LaRouche Demands Impeachment
Obama's Afghan Policy Is Tantamount to Treason
by Jeffrey Steinberg
April 4Lyndon LaRouche is demanding President Barack Obama's immediate impeachment or resignation from office, for crimes that are ``tantamount to treason,'' starting with his Afghanistan policy. ``American soldiers are being sent to Afghanistan to be shot by an enemy that the President is defending,'' LaRouche charged. ``By refusing to go after the opium trade, which is the logistical and financial backbone of the Taliban insurgency, the Obama policy is giving those narco-insurgents a free hand to kill American soldiers.''
President Obama's personal complicity in the opium treachery was demonstrated on March 28, when he made a 24-hour unannounced visit to Kabul, to scold Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his government's ``corruption,'' but never mentioned the opium and heroin trade, which accounts for over 90% of the world's supply, and bankrolls the very Taliban insurgency that the Administration purports to be combatting. ``American soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, fighting an enemy that thrives on the opium trade, that the President refuses to target,'' LaRouche declared. ``That kind of policy is tantamount to treason, and warrants the President's immediate impeachment. It cannot be tolerated....
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
April 2 (EIRNS)The Gallup daily tracking poll of unemployed and underemployed workers (the latter defined as part-time workers who want to work full-time, but can't find jobs) rose in March to 20.3% from Gallup's earlier report of 19.9%. Gallup also reported that more than 60% of the underemployed do not believe that they will be able to find a job in the next four weeks. In its earlier monthly poll, Gallup reported an even worse picture for youth and minorities, with 27% of Blacks, un- and underemployed; Hispanics, 29%; 18-29 age group, 31%; and those without a high school diploma, 38%.
Even more devastating is the number of people going bankrupt: 158,000 Americans filed personal bankruptcy in the month of October 2009, the highest number since the bankruptcy law was made tougher in October 2005. This is a rate of 6,900 bankruptcy filings every day this past month, up 35% from February, according to the data collection company, Aacer (Automated Access to Court Electronic Records). Not only is this an all-time high since the bankruptcy law changed, but 73% of the March 2010 bankruptcies are under Chapter 7, under which there no provision to save the homes of those filing.
These reports fly in the face of the Obama Administration happy talk about job creation, and show a small piece of the picture that American people's lives are disintegrating.
March 28 (EIRNS)The strain on primary care doctors is sure to increase over the next ten years as the health reform brings them millions of newly insured patients. Not only do 65 million people live in areas designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians, but recently published reports predict a shortfall of roughly 40,000 doctors over the next decade. This is the core of a story by AP's medical correspondent, who tries to minimize the impact that the so-called health reform will really have on the provision of medical care, by hyping such things as the medical home (another version of the HMO gatekeeper) and electronic medical records.
But the reality is, that having insurance will prove worthless (unless you're the insurance company) if there are no doctors to be seen.
Global Economic News
March 30 (EIRNS)Over four decades after the inglorious end to the Vietnamese War, the United States has signed an agreement to move towards allowing U.S. firms to build nuclear plants in that energy-poor country.
"This is an important moment in our bilateral relations," U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak said during a signing ceremony with Le Dinh Tien, Vietnam's vice minister of science and technology. The agreement, which addresses nuclear safety and nonproliferation concerns, is a prerequisite to a deal that could allow companies like Westinghouse and General Electric to participate in Vietnam's nuclear energy sector.
Michalak also announced that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend a nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington next month.
Vietnam's demand for power is expected to grow by 16% a year under the most recent plan. The country's booming economy, along with the government's determination to begin bringing a modern standard of living to its population, has made it difficult for supply to keep pace with demand.
Vietnam has already signed nuclear energy cooperation agreements with Russia, China, France, South Korea, India, and Argentina, Tien said. And, last year, Vietnam signed a deal with Russia for a Russian firm to help build the first plant. Construction is to start in 2014 and be completed in 2020.
April 3 (EIRNS)The British Conservative party blasted the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for continuing to deny cancer patients treatment with new drugs, with the claim that keeping the patient alive is not "cost effective." This is especially the case, if the patient has a rare cancer, such as liver or kidney cancer. NICE is Barack Obama's model for his IMAP death panels.
The London Times reports that the Tories have accused NICE of failing to approve new cancer drugs for use in the National Health Service (NHS), since November 2008 in England and Wales. Yet the Conservatives said that for at least 19 out of 21 cancer drugs assessed last year, British patients were less likely to be given the drug than in other European country. This is despite the fact that the medications could help to treat conditions such as liver or kidney cancer, which affect fewer than 7,000 patients a year.
The Tories added that NICE's committees did not consider value-based-pricing schemesto make expensive treatments available by sharing the cost of the drugs with the pharmaceutical industryin 40% of new cancer treatments.
"It is unforgivable that thousands of cancer sufferers in England die each year, because they are not given the medications that they need, when we spend over a hundred billion pounds a year on the NHS," said Andrew Lansley, the Tories' shadow health secretary. "There is no reason why we should not be able to get cancer drugs in England that are readily available in the rest of Europe."
The Rarer Cancers Forum estimated last month that as many as 16,000 patients may have been denied access to treatments because NICE had deemed that it was too expensive to keep them alive with these new drugs.
Helen Rainbow, policy analyst at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We are pleased the Conservatives are highlighting the issue of access to cancer treatments, in particular the high number of drugs for rarer cancers rejected by NICE since November 2008. The way drugs are currently approved for use on the NHS is penalizing people with rarer cancers, such as liver or kidney cancer, and must be reformed. People don't choose what cancer they get and shouldn't lose out simply because of the rarity of their condition. A more flexible system is needed to end the inequality in access to cancer treatments, improve survival rates and bring the U.K. in line with other European countries."
March 30 (EIRNS)Great Britain and Spain are at the center of the emerging European commercial real estate crisis. According to a report by DTZ, the British listed property agents, there is an EU115 billion ($156 billion) shortfall in the funds needed to refinance European commercial real estate debt over the next two years, as reported in the Daily Telegraph. About 56% of the funding gap comes from just two countries: Great Britain, with $57 billion, and Spain, with $31 billion.
Total loans that need to be refinanced over the next two years amount to EU482 billion (more than $650 billion), but the situation is actually much worse than these numbers indicate, since most of these properties are no longer worth the face value on the loans. In fact, the report accuses the creditor banks of practicing the "extend and pretend" model, in which the banks are content to extend the maturity of the debt as long as it is being servicedwhich is obviously "not sustainable in the medium term," as the DTZ notes delicately. The report makes the point that much of this portfolio should be written down, but the banks are maintaining the pretense that the properties have not lost their value, for fear that they would blow the whole show, so they are not selling them.
March 31 (EIRNS)South Korea is looking to join China in aiding Indonesia to develop its mining infrastructure by constructing mine-to-port railroads in the southern portion of the large Indonesian island of Sumatra.
South Korea Doosan Engineering & Construction is talking to Tundjung Inderawan, Indonesia's Transportation Ministry's director general for trains, about investing in double track railway construction. The railway track, Tundjung said, would be part of a distribution line for coal produced by state-owned PT Bukit Asam. Bukit Asam plans to produce 14 million tons of coal this year up from 11.6 million tons in 2009, and states that its output can grow in line with improvements in the railway system for transporting coal, according to a report in the Jakarta Post.
Last week, Bukit Asam signed two other contracts worth US$4.8 billion in total with China Railway Group on the construction and maintenance of a 307 km railway in a different area of South Sumatra. The project aims to have a capacity of 27 million tons of coal per year, and is expected to be operational by 2014.
United States News Digest
April 3 (EIRNS)Fascism came to the University of Maryland on April 1 when the Peter G. Peterson Institute and the Concord Coalition kicked off their "Fiscal Solutions Tour," with a panel discussion that featured House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Peterson Foundation CEO David Walker, and others, on how to "solve" the Federal debt crisis. Hoyer was the keynote speaker, and he demonstrated that health care was only the Obama Administration's first target in its war on the general welfare.
Hoyer called the government's accumulation of debt "a common danger, ... one that ought to engage the best efforts of liberals and conservatives alike." He warned that, "The course we are on leads to debt that exceeds the value of our entire economy, to a government that does nothing but pay for entitlements and pay interest to our creditors, and an end to American leadership in the world."
Over and over again, he emphasized that the requirement is for future Congresses to keep the pledge made in the health-care reform law, in the pay-as-you-go law, and other austerity measures, and "taking hard votes" to cut spending in the years ahead. The health-care reform he said, is "only the beginning of the struggle to control health-care costs, the single greatest driver of our deficit."
Beyond that, Hoyer pledged full support for Obama's fascist Fiscal Commission. As for what proposals the Commission may put on the table, Hoyer said, "We can't rule out any solution on the revenue or the spending side." He also very strongly argued against the notion of putting the Commission's proposals before the voters, ridiculing House Republican Leader John Boehner's suggestion that the Commission issue its report prior to the election. This can't be done, Hoyer said, because "it would simply become the object of politics" and nothing would get done. Heaven forbid that the voters might want to weigh in on what's going to be done to them!
Lyndon LaRouche, responding to comments by President Obama earlier this week, that health care is bankrupting the nation, retorted that, "Health care hasn't bankrupted the economy, Obama has." LaRouche stipulated that to stop any further collapse of the U.S. economy, Obama must be dumped now. "Bush was bad," LaRouche said, "but Obama is infinitely worse," looked at from the standpoint of the rising death rates Americans will suffer under Obama's policies.
April 2 (EIRNS)Investigative journalist David Lindorff is the first former Obama supporter to call for President Obama's impeachment. Lindorff who worked closely with Rep. John Conyers' (D-Mich.) House Committee on the Judiciary in 2005-06, making the case for the impeachment of Dick Cheney and George W. Bushthat is, before Nancy Pelosi took impeachment "off the table."
In an April 1 article titled "The Case for Impeachment of Barack Obama," which is being widely reported on left and Democratic Party-affiliated websites, Lindorff recounts that in 2005-06, he wrote The Case for Impeachment, which argued that Vice President Cheney, President Bush, and other members of the Administration should be "impeached for war crimes, as well as crimes against the Constitution of the United States."
"Sadly, it is time to say, just 14 months into the current term of this new President, that yes, this President and some of his subordinates are also guilty of impeachable crimes, including many of the same ones committed by Bush and Cheney."
The grounds cited by Lindorff: Escalation in Afghanistan and use of mercenaries there who carry out targetted assassinations; the expanded attacks on civilians; the failure to prosecute those who authorized and perpetrated torture; the use of death squads in Iraq; and the escalation of warrantless wiretaps. He adds that there is also "ample evidence" to call for the impeachment of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for covering up Wall Street's crimes and being party to "unprecedented giveaways."
Lindorff is the first of the liberal left to face up to the fact that Obama has to go; he won't be the last.
April 2 (EIRNS)On March 31, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco not only found that the Bush-Cheney Administration's wiretap program was illegal, but also blasted the Obama Administration's efforts to keep the illegal program secret. As with other Constitution-shredding policies of the Bush Administration and the National Security Agency (NSA), Obama campaigned against the wiretapping program (calling it "unconstitutional and illegal") while running for President, but once in office, he rapidly adopted the policy, and his Justice Department has vigorously defended the policies he once pretended to attack.
Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon.com: "Although news reports are focusing (appropriately) on the fact that Bush's NSA program was found to be illegal, the bulk of Judge Walker's opinion was actually a scathing repudiation of the Obama DOJ."
Greenwald points out that the Obama Administration adopted "the imperial and hubristic position that the court had no right whatsoever to rule on the legality of the program, because (a) plaintiffs could not prove they were subjected to the secret eavesdropping (and thus lacked 'standing' to sue) and (b) the NSA program was such a vital 'state secret' that courts were barred from adjudicating its legality."
Shane Harris, the author of the new book The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State, recently told EIR that nothing has changed from the Bush to the Obama administrations. In his book, Harris reports that after Obama took office, he was "conspicuously silent" on Bush's electronic surveillance policy, and "showed no inclination to dismantle a set of tools that his predecessor had regarded as the 'crown jewel' of America's counterterrorism arsenal."
March 31 (EIRNS)President Obama's reported choice to head the Federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick, has long been an enemy of the medical profession, as he prescribes means of cutting costs and services in both the U.S. and the U.K.
On Jan. 4, 2004, the Boston Globe published a profile of Berwick. Here are excerpts:
"Berwick gets irritated when health care leaders complain about a lack of resources. There's too much money in the system already, he says. His critique takes aim at the medical profession's exalted view of itself. He's convinced that the fundamentals of the current systemthe same fundamentals Boston used to build its reputation as the world's medical leaderare so screwed up that it is no longer possible for the medical profession to provide reliable, high-quality care, no matter how many innovations its renowned doctors roll out, no matter how many awards they rack up. 'They want to cure cancer,' Berwick says. 'Well, how about curing health care?'
"His conclusion: To save the health care system, it first needs to be blown up...."
It has been reported that Berwick would not accept the appointment to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), until Obama's fascist health-care bill was passed by Congress. It's easy to see why he insisted that the bill first be passed, with its myriad of cost-cutting, control and standardization mechanisms. As the Globe summarized his views already in 2004: "And the treatment you receive from your doctors would be made far more effective by a system that gave them less discretion. Physician habit and ego would take a back seat to science in determining standardized courses of medical action."
April 5 (EIRNS)While avoiding any mention of the impact of LaRouchePAC organizing on the Tea Party movement, a Gallup poll released today blows the cover off media-created stereotype of the movement as the swine-trough of illiterate, racist, bulletheaded yahoos. The Los Angeles Times said the poll found "nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents; they are slightly more likely to be employed, male, and definitely more conservative. But otherwise, Gallup's Lydia Saad writes, [by] 'their age, educational background, employment status, and raceTea Partyers are quite representative of the public at large."'
Belying the "cut the deficit" issue of some Peterson Institute-type would-be Tea Party leaders, 61% said they believe infrastructure spending creates jobs, and favor "reducing unemployment" to "balancing the budget" by nearly a 2-1 margin, 63-32%.
Seventeen percent of the people polled identified themselves as Tea Partyers.
Also today, Rasmussen reported that Barack Obama now trails the Tea Party among likely voters, in terms of identification of views on major issues, 44-48%.
Ibero-American News Digest
April 4 (EIRNS)Only the ouster of U.S. President Barack Obama would bring about the changes in the present government of Mexico that are needed to bring about a turn against the rising tide of drug-trafficking inside that country. The facts of the present situation in Mexico can be noted as follows:
The U.S. Justice Department's 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) reports that, in 2009on President Obama's watch"the prevalence of four of the five major drugsheroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and MDMAwas widespread and increasing in some areas" of the United States. The source of most of that increased supply was Mexico, where Obama, with a wink and a nod, has encouraged the drive for drug legalization on both sides of the border, and helped hand Mexico entirely over to the local cartels deployed by London's "Dope, Inc." apparatusjust as he has done with the opium trade in Afghanistan.
Mexican heroin production more than doubled in 2008, which translated into "increased heroin availability evidenced by higher purity, lower prices, and elevated numbers of heroin-related overdoses" in the U.S., the NDTA reports. "Methamphetamine availability increased as the result of higher production in Mexico," and "marijuana production increased in Mexico, resulting in increased flow of the drug across the Southwest Border," the NDTA adds. On top of that, "Mexican drug-trafficking organizations continue to represent the single greatest drug-trafficking threat to the United States."
Within Mexico, the Dope, Inc. cartels operate with such impunity that they have begun to attack military bases, as occurred on March 28, with heavily armed attacks on bases in the border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros.
March 29 (EIRNS)EIR is circulating a Portuguese-language press release reporting on Lyndon LaRouche's March 13 international webcast, including his sharp warning that the Brazilian carry trade, run by the Rothschild Inter-Alpha Group, is about to pop:
"Brazil represents a gambling center, in world currencies, which is bankrupt, and ready to blow! If any part of this system blows, and it can blow at any time, the entire, present world monetary-financial system will not collapse, it will disintegrate!in a fashion much like the great dark age of Europe's 14th Century," the release quotes LaRouche saying.
On March 21, the head of Brazil's Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles, defensively told a financial conference in Cancun, Mexico, that no speculative bubble would develop in Brazil, because he and other authorities had handled the global financial crisis intelligently. The IMF Director for the Western Hemisphere likewise assured the audience that Brazil is not in the midst of a bubblebut that it is necessary to take precautions, because foreign funds are "inundating" the country.
The Brazilian blogosphere has ignored Meirelles, instead picking up and circulating EIR's March 5 exposé, "London's Brazil Carry Trade: Smoke, Mirrorsand Genocide," after the Alerta Total blog published a Portuguese translation of the article, along with its accompanying box citing LaRouche's Feb. 16 remark, that "Most of Brazil's people are virtual slaves."
Alerta Total posted its translation, duly identifying the authors and EIR, on March 25, four days after EIR issued its press release on LaRouche's March 13 warning that the gambling center of world currencies represented by Brazil is ready to blow. The Alerta Total translation has been posted on at least three other blogs, with links to the article on upwards of 12 other sites, so far.
March 23 (EIRNS)On the eve of the Merida U.S.-Mexico High-Level Consultative Group meeting that began this afternoon in Mexico City, to discuss anti-drug cooperation between the two nations, two prominent Mexicans have joined the George Soros cabal's call for legalizing the drug tradesupposedly as a way to stem drug-related violence in Mexico.
By doing so, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and business tycoon and multimillionaire head of the Salinas Group, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, line up with the British Empire's strategy of using the choice between "silver" and "lead" to transform Mexico into a wholly owned subsidiary of Dope, Inc.
A high-powered U.S. delegation to the meeting of the Consultative Group, led by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, includes Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Muller, as well as Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, and immigration officials. They will meet with their Mexican counterparts to discuss revisions to the $1.3 billion Merida Initiative, in the wake of escalating violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, reflected in the March 13 murders of three employees of the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez.
In the period leading up to these murders, and to today's prescheduled Consultative meeting, Dope, Inc. agent Soros stepped up the drug-legalization drivethe "silver" part of the British strategythrough a number of conferences specifically targetting Mexico.
Soros toady Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican foreign minister, and César Gaviria, former Colombian President, were the celebrity speakers at a Feb. 23-24 conference in Mexico City that brought together most of Soros's South American assets to lobby for drug legalization in Mexico and the United States. Another drug legalization advocate, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, not only hosted a pro-legalization event at his own Fox Center on Feb. 26, but then went on a speaking tour in southern California and south Texas to promote legalization in the United States as well.
March 25 (EIRNS)The amount of U.S. aid to Mexico is "inadequate and insufficient," stated Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.), former Clinton Administration anti-drug czar, and former head of the U.S. Southern Command.
One day before the March 23 meeting in Mexico City of the Merida U.S.-Mexico High-Level Consultative Group, involving cabinet members of the U.S. and Mexican governments, the daily El Universal published an interview with McCaffrey, in which he warned that drug-related violence in Mexico constitutes an enormous threat to the U.S., and to Mexico's very existence as well. Yet the amount of U.S. financial and military aid to that country is paltry.
"The U.S. spends $5.6 billion a month in Afghanistan, and at the height of the Iraq War, it spent $12 billion a month," McCaffrey recalled. But in Mexico, the violence in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, for example, "is vastly more dangerous than Baghdad or Kabul." Yet only $1.3 billion over three years has been allocated through the Merida Initiative to help Mexico combat the drug cartels.
"In my view," he said, "the United States must give serious levels of support to Mexican security institutionsand not three helicopters. The Mexican Army has confronted the cartels, but often the police have been scared or bought off." McCaffrey called for joint action, to deal both with U.S. weapons trafficking into Mexico, and with the drug money laundering that occurs on both sides of the border.
A week earlier, following the March 13 assassinations of three employees of the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez, McCaffrey countered FBI reports that the murders were a case of "mistaken identity." "This was a direct, organized attack of intimidation on the consulate," he said. "We don't know the exact motive, but we can be sure that when two groups that left the same party were assassinated within ten minutes of each other, this was a coordinated action."
March 25 (EIRNS)Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a former Venezuelan Presidential candidate and opposition leader, on March 8 told Globovisión TV that Venezuela has become a drug-trafficking center and that "there are relations of the Venezuelan regime with structures that serve the drug trade, such as those of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and others that exist in the continent," including the Spain-based ETA. Alvarez was arrested March 22, and, for good measure, so was the head of Globovisión on March 25.
Western European News Digest
April 2 (EIRNS)In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio this morning, Reiner Priggen, the energy policy spokesman of the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Greens, said the preferred choice for his party is to enter a "red-green" coalition government with the Social Democrats (SPD), after the May 9 elections for state parliament (Landtag). The second choice would be a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDU).
"We Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia, we have in the towns and cities about 30 coalitions with the SPD, but we also have 25 coalitions with the CDU. What used to be valid, namely the taboo, do-not-touch policy between the CDU and the Greens, is no longer valid, and I would like to say I just find it reasonable: If the alternative would be a Grand Coalition [CDU and SPDed.] or rather a coalition of Greens and CDU, that would be a potential option."
Whereas numerous Christian Democrats want to extend the licenses of existing nuclear plants by as much as 28 years, so that they can be on the grid for a maximum of 60 years, Chancellor Angela Merkel's pro-green Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU) wants to extend licenses for select power plants by at most eight yearsif at all. And even that is negotiable for him, should his CDU form a coalition with the Greens in the NRW state government.
April 1 (EIRNS)Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was denounced as a traitor for his multi-billion-euro bailout of Anglo Irish Bank. Opposition leaders attacked Cowen for his decisions as former finance minister, and now as prime minister, which have saddled the Irish taxpayer with a EU40 billion bailout. Cowen, a radical free-marketeer, who was one of the key people responsible for the Irish financial bubble, is also accused of bailing out his cronies among the real estate speculators.
"I believe that decision was made to save the skins of a number of individualssome of whom are connected to Fianna Fail [Cowen's political party]whose property interests and whose prosperity was bound up with the fortunes of Anglo," charged opposition Labor leader Eamon Gilmore. "If my belief is correctand I have not been convinced to the contrarythen that decision was an act of economic treason for which this country is now paying very dearly."
No sooner did the government come out with its "once and for all" bailout of Irish banks, than more billions were being exposed. The Irish government will have taken over at least EU81 billion worth of bad loans and securities by the end of the year35 billion from Anglo Irish bank alone. Taxpayers are also funding further recapitalization of the banks: Anglo got EU8.3 billion this week and will need EU1 billion more.
While responsible for giving billions to the banks, and cutting living standards of Irish citizens in some cases by 15-20%, Cowen defended himself, saying, about charging him with treason, "I find that beyond the pale."
March 29 (EIRNS)Thyssen-Krupp, the main manufacturer of the German maglev system Transrapid, announced at the end of last week that for lack of follow-on contracts, it will shut down what has remained of its maglev manufacturing forceno more than 62 (!) jobs in Kassel and 35 in Munich altogether. The company says it does not like to do it, but sees no opportunity for the technology in Germany given political opposition, so that it cannot keep the jobs. The 280 km Hamburg-Berlin project was axed by the government in early 1999; the 75 km Metrorapid project connecting seven cities in the Ruhr region was axed in 2004; and the 34 km Munich project was cut in early 2008. To date, the eight-year-old Shanghai Transrapid in China is the only commercial maglev train in existence anywhere in the world.
The Kassel site of Thyssen-Krupp will be shut down completely, and the one in Munich cut by one-third, with 22 engineers staying on the job for the time being, but with a very uncertain future. Only the 32 km test track at Lathen with some 40 jobs remains, after its license, which expired on April 1, was extended by another year.
March 28 (EIRNS)The London Sunday Telegraph today exposes an experiment being conducted by the National Health Service in London to pay ambulance services not to take patients to hospital emergency rooms, and refer them to telephone advisors, instead. The scheme appears to be part of a broader effort to help hospitals meet the mandate to treat all patients within four hours of arrival, by keeping patients out of the hospital altogether.
The ambulance scheme includes a plan to downgrade certain types of emergency calls that are currently classified as urgent, so that the callers are automatically referred to telephone advice instead of an ambulance response. At least one man in London died this past week because the call was downgraded, and he was referred to a telephone advisor, who discovered, too late, that the man really did have a life-threatening condition.
The London Ambulance Service has reportedly made £850,000 from the bonus scheme, but ambulance services in other locations have rejected similar plans, apparently because of outrage from ambulance crews, who say the clinical needs of the patient should be put ahead the financial demands of the hospital trusts. The scheme was to go national this week, but has been delayed by the government for at least a month, because of concerns about its safety.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
April 3 (EIRNS)Novaya Gazeta, the liberal Russian newspaper co-owned by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov, has published a nasty attack on Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin and the Russian Presidential Representative in the Far East Federal District, Victor Ishayev, for promoting the revitalization and expansion of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), the second Trans-Siberian railroad. Addressing a March 24 conference in Moscow, Yakunin and Ishayev presented a plan to invest 400 billion rubles in upgrading the BAM, which was built starting in 1974, but fell into disrepair in the 1990s, and as much again for building a new spur into other resource-rich areas of Siberia. In part, the program coincides with the already-approved Russian Railways development schedule up to the year 2030, which includes a line from the BAM, through Yakutsk, to the Bering Strait. At the latest conference, Yakunin and Ishayev urged taking a longer perspectiveto at least 2050. According to Expert Online, Yakunin presented estimates that the BAM could be carrying 100 million tons of freight by that year.
The friends of Gorbachov, who is a board member of the genocidalist, zero-growth Club of Rome and heads his own Green Cross environmentalist foundation, hate this idea. Novaya Gazeta's March 26 article ranted against "megaprojects from the Stone Age, which have nothing to do with what the people of Russia need." Citing Yakunin's projections, the Gorbachov mouthpiece sneered, "It would be interesting to know just how, and on what basis, somebody makes forecasts for 40 years in advance!"
Consistent with the malthusian axioms of Gorbachov's sponsors in London, Novaya Gazeta denounces the Russian government for "being guided by the axiomatic words of Lomonosov, that Russia's might will grow through Siberia and the frozen seas"that is, by developing the northern frontiers. Mikhail Lomonosov was the 18th-Century scientist and poet, who founded Moscow State University and corresponded with the scientific circles of Benjamin Franklin. According to Gorbachov's journalist, Lomonosov's idea is "an ancient and, today, stupid-sounding phrase."
Having thrown Lomonosov out the window, Novaya Gazeta implicitly spat on the Siberian-development heritage of Dmitri Mendeleyev and Count Sergei Witte, from the 19th Century. Mendeleyev and Witte are famous for their conception of railroads as a civilizing influence that advances the entire national economy and the population's welfare, as is consistent with the pioneering American System experience in building transcontinental railroads. By Novaya Gazeta's sophistry, in contrast, a railroad can only be for looting, and is opposed to the "modernization" proclaimed by President Medvedev: "While Dmitri Medvedev announces modernization and innovations, his representative [Ishayev] is pursuing a different goal: to help Russia occupy the niche of raw materials appendage in the world division of labor."
As EIR Online exposed in our March 26 issue, a grouping around Anatoli Chubais, which as radical free-marketeers savaged the Russian economy in 1991-98, is trying to seize control of the modernization policy and push it in the direction of the same non-productive, "information economy" doctrines that are wrecking economies in the West.
March 30 (EIRNS)British media outlets and related "human rights" institutions took aim at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in the wake of the horrific March 29 Moscow subway bombings. Whereas Lyndon LaRouche warned that the attacks were "an attempt to discredit the Russian government, and show its vulnerability," adding that he is "looking at complicity, behind the scenes, by British intelligence," the line across the board, from Amnesty International to the London Financial Times, was that Putin's government had caused the attacks by being "authoritarian" in Chechnya and in general.
The lead editorial in the Financial Times lectured that Putin will fail in any attempt to stop Chechnya-linked terrorism by "repression alone." "The trouble is that changing to an inclusive, democratic and law-based approach in the Caucasus would involve changing Russia into an inclusive, democratic and law-based country," wrote the paper, and thus Putin has no choice but "unraveling large chunks of the authoritarian state he has created."
March 29 (EIRNS)China's Vice President Xi Jinping, seen as the frontrunner to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013, visited Russia March 20-25 as the first stop on a trip to four European nations. Meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Xi said that "Russia and China must become strategic props for each other in the future on all questions which have a strategic interest for Russia."
Russia expressed support for China's stern defense of the value of its own currency. During his meeting with Chinese Vice-Minister Gao Hucheng, who accompanied Vice President Xi, Bank of Russia Deputy Chairman Victor Melnikov said Russia firmly supports China's foreign-exchange-rate policy. At a meeting with Gao in Moscow, Melnikov said that recent pressure exerted by some countries on China to appreciate its currency, the yuan, was irresponsible. Melnikov is also head of the Russian delegation of the Banking Cooperation Sub-Committee of the Sino-Russian Prime Ministerial-Level Regular Meeting Mechanism.
Southwest Asia News Digest
April 2 (EIRNS)Following a three-hour meeting with Syrian President Bashar al Assad on April 1, U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) told reporters, "Let me just say that I am convinced, and it's why I come back here, and it's why I am engaged in this effort. I am absolutely convinced that carefully calibrated diplomacythat if that is what we engage in, that Syria will play a very important role in achieving a comprehensive peace in the region and in putting an end to the five decades of conflict that have plagued everybody in this region," reported CBS News. Kerry added, "That's our hope, that's our challenge, and we're committed to continue to work at it."
Kerry was in Damascus after visiting Lebanon, and shortly before the U.S. Senate was slated to approve the nomination of Robert Ford as Ambassador to Syria. Ford has reportedly already been in Damascus, but has not yet presented his credentials to the Syrian President, pending Senate approval. The Syrian government is happy that the United States has appointed an ambassador, after five years of suspension of full diplomatic relations, but senior officials in the Syrian government and Parliament have made clear to the United States that Syria will not break its close relations with Iran, as some inside the United States are demanding in return for diplomatic relations. Rather, Syria is communicating to the United States through various channels, that it can be an important bridge to resolving conflicts which the U.S. has had with Iran, and with others in the region.
April 2 (EIRNS)On Good Friday, Israel launched 13 airstrikes against Gaza, in retaliation for alleged Palestinian rocket fire into Israel which turned out to be "a false alarm," according to the Israeli Defense Forces. The targets in Gaza included a cheese factoryone of the few food facilities that still exist in Gaza, after Israeli strikes destroyed a flour mill and other food facilities in January 2009 attacks. While the Israeli government claims that it had to attack because there were 35 alleged rocket attacks from Gaza during the month of March, the Israeli attacks are actually a flight-forward response to international criticism of Israel's behavior.
One reflection of this panic by the Netanyahu government and its lobby in the United States, is an April 2 Letter to the Editor in the New York Times by Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman, which whines that the "Obama Administration has gone off track" in its "excessive focus on settlements," and suggests "that Israel is harming American interests" (referring to an interview with Gen. David Petraeus). On April 1, another Netanyahu "heavy hitter" in the United States, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, wrote an op-ed, complaining that "the conflict between the U.S. and Israel must end now."
The attack on Gaza may just create more of a backlash against fascist Netanyahu's policies.
April 4 (EIRNS)Israel's former Deputy Defense Minister, Gen. Emphraim Sneh, averred in an op-ed in the March 31 Ha'aretz, that "Israel will be compelled to attack Iran's nuclear facilities by November unless the U.S. and its allies enact crippling sanctions that will undermine the regime in Teheran," reported Newsmax.com. Sneh threatened, "An Israeli military campaign against Iran's nuclear installation is likely to cripple that country's nuclear project for a number of years. The retaliation against Israel would be painful, but bearable."
Lyndon LaRouche responded today, "Oh, yeah? These characters have to be subjected to a mental examination, and incarcerated for a suitably long period, to make sure they have the estimate right. Those idiots!" LaRouche has repeatedly exposed the British control over such Israeli geopolitical provocations, designed to unleash a perpetual war in the region.
Then on April 4, suicide bombers detonated three car bombs in Baghdad, proximate to the embassies and consulates of Iran, Egypt, and Germany, killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 200. The bombings came two days after an attack by gunmen who raided homes south of Baghdad and killed 24 people.
March 29 (EIRNS)Today's Turkish daily Zaman reports that Turkish counterterrorism teams have detained 22 suspected members of al-Qaeda, in simultaneous operations conducted in three provinces including Aksaray, Manisa, and Ankara. The raids are said to be followup operations to raids conducted last January, when 120 al-Qaeda members were arrested.
Asia News Digest
March 29 (EIRNS)Increasingly frustrated over Washington's unwillingness to take any action to stop massive production of Afghan opium, which is causing havoc inside Russia and throughout Eurasia, and is financing the anti-Russia jihadists, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States on March 28 of "conniving" with Afghanistan's drug producers by refusing to destroy opium crops. This is the second time in a week that Moscow has taken a swipe at the West over drug policy.
The Russian view and that of Lyndon LaRouche coincide. The current Obama Administration policy on drugs in Afghanistan is paving the way for the success of the terrorists. It is relevant to ask, how many Americans will die, as a result of this policy.
The Russian Foreign Ministry statement pointed out that the U.S. Marines have advanced into one of the main opium-growing regions of Afghanistan's Helmand Province since February, but have told villagers there they will not destroy the opium crop that is blooming this month. "We believe such statements are contrary to the decisions taken on Afghan narco-problems within the UN and other international forums," said a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry released by the embassy in Kabul.
If NATO troops will not carry out eradication themselves, they should provide force protection for Afghans to do it, the statement said. Not eradicating poppy plantations "ignores the fact that thousands of people die from heroin ... including in Afghanistan.... The 'touching' concern about the Afghan farmers actually means, if not directly, then certainly indirectly, conniving [with] drug producers."
Last week, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the Security Council that U.S. and NATO commanders should continue to eradicate opium poppy fields. NATO rejected the criticism, and said Russia could best help by providing assistance to fight the insurgency.
March 30 (EIRNS)Pakistan has reached a nuclear deal with China, whereby China will provide Pakistan with 82% of project cost, comprising a loan, technology, and installation facilities to set up Chashma III and Chashma IV, two pressurized light water reactors (PWR), each of 325 MW capacity. They will be located in the Pakistani province of Punjab.
Two earlier reactors at the same site, Chasma I and Chashma II, were also of the same capacity supplied by China's CNNC under safeguards. The main part of the plant was designed by Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute, based on the model of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant. It started up in May 2000 and is known as Chasnupp-1. Construction of its twin, Chashma II, started in December 2005. It is reported to cost US$860 million, with $350 million of this financed by China. A safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was signed in 2006, and grid connection is expected in 2011.
The nuclear agreement with China was among a dozen economic cooperation accords signed during Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to Beijing last year. The breakthrough deal was finalized ahead of the latest round of the Pakistani-U.S. strategic dialogue, as the federal Cabinet granted financial approval at a meeting on March 24. Sources privy to the deal told the Pakistani media that Pakistan's federal cabinet had approved an inter-government framework agreement on the financing of Chasnupp-3 and Chasnupp-4 with China.
March 30 (EIRNS)Commander of the U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been exposed by none other than the Times of London: When it peeled off his burqa, what came in to view was a thinner version of Winston Churchill. The anglophile commander has unleashed in southern Afghanistan what the British had implemented in their then-colony Malaysia in the 1960s, to subdue the Malay communist insurgents. Since then, the United States has adapted such irregular warfare, once in Vietnam, and now in Afghanistan. General McChrystal calls it the COIN (counterinsurgency).
According to the Times, McChrystal has discovered Churchill as his mentor. McChrystal is said to listen to the recorded writings of Churchill on his iPod, during his daily eight-mile jog. A recent visitor to NATO headquarters in Kabul found the American general immersed in Churchill's first book, his account of the struggle to pacify the tribes of the North West Frontier (in what is now Pakistan), at the end of the 19th Century, the Times noted. Next on the general's reading list is Churchill's The River War, describing the re-conquest of Sudan that ended in the battle of Omdurman in 1898.
Claims the Times, "One can see Churchill's choice reflected in the allies changing policy in Afghanistan: in the determination to recruit and train Afghans for the army and police, in the greater willingness to talk to elements within the Taleban and the distribution of hard cash."
On his brief visit to Bagram this week, President Obama spoke of the progress made in "good governance, rule of law, anti-corruption efforts."
April 2 (EIRNS)Increasingly frustrated by the Obama Administration's undermining of Kabul's authority, and its disregard of Afghan lives in its campaign against the insurgents, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, addressing reporters and members of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC), said, "In case the cooperation shifts to meddling, the legitimate government shifts to puppet government, the insurgency will change to a national resistance.... Foreigners must know, by standing against the Afghan law, doing arrogance and dividing Afghan people, the deal could be reversed at any moment." The Afghan President said the Taliban recognize that Afghanistan is an occupied country, and therefore they continue to fight against the Kabul government.
On April 1, Karzai accused the West of trying to ruin Afghanistan's elections, by intensifying a showdown with the parliament over whether foreigners will oversee a parliamentary vote this year. "Foreigners will make excuses, they do not want us to have a parliamentary election," a defiant Karzai told election officials. "They want parliament to be weakened and battered, and for me to be an ineffective President, and for parliament to be ineffective.... You have gone through the kind of elections during which you were not only threatened with terror, you also faced massive interference from foreigners," Karzai said. "Some embassies also tried to bribe the members of the commission."
An Asia Times cited local sources in Kabul that a gravy train runs through Rawalpindi and Lahore to Kabul for civilian and military "experts" and "advisors."
What is not said, is that only one-fifth of the money that the international community has poured into Afghanistan, has indeed passed through Karzai's hands. If the report tabled by the UN Secretary General in the UN Security Council in New York in March is to be believed, even after eight years of engagement in Afghanistan, 80% of international community assistance still bypasses the Afghan government, and is not closely aligned with Kabul's priorities.
April 1 (EIRNS)Large areas of the usually lush South China grasslands in Guizhou Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province have been hit this year with a drought that has lasted through most of the early Spring. One of the areas, known as the Sea of Grass, normally has grass of 10 cm. and more; this year, there are only stubs. This, in spite of emergency cloud-seeding, which has been done half a dozen times, but only resulted in a few inches of rain, with the water quickly dissipating in the parched soil. Some analysts estimate that if things do not change by the beginning of May, desertification will set in. Emergency relief, including truckloads of bottled water, have been brought into the provinces, some from Wenchuan, which last year was hit by the earthquake, in return for the relief given by people in Guangzhou and Guizhou to the earthquake victims.
Africa News Digest
March 30 (EIRNS)A coalition of London-run green fascist organizations, led by "Rivers International" and Survival International, is opposing the Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia, a hydroelectric project that will double Ethiopia's power-generation capacity and will be the largest dam ever built in Africa. The dam is being built by the Italian company Salini Costruttori. On March 23, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera published an article endorsing the anti-dam campaign, with the headline, "A Dam Dries Out 200,000 Ethiopians," calling on creditors to cut funds to the project. However, the contractors responded by threatening a lawsuit, and accusing opponents of the dam projects of being against the development of Africa.
The Salini firm issued a statement, published by Corriere March 28, calling this "an irresponsible campaign, led with statements based on huge factual errors and even a product of elementary arithmetic and technical mistakes.... The firm announces that it will defend itself in any forum, against unsubstantiated and defamatory attacks that very seriously damage the firm, the dignity of its technicians and workers, but above all the development of the entire Horn of Africa. In fact, through the Gibe projects, it will be possible to supply as much clean and renewable energy as two medium-sized nuclear power plants, thus allowing the sustainable development of one of the most depressed areas of the planet."
The Gibe III dam is being built on the Omo River, a tributary of Lake Turkana, the northern tip of which is in southern Ethiopia, while most of the lake is in Kenya. The dam will be 240 meters high, and its basin will be 150 km long. The hydroelectric turbines will produce 1,870 MW of power, doubling Ethiopia's existing capacity. Half of the new power will be exported to neighboring countries. Gibe III is part of the Gibe-Omo waterfall project, which includes Gibe I (operational) and Gibe II (almost completed, which is a 420 MW plant and includes a 26-km canal tunnel).
Rivers International was founded in 1985 at Berkeley University; its stated aim is to stop construction of dams around the world. As a spokesman of the anti-Gibe campaign, Corriere quotes Oxford anthropologist Marco Bassi, who was deployed in the Omo Valley: "The Kara and Kwegu tribes who live along the river are condemned to extinction, and all other tribes who live on the delta will be jeopardized." Stephen Corry of London-based Survival International said in a statement: "The Gibe III dam will be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for the tribes of the Omo valley. Their land and livelihoods will be destroyed.... No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project." The fascist green coalition has called on the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, and the Italian government, not to issue the promised credits.
March 29 (EIRNS)South Korean President Lee Myung Bak met with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila in Seoul today, offering to provide aid and direction for the Congo's rural development, based on the highly successful Korean model of the 1970s. That policy, called the Saemaeul Movement, was established by nationalist President Park Chung-hee, providing villages with the materials and the know-how to build basic physical infrastructure, utilizing their own labor. The Park government followed up on the programs by providing materials for the next step of the project, if the villages carried through on their side of the deal. If not, they were to be bypassed. This forced both physical development and upgrading of skill levels in rural areas.
Lee and Kabila discussed the development of energy and natural resources, the construction of infrastructure such as harbors, power-generation facilities, and the modernization of roads. Lee promised support in the construction of infrastructure and homes, job creation, and health education.
According to today's Korean Herald, "Since 2004, Korea has invited Congolese community leaders to share its know-how in rural development and provided financial support to improve rural infrastructure and develop farms in the country, from which Korea seeks to expand the Saemaeul Movement across Africa."
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