EIR Daily Alert Service, THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019
Volume 6, Number 66
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
EIR Daily Alert
Congress Fawns over ‘Lord Stoltenberg of NATO,’ Lecturing To Prepare for War with Russia for the Empire
April 3 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump, meeting the press on Tuesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the White House, was asked to evaluate Russia’s “security threat” to the West. “I hope that it’s not going to be a security threat,” he responded. “I hope we have a good relationship with Russia and with, by the way, China, and everybody else.” Stoltenberg interjected: “We need to maintain credible defense and defense for all NATO countries.” Trump refused to take the bait: “But I think we’ll get along with Russia. I do believe that.”
Today, Stoltenberg spoke to a more receptive audience—a combined session of the U.S. Congress. Stoltenberg offered glorious praise of NATO, and the horrors of the “authoritarian government” in Russia, drawing wild applause and standing ovations from the members of Congress, reminiscent of the Marx Brothers wild song and dance routine “The Country’s Going to War!” from the movie “Duck Soup.”
“NATO has been good for the United States,” Stoltenberg said, perhaps recalling that Trump has in the past declared NATO to be “obsolete and outmoded.” He went on: “And through NATO, the United States has more friends and allies than any other power” (NATO-speak for “who needs friends in Russia or China?”). To more raucous applause, Stoltenberg accused Russia of chemical attacks in the U.K., support for “Assad’s murderous regime in Syria,” “cyber-attacks on NATO Allies and partners, targeting everything from Parliaments to power grids,” “sophisticated disinformation campaigns, and attempts to interfere in democracy itself.” The fact that not one of these accusations has any basis in fact did not restrain the Congressional hysteria.
This is what Trump is confronting, reaching a fever pitch precisely because of the collapse of the two-year Russiagate hoax. Rather than see Trump act to unite Russia, China and the U.S. to move the human race forward, war—even thermonuclear war—is preferable, in the warped view of the spokesmen for the Empire.
Here is where the exoneration of LaRouche is the strategic flanking move necessary to defeat the Empire’s over-extended and panicking minions. On the one hand, the forces arrayed against Trump, centered in the British intelligence networks who designed and orchestrated Russiagate, are precisely the same as those who have run the persecution and demonization of LaRouche over these past 36 years, since LaRouche’s collaboration with President Ronald Reagan in designing the SDI proposal. But it is even more important that the exoneration would place squarely on the table the entire LaRouche program, as presented in his Earth’s Next Fifty Years; a new Treaty of Westphalia to re-animate the world economy; bringing America into the new Eurasian geometry now characterized by the Belt and Road Initiative; restoring the vision of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt in the American psyche; and joining forces with Russia, China, India and others in realizing mankind’s “extraterrestrial imperative” in reaching out into the Solar System and beyond. (SeeEarth’s Next Fifty Years available from Amazon.)
Trump’s call to escalate the Moon-Mars mission, putting men and women back on the Moon within five years, is the crucial focus of U.S. cooperation with Russia. The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said yesterday that he is a “fierce proponent of international cooperation, including with Americans,” who “make good partners.” He stated that “personal and professional relations between Roscosmos and NASA at the working level are great,” stressing that people “who professionally engage in space activities are perfectly aware that they need each other.”
Of course, this is even more true in military, economic, and cultural relations. So why the lunacy of war preparations, of bombastic diatribes against Russia and China in the halls of Congress and in the fake-news media? Break the controlled environment—exonerate LaRouche, and bring on the new paradigm.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 3 (EIRNS)—Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Ro Khanna today issued a bipartisan and bicameral letter to President Donald Trump “in support of his decision to bring U.S. troops home from Syria and “urging the completion of the withdrawal process ‘within the next six months,’ demonstrating that the cause crosses a wide range of ideological and political boundaries to unite lawmakers,” according to the release from Senator Paul’s office.
Other signers include: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA), Justin Amash (R-MI), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN), and Bill Posey (R-FL).
Senator Paul wrote: “One of the things I have always admired about President Trump is his willingness to take on a foreign policy establishment that has failed to make America safer. As he said during the State of the Union, ‘Great nations do not fight endless wars,’ and I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump to change course and bring more of our soldiers home.”
The letter follows:
Dear Mr. President:
We write in bipartisan support of your announcement of the start of a deliberate withdrawal of U.S. military forces in Syria, and we welcome the completion of this process within the next six months.
The 2015 introduction of U.S. military forces into hostilities in Syria was never approved by Congress, in violation of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. We believe that the stated intention of withdrawing our forces is appropriate, and we look forward to the orderly return of our service members from this theater of conflict.
While it is essential to accomplish the announced withdrawal, we urge your Administration to couple the process of a phased removal of U.S. troops with an increased focus on diplomacy to ensure minimal disruption and prevent needless loss of life.
Additionally, we recommend direct, robust engagement and coordination with both U.S. allies and other regional governments to ensure the safety of Syria’s civilian populations and avert the resurgence of ISIS. We agree with your aim of averting a Turkish military assault on Syria’s Kurds, and U.S. leverage—such as conditioning weapons sales to Turkey—can achieve this outcome.
It is long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization, and we look forward to pursuing this longstanding bipartisan objective with your Administration.
Finally, we hope this will serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.
April 3 (EIRNS)—In a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Cristiane Amanpour, former FBI Director Jim Comey expressed concern about President Donald Trump’s proposal that the investigators of the Russia collusion investigation, themselves be investigated.
This is a very troubling idea, he told Amanpour, demurring that he feared it, not personally, “but as a citizen. Right? Investigate what? Investigate that investigations were conducted? What would be the crime you’d be investigating? So, it’s a terrible cycle to start,” he lamented. He also charged that Trump’s rhetoric, “calling for locking up his political opponents, including people like me,” is very bad. “It will just be more of that dangerous step.” Dangerous for whom?
Comey said that he’s willing to give Attorney General William Barr the “benefit of the doubt” when it comes to transparency on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Since Mueller probably wrote the report assuming it would become public eventually, Comey said, “I can’t imagine a lot needs to be cut out of it. But, let’s wait and see.” Comey repeated his criticism of Barr’s decision regarding whether the President had committed obstruction. “The Attorney General’s letter doesn’t make sense in light of my experience,” Comey said. “Thousands of people are prosecuted in this country every year for trying to obstruct an investigation where the underlying thing that was being investigated doesn’t end up proven.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), meanwhile, is hot to trot on investigating the investigators, and also demanding that a special prosecutor be named for that purpose. Speaking on Fox News’ “Hannity” show last night, he said he intends to call Comey before the Judiciary Committee, but that also, “some prosecutor, not a politician, needs to look at Comey, [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, and all of these characters to find out if in fact they broke the law. I’m hoping Attorney General Barr will assign somebody to this case with the same resources and commitment to look at them as Mueller had to look at Trump.” Millions of Americans, he said, “believe that the top levels of the DOJ and FBI wanted Trump to lose the 2016 elections,” and that they “manipulated the facts and the law to go after Trump, and that’s a big deal to a lot of people. So I promise you, former Director Comey will get to testify in the light of day,” Graham continued, and will be asked about the dossier by British intelligence hack Christopher Steele, among other things.
April 3 (EIRNS)—According to an unnamed spokesperson for the U.S. State Department yesterday, the United States will not send high-level officials to attend China’s second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing later this month, Reuters reported. In 2017, when the first Belt and Road Forum took place, the U.S. was represented by Matt Pottinger, the senior White House official for Asia. There are no such plans this year, the British news agency stated.
The unnamed State Department spokesperson said: “We will not send high-level officials from the United States…. We will continue to raise concerns about opaque financing practices, poor governance and disregard for internationally accepted norms and standards, which undermine many of the standards and principles that we rely upon to promote sustainable, inclusive development and to maintain stability and a rules-based order. We have repeatedly called on China to address these concerns,” responding to a question from Reuters.
On March 29, speaking to the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, who runs the party’s foreign affairs committee, said he found that critics of the Belt and Road Initiative “obviously show a lack of objectivity and fair understanding of the Belt and Road initiative. It is a misunderstanding, misjudgment and is even prejudiced,” stated Yang. Yang also confirmed that “about 40” foreign leaders would take part in the second summit.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 3 (EIRNS)—Almost as distasteful as the speech given today by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg before a joint session of the U.S. Congress, was the slavish response by those members of Congress, who greeted Stoltenberg as if he were the hero of a grand war, finally returned home. Even before Stoltenberg spoke, he was met with a standing ovation of several minutes, including cries of “hoorah” and other joyful noises. At various points during his speech, Congress members stood again to offer more ovations, and a lengthy one at the end.
This was not a speech that deserved such adoration. Much of it was taken up with platitudes about the strength of the Alliance, its historic role in combatting aggression, being the longest lasting and most successful alliance in history, responsible for creating the conditions for “peace and prosperity” throughout Europe. What? And now, more than ever, Stoltenberg insisted, the NATO alliance is needed “to defend each other, protect each other, and to keep our people safe.”
He was forced to admit that there are “serious issues and serious disagreements” within NATO, stating, however, that member nations have gotten President Trump’s message that they have to contribute more money, and bolster their own defenses. In the end, he said, NATO has always been able to unite “around our core task…. We must overcome our differences now, because we will need our Alliance even more in the future.”
Why? Because “the global balance of power is shifting.” Threats coming from cyber space, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and big data “could change the nature of conflict more fundamentally than the Industrial Revolution.”
But above all, he warned, there is “a more assertive Russia.” Stoltenberg then ran through the litany of Russia’s “crimes”—“annexation” of Crimea, a “massive military buildup from the Artic to the Mediterranean and from the Black Sea to the Baltic,” the Skripal case, support for Assad’s government in Syria; many cyber attacks on NATO allies and partners, “sophisticated disinformation campaigns,” and finally, “attempts to interfere in democracy itself.” Russia has violated the INF Treaty and deployed new missiles in Europe, he charged.
While insisting that NATO isn’t seeking to isolate Russia, Stoltenberg boasted that the alliance has embarked on “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense in decades,” with more combat-ready troops deployed “in the east of our Alliance.” NATO has tripled the size of its Response Force and increased the readiness of its forces, while bolstering support for Georgia and Ukraine, and preparing to welcome North Macedonia as its newest member. And, he remarked, “NATO’s door is always open.”
April 3 (EIRNS)—Washington is ramping up the pressure on the Turkish government, to force it back out of its commitment to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Yesterday, the Pentagon confirmed that it had suspended delivery of equipment and parts related to the F-35 stealth aircraft, which Turkey wants to buy, and won’t resume those deliveries until Turkey abandons its plans to purchase the S-400.
In an April 2 briefing, a senior State Department official threatened that Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 “will result in a reassessment of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program, and risk other potential future arms transfers as well as potentially trigger sanctions by the U.S.”
Turkey, a NATO member, had intended to purchase 100 F-35s, but there is no indication it intends to back out of the S-400 purchase. The U.S.’s complaint, National Public Radio reported, is that the S-400 is designed to detect and shoot down stealth fighters like the F-35. The claim is that the S-400, with its powerful radar, could help Moscow discover the secrets and vulnerabilities of the F-35 that Turkey wants to acquire.
Speaking today in Washington at an event organized by the Atlantic Council, the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., and the Munich Security Conference, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 is “a done deal, and we will not step back.” He said that Turkey had an urgent need for missile defense, given threats in the region, and that NATO “is not capable enough to cover our airspace yet.”
Cavusoglu also said that mixed signals coming from the U.S.—from different institutions and different agencies of government—indicate that the U.S. doesn’t have a coherent strategy when it comes to Syria. He also rejected the U.S. argument that the S-400 is incompatible with the NATO system. “It doesn’t have to be integrated into the NATO system,” he said. “This isn’t our aim…. This is for our own use.” He emphasized that Turkey is a sovereign country, however, and seeks to have good relations with all countries.
April 3 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he was certain that current events in Venezuela will not lead to another Cuban Missile Crisis in the region—notwithstanding “arrogant” threats by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and similar remarks by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Lavrov rejected the charge that Russia is attempting to create “another Syria” in Venezuela. He characterized as “insolent and arrogant” John Bolton’s threats that the U.S. wouldn’t allow nations “external to the Western Hemisphere” to have interests there. This was in response to the arrival of Russian military personnel in Caracas, as per a long-standing agreement for technical and military cooperation. Moreover, Lavrov said, it appears that Cuba and Nicaragua are next on the target list, TASS reported.
“What do they mean that countries external to the Western Hemisphere aren’t allowed to have interests there? What is the U.S. doing? Take a look at the map of the U.S. military bases—the entire world is dotted with red spots and each of them poses rather formidable risks.”
Lavrov reported that in his last phone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he had explained the reason for Russian military personnel arriving in Caracas. “There is a 2001 agreement signed by Hugo Chavez and ratified by the national parliament. We have transferred military equipment to Venezuela in accordance with this agreement. This requires maintenance. The time to carry out the maintenance has come. That’s it,” Lavrov said, reported Sputnik.
He also stated that were there any U.S. attempt to intervene in Venezuela militarily the “overwhelming majority of Latin American nations would be adamantly opposed”—even those members of the so-called Lima Group that were demanding Nicolas Maduro’s immediate resignation and calling for snap elections. As soon as they heard the phrase “all options on the table,” they became “perplexed” and nervous, the Foreign Minister observed.
April 3 (EIRNS)—A video is circulating on social media of British soldiers at a base in Kabul, Afghanistan using a poster of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for target practice. The fact that British troops would be doing such a thing is bad enough, but to show such a video in the current hot Brexit political atmosphere can only be seen as a death threat.
The authenticity of the video was confirmed by the Ministry of Defense, according to Sky News. The video shows soldiers firing handguns. The video then pans onto the target, a poster of Jeremy Corbyn and with a caption that says “happy with that.” The video was taken only in the last few days and was taken at the British army’s New Kabul Compound.
According to the Daily Express, an Army spokesperson said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media, this behavior is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the Army expects. A full investigation has been launched.”
A senior defense source told Sky the shots were “simulated paint rounds, not bullets,” which is hardly believable.
Labour Party activist Zach Martin tweeted: “Almost certain this is illegal but even if it isn’t against the law for uniformed military personnel to threaten death [on] a Member of Parliament, it’s undeniably fucking terrifying. Gentle reminder that Jo Cox was murdered by a ‘British Patriot’ less than three years ago.” In 2016 British Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by Thomas Mair, a right-wing and anti-European Union individual with mental health problems. Cox was an outspoken supporter of Britain’s EU membership and immigration.
A spokesman from the Labour Party said the behavior of soldiers was “alarming and unacceptable.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 3 (EIRNS)—The Russia’s Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin declared that relations with NASA as “great” in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station.
“I am a fierce proponent of international cooperation, including with Americans, because their country is big and technologically advanced, and they can make good partners. Especially since personal and professional relations between Roscosmos and NASA at the working level are great,” he said yesterday, reported TASS. He stressed that people “who professionally engage in space activities are perfectly aware that they need each other.”
April 3 (EIRNS)—As reported in the Financial Times, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wants Europe to become a “new empire” in order to resist attempts by rival superpowers in the U.S. and China to control the EU through economic and technological domination. He said that his idea was not “an empire of domination” but rather “a peaceful empire” that would unite EU members in standing up to China’s expansionist new Silk Road—the Belt and Road Initiative for development—and President Donald Trump’s “America First” concept.
“This vassalisation is a reality,” Le Maire said as he launched his book The New Empire: Europe in the 21st Century (Le Nouvel Empire: L’Europe du XXIe Siècle). “Vassalisation is when the U.S. imposes extraterritorial sanctions on the European Union. It’s when they impose tariffs on steel and aluminum that will directly affect the lives of workers and the steel plants of northern France. Vassalisation is when China decides to buy entire chunks of strategic infrastructure in Europe. Vassalisation is when self-driving cars will have American navigation systems and Asian batteries,” Financial Times quotes Le Maire as saying.
Le Maire said that Brexit had shown that the “European project is mortal” and that the remaining 27 EU members needed to stand together. He said Brexit “gives us the responsibility to say loud and clear that leaving the EU has a cost—an economic cost, a financial cost, a political cost that is exorbitant and will be exorbitant for the British people, which I regret.” Referring to the April 1 British Parliament session that last voted down the Brexit deal, he said, it was bringing a no-deal Brexit dangerously close. “For us henceforth the priority is to protect the single market and to affirm the political power of the European continent.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
April 3 (EIRNS)—That was the operative question to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, when he testified yesterday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on the Administration’s FY20 budget proposal for NASA. The Members’ concern was in regards to the new 2024 goal for the manned lunar landing, announced by Vice President Pence and President Trump last week.
On the whole, and historically, the Committee operates on a nonpartisan basis. It is the Executive’s responsibility to put forward programs. Congress can question such and make some changes, but their real clout is “the power of the purse.” So most of the questions from both sides of the aisle to Bridenstine were how much will this accelerated program cost? How much more than has been requested will be needed for FY20? Bridenstine replied that NASA is working on a figure and an amendment to the FY20 budget request, and should have it to the Committee by April 15, which is when Congress is supposed to adopt the Budget Resolution for the entire federal budget.
Bridenstine said it was President Trump’s decision to accelerate the program.
Members questioned the “space race” rhetoric used by vice President Pence, who justified the acceleration program because we are in a race with China, which is trying to gain strategic advantage. That formulation was neither used by Bridenstine, nor by the President.
The Members expressed concern that funding this program will require taking money from other NASA programs, including the ISS. In fact, the very reason for the administration’s push to end funding for the ISS by 2025 was to “save” money for the Moon-Mars program. Bridenstine repeated his earlier statements that funding the lunar program would be done by a request for a budget increase, not by cutting other programs.