EIR Daily Alert Service, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2019


Volume 6, Number 32

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

  • Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 1922-2019, A Talent Well Spent
  • Key Week for U.S.-China Relations: Xi Jinping To Meet With Mnuchin and Lighthizer in Beijing
  • China Foreign Ministry Responds to Pompeo’s Threats to Countries That Use Huawei Equipment
  • NATO Defense Ministers Discuss Adapting ‘to a World with More Russian Missiles’
  • Gorbachev Asserts That Suspension of INF Treaty Is a Threat to All Countries
  • U.S. New Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead Will Lower Nuclear Threshold, Warns Journalist
  • Italy’s Geraci Seeks Greater China-Italy Cooperation in Africa
  • Italian Prime Minister Tames Beasts in European Parliament Debate
  • ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Trial Covered Up for the Real Drug Runners-the City of London and Wall Street
  • Lavrov and Pompeo Discuss Venezuela, Syria, and U.S. Anti-Russian Sanctions


Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 1922-2019, A Talent Well Spent

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., philosopher, scientist, poet, statesman, economist, died on Tuesday, February 12, at the age of 96. It was Lincoln’s birthday, an American President Lyndon LaRouche loved and celebrated in his writings.

Those who knew and loved Lyndon LaRouche know that humanity has suffered a great loss and, today, we dedicate ourselves anew to bring to reality the big ideas for which history will honor him. For those who did not know him or have only recently come to his ideas, there is no better guide to this unique personality than LaRouche himself. In the full statement on his death, available on EIR’s websiteyou can read how he spoke about life here on Earth in a speech at a conference in 1988, in the midst of a political prosecution similar, in striking respects, to that which we encounter against an American President in the United States today.

Key Week for U.S.-China Relations: Xi Jinping To Meet with Mnuchin and Lighthizer in Beijing

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing on Friday, the American negotiating team who are in China to try to complete a trade agreement between the two countries. The head of the Chinese negotiating team, Vice Premier Liu He, had met with President Trump on Jan. 31 when he was in Washington for negotiations.

“Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday,” an unnamed source told the South China Morning Post newspaper. The source also said that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He would attend a banquet for the U.S. delegation in “a Chinese cuisine restaurant” in downtown Beijing. The SCMP wrote: “If confirmed, such arrangements, including a meeting between Xi and Washington’s top trade envoys, would be a sign of goodwill to cement a trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies.”

The atmospherics have also been positive from the American side. Mnuchin told the press on his arrival in China, “so far, so good” on the trade talks. And President Donald Trump told the press on Feb. 12 that he may be flexible about the March 1 deadline for imposing increased tariffs on China if no deal has been made.

“If we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking I’m not inclined to do that.”

But China has also been sharply critical of anti-Chinese statements issued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others, threatening to sanction countries that purchase equipment from the giant Chinese telecommunications company Huawei (more below). Instead of such an approach, stated Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, in her press briefing yesterday, “We hope that all countries could discard their ideological prejudice and zero-sum game mindset and work to create a fair, unbiased, open, inclusive, transparent and rules-based environment for normal friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries.”


China Foreign Ministry Responds to Pompeo’s Threats to Countries That Use Huawei Equipment

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—At a joint press conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Feb. 12, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated: “If that [Huawei] equipment is co-located in places where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them.” He elaborated on that threat in remarks in Warsaw: “With respect to Chinese infrastructure delivered via Huawei, we’ve done here in Poland what we’ve done all across the world: We’ve made known the risks that are associate with that … risks to the private information of the citizens of the country…. Individual countries then will make their own choices.”

Asked about Pompeo’s remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated:

“As for the statements made by the U.S. side, we have noticed all of them. For some time, the U.S. has been leaving no stones unturned in framing China with all kinds of trumped-up charges and fabricating China threat theories. It has blatantly threatened and tried to drive a wedge between China and other countries, tarnished the image of Chinese companies, and suppressed their rights and interests for legitimate development and cooperation. What the U.S. has done is unjust, immoral, and nothing like how a major country is supposed to act. We believe that the vast majority of countries will not fail to make out the true intentions and the bullying nature of the U.S. side.”

This response was seconded in a Feb. 12 Global Times editorial, which characterized Pompeo’s threats as follows: “The U.S. is lobbying all other NATO countries to boycott Huawei equipment with the obvious intention of making its allies participate in a crackdown on Chinese high-tech companies… If U.S. allies stop using Huawei equipment, no longer purchase energy from Russia, further alienate China and Russia at the demands of Washington while increasing imports from the U.S. and following the U.S. lead in everything, then NATO will start to resemble the old Warsaw Pact.”

This response was seconded in a Feb. 12 Global Times editorial, which characterized Pompeo’s threats as follows: “The U.S. is lobbying all other NATO countries to boycott Huawei equipment with the obvious intention of making its allies participate in a crackdown on Chinese high-tech companies…. If U.S. allies stop using Huawei equipment, no longer purchase energy from Russia, further alienate China and Russia at the demands of Washington while increasing imports from the U.S. and following the U.S. lead in everything, then NATO will start to resemble the old Warsaw Pact….”

The editorial went on: “The world is changing fast, but Washington is simplistically formulating countermeasures following the bipolar model of the old Cold War. The U.S. expands its strength to form cliques and meanwhile regards China and Russia as the ‘new axis.’ This path is a grave error caused by political laziness and a hegemonic, Cold War mentality….

“China is facing a rare, complex security situation….

“Countries that misread the era and follow the U.S. will certainly suffer. Being a tool for Washington’s national strategy will only lead to bigoted domestic diplomacy and a gradual loss of external development resources.

“Today’s U.S. has become synonymous with selfishness and cunning.”

NATO Defense Ministers Discuss Adapting ‘to a World with More Russian Missiles’

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—NATO’s defense ministers convened in Brussels this morning, the first such meeting since the U.S. Trump Administration announced it would be leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty within six months, if Russia doesn’t destroy its 9M729 missile and associated systems. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presented an aggressive posture in response to Russia’s alleged violation, telling reporters during a press conference yesterday that it’s up to Russia to return to compliance with the treaty.

“At the same time, we are planning for a world without the INF Treaty,” he said. At the meeting, “we will discuss what steps NATO should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles.” He wouldn’t say what steps NATO would take, but, “Any steps we take will be coordinated, measured, and defensive, and we do not intend to deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe” aimed at Russia.

Stoltenberg also said that he expects that the INF Treaty will be a major topic at the Munich Security Conference, which runs Feb. 15-17, “because all NATO Allies are concerned about the fact that we now see that this cornerstone for European security is really in jeopardy.”

Stoltenberg also dismissed Russian concerns about the Mk-41 launchers in Poland and Romania, claiming that they’re nothing more than distraction from Russia’s (alleged) violation of the treaty.

“The Russian efforts to try to focus on the NATO Missile Defense System is the only way to try to distract attention from the real issue. And the real issue is that Russia is deploying new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe,” he said. “So, when Russia starts to speak about something else, it’s only a way to try to avoid attention on what’s the problem. There are no new U.S. missiles in Europe; but there are more and more new Russian missiles in Europe—nuclear-capable.” He said that there are no missiles at the BMD sites, only interceptors, and that the agreement with NATO prevents offensive missiles from being installed. “So, that’s totally mixing two totally different things, in just an attempt to try to distract attention from the real problem,” he said. “The real problem is the new Russian missiles.”

Gorbachev Asserts That Suspension of INF Treaty Is a Threat to All Countries

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Mikhail Gorbachev, the last head of state of the Soviet Union, and the man, who along with President Ronald Reagan, negotiated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, in an article in Vedomosti, as reported in this morning’s TASS press review, warns that the suspension of the INF Treaty poses a threat to the security of all countries and will lead to chaos and unpredictability in global politics. According to Gorbachev, “today, everything that was achieved in the years after we had put an end to the Cold War is in great danger,” as “the United States’ decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty may reverse the situation.” He finds the U.S. argument that China, North Korea, Iran, and other countries have developed missiles in the INF range to be without merit, because the U.S. and Russia still have 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.

“Clearly, if the nuclear arms reduction process had continued, other nations, including the United Kingdom, France and China, would have had to join it at some point,” Gorbachev wrote. In his view, Washington’s true intention for exiting the arms reduction deal is different. “The U.S. seeks to free itself from all restrictions in the arms field and achieve total military dominance.” However, “one country’s hegemony is impossible in today’s world,” the former Soviet President emphasized.

“This destructive turn will have a different result, as it will destabilize the global strategic situation, lead to a new arms race and increase chaos and unpredictability in global politics. It will damage the security of all countries, including the U.S.,” Gorbachev warned. Gorbachev argued for dialogue between the two countries on the whole range of issues between them, but wrote that this has been disrupted by the “scathing” political climate in the U.S.

“It is time,” wrote Gorbachev, “to overcome inter-party differences and start a serious conversation. I am confident that Russia will be ready for it.”

U.S. New Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead Will Lower Nuclear Threshold, Warns Journalist

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Will the W76-2 low-yield warhead for the U.S. Navy’s Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile lower the threshold for nuclear war? Boston-based journalist James Carroll fears that it will. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review called for a new low-yield warhead for the Trident missile as a way of giving the president more “options” against alleged Russian perception that low-yield warheads confer some sort of advantage.

In a Feb. 12 article published in The Nation, Carroll calls the W76-2 the “world’s most dangerous nuclear weapon.” This is not because of its yield, which is said to be about one-third that of the Hiroshima bomb, but rather because of the intention behind it.

“Fulfilling the Trump Administration’s quest for nuclear-war-fighting ‘flexibility,’ it isn’t designed as a deterrent against another country launching its nukes; it’s designed to be used. This is the weapon that could make the previously ‘unthinkable’ thinkable,” he writes.

In Carroll’s view, the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons (not 100% but certainly the vast majority of them) at the end of the Cold War “represented a hard-boiled confrontation with the iron law of escalation, another commander’s insight—that any use of such a weapon against a similarly armed adversary would likely ignite an inevitable chain of nuclear escalation whose end point was barely imaginable. One side was never going to take a hit without responding in kind, launching a process that could rapidly spiral toward an apocalyptic exchange. ‘Limited nuclear war,’ in other words, was a fool’s fantasy and gradually came to be universally acknowledged as such.” This, he says, is no longer the case. The Trump Administration’s move to withdraw from the INF Treaty was intended to remove the “practical inhibition” against scenarios envisioning the use of nuclear weapons, “while rolling a new ‘limited’ weapon off the assembly line and so altering the Trident system.” The target of the W76-2, he writes, is “potentially … the obliteration of the long-standing, post-Hiroshima and -Nagasaki taboo against nuclear use.”


Italy’s Geraci Seeks Greater China-Italy Cooperation in Africa

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—In an interview with China Daily today, Michele Geraci, Undersecretary of the Italian Economic Development Ministry, urged for greater cooperation between Italy and China in African development. Geraci said that the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in September for third-country cooperation helps set the framework for Chinese and Italian companies working together in regions such as Africa.

“We are in the process of selecting specific joint venture projects between Italian and Chinese companies,” Geraci told China Daily. “I believe this is a win-win solution for all parties involved, including African people themselves, because large outbound migrant flows risk depleting the African continent of its intellectual capital, something that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.”

Geraci called the China-Italy partnership in Africa “a good example of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative” and said that the two countries are also looking forward to cooperating on harbors. “We are analyzing how to include Italian ports as the western terminal of the New Silk Road for international shipments. Our northern ports are right in the middle of Europe, and our southern ports are essential for the development of Mediterranean and African economies,” he said. Geraci also said that agricultural machinery and food are two areas where he sees the strongest potential for trade cooperation between the two countries, and that other traditional sectors such as fashion and heavy machinery will continue to play a strong role in Italy’s exports to China.

But there must be greater understanding between China and the West in order to avoid the misunderstandings of the past, he emphasized. Geraci declared that, while China has large GDP figures and is reckoned as a world economic power, it is also “comprised of people whose income per capita is very low by European standards.” This fact should be taken into account in any reform of the international system, he said. “We are indeed eager to make sure that the international trade system works smoothly and that the rules ensure a level playing field that takes into account each country’s different social and economic stage of development and contingent challenges,” Geraci said.

Geraci has longtime experience with china, and speaks Chinese. Before joining the new Italian government last year, he held posts with as former head of the China Economic Policy Program at Nottingham University Business School; former head of China Program at the Global Policy Institute; former Adjunct Professor of Finance, New York University, Shanghai; and former Adjunct Professor of Finance at Zhejiang University.


Italian Prime Minister Tames Beasts in European Parliament Debate

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, EIR Strategic Alert editors Dean Andromidas and Claudio Celani were present at the European Parliament debate with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and they had rarely seen a circus like that. They found the loss of reality by the European Parliament dinosaurs beyond belief, and reported, “We cannot render fully their bestiality with words. Hopefully, it was their last outburst before extinction.”

Prime Minister Conte gave a nearly hour-long speech, which was firm in its content but conciliatory and open in its form. He said that Europe has failed to become one people, because, unlike the early period of the European Community, “since 1989, a political vision, a prophetic momentum” was lacking. In the last 30 years, the crisis has been aggravated by free-market approaches, deregulation, reduction of welfare, etc. Austerity policies have contracted consumption with “devastating effects.” The “cold grammar of procedures” has increased the gap between Brussels and “the peripheries of our continent.” “The European people demand to be listened to, they call for a change in the method.” To ignore this is to “determine the implosion” of the EU. “Disillusion and resentment, if neglected, can lead to a rebellion with unpredictable results.”

Conte stressed the need for “a radical re-thinking of forms and institutions” of the EU. He then warned against antagonizing Washington, Moscow, and Beijing: The EU “must preserve its relationship with Washington,” as, even when there are conflicts, “what unites us is prevalent.” Also, “Russia and China are part of any solution” and “there is no advantage in renouncing a relationship with Russia and China.”

He then addressed the issue of migration, insisting on a new approach to Africa, based on “a partnership among equals.” The majority of African people live “in inhuman conditions of poverty” while Africa’s wealth is siphoned off to offshore centers. Conte called for investing “adequate funds” to develop Africa. The EU gave €6 billion to Turkey to control borders, but the Trust Fund for Africa is empty.

The Italian prime minister then illustrated his government program, aimed at “overcoming austerity” and achieving “social stability.” He said he is glad that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker admitted that the austerity recipe for Greece had been foolish, and stressed that “public investments are a driver for growth and not a source of deficit and instability.”

He concluded by calling for more legislative power for the European Parliament, including investigating powers.

As soon as he finished his speech, Conte became assaulted by all faction leaders of so-called established parties, dumping their rage on him and making personal attacks and insults. Starting with Manfred Weber (EPP, Christian Democrats), followed by Udo Bullmann (Socialists and Democrats), it climaxed with Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, Liberals & Democrats), who accused Conte of being a “puppet” of the Lega and M5S heads Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio.

Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium and a key operative in the 2014 Ukrainian coup, was particularly hysterical at the fact that the Conte government “has prevented the EU from recognizing [Venezuelan putschist] Guaidó” and this was evidently done “under pressures from Russia.” Verhofstadt complained about the “political degeneration of Italy,” which had started with the Berlusconi government. The Italian government is “openly hateful” against other members of the European family. Di Maio dared to meet a Yellow Vest leader who, he said, is notorious for his violence. He then concluded: “How long, Mr. Conte, will you still be the puppet of Salvini and Di Maio?”

Bullmann accused the Italian government of isolating itself and sliding into a recession—ignoring that his country, Germany, is doing the same. He then agitated with the Russian threat and shouted about the “senseless escalation between France and Italy. What is that? What is that?” He lashed out at Deputy Prime Minister Salvini and accused the Italian government of having imperiled migrants’ lives by keeping NGO vessels out of its ports.

Weber was more polite, but demagogical in substance. The Italian government is divided on everything: on infrastructure, on the euro, on reforms of labor, the justice system, etc. He, of course, attacked Russia, and complained about Italy’s failure support to Guaidó as president of the Venezuela coup attempt.

The debate continued with mostly hysterical attacks, so much so that Parliament President Antonio Tajani had to remind the speakers that this was a debate on the future on Europe and not on the Italian government. A good chunk of Italian traitors joined the chorus.

A few MEPs intervened in support of Conte. Mara Bizzotto of the Lega reminded the established parties that, in few months, in the May European elections, they will be voted out, and called French President Emmanuel Macron a “little Napoleon.” British MEP Steven Woolfe thanked Conte for standing up to the arrogant EU oligarchy, saying, “bravo, bravo, bravo.”

In his two replies, Conte went into depth in explaining the Italian migration policy, again reiterating that “indiscriminate acceptance” and border control do not work, and the problem must be tackled at the root, i.e., in Africa. He rejected all allegations of denied rescues at sea, saying that nobody can teach lessons about humanitarianism to Italy. “It has been said that Italy has saved the honor of Europe in the Mediterranean. Maybe someone wanted Italy to keep saving the honor of Europe,” he said, polemically referring to the fact that Italy has been left by itself to deal with the problem of refugees.

He then made it clear that he won’t take insults “directed to me and even to the Italian people.” To Verhofstadt, he said that he is not a puppet of anyone; rather, “puppets are those who serve vested interests and lobbies.”

He did not flinch on Italy’s Venezuela policy. Although Italy does not recognize the recent presidential elections as fair and free, and therefore does not recognize Nicolas Maduro, nevertheless, “We do not think we should crown anyone who is not going through free and democratic elections,” he said. “Someone would like to anticipate history,” Conte said ironically, but we have seen that such attempts have resulted in catastrophes—a reference to Iraq, Libya and Syria.

‘El Chapo’ Guzman Trial Covered Up for the Real Drug Runners—the City of London and Wall Street

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—There are endless reams of coverage in the media of the trial and conviction, on all ten counts, of notorious Mexican drug-runner Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, most of which feigns shock that such terrible things go on. And yet most of those same media also promote the virtues of drug legalization, which is well underway in the United States and which has led to a vast expansion of all categories of drug production and consumption.

One glimmer of reality crept into the media coverage, in a Feb. 12 article in Britain’s Guardian, which wrote that nowhere in the trial were the actually responsible parties even mentioned: the major international banks that in fact run the drug trade, and launder in the range of $1 trillion per year in drug proceeds. As the Guardian noted:

“What the trial successfully did—to the repeated outrage of Mexican journalists covering the trial—was bury the money trail. Throughout the evidence, cash was always described as going ‘back in Mexico.’ [Guzman’s lieutenant Miguel Angel] Martínez flew planes loaded with between $8 million and $10 million from Tijuana three times a month. Cash deposits were hidden beneath beds and even underwater. Martínez described hauling a Samsonite case filled with $10 million to ‘a Mexico City bank’ every month—but he was never asked which one, not by prosecution, defense or bench. The trial lasted three months without mentioning Wachovia, HSBC or other banks who have admitted bringing the billions [drug runner] Zambada García described ‘back to America’ for dissemination throughout the ‘legal economy.’ The guilty verdict means no more [escape] tunnels for El Chapo, but as the door slams behind him, it may well mean sighs of relief around U.S. boardrooms.”


Lavrov and Pompeo Discuss Venezuela, Syria, and U.S. Anti-Russian Sanctions

Feb. 13 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo held a phone conversation at the request of the U.S. to discuss the situations in Venezuela and Syria, and the anti-Russian sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Feb. 12, reported TASS.

“In connection with the U.S. Secretary of State’s previously announced intention to impose additional sanctions on Russia under the absolutely unsubstantiated pretext of last year’s murky case of the Salisbury ‘poisoning’ of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who have since been out of the public’s eye, Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov stressed that this unjustified step by Washington will only further aggravate the situation in bilateral relations and the atmosphere on the international arena,” the Foreign Ministry press release reads.

“While discussing the pressing issues of the international politics, Sergey Lavrov warned against any kind of interference into the internal affairs of Venezuela, including the use of force, a threat made by Washington in breach of the international law,” the statement reads. “Readiness was expressed to hold consultations on the Venezuelan issue in line with principles enshrined in the UN Charter.”

On Syria they agreed that further bilateral dialogue for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on Syrian reconciliation. “Sergey Lavrov and Mike Pompeo … also exchanged opinions about the latest contacts between officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Department of State on the Korean Peninsula situation and on promoting the Afghan settlement,” the ministry said.

Speaking to the press today in Sochi, Lavrov said the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was not discussed. “When our colleagues are ripe, we will be ready to hold a professional, specific and non-politicized dialogue. Mike Pompeo did not touch on this issue yesterday, this means that the Americans are not ripe now,” Lavrov said.

Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935

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