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EIR Daily Alert Service, TUESDAY, December 31, 2019

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2019
Volume 6, Number 258
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
  • 2020 Is the Window of Opportunity for LaRouche’s Policies
  • Brits Fear Trump May Accept Russia’s Invitation to Victory Day Celebration
  • Reviving the ‘Spirit of the Elbe’ Today
  • Glimmers of Hope Towards Creating Grounds for Peace in Ukraine
  • Pompeo and Esper Grandstand on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
  • Carney To Target Fossil Fuels as UN Climate Action Envoy
  • Maglev Funds Were Misused To Rescue Banks in 2008
  • Neo-Cons Strike at Trump Through ‘Christian’ Networks
  • Washington Post Adds Venezuelan ‘Back-Channel’ to Purported ‘Crimes’ of Giuliani
  • More Than TurkStream Will Be on the Agenda for Putin’s Turkey Visit
  • JPL Gives Journalists a Look at NASA’s Completed Mars 2020 Rover

EDITORIAL

2020 Is the Window of Opportunity for LaRouche’s Policies

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—The British are hell-bent on converting 2020 into the year of chaos, wars, coups and cultural hell. Ours is the opportunity to seize, Helga Zepp-LaRouche told associates yesterday, of making 2020 the year of Lyndon LaRouche’s policies for a world in breakdown crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has thrown a well-conceived monkey-wrench into the whole British geopolitical game plan, Zepp-LaRouche stated, by developing and now deploying the hypersonic Avangard missile system, which kicks over the entire chessboard of existing nuclear war fighting postures by rendering them technologically obsolete. But Putin has not only deployed the Avangard: he presented it to American officials for examination, and he has offered to include the Avangard in negotiations for a New START Treaty, which is currently set to expire in February 2021.

Putin is offering to negotiate an entirely new global security architecture with President Donald Trump, which is a discussion the two leaders should take up at a meeting at the Elbe on April 25, and/or at Moscow’s Victory Day celebration on May 9. We should push this initiative, Zepp-LaRouche stated, much as we urged President Trump to participate in the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017 in China, since it is essential to building a new platform of U.S.-Russia and U.S.-China relations. It is the best way to strike back against Britain’s coup against Trump, by hitting them on their exposed, vulnerable flank.

Such a new security architecture for the planet is urgently needed, Zepp-LaRouche stated, but the only way it can function is if it is premised on a common economic policy built around the dynamic of the New Silk Road. Such a policy, as Lyndon LaRouche long specified, must be centered on a bankruptcy reorganization of the current speculative financial system—“the financial crisis is hanging over us like a Damocles Sword,” Zepp-LaRouche said—and joint commitment to the common aims of mankind, emphatically including the rapid development of Southwest Asia, Africa, and other regions tortured for centuries by British imperial policies.

“That economic perspective, however, will only function if it goes along with a Renaissance of Classical culture,” Zepp-LaRouche stated. “Our intervention in this has to be from the standpoint of really demanding that the United States and the whole world move into a completely New Paradigm of thinking, a new set of relations among nations. The idea of geopolitics has to be absolutely out, forever, because it’s the kind of thinking which led to two world wars already.”

We must fight today for the world we wish to create 50 or 100 years from now. Each nation must find its own self-interest in fighting for the common aims of all mankind, and for the Classical cultural renaissance to be built on the shoulders of Beethoven, of Schiller, of Cusa, of Confucius—and of Lyndon LaRouche.

“The aim of civilization is the continued development of our species as the only creative species in the universe,” she continued. “More people [must] take that idea of a sublime view of mankind, of a creative identity, which is in correspondence to an anti-entropic, developing universe.”

To this end, Zepp-LaRouche concluded, we will build and educate such a movement as we organize towards a Schiller Institute national conference this spring. As part of this, the LaRouche movement will launch in March an international Week of Action around the planet, especially among students and youth, which will be based on Zepp-LaRouche’s call for making 2020 the year of LaRouche’s policies, the year we move decisively to achieve the common aims of mankind.
 

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

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Brits Fears Trump May Accept Russia’s Invitation to Victory Day Celebration

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin made a phone call to U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend to thank him for sharing intelligence that helped stop a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. A spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) provided a few details in comments to TASS on Dec. 29: “On the basis of information provided earlier by the American partners, Russia’s Federal Security Service on Dec. 27 detained two Russian nationals who had planned to commit terror attacks in places of mass gathering in St. Petersburg during the New Year holidays.”

In its coverage, RT reported that “in October, the head of FSB, Aleksandr Bortnikov, revealed that contacts between the security agencies of the two countries have intensified recently, in cybersecurity and other areas. He said then that the U.S. provided information about people who had been planning terrorist attacks in Russia. Two years ago, Washington warned Moscow about a planned bombing at one of the main cathedrals in St. Petersburg, while Russia actively assisted the U.S. investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.”

BBC coverage of the Putin-Trump call ended on a worried note about where this might lead. U.S.-Russia ties “were further strained when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 Presidential election. Despite this, President Trump and President Putin have appeared to be on good terms personally—and they have vowed to cooperate on terrorism. Mr. Trump has indicated he is considering attending the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow next May, after an invitation from the Russian leader.”

Reviving the ‘Spirit of the Elbe’ Today

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump has been invited to attend next year’s celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the April 25, 1945 meet-up at Torgau, Germany on the River Elbe of the Soviet and American armies fighting to liberate Germany from the Nazi regime.

Those veterans still living, of both nations, who met that day at the Elbe still celebrate yearly the joy and camaraderie which ensued at that meeting, as soldiers and officers celebrated the nearing of the end of their common fight to defeat fascism. The spirit of that meeting was immortalized in the solemn toast made there, which became known as the “Oath of the Elbe,” described by a U.S. soldier present, Pfc Joseph Polowsky, in his diary:

“At this historic moment of the meeting of nations, all of the soldiers present—ordinary soldiers, Americans and Russians—solemnly swore that they would do everything in their power to prevent such things from ever happening in the world again. We pledged that the nations of the world would and must live in peace. This was our Oath of Elbe.

“It was a very informal, but solemn moment. There were tears in the eyes of most of us. Perhaps a sense of foreboding that things might not be as perfect in the future as we anticipated. We embraced. We swore never to forget.”

In 1998, the Memorial Fund for the U.S. 69th Infantry Division (which had arrived at the Elbe) and the Soviet Elbe River Veterans association commissioned a bronze relief for Arlington Cemetery, celebrating their famous handshake. The accompanying plaque explains that the link-up of the Allied and Soviet forces on that day “resulted in creating the ‘SPIRIT OF THE ELBE’ dedicated to the peoples of all nations resolving their differences without war, and should be an eternal beacon to light the future courses of all Nations working together for the benefit of all peoples” (emphasis in original).

The invitation issued by American University in Moscow’s Russia House—Kontinent USA, for the 2020 celebration in Germany likewise emphasizes:

“The ‘Meeting on the Elbe’ signaled the approaching end of the Nazi regime and was heralded around the world. Today, the joyfulness created by that open display of comradeship between East and West is needed more than ever.

“For many years, American and Russian veterans, as well as public organizations, have kept the spirit of that Elbe River linkage alive with commemorations and reunions and by erecting monuments, plaques, and statues in our two countries….

“The upcoming anniversary may be the last for many of the remaining veterans and witnesses of that tremendous event.  Our goal is to recognize these veterans and commemorate their achievement in a way that honors them and the spirit of cooperation [at] the Elbe River [as] an inspiration to our soldiers of today. At the same time this event can be a great opportunity to engage in a long-awaited dialogue in view of unprecedented tensions that threaten the security of our two nations and the world.”

Glimmers of Hope Towards Creating Grounds for Peace in Ukraine

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Two small steps have been taken since the Dec. 9 Normandy Format discussions in Paris, where Presidents of Ukraine and Russia met, which create openings to pull the plug on the potential for war created by the British-Obama Maidan coup which brought Nazis to power in Ukraine in 2014.

The first step was the prisoner exchange carried out between the Kiev government and the two self-declared Donbas republics on Dec. 29, in which the Kiev government released 123 prisoners to return home to Donetsk and Luhansk, and the Donbas forces released 76 prisoners, who were handed over to the Kiev government. The exchange was worked out by the Trilateral Contact Group, made up of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Both Russian and OSCE spokesmen welcomed this humanitarian step, but cautioned that progress requires “the full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements,” as the OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik said. Under the Minsk agreements, Kiev and the two Donbas areas must negotiate directly on settling the issues of conflict, with those agreements then incorporated into the Ukrainian Constitution.

But the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky still refuses to talk directly—under the threat by the Nazi networks still controlling major sectors of the national security apparatus to unleash a Maidan style uprising against the government should it do so. Thus, Schiller Institute co-thinker and Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party chair Natalia Vitrenko’s emphasis on denazification. (See EIR Daily Alert, Vol. 6, #256, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019.)

Today’s announcement that Russia and Ukraine have signed a five-year contract for the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe through Ukraine could help strengthen the Zelensky government. President Zelensky reported on his Facebook page that Ukraine will receive more than $7 billion over the course of the five-year contract (which could be prolonged for ten more years), as Gazprom will deliver at least 65 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020 and 40 bcm per year for the subsequent four years.

Alexey Miller, chairman of Russia’s Gazprom Management Committee, called the agreements and contracts signed “a big package deal that restored the balance of interests of the parties,” including settling outstanding court disputes between the two countries’ gas companies. Russian gas will begin to flow through Ukraine as of Jan. 1, 2020, Miller said.

In his Dec. 19 year-end press conference, President Vladimir Putin had spoken of Russia’s willingness to reach a gas agreement with Ukraine, including providing Ukraine with a 20-25% discount, despite the fact that the Ukrainian pipeline route to Europe is longer, and more expensive for Russia, than the new facilities existing or coming online (Nord Stream 1 and 2 and TurkStream). Russia “does not want escalations in the energy sector that can be used to affect the situation in Ukraine,” he explained, and “we are interested in Ukraine getting the resource properly, so that our consumers in Europe are calm about us having normal relations with our neighbors.” Under such an agreement, he suggested, Ukraine could decrease costs for the end consumer, instead of cancelling all discounts as of Jan. 1 as scheduled, which will send gas prices soaring.

Pompeo and Esper Grandstand on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Speaking in a Mar-a-Lago, Florida press conference yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper standing at his side, said that the U.S. airstrikes against two Kataib Hezbollah camps in Syria and three in Iraq were targetting allegedly Iran-backed militias.

“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” Esper stated, and going on that the raids had been successful. He reported that President Donald Trump had been briefed by Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, and himself before the attacks were launched, and stated: “We discussed with him other options that are available. I would note also that we will take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defense and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran.”

The military spokesman for Iraq’s outgoing Prime Minister Abel Abdul Mahdi decried the attacks as “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

RT reported that, according to the Shi’ite militia group, at least 25 of their fighters were killed and nearly three dozen were injured in the strikes. The RT account broadly suggested that provocateurs were involved: “Iran’s involvement has not been conclusively proven. On Friday, as if on cue, the latest rocket attack on a base near Kirkuk killed an American contractor and injured several U.S. troops.”

In the past, the British have been behind the orchestration of various purported chemical weapon and other incidents used to justify U.S. strikes in Syria and elsewhere—all for the strategic purpose of destroying U.S.-Russian relations.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Carney To Target Fossil Fuels as UN Climate Action Envoy

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—In an interview with BBC to air today, outgoing Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said he would be targetting fossil fuel companies when he assumes his new position as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. Carney gave the interview to a special addition of BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program edited by child abuse victim and would-be eco warrior Greta Thunberg.

According to the Guardian, he said the climate crisis was a “tragedy on the horizon” and that more extreme weather events were inevitable. “By the time that the extreme events become so prevalent and so obvious, it will be too late to do anything about it,” he said. Political leaders had to “start addressing future problems today.”

He failed to mention that the more likely “extreme event” will be the collapse of the Western financial system, for which he has been serving as a leading figure since at least his 13-year career with Goldman Sachs in 2003, then the Bank of Canada and Bank of England.

As he dictated in his UN climate speech in September as then-director of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), he said investors should be divesting from companies in the fossil fuel sector; fund managers would “have to make the judgment and justify to the people whose money it ultimately is.”

Carney warned that pension funds must divest from oil and gas companies: “They need to make the argument, to be clear about why is that going to be the case if a substantial proportion of those assets are going to be worthless. If we were to burn all those oil and gases, there’s no way we would meet carbon budgets. Up to 80% of coal assets will be stranded, [and] up to half of developed oil reserves. A question for every company, every financial institution, every asset manager, pension fund or insurer: what’s your plan?”

On the Dec. 28th edition of BBC Today, so-called climate skeptic and former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore, was guest-editor. He questioned the ostensible, global consensus on the climate crisis and accused the BBC of “climate-change alarmism.”

Maglev Funds Were Misused To Rescue Banks in 2008

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the Merkur daily, outgoing CEO of Munich Airport Michael Kerkloh said that it was a mistake not to build the maglev connection from the city to the airport. Its failure to receive €1 billion left out of the budget might have been averted with some extra effort, which, however, was never taken. The project was put on a freeze. The outbreak of the 2008 financial crisis brought an abrupt final end to the project, because the funds that were there for it were transferred to the bank bail-out operation, Kerkloh said.

Promoting the identical, suicidal approach to the current crisis, Goldman Sachs announced it would make sure none of its money was invested in Arctic projects. The increasing push for green finance and a more adverse financial environment for fossil fuel companies reduces the likelihood of new development in business frontier regions such as the Arctic. Major investment bank Goldman Sachs declared on Dec. 14 that it “will decline any financing transaction that directly supports new upstream Arctic oil exploration or development.”

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Neo-Cons Strike at Trump Through ‘Christian’ Networks

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—On Dec. 19, the day after the House passed neocon-motivated impeachment articles against President Donald Trump, associated allies lobbed a grenade into the center of the religious fundamentalist movement. An editorial, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” appeared on the Christianity Today website, authored by Mark Galli, head of the editorial board. The posting called Trump “profoundly immoral,” because he “attempted to use his political power” against a presidential opponent. The piece generated a firestorm among readers, with 3 million online page views, and literally thousands cancelling and even more subscribing to the publication.

Trump immediately condemned the post, calling the paper “a far left magazine,” adding that it “has been doing poorly in recent years,” and that he “won’t be reading CT again.” The post was also condemned by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, the paper’s founder, who told Fox News his father had “dissociated himself from the magazine years ago,” adding, “My father knew Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump, and in this last election, he voted for Donald Trump.”

The next day, a letter defending Trump and attacking Christianity Today had been signed by 200 ministers. By Friday, a competing publication, the Christian Post published a defense of Trump, calling out CT’s hypocrisy, saying their “outrage concerning [Trump’s] immorality is extremely selective.” Galli, in the meantime, is walking away from the carnage, set to retire at the end of the year.

The evangelical Christian community has a complicated past, with a strong British-flavored neo-con “defense of Israel” aspect to it. It is more the base of support for Mike Pence than of Donald Trump.

Washington Post Adds Venezuelan ‘Back-Channel’ to Purported ‘Crimes’ of Giuliani

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—The Washington Post yesterday published a lengthy story on a reported back-channel effort begun in 2018 with the aim of arranging a negotiated exit from power for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which involved Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), U.S. businesses with interests in Venezuela, and Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. The story is based on the usual reports from “people familiar with the matter,” one of whom is likely the ousted John Bolton; according to the article’s sources, Bolton“vehemently rejected” the “off-the-books plan to ease Maduro from office,” when Giuliani met with him in the September 2018 period to discuss it with him.

Details aside, two things stand out about the Post story:

 Its aim to pile on the attacks against Giuliani as part of the anti-Trump coup drive. The Post reports that “federal prosecutors are scrutinizing the former New York mayor as part of an investigation into possible foreign lobbying violations.” (An overlap is implied between his Venezuelan and Ukrainian endeavors which so upset the British coup operatives, through the role of the since-indicted Lev Parnas.)

 The public surfacing of the fight within the administration over policy for Venezuela, which the Bolton grouping eventually won out. The statement by a former White House official to the Post that “there was absolutely no interest or appetite for negotiations. It wasn’t consistent with our policy goals. We saw it as a nuisance and a distraction,” was obviously not the case.

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

More Than TurkStream Will Be on the Agenda for Putin’s Turkey Visit

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey on Jan. 8 to inaugurate the opening of the TurkStream gas pipeline. It is speculated that developments in both Libya and Idlib, Syria, will also be on the agenda for his discussions with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Libya, the Turkish President will send a bill to the parliament for authorization of sending Turkish military equipment, advisers, and even troops to back the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, a move that has no international support.

Closer to Turkey and directly affecting Russia’s activities are recent events in Idlib, Syria, where the Turkish military holds positions protecting its proxies, which both Damascus and Moscow consider to be terrorists. In this regard, on Dec. 29, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and all the top commanders of the Turkish Army paid a visit to inspect the troops in Hatay, a Turkish border city across from Idlib. Akar made statements denouncing the latest attacks by the Syrian government forces against the radical jihadist groups in Idlib province and blamed Russia, claiming the attacks were in violation of the Sochi deal between Ankara and Moscow. Akar insisted that Russia use its influence on Syria to put a stop to these attacks. He also reconfirmed that Turkey will not abandon its military positions inside Idlib and will stick to its commitments in the Sochi deal and not withdraw as Russia and Syria are requesting.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

JPL Gives Journalists a Look at NASA’s Completed Mars 2020 Rover

Dec. 30 (EIRNS)—Dressed in anti-contamination suits to protect the next NASA rover to land on Mars, a group of journalists had the opportunity to see the Mars 2020 rover, before it is shipped in February to its Cape Canaveral launch site. The rover will launch this summer, and arrive at Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. Its destination is Jezero crater, believed to have pristine sediments that are as much as 3.5 billion years old, when Mars was similar to Earth.

Although the 2020 rover (which will be named soon) has the basic design of the Mars Curiosity rover, it has more sophisticated scientific instruments than Curiosity, to characterize Mars’s climate, geology, and chemistry, and to search for signs of past microbial life, it has a very specific, new objective.

The rover has robotic arms that will allow it to drill into the soil and crack open rocks in order collect subsurface material. Up to 30 soil samples will be picked up to be placed in sealed containers that will eventually be brought back to Earth. The European Space Agency is considering working with NASA on the mission that will retrieve the samples.
Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935

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