EIR Daily Alert Service March 12, 2019

Zero Growth Groups Funded Hiring Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele against Trump

New York Governor Cuomo Needs Trump’s Climate Science Panel, Badly

Bolton Still Pursuing Forever War in Syria

Russians Working To Reopen Highway from Gaziantep, Turkey to Aleppo, Syria

White House Requests Slight Decrease for NASA Budget, But Starts Important Moon/Mars Projects

Mexicans Looking to China and the Belt and Road for Economic Development

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Europe Should Become a Leader of the Belt and Road Initiative

March 11 (EIRNS)—The current very public dispute over whether Italy will sign an MOU with China regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, when Xi Jinping visits Italy on March 22, is significant. But the reasons being given against the MOU, from Brussels, London and apparently by some White House neo-con warhawks, are absurd.

Simply reflecting anti-China geopolitical propaganda from those “imperial” locations, they do not address the plain reasons Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the 16 Central and Eastern European nations are interested in the Belt and Road. It is the destiny of Eurasia to have this infrastructural and scientific progress across the land and seas of the continents, and it is exactly that which has been denied all those countries since the European Union and then Eurozone were formed.

That lack of development is what has been increasingly dissolving any trace of unity in Europe, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche said today. Whether or not it is true, as one blog claimed, that the New Silk Road phrase of Xi, “a shared community for the future of mankind,” is what infuriated London and the neo-cons, the cooperative pursuit of that future is what is being offered to the European nations. Zepp-LaRouche embraced whole-heartedly aGlobal Times suggestion that Germany and France should join the Belt and Road—“the only way to unify Europe,” and the prospect which Brussels and London really fear. Thirteen other European nations have already signed such memoranda of understanding with China on the New Silk Road.

At such a point, both Europe and the United States are potentially leaders, along with China, in the pursuit of the new paradigm of economic progress, scientific development, and poverty eradication represented by the Belt and Road idea. The ideas of the European Golden Renaissance, and those of the American System of economics that later raised up the greatest industrial and scientific power—these are leading features of the common future the New Silk Road wants to spread through the developing sector as well.

The essence of it came from the creator of the original “World Land-Bridge” concept 35 years ago, Lyndon LaRouche. He expressed that essence in his “four economic laws” to reorganize banking and fuel global new infrastructure by science-driver crash programs.

Had he not been persecuted, as Helga LaRouche repeated today, by the same Mueller/William Weld apparatus going after Donald Trump now, “the world would be a completely different place.” The New Silk Road of great projects of new infrastructure could then not be branded a “Chinese model”; it would be the World Land-Bridge of LaRouche, the new paradigm for the entire world.


Zero Growth Groups Funded Hiring Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele against Trump

March 11 (EIRNS)—Daniel Jones, an aide to U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2016, in January 2017 organized a group of contributors of “dark money” to fund The Democracy Integrity Project’s (TDIP) effort to stop Donald Trump from becoming President by tying him to Russia, Chuck Ross reports in the March 10 Daily Caller.

TDIP contracted with Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate Donald Trump, and disclosed this to Feinstein, Ross reports in the latest of his exposés on Steele and Fusion GPS since 2017. George Soros contributed $1 million to TDIP, a spokesman for Soros told the New York Times in October 2017.

Ross also reveals that according to a report released by the House Intelligence Committee in April 2018, former Feinstein staffer Daniel Jones told the FBI in March 2017 that his group would receive $50 million in funding from seven to ten wealthy donors from New York and California. TDIP’s tax filings in 2017 showed the group received only a little over $9 million.

Daniel Jones, Ross reports, said that TDIP planned to get to policymakers and the press the information he had obtained, and that he “had secured the services of [Christopher] Steele, his associate [redacted] and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”

Fusion GPS, founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, hired former MI6 agent Steele in June 2016. Fusion was then working for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump’s links to Russia, Ross reports. Fusion GPS was also working for Soros, it is clear.

Chuck Ross lists some of the funders and funding vehicles the “Stop Trump” forces organized, such as Fund for a Better Future, which is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) organization, which, Ross says, is the type of public advocacy group most closely associated with “dark money” contributions. Fund for a Better Future has contributed to environmentalist and population-reduction groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which Ross says backs Democrats, and the League of Conservation Voters.

New York Governor Cuomo Needs Trump’s Climate Science Panel, Badly

March 11 (EIRNS)—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has virtuously announced a “Green New Deal for Long Island,” the centerpiece of which is his desire that Long Island have 9,000 MWe of installed wind-turbine capacity by 2035. But whatever year he would like this done by, the governor evidently hasn’t figured out yet, what it means in physical-economic terms.

Given the combination of low conversion efficiency and intermittent operation of wind turbines, getting reliable generation of this much electric power would require installing about 2.2 times as much, or about 20,000 MW. This means 7-9,000 large wind turbines.

Given that these turbines occupy 25-50 acres each, not to get in each other’s wind, that requires an area of, say, 325,000 acres of wind farms, or about 500 square miles. Long Island’s total area (including Brooklyn and Queens) is less than three times that, about 1,400 square miles.

Granted, the turbines could all be erected offshore and their power brought onshore by new cables, transmission stations, and transformers, etc.—at considerable expense. But since the narrow Long Island Sound would not be suitable, 500 square miles along Long Island’s Atlantic coast—essentially, all of it—would become blanketed by large wind turbines about 1,500 feet apart and stretching for miles out into the sea. Not a resource for shipping around New York Harbor, nor for anyone living on Long Island, not to mention decimation of bird populations.

If the governor means only 9,000 MW installed, “reliably” giving about only 4 MWe—except when there is dead calm, or when extreme cold or storms freeze bearings or break turbines—then he’s missing half of the electricity Long Island uses, since his plan would shut down all fossil fuel plants and there is neither nuclear nor hydropower. And since most fossil fuel use is for vital heating and transportation, not for electricity, the attempt to mandate replacing this with electric heat and electric vehicles would make the vast wind farm far larger still.

Governor Cuomo is one of those most in need of the Presidential Committee on Climate Science which Donald Trump is forming against great opposition from officials like Cuomo.


Bolton Still Pursuing Forever War in Syria

March 11 (EIRNS)—The U.S. may be in the process of significantly drawing down its troops in Syria, at President Donald Trump’s insistence, but National Security Advisor John Bolton is doing his best to ensure that the permanent war policy behind the Obama’s original troop deployment doesn’t change. During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” on March 10, Bolton expressed optimism that Britain and France will happily send more troops to Syria as the U.S. draws down its forces to the level of about 400 troops.

“Certainly, in conversations this past week with my British and French counterparts, I’m very optimistic that they’re going to participate,” he told ABC News yesterday. “It hasn’t happened formally yet, but they’re looking at it,” he said, and declaring that the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford is working to set up the force. Bolton’s comments followed a report by Al-Monitor, last week, citing both named and unnamed European officials indicating that neither Britain nor France, nor any other country, would likely be replacing the 1,600 to 2,000 troops that the U.S. will be pulling out of Syria.

Bolton assured anchor Martha Raddatz that there was no contradiction between Trump’s declaration that the ISIS caliphate has been defeated and Centcom Commander Gen. Joseph Votel’s testimony that ISIS is still a threat to be reckoned with. Trump “has never said that the elimination of the territorial caliphate means the end of ISIS in total. We know that’s not the case,” Bolton said. “But one reason that the President has committed to keeping an American presence in Iraq and a small part of an observer force in Syria is against the possibility that there would be a real resurgence of ISIS, and we would then have the ability to deal with that if that arose.”

While the military-backed regime-change war in Syria has clearly failed, due to Russian intervention, the economic war goes on, as observed by Syrian President Bashar al Assad, himself, during the visit of Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong to Damascus, yesterday. He said Syria was suffering an “economic siege” due to the imposed U.S. and EU economic sanctions.

“International political tools have changed,” Assad continued. Instead of dialogue, foreign powers have adopted “a different approach, consisting of boycott, ambassador withdrawal, economic siege, and the use of terrorism,” he said.

In covering Assad’s remarks, AFP notes that the U.S. has moved to stem petroleum shipping to Syria, and that major oil and gas fields remain out of the government’s control in the northeast of the country, contributing to the hardship that the Syrian population is suffering.

Russians Working To Reopen Highway from Gaziantep, Turkey to Aleppo, Syria

March 11 (EIRNS)—Russia is involved in another initiative, this one with Turkey, that, if it succeeds, will have a major impact on economic development in northwestern Syria. Al Masdar News (AMN) reported today that Russia is working to reopen the highway that runs from Gaziantep, Turkey, to Aleppo in Syria. The highway enters Syria at Azaz, and much of it is controlled by Turkish-backed jihadi groups. Reopening it would involve the Turkish military facilitating the dismantling of jihadi checkpoints along the Turkish-controlled portion of the highway south of Azaz, and the Russians doing the same regarding checkpoints in Syrian government-controlled areas. If the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway is reopened, this would provide a large boost for the Syrian economy, because it will allow residents to once again resume trade and commerce in Turkey, reports Al Masdar.


Deutsche Bank ‘Reassurance,’ OTC Derivatives Reinforce Corporate Debt Threat

March 11 (EIRNS)—Major trans-Atlantic banks’ “research” desks have in recent months been issuing rebuttals to the idea that the Wall Street and London-centered corporate debt bubble will crash, just as they “rebutted” EIR’s and Lyndon LaRouche’s 2007 crash forecasts with specific “lines” about the solidity of mortgage debt, etc. The megabanks have specifically downplayed the danger in collateralized debt obligation (CLO) derivatives after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other regulators warned how dangerous those were.

March 8 saw a different kind of warning about the coming crash, perhaps to be taken more seriously because it is actually a reassurancebut from a source so laughable for that purpose—Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank, now in the process of being merged and bailed out by Germany (and/or France or U.K.) to prevent its bankruptcy, told investors not to worry. Take it from the investment bank division that lost billions on this stuff; the corporate debt bubble and its derivatives pose no danger!

Perhaps, wrote the Deutsche Bank analysts, investors should “dismiss their concerns about corporate debt entirely.” U.S. corporate debt is at all-time high relative to GDP, but it’s nothing to worry about, “looked at with different metrics”! Barron’s reported on March 9, in fact, in an article which showed that Deutsche Bank’s analysts had “adjusted” their figures for debt, for net earnings and for cash flow, to support their argument that “there are only a few really overindebted corporate sectors—retail, real estate, energy” and they only look overleveraged if one assumes much lower economic growth.

Regarding the $700 trillion over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives bubble, Pam and Russ Martens showed on March 7 in their “Wall Street on Parade” that it’s still as over-the-counter, as unsupported as ever. The Dodd-Frank claim to subject these OTC derivates to clearinghouses backed by bank capital, has changed nothing ten years later. “According to a report on derivatives issued quarterly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency … as of September 30, 2018 … 90.8% of JPMorgan Chase’s derivatives are still over-the-counter; 89.1% of Citibank’s are over-the-counter; 79.2% at Goldman Sachs Bank USA are over-the-counter; and 92.4% at Bank of America are over-the-counter.”


White House Requests Slight Decrease for NASA Budget, But Starts Important Moon/Mars Projects

March 11 (EIRNS)—The Trump Administration today released its proposals for funding the federal government for FY20. NASA’s budget proposal at $21 billion is nearly a 6% increase over the administration’s proposed budget last year, but a slight decrease from what the Congress appropriated for the space agency. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine pointed to the White House’s support for the space program. Speaking from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he said that NASA also has “strong bipartisan support in both houses of Congress.”

Under the rubric of “Moon to Mars,” a few programs of importance for lunar exploration and preparation for Mars have been at least initially funded. Bridenstine reported that in the budget, “we have money” to start programs “for a return to the Moon with humans.” He reported that work on “human-rated landers are funded for the first time in 10 years,” since Obama cancelled the Constellation program. The funding for next year is proposed at $380 million, which will have to be ramped up, costing about $3.4 billion before it’s ready to fly, reported NASA CFO Jeff DeWitt in a follow-on briefing.

In a related initiative, NASA announced today that it has selected nine teams of scientists to study pieces of the Moon brought back by Apollo astronauts, some, pristine, which have never been exposed to Earth’s atmosphere.

On a Mars program, the budget describes a Mars sample return mission as a “high priority,” which received applause from the audience, and proposes $109 million for the start planning such a mission, which would have to grow to about $400 million per year.


Italy and Silk Road: Does Trump Know White House Officials Are Talking to Hostile Media?

March 11 (EIRNS)—The Italian daily La Stampa, belonging to the De Benedetti editorial group (e.g., La Repubblica, l’Espresso), published a report of an alleged conversation with two high-level White House officials, filed by its Washington correspondent. “The initiative for this background conversation was taken by the White House,” La Stampasays.

According to the report, the two officials said “they are very worried that when President Xi visits Rome, Italy would underwrite the Belt and Road Initiative, because it would legitimize a political project, sending the wrong message to Beijing.” They also say that joining the BRI would undermine cooperation among U.S. and Italian firms, as well as “the interoperational capability of NATO.”

“Italy is thus decoupling from the rest of the G7 and allows the BRI to penetrate Europe in the wrong moment, because the Chinese effort to carry out its debt diplomacy is not working,” the U.S. officials say.

“In the last two years we have seen a worrying correspondence between financing and developing infrastructures according to the Chinese model, and problems emerging in participating countries, including the increase of unsustainable debt and insufficiency of projects. In many cases, such as Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Venezuela, China has collateralized the debt and seized sovereign assets. Finally, there has also been a damaging effect on transparency, corruption and economic and institutional governance,” claims La Stampa.

The “White House officials” go on: “Italy is a G7 country, one of the closest and oldest U.S. allies. It is a big economic player and a global brand [sic]. By underwriting the BRI, it would give its official support to an approach that is having a negative impact on global economic governance. We never told American companies not to sell their products to the BRI, but the approval stamp by a government would legitimize such an approach to economic development, which is antithetical to the market and the private sector one.”

Economic Development Undersecretary Michele Geraci countered today that the agreement is only about the economy and there is nothing political: “It is exactly the opposite. There is no economic significance, because China would anyway invest in Italy and Europe. They need to do it because they are losing money in developing countries and they must use their hard currency reserves. There is only a geopolitical motivation. The reason why China wants Italy to sign is that they want to achieve a political victory for an initiative that is losing legitimacy everywhere, including in China itself. Much better so, if they can do it with a G7 members, breaking solidarity in the EU and decoupling the U.S.A. from their allies.”

The United States is also against deals with Huawei, which is a tool of the Chinese Communist Party, intelligence sources allege, which insisted that the MOU is political, not economic: “Existing evidence on Huawei’s bad actions should be enough to discourage any economy and any country that cares for its security.”

“There won’t be a downgrade” of Italy by the U.S. if the MOU is signed, “but we would like to improve economic relations with Italy. We just spoke about better streamlining defense purchases, but signing the BRI could limit our capacity for investing. We have many joint ventures with Italian firms, civilian as well as military ones, such as Leonardo. Finished goods and components going both ways over the Atlantic. If the Chinese penetrate those areas, there is a risk that this prevents joint ventures from developing.”

If Rome gives up the BRI, how will it be compensated for the lost investments?

“We cannot promise that U.S. investors will rush to you, but this is the general picture. Finally, there is a strong symbolic significance. Italy would be joining a not very noble club: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kenya, troubled economies worldwide. It would do serious damage to your global reputation.”

Mexicans Looking to China and the Belt and Road for Economic Development

March 11 (EIRNS)—“China looks forward to the participation of Mexico and other nations” in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in April, China’s ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi wrote in Heraldo de México yesterday.

How Mexico participates in that massive summit and the Belt and Road Initiative is a matter of hot discussion now.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the leadership of the Business Coordinating Council two days ago that Mexico is reviewing the “New Silk Road” project with China. “Mexico has not signed anything; as of now there is only an understanding,” he said, and continuing that it is under discussion, because it could be an opportunity, given the lack of investment taking place in Mexico.

The day before, the Mexican Senate hosted a forum called “The Two Sessions 2019: Despite the Distance, We Are Neighbors and Therefore Relations Are Getting Closer,” in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China this year. Mexican government officials (including the head of Policy Coordination at the Foreign Relations Ministry), lawmakers, academics, and businessmen spoke favorably on the possibilities opened by strengthening Mexican-Chinese economic cooperation, as did the heads of the Bank of China and the Industrial Bank of China in Mexico, the Economics Attaché at the Chinese Embassy and China Hoy magazine’s Director General for Latin America.

“Chinese Financial Institutions Bet on Investing in Mexico,” the Senate press office headlined its release on the event. It cited, amongst others, the report from the president of Bank of China Mexico that he had met with representatives from more than 10 top companies of China to encourage them to invest in Mexico, while the bank had helped more than 50 Mexican companies get their products into the Chinese market.

Xinhua reported the tantalizing suggestion raised at the forum by former Mexican Ambassador Sergio Ley López, that Mexico participate with China in specific projects in the fields of nanotechnology, high-conductivity materials, biotechnology, and space exploration, which would permit Mexico “to not only enjoy the benefits, but also exploit the results of this research.”

Another wire today by Xinhua on the discussion of Mexico getting in on the BRI cites the report by a leading Economics Ministry official during the last government, Maria Cristina Hernandez, that from what she has heard, “there is a good disposition towards our getting much closer to China.” The best way to do so would be through the BRI, she argues. “Mexico should not stay out of the Belt and Road [which offers] investment in warehousing, ports, highways, railroads,” particularly because Mexico lacks a railroad network that is efficient.

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

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