EIR Daily Alert Service, TUESDAY, January 7, 2020
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2020
Volume 7, Number 4
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Helga Zepp-LaRouche Call for Emergency Summit Proven Absolutely Right, Absolutely Necessary
- Confusion, evident Splits on Whether U.S. Troops Will Leave Iraq
- Trump and Pompeo Responses Differ on Iraq Parliament Resolution for U.S. Troop Withdrawal
- Trump in War of Words With Congress Over War Powers
- More Urge for Trump To Take Opportunity To Withdraw Troops From Iraq
- Global Times Observes U.S. Debt Problem Bigger Than China’s
- What Erdogan Hopes For From Putin’s Visit and Phone Call With Trump
- China Releases New Science From the Moon on First Anniversary of Chang’e-4 Lunar Landing
- Nikkei Asian Review Assesses Maritime Silk Road Making Good on Port Development
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—In the 72 hours since Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued her Jan. 3 call, published in yesterday’s EIR Daily Alert, for an emergency summit of Russia, the United States and China—to adopt a new paradigm for Southwest Asia and Africa, lest global war break out over Iran—events have proven it necessary that that call be spread everywhere. There is a very great potential for an economic development solution broader than the conflict, a solution growing out of the extension of the Belt and Road Initiative through Southwest Asia and Africa.
In the absence of such an immediate summit of the powers, the escalating threats and counterthreats between Iran and the United States can explode into broader, even global war.
How immediately such a summit could turn the critical situation into the “Treaty of Westphalia” direction of mutual economic development, is shown by a new report from Hussein Askary, Southwest Asia Director of the Schiller Institute. In a webcast today with LaRouche PAC, Askary revealed the detailed agreement in September by which China and Iraq had worked out, just before the destabilization of Iraq began, an “oil for technology” contract of $20-30 billion investments in new Iraqi infrastructure.
If the three powers can be gotten to hold an emergency summit now, security guarantees can be given to Iran, and those powers can jointly issue much larger credits than this for reconstruction from the “endless regime-change wars” that President Donald Trump pledged to end. Askary explained the development corridor plans for Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran. The credit for these plans would be the start of a New Bretton Woods system, as Lyndon LaRouche proposed for the last 25 years of his life.
Zepp-LaRouche also emphasized that President Trump now has the opening to do what he promised—get American troops out of Middle East wars. Within 72 hours, not only did the Iraqi parliament vote to tell the American and all foreign forces to leave, but it became clear the commanders there recognize that that is a necessity. Obviously, some administration and Pentagon officials do not want American troops to leave Iraq; this caused a turbulent situation as of Monday afternoon with “official” statements that were directly opposed. But it only became clearer, that taking American forces out of Iraq now is the wise choice.
There is even sharper-relief proof that Zepp-LaRouche was absolutely right in counterposing the expansion of the Belt and Road into the region through a great-power summit, to the spread of conflict back into Iraq and the current war crisis. That proof is that no sooner did Iraq’s Prime Minister join the Belt and Road Initiative in late September, than the neo-con war party declared that this development must be stopped. On Oct. 30, Daniel J. Samet, Program Assistant for Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council, wrote in The Diplomat: “In Iraq, Iranian meddling is certainly a threat to the country’s stability and the national security interests of the United States and its allies that plays well politically. But let’s not turn a blind eye to a more menacing threat in China.” The Atlantic Council excerpted his Diplomat article on the same day, under the headline: “Iran’s Not the Only Country All Over Iraq.” And as he wrote, Iraq was destabilized: Israel spread its bombings from Syria to Iraq; militias resumed attacks on American bases; anti-government demonstrations broke out; and continued: “Yet while the United States fixates on Iranian ambitions, a far more formidable power has stepped in. Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi revealed that his country was signing on to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.”
What the British Empire’s geopoliticians and its U.S. “permanent war” faction do not want is: Donald Trump in the Presidency; an end to regime-change war; and great power cooperation among Trump, Putin and Xi for peace and high-technology development.
Those are the objective of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s call, the center of mobilization now. Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s statement, “Immediate Emergency Summit Among Presidents of U.S., Russia and China To Save World Peace and Define Cooperation Among the Countries Who Defeated Fascism 75 Years Ago!” appears in the Jan. 6 issue EIR Daily Alert; and is available on the websites for EIR, Schiller Institute and LaRouche PAC.
Hussein Askary’s hour-long, in-depth interview with LaRouche PAC is headlined “Iran Situation from Someone Who Knows Something.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—On the evening of Jan. 6 what appeared to be confusion reigned on the vital subject of whether U.S. forces were going to leave Iraq, after the Iraqi Parliament voted to tell them and all foreign forces to do so. Underneath the apparent confusion were likely splits and fights among commanders who know that it is necessary those forces leave Iraq, and Pentagon and State Department leaders determined to keep them there, doing nothing but provoking hostility and protecting their personal bases.
Reuters, the Washington Post, AFP, and other media reported in late afternoon Monday that U.S. military officials leading a joint task force had told Iraqi government officials, by letter dated today, that they were preparing to exit Iraq, respecting that country’s Parliament vote on Sunday to eject foreign troops. Marine Brig. Gen. William H. Seely wrote, “In due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, the CJTF-OIR [Command Joint Task Force—Operation Inherent Resolve] repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement. We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.”
Shortly later, Military Times reported, “A U.S. defense official confirmed to Military Times that the letter from Marine Brig. Gen. William Seely was authentic.”
But Defense Secretary Mark Esper “said the United States is not pulling out of Iraq,” that newspaper also reported. Following a brief Pentagon press conference which did not clear up the “confusion,” and where Esper said the Iraq Parliament resolution was non-binding, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was sent back out to say that the letter of General Seely was “a mistake,” or “a draft,” should not have been sent! And that U.S. forces would not leave Iraq.
And then again at 4:00 p.m. (ET), National Public Radio reported “troop movement signaled by heavy helicopter traffic out of a U.S. base in central Baghdad,” and quoted Esper that some forces were being “repositioned within Iraq.” And then, “Two other U.S. officials told NPR that some are going to Kuwait temporarily.”
The Pentagon provided a statement on Twitter at 4:36 p.m. ET which said, “There has been no change in US policy with regard to our force presence in Iraq. We continue to consult with the Iraqi government regarding the defeat-ISIS mission and efforts to support the Iraqi Security Forces.”
The permanent war faction is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. There were no tweets on the subject from the President.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—It is not clear, at this point, what will happen now that the Iraqi Parliament has voted up a resolution calling for the expulsion of U.S. and all foreign troops from Iraq. U.S. President Donald Trump, was quoted by Associated Press as telling reporters aboard Air Force One as he was returning to Washington from Florida yesterday:
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis. We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame. If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.” AP further quoted the President, as stating, “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shrugged off the vote which was reportedly urged by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi—who is heading a caretaker government after having been forced to resign in November—as that of a merely “acting” prime minister “under enormous threats from the very Iranian leadership that we are pushing back against. We are confident that the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there to fight the counter-terror campaign,” he told on Fox News Sunday.
“While we await further clarification on the legal nature and impact of today’s resolution, we strongly urge Iraqi leaders to reconsider the importance of the ongoing economic and security relationship between the two countries and the continued presence of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
The Washington Post today highlighted Pompeo’s role and included the following: “Pompeo first spoke with Trump about killing Soleimani months ago, said a senior U.S. official, but neither the President nor Pentagon officials were willing to countenance such an operation.”
If the cited official’s report is true, Pompeo’s proposal to kill Soleimani would have been made in the time frame in which the destabilization in Iraq began, just after Abdul-Mahdi returned from Beijing, where he had begun arrangements for an “oil for reconstruction” deal with China.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump is now in a war of words over who has the war-making authority in the U.S. government. Yesterday, Trump “made light,” in the words of AFP, of Congressional demands that he notify Congress of any future intention to strike Iran, saying such notice was “not required”—and then saying his immediately preceding tweets describing the conditions under which he would order a strike on Iran would serve as prior notification if he did decide to strike against Iran again:
“These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement dated Jan. 6 wrote that she called “this initiation of hostilities” was taken “without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran, without the consultation of the Congress and without the articulation of a clear and legitimate strategy to either the Congress or the public.
“As Speaker of the House, I reiterate my call on the Administration for an immediate, comprehensive briefing of the full Congress on military engagement related to Iran and next steps under consideration. The Administration must work with the Congress to advance a bonafide de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence.”
Pelosi announced late yesterday that the House will vote on a War Powers Resolution that reasserts “Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.” Pelosi’s letter follows an announcement by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), of a War Powers Resolution on Jan. 5 to direct the removal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities against Iran that were not approved by Congress.
Pelosi’s resolution is said to be similar to one introduced in the Senate on Jan. 2 by Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL). “For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran,” Kaine said. “Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our service members to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East.” War powers resolutions are privileged, making a vote required. This one calls for the President to remove troops from engaging in hostilities against Iran within 30 days “unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for the use of military force.”
The Hill makes the observation that House Democrats can essentially force a vote in the Senate on a war-powers resolution, because it would be privileged, but they’re unlikely to get the two-thirds majority needed in both chambers to overcome an expected presidential veto if the measure makes it to Trump’s desk.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—More expert writers on Consortium News, in particular, are calling for President Donald Trump to take the opportunity to further a solution to the West Asia crisis by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Among them Jan. 5 were CIA veteran Larry Johnson and former British Ambassador Craig Murray.
Murray, after an extensive analysis of Sunni vs. Shi’a politics and conflict which is not understood or taken into account by American military planning, concluded: “So what happens now?… Consolidating power in Iraq and finishing the destruction of ISIL in Iraq will be the wise advance that Iranian statesmen can practically gain from these events. But that is, of course, not enough to redeem national honor. Trump … needs either to pull out troops from Iraq or massively to reinforce them…. Whether the ‘triumph’ of killing Soleimani gives Trump enough political cover for an early pullout—the wise move—I am unsure.”
The “coalition” in Iraq is now officially only protecting itself. The U.S.-led coalition announced on Jan. 5 that it was suspending both training operations and most operations against Islamic State. It said, “The coalition has shifted its focus to protecting Iraqi bases from attack by Iranian-allied militias such as Kataib Hezbollah. As a result we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host coalition troops. This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh [ISIS], and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—A Jan. 5 Global Times article, “U.S. Debt Problem Almost Out of Control,” is a thrust at the lack of a positive future direction for the United States economy, given that it is consuming nearly $5 in new debt to create each additional dollar of domestic product. The ratio of total American government, household, and business debt combined is 330%, the unsigned article states, higher than the 295% ratio for China which City of London and Wall Street financial press regularly say is “catastrophic” and “makes a crash inevitable.”
The Chinese Communist Party-linked paper reports that, of 117 global corporate defaults in 2019 (up 43% from 2018 according to S&P Global Ratings), 77 were by U.S. corporations. This is hit correctly as the $15 trillion center of the huge and shaking debt bubble. The paper also implies that federal government debt, now at $23 trillion, can become unsustainable in the next few years.
While government debt is the part of the bubble in which defaults are not likely to appear, the way the Federal Reserve is dealing with it is threatening severe inflation at some point soon. More importantly, there is no prospect without science-driver crash programs, while under the evil spell of zero and negative interest rates from which China has not suffered, for the real productivity growth of the American population which makes such debt easily repayable.
Speaking of inflation, the Federal Reserve is effectively beginning to issue helicopter money, the first step to the “regime change” demanded by BlackRock and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at Jackson Hole. This has been done not through the continuing liquidity repurchase loans, but through the program of purchasing $60 billion/month in short-term U.S. Treasuries which began Oct. 4, 2019, and is claimed to be “not quantitative easing.”
During late December and early January, the Fed was buying short-term U.S. Treasury securities from the primary dealer banks, whose purchase by those banks had just settled the previous day, or in some cases two days earlier. It was effectively buying new U.S. Treasury short-term debt as the government issued it—a violation of the Federal Reserve Act, and the definition of the threshold of helicopter money. This has so far been done on four separate days’ QE operations of $7.5 billion each of those days, so in the tens of billions total so far.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will host Russian President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul on Jan. 8, told CNN Turk—as reported by TASS—on Jan. 5 that they would discuss “regional issues and TurkStream.” The two Presidents will attend the launching of the TurkStream gas pipeline in a Jan. 8 ceremony. Erdogan also told CNN Turk he would “push for a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib.”
On Jan. 2, Erdogan had discussed the same subject, as well as the Libya conflict, with President Donald Trump. The Hill reported a White House statement that “President Trump pointed out that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya. The leaders agreed on the need for de-escalation in Idlib, Syria in order to protect civilians.”
Furthermore, Turkey announced that it has begun deployment of troops into Libya as stipulated in the Security and Military Cooperation Agreement it signed with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). Speaking to the press on Jan. 5, President Erdogan announced the “gradual deployment” of troops.
While the GNA is the internationally recognized government, it is in a military conflict with the Benghazi-based interim government in the eastern part of the country, where the national Parliament has relocated and is currently being supported by the Libyan National Army commanded by Gen. Khalifa Haftar. The Turkish deployments violate the United Nations arms embargo in force pending a negotiated settlement between the Tripoli and Benghazi governments.
A planned EU mission to Tripoli has been cancelled, officially for safety reasons, but the Italian media report that the Tripoli government told them not to come. The mission was to include the foreign ministers of Italy, France, Germany, and the U.K., and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs Josep Borrell.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—The Chang’e-4 team is celebrating the mission’s first full year on the far side of the Moon on Jan. 3 by releasing new photos and some early science results, reported Andrew Jones in Sky & Telescope yesterday. These are data released by the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), and contained in papers published by the scientists in publications including Nature, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
One discovery is that Yutu-2 has found that the regolith on the far side is thicker than on the near side. They propose that that might be because the unprotected far side has had more impacts. Some of the material excavated at Von Karman Crater by its impact is from the deeper mantle of the Moon, and will reveal the history of the formation of the crater.
It is reported that the three antennae on the Low Frequency Radio Spectrometer were deployed in late November, but only one deployed to full length. But, Jones reports, this may be fortuitous, since the different antenna lengths allow the capture of signals of different wavelengths. The two shorter antennae are better suited to collect signals from the “cosmic dawn,” while the full-length antenna will listen for the longer wavelength signals that come from the “cosmic dark age” before star formation.
Yutu-2 starts its 14th 28-day lunar “day” on Jan. 19.
Jan. 6 (EIRNS)—Nikkei Asian Review on Jan. 5 posted a very positive assessment of China’s development of port infrastructure around the world in the context of the Belt and Road. In “China Drops $11 Billion Anchors To Expand Maritime Silk Road,” it concentrates on the work of the two very large port logistics companies COSCO and China Merchants, simultaneously developing some 25 ports around the world.
“Chinese companies have poured nearly $11 billion into overseas ports during the past decade,” Nikkei says, “gaining access to strategic maritime hubs as part of its Belt and Road initiative, an aggressive investment campaign that has raised concerns about Beijing’s growing clout across the world. Chinese enterprises have invested in 25 port projects in 18 countries from 2010 through December, according to public documents reviewed by Nikkei. Though some projects have faced resistance or run into trouble, most ports that have accepted Chinese investments have fared well. The numbers indicate China is making strides on its vast infrastructure project.”
Most significantly, throughput at 15 of those ports increased by 10% or more over 2018-2019, showing the Maritime Silk Road is achieving not only expansion but also increased productivity. Most impressive are the already-reported COSCO achievements with the Piraeus Port in Greece (a 75% freight increase in five years) and China Merchants’ development of the Djibouti Port.
In the United States, though, the primary Port of Long Beach Container Facility, in California, has been wrested from “communist” COSCO and sold for $1.78 billion to Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund, a subsidiary of the highly speculative banksters at Australia’s Macquarie Bank. The process of forcing COSCO out began in July 2018, after it took control of Orient Overseas International Ltd. Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line had been part of Port of Long Beach terminal functions for the past 30 years, but when its parent was bought by COSCO in 2017, anti-China alarm bells started to ring.
The Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States was brought into the case. After its investigation, COSCO was forced to disinvest.
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