From Volume 36, Issue 47 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 4, 2009
The Dubai Crisis of Financial Europe:
The Copenhagen Horror!
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
November 28, 2009 It was Thanksgiving Day 2009, which caught the U.S.A. sleeping: the day western Europe threatened to be overtaken by an echo of Autumn 1923 Germany--from Dubai! Only that relative handful of competent economists who have mastered the lesson of my ``Triple Curve'' function, could really understand both the causes for, or real alternatives for, and the panic presently associated with that fantasy-world known as Euro-land. Nonetheless, the least that even the usually ill-advised, rather pompous sort of both economists and statesmen of western and central Europe should have recognized, is that they can not continue down the road to the Copenhagen Summit, and, also, expect to avoid an early appointment in a virtual economic and demographic, planetary Hell. The present international monetary crisis signaled by Europe's recent Dubai-Afghanistan crisis typifies this situation.
I explain, summarily...
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Nov. 23 (EIRNS)A nationwide study, by the charity Meals on Wheels, found that 6 million, or 10% of U.S. seniors went hungry last year. Following a 2008 study of the entire population, this year's report focussed on the elderly. They found that those at greatest risk were among minorities, women, and the less-educated. While hunger was worse in rural locations and in the South, the largest increases in absolute numbers were in the cities. Income was a factor, but 62% of the hungry are actually above the poverty line. Showing the gaunt face of the crisis, the study found that having an infant or young child in the household also increased the likelihood of seniors going hungry, as scarce food was given to the young.
In New York City, the number of people seeking emergency food assistance is up 20.9% over last year, according to a study by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Despite reporting an increase in (FEMA and other) aid, AP reported that shelters found that demand was still outstripping supply.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)While the international financial meltdown continues to be discussed in terms of a state budget crisis, statistics formerly reserved for so-called Third World countries, in unemployment, nutrition, and food security, make their appearance in America's wealthiest cities. Exemplary is the case of Los Angeles, where one in eight residents faces hunger every day, according to the Jewish Federation's "Blueprint to Reduce Hunger in Los Angeles."
The Blueprint reports that in L.A. County:
Local food pantries are seeing a 50% increase in clients. Only 10% of people who are going hungry every day are homeless; 50% of seniors do not have enough money to buy adequate food; 25% of children are food insecure. The number of people utilizing emergency food services has increased by 41% over 2008, with at least one in six people receiving food aid was identified as never having received assistance in the past. The number of people receiving food stamps is at an all-time high of 750,000. An obesity epidemic has reached 55% of adults and 25% of children; diabetes and high blood pressure/cholesterol have become rapidly growing diseases in low-income communities. This is due to lack of grocery store supermarkets in impoverished regions.
With California statewide unemployment reaching 12.7%, officially, and an already $21 billion budget deficit projected for the next fiscal year, the future of programs comprising the already stressed social safety net remains in jeopardy.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)The collapse of state budgets, which is already destroying California's government outright, and threatening the same to a half-dozen other states, is going to get much worse for another two years. That is projected in a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
The dimensions of the projected collapse facing the governments of states and cities in FY2010-12 is even more notable, in that the EPI report's stated premise is that the Obama "stimulus" act has been a great success and the U.S. is now in an economic recovery! Yet what it is projecting, illustrates economist Lyndon LaRouche's assessment that the economy went over the cliff in October, and is plunging toward "dark age" conditions under Obama's policies.
The EPI report projects that during the three fiscal years from 2010 (which began July 1, 2009) to 2012, state and city governments will have suffered a total of $600 billion in budget revenue shortfalls ($500 billion for states, and $100 billion for localities), of which they calculate about $140 billion is being offset by "stimulus" aid in fiscal year 2010. States have been forced to cut programs continually from their FY2010 budgets, by shortfalls of about $110 billion, nationwide, after the Federal aid is counted in. That aid does not continue after FY2010, so EPI uses the report to demand a new "stimulus"/jobs billclearly rejected by the Obama White House.
For FY2011-12, the report projects another $250 billion in state budget shortfalls and $80 billion in cities. Compare that, to the magnitude of all the states' budgets over that two-year period if the financial and economic crash had not occurred: roughly $700 billion. Thus the Federal states as a whole are facing a further shortfall in FY2011-12 which averages 35% of the budget in each state. This will mean an existential collapse of government, with many "Californias" and worse, unless the direction of the entire economy is reversed by the financial bankruptcy reorganization and new credit system measures LaRouche is fighting for.
Nov. 23 (EIRNS)The Democratic debacle in the Nov. 3 gubernatorial elections, due to economic collapse, unemployment, and popular rejection of White House policies, is going to be evident again in Democratic primaries prior to the 2010 elections, warned a senior AFL-CIO labor leader today. Tea Party demonstrations may give way to mass labor demonstrations against Obama policies by the Spring, he said.
Some Democrats are dropping out before primariessix-term Congressman Dennis Moore of Kansas City quit today; Texas Senate candidate Tom Schieffer quit Nov. 21; U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd is so far behind in Connecticut that he may be asked to quit by the party.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), speaking in desperate tones about the economic collapse at the California Democratic Central Committee meeting last week, said that the African American community throughout the country was on the brink of losing the most basic elements of civilized society: shelter, jobs, food; and that one had to quadruple the official unemployment statistics to get a more accurate picture of the crisis in African American communities. The Cleveland Plain Dealer on Nov. 21, describing the jobless depression and despair in that city, reported that the average jobless American, nationwide, has been without work for more than half a yearby far the longest since the U.S. Labor Department started keeping records in 1948.
The "stimulus" act has failed to create jobs, and the Dec. 3 "jobs summit," called for by Obama before he headed for Asian misadventures, looks like a "jobs? Shove it!" instead. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the Wall Street Journal Nov. 23 that the White House opposes any Congressional jobs or infrastructure bill, wants to "hold down the deficit," and wants no further stimulus legislation.
The AFL-CIO leader pointed out that states have been using Federal "stimulus" aid mainly to steal jobs from other states, to draw away their major employers by offering bigger tax breaks. South Carolina spent $3 billion to get Boeing to move a major production line there from Washington; and Kentucky got Harley-Davidson to move from Pennsylvania.
As for the "jobs summit," the labor leader described it as a joke, and said there has been no word to labor or industry as to what it will discuss. Ironically, he noted, a labor-business alliance is developingagainst Obama! He told of being turned down by "too busy" Obama after two personal appeals, backed by Senators and a Cabinet official, for Obama to make a meaningful Presidential visit to a major machine-tool jobs city which has been swept by job losses. Labor has no access to this "Democratic" White House, he said.
Global Economic News
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)In a clinical case of today's reigning economic lunacy, the Financial Times Deutschland today carries the front-page headline, "Upswing Almost Unstoppable," with a glowing picture of a golden 2010 and a blue sky with rays behind it. It refers to German economists, who predict that, from January on, everything will become better, with 2.5% growth to come.
It is suspected, that the only industry to which these figures might eventually apply, is the pharmaceutical industry.
Right next to this article is one on the state bailout of WestLB, Germany's third-largest state bank. It is bankrupt, and was only saved by the decision of SOFFIN, the state financial rescue committee, to jump in. WestLB, with a balance sheet of EU254 billion, was considered to be "too big to fail." Before this, the state had only intervened with the private banks Commerzbank and Hypo Real Estate.
The owners of WestLB are the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and public NRW savings & loans banks. WestLB is now creating a "bad bank" in which to dump EU85 billion in toxic paper, which is the result of its highly speculative activities over many years. For that, it is taking EU3 billion from the "healthy part" to cover for upcoming writeoffs into the bad bank. For further writeoffs, up to EU17.5 billion, the "owners" have to give a guaranteei.e., the taxpayers and the S&Ls' clients. For the "good bank," SOFFIN is providing EU3 billion (the same amount that is being put into the bad bank) for the core capital.
All of this is being used to finally abolish the Landesbanken (state-owned banks), which are at the same time under attack from the EU, which is demanding step-wise privatization. Thus, the former instrument of the S&Ls/state bank system, which was designed as an important credit instrument for regional and state development, is being eliminated.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, has been in France for several days, campaigning for coming austerity budgets as head of the IMF, but also trying to use his IMF "competence" to become the Socialist Party candidate in the 2012 Presidential elections.
Yesterday, he was the guest of a conference organized by the Financial Times at the Inter-Allied Circle. He will be on national TV today and has given interviews to the main dailies, Le Figaro and Le Monde. Today, in Le Figaro's economics section, he put out the line that "the financial crisis is more or less under control," but that "it is only during the Summer of 2010 that unemployment will begin to contract in Europe and in the United States."
Despite this so-called good news, Strauss-Kahn insists that the U.S. should not drop its stimulus packages and other aid, because "we don't believe in a new collapse, but we cannot exclude it completely, either." He said that as soon as the upswing is secured, governments will have to adopt austerity packages to reduce deficits and debt. Finally, the IMF boss, while not using the term "Glass-Steagall," indicated that he is against splitting banks into investment and commercial bankswhich the FDR-era Glass-Steagall Act did in the United States, until it was repealed in 1999. "I support the objective of limiting risks, but, if the investment part of the bank is well supervised and if it pays an insurance premium, then the value in separating the banks in two, is less," he said. Strauss-Kahn believes that banks large enough to cause a systemic risk if they fail, should have to pay a large tax.
United States News Digest
Nov. 29 (EIRNS)The Nov. 28 New York Times lead editorial, thrashing President Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for running an amateur hour foreign policy, has triggered a firestorm of attacks against the White House advisor. Dozens of blogs picked up on the significance of the editorial's exposé of Emanuel's role in wrecking U.S. peace initiatives in the Middle East. Other attack fronts have been opened against Emanuel, including over his scheming to oust White House General Counsel Greg Craig, who made the fatal mistake of believing Obama's campaign rhetoric against the Bush-Cheney unitary executive policy, the commitment to shut down Guantanamo, and expose the torture policies of the previous regime.
Another major blow to the Obama Presidency was delivered Nov. 23, when CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric indicted Obama's failures on almost every policy front, from Afghanistan, to health care, to jobs. Citing recent polls that showed the President's approval rating below 50%; that only 14% of Americans believe health-care reform will be cost-neutral; and 7% believe that the stimulus created jobs. Couric also nailed the President for incompetence during his recent Asia trip, where no advance agreements were made, and the trip was seen widely as a total bust.
The Chicago press continues to attack Obama's "Chicago mob" for bringing the Daley style of shallow, brutal, back-stabbing politics to Washington, always singling out the troika of Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett as the hatchet team.
Nov. 29 (EIRNS)Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, has joined British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in upstaging President Barack Obama, on the eve of the latter's Dec. 1 West Point address to the nation, announcing his strategy for Afghanistan. Petraeus was interviewed in today's edition of Parade magazine.
Petraeus spelled out his own Afghanistan strategy, insisting that there must be a major buildup of special operations forces, to wage a counterinsurgency war that will last for a decade or more. Petraeus described in graphic detail, how such war must be fought, village by village, because, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan has no real central government. Petraeus proposed that, with U.S. troop strength in Iraq scheduled to be reduced from the current level of 120,000 to 50,000 by August 2010, many of those soldiers can be redeployed to Afghanistan. Petraeus claimed that he had the full commitment of Defense Secretary Robert Gates to expand the size of the special operations forces, to meet the Afghan requirements.
The Petraeus interview will undoubtedly send President Obama through the ceiling. According to sources close to the White House, the President went berserk after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's announcement on Nov. 28 that he would be convening a London conference on Jan. 28, 2010, to set forth a "political" strategy for withdrawing foreign forces from Afghanistana clear slap at Obama, who has been building up for his West Point speech. No one, especially a narcissist like Obama, enjoys being upstaged, particularly, at a moment when support for his Presidency is tanking. And, from the other side of the pond, Queen Elizabeth II, herself, declared at the Commonwealth heads of state meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 27, that it is time for the Commonwealth to emerge from the shadows and assert global leadership in its own name. That was tantamount to a political kiss of death for Obama from the British Royals.
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, led a delegation composed mostly of members of the Appropriations Committee, to Afghanistan and the Middle East earlier this week, which met with Gen. Stanley McCrystal and Amb. Karl Eikenberry. Murtha's opposition to a military escalation in Afghanistan is well-known: Recently, he told The Hill that he does not see an "achievable goal" in Afghanistan. "I do not see a strategy and how we can measure it," he said.
Meanwhile, The Hill also reports that Senate Appropriations Committee head Daniel Inouye (D-Hi.) wants any more Afghanistan war funds to be "fully considered and debated" by the Senate and House Armed Services Committees (the authorizing committees)which, The Hill notes, is likely to trigger a divisive Congressional debate over Afghanistan policy. The authorizing committees have already approved $130 billion in overseas contingency funds as part of the 2010 defense authorization. The Senate and House are now negotiating the final 2010 bill. Inouye says any additional funding will have to be debated by the committees "unless you want us to be a rubber stamp," adding, "I was not elected for that."
Lyndon LaRouche commented that the initiatives of Murtha and Inouye represent a voice of sanity in a madhouse.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)The composition of the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, announced by President Obama on Nov. 24, suggests that it will be another center of British genocide policy in the Administration. Its appointed leadership has credentials that suggest it comes from the Planet of the Apes.
Named to head the Commission is Amy Guttmann, currently president of the University of Pennsylvania. Guttmann came to Penn in 2004 from Princeton, where she was the founding director of the University Center for Human Values. What a misnomer! The center was established by Laurence Rockefeller in 1990, to advance his agenda of "conservation" and environmentalism, which included his affiliation with Prince Philip's genocidal World Wildlife Find and the Environmental Defense Fund. During her tenure as head of the Center, Guttmann supervised the search for someone to fill the Bioethics chair, and came up with the euthanasia-promoter, apes-are-more-human-than-people Peter Singer. In the uproar that followed Singer's appointment, Guttmann defended him by saying, as reported in the New York Times April 10, 1999, "the letters said there was nobody better in the world than Singer." What then can we expect of Guttmann, who is now charged with supervising the ethics of scientific research, health-care delivery, and technological innovation?
Guttmann's number two will be Dr. James Wagner, currently head of Emory University. While no direct connection has yet been established, it should be noted that Emory is the home of the renowned Yerkes National Primate Research Center.
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)A new Gallup/USA Today poll of women 35-75 years of age found that 76% of these women Strongly Disapprove (47%) and Disapprove (29%) of the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study that says mammograms are "unnecessary" before age 50while admitting that screening saves lives.
The poll also shows that American women believe the Obama Administration is putting money above human life. Asked if the study was based on a "fair assessment of risks" or the potential for "cost savings," 76% answered "cost savings," while only 16% believe the study had a scientific basis. And for women aged 49 and under, 84% plan to have their next mammogram before the age of 50. Since the report came out, "thousands and thousands and thousands" of women have become activated against this atrocity, reported Nancy Brinker, a breast cancer survivor, and founder of the organization "Race for the Cure," after her sister died of breast cancer.
Ibero-American News Digest
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Greenpeace is an appendage of the British Foreign Office and Prince Philip's malthusian World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and is out to sabotage Argentina's nuclear energy program. This was the message delivered by Argentine economist Carlos Andrés Ortíz, in an opinion piece published Oct. 30 in the daily Corrientes Opina, under the headline "Greenpeace Lies, in Service to the Crown."
Greenpeace, described by Ortíz as the "Taliban of ecologism," launched a hysterical attack on the government-backed bill submitted to Congress, authorizing the construction of a fourth nuclear plant, extending the operating life of the existing Embalse nuclear plant in Córdoba, and completing the small prototype 25 MW CAREM reactor, built entirely with Argentine technology.
After the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill Oct. 28, Greenpeace's local director, Juan Carlos Villalonga, accused the government of lying about a worldwide resurgence of state-financed nuclear energy, and demanded massive development of windmills instead.
Villalonga's rantings are what you'd expect from an organization whose founding was consecrated by the zero-growth-promoting Club of Rome, Ortíz responded, and whose financiers include the Anglo-Dutch oil conglomerate, Royal Dutch Shell. Under the guise of protecting the environment, Ortíz added, Greenpeace's real goal is to ensure that no developing nation ever emerges from "chronic underdevelopment."
The Argentine Senate voted the nuclear energy bill into law on Nov. 25, declaring that continued building of nuclear plants is a matter of "national interest" and of "strategic importance."
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Since its creation in February 2008, the Argentine-Brazilian Binational Commission on Nuclear Energy (COBEN) has met eight times and approved 30 joint projects in the areas of nuclear reactors, the nuclear fuel cycle, regulatory activities, training of personnel, and particularly, nuclear applications to medicine.
COBEN's founding was a joint initiative of Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Brazilian President Lula da Silva. Among the binational projects they envision is the construction of two nuclear reactors, one in each country, to be built over the next four years. Technological know-how will be shared, along with engineering costs.
Given the devastating effects of a year-long drought, which has destroyed crops and cattle in both countries, on top of the massive electricity blackout which hit Brazil Nov. 9, the two Presidents placed a renewed emphasis on nuclear energy when they met in Brazil on Nov. 18. Lula's government is committed to completing the Angra-3 plant, and is selecting sites for four more reactors.
The country's nuclear lobby is also organizing. On Nov. 24, a congressional hearing on Brazil's nuclear program announced the creation of a "Multiparty Parliamentary Committee in Defense of Brazil's Nuclear Program." Both government and private-sector entities tied to the nuclear industry have organized seminars on the benefits of nuclear energy development for both engineering and industry.
Aside from gearing up its own nuclear industry, Argentina is playing a crucial role in supplying Brazil with molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the medical isotope previously supplied by Canada's National Universal Reactor (NRU) at Chalk River, which was shut down in May of this year. During their meeting, Presidents Lula and Fernández de Kirchner signed an agreement by which Argentina's National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) will increase its production of Mo-99 in order to supply Brazil with 150 Ci (curies) weekly, allowing Brazil to cover more than a third of its internal demand.
Western European News Digest
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)The head of the U.K. Independent Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, who is also a member of the European Union Parliament, ripped into Baroness Patty Ashton (the newly appointed Foreign Affairs Secretary of the EU under the Lisbon Treaty), as a perfect puppet for those who are imposing dictatorship over Europe through the EU. Farage's public exposure of her character and the push for dictatorship was denounced by the EU leaders, who tried unsuccessfully to silence him.
Farage called Herman van Rompuy, who will be the first EU president, a "pygmy," but added that "at least he's an elected politician, unlike Baroness Ashton. She has never had a proper job, and has never been elected to anything in her life, so I guess she's perfect for this European Union. She married well, she married an advisor and a friend and a supporter of Tony Blair and got put in the House of Lords. When she was put in the House of Lords she was given one big job, and that job was to get the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords, and to do so pretending that it was entirely different from the EU Constitutionand she vigorously crushed any attempt in the House of Lords for the British people to have a referendum."
Farage reported that Ashton had been treasurer of the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a Soviet-backed organization, and challenged her to explain her role in taking contributions from communists and from the U.S.S.R.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Of 40 million officially listed jobs in Germany, only 23.5 million are full-time jobs, the other 16.5 million are part-time or so-called "mini-jobs." Of those 40 million jobs in total, only 5 million are industrial jobs. The figures are from the IAB, the German Institute for Labor Market Research.
The situation will certainly not be helped by the planned GM jobs cuts. The various GM firms in Europe employ about 52,000 people, half of whom are in Germany. GM Europe leader Nick Reilly, of Britain, announced that at least 9,500 jobs will be cut, with production capacity to be reduced by 20%. All German production sites supposedly will be kept, but at least 5,300 jobs will be eliminated. There is talk, that since the British government promised money, jobs there might be saved.
In Sweden, the potential buyer of the GM/Saab cars factory, the Königsegg Group, pulled out of negotiations yesterday. The reason given was the stalling in the takeover process. Negotiations had been going on since June, and no final arrangement has been reached, even though the financing was solved, Königsegg said on Swedish TV yesterday. Now there is wide speculation over whether GM will close the plant altogether. The other option is that some Chinese interests would come in.
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stated yesterday that "we cannot keep six plants open in Italy." "With our six plants in Italy, we produce the equivalent of what is produced in one [Fiat] plant in Brazil," Marchionne said, making it clear that he is pushing globalization. What he doesn't say is that Fiat is more "productive" in Brazil, because Brazilian wages are a fraction of Italian wages.
The Fiat plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily is targetted for closure, although both the government and trade unions are against it. The closure would directly involve 1,400 workers and at least as many in the supply industry. Whereas it is true that Sicilian infrastructure is part of the "productivity" problem, in the next years this will change, with the government plans for transport and energy infrastructure investments, which include the Messina Bridge, the extension of the high-speed rail line, and nuclear power.
So, the issue is, what plans should be implemented, to preserve the machine-tool capability, production lines, and skilled labor of the Fiat plants in Sicily.
PARIS, Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Libération editor Laurent Joffrin writes today in his editorial, that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's strategy to use his position as IMF managing director to become President of France is not likely to succeed. It is impossible to win a Presidential election in France "without entering the arena," and by "just descending on the country from Mount Olympus." More important is to seize the event: "The event is the bankruptcy of a system which is all-financial, the demand for renewal, the need for more humanity in a society too cruel and unjust. Competence will not suffice either. Who wants to replace a compulsive manager with a more prudent one? What is necessary is a realist dream, enthusiasm in action. That's not exactly what one learns at the IMF."
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)Former U.K. Ambassador to the U.S., Christopher Meyer, testified today before the Chilcot Commission investigating former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his administration's maneuvers around the Iraq War, and pinpointed Blair's meeting with former President Bush at the Crawford Ranch in April 2002, as a crucial turning point toward deciding to go to war.
The Telegraph reported that it had received heretofore secret papers showing that Blair repeatedly lied to the public, throughout the planning for the Iraq War, claiming that no war was being prepared. The newspaper surmises that the secrecy and duplicity resulted in "haste" and "blunders"such as no planning for how to handle the occupation, or any way out of Iraq, and under-provisioning of troops.
The Telegraph reports that "formation-level planning for a deployment took place from February 2002." But Blair told a House of Commons inquiry July 16, 2002, that though military action could not be ruled out, no British military preparations were going on.
Nov. 26, (EIRNS)Europe's small milk producers continue to face extinction. The small milk producers union, APLI, blocked the site of the laboratories of the milk industry two days ago in Bretagne to force negotiations on prices. APLI was rejected as a partner in any negotiations with the government. On Nov. 23, French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the green light for Bruno LeMaire's corporatist scheme of "contract-based market organization mechanism." APLI and others defend the adoption of an EU-wide parity price on milk and the creation of a European Milk Office controlled by unions and governments, to be placed in charge of imposing regulations on production and distribution.
None of those alleged "improvements" on the milk product marketwhere prices that the consumer has to pay for butter, cheese, and yogurt have gone up by 20% or morehave been to the benefit of the dairy farmers. In Germany for example, farmers receive 2-3 cents more per delivered liter at the dairies, which gives them 22-23 cents per liter nowstill 15 cents below the minimum they would have to get, to reach the parity price level.
Dairy farmers are continuing protests in many places, with bigger rallies reported from Ulm and Trostberg, where, on Nov. 23, several hundred protesters showed up.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
Nov. 23 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's address to the ruling United Russia national congress Nov. 21 focused on how Russia must, and can, break from its current backward economy, and carry out the program for "all-round modernization" which President Dmitri Medvedev had presented to the same conferenceand several times previously in recent months, to the Russian nation.
Russia will modernize by developing its "science-intensive sectors," both internally and in international cooperation, and by reviving neglected science and education. Russia will now create 14 research universities and "continue working to create powerful competitive research centres," Putin said.
There are still some forces in Russia, Lyndon LaRouche commented today, "which are associated with renegades of our association," who hate this policy which Putin is again laying out, and who hate LaRouche. These former members of the LaRouche association got into bed with certain Anglo-German forces and work for them, and this coincides with certain groups in Russia who are opposed to the policy stated by Putin, LaRouche explained.
In his remarks to the United Russia meeting, Putin noted that "perhaps the best indicator" of progress made to date in Russia "is demographics, ... a litmus test of the state of society." In contrast to the drastic spiking of the death rate and crash of the birth rate in the 1990s, for now, at least, the demographic dynamics mean that the population has stabilized, Putin said.
Yet the crisis is far from over, he said. Russia must now save and modernize its "systemically important enterprises," produce high-tech exports, and take action in key social areas, including housing construction and serious unemployment, especially in the hard-hit single-industry cities.
Russia must shift its emphasis: The economy based on commodity exports and cheap foreign credit "is practically exhausted." Russia must "identify and support a genuinely competitive nucleus in the real sector of the economy. We have such a nucleus," he said, but the country will have to go through the "painful processes" necessary to optimize its industrial and labor capacities.
Putin also emphasized the importance of various infrastructure projects, including in the critical Northeast sector covered by the recent Russia-China accords.
Russia will focus on its "science-intensive sectors," domestically and in international trade, he said. These include the civilian space programs, the nuclear industry, aviation, and the defense industry, traditionally "one of the drivers of technological progress in Russia.... Science and education are among our undoubted priorities." He laid out major new investments in science education, including the creation of new research centers, with one "recently formed on the basis of the Kurchatov Institute," the nuclear institute founded in 1943 as Russia's Manhattan Project, and since then its key source of nuclear technology.
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Putin's two-day visit to France, centered on energy cooperation, began with a dinner in Rambouillet with French Prime Minister François Fillon and many French businessmen. The visit, which takes place in the context of the 14th Franco-Russian inter-governmental economic seminar, was expected to work out new energy deals with France's energy giants such as Electricité de France (EDF) and Gaz de France-Suez (GDF), but also deals for the car industry and the shipbuilding.
The French companies project becoming partners in two major gas pipelines, North Stream (German-Russian project headed by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder), which goes under the Baltic Sea, and South Stream (Italian and Russian project) which goes from Russia under the Black Sea into Greece and Austria. Both projects avoid crossing Ukraine and Belarus.
In December 2008, Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller asked GDF-Suez to participate in North Stream, and the company anticipates taking a 9% share into the project. The outgoing CEO of EDF, Pierrer Gadonneix, has been heavily involved in increasing Russian gas imports into the EU. His successor, Henri Proglio, will follow the same policy and EDF could take a 10% share in South Stream. The French oil company Total could also sign a memorandum of collaboration to work with Russia in one of its most strategic projects: the development of its gas reserves in the Iamal peninsula in the North. Putin has succeeded in convincing the European countries to support, or at least not oppose, his projects, writes Le Monde. Gérard Mestrallet, the CEO of GDF-Suez, declared that Russia is an indispensable partner for the Europe's future.
Southwest Asia News Digest
Nov. 28 (EIRNS)Al-Bayan, the main Arabic daily in Dubai, published an article by "the representative of the international LaRouche Movement in Sweden," Hussein Askary, under the title "Human Thought as a Universal Geological Factor." The article is a commentary on an earlier piece, published simultaneously in Al-Bayan and the Bahraini daily Al-Waqt Nov. 2, by Bahraini author Abdul-Jalil Al-Nuaimi, who mercilessly attacked the free-market system and invoked both V.I. Vernadsky and Lyndon LaRouche on the solution for the current world financial crisis, in the form of shutting down the "monetarist system" and returning to what LaRouche describes as "physical economy," and agreements among sovereign nation-states to establish a Hamiltonian system.
Askary, who welcomed Al-Nuaimi's call in his article, clarifies certain mistaken concepts about the relationship between man and nature which Al-Nuaimi made in describing Vernadsky's Noösphere concept. Askary also expands on how LaRouche ("The last survivor of the school of physical economy") incorporated Vernadsky's concepts into his own idea of physical economy, and how that enabled him to both forecast the demise of the current system, and also present the solution to the current world financial/economic crisis, and the building of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, and the Oasis Plan for greening the desert.
It is ironic (if not planned) that this article appears as the world is discussing the demise of the Dubai bubble. Al-Bayan, which is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Al-Maktoum's family, is still stubbornly resisting the idea that the Dubai bubble is finished, and attacks Western media for exaggerating the magnitude of the credit and debt default crisis.
Al-Bayan has boycotted LaRouche since the British Foreign Office and the Bush Administration's State Department threatened the United Arab Emirates, as the preparations for the invasion of Iraq were under way in January/February 2003, to stop any positive cooperation with LaRouche and his representatives after LaRouche's groundbreaking visit to Abu Dhabi in May 2002, to address the international conference on "Oil in World Politics," hosted by the Zayed Center. The Zayed Center itself was shut down through pressure from the British and the George W. Bush Administration immediately after the Iraq invasion.
LaRouche, in his speech to that conference, brought to the attention of his high-level audience, his forecast of the collapse of the current system, and also his solution. He proposed that the nations of the region use their oil and financial resources to develop infrastructure, nuclear-powered water desalination, greening of the desert, and world-class petrochemical industries. None of this was done; instead pies in the sky were built and sold to suck the region and the world into the British game.
Nov. 29 (EIRNS)Prior to the announcement Nov. 25 that Dubai is asking for a six-month "debt standstill" on Dubai World's debt, Sheikh Mohammad, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, was in London visiting Britain's most senior politicians.
On Nov. 22, Sheikh Mohammed wrote about his meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, commenting, according to the Sheikh's Twitter stream, "It's been a good day." During the visit, U.A.E. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also met Lord Peter Mandelson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The following day, Sheikh Mohammed met with Queen Elizabeth II, and visited the London Business School, where he was honored for his support of education.
On Nov. 24, the Sheikh visited the headquarters of the Conservative Party, where he and Tory leader David Cameron "exchanged views on the future direction of our countries' relationship ... [and] also discussed a number of other issues concerning the scale of investment, as well as economic and technical cooperation between our nations." The Sheikh then met with the chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce before visiting the British Museum.
Later in the day, a lavish reception was thrown by Lord Mayor of the City of London Nicholas Anstee, which was attended by (among others) Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; U.A.E. Foreign Minister Al Nahyan; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.K., Edward Anthony Oakden, U.K. Ambassador to the U.A.E., and a number of businessmen and economists from both countries.
This was the day that the debt moratorium was announced. Sheikh Mohammed said that the announcement had been "carefully planned in advance."
By Nov. 29, however, the situation shifted, and the United Arab Emirates banned all copies of the Sunday Times of London, because it had insulted Dubai's ruler.
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a partial ten-month settlement freeze that covers only the West Bank. It also allows for the thousands of houses under construction to be completed. The move is seen as a blow to the Palestinians by observers across the political spectrum. Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, stated that President Obama's Middle East policy has become "ridiculous."
U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell made a short televised statement saying the action falls short of a full settlement freeze, but it is more than any Israeli government has done before. He said he hoped it would lead to renewal of peace talks.
Beilin commented, "It's almost a joke to say that such a thing is a gesture to Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas]. Instead of preparing an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, we are making an agreement with the Americans behind their backs which is hurting Abu Mazen. The Americans are basically indirectly legitimizing construction in East Jerusalem, and this is something Abu Mazen will never be able to accept."
Ha'aretz commentator Akiva Eldar wrote that "no peace process will come out of it," because Abbas cannot accept it, since it entails no freeze in East Jerusalem and calls for the completion of 2,500 partially built houses. "The question," Eldar writes, "is what will be the response of Obama to this phony freeze."
Israeli Attorney Gen. Menachem Mazuz told the cabinet that, with only 14 housing inspectors, the so-called freeze is unenforceable.
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)Israeli Gen. Shlomo Brom (ret.) gave a briefing and took questions on a Nov. 23 teleconference sponsored by the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), in which he gave significant, but conditional, support to the plan put forward by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salem Fayyad to declare a Palestinian State by the end of 2011.
The topic of the IPF teleconference was to address President Obama's historically low approval rating in Israelonly 6%the lowest in recent times. The IPF had held a seminar in Israel to sound out different factions as to what Obama's problem is. Obama is seen as somebody who neither has yet, nor can get anything accomplishedwhether it is moving the peace process, or crushing the so-called Iranian "threat" to Israel.
Brom, the former head of military intelligence, and now a senior figure at the Jaffe Center, was one of the Israelis who had accused the U.S. and Britain of deliberately exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to justify war against Iraq. He is a supporter of an independent Palestinian state, for which he proposed that "provisional" borders be seriously discussed, but only in the context of providing a way forward to a final status agreement. The new Palestinian state should have the same area as the Palestinians had prior to June 4, 1967even though land swaps could be negotiated. But, he emphasized that the Fayyad Plan could not be successful without simultaneously moving negotiations forward.
And, in the blunt language for which he is known, Brom said it may be "cynical" to say, but, in his view, the reason that the Ariel Sharon government endorsed the Road Map of the so-called Quartet (United States, Russia, UN, EU), is that it never expected the Palestinian Authority to live up to the terms. But, "surprise, surprise," said Brom, they did, and now it is Israel's turn to live up to its endwhich included the end of settlementsthousands of which have been built since the Road Map was high on the agenda.
Another way to move forward is for President Obama to provide a letter of intent for the Palestinians, addressing some of their concerns, such as possibly changing borders from the June 4, 1967 line.
Asia News Digest
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)Three days before U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met today in Washington, Indian Vice President Mohamed Hamid Ansari called for an "active partnership between New Delhi and Beijing, and mutual sensitivity to each other's concerns [which] is thus vitally necessary if stability, security, and prosperity in the shared spaces in their near and distant neighborhood are to be effectively ensured." He was speaking at a Conference on Asian Relations organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi from Nov. 21-23,
Ansari quoted the assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who said, in 1988: "What must not be forgotten in a listing of differences is a listing of commonality in our [India's and China's] world outlook. There has been significant parallelism in the views expressed by India and China on a wide range of issues relating to world security, the international political order, the new international economic order, global concerns in regard to environment and space."
Ansari then said, "The joint vision of the leaderships in India and China is to ensure a global order in which our simultaneous development will have a positive impact for our peoples and economies, as also for the rest of the world," and cautioned that "community building in Asia should not be a reflection of the emerging redistribution of global or regional power nor should it be a platform for projection of narrow economic and political interests of a nation or group of nations."
He reminded the broader audience that "the global political and economic institutional framework has weakened and is evident in the diminished role and influence of bodies such as the United Nations, IMF, World Bank, and WTO. Nations have resorted to regional political and economic institutions to resolve problems and cooperate for mutual gain. This phenomenon is most visible in the economic arena."
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)China's Xinhua news service reported today that the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington did not resolve any disputed issues between the two countries. Although Obama and Singh signed a series of memoranda of understanding covering global security and anti-terrorism efforts, a green partnership, trade and agriculture, education, and health, the differences between the two countries remain, the article said.
Xinhua pointed out that India and the United States had reached a bilateral accord on civil nuclear cooperation during the tenure of President George W. Bush. "However, the accord is not yet in force, with the United States demanding India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Treaty for the Prohibition of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which India has refused. Many Indians also hold that the U.S. requirement that India place all its civil nuclear facilities under IAEA scrutiny represents an infringement of its sovereign rights," Xinhua said.
"The two countries also have disagreements about combatting terrorism in South Asia," Xinhua reported. "India hopes the United States will stop military assistance to Pakistan and press the Pakistani government to disband extremist groups which the Indians believe were behind last year's bomb attacks in Mumbai.... However, Obama's policy of linking Pakistan and Afghanistan strategically suggests continued cooperation with Pakistan and only agreement in principle on the Indian requirement to ban the Pakistani groups. The United States, in fact, appears to want to stay out of the dispute between India and Pakistan regarding the Mumbai bombings."
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)Fr. Jun Mercado, who has been at the center of Christian/Muslim relations in the Philippines for many years, and served for several years at Justitia et Pax in the Vatican, issued a report on the Nov. 23 massacre of over 60 people in the Maguindanao Province in the southern island of Mindanao, pointing directly to the Gloria Arroyo Administration as complicit in the carnage. Mercado was earlier offered a Cabinet level position in the Arroyo Administration, as a government representative to the Islamic community, but he refused the offer.
The Ampatuan clan, which has a lock on the government of both Maguindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), is being held responsible for the mass murder of members of the opposing Mangudadatu clan, who were filing papers for one of their members to run for governor. The clan has delivered the region to Arroyo and her party (through notorious vote fraud), in every election since 2001.
Mercado writes: "The convergence of the political and electoral agenda of President Arroyo and the Ampatuans is well known both in the national and local levels." He notes that the government's Commission on Elections" (Comelec) had moved its headquarters three weeks earlier to the provincial capital of Maguindanaoknown to be controlled by the Ampatuan clan's private army. "Comelec cannot feign ignorance of these realities nor wash its hands in the ensuing mass murder," writes Mercado.
The caravan delivering the registration of candidacy was made up of mostly lawyers, and journalists, including women, on the expectation that Muslims would not murder women or outside observers. Requests to the National Police and the Armed Forces for military escort were denied. The caravan was then "stopped by forces of the Philippine National Police, accompanied by hundreds of armed civilian volunteer organizations under the command of the National Police," writes Mercado. The caravan was directed to a pit which had been dug with provincial engineering equipment, and the slaughter began, "with so much brutality that can only be compared to victims of savage animals in the wild."
Arroyo is frantically trying to distance herself from the atrocity, and has granted Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno sweeping authority to exercise administrative control over the region, including the power to suspend all officials who may have had a role in the crime, including members of the Ampatuan clan. Although several leading Ampatuans have been arrested, Arroyo is acting cautiously, as the trials could bring out the buying of the elections and other crimes under the Ampatuan/Arroyo alliance.
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)South Korea and Mongolia are preparing a plan whereby Seoul will take responsibility for the development of an area of Mongolia almost as large as South Korea itself. The area is now underpopulated and without significant infrastructure. Korea will build transportation, water, power, and other basic infrastructure, as well as agricultural and industrial projects around newly created cities. A Mongolian delegation will be in Seoul in early December to move the project forward.
Mongolia is part of The Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI), which includes China, North and South Korea, and Russia, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other donors, aimed at integrating the infrastructural development of Northeast Asia. Mongolia is also engaged in bilateral projects with Russia and China. South Korea is in discussion with Russia on joint development of Russia's Far East, but stalled relations with North Korea are holding back agreements on pipelines and transport routes.
Nov. 28 (EIRNS)Six retired senior military officers have joined the opposition Puea Thai Party, saying that Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, who also has a military background, is partly to blame for the deep-rooted divisions in Thai society. This comes close to identifying the Crown's role in the turmoil of the past years, since the 2006 military coup against the very popular Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Lt. Gen. Udom Ketprom (ret.), former chief of staff of the Lop Buri Special Warfare Command, said the group will expose the real cause of the political rift in Thailand. It has been widely acknowledged that royalist General Prem Tinsulanonda was the mastermind of the coup that ousted Shinawatra in 2006.
Udom and the other five retired officersall of whom previously served at the Special Warfare Commandspoke at a press conference where key party members were present, including Gen. Panlop Pinmanee, former deputy head of the Internal Security Operations Command.
Since September, over 50 of ousted Premier Thaksin's former classmates from the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School joined Puea Thai, after retiring from the service. Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh (ret.), who was Thailand's Prime Minister from 1996-97, joined the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party in November, and soon became its official chief advisor.
Africa News Digest
Nov. 28 (EIRNS)Advocates of the British system of globalization are projecting a 50% increase in civil wars in Africa by 2030, wars which City of London financial interests hope will aid in perpetuating their imperial system. By blaming global warming, the British imperial interests are trying to create a smokescreen of supposedly objective reasons for the disasters that their policies have created in Africa.
This sophistry, which has been championed by the City of London's The Economist, is now being given credibility by a team of researchers from Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, New York University, and Harvard, who have issued a report which purports to scientifically prove that "Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades...."
Conflicts over diminishing resources such as water and pasture land in areas presently afflicted by drought, such as Kenya, are said to be just the beginning of a "new era of climate-driven conflict in Africa."
The vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenyan Prof. Richard Odingo, said that Northern Kenya could become a repeat of the Darfur conflict, as drought leads to conflict between ranchers and farmers. Since at least 2006, Odingo has been an advocate of the view that poverty can't be solved until climate change is stopped.
The lack of economic development resulting from conditions imposed by the British, forces people into easily manipulated conflicts, whether or not they live in marginal areas, because they are desperate to survive, something the British and their academic lackeys blithely ignore in their propaganda.
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