EIR Daily Alert Service, THURSDAY, January 9, 2020
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2020
Volume 7, Number 6
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Step Back From the Brink-JoinInternational Mobilization for Trump, Putin, Xi Emergency Summit
- Former Defense Secretary Cohen Believes Putin Will Help U.S. and Iran Make Peace
- Trump and Iran Stand Down After Iran’s ‘Proportional Response’ Involves No Casualties
- Factory Closures Linked to Surge in Opioid Overdose Rates, ‘Deaths of Despair’
- New York Times Argues China’s Providing Jobs for Poor Uighurs Violates Human Rights
- Pepe Escobar Reports on Trump’s Intention to De-escalate Iran Conflict
- Zelensky Opens Criminal Investigation Into Boeing 737 Crash in Tehran
- Wang Yi Starts Africa Tour in Egypt, Intends for a China-Arab Community With a Shared Future
- China To Play a Key Role in Syrian Reconstruction, Assures Wang Yi
- Norway ‘Gets Shook’ by Meeting With Heliosphere
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Following the dozen or more ballistic missiles launched from Iranian soil which hit two U.S./Iraqi bases in Iraq early Wednesday morning (at the same 1:30 a.m. hour in which Soleimani was assassinated last Friday morning), President Donald Trump tweeted, just a few hours later: “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.” One hour after that, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued his own tweet: “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
This morning, Trump’s White House address continued his characterization of Iran, since Ayatollah Khomeini took over in 1979, as the leading terrorist force in the world. But he also observed that “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.” Moreover, he said, “ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.”
There is much that is not known about the secret diplomacy over the past days which created this unique situation, in which an attack by Iran on U.S. forces in Iraq is resulting in a relative easing of tensions, and possibly further efforts at a peaceful solution. Various intelligence sources suggest that Pakistan has helped intervene between the U.S. and Iran, others suggest it was Qatar, still others Oman, while President Vladimir Putin has been directly engaged with all sides. In any case, President Trump is maneuvering between war-mongering advisers, both in the military and in his own administration, to use the crisis moment to achieve his broader intention—to get the U.S. forces out of the Middle East and end the perpetual warfare, as he insisted in his campaign and has ever since.
But the world is not out of danger. The British and their assets in the U.S. are furious at the demise of the Wahhabi (Sunni) terrorist operation known as al-Qaeda, created in the 1980s in Afghanistan by MI6 and Jimmy Carter’s CIA to fight the Soviets, who had intervened to support a friendly government under attack from Islamic jihadists. This Mujaheddin morphed into al-Qaeda, and, together with American and European air power, brought down the nationalist, anti-terrorist governments of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya, and intended to do the same to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. While the secular governments in Iraq and Libya were “successfully” destroyed and turned over to competing radical Islamic gangs, the Russian intervention under Vladimir Putin put a halt to the process in Syria. When Trump came to power, he essentially joined Putin in targeting al-Qaeda and its offshoot ISIS, ending the “regime change” policy of the British and the Bush and Obama Administrations.
The British response is now clear: To play on what they perceive as Trump’s weakness regarding Iran, to drag him into a war with the Shi’a jihadists in Iran, a far more powerful nation than Iraq, Libya or Syria, and one which has just conducted military exercises with Russia and China.
Here is where the LaRouche genius is required. There is no solution to this crisis within Iran, or even within the Middle East as a whole. The geopolitical thinking dominating the imperial age is intended to trap the United States in a zero-sum, divide-and-conquer framework, in which the obvious solution is not even visible: End the age of empire altogether. Restore the republican thinking of the Peace of Westphalia—unite the “opposing blocs” created by the Empire, to act upon the fundamental truth about the nature of mankind: That the creative powers of the mind are what actually defines the human race, not his race, religion, ethnicity, nor any other secondary divisions.
Therefore, the Schiller Institute has called for an international day of action on Wednesday, January 15, for all institutions and individuals of good will, of all nations, to voice their full support for the call issued by Helga Zepp-LaRouche this week for an emergency summit among Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping, immediately, to address the danger of war. It has been the stated intention of all three of these leaders that Russia, China and the United States can and must join forces, to restore the Westphalian system of sovereign nation states. Only British imperial thinking has prevented the realization of this urgent and world historic task.
Today, the alternatives are stark: geopolitics and war, or Westphalian sovereignty and peace through development. In the age of thermonuclear weapons, every citizen must act to make the right choice. See “Helga Zepp-LaRouche Statement on the Assassination of Qasem Soleimani,” https://schillerinstitute.com/blog/2020/01/09/call-for-presidents-trump-putin-xi-to-convene-emergency-summit-to-address-danger-of-war/
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Former Clinton Secretary of Defense, William Cohen—a Republican—told CNBC on Jan. 7 “I believe that President Putin is going to try and step in and be the peacemaker here,” said Cohen. “I think Putin is going to move in and say, ‘Let me help you solve this problem for you, Donald.’ ” CNBC further quotes him as saying, “I’m a bit more optimistic that the Russians will come in as a peacemaker.”
Moreover, getting U.S. troops out of Iraq would be “something that the Iranians want and something that the Russians would be happy with,” Cohen said. Russia is now a “major player in Syria and throughout the region,” Cohen stated. “They’re going to come to the rescue at some point on Iran as well.” He also said the Russians would pressure Iran to compromise on the nuclear issue.
In the 5-minute posting of the interview Cohen reiterates three or four times that he believes Putin will intervene and that would be positive.
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump issued a formal statement on the Iran crisis from the White House with the top military brass and Secretaries Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo behind him. He announced that there were no American casualties from the Iranian ballistic missiles which targetted two U.S./Iraq bases in Iraq this morning, and saying that “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.” He castigated Iran for its support of “terrorist” movements across the region since the 1979 coup by the mullahs, calling Gen. Qasem Soleimani the “world’s top terrorist,” responsible for training “terrorist armies, including Hezbollah,” killing Americans in Iraq, and attacking the Baghdad Embassy.
But he also called on the country signers to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, to dump that deal and begin negotiations for a new deal with Iran, which will assure that Iran never builds a nuclear weapon (which Trump had asserted as his opening statement), and further stated that “ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.”
HelgaZepp-LaRouche observed the fact that this was clearly a step back, but that we are not out of the danger zone for war, even global war. Trump’s characterization of Iran is still that of John Bolton. The fact that the British Empire role in instigating these crises, aimed at keeping the U.S. in conflict with Russia and China, must be asserted and addressed if the situation is to be resolved positively. The methods established by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia are the only long-term solution.
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)— A Dec. 30, 2019 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) underscores what this news service has long asserted, that economic decline, joblessness, despair and pessimism among working-age Americans, who see no productive jobs or hope for the future, have contributed to the growth of the opioid epidemic. The study by Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania established that factory closures were associated with an 85% surge in opioid overdose mortality rates among working-age adults five years later, compared with what would have been expected if these factories had remained open. The research team looked at opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2016 in 112 manufacturing counties near major automotive assembly plants.
“We found that automotive assembly plant closures—which led to dramatic reductions in economic opportunities in manufacturing for individuals living in those areas—were strongly associated with poor health outcomes, specifically higher opioid overdose death rates,” Dr. Venkataramani reported, according to Reuters. The study team emphasized that drug overdoses are increasingly seen as “deaths of despair.”
At the start of the study, 2.7% of adults aged 18 to 65 lived in these counties. During the study period, 3.4% of opioid deaths nationwide occurred in these counties, including 29 counties that experienced plant closures and 83 that did not. At the beginning of the study period, opioid overdose death rates were similar in all of these manufacturing counties at roughly 1 per 100,000 population. But in areas where plants closed, there were 8.6 more deaths for every 100,000 people five years later compared with counties where factories remained open.
The hardest hit population were young white male adults, followed by young white women.
According to Michael Barnett, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “when an automotive plant closes, thousands of people may lose jobs that provide economic opportunity, community and stability…. This study definitely provides strong support for the idea that economic conditions and unemployment may have played a role in catalyzing the opioid crisis, particularly in the states with many closures, like Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. It reinforces that health is not just biology and genetics – the economy, poverty, and social factors are crucial as well.”
Jan 8 (EIRNS)—CGTN’s Liu Xin, host of “The Point with Liu Xin” broadcast, has provided some accurate statistics on the remarkable transformation under way in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Uighur Region, both with the defeat of Wahhabi terrorism and the alleviation of poverty in the province, which is among the poorest regions of China. She then ripped into the insanity of the Dec. 30 New York Times article, “Inside China’s Push To Turn Muslim Minorities into an Army of Workers.”
Liu Xin reported government figures that show the following:
• In the first 11 months of 2019, some 75,000 jobs for poor residents were created, while 180,000 people were provided with free vocational training (probably referring to those described by the New York Times as prisoners in concentration camps).
• Over $300 million was invested in “start-ups” in the first six months of 2018 to promote jobs and entrepreneurship.
• Poverty in Xinjiang fell from 22.8% in 2014 to 6.5% at the end of 2018, with 2.3 million citizens lifted out of poverty. The goal of reducing that to zero by the end of 2020 is on target.
• Some 2,400 villages which had little or no electricity have been fully electrified, providing power for 9 million people.
What do New York Times scribblers Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy say about this phenomenal transformation? Slave labor! Communist labor camps! Here are some of their quotes:
• “The Communist Party wants to remold Xinjiang’s minorities into loyal blue-collar workers to supply Chinese factories with cheap labor.” Providing jobs to the poor is a human rights offense!
• “The order from Chinese officials was blunt and urgent. Villagers from Muslim minorities should be pushed into jobs, willing or not. Quotas would be set and families penalized if they refused to go along.” Liu Xin asks: “What does this mean exactly? Are they physically marched to their office or place of work? Do they face retribution?”
• “Such orders are part of an aggressive campaign to remold Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities—mostly Uighurs and Kazakhs—into an army of workers for factories and other big employers.” My God, the Chinese are making them factory workers! One can understand their horror, as the Times has been at the center of shutting down American factories for years.
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar, Asia Times’ geopolitical analyst, reports today in Consortium News on a response sent from a “top U.S. intel source” to whom Escobar had posed “a detailed question.” The source, he said, was close to the Qatari royal family, and responded that President Donald Trump sent a message to Tehran via the emir of Qatar that there would be de-escalation if Tehran came up with a “proportional response.” Escobar notes that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s tweet following the missile attack this morning stated: “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter.”
Escobar’s source otherwise said: “It is most unlikely Trump will escalate at this point, and this could provide him with the opportunity to leave the Middle East except for the Gulf States. Trump wants to get out. The fact that Israel would be hit next by Iran … will probably cause them to pull back, and not order Trump to bomb Iran itself.
“DEBKA-Mossad acknowledged that Iran’s offensive missiles cannot be defended against. Its secret is that it hugs the ground going underneath the radar screens. … What is amazing is that Iraq has allowed U.S. troops into their country at all after seeing over a million of their people murdered by the U.S. if we include the 500,000 dead children….”
The source also questioned why the Patriot missile defense systems on the U.S. bases were not used.
Escobar added: “Judd Deere, the deputy press secretary of the White House, confirmed on Tuesday night what I had learned earlier from another source. The White House said Trump, in a phone call, thanked Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for ‘Qatar’s partnership with the United States,’ and they discussed Iraq and Iran….
“Details are still sparse, but there’s ultra-high level, back-room diplomacy going on, especially between Iran and Russia, with China discreet, but on full alert.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today reversed Ukraine’s initial acceptance of Iran’s report that the Ukrainian Boeing 737, which crashed this morning after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 people onboard, had a faulty engine or other mechanical failure. He said, as reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, that he was opening a criminal investigation.
The plane was cleared in maintenance on Jan. 6, it was reported. Also, Ukrainian International Airlines vice president of operations Ihor Sosnovsky said in a statement on Wednesday, “According to our records, the aircraft ascended as high as 2,400 meters. Given the crew’s experience, error probability is minimal. We do not even consider such a chance.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday kicked off the first leg of his five-nation tour of Africa with a visit to Egypt, that will include meetings with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and other senior officials. The visit to Egypt will be the longest, lasting three days, after which Wang will continue on to Djibouti, Eritrea, Burundi and Zimbabwe, ending on Jan. 13.
The issue of China-Arab cooperation is high on the agenda in the Cairo visit. Yesterday, in a meeting with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Wang recalled that President Xi Jinping has urged for building a China-Arab community with a shared future, and stressed that this should be the opportunity to deepen the strategic partnership between the two regions. He pointed to the important role of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), which last met in 2018 and will soon be holding its ninth ministerial meeting. Through such meetings, he said, the two parties can seek a “common voice” on both regional and international issues.
The Chinese Foreign Minister also thanked Secretary General Gheit for the Arab League’s support for China on the issue of Xinjiang and extended an invitation to Arab officials to visit the province to see firsthand the result of China’s deradicalization and anti-terrorism efforts, China’s Foreign Ministry reported. (Bahrain was the only Arab state to support the lies of the Western press that China is oppressing the Uighur population.)
According to the Egyptian daily Al Ahram today, one of Wang Yi’s key goals in his visit will be to “achieve a consensus” between Xi Jinping and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on joint cooperation “as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” In a wide-ranging written interview with Al Ahram, Wang Yi expressed China’s desire to achieve “greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Egypt’s 2030” development program, as well as “communication and coordination on regional and international affairs.” He reported that thus far, Chinese companies have invested $7 billion in Egypt, registered more than 1,560 firms and created more than 30,000 jobs in energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and mining.
China’s priorities going forward, Wang stressed, will be to ramp up investment in new energy sources, aerospace, communications, and electric cars as “the new drivers of our bilateral cooperation. This will lend new impetus to our cooperation under the Belt and Road framework.” Moreover, he said, the Beijing is encouraging Chinese companies to take part in Egypt’s important strategic projects, including the Suez Canal Corridor Development Project and the New Administrative Capital. He said that the over 60 Chinese companies operating in the cooperation zone have already created a large number of local jobs and “helped raise Egypt’s industrial manufacturing capacity.”
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is on a five-nation tour of Africa, told the Egyptian daily Al Ahram that China plans to play an important role in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria.
Wang emphasized that while efforts to seek political resolution and combat terrorism must be continued “on all fronts,” the “reconstruction process should be advanced at the same time to guarantee lasting peace and security of Syria and a safe and happy life of the Syrian people.” He recalled that China has provided a significant amount of humanitarian aid to Syria and has also held training programs on reconstruction. The Beijing government supports the efforts of Chinese companies that are participating in the reconstruction process “and is willing to consult and cooperate with various parties along the process,” he wrote.
China has only goal in this situation, Wang emphasized: “To bring the Syrian people back to a life of stability and prosperity … the reconstruction of Syria requires collective efforts of the international community.” Yet, he observed, in an obvious reference to the U.S., “some countries have been disrupting rather than contributing to it, by setting preconditions, politicizing and even blocking other countries’ participation…through unilateral sanctions and the so-called ‘long-arm jurisdiction.’ China urges these countries to bear in mind the real interests of the Syrian people, shoulder their responsibilities and play a positive role in bringing peace, stability and development to Syria and the region.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 8 (EIRNS)— On Jan. 6, 2020, a strong electrical current surged through the ground in Norway, and seemingly generated spectacular auroras, reported Spaceweather.com yesterday. Rob Stammes, a researcher at the Polarlightcenter geophysical observatory in Lofoten remarked, “It seemed to be some kind of shock wave,” says Stammes. “My instruments detected a sudden, strong variation in both ground currents and our local magnetic field. It really was a surprise.”
Fifteen minutes ahead of the readings in Norway, NASA’s robotic Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft detected an abrupt shift in the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF), swinging nearing 180 degrees around, and the solar wind density jumped to five times that of normal. This is especially unusual because the Sun is entering a record-breaking solar minimum, showing a spotless face to the universe, and an overall decrease in magnetic storms and solar flares. So, what could have caused this dramatic event?
Researchers hypothesize that Earth may have crossed through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet, a giant, wavy membrane of electrical current rippling through the Solar System. The NASA website explains, “The Sun’s magnetic field permeates the entire Solar System called the heliosphere. All nine planets orbit inside it. But the biggest thing in the heliosphere is not a planet, or even the Sun. It’s the current sheet—a sprawling surface where the polarity of the Sun’s magnetic field changes from plus (north) to minus (south). A small electrical current flows within the sheet, about 10-10 A/m². The thickness of the current sheet is about 10,000 km near the orbit of the Earth. Due to the tilt of the magnetic axis in relation to the axis of rotation of the Sun, the heliospheric current sheet flaps like a flag in the wind. The flapping current sheet separates regions of oppositely pointing magnetic field, called sectors.
“As Earth orbits the Sun, it dips in and out of the undulating current sheet. On one side the Sun’s magnetic field points north (toward the Sun), on the other side it points south (away from the Sun). South-pointing solar magnetic fields tend to cancel Earth’s own magnetic field. Solar wind energy can then penetrate the local space around our planet and fuel geomagnetic storms.”
The rapidly changing magnetic field in turn sent a shock through energetic particles in the atmosphere, generating spectacular and dynamic auroras over Norway, Finland and elsewhere in that region.
For more discussion and some visual aids, see EIR, Nov. 2, 2018, “The Parker Solar Probe: Rendezvous with Our Exuberant Sun,” by Janet G. West.
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