EIR Daily Alert Service, MONDAY, December 23, 2019


Volume 6, Number 253

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

  • Today in History
  • China Meets Its 2019 Poverty Target, on Course To Totally Eliminate Poverty by the End of 2020
  • Xi and Trump Discuss Trade and Relations
  • Will the Central Myth of Russiagate Finally Fall? Increasingly That Looks Possible
  • Impeachment Fraud Escalates Sea Change in U.S. Politics
  • Putin Responds to American Journalist on Trump Impeachment
  • Lopez Obrador Praises Cooperative Relationship With Trump, Recalls FDR as ‘Good Democrat’
  • Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Welcomes Trump’s ‘Frank, Unambiguous’ Discussion
  • U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream Projects
  • New Flanks Opened Against Afghanistan War in Germany and United States
  • China and Brazil Celebrate Aerospace Cooperation, Benefitting Nations That Joined the BRI


Today in History

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—Looking backwards now with a clearer view, we can see that for the strata of U.S. productive workers and farmers and their families (the “deplorables”), the 21st century has been nothing but one long defile into nowhere.  We know about the threefold increase in drug overdose deaths (per capita) to over 70,000 in 2017.  That’s almost 200 a day.  But no one in our drone class will understand anything about those statistics, until after (God forbid) they’ve opened a bedroom door to discover a dead son or daughter.  We know, too, about the no-win, endless wars launched one after another into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  But no one who launched those wars from Washington ever went over there to fight them.  None of them has had the experience which will be so common this Christmas, of the wife or husband who finally gets their soldier husband or wife on the phone in Afghanistan—only to learn that he or she is too fed up to say a word to their loved one or the children—after multiple tours of duty, too tired and disgusted to talk at all.

Labor force participation fell from 67% to less than 63% from 1999 to 2015—but that means nothing to our so-called elites.  They have no idea what it looks like, still less how it feels—nor, more important, what it means. Homelessness has become endemic throughout our country—but has any of them ever known one homeless man or woman?

American life expectancy fell for five years, 2014-18, before finally rising again in 2019.  In some measure we did to ourselves what we had done to Russia in the 1990s.

The long downward arc from Franklin Roosevelt’s death, to John Kennedy’s assassination, through Johnson’s killing of the space program in 1967 and Nixon’s destruction of the Bretton Woods system in 1971—all of them hit bottom under George W. Bush and Obama, with their coverup of 9/11, their 2008 bank bailouts, and all their other crimes.

It is lawful that looking around the world now, in December 2019, we see waves of mass protests and mass strikes exploding in France, Germany, and the Netherlands in Europe; in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East-North Africa; in South and Central America, Central Asia and many other places.  Although thereare huge differences from country to country, all of the strikers and protesters, like America’s “deplorables,” suffer from conditions which have become intolerable.  But there is something else as well.  A careful study would often show, as Hussein Askary did for the case of Lebanon, that mixed in with myriad sorts of grievances, there are also grounds for hope in a possible better future to be won, as Rosa Luxemburg showed in her famous 1906 pamphlet, “The Mass Strike, the Party and the Trade Unions.” (See “Study Lebanon for an Insight into the World Mass-Strike Wave,” by Hussein Askary, EIR, Nov. 22, 2019.)

When and where did this worldwide mass-strike wave begin? Looking backwards, again, with better insight, we can now see that it began first, tentatively perhaps, with the Brexit campaign in Britain of spring-summer 2016, and, roughly simultaneously, with Donald Trump’s election campaign right here in the U.S.  Donald Trump spoke directly to the workers and farmers without artifice.  He left no doubt that he understood their sufferings and intended to act against them, and, unlike the rotten elites, he understood that manufacturing and farming are the basis of human life—not free trade and globalization. He said that the mission of “Making America Great Again” left no time for political correctness, and he was right.

The response he got was totally unlike that of any other Presidential campaign at least since Franklin Roosevelt. Millions of American “deplorables” saw eye-to-eye with him, understood him totally, and devoted every effort to ensure that he was elected, with no less dedication than the members of his own family. (History would have been different if he had been able to find the same dedication elsewhere in Washington after his election.)

Yet our rotten elite has learned nothing.  They slandered Donald Trump as a Russian asset during the election, conspired to pervert the Electoral College after he won, and have tried to find grounds to impeach him since mere hours after his inauguration three years ago.  This fraudulent impeachment must be crushed.  Our workers and farmers—Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables”—understand it for exactly what it is.  They know that if somehow it were to succeed, then she and her friends will shove their noses right back into the ordure.  The results would be disastrous both for the world and our country; they will not be what the impeachers expect, blinded as they are by hatred.

But to bring our economy back from the dead after three-quarters of a century of decay, is a far greater task than the one that Franklin Roosevelt faced when he entered office during the depths if the Great Depression in 1933.  It requires science.  Not the pseudoscience of which economics degree-holders brag—the overeducated who will never learn anything new, lest it make them question the value of their diplomas.  What academic economist forecast the 1953 recession, or the 1971 beginning of Bretton Woods collapse, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, or the 2008 crash, as LaRouche did?  None of them.  His forecasts were ridiculed when he made them, but he was proven right.

The Trump Administration will have to apply the late Lyndon LaRouche’s science of political economy, based on physical economy, to fulfill the President’s campaign promises.  In order for this to happen, the organic intellectual leaders among the so-called “deplorables,” will now have to begin to learn it for themselves.

This is not “science” as it’s taught in our benighted colleges and universities—hands up for the right answer; working equations; and looking it up in the back of the book.  This is totally different.  LaRouche rediscovered the physical principles of economy which made the U.S. a great economy in its best periods, and he studied how a financial system must be subordinated to physical economy, rather than the other way around.  The discoveries he won over many decades, hold the clue to our future over the coming weeks and months.

Note to Subscribers: EIR Daily Alert will not be published on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, to allow staff to take Christmas and New Year’s Day off.


China Meets Its 2019 Poverty Target, on Course To Totally Eliminate Poverty by the End of 2020

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—Hu Chunhua, who heads the State Council leading group on poverty alleviation and development, announced at the Dec. 20 national anti-poverty development and work conference, that China had met its goal of raising an estimated 10 million people out of poverty in 2019.

That leaves only 7 million poor people in China, whom the government is committed to lifting out of poverty by the end of 2020, in order to meet its goal of totally eliminating poverty in China by 2020—a monumental achievement. That remaining poor population poses some of the most difficult problems to be solved. but Hu made it clear that the government is committed to achieving that goal.

“Efforts should be made to strengthen inspections of poverty alleviation work and rectify problems exposed during the inspections,” Hu told the conference. Xinhua added that “he called for enhanced industrial development and employment assistance for poverty relief as well as follow-up support for relocation programs to prevent people from slipping back into poverty. Hu also urged joint efforts from different fronts to ensure the entire population is lifted out of poverty by the end of 2020.”

Xi and Trump Discuss Trade and Relations

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump spoke by phone on Dec. 20, at the initiative of President Trump. According to both, the report from the Chinese side published by Xinhua, and a tweet from Trump, the two sides stated that progress had been made in concluding Phase I of the trade deal, which will be signed shortly, and that the two heads of state would continue to coordinate directly to achieve further progress.

Xinhua further reported that Xi sharply protested ongoing U.S. interference in the internal affairs of China around Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet. “Xi told Trump that China is deeply concerned about ‘the negative words and deeds’ of the United States on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. These actions have interfered in China’s internal affairs, harmed China’s interests and undermined mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides,” Xinhua reported. Xi, however, hoped Trump would implement “the important consensus” reached during their meetings and phone calls, and “pay close attention to and attach importance to China’s concerns, and prevent the interference of bilateral relations and the important agenda.”

According to Xinhua, both leaders view the agreement as important for whole world, as well as both countries.

Trump summarized his view of their discussion in an enthusiastic tweet on Dec. 20: “Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchase of agricultural product & more. Formal signing being arranged. Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!).”


Will the Central Myth of Russiagate Finally Fall? Increasingly That Looks Possible

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—Former CIA analyst and State Department counterterrorism expert Larry Johnson’s Dec. 20 article on Pat Lang’s “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog, asserts the likelihood that the Internet personas Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by John Brennan’s CIA—not creations of Russian military intelligence (GRU) as claimed without evidence in Robert Mueller’s final report and the infamous Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). If Johnson is correct, and we don’t have any reason to doubt his account, the entire fabric of Russiagate is further blown apart.

Johnson points out that John Brennan reorganized the CIA in October 2015 to create a new Division of Digital Innovation. This group immediately produced a program called Vault 7 and associated software called Marble, capable of both conducting major cyber intrusions and then obfuscating their origin in such a way as to attribute what were really CIA activities to foreign actors. In the case of the Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, these obfuscation activities included inserting Cyrillic characters into the code and creating a trail leading to a Russian name which translated to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the infamous founder of what became the Soviet KGB secret police.

Gullible, or entirely complicit, investigators ate up this “clue” without assessing whether a cyber force as capable as the GRU would really leave such a trail. True to the incompetence of Brennan’s CIA minions, both Vault 7 and Marble were hacked and turned over to WikiLeaks, which published them in 2017, after trying to negotiate with the U.S. government for the opportunity to tell them the actual source of the 2016 DNC and Podesta documents they published, as well as explaining the vulnerabilities which allowed the CIA’s program to be hacked—all in return for immunity for Julian Assange.  That negotiation, conducted by high levels of the Justice Department, was blown up by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and then-FBI Director James Comey, which is a separate seditious scandal.

Johnson’s piece arrives 24 hours after leaks to the New York Times indicated that U.S. Attorney John Durham is now focusing on Brennan, with CIA cooperation in that investigation, and an article in The Intercept indicating that former NSA Director Mike Rogers is cooperating with Durham and has met with him several times.

The Times reports that Durham is focused on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) and its conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the Russia hack of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta to help Trump win election.  The Times maintains there was significant debate even within John Brennan’s handpicked team about this “opinion.” The NSA under Mike Rogers said at the time that it had only moderate confidence in this conclusion. According to the Times article (almost certainly the result of a leak by Brennan or FBI officials, similarly under investigation by Durham), the conclusion that Putin ordered the hack to help Trump is not the result of NSA intelligence, rather it relies on a Brennan CIA source alleged to be close to the Kremlin. Other reportage has claimed that Brennan’s “source” is highly dubious. The Times article cites Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) as one of those saying that the ICA’s conclusions regarding Putin’s intentions were not justified by the classified intelligence he has viewed.

Impeachment Fraud Escalates Sea Change in U.S. Politics

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—After voting against impeachment as a Democrat, on Dec. 18, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey officially joined the Republican Party the following day, and did so in a meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump. The meeting sent a message to other Democrats: you’ll be welcomed if you, too, leave the sinking Democratic Party ship. When Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy emphasized that Van Drew’s switch is “a very big deal because he’s going from the majority to the minority” in the House of Representatives, President Trump responded that Van Drew “knows it’s not going to be the minority for long.”

Van Drew’s switch in party allegiance reflects the swelling support for President Trump’s opposition to the British coup and the policies of the elite which back it, which is breaking up U.S. party politics as it has functioned in recent decades.

Van Drew promised his “undying support” for President Trump, citing Ronald Reagan—whom he called one of his heroes—saying “I didn’t leave my party.  My party left me.”

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “present” vote on impeachment reflects the same sea change. “I give her respect” for that vote, President Trump yesterday told the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit. “I give her a lot of respect because she knew it was wrong. I don’t know her but I know one thing, she is not an agent of Russia.”

Gabbard issued a lengthy statement following the impeachment vote, in which she emphasized that, “throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country, not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political party…. After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page [Judiciary Committee] impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no. I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present.

“I could also not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country. When I cast my vote in support of the impeachment inquiry nearly three months ago, I said that in order to maintain the integrity of this solemn undertaking, it must not be a partisan endeavor. Tragically, that’s what it has been….

“My vote today is for much-needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country. Let’s work side-by-side, seeking common ground to usher in a bright future for the American people, our country and our nation.”


Putin Responds to American Journalist on Trump Impeachment

Dec. 20 (EIRNS)—Speaking at his annual press conference on Dec. 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to a question from Dimitri Simes, publisher of the National Interest, on the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. Simes asked, in part, “In this situation, do you think you—and Russia—have any opportunity to try to maintain or strengthen dialogue with the United States before the end of Trump’s Presidency? What can you do to enhance strategic stability, and more specifically, to extend the New START?”

Putin responded: “As for the chances to continue our dialogue until the end of Trump’s Presidency, you do sound like it is actually ending. I am not so sure about that. The decision still needs to pass through the Senate, where the Republicans, as far as I know, have the majority, and they are unlikely to want to remove the representative of their party from power for something I, personally, see as far-fetched.

“This is just another move in that country’s domestic political campaigning, where one party that lost the election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results they want through other means, such as charging Trump with conspiracy related to Russia. When it turned out there was no conspiracy, there was no longer a sufficient reason to impeach. Now they have invented pressure on Ukraine. I do not know what this is all about. But your Congresspeople certainly know better.”

Putin expanded on what he thought U.S. policy toward Ukraine should be, rather than the excuses used for impeaching the President, which could be summarized in his remark, “Go ahead and give them the money, help Ukraine, grant it subsidized loans with lengthy repayment periods.”

He came back to the original question: “You have mentioned global security, including the New START, as one of the foundations of our relations. We put forward our proposals, as I have already said, and will repeat: we stand ready until the end of the year to extend the existing New START as is.”

Chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Sen. Konstantin Kosachev also commented on impeachment to media, saying: “There can be no doubt that the impeachment procedure, launched by the Democrats is not about removing him from power, it is about preventing him from being re-elected. In this situation, the procedure is the goal in and of itself….

“There is apparent irony in accusing Trump of power abuse: I can’t recall any other President whose actions would be as limited as those of the current [leader]. He has more problems with ‘using’ his power than with ‘abusing’ it,” TASS quoted the Senator as saying.

López Obrador Praises Cooperative Relationship with Trump, Recalls FDR as a ‘Good’ Democrat

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—In his Dec. 20 daily press conference, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO as he is known, was asked for a comment on the impeachment effort in the U.S. and also whether he thought that, at this particular time, the Republican Party was treating Mexico better than the Democrats.

On impeachment, AMLO only remarked that he would be observing the process “with respect,” i.e., that this is a matter internal to the U.S. He did say that in general, “things have gone well in the relationship; both Democrats and Republicans have treated us with respect, and in a very special way, we’ve had the collaboration and respect from President Trump.” And, he emphasized, “this isn’t a personal matter; it’s not how he treats me as the President of Mexico, but rather how he treats our country. This goes well beyond friendship. We’ve been treated well, a good cooperative relationship.”

As for whether Mexico is treated better by Republicans or Democrats, “it’s relative,” he said. “We did well when Lincoln, who was a Republican, was President and Mexico was governed by President Juárez.” But, “of course, it didn’t go too well for us … when a President, whose name I won’t mention [James K. Polk] … ordered the invasion of Mexico [in the 1846-1848 Mexican War]. He was a Democrat. But then we did well with a Democrat during the [1938] period of the oil expropriation, with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—his name I will mention. As for the more recent ones [i.e., Bush, Obama], let’s not talk about that.”

During President Lázaro Cárdenas’s 1938 nationalization of the oil industry, both Roosevelt and his Treasury Secretary Robert Morgenthau acted decisively to prevent Anglo-American oil and financier interests from destabilizing the country, to punish it for taking such bold action in defense of national sovereignty.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Welcomes Trump’s ‘Frank, Unambiguous’ Discussion

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—In a lengthy interview with Russian Channel One’s “Big Game” program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented that what he likes about President Donald Trump, with whom he met in Washington on Dec. 10, is “the way Trump discusses international matters and bilateral relations issues. He eschews ambiguity and seeks to speak frankly,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Lavrov called this a rare quality for a politician and, in his opinion, is “a rather productive approach.”  Lavrov said that their meeting “was neither small talk nor just a protocol event. It was substantive and we probably discussed a dozen vital issues, including bilateral relations, strategic security issues, arms control and various regional conflicts, namely the Middle East, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula. We had a very direct conversation on all these issues and there were no attempts to cut corners.”

In the same interview, Lavrov also mentioned that Trump had sent Moscow a short letter, “saying that we are ready to keep searching for solutions to the problems in our relations,” TASS reported. An excerpt of Lavrov’s interview with Channel One was aired Dec. 21.


U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream Projects

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—Sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline went into effect on Dec. 20, after President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The sanctions—a total violation of international law respecting sovereignty—target companies and their leading officials that are involved in constructing the $11 billion energy project that will transport Russian gas supplies under the Baltic Sea and deliver them directly to Germany.

Under the law, the Trump Administration now has 60 days to identify companies and individuals providing services on the pipeline. The U.S. could revoke visas and seize property of these individuals. Those targeted by sanctions would then have 30 days to pull out of the project. The NDAA describes Nord Stream 2 as a “tool of coercion and political leverage” enabling Russia to weaken and undermine U.S. ties to Germany and other European allies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has condemned the measures: “They affect German and other European businesses, and we see the move as meddling in our internal affairs,” a Berlin spokeswoman said. The sanctions are also opposed by the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also already vowed “reciprocal” measures against the sanctions.

Ahead of the sanctions being signed into law, Swiss-Dutch company Allseas suspended its pipe-laying activities. The company was hired by Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, which is building Nord Stream 2, to build the offshore section.

The NDAA, shaped by the same neo-conservative interests behind the impeachment of President Trump, also imposed sanctions on the Turkish-Russian TurkStream project, which also will ultimately deliver gas, via a Black Sea pipeline, to Turkey and thence to Southeast Europe.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded that Russia “will continue to implement its economic projects regardless of anyone’s sanctions.” It also pointed out that European companies involved in building Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, not Russian ones, will suffer the most from the U.S. sanctions. “Washington has decided that for the sake of geopolitical ambitions and commercial gain, you can spare no one, not even your closest NATO partners.”

New Flanks Opened against Afghanistan War in Germany and United States

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—Political leaders Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Virginia State Sen. Richard Black have each launched an offensive in their respective nations, to use the Washington Post’s six-part exposé of the witting fraud behind the war in Afghanistan, to mobilize to bring this war to an end.

In the lead article in the Dec. 21 German weekly newspaper Neue Solidarität, titled “Eighteen Years of Lies about the War in Afghanistan: The Bundeswehr Needs To Pull Out Now,” Civil Rights Movement Solidarity party (BüSo) chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche demands Germany immediately withdraw its armed forces, the Bundeswehr, from Afghanistan.

“For once, the Washington Post has published an honest piece of journalism: the so-called ‘Afghanistan Papers,’ which reveals in some 2,000 pages under the title ‘At War with the Truth,’ that the war in Afghanistan has been a complete disaster since the beginning. The continuous explanations of American officials claiming that progress was being made in the war were deliberate lies. This entirely confirms the analysis of the BüSo which opposed this ‘military deployment’ from day one as being built on false premises. The only possible consequence to be drawn is that the Bundeswehr must withdraw from Afghanistan immediately,” she wrote.

The Post series is based on official documents released to the daily under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including interviews with more than 400 insiders, she points out. The 18 years of consistent lies about a war “which has taken the lives of at least 2,400 U.S. soldiers, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, and wounded 20,589 members of the military service, and in which, according to the Watson Institute, 157,000 people altogether have been killed as of November 2019, has implications of the utmost importance for Germany and all the other countries involved in the military deployment.”

“The Afghanistan Papers” vindicates Zepp-LaRouche’s repeated opposition to the involvement of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. She cites her August 2005 webcast demanding a pullout of German troops, and the BüSo’s publication in 2010 of a White Paper making the case for “the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan.” That argued that “this war, which should never have begun in the first place, and whose ostensible goals, after nine long years, are no longer even mentioned, is just a trap for 42 of the 43 nations involved, in a conflict that serves not least to support the British Empire’s third Opium War.”

On the basis of the “Afghanistan Papers,” the German government should not only decide to withdraw from Afghanistan, but also to commit to “the dissolution of NATO and its replacement by a global security architecture that corresponds to Germany’s security interests,” Zepp-LaRouche wrote. The way to help Afghanistan “is through a comprehensive economic reconstruction program for Southwest Asia as a whole, that is building the New Silk Road all the way to Africa.”

For his part, Senator Black, a retired Army colonel, gave a compelling 41-minute interview to LaRouchePAC, assessing the importance of the Post exposé from the standpoint of his decades of military experience, including in combat in Vietnam. The American people now have available to them hard government documents showing the lies behind this endless war; even that dishonest body, the U.S. Congress, can be made to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate these facts. “The key is going to be, we have to leave completely. Anytime that you have a residual force, you can always go up, you can always go down…. We need to bring the troops home…. Get out! That’s the solution; just get out. Let them resolve their problems, and it will work out.” His interview is available on the LaRouchePAC website, titled “Interview with Senator Black: The Afghanistan Papers.”


China and Brazil Celebrate Aerospace Cooperation, Benefitting Nations That Joined the BRI

Dec. 22 (EIRNS)—Wu Yanhua, deputy director of China’s National Space Administration, commented to Xinhua on the depth of Chinese-Brazilian aerospace collaboration, which began 30 years ago. The most recent example was the Dec. 20 launching of the CBERS-4A, the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, which both countries built. According to Wu, China and Brazil will broaden the application of data from the CBERS-4A for their own benefit and for those countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Xinhua observes that the two countries have a ten-year cooperation plan for development of meteorological satellites and remote detection and communications. Collaboration may also expand to include lunar and deep space exploration, training in aerospace technology and manned space flights, Wu stated.

So far, China and Brazil have launched six satellites, with enormous benefits to citizens of the two nations who make use of the data in a variety of fields, including agriculture, water conservation, and disaster prevention. China has also aided Brazil in training personnel, and scientists and technical experts from the two have held a number of seminars and exchanges throughout the course of this program. “Space cooperation between China and Brazil has been very successful and serves as an example for developing nations,” Wu told Xinhua.

Putin Raises Broader Causes of Climate Change

Dec. 20 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed doubts about the accuracy of estimates of the human impact on climate change, even as he supported Russia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement this year. He made his remarks in response to a question during his annual press conference on Dec. 19: “As you know, the Paris Agreement has set the goal to avoid a 1.5° temperature increase. I don’t know whether we can do it or not, because no one knows the reasons behind global climate change. We know that in the history of the Earth there have been periods of warming and cooling, and this might depend on the global processes in the universe. A small tilt of the Earth’s axis and its orbit around the Sun can lead to, and have already led to very serious climate changes on the Earth, which had dramatic consequences—good or bad, they were still dramatic. And it is happening again now. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to work out exactly how humankind affects climate change.”

However, Putin explained, “we cannot stay idle either,” and therefore, Russia joined the Paris Accords. He cited the effects of high temperatures in the northern latitudes, where 70% of Russian territory lies. Russia has “entire cities built on permafrost. Can you imagine the consequences if it begins to melt?… Moscow is breaking temperature records currently, however, it may lead to desertification.”

The transcript of the press conference is posted on the Kremlin website.


Brexit Bill Passes U.K. Parliament, with Some Labour Party Support

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—The Brexit bill, or EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, passed the House of Commons by a vote of 358-234. The bill includes outlawing any extension to the transition period that comes immediately after the United Kingdom legally leaves the European Union, and which expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

The Labour Party gave orders to its MPs to vote against Brexit, but nonetheless six Labour MPs voted in support and 32 abstained. Labour frontbencher John Healey, who abstained, wrote on his website: “In a Brexit referendum and a Brexit election the public have now been clear, and so should Labour: Our fight must be about the type of Brexit and the huge difference between Labour and Conservative visions of our economy. Any question about whether Brexit goes ahead has been closed.”

The Brexit bill itself does not go much further than the announcement of a divorce, without any decision on custody or child support. It will be in the next year that most of the Brexit details will be negotiated with the European Union. This will include a trade agreement; tax issues; labor laws; the all-important matter of the financial system, including the future of the City of London; even Britain’s nuclear regulatory regime has to be reorganized outside of the EU Euratom. All the laws and regulations that formed the U.K.’s membership in the EU will have to be rewritten.

The last six months have been consumed by a debate on whether to Brexit or not Brexit. Now the issue will be what the U.K. will look like after it leaves the EU: Will it be the radical free trade and anti-labor policy of Margaret Thatcher and a new Empire, or something reasonable? The general population voted for Brexit as part of the growing mass movement throughout the West against the neo-liberal economic policies of the last three decades. Will their expectations be satisfied, especially with the West going into a new financial breakdown crisis whose solutions are not even being debated?

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

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