LaRouche's Emergency Plan for January 2010
by Nancy Spannaus
Dec. 30In the immediate aftermath of the crushing defeat delivered to the British Empire at the December Copenhagen Summit, Lyndon LaRouche called for an emergency mobilization to ram through the crucial measures required to bring the United States into collaboration with the three sovereign powersChina, Russia, and Indiawhich defied the Empire.
Those measures fall into four steps: 1) bankruptcy reorganization; 2) emergency protective measures for the U.S. population; 3) a massive employment program to rebuild U.S. infrastructure; and 4) linking up with China, Russia, and India in their ongoing collaboration to rebuild the planet. We review the Constitutional basis, and necessity, for each of these measures, below.
Put together, this emergency program amounts to a patriotic defense of the United States from what has been a 60-plus year process of subversion, and attack, by the British Empire of finance. It has to be fought for in that fashion, because the life of our nation depends upon its implementation....
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Jan. 2 (EIRNS)An analysis of state data collected by the New York Times found that approximately 6 million Americans report no income other than the monthly food stamp allotment that they receive, a number that has increased by 50% in the past two years. About 1 in 50 people, the Times reports, lives in a household that has no other income than the food stamp card. This population ranges from once-high flyers who were brought down by the real estate bust, to ex-cons who can't find work and live in homeless shelters, and everyone in between. Because of the welfare reform of the mid-1990s, cash assistance is very difficult to come by, so food stamps have become the safety net of last resort.
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)While the financial press are trying to make something good out of the fact that housing prices have stabilized a bit, the stench in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Nevada can't be covered up. Las Vegas prices, according to S&P/Case-Shiller, declined for the 38th consecutive month in October, down 55.4% from their peak in August 2006. Nevada has been either first or near the top in foreclosures for two years.
Reid has taken pride in his role in bringing Dubai World and MGM together to build the world's biggest casino complex, City Center in Las Vegas, which just opened this month, an $11 billion, 68-acre project, the largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United States. Although it employs 12,000 (in useless work), that hasn't budged the state's 12.3% unemployment rate.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)As the physical economy collapses and unemployment soars, the hedge fund "industry" boomed again in 2009, showing where all the bailout money went. According to data released by Hedge Fund Research, the average hedge fund returned 19% to investors in 2009, with the largest funds gaining up to 60%.
For instance, Citadel, the Chicago-based hedge fund giant ($13 billion assets), has seen its flagship Kensington Global Strategies fund rebound close to 60% this year. Citadel and other funds have exploited pricing discrepancies between corporate convertible debt (bonds) and equity (shares). In other words, they have bet on stocks, and in so doing, have leveraged the stock market's inflation. The average return for funds which followed that strategy has been more than 56% in 2009. At the top, the London-based GLG Partners ($14 billion assets managed) has seen its equity market neutral fund return 77.8%.
Global Economic News
Dec. 27 (EIRNS)Science and technology are "key to China's economic development," Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Dec. 27, in an interview with the government news agency Xinhua.
Historically, financial crises have always brought about technological revolution, Wen said. "The key to conquer the global economic crisis lies in people's wisdom and the power of science and technology."
Wen also said:
* China will not yield to pressure to revalue its currency, the yuan, or renminbi, in any form. "A stable Chinese currency is conducive to the international community," he said. Some countries demanded the yuan appreciation while practicing trade protectionism against China, said Wen, adding that this was aimed at checking China's development.
* China must fight for its right to further development, while addressing climate change issues. The fact that development is the top priority of developing nations must not be ignored.
* The goal of the nation's economic growth is to improve the people's well-being. He noted that the government had made great efforts to step up health-care infrastructure in both rural and urban areas. Reforms are also being made to make medicines more affordable.
* China will take measures to stabilize soaring housing prices and crack down on speculation.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)Under this headline, Britain's Daily Telegraph reports: "Lithuanians are braced for a devastating increase in energy prices when the struggling Baltic nation shuts down its main nuclear power station to comply with EU demands on New Year's Eve. Ignalina power station generates 70% of Lithuania's power output and its closure will force the country to fall back on its old master Russia to meet its domestic demand.
"Engineers are set to start shutting down the plant at 11 PM on December 31. Brussels regards the facility as a Chernobyl-sized threat and made its de-commissioning a condition of the country joining the European Union in 2004. But as a result, domestic fuel bills are projected to jump by 30% in 2010, a severe blow after the economy contracted by almost one-fifth in the last 12 months. Raimondas Kuodis, chief economist at Lithuania's central bank, said that soaring fuel bills would inflict further damage on the economy. 'A 30% hike in electricity prices will slash Gross Domestic Product by one percentage point and will increase inflation by almost one percentage point,' he explained.
"For many Lithuanians already battling rising unemployment and public spending cuts that have eaten into pensions and benefits, the higher fuel bills could prove intolerable." Moreover, "Lithuania and its Baltic peers Estonia and Latvia have not been fully integrated into European energy networks. Technical hurdles [make] importing energy from fellow EU states problematic. 'They are beginning to build inter-connectors to Sweden and other states, but isolation is still a real issue for them,' said Jerome Guillet, an energy consultant specializing in Central and Eastern Europe. 'This is something that Europe could have helped a bit more. Connections are being built but it takes time.'
"Lithuania plans to regain its domestic energy sufficiency by constructing of a new nuclear plant but cannot currently afford the £10 billion cost," the article ends.
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)Japan's net fertility rate has been below breakeven for a long time, but the drastic consequences are only now taking hold. Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry reports that only 1,069,000 babies were born last year, down 22,000 from the year before, while 1,144,000 Japanese died, a rise of 2,000. This has resulted in Japan's largest-ever natural population decline of 75,000. The number of deaths surpassed that of births for the third straight year. The population is now roughly 127 million.
Twenty is the age of majority in Japan, but the number reaching that age was at a record low of 1,270,000 in 2009, says the Internal Affairs Ministry, which began to collect such data in 1968. The 20-year-olds now represent 1% of the Japanese populationalso a record low ratio.
The Education Ministry reports that fully 13% of all public elementary and junior high school classrooms are no longer in use as classrooms. A ministry survey covered 460,000 classrooms, of which more than 61,000 are being used for other things. It expects the number of unused classrooms to further increase because of the continuing low birthrates, and will ask the boards of education to find other ways to use the classrooms.
United States News Digest
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)Citing prosecutorial misconduct, a Federal judge yesterday dismissed all criminal charges against five Blackwater contractors, growing out of the Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad in September 2007, in which Blackwater guards killed or wounded 35 Iraqi citizens in what was, reportedly, an unprovoked bloodbath. Blackwater has changed its name to Xe Services LLC.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said that Justice Department prosecutors had violated the Blackwater guards' constitutional right against self-incrimination, but utilizing statements that the guards had made, under compulsion, to State Department investigators. Urbina said that the prosecutors aggressively sought out these statements and used them in formulating the case and developing investigative leads, despite repeated warnings from senior prosecutors that this could jeopardize the prosecution.
The question thus arises, as to whether some Justice Department personnel deliberately sabotaged the case in order to protect Blackwater, or whether some other influence was brought to bear to protect this operation.
In a series of articles in The Nation magazine, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill has shown that Blackwater and its founder, Erik Prince, have been protected assets of both the CIA and, more importantly, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of the U.S. military, carrying out assassinations and other classified covert operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Bypassing the conventional chain of command, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld exercised hands-on control over JSOC and Blackwater operations, working through Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC from 2003 to 2008.
A few weeks ago, Vanity Fair published a profile of Prince, in which he disclosed information about sensitive and classified operations; the article was seen by some as "graymail," in which Prince was sending a message to the Justice Department that he would tell many more stories unless pending and threatened criminal charges were dropped. "The only reason Prince would do this is that he feels he is in serious jeopardy of criminal charges," attorney Scott Horton told The Nation, explaining that Prince was telling the DOJ: "You prosecute me and all this stuff will be out on the record."
It seems that someone got the message.
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)By a 4-3 vote, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Dec. 31 that state law protects doctors in the state from prosecution for helping terminally ill patients die. But to the death lobby's dismay, the court sidestepped the larger question of whether physician-assisted suicide is a "right" guaranteed under the state's Constitution.
Even though Oregon and Washington have assisted-suicide laws that were approved by referendum, neither state's high court has ruled on the constitutional issue. The ghouls were hoping Montana would be the first.
In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that it is not guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) have called for an investigation of the Treasury's decision to lift the cap on support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run mortgage giants. Kucinich said his subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold hearings, while Garret and Bachus sought to have a hearing called by the head of the Financial Services Committee, Bailout Barney Frank.
In his announcement, Kucinich said he will seek to prevent the new bailout, which raises the ceiling of support from $400 billion to infinity, from being used to "purchase toxic assets at inflated prices, thus transferring the losses to the U.S. taxpayers and acting as a back-door TARP."
It's too lateit's already happened. But, it's never too soon to stop it.
Fannie and Freddie have already received $111 billion, and are integral parts of the government's efforts to save the banks by propping up real estate markets. These government and quasi-government operations are being used to convert mortgage debt and mortgage-related securities into government-guaranteed paper, thereby transferring huge losses from the holders of these worthless instruments to the Federal government, and, thus, the taxpayer. While the Obama Administration falsely claims it is turning a profit on the TARP, it is sweeping under the rug trillions of dollars of losses it knows are coming, through its mortgage operations. This is why it is giving Fannie and Freddie unlimited support.
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)The American College of Cardiology (ACC) filed suit against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday, in an effort to stave off steep Medicare fee cuts for routine office procedures, such as nuclear stress tests and echocardiograms. While the lawsuit is not directly related to the health-reform legislation, the plight of the nation's cardiologistsone of the most technology-intensive specialties in the health-care professionis a harbinger of things to come.
USA Today reports that, according to the ACC, Medicare's new fee schedule would cut reimbursements for nuclear scans by about 40% as of Jan. 1. Reimbursements for echocardiograms and other tests will shrink by about a third, with the cuts being phased in over four years. In March, doctors also face an additional 21% cut due to "an adjustment in the formula that limits the growth of Medicare spending for doctors' fees."
"What they've done is basically killed the private practice of cardiology," College of Cardiology CEO Jack Lewin told the paper. Jonathan Blum, the director of the Center for Medicare Management, defended the cuts, saying that its survey confirmed that doctors could absorb them. The veracity of this survey is at the heart of the ACC's legal action. Stanford University "health economy" professor Victor Fuchs said the doctors essentially deserved what they were getting, because the system had too long awarded them for investing in expensive technology.
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)In its Sunday so-called "Health" section, the New York Times yesterday devoted extensive space propagandizing the benefits of "terminal sedation"or as some medical professionals term it, "slow euthanasia."
In attempt to bolster its contention of legal endorsement of the practice, the Times cited a portion of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion in the 1997 case Washington v. Glucksberg: "A patient who is suffering from a terminal illness and who is experiencing great pain has no legal barriers to obtaining medication, from qualified physicians, to alleviate that suffering, even to the point of causing unconsciousness and hastening death." However, the Times omitted her next, and final, sentence: "The difficulty in defining terminal illness and the risk that a dying patient's request for assistance in ending his or her life might not be truly voluntary justifies the prohibitions on assisted suicide we uphold here." Nor did the Times bother to mention that her opinion was part of a unanimous ruling that no constitutionally protected right to assisted-suicide exists.
Writes the Times, "There is little information about how many patients are terminally sedated, and under what circumstancesestimates have ranged from 2 percent of terminal patients to more than 50 percent." In effort to raise that percentage, the Nazi health bill passed by the House in November would pay doctors for so-called "end-of-life counseling." But the Times admits, "even the most forthright doctors and nurses [do] little more than hint at what the drugs could do. Afterward, some families said they were surprised their loved ones died so quickly, and wondered if the drugs had played a role."
Pressure to impose "terminal sedation" can be institutional, said Dr. Pauline Lesage, hospice medical director at Beth Israel in New York City. "You may be tempted to jump over because, 'oh well, I need the bed,' " she said.
Ibero-American News Digest
Jan. 2 (EIRNS)As part of the asymmetric warfare that it is orchestrating internationally, the British Empire plans to use its "Basque" ETA terrorists in Spain and Ibero-America. The newly founded Continental Bolivarian Movement (MCB), sponsored by London's Venezuelan asset Hugo Chávez, has already incorporated ETA into its arsenal of narcoterrorist groups that can be deployed continentally to sow terror and chaos in the name of "fighting U.S. imperialism."
In Spain, Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba recently placed the country on a "Level 2" alert, based on the "probable risk" that the British-spawned ETA plans to carry out major terrorist attacks sometime soon. According to the Basque Radio Euskadi, an internal ETA document captured by security forces reveals plans for two "spectacular" actionsone directed against a government ministry or the headquarters of the Civil Guard, Spain's police, and the other, the kidnapping of a high-level government official.
ETA specifies that the optimal time for such events is during the next six months when Spain holds the presidency of the European Union, and will host several high-level events in Madrid, including the EU-Latin America summit next May, followed by U.S. President Barack Obama's visit.
This is a trans-Atlantic operation. In Ibero-America, ETA was present at the MCB's Dec. 7-9 founding meeting in Caracas, where the narcoterrorist FARC's top leader Alfonso Cano spoke via video and was invited to join the executive committee. His speech was dedicated entirely to attacking the United States, and peddling British agent George Soros's line that the U.S.-backed war on drugs "is a failed strategy."
Listening to Cano's rant was Inaki Gil de San Vicente, whom Colombian intelligence sources have identified as the liaison between the FARC and ETA. San Vicente has been photographed with FARC leaders more than once, and was introduced as a "revolutionary and member of the independent Basque left." In his speech, he lavished praise on Chávez and asked him not to extradite ETA members to Spain. Spain's ABC daily describes Venezuela as "one of the few sanctuaries still left for the ETA" in the world.
Dec. 30, 2009 (EIRNS)After Colombia's narcoterrorist FARC kidnapped and brutally assassinated Caquetá Gov. Luis Francisco Cuellar on Dec. 22, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe vowed to sent in the military to free the 24 hostages still held by the FARC assassins, and to spare no effort in defeating them.
But on Dec. 24, only two days after Cuellar's murder, retired Catholic Cardinal Darío Castrillón, representing a dirty faction of the Vatican, emerged to announce that he was seeking a meeting with the head of the FARC, Alfonso Cano, to discuss "peace," adding that Uribe had authorized him to do so. He suggested that such a meeting might take place in Europe, hinting that Uribe himself might even travel to meet with Cano.
It is highly unlikely that Uribe would ever consider such a meeting. In an interview with the National Police radio network today, he repeated that both the FARC and the ELN (National Liberation Army) are "admitted drug-traffickers," who engage in all sorts of machinations "to appear as the opposite" of what they are. The Colombian President also reiterated earlier remarks that the police and military together should rescue the hostages. Nothing the FARC says can be believed, he said; lies and deception are all they know.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)In an attempt to rile things up in South America's Southern Cone, the Royal Navy and Air Force joined the Scottish Highlander regiment on Dec. 19-21 to carry out war games on the Malvinas Islands, which the British call the Falklands.
Britain went to war against Argentina in April of 1982 to punish that country for having dared to reclaim the islands, which the Empire illegally seized in 1833, and has held ever since. The war games, in which British forces repelled a "foreign invader," constituted an imperial "in your face" message to the Argentine government that the islands belong to the Empirenow and always.
In yet another provocation, when the Lisbon Treaty went into effect on Dec. 1, heralding the destruction of Europe's nation-states, it declared the Malvinas, South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands, over which Argentina claims sovereignty, to be "associated territories" of the European Union.
Shortly before this, British oil companies announced oil and natural gas discoveries in the North Falkland Basin, containing an estimated 60 billion barrels of oil. Not only are the three companies preparing to begin exploration in the region, but the Falkland Oil and Gas, Ltd. has made overtures to the Chilean state oil firm, ENAP, to become its partner in the venture.
Given that it was Chile's London-controlled fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, who openly supported Britain in the 1982 Malvinas War, this is an incredible affront to Argentina. Moreover, the multibillionaire right-wing Presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera, who reportedly has a good chance of winning in the Jan. 17 electoral runoff, has stated publicly that he "might" allow ENAP to aid the British in developing the Malvinas oil and natural gas deposits.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)Former Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was held hostage by the FARC drug cartel for six years, prior to her July 2008 rescue by government forces, has publicly backed President Alvaro Uribe's decision to militarily rescue the 24 hostages still held by the narcoterrorists.
Betancourt, who hasn't commented publicly to date on the hostage situation, backed Uribe, in Dec. 31 remarks to Radio Caracol. The prisoner exchange the FARC offers is a "fantasy," she said, and a military rescue will happen long before anyone sees any "humanitarian" hostage-release by the FARC.
"As a hostage, one wants a military rescue, or death ... so, in that light, I have to confess that I agree with the government," she said. Moreover, the FARC has been hit hard militarily, and "we must remember that the Army has surrounded their camps, increasing the possibility of a rescue."
Uribe characterized Betancourt's statements as "very courageous." But a blogger for the daily El Tiempo, owned by the slavishly pro-British and pro-drug Santos family, immediately told the former hostage to shut up, charging that her "imprudent" language might hurt the delicate negotiations that Sen. Piedad Córdoba, an ally of Venezuela's buffoonish Hugo Chávez, is currently carrying out with the FARC.
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)EIR correspondent Carlos Wesley was on Panamanian radio and television, presenting Lyndon LaRouche's evaluation of the defeat of British genocide at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, along with LaRouche's fight to defeat the Nazi-modelled Obama "health-care reform" bill.
On Dec. 29, Wesley was on the "Diálogo" show of Radio Omega, an FM station which is widely listened to by Panama's political class. The following day, he was interviewed by well-known host Mario Rognoni for "Parámetro Informativo," which is broadcast on both radio and television.
Western European News Digest
Jan. 2 (EIRNS)As former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is scheduled to testify before the Chilcot Commission on the Iraq War over the coming weeks, Blair's predecessor, the Tory John Major, attacked Blair's justifications for the Iraq War, in an interview today on "BBC Radio4 Today." Major said it now seemed there were doubts before the invasion about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; he wants to know whether the Cabinet had known about these doubts before the decision to take military action. "The suspicion arises that this was more about regime change than it was about weapons of mass destruction," he said.
In response to Blair's claim last month that he would still have thought it right to go to war even if he had known there were no WMDs, Major said, "There are many bad men around the world who run countries, and we don't topple them, and indeed in earlier years we had actually supported Saddam Hussein when he was fighting Iran. The argument that someone is a bad man is an unacceptable argument for war, and certainly an inadequate and unacceptable argument for regime change."
COPENHAGEN, Jan. 2 (EIRNS)In an attack calculated to escalate Her Majesty's strategy of tension, a Somali terrorist attempted to assassinate former Danish Jyllands-Posten cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the infamous cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a suicide bomber belt in 2005. The attacker was a 28-year-old Somali of the al-Shabaab Islamic fundamentalist group, which is reportedly connected to al-Qaeda.
The Danish Police Intelligence (PET) issued the following statement in English: "It is PET's impression that the attempted assassination of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is terror related. According to PET's information, the arrested person has close relations to the Somalian terror organization al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda leaders in East Africa, and he is also suspected of having been involved in terror-related activities during his stay in East Africa. The arrested person has as well been part of a terror-related network with connection to Denmark. For some time, this network has been a subject of PET's investigation without, however, this having any relation to the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard."
COPENHAGEN, Jan. 2 (EIRNS)Danish Parliament President Thor Pedersen attacked the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in an interview with the Danish news bureau Ritzauf today. He said that the IPCC operates as a "big conglomeration of bureaucrats, researchers, together with political viewpoints and political considerations." He is critical of the UN and Denmark's goal to keep the global warming below 2°, and calls the plan for a legally binding agreement on global warming "an idea which belongs to a czarist regime, where there is a world ruler, who can punish all countries. That world ruler doesn't exist. And it is much worse if you believe that it is the UN, because the ideals on which the UN is based have been being increasingly erased throughout the years. When you speak of justice, human rights, and equality, it is being eroded, when you see which are the countries that make the decisions, and what kind of debates there are."
Jan. 5 (EIRNS)Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson announced at a press conference today that he has decided to veto the Icesave legislation, which would provide compensation for mainly British and Dutch depositors in a failed Icelandic bank, passed by Parliament on Dec. 30, and send it to a national referendum.
Leaders of the Confederation of Labor, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees, the Confederation of Employees, and the Federation of Icelandic Industries all had urged the President to pass the legislation.
Last week, 33 members of Iceland's 63-member Parliament had capitulated to the demands of the International Monetary Fund and European Union, and voted to loot Iceland's 320,000 citizens, to provide loan guarantees to pay $5.4 billion to British and Dutch depositors who lost money when the private Landsbanki bank and its online IceSave bank failed in October 2008. The financiers were more than a bit annoyed by Iceland's quaint idea that it ought to give preference to protecting Icelanders who had lost their savings in the global financiers' operations.
The President met with Cabinet members Dec. 31, and said he wanted to hear concerns raised by critics of the plan. A recent poll showed that 70% of Iceland's citizens are against the bill. There have been large demonstrations against it, and some 40,000 people signed a petition opposing it.
What the financial oligarchy wants to extract from Iceland amounts to nearly $17,000 for each citizen of the country, and equals 40% of Iceland's GDP.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday warned, "We need to correct the rules, so it is less interesting for speculative capital to come running into Russia." He was referring to the fact that Russia has been subjected to massive inflows of speculative funds in 2009, after $290 billion had been sucked out of the country between August 2008 and February 2009. Now Goldman Sachs and other predators are saying that "Russia is the most attractive emerging market for 2010," according to a Bloomberg wirewhich is about as flattering as Dracula telling you that he likes the look of the veins in your neck. Bloomberg makes it clear that the British financial gameplan is to set Russia up for a crash, as occurred with the 1998 default on $40 billion in GKO bonds.
The intended whipsawing of Russia with wild flows of speculative capital is occurring in other developing nations as well. According to a study just released by EPFR Global, 2009 saw an inflow of $80 billion in speculative funds to developing economies, after a net outflow of $48 billion in 2008a swing of nearly $130 billion in a single year. Of the $80 billion inflow in 2009, $60 billion has gone into the so-called BRIC nationsBrazil, Russia, India, and China.
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is on a two-day visit to the Vladivostok region, to discuss key economic development sectors. He first went to Nakhodka, northeast of Vladivostok, to launch the East-Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline system, at the oil-loading Pacific seaport Kozmino. Putin then led a meeting on regional development, with a focus on Russian shipbuilding projects in two Primorye port cities, based on cooperation with South Korean and Singaporean companies.
The ESPO system is being built to ship oil from western and eastern Siberian fields, to the Far East and Asia Pacific. The first stage of the project, the 2,500-km Tayshet-to-Skovorodino pipeline (inside Siberia), and Kozmino port, have been completed on schedule, despite the economic crisis. The new oil terminal will export oil to Japan, China, and Korea. Currently, oil is being shipped from Skovorodino to the port by rail, until the final sections of the pipeline are completed in the coming years.
Putin, watching the first tanker leave the port, said that "this is definitely a major event. It's a strategic project, because it gives us access to completely new marketsthe Asian and Pacific markets, which are growing and have a huge potential. Today, Russia is present in these markets, but on a very small scale. Today's opening gives us completely new possibilities."
On Dec. 29, Putin took part in the launch ceremony of the Sollers auto assembly plant in Vladivostok. The plant, a joint project of Russia, Italy, Japan, and South Korea, will produce cars, RVs, and SUVs as well as a variety of heavy-duty vehicles, including dump trucks, tractor trucks and concrete mixer trucks for the Russian Far East and the Pacific Rim region market.
Russia, Japan Discuss Solving Territorial Dispute, To Cooperate on Development
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow Dec. 28 to discuss the territorial question of four islands in the southern Kuriles. The islands, in Russian possession since the end of World War II, have been a sore point in relations for decades. Okada welcomed remarks by President Dmitri Medvedev that Russia hopes to make progress on the dispute while Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is in office. There is an offer outstanding from Russia to return two of the islands to Japanese control. Okada noted the importance Russia places on developing the Far East and Eastern Siberia, and then called for an early settlement to the territorial issue, saying this would lead to bilateral cooperation in energy and other sectors.
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)Russia and Ukraine will soon sign a contract on long-term cooperation in nuclear technology, particularly in the area of nuclear fuels, enrichment, and processing, according to an announcement made by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry yesterday. Ukraine's state-owned nuclear power agency, Energoatomwhich operates all nuclear power facilities in the countryand Russia's TVEL already signed a deal on Russian deliveries of nuclear fuels for 2010.
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)Military representatives from the Heilongjiang Provincial Military Command, stationed in the city of Heihe on the border with Russia, and representatives from the Russian frontier forces stationed in the city of Blagovoshensk, celebrated New Year's together, expressing a new degree of friendship between the two nations' militaries. The Chinese and Russian frontier representatives visited each other's duty performance plank houses, alarm facilities, and motor sledges; exchanged experience and practice in frontier control and administration; and called on the officers and men on duty at the front line of the other side and extended greetings to them, in spite of the temperature being around 36°F below zero. The two sides also held ping pong and billiards matches (the report did not say who won).
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed concern that the historic role of Russia in the development of space travel has been neglected and even falsified. Putin made the comments Dec. 22, in a speech to the opening session of the organizing committee for the celebration of the 50th anniversary, in 2011, of the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin. "Even in Russian shops one can buy books and educational computer programs which have no word about the first satellite or Gagarin's launch," Putin said. "Instead one can find everything, find out particulars and details, about Mr. [Wernher] von Braun, who created the V-2 [rocket], and about the flight to the Moon."
Putin said that the celebration of the Gagarin flight should be "an opportunity once again to demonstratively remind the world public of Russia's key role in space exploration, about the significance of domestic research programs for the whole of humankind.... For this I consider it necessary to mobilize Russian information resources as much as possibleprinted publications, the Internet and television. And of course, one should carefully analyze the quality of the textbooks used in our schools."
Since Gagarin's 1961 flight, Russia has celebrated April 12 as a national holiday.
Southwest Asia News Digest
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)London has been accused of once again "cooking the books" to provoke a war against Irana repeat of the Tony Blair/Bush-Cheney operations against Iraq in 2001-03. Former CIA agent Phil Giraldi told Inter Press Service (IPS) reporter Gareth Porter that U.S. intelligence has concluded that the "dossier" on Iran's nuclear weapons program that was publicized in the Times of London on Dec. 14 is fraudulent. "U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a neutron initiator for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication," said Porter. Giraldi also reported that his sources say that the United States is not involved in the forgery.
Giraldi, who writes for The American Conservative and antiwar.com, was one of the earliest analysts to report on the involvement of the operatives allied with former Vice President Dick Cheney in the forgery of the Niger "yellow cake" documents that were used to go to war against Iraq. He identifies the Times as a frequent channel for disinformation and war propaganda.
"The Rupert Murdoch chain [which owns the Times] has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government," Giraldi told IPS.
On Dec. 28, Lyndon LaRouche warned of London's role in provoking war against Iran in a statement published by LaRouche PAC. See EIR InDepth.
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)The killing of three Palestinian men in Nablus on the West Bank, on Dec. 27 by Israeli special operations forces is being called a case of cold-blooded murder by their families, reported the Palestinian Media Center on Dec. 28. "Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and Raed Aserkji both were formerly held in Israeli jails and, along with Annan Sobh, were assassinated by a special unit and infantry soldiers," reported the PMC. "B'Tselem [an Israeli] human rights group has demanded the Israelis open an investigation.... The organization's spokeswoman Sarit Mikaelli told AFP: 'Based on the testimonies at the scene, it seems that two of the three ... were not armed and were shot when they tried to surrender.' "
The three were killed allegedly in retaliation for the killing of a Jewish settler in Nablus by unknown gunmen, but the action, praised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, brought criticism from the United States, because it undermines the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. The assassinations occurred in "Area A," which is supposed to be under PA control, with no Israeli security forces permitted to operate there.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is blasting the U.S. government for "questioning" why the Israelis acted preemptively and unilaterally, breaking previous agreements with President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and the PA. This is just the beginning of a new round of destabilization, reported EIR's Washington source, who noted that the three men were reportedly part of the PLO's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
There is no evidence that they had anything to do with the killing of the Israeli settler, but the incident is being blamed in some Israeli media on Abbas. The incident, according to the Washington source, suggests that there are factions in Israel that are trying to provoke a new Intifada, to sabotage any Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The timing is indicative of this: Obama Administration Middle East peace emissary George Mitchell is due to arrive in the region right after the New Year, reportedly carrying draft Memoranda of Reference (MORs) to try to get talks to resume. The incident also comes at a critical moment in negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner swap, involving Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and PLO leader Marwan Barghouti.
Dec. 30 (EIRNS)Within hours of the publication of Lyndon LaRouche's statement warning of the danger of a British-orchestrated war using an Israeli strike against Iran, Israeli military correspondent Amos Harel wrote in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz that 2010 will be "the year of Iran." "Israel is striving to develop a military option," according to Harel. "Judging by certain leaks and remarks emanating from Jerusalem, the use of force seems to be a real possibility. Such preparations are necessary: The Israel Defense Forces must have a military plan in case other measures fail....
"Military preparations are also essential to prod the United States and Europe to exert maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. This will not happen unless Western states come to believe that Israel Air Force planes are starting to rev up their engines."
In a reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Harel went on: "This date with destiny has caused some Israeli leaders to adopt a messianic tone. Some even see a tempting opportunity to change the wider strategic reality in the region." He wrote that while Air Force pilots are confident in their ability to strike targets, more senior military officials see "their primary mission as preventing any foolish acts in the coming year." Nonetheless, the General Staff will only follow orders of the government.
Harel warned: "The Air Force is capable of delivering a certain amount of explosives to a given target and bringing most of its aircraft back home intact. But it is doubtful whether Israel can allow itself to act against the wishes of the United Statesto stand alone against an Iranian response and begin an open-ended operation against a nation of 70 million people."
Harel also warned that another disaster like the 1982 war in Lebanon must be avoided, and quoted Maj. Gen. (res.) Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, former head of Military Intelligence, who cautioned about internal developments in Iran, citing the nuclear program and the anti-government demonstrations, saying, "Both of them moved up a gear in the past six months, but it is unclear which will reach its destination first. The regime is losing its legitimacy with so much blood spilled on the streets. Israel must now show caution and patience."
While praising President Obama's caution in dealing with Iran, saying he "has acted exactly as he should," Harel concluded, "What Israel needs now is a responsible adult, one who knows how to pull the emergency lever should the need arise. If such an adult cannot be found in Jerusalem, we must hope there is one sitting in the White House."
Asia News Digest
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)China and India will take the breakthrough in their mutual relations, achieved by their joint leadership of the fight against the climate fascists at Copenhagen, to a new level in the coming months. Just days after the Copenhagen summit ended, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi telephoned Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, to say that the two nations should carry forward the new "momentum" in their relations. The two ministers discussed a post-Copenhagen strategy, and Krishna expressed New Delhi's satisfaction with the two nations' cooperation during the conference, the Hindustan Times reported Dec. 23. Yang invited Krishna to visit Beijing in April 2010, and that trip should be followed by a visit by President Pratibha Patil to China in May.
Both Yang and Krishna agreed to give the relationship a "new dimension," and in New Delhi at a Chinese art exhibit the next day, Krishna told the press, "Talking about our overall bilateral relationship, I am very happy to see the tremendous progress being made," Indo-Asia News Service reported. The two nations will mark the 60th anniversary of their relations in 2010.
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)India is looking at a proposal presented jointly by three companiesSystra of France, Italferr of Italy, and RITES of Indiato build its first bullet train, using Japanese technology, on the 533-km Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route in western India. The proposal will be evaluated for approval in January.
During his recent visit to India, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama offered his country's expertise in such modern technology, and said he would "like to see bullet train technology in India," pointing out "that Japanese bullet trains have never been involved in any accident."
For a bullet train, a dedicated corridor would have to be built. The feasibility study is examining the possible alignment, fare structure, and volume of passengers in the proposed high-speed corridor. Besides the elevated route, the study will look at the possibility of an underground route.
The train, traveling at 350 km per hour (220 miles per hour), would reduce the travel time between the western Indian cities of Pune and Mumbai to just 25 minutes (currently 93 minutes), and the travel time from Mumbai to the city of Ahmedabad to less than two hours (currently seven hours).
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)South Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy, Choi Kyung-hwan, suggested on Dec. 30 that Korea must emancipate itself from tight U.S. limits on what it can and cannot do in the nuclear field.
"Korea's current know-how of nuclear processes is incomplete, and that should improve in the future," Choi said. He said that provisions on the control of raw materials and reprocessing in the Korea-U.S. Atomic Energy Agreement are "excessive." The country could assert its sovereignty by reclaiming the right to reprocess spent fuel rods, which is restricted by the agreement. The other two areas are mining and enrichment of uranium, and the making and use of nuclear fuel. The agreement is up for revision in 2014, but President Lee Myung-bak has called for the date by which South Korea will have the "full cycle" to be moved up by several years, to facilitate its new status as a nuclear power exporter.
Jan. 1 (EIRNS)The New Straits Times newspaper, generally regarded as speaking for the Malaysian government, starts the new year off with a blazing editorial attack on Green environmentalism. The editors wish to defend the production and use of palm oil, an inexpensive edible oil, used for cooking and as the basis for many other products the world over. Malaysia and Indonesia account for most of the world's supply.
With the examples of the exposed East Anglia "Climategate" fraud and the destruction of the Copenhagen environmentalist dictatorship agenda, the editors locate the question squarely in the science: "One point of that debate should be about the question of the data that the environmental ideologues have been using to accuse the palm oil industry of killing orangutans, destroying forests and selling a product high in cholesterol."
"It is because environmentalism has become so authoritative and persuasive in global forums," the editor writes, "and modern mainstream science has become so sacrosanct and so dismissive of evidence that does not fit its own prejudices. Doomsayers who dare challenge the doomsday vision of global warming and the 'certainties' of the models have been subjected to intellectual hate campaigns and accused of 'treason against the planet,' and countries and companies that are unwilling to accept this 'consensus' do so at their own peril.... The point of the debate has to move beyond palm oil, because it is not just about the crop but ultimately about a green agenda that is not content with merely practical measures to protect the forests and save wildlife, a political ideology that is fundamentally flawed, and a movement that ignores evidence that contradicts its dogma."
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)South Korea appears to be energized and optimistic after a consortium of Korean firms won a contract for four 1,400-megawatt nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates. The contract, said to be worth $20 billion in direct construction and initial operation, with perhaps another $20 billion in follow-up and associated work, is Korea's first nuclear export contract.
The country is determined that it not be last. Construction contracts for similar projects in Turkey and elsewhere are being pursued, even before much of the world understands that a "nuclear Renaissance" has begun.
When construction began on Korea's first nuclear power plant in Gori, South Gyeongsang Province, in 1971, the only thing the country's own builders could do was build apartments for plant workers and haul gravel and other construction materials. When Westinghouse of the U.S. was building and testing Korea's first and second nuclear plants, Korean technicians were not even allowed access to key areas, and had to learn the ropes over the shoulders of American engineers.
"Now it has mastered almost the entire technology and exports it.... Behind the feat are the efforts and sacrifices of many scientists, researchers and technicians.... A lot of blood, sweat and sheer determination went into Korea mastering the technology," the daily Chosun Ilbo reported with pride.
Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyung-hwan, who was in the U.A.E. for the signing of the construction deal, said in a news conference that Seoul will outline a master plan to build atomic power generation into one of the country's leading export industries, along with autos, ships, and information technology.
In oriental martial arts, one uses the weight and force of an opponent to throw him. Choi illustrates the same technique in regard to the vast Green propaganda machine. Yonhap news agency reported that he told a news conference: "It is physically impossible to separate nuclear power from eco-friendly growth until technological developments make renewable resources such as wind and solar power more economically viable [i.e., nevered.]. He claimed that lack of an alternative energy source, and a pressing need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions cited for causing global warming, have triggered a global 'nuclear renaissance.' "
Africa News Digest
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)Investigative consultant and author Douglas Farah, in an article on his website, www.douglasfarah.com, has pointed to the growing alliance between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) narcoterrorists and the Islamic terrorist networks in North and West Africa, generally identified as al-Qaeda in West Africa. He described the protection of cocaine shipments through the trans-Sahel region by a combination of criminal and terrorist networks, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The drugs are flown from Colombia, via Venezuela, to West Africa, then to expanding European-Central European-Asian markets, he said. Farah is a coauthor, with Stephen Braun, of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible, a book on Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The FARC now has an operational presence in West Africa. As a result of a sting run by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in which operatives posed as members of the FARC, Farah said, we have the first hard evidence of AQIM offering to protect large cocaine shipments transiting the region, and claiming to have already provided such protection. Three suspectsbelieved to be in their 30s and originally from Maliwere arrested in Ghana and are associates of al-Qaeda's North African branch. They told DEA informants that al-Qaeda could protect shipments of cocaine in the region, driving the drugs by truck through the Sahara Desert before eventually bringing them to Spain, U.S. authorities said.
Africa has become a trans-shipment zone for the global narco-trafficking cartel. According to Interpol, East Africa is a key entry area for Southwest Asian heroin. These supplies are serviced by eastern and western African-based trafficking organizations, as well as Southwest Asian criminal groups operating out of India and Pakistan, and, more recently, Afghanistan. These organizations rely to a large extent on commercial air flights, using both human couriers and air freight to conceal heroin consignments. The extent of maritime activity remains uncertain, Interpol noted. There is also evidence that a number of these organizations deal in the trafficking of other controlled substances, such as cocaine obtained in South America and cannabis produced in Africa. East African groups are responsible for moving Afghan heroin to markets in the United States and Canada, usually using human couriers, Interpol's report concluded.
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