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EIR Daily Alert Service, MONDAY, December 30, 2019


Volume 6, Number 257

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

  • Whither the World in the 2020s?
  • Farm Groups Partner for Emergency Action as U.S. Farmer Suicides Reach Crisis Rate
  • The Economist Seeks U.S.-China Confrontation To Head Off Trump Reelection
  • Russia Just Placed the Nuclear-Capable Avangard Hypersonic Missile in Combat Duty
  • WikiLeaks Documents Provide Further Evidence of OPCW Corruption on Syria Chemical Arms
  • Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Blasts U.S. National Defense Authorization Act
  • Defying U.S. Sanctions, Turkey Plans To Launch TurkStream Gas Pipeline in January
  • Butch Valdes Insists To Defend Duterte’s Fight With Philippines’ Electricity and Water Privatizers
  • China Opens Three New High-Speed Rail Lines Within Days
  • Kiev and Donbas Republics Exchange Prisoners
  • Evolutionary Biologist Defends CO2, Urges ‘Fridays for Plant Physiology’ Movement
  • China Successfully Launches Long March 5, Enabling Missions to the Moon and Mars


Whither the World in the 2020s?

Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The final days of 2019 have seen dramatic steps towards reversing the era of British imperial division of the world into warring blocs. Today, Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone. The official purpose of the call, initiated by President Putin, was to thank the U.S. President for information shared by the intelligence services which has once again prevented a planned terrorist attack, this time in St. Petersburg during New Year celebrations. But, as TASS reported, “The two leaders also discussed a range of issues of mutual interest.” This follows Putin’s issuing an invitation to Trump to attend the May 9, 2020 celebration in Moscow of the 75th anniversary of the joint victory over Nazi Germany.

Also today, Ukraine and the self-declared independent republics in the Donbas exchanged prisoners, in an “all-for-all” agreement, reflecting the new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s efforts to end the conflict and restore relations with Russia. It is this process, directly supported by both Presidents Putin and Trump, which is ignored (and opposed) by those engaged in the outrageous effort to impeach President Trump. In fact, the accusation that Trump undermined the national security by holding back military aid to Ukraine is a lie, covering up the fact that Trump’s cooperation with Zelensky has the potential of both ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and also exposing the real crime in that nation—the role of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in carrying out a criminal coup in 2014 against the elected government of Ukraine, placing self-confessed neo-Nazis in power. It was these Obama/Biden-sponsored neo-Nazis and their Western economic overlords who destroyed Ukraine’s economy and provoked the deadly war against their political enemies in the east of Ukraine, with the intention of creating a military confrontation between NATO and Russia. Trump is spoiling this Devil’s handiwork.

At the same time, Trump and Xi Jinping are moving to resolve the massive imbalance of trade though the “phase one” trade agreement. While the Congress and the neocons within Trump’s cabinet continue escalating their McCarthyite attacks on China and Chinese-Americans within the U.S., Trump himself has fiercely asserted his commitment to sovereignty, not only for the U.S. against the “globalizers,” but also for China and all other nations. The U.S. President has refused to attack China over Hong Kong or China’s counter-terrorism operations in Xinjiang, insisting that these are sovereign Chinese concerns.

It is precisely because Trump’s actions threaten the imperial age of geopolitics—to return to the Westphalian policy of sovereign nation-states cooperating on the basis of the common aims of mankind—that MI6, the Obama intelligence team, and the corrupt Congress are desperately attempting to drive him from office by any means they can.

The greatest danger to the effort to bring about a new paradigm based on peace through development lies in the looming collapse of the biggest financial bubble in history. The Federal Reserve has been wildly pumping funny-money into the banking system since September, openly warning that the year-end balancing of the books of (essentially bankrupt) institutions could blow up the entire system. The Economist, a leading voice of the British Empire, in a Dec. 25 article titled “Buckle Up for America’s Ugly Election and Faltering Economy,” implied that the City of London may even pull the plug on the bloated debt bubble in order to undermine President Trump’s re-election, declaring that the “noticeable cooling of the American economy will challenge [Trump’s] claim to have made America great again.”

The new year will indeed be a time of momentous change, either for good or for ill. It is a time to heed the words of Friedrich Schiller: “The dignity of man into your hands is given. Its keeper be. It sinks with you; with you it will be risen.”

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


Farm Groups Partner for Emergency Action as U.S. Farmer Suicides Reach Crisis Rate

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—The incidence of farmer suicides is now a U.S. crisis. Recently farmer organizations have created a joint effort to reach rural families in stress, before despair leads to death. The American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, and Farm Credit announced on Dec. 16 a partnership to intervene with a program developed in Michigan, to offer emergency counseling and long-term help.

National Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke on the crisis in a recent trip to Montana. He reported that his own home farm in Georgia has on either side of it, a long-time dairy farm, and that both these dairy farm neighbors have committed suicide in recent months.

Yesterday, senior Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) wrote a statement on his website reporting that the rate of suicide in rural America is 45% higher than that of urban areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Grassley wrote, “Farmers have higher rates than the general population. A number of factors may contribute to the rural-urban disparity, including geographic isolation, distance from health care services, stigma associated with obtaining mental health care services, and financial pressures stemming from the downturn in the farm economy.”

Farmers are starting the sixth year of prices below or scarcely at costs of production. Indebtedness is rising, with no relief in sight. What is required is Federal action to restore an economy-serving banking system with the Glass-Steagall Act, a national bank, and plentiful credit, plus parity-based pricing for farmers, and anti-trust action to prevent processor consolidation. There is precedent for all this, but so far, very few policy advocates are willing to mobilize for these measures, instead confining their efforts to sympathy and encouragement.

Grassley’s posting compares today to the 1980s farm crisis. “The desolation of losing a farm that had been in a family for generations was too much for too many farmers to handle. The loss of life and livelihoods still echoes throughout farming communities decades later.”

Grassley and Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) introduced a bill on Oct. 15 titled, “Seeding Rural Resilience Act” to train U.S. Department of Agriculture staff to recognize and deal with mental stress in rural communities.

The Economist Seeks U.S.-China Confrontation To Head Off Trump Reelection

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—The City of London weekly The Economist has published over this Christmas period at least two forecasts of volatile hotspots in 2020 through which President Donald Trump could, it hopes, be brought down: Those are China and an economic “downturn.”

Read these scenarios as British intention, not merely “evaluations.” This weekly has functioned as the mouthpiece of British Empire intelligence since its founding in 1843.

Start with the article, “Donald Trump, Accidental China Hawk.” The Economist complains that President Trump has not campaigned for “structural changes” in the Chinese economic and political system that many of his advisers champion; he has avoided confronting China over Hong Kong (The Economist drily describes externally-run rioting in Hong Kong as “a crisis that could have been tailor-made to appeal to American public opinion”); and his commitment to defending Taiwan has been “weak.”

But The Economist proposes that “events in 2020—notably around China’s periphery, in border regions and contested territories where Beijing struggles to impose its autocratic will,” could, especially “in an American election year, when there will be no political downside to talking tough on China … push Mr. Trump into Cold War-style confrontations that he has avoided until now.”

The Economist adds a succession crisis in Tibet and the possible re-election of the pro-independence president of Taiwan in 2020, to the Hong Kong crisis and their attempts to revive the Uighur terrorist independence movement. “All in all, China’s periphery will be a source of unpredictable risks and threats,” they promise.

Thus, The Economist brazenly confirms EIR’s charge in its provocative November 2019 special report, “End the McCarthyite Witchhunt Against China and President Trump,” that the wild McCarthyite attacks on China in the United States are part and parcel of the British-directed coup against President Trump.

Now, turn to their Dec. 25 article, “Buckle Up for America’s Ugly Election and Faltering Economy.” This brazenly projects that interacting economic and geopolitical volatility in 2020 can bring about the global war the British imperialists have been desperately seeking. They write that “a noticeable cooling of the American economy,” stock market “wobbles,” and “stumbling” financial markets in 2020 will “challenge” the claim that Trump has Made America Great Again, and help create the electoral conditions under which they hope the U.S. can be driven to war.

In their words: “With America’s politicians distracted by electoral rivalry at home, opportunists elsewhere will be tempted to try their luck. If that exposes the superpower’s weakness, the embarrassment could in turn push an argument over America’s role in the world to the heart of the election campaign, potentially precipitating an international crisis as the President feels himself compelled to react decisively.

“Such a crisis is the last thing a faltering economy needs. But America’s febrile politics of 2020 make one likelier than usual. Get ready for a wild ride.”


Russia Just Placed the Nuclear-Capable Avangard Hypersonic Missile in Combat Duty

Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—The Russian Defense Ministry issued an official statement on Dec. 27, which reported that “Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu reported to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that the first missile regiment armed with the latest Avangard strategic missile system with the hypersonic boost-glide vehicle assumed combat duty from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time on Dec. 27, 2019.” The Defense Minister characterized this as a “landmark event.” TASS added that it had earlier been reported that the first regiment of Avangards would be deployed in the Orenburg Region in the Urals.

President Putin had first announced the existence of the Avangard, along with other advanced weapons systems, in his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly—Russia’s bicameral legislature—on March 1, 2018. Given both Avangard’s top speed of well over Mach 20, and its extreme maneuverability, Putin stated after successful December 2018 tests: “The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defense means of the potential adversary.” In a Dec. 24, 2019 speech to the Defense Ministry Board, Putin had stated that “Not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons.”

Yesterday’s announcement got the attention of the major international media. Reuters reported that “the Pentagon said in a statement that it ‘will not characterize the Russian claims’ about the Avangard’s capabilities.” Both Reuters and BBC reported that a month ago, on Nov. 26, U.S. experts had examined an Avangard under inspection rules of the 2010 New START treaty. The START treaty is set to expire in February 2021, and Russia has offered to consider including Avangard in it if the treaty is renewed, as Russia proposes.

BBC was unable to disguise London’s sense of terror: “It is hard to determine if Russia’s new Avangard hypersonic missile system really has entered service, as Moscow claims, or if this is just an advanced phase of field testing. But President Putin’s eagerness to claim bragging rights is to some extent justified. Russia looks to be ahead in the hypersonic stakes…. It is not so much the speed of the hypersonic weapon alone that counts. It is its extraordinary maneuverability as it glides towards its target. This poses a huge problem for existing anti-missile defense systems…. Thus, if Russia’s claims are true, it has developed a long-range intercontinental missile system that may well be impossible to defend against.”

BBC concluded, erroneously: “The announcement that Avangard is operational heralds a new and dangerous era in the nuclear arms race. It confirms once again President Putin’s focus on bolstering and modernizing Russia’s nuclear arsenal. It’s indicative of the return of great power competition.”

In fact, the development and deployment of the Avangard is a war-avoidance policy, as RT pointed out in a Dec. 27 article by senior writer Nebojsa Malic. Under the headline “Avangard Changes Everything: What Russia’s Hypersonic Warhead Deployment Means for the Global Arms Race,” Malic stated that “Moscow’s deployment of Avangard hypersonic warheads means the U.S. missile defense installations in Europe are now obsolete—and that Washington would have to spend a lot of money it doesn’t have in order to catch up…. Avangard is capable of reaching Mach 27 without losing control or disintegrating under heat and pressure. This means that the weapon can outmaneuver any defenses on its approach phase, rendering it ‘absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defense system,’ in the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Malic concluded that “Moscow now has at least a 10- to 15-year window of guaranteed nuclear deterrence, political scientists Sergey Karaganov and Dmitry Suslov argued recently in the journal Russia in Global Affairs. In other words, global thermonuclear war just got much less likely, for a while at least.”

WikiLeaks Documents Provide Further Evidence of OPCW Corruption on Syria Chemical Arms

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—WikiLeaks today posted further leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that further document the corruption of its investigation into the alleged gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. This was the set-up for President Donald Trump to react by a targetted bombing of Syria.

One of the documents is an exchange of emails on Feb. 27 and 28 of 2019, in which Sébastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, instructs that the now-famous engineering report authored by Ian Henderson must be purged from the OPCW’s archives. Henderson had concluded that the gas cylinders that were allegedly the source of the gas attack had been manually placed at the scene rather than being dropped from aircraft, as had been charged. Henderson’s conclusion was omitted from the OPCW’s final report on the Douma incident.

A second document posted today is the minutes of a June 6, 2018 meeting of toxicology experts in which they discussed the differences between the symptoms of exposure to chlorine gas and the symptoms actually exhibited by the alleged victims of the attack. “With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure,” the document reports.

The documents released today, as well as earlier document releases, can be found here on WikiLeaks’ website under “OPCW Douma Docs.”

Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Blasts U.S. National Defense Authorization Act

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian struck out very hard yesterday against the anti-China provisions of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Donald Trump last week, and the geopolitical orientation of U.S. policy towards China in general. Colonel Wu spoke Dec. 26 during his monthly press briefing.

“The groundless accusations made by some U.S. officials against China, in my view, are criticism of the U.S. itself,” Wu said when asked about Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s recent statementseffectively accusing China of wanting to dominate smaller countries in the Indo-Pacific region. “In recent years, the U.S. has waged wars around the world and harmed the sovereignty of many countries. Its involvement has led to a large number of casualties, injuries and displacement.”

Furthermore, “When it comes to cyber security, the U.S. is notorious for its massive cyber espionage and cyber attacks against other countries. It has yet to provide an explanation to the international community on Edward Snowden, and is the least qualified country to point fingers at others on this issue,” Wu continued. “As for the space, the U.S. has established a space force and developed strong space operation capabilities, which will only intensify militarization and arms race in the space, and greatly undermine peace, security and global strategic stability.”

Wu said that U.S. “freedom of navigation operations” should instead be called “hegemony of navigation operations.” He said, “Such actions severely violate the sovereignty and security interests of littoral states, undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, and endanger the safety of front-line service members. They are highly irresponsible and extremely dangerous….”

As for the NDAA itself, its contents “are full of Cold War mindsets and hyping up competition between the U.S. and China and the so-called ‘China Military Threat,’ ” Wu said. “It also contains negative provisions on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. This Act severely interferes in China’s domestic affairs and violates the One China principle and the three China-U.S. Joint Communiqués. It also undermines the relations between China and the United States and the mil-mil relationship, and hurts mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides. The Chinese military is firmly opposed to this Act, and the Chinese side has already lodged solemn representations to the U.S. side.”


Defying U.S. Sanctions, Turkey Plans To Launch TurkStream Gas Pipeline in January

Dec. 28 (EIRNS)—Turkey will not accept U.S. threats against launching the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez yesterday. “We will launch TurkStream on Jan. 8. We will be indispensable in international markets with natural gas pipelines coming from both the east and north,” he said. In addition to supplying natural gas to Turkey across the Black Sea from Russia, the pipeline will also move Turkey into “a key role in ensuring the security of Europe’s natural gas supply.”

The TurkStream natural gas pipeline has a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, of which the first line will carry a capacity of 15.75 bcm of Russian gas to Turkish consumers. The second line will carry another 15.75 bcm of gas to Europe via Turkey.

Butch Valdes Insists To Defend Duterte’s Fight with Philippines’ Electricity and Water Privatizers

Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—Butch Valdes, the head of the Philippine Democratic Party (KDP) and the Philippine LaRouche Society, issued the following Christmas greeting to his party and networks. Valdes has been leading a fight against the privatization of the water and power utilities for decades, and argues to support President Rodrigo Duterte who is now taking them on.  Valdes writes

“Only solution for the people:

“The only solution to the high cost of water and power is to scrap the privatization program. Duterte should dismantle the death grip of the oligarchs on these public utilities to save Filipino lives and the whole nation. The onerous provisions on the water contracts favoring Maynilad and Manila Water are identical to the onerous provisions on the EPIRA [Electric Power Industry Reform Act] of electricity. Both have exacted their toll on human lives over the past two decades. No amount of contract adjustments, or changing oligarchs, will assuage the people’s collective rage. Neither will the President’s resolve to indict all conspirators involved as economic saboteurs, plunderers, and traitors to the republic be diminished.

“We join the call of our people to stop paying the water bills which only increase what is being stolen from the consumers. We consider the same action for electricity bills. Unless the government, upon the direction of President Duterte, immediately takes over water and electricity, and charges all criminals accordingly, we encourage all KDP members and true patriots of our country to support our courageous leader by refusing to pay good money to known plunderers. We call on the President to declare a state of emergency on these two critical issues to prevent the possibility of untoward violence.

“Let us take back the country stolen from us decades ago. Thank God for a morally courageous and street smart leader in Rodrigo Duterte. May God bless the Filipino nation. Mabuhay and Merry Christmas to all.”


China Opens Three New High-Speed Rail Lines within Days

Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—China’s world leadership in high-speed rail was demonstrated once again this weekend, as three new rail lines are being opened at essentially the same time.

Two new lines have been constructed to facilitate the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing and at winter sport sites north of the city in Hebei Province. One line, connecting Beijing to Zhangjiakou, Hebei, a 174 km route, will open on Dec. 30. It is the first of its kind in China, in that it is covered by China’s self-developed BeiDou Satellite Navigation System. With a maximum speed of 350 kph, the new route reduces travel time from 3 hours to only 47 minutes. The route also further advances the project to develop the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

A second high-speed line from Zhangjiakou to the Chongli region to the northeast, which also is hosting some of the Olympic events, will also open Dec. 30. It is a 53-km route, with a maximum speed of 250 kph.

Global Times reports: “The intelligent high-speed trains are upgrades of the Fuxing bullet train, able to achieve autonomous and intelligent driving. The trains have functions tailored for the 2022 Olympics, such as media cars that will livestream sports events, and racks for skis. Construction of the railway started in April 2016, and trial operations [began] on Dec. 3.”

Also, a new high-speed rail line with maximum speed of 250 kph was opened Dec. 27 in the northwest province of Ningxia, connecting the capital city of Yinchuan to Wuzhong and Zhongwei, part of a plan to link the northwest with the northeast regions.

Kiev and Donbas Republics Exchange Prisoners

Dec. 29 (EIRNS)—The prisoner exchange between Kiev and the two Donbas self-declared republics,as originally agreed on at the Dec. 9 Normandy Four summit in Paris, took place today. A statement issued by the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that 76 people were freed to Ukraine by the two republics while, according to TASS, Ukraine released 124 people. The exchange took place at the Mayorsk entry-exit checkpoint—an area referred to as the “gray zone” in the Ukrainian media—in Donetsk region beginning at 11 a.m. Kiev time (0900 UTC).

The topic of the prisoner swap came up during a phone call, today, between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The sides gave a positive assessment of the prisoner exchange in the all-identified-for-all identified format that took place today in the Donetsk region,” the Kremlin press service said, reported TASS.

“Today’s event is a step towards further implementation of the entire package of humanitarian and political measures committed to paper in the Minsk agreements,” said Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s representative on the Trilateral Contact Group. “We hope that now Kiev will be able to proceed to the implementation of its political commitments and agree, within the Contact Group, all the legal aspects of Donbas’ special status, including its enshrining in the constitution.”


Evolutionary Biologist Defends CO2, Urges ‘Fridays for Plant Physiology’ Movement

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—German evolutionary biologist and physiologist Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kutschera mocked the “ ‘climate alarmists’ who predict a fictitious, imminent ‘Earth heat death’ and thus practice a kind of religious cult,” in a recent interview with Germany’s Junge Freiheit weekly, Climate Depot reported on Dec. 22.

Kutschera pointed out the obvious: “since plants need CO2 as a basic foodstuff, there would be no life on Earth without this trace gas…. Currently about a third of the CO2 we put into the air is consumed by plants, which increases their growth. The result is that the Earth is greened by man, including higher crop yields—from which, incidentally, agriculture benefits worldwide—i.e. mainly poor countries that depend on agricultural products to a much greater extent than we do….

“Therefore, the scientific discipline of plant physiology is of central importance, and CO2 is therefore a blessing for mankind! … Since the irrational climate cult is on the rise, I advocate a ‘Fridays for Plant Physiology’ movement,” he proposed.

Kutschera is a full professor and head of the Department of Plant Physiology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kassel, Germany, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, California. He has published eight textbooks on plant physiology and evolutionary biology, in German, and is the author of some 300 scientific articles.

China Successfully Launches Long March 5, Enabling Missions to the Moon and Mars

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Just making the deadline it had set for itself for a launch before the end of this year, at 8:45 p.m. Beijing time (12:45 UTC) today, the China National Space Agency successfully launched a Long March 5 rocket, which is needed for the country’s most exciting missions in 2020. The previous Long March 5 launch in July 2017 had failed, and the rocket engine has now been re-engineered and thoroughly ground-tested.

Wu Yanhua, vice administrator of the CNSA told CGTN television that after the successful launch, there will be other major missions, including China’s first Mars mission, the launch of Chang’e-5 lunar mission, as well as the launch of the core module of the manned space station. The previous Long March 5 failure delayed the launch of the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return, which requires the heavy lifter. China changed the planned order of the missions, having engineers ready Chang’e-4 for launch—and which, nearly one year ago, on Jan. 3, 2019, landed on the far side of the Moon—and now schedule Chang’e-5 for launch this year.

The launches of the station module and the lunar mission are flexible. The launch of the Mars mission is not: Because of the relationship between the two planets, travel to Mars by chemical propulsion can only be carried out every 26 months, which is how long China would have had to wait if today’s Long March 5 launch had failed. China is attempting to do something no other country has done on its very first mission to Mars: deploy an orbiter, a lander, and a rover.

The payload for the Long March 5 was the Shijian-20 technology experimental satellite weighing over 8 tons, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite in the country. CGTN reports that Zhou Zhicheng, chief engineer and chief commander of Shijian-20 and Dongfanghong-5 (DFH-5) Satellite Platform, said, “The primary task of the satellite is to verify the technical stability of the DFH-5 platform. Because it is equipped with more than a dozen internationally leading technology verification loads, it also has the mission of new technology verification.”

The advanced high-throughput communications satellite is designed to service the New Silk Road countries.

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