much ‘fire and fury and millions dead.’ Rather, some experts fear the meeting could result in an ill-considered deal that allows North Korea to get everything it wants while giving up very little, even as the mercurial leaders trumpet a blockbuster nuclear success.”
Who is “concerned” about such an outbreak of peace? Fox cites the proverbial “growing chorus of experts,” all unnamed, that worry Trump could “ignore his more cautious aides and try to strike a deal that’s cobbled together on the fly with little preparatory work…. For Trump, such a deal could generate a much-needed rush of ‘breakthrough’ headlines to help distract from swirling investigations in Washington while helping assure his supporters that he’s protecting the American mainland.” (How’s that for standing causality on its head?)
The North Korean news agency KCNA, for its part, warned against attempts to derail the summit: “If the upcoming D.P.R.K.-U.S. negotiations end without results as wished by the opponent forces, the U.S. people will never be cleared of the security threats that threw them into panic, and then responsibility will be placed on those due.”
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—Emboldened by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement yesterday that “Now is the time to act in support of democracy,” and that “the U.S. will take action” against those resisting the regime-change provocation underway in Venezuela, “Interim President” Juan Guaidó called on the international community to consider “all variants for liberating our country.”
This is the closest the synthetically-created Guaidó has come to openly calling for a foreign military invasion of Venezuela. In a Twitter post, Guaidó wrote: “Today’s events [the orchestrated violence along the border supposedly to get ‘humanitarian aid’ into the country—ed.] force us to make a decision: to officially announce to the international community that we should be open to all variants for liberating our country, which fights and will keep fighting. Pressure from the inside and from the outside plays the key role in the liberation.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is openly organizing to give Venezuelan President Maduro the Qaddafi treatment. Amid a string of tweets accusing Maduro of every imaginable crime—“Nicolás Maduro and his oppressive regime turn the arrival of life-saving aid for Venezuelans into a clash of violence”—Rubio then tweeted two pictures of Qaddafi: a “before” one of a smiling Qaddafi, and next to it an “after” photo of a captured, bloody Qaddafi being taunted by his captors, after which he was brutally murdered, as everyone knows.
The Western media had a field day over the weekend featuring violence on the border, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and a burning bus carrying “humanitarian aid.” Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, RT reported, “lashed at Pompeo and his ‘hitmen’ saying they were searching for the pretext for war.” RT then quoted Arreaza: “The CIA expert in false flag operations, Pompeo, thinks he can fool the world with a truck set ablaze by his own agents in Colombia.” RT continued: “In his tweet, Minister Arreaza posted several photos which appear to show the burnt truck on the Colombian side of the bridge, where it was set on fire after failing to cross the border. ‘If you want to find those who burnt the truck with fake humanitarian aid, look among your own employees,’ Arreaza wrote.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned of possible future lines of escalation, stating on Feb. 21: “We have information that companies from the U.S. and its NATO allies are considering the possibility of buying a large batch of weapons in one of the Eastern European countries in order to provide them to the Venezuelan opposition. The batch will reportedly include heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, portable missile launchers and ammunition for light weapons and artillery systems. So this is what they mean when they talk about delivering humanitarian aid…. There is also a Ukrainian trace in this brazen plan. In particular, it is going to involve the Antonov state company, as far as we understand.”
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—Representatives of 50 nations met yesterday at United Nations headquarters in New York, to form what Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called a “tactical group,” whose purpose is to defend international law, the UN Charter, and oppose any military intervention into Venezuela.
Russia’s role has been crucial in this. Arreaza told TASS that Moscow and Caracas are coordinating their actions. In a press conference yesterday, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia reported that the meeting took place “not only to support Venezuela’s legitimate authorities, but also to defend international law. It’s not only about Venezuela. It is also about the approach to resolving international problems and different crises.”
The tactical group is in the process of formulating proposals to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and to the UN Human Rights Council, among others, Arreaza reported in a press conference following the meeting. He also announced, as Nebenzia did in in his own press conference, that should aggression occur today at the Colombian-Venezuelan border, then Russia plans to call an emergency session of the UN Security Council. “We pray there will be no violence … no civil strife will start in Venezuela,” Nebenzia said. “We want this not to become a provocation that might start dangerous events.”
Peace is in jeopardy, Nebenzia explained. Latin America as a “zone of peace,” is threatened, and “that is why this group of countries that came today to discuss this issue was united in opposing any military developments that might occur around Venezuela. This group will be defending the UN Charter and international law and making sure its voice is heard, that this is not the method to solve international problems.”
The 50-nation group met, following a smaller group meeting at Venezuela’s UN mission, which included representatives of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—The Pentagon clarified, yesterday, that the number of U.S. troops that military planners expect to leave in Syria is actually 400, not 200, as initially stated by the White House on Feb. 21. “We will maintain our presence at Al-Tanf,” the base that the U.S. military has built in the Syrian desert near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, and also maintain an “observation and monitoring force” in the northeast, said Navy Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, speaking to news outlets. In the interim, the withdrawal of the rest of the estimated 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria will continue “in a deliberate manner,” but there is no timetable for the pullout, he said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders addressed this, speaking with Fox & Friends yesterday. “At the end of the day, the President wants to bring our troops home, and he is working toward that. And he wants to do that in a safe and peaceful way, in the best way possible, to make sure we have complete safety for our troops abroad.”
Trump Administration officials, briefing on background, told reporters that the U.S. expects European nations to provide 800-1,500 troops to occupy the proposed safe zone along Syria’s northern border, though there is no sign, yet, that Britain, France, Belgium and perhaps other European nations are rushing to deploy those troops.
The fact that the Pentagon has specified that U.S. troops will remain in Tanf means that the status of the Rukban refugee camp will remain unresolved. The chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, Sergei Solomatin, reported yesterday that illegal armed groups are intimidating residents of the camp and blocking them from leaving. “Illegal armed groups inside the 55-km zone [declared by the U.S. around Tanf] impede the refugees’ exit from the Rukban camp and intimidate them and breed confusion regarding the real intentions of the Russian side and Damascus,” Solomatin said. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reported that some of the UN humanitarian aid delivered to the camp earlier in February may have fallen into the hands of local militias. She also reported that refugees in the camp who wish to leave have been blocked from using the two humanitarian corridors that the Russian military has recently opened up.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)—Late today President Donald Trump tweeted optimistically about the ongoing trade negotiations with China: “I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues. As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”
Two days earlier, Trump had suggested that this might happen: “I think the relationship that we have now with China, is the strongest that it’s ever been,” was Trump’s summation of the progress of the U.S.-China talks, at an open Oval Office meeting with all the negotiators for both countries on Feb. 22. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had announced that the Chinese delegation, headed by Vice Premier Liu He, was extending its stay for two days so that negotiations might continue through the Feb. 23-24 weekend.
Liu also expressed his confidence that they would reach an agreement, “We believe it is very likely that it will happen and we hope that it will happen. We will work very hard to make it happen.”
Mnuchin later that day told President Trump that Liu He had drawn up memorandums of understanding initially, but both sides had wanted documentation, which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer claimed was binding. The President, apparently rebuking Lighthizer, said “Why do you want a memo, it seems like a waste of time to me. We want a trade agreement.”
Later in the Oval Office meeting, Mnuchin told Trump that the “currency” negotiation had been completed and agreed to. Both governments appear to want the Chinese currency stable and slowly rising relative to the dollar. This can best be achieved by significant investment of China’s holdings of dollar assets, such as Treasury securities, into the American economy.
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)—Following recent comments by Premier Li Keqiang on the need for the financial system to be focused on the requirements of the real economy, President Xi Jinping himself, speaking Feb. 22 at an afternoon study group of the CPC Political Bureau, (the 13th since Xi established these sessions), elaborated in extenso on the issue. Xi pointed out that in deepening the structural reform of the financial supply side they must implement the new development concept, strengthen the financial service function, and identify the key financial services that serve the real economy and serve the people’s life. “The economy is the body, finance is the blood, and the two are symbiotic,” Xi said. “We must deepen our understanding of the nature and laws of finance, base ourselves on China’s reality, and step out along the road of financial development with Chinese characteristics.”
He said that it is necessary to build a multi-level, wide-coverage and differentiated banking system, correct the development concept, adhere to the market demand-oriented concept, actively develop personalized, differentiated and customized financial products, increase the number of small and medium-sized financial institutions and the proportion of businesses affected, and improve the financial micro services and the rural services to the countryside.
Xi stressed the need to establish a standard, transparent, open, dynamic and resilient capital market that has sound fundamental institutional arrangements, proper management on market access and exit and tightened full-process supervision on transactions. He said that financial services conducive to the development of industrial, market, regional and green development systems of a modernized economy shall be provided.
An all-around and multi-level financial service system including venture capital, bank loans and bond and stock markets shall be put in place, he said.
Xi Jinping pointed out that preventing and resolving financial risks, especially preventing systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task of financial work. It is necessary to speed up the construction of financial market infrastructure and steadily promote the localization of key information infrastructure in the financial industry. He said, “We must do a good job in the comprehensive statistics of the financial industry, and improve the information system that in a timely way reflects risk fluctuations, and improve the rules for information release management, and improve the mechanism of credit correction.” It is necessary to “manage people, watch money, and tie up the system firewall.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Feb. 22 (EIRNS)—Despite Washington exhausting itself in wild speculations concerning a rumor that the Mueller report would be sent to Attorney General William Barr next week, the Justice Department announced late this afternoon that no such thing was happening.
Instead, Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and RESIST will make an all-out public assault on the President, using his former lawyer and convicted liar Michael Cohen to do so, in a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Scrubbed up and obviously choreographed to play to the Jacobin masses by Clinton fixer Lanny Davis, Cohen promises to lay it all out in terms of the President’s sexual dalliances and financial dealings.
This spectacle by the Democrats will occur, of course, on the first day of President Donald Trump’s summit meeting with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, where the President is attempting to negotiate peace on behalf of the world, and where the President’s strengths or weaknesses are a critical aspect of the calculus in any negotiation.
Feb. 22 (EIRNS)—In an article last month in Politico (“The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’ ”), Michael Grunwald explained that embedded in the Obama bad deal known as the “Stimulus Act” of 2009, was the prototype of the current scheme of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Ed Markey, et al.
While the current Congressional resolution is more openly lunatic (or “aspirational,” per Markey), and proposes to throw trillions of federal funds into solar fields and wind farms, Obama’s American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 doled out $90 billion for green initiatives in a manner much more targeted to produce Obama’s specialty, entropy. Considering the $800 billion “Stimulus” was one-third tax cuts and almost half transfer payments to rehire laid-off public employees, that $90 billion was most of what was claimed to be “infrastructure spending” in the act.
Grunwald wrote that that sum went into solar and wind electricity, renewable fuels, so-called “advanced batteries” to store and combine bits of green power, smart grids, energy-efficient homes, etc. It infamously financed the bankruptcy of a solar producer, Solyndra.
At the same time, Obama cancelled America’s advanced nuclear reactor development program at Argonne National Labs, and dismissed fusion power as a “fancy” technology that “we don’t need.”
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), the chair of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, says of Obama’s Stimulus, “It’s a road map for a Green New Deal.”
As EIR has reported, the “Green New Deal” is being disdained by Democrats who are not greenies—the latest being West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in an interview Feb. 21.
It is also backfiring into a mounting number of calls for massive construction of nuclear power to gradually and realistically replace fossil fuel sources of electricity.
Prof. Larry Bell of the University of Houston, while attending the Feb. 16 Schiller Institute national conference, explained that fossil fuels actually produce about 98% of U.S. energy, and replacing them with wind and solar would not only cover America’s land area—it would require massive additions of natural gas (fossil fuel!) energy to back up the so-called renewables. On Jan. 11, in an adaptation of their new book American University Prof. Joshua Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist in the Wall Street Journal estimated that globally, replacing fossil fuel electricity production alone requires generating 100 trillion kwh of electricity per year from other sources. Only nuclear power can even be discussed in connection with such a goal, Goldstein says.