From Volume 7, Issue 23 of EIR Online, Published June 3, 2008

United States News Digest

Clinton: My Government Will Work To Solve Food Crisis

May 29 (EIRNS)—In response to a question by a LaRouche movement organizer about the global food emergency, Sen. Hillary Clinton, campaigning in Huron, South Dakota, said today, "We've got to help revolutionize food production" around the world, and "my government will work with other governments to solve the food crisis."

In Sioux Falls and Madison, Clinton had impromptu appearances in cafes, and in Huron and Watertown, she spoke in front of large crowds which to organizers had distributed LaRouche PAC pamphlets.

At the Huron event, LaRouche supporter Herman Eilers was seated on the stage behind the candidate, along with six other war veterans. As the rally was winding up, Hillary turned around to have a word with the veterans, and Eilers asked her a question about the upcoming FAO meeting in Rome (June 3-5), and the need to double food production. She told him that he had asked a really important question, asked her staff to turn the microphone back on, and asked him to repeat his question so the audience could hear it.

Eilers said: "I'm a veteran and a farmer. I grew up here in the breadbasket of America being a producer who could help feed the world. But now millions of people are at the brink of starvation. On June 3, the same day as our primary, the FAO conference opens in Rome, and we want the agenda to be doubling food production. What would you say to give hope to the starving and to those government representatives who will be at the FAO?"

Clinton answered: "That's a very good question. We can help feed people, but we have to really help them develop the technology to expand food production in their own countries." She talked about the devastation in countries throughout Africa and in Haiti and said: "We've got to help revolutionize food production. We have got to work with the UN FAO and send our people trained in food production through the Peace Corps and other institutions. We have to work government-to-government. My government will work with other governments to solve the food crisis."

Clinton then asked Eilers if he had anything else to say and he asked: "As a farmer, we're putting a lot of acreage into ethanol. I wonder how we're going to double food production, the way everybody is focused on biofuels for energy self sufficiency." When Clinton answered by starting to talk about cellulosic research, etc., Eilers interrupted her: "How about going after the speculators?" The crowd applauded, and Hillary responded: "Absolutely. We're going to stop the speculators."

McClellan: Bush Drew a Blank on Cocaine Use

May 28 (EIRNS)—Former White House press spokesman Scott McClellan reveals new details in his forthcoming book What Happened, about allegations regarding Bush's former drug use which were raised during his 2000 campaign for President. McClellan traces Bush's tendency for self-deception back to an incident on the campaign trail in 1999, when then-Governor Bush was being confronted by reports that he used cocaine in his younger days. The book recounts an evening in a hotel suite "somewhere in the Midwest." Bush was on the phone with a supporter and motioned for McClellan to have a seat.

"'The media won't let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,' I heard Bush say. 'You know, the truth is I honestly don't remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in those days, and I just don't remember.'

"I remember thinking to myself, how can that be?" McClellan wrote. "How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine? It didn't make a lot of sense." Bush, according to McClellan, "isn't the kind of person to flat-out lie."

"So I think he meant what he said in that conversation about cocaine. It's the first time when I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true, and that, deep down, he knew was not true," McClellan wrote. "And his reason for doing so is fairly obvious—political convenience." In the years that followed, McClellan "would come to believe that sometimes he convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment."

Carter: Europe Should Break with U.S. over Hamas Embargo

May 26 (EIRNS)—Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, after making a presentation at the 2008 Hay Festival, in Wales, told the London Guardian that European governments should break with U.S. policy over the international embargo on Gaza, calling the EU's position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute "supine," and its failure to criticize the Israeli blockade of Gaza "embarrassing."

When asked whether he thought Europe should break with the U.S. over blockading Hamas, he said, "Why not? They're not our vassals. They occupy an equal position with the U.S." He called the blockade of Gaza, imposed by the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia—the so-called Quartet—as "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth," since it meant the "imprisonment of 1.6 million people, 1 million of whom are refugees.... Most families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. To see Europeans going along with this is embarrassing," Carter said. Alternatively, he said, "Let the Europeans lift the embargo and say we will protect the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, and even send observers to Rafah gate [Gaza's crossing into Egypt] to ensure the Palestinians don't violate it."

Carter said the Quartet's policy of not talking to Hamas unless it recognized Israel had been drafted by Elliott Abrams, the top neocon at the U.S. National Security Council, whom he called "a very militant supporter of Israel."

Carter said the EU's self-imposed ban on talking to Hamas not very bright, since everyone knows Israel was negotiating with Hamas through an Egyptian mediator, Omar Suleiman. Carter said that supporting a Fatah-only government was a "subterfuge," aimed at getting around Hamas's election victory two years ago, which Carter said was conducted fairly. "The top opinion pollster in Ramallah [West Bank], told me the other day that opinion on the West Bank is shifting to Hamas, because people believe Fatah has sold out to Israel and the U.S.," he said.

Carter also called for the U.S. to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program, and in this context, declared that Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

Bloomberg Promoted for 'Veepstakes'

May 25 (EIRNS)—Following the Lazard Frères-controlled New York magazine's May 22 promotion of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a Vice Presidential candidate for either a Democratic or Republican nominee, syndicated columnist David S. Broder put his two cents in, with a Sunday piece entitled, "Let the Veepstakes Begin." After mentioning some lesser-known prospects, Broder writes, "Still, given the low state of the Republican Party, McCain might want to take a bolder leap, bidding for independent votes with someone such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg or another business executive who could reinforce his reformer credentials."

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