EIR Daily Alert Service, Wednesday, January 8, 2020
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2020
Volume 7, Number 5
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- A Call for Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi To Convene an Emergency Summit To Address Danger of War
- The Dangerous Crisis in Southwest Asia: One of the Costs of Not Exonerating Lyndon LaRouche
- British Play All Sides Against Trump on Iran Policy
- Was Soleimani Assassination a ‘Palace Coup’ Against Trump?
- Putin Pays Historic Visit to Syria
- Retired Middle East Expert Holds General Milley Responsible for Option To Assassinate Soleimani
- Sen. Rand Paul Foresees Generations of War With Iran, But Fails To See the Way Out
- Sober Warnings From Trump Supporters Against His Iran Policy
- Scott Ritter Warns of Danger of Iran Crisis Escalating Into Nuclear War
- U.S. Interbank Lending Market Again Severely Short of Liquidity
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—The following call was posted on the LaRouche PAC website on January 6, 2020:
If the world is to escape a spiral of retaliations and counter-retaliations in the wake of the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Presidents of the United States, Russia, and China must convene an emergency summit to address the current crisis in Southwest Asia and its solutions.
Seventy-five years ago, the United States, Russia and China were joined together in the global fight which defeated fascism, and today, these Presidents must act in concert to save the peace.
On January 3, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued an emergency statement which concluded, “It is clear, that among the three presidents, President Trump—who promised to end the endless wars and has already taken several steps in that direction—and Presidents Putin and Xi, there is the intention and the capability to outflank the maneuvers of the war-mongers and to establish a higher level of cooperation. That potential is the reason that the coup—Russiagate and now the Impeachment—are orchestrated against Trump. It is now the time for those three outstanding leaders to fulfill the potential that historical providence has bestowed upon them.”
Every world war and major war of the past century has been triggered by the British Empire’s geopolitical policy of permanent warfare, throwing nations against each other in order to maintain their power as a global elite.
Nowhere have the effects of that evil imperial policy of pitting nations, peoples, religions and factions against each other been more evident than in the Mideast, which policy was codified by the Sykes-Picot Treaty established by the British and French imperial powers during World War I.
Understanding that history, Lyndon LaRouche, in a speech delivered 15 years ago, provided the framework in which to understand and act on today’s crisis.
“And when you look at the possibilities for this region, like Southwest Asia, the only chance will come, not from inside Southwest Asia. We will do, and must do, what we can, for that area, to try to stop the bloodshed, the agony, to prevent the war. But we will not succeed, until we change the history, change the world in which this region is contained.”
Therefore, we call on President Donald Trump to meet with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to not only address the immediate danger of war in Southwest Asia, but to do so with permanent effect by creating a New Paradigm for the world—to change the world, as LaRouche said.
Such a paradigm must be based on the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War in Europe. Warring nations broke the cycle of retribution and revenge and acted for the “advantage of the other.”
Such a paradigm must end geopolitics and imperialism, and establish a new financial and strategic architecture for the world, based on defense of the sovereignty and cultural integrity of all nations.
The U.S., China, Russia, and other nations such as India, must act to establish a joint plan for the economic development of the entire region, informed by policies put forward by Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche over the decades, and now given life by China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Such a policy will realize LaRouche’s vision: “There is a solution, a solution in principle. And the solution is: End this blasted imperialist system! And understand that we, as a people, must develop our spiritual culture; that is, the creative powers of mankind, to carry further the development of mankind.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—One of the costs of not exonerating Lyndon LaRouche can be seen in the way the British orchestration of a strategic pincers operation to unleash war across Southwest Asia—including the very real danger of thermonuclear war—and to carry out a coup d’état against President Trump, is playing out. As usual, the British are playing all sides of the game, setting a trap for Trump which he walked into with the assassination of General Soleimani and his repeated threats of attacking cultural sites in Iran, a trap which the British would now slam shut with the sanctimonious sophistry issuing from leading Democrats, the New York Times, and the British themselves (see separate slug). This is the kind of British trap which LaRouche repeatedly exposed, for example in his feature-length film “Storm Over Asia”:
“The British always have two policies. Never try to find out what British policy is; they always have two, which seem directly opposite: They’re for you, and they’re against you. They’re buttering up your waistcoat, while they’re putting a knife in your back, neither of which is good for you, either cosmetically or otherwise. Hm?”
LaRouche also uniquely provided solutions to defeat such British games, solutions echoed in Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s latest call for Presidents Trump, Xi and Putin to meet and address the crisis. Had LaRouche been exonerated, the current British geopolitical insanity would probably have been defused a long time ago.
Instead, Trump was not only induced to order the assassination of General Soleimani, but to also threaten to target Iranian cultural sites. That whole issue has unleashed a firestorm of opposition from friend and foe alike. Speaking aboard Air Force One on his return to Washington on Sunday from a holiday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump repeated his earlier threat: “They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites. It doesn’t work that way.”
In further comments at the White House today, Trump somewhat backed away from the threat: “If that’s what the law is, I like to obey the law. But think of it. They kill our people. They blow up our people and then we have to be very gentle with their cultural institutions. But I’m OK with it. It’s OK with me.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper was hammered by the media about Trump’s raising the threat of attacks on Iranian cultural sites, and he responded that the U.S. would not target cultural sites. The New York Times reported Esper saying: “We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” at a news briefing at the Pentagon when asked if cultural sites would be targeted. When the reporter asked if that meant “no,” Esper repeated: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo preferred to deny Trump had ever said it: “President Trump didn’t say he’d go after a cultural site,” he told Fox News. “Read what he said very closely.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ally of President Trump’s, called Trump on Jan. 6, and later told the press: “We’re not at war with the culture of the Iranian people. We’re in a conflict with the theology, the ayatollah and his way of doing business…. I think the President saying we will hit you hard is the right message. Cultural sites is not hitting them hard; it’s creating more problems. We’re trying to show solidarity with the Iranian people.”
And, of course, the Obama Democrat crowd did their sanctimonious best to parlay the matter into their ongoing coup d’état. For example, Jeh Johnson, a former secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, said: “Certainly, in aggravated circumstances, it should be considered a war crime.”
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—The British are having a field day attacking President Donald Trump for his threat to attack Iranian cultural sites. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a meeting with senior ministers yesterday, from which Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab emerged to say: “We have been very clear that cultural sites are protected under international law and we would expect that to be respected.” At the same time, the Prime Minister’s spokesman endorsed the drone strike on Gen. Qasem Soleimani as an action taken in self-defense.
The always-pro-impeachment Guardian, in covering the story, emphasized that “Trump’s comments amount to threatening a war crime.” BBC, the Independent, and other British media played up the same line.
Former British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt published an op-ed in the Telegraph asserting that the killing of Soleimani and Trump’s threats against Iran’s cultural sites have created the biggest cracks ever in the U.S.-U.K. alliance, which his successor, Dominic Raab, will have deal with on his upcoming visit to Washington. It’s time to talk turkey about how we renew and strengthen the Western alliance, Hunt tweeted, in promoting his article.
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—Patrick Lawrence, the journalist who broke the Bill Binney “no Russia hack” story in the Democrat-oriented liberal weekly, The Nation, in 2017, proposes in a Jan. 6 article on Consortium News that the assassination of Iran’s Gen. Qasem Soleimani was not ordered by President Donald Trump, “as we are incessantly urged to think,” but rather by “hyper-hawks in the administration, chief among them Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper,” who once again have “usurp[ed] the President’s power in a clear breach of the Constitution.”
“Persuasive signs indicate the latter,” he writes. “On numerous policy questions—North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, the Persian Gulf—the Bolton-Pompeo axis subverted Trump’s initiatives, leaving the President to indulge in Twitter storms to obscure what amounted to a humiliating loss of authority.”
Lawrence cites the fact that we have no evidence that Iran was planning imminent attacks, only the assertions of “people and government departments long since proven to be unworthy of public trust” (e.g. Russiagate, he notes). And State Department and Pentagon hawks, not Trump, have dominated the propaganda and the set-up of events leading into the assassination.
“We have no certainty on this point, and there may never be any. But the progress of events over the past 10 days strongly suggests Trump now has a Pompeo-Esper axis on his hands, these two assisted by Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, until early last year, quashed a study of the Iraq war that reflected badly on how the Army conducted it….
“As to the Soleimani assassination, we have plentiful statements from officials at State and Defense, dutifully reproduced in the press, that Trump ordered it. But if we just witnessed what amounts to a palace coup led by these two departments, of what worth are these accounts? In chest-out fashion, Trump now claims to have authorized the operation. But these assertions look very like after-the-fact efforts to put the best face on a boldly unlawful challenge to his authority. Let us not forget that Trump has long favored negotiation with Tehran rather than conflict….
“What does it mean when the President explains what is plainly an act of war by asserting that war is not his intention? The contradiction here is too obvious to ignore. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that it lies between a President who prefers summitry and deal-making and those around him who prefer wars—and who by now have a considerable record of subterfuge in the face of Trump’s policy initiatives.”
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an unannounced visit today to Syria, before he heads to Istanbul for well-announced meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tomorrow. He flew into Damascus Airport, and then “travelled to the command post of the Russian Armed Forces group in Syria, where he was met by Bashar al-Assad. The two leaders heard military reports on the situation in various regions of the country,” the Kremlin reported.
It was Putin’s first visit to that nation since he sent Russian troops into Syria in September 2015 to help the Syrian government turn the tide against ISIS and the Islamic terrorists deployed by the British Empire and Barack Obama. American statesman Lyndon LaRouche identified that decision at the time as a “strategic game changer,” which would bring down Obama’s “entire policy of war provocation against Russia.” A little over four years later, the Syrian government has recovered control over most of its territory, and reconstruction has begun—in contrast to what is happening in Libya and now Iraq.
“During his talks with Bashar al-Assad, the President of Russia noted that it was now safe to praise the long distance travelled on the way to restoring Syria’s statehood and territorial integrity. There are obvious signs of a recovering peaceful life on the streets in Damascus, Vladimir Putin emphasized,” according to the Kremlin report.
President Bashar al-Assad thanked Putin for the visit, and “expressed gratitude to Russia and the Russian military for their assistance in the fight against terrorism and the restoration of peaceful life in the republic.”
The Russian delegation, which included Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, then held a bilateral meeting with the Syrian delegation, after which the two Presidents visited the Umayyad Mosque, which is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. Putin presented the mosque with a 17th century Quran as a memory of his visit. He then visited the Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus, where he spoke with Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East.
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—In a Jan. 6 posting on his “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog entitled “Trump Moves To Unite the Middle East! (Irony),” retired Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer Col. W. Patrick Lang offers an informed view of the Trump Administration’s steps towards Iran of the past few days. He writes that he “had hoped” that Trump’s decision to kill Qasem Soleimani was “something pulled out of his fundament either inspired by war movies or on the recommendation of ‘our greatest ally’ [likely meaning Israel—ed.] but I am informed that in fact some idiot in the DoD included this option in the list of possibilities that was briefed to the CinC in Florida.” Lang noted that when the President demands options, the Joint Chiefs of Staff prepare a list of options backed by documentation that enables the President to approve one and sign the operational order. “Trump himself chose the death option,” Lang wrote. “I would hold General Milley (CJCS) personally responsible for not striking this option from the list before it reached the CinC.”
In a second observation, Lang described the Iranians as a “subtle people.” In his view, “they will bide their time whilst working out the ‘bestest’ way to inflict some injury on the U.S. and/or Israel. When the retaliation comes it will be imaginative and painful.”
Lang also warns that the U.S. troops, scattered in small groups about Iraq, are vulnerable to a Shi’ite uprising should the U.S. administration refuse to withdraw them from that country. Those troops, and their comrades in eastern Syria are also vulnerable logistically. “Iraq is a big country. It is a long and lonely drive from Kuwait for re-supply from there or evacuation through there,” Lang writes. “The same thing is true of the desert route to Jordan.
Finally, Lang concludes: “Trump’s strategy appears to be based on the concept that the Iraqis will submit to our imperial demands. ‘We will see.’ ”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—Sen. Rand Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last night that the “bad advice” President Donald Trump got from his advisers to carry out the assassination of Iran’s Gen. Qasem Soleimani has created “unintended consequences” which could lead to war for decades, or even generations in the region. Senator Paul stumbles, however, with his repeated admission that he does not see a way out.
Senator Paul blamed John Bolton for setting up an Iran policy which he ripped as “brain-dead.” No one in their right mind, no naive child, could believe that pulling out of the nuclear deal signed with Iran, applying severe sanctions while giving Iran no way out, and then assassinating one of the country’s generals, would lead to Iran’s “crawling to America” for negotiations, he said with some anger.
Those, like the senator who said we had to kill Soleimani because he was an evil bastard, are thinking like grade school children! Foreign policy is more complex; you have to ask: what happens next? To kill a general of another country is an act of war, Senator Paul warned. In Iran, like any country, there is a mixture of views, but the voices of the moderates and younger people, who want relations with the U.S., have been silenced by the assassination, until revenge is taken, which will set off more retaliation. Diplomacy is dead with Iran, he fears.
Such fatalism as the senator’s is dangerous, however. That is why Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche initiated an international campaign on Jan. 3 around her call for an emergency summit among Presidents Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, and perhaps Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the crisis in the region. The agenda of the summit must be to reach agreement to cooperate in initiating the urgent reconstruction, industrialization and greening of the deserts of the entire Southwest Asia region. Within such a framework of economic development, those Four Powers can provide Iran and its neighbors sufficient security guarantees to stop the cycle of attacksand retributions which today are leading towards general warfare.
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—TV host Tucker Carlson, whose nightly Fox News broadcast is one of the most viewed in the country, watched often by Trump supporters and President Donald Trump himself, last night again called on Americans to wake up, and remember that the attack-Iran policy—which too many people are now accepting uncritically, he noted—comes from the same “D.C. insiders” and intelligence community who gave us the Iraq war and the coup against Trump.
Carlson was nasty. “Just the other day, our intel agencies were considered politically tainted and suspect. Keep in mind, these are the people who invented excuses to spy on the Trump campaign, purely because they didn’t like the candidate’s foreign policy views, and then pretended he was a Russian agent in order to keep him from governing. Remember that, Russiagate? Our friends in the intel community are the people who did that.
“And by the way, they also lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction back in 2002 and by doing so got us into an utterly pointless war that dramatically weakened our country. The people pushing conflict with Iran are the same people who did that.
“It seems like about 20 minutes ago we were denouncing these people as the ‘deep state’ and pledging never to trust them again without verification. But now, for some reason, we do trust them, implicitly and completely.”
For his part, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis (ret.) has been campaigning since General Soleimani’s assassination for all U.S. troops be pulled out of the Middle East. Davis completed four tours of duty in the Middle East and Afghanistan, but gained national attention in 2012 when he blew the whistle on the failure of the Afghanistan war, in a report published in the Armed Forces Journal. He was mooted last year by some media as a possible candidate to replace John Bolton as National Security Adviser.
President Trump should not wait for Iraq to expel the U.S. troops, said David; “we should withdraw, now, on our own schedule, our own terms & not unceremoniously kicked out,” he urged in a Jan. 5 tweet. “We’re on knife’s edge to potentially starting series of escalating retaliation that could land us in destructive, unnecessary war. We need to withdraw our vulnerable troops from Iraq/Syria now. Before it’s too late,” he wrote today.
In a Fox News op-ed today, Davis argued that keeping troops in the area would be “irresponsible and immoral,” given the threats from Iran and other Shi’a actors in Iraq after the assassination. “Withdrawing now … would show enormous strength and courage, precisely because it must be done in the face of strong attacks from leading voices in Washington—the same voices who brought us two decades of failed wars and want a new war with Iran.”
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty and from 1991-1998 was chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, published an op-ed in RT on Jan. 6, which warned that the current Iran crisis in the aftermath of the Soleimani assassination could escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. “This is the worst-case scenario of any tit-for-tat retaliation between Iran and the U.S., and it is not as far-fetched as one might believe,” Ritter concluded.
Ritter’s argument suffers from the failure to note the British authorship of the entire dangerous escalation, and from the absence of any solution to the crisis, but it usefully indicates the dangerous trajectory the current crisis is on.
Ritter begins by arguing that “Iran has promised retaliation for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. Donald Trump said this will lead to a disproportionate response from the U.S. One side can deliver on its threats, the other can’t, unless it goes nuclear.” Ritter quotes Iranian Gen. Hossein Dehghan, a special adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who said: “It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted.”
This means, Ritter asserts, that “the response will not be carried out by proxy. The attack will be military in nature … [and] the response will most probably not be conducted against U.S. military forces currently stationed in Iraq…. There are a host of viable U.S. military targets in the Persian Gulf region that are of high enough stature as to qualify as an equal blow in the eyes of Tehran. Three come to mind; the concentration of U.S. forces based in Kuwait, the headquarters of the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, and the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.”
Ritter argues that “Trump’s threat, however, rings hollow. First, his tweet [threatening to attack cultural sites in Iran] constitutes de facto evidence of a war crime (Section 5.16.2 of the U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Manual prohibits threats to destroy cultural objects for the express purpose of deterring enemy operations), and as such would likely not be implemented by U.S. military commanders for whom niceties such as the law of war, which forbids the execution of an unlawful order, are serious business. Of more relevance, however, is the fact that Trump has been down this road before, when he threatened massive military retaliation against Iran for shooting down an unarmed drone over the Strait of Hormuz last May. At that time, he was informed by his military commanders that the U.S. lacked the military wherewithal to counter what was expected to be a full-spectrum response by Iran if the U.S. were to attack targets inside Iran…. Little has changed since May that would alter the military balance of power between the U.S. and Iran.”
Ritter explained that Iran’s announcement last weekend that they were ending all restrictions on the enrichment of uranium, as provided for by the JCPOA, “puts Iran well inside the one year breakout window (i.e., the time needed by Iran to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear device) of one year that underpinned the prime purpose of the JCPOA. In doing so, Iran has inadvertently opened itself up to a preemptive nuclear attack by the U.S. The centrifuges that could be used by Iran to produce enriched uranium capable of being used in a fissile device are housed in a hardened underground facility located near the town of Fordow. No conventional munition currently in the U.S. arsenal can destroy Fordow. Only a modified B-61 nuclear bomb can do the job.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 7 (EIRNS)—The Federal Reserve’s attempt to start withdrawing liquidity from the interbank repurchase-lending market on Jan. 3 and Jan. 6 failed, with oversubscribed “repo” loan offers returning and a spike in demand for the “not-QE” purchase of short-term Treasuries by the Fed.
After more than two weeks through the year-end in which the Fed emergency loan offers had not been fully subscribed—they had been dramatically increased so as not to be—unmet liquidity demand reappeared with a vengeance on Jan. 5-6. The New York Fed had to inject $99 billion in liquidity over the period with $15 billion more in demand going unmet.
On Tuesday afternoon it made a second attempt to drain liquidity by conducting a “reverse repo” operation where the Fed is the seller in the repurchase contracts. Only $1.5 billion showed up.
Moreover, Tuesday’s security-purchase operation (“Not-QE”) was quote oversubscribed, with more than $25 billion in Treasuries offered compared to the usual $7.5 billion bought.
This is not a new crisis, but the same developing crisis of overexposure to bad debt and derivatives losses in the financial sector, some minor and perhaps some major player(s) on the verge of blowout as the financial crisis unfolds.
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