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Online Almanac
From Volume 37, Issue 15 of EIR Online, Published Apr. 16, 2010

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Science & Christianity:
This Easter Sunday
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

As I have emphasized in my March 19, 2010 report, the present element of reported moral crisis from within the Roman Catholic Church regions of Ireland, England, Germany and the U.S.A., is chiefly a matter of the British monarchy's exploitation of a certain obnoxious practice, which, admittedly, actually exists in those locations; but, the present, politically motivated exploitation of that aberration by the British Empire itself, is the far greater crime. In this present report, I present a related issue of concern for Christians and others, the need for a scientific view of the specific distinction of the mission of, and by Jesus Christ, which distinguishes the essential quality of Christianity from other religious beliefs, including much of Protestant and Jewish belief, that by the actual implications of that notion of immortality which is inherent in a competent modern scientist's comprehension of the work of the authors of the compositions identified as The New Testament. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, most emphatically....

In-Depth articles from EIR, Vol. 37, No. 15
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This Week's Cover


Book Reviews

  • The Evils of Monetarism:
    It's 'Globalization,' Stupid!

    Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought To Save the Financial System—and Themselves,
    by Andrew Ross Sorkin
    On the Brink: Inside the Race To Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System
    by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.


Art Reviews

  • Hendrick Avercamp and The Last Little Ice Age
    An exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 'Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age,' shows the effects of the 'Little Ice Age' on the lives of the Dutch people. Can it happen again?

This Week's News

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Economic Collapse Cut U.S. Birth Rate 'Below Replacement'

April 7 (EIRNS)—The complete global financial crash underway has cut the birth rate of the United States as of 2008, pushing the U.S. down below the "population replacement fertility rate" of 2.1 live births per woman during childbearing age; it had been unique among industrial nations in being above that rate.

The 2008 figures from the National Council on Health Statistics show that 40,000 fewer American children were born in that year than in 2007 or 2006; and that the birth rate (per 1,000 women of childbearing age) fell by 2.2% in 2008.

An analysis of those figures by state, for 25 states having about 55% of the country's population, showed a direct and close correlation between the change in fertility and birth rate in each state, on one hand, and the timing and severity of the drops in 1) per capita income, and 2) housing "values" in those states, on the other. And those states with the biggest drops in birth rates—for example, California and Florida at -2.8/1,000 women, and Arizona at -4.1/1,000 women—were the states hit with the worst bubble-economy collapse.

This "unexpected" drop in births and birth rate likely accelerated in 2009, and will be reflected in the ongoing 2010 Census.

1.2 Million U.S. Households Lost Between 2005 and 2008

April 8 (EIRNS)—According to a report issued this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association, 1.2 million U.S. households were lost due to the economic collapse between 2005 and 2008. That number doesn't include data from 2009, so the impact up to the present is far worse. Faced with job losses as well as foreclosures, those who have lost a home to foreclosure do not necessarily become renters.

There has been a five-fold increase in overcrowding of remaining households—defined as more than one person per room. This doubling-up is happening as families who lose a home move in with friends or family. In other cases, younger people have delayed striking out on their own, instead staying with their parents. Others, who fail to find work after graduating from college, move back home.

Not only has the national homeownership rate fallen, but renters also have been forced to double up or move in with friends or family. The vacancy rate for U.S. apartments stood at 8 percent in the first quarter, according to a report this week from Reis, a real estate research firm.

Those 1.2 million households were lost even as the population grew by 3.4 million.

With Bernanke Quoting Keynes, We Could All Be Dead Soon

April 7 (EIRNS)—Federal Reserve Chairman Ben "Bubbles" Bernanke took aim at Social Security and Medicare in a Dallas speech today, "justifying" his austerity demands by quoting President Franklin Roosevelt's opponent, the British monetarist economist and sexual prestidigitator John Maynard Keynes. Bernanke, in his Texas speech, insisted the United States has to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other spending to get down to the 3% deficit/GDP ratio, even though that EU Maastricht Treaty "3% rule" is anathema to the U.S. Constitution. It has also had disastrous economic and political results for Europe.

"The economist John Maynard Keynes said that in the long run, we are all dead. If he were around today he might say that, in the long run, we are all on Social Security and Medicare," Bernanke began. Blaming unsustainable Federal deficits on "an aging population," rather than on the tax revenue collapse and the $25 trillion worth of bail-out commitments which he and Tim Geithner made to the banks, Bubbles Ben got to his point. "The arithmetic is, unfortunately, quite clear. To avoid large and unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will have to choose among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense, or some combination of the above."

As Lyndon LaRouche says, in the long run we will all contribute in some way to the essential future of the human race, in conquering Mars and beyond for human habitation, via the Moon—or, in the short run, we may all be dead in history's worst economic collapse. The short-run goal, then, is to get President Barack Obama out of office, and Ben Bernanke along with him.

Global Economic News

China May Boycott in Response to Iron Ore Robbery

April 5 (EIRNS)—China is responding to the move by the British iron ore cartel to almost double prices and force steel mills into short-term, three-month contracts which shook world markets last week. The China Iron and Steel Association has asked domestic steel firms and traders not to import iron ore from Australia's Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, or Brazil's Vale for two months, according to China Net, a government news website.

China has 75 million tons of iron ore reserves, and production of the resource by Chinese mines was up by 18% year-on-year during the first two months of 2010, the report said. "At present our steel enterprises have ample supplies of iron ore to ensure normal steel production for two months," the report quoted association head Shan Shanghua as saying.

To no one's surprise, Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean responded by calling on Beijing not to interfere in the market. "You've got to let the market determine the price. You can't be issuing directives in terms of restricting supply," he told Australia's ABC Radio. (After all, it's their market, isn't it?) Crean said a boycott was unlikely, because demand for iron ore was so high from rapidly industrializing China. Rio Tinto refused to comment on the report; BHP was "unavailable."

Greece Being Looted on Both Ends

April 6 (EIRNS)—While Greece is being forced to pay usurious interest rates of close to 7% on its state bonds, it is now suffering capital flight at a rate that surpasses its ability to float more debt.

Britain's Daily Telegraph reports that astronomical amounts of flight capital from Greece are ending up in British banks like HSBC, as well as Swiss and Cypriot banks and French banks like Société Générale (of the Inter-Alpha group). EU5 billion was withdrawn in January alone, and another EU3 billion in February (that's about $11 billion, total). These withdrawals are debasing the Greek banking system, by cutting their reserves at a time when they are unable to raise funds.

Since it pays the same high interest on its Treasury bonds as countries in the "emerging markets," Greece is moving to raise money from U.S. financial predators. According to the Financial Times, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou will travel to the U.S. after April 20 to sell Greece to the Wall Street sharks in an effort to raise $5-10 billion at yields of 6.5% or more. That will barely cover the amount that has left through capital flight—and it will probably be stolen as well, if Greece continues with the eurosham.

Greece has no choice except to leave the Eurozone, declare a debt moratorium, establish capital and exchange controls, and implement the LaRouche plan, or find itself sacrificed on the altar of the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.

France Resumes Funding for Astrid Fast Breeder Reactor

April 6 (EIRNS)—Feeling the heat of competition from Asia, the French government used a fast track to allocate EU650 million to Astrid, the Atomic Energy Commission's (CEA) new experimental fast breeder reactor, to be ready in 2020. The funds are from the EU35 billion loan taken by the state to "invest" in the future.

Astrid (the Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) is a 600-megawatt fourth-generation high-temperature sodium-cooled fast breeder, which will test breeder technologies, including recycling and sodium coolant safety. The head of this program at the CEA indicated that these technologies represent "strong, non-linear breaks" relative to the previous French fast breeders.

Although the French had pioneered the fast breeder technologies in the 1970s, building two reactors (Phénix and the commercial-size Super-Phénix), that track was temporarily closed down because of a rotten deal between Lionel Jospin, when he became Prime Minister in 1997, and Dominique Voynet, then head of the Green Party.

In the meantime, under AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon's leadership, French policy oriented towards a totally commercial perspective around the EPR, a 1600-MW third-generation nuclear reactor, improved through a lot of computer technology. As a result, teams working on the fourth-generation reactors were dismantled and skills lost. There remain at this point, according to the head of the program at CEA, only around 100 French engineers able to work on these projects—of whom only 15 are actually capable of participating in the entire process. Having not yet decided to return to the Middle Ages, the government announced it would extend credit towards the creation of new national and international training programs.

United States News Digest

LaRouche Was Right: Obama 'Health Care' is Genocide for Everybody

April 9 (EIRNS)—It's not just Medicare and seniors that are targetted under Obama's Nazi deathcare scheme.

In a column in today's Wall Street Journal, former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey points out that under the new health-care law, nearly everyone is required to enroll in a "qualified plan;" and then, the law says that these plans can only pay doctors who follow whatever guidelines the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) imposes to improve health-care "quality." This, McCaughey argues, "covers everything in medicine. Never before has the federal government dictated how doctors treat privately insured patients," except in certain narrowly specified areas.

The crucial —and point she makes, is that the Obama bill imposes Federal "quality" (read "comparative effective research," statistically based "outcomes," etc.) on virtually all medical care provided to all patients.

Secondarily, McCaughey argues that, were the Supreme Court to be consistent with its previous rulings in assisted suicide and abortion cases, it would overturn such Federal interference in "privacy" and into the doctor-patient relationship.

In reality, the mass-strike process in the citizenry will determine the future of this genocide plan, rather than legalistic precedent.

Issa Warns Administration: Come Clean on Sestak Affair

April 8 (EIRNS)—The White House counsel's office failed to meet an April 5 deadline for answering questions from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) about investigating the role of the White House in offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) a high-level administration job in exchange for his not running against Sen. Arlen Specter (D). Sestak was an opponent of the Obamacare health bill.

On April 5, White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs declined to say, in response to a journalist's question, whether the Administration would support the naming of a special prosecutor. Gibbs instead referred back to a March 16 statement in which he said that whatever White House conversations had occurred with Sestak, were "not problematic."

Rep. Issa's spokesman, Kurt Bardella, reports that Issa intends to give the White House one more week. "We're going to give him an extra few days to respond. If they respond and the response is satisfactory, we will be happy to move on."

If there is no response, or the response is unsatisfactory, Issa intends to ask the Attorney General, Eric Holder, to appoint a special prosecutor. Given the stonewalling of the White House on this matter so far, which Issa has described previously as Nixonian, it is highly unlikely that Issa will be satisfied. Will a process leading to Obama's impeachment be set into motion?

Obama Goes Where Bush Feared To Tread: Authorizes Assassination Of U.S. Citizen

April 7 (EIRNS)—The Obama Administration has taken the "extraordinary step" of authorizing the killing of an American citizen, according to media reports. The reported target is the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, now in Yemen, who was born in the United States and lived here for many years. Not only do unnamed Obama intelligence and counter-intelligence officials acknowledge that it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, but a senior legal official in the George W. Bush Administration says he did not know of any American who was approved for killing under the previous President.

The Bush Administration did kill an American citizen in a Predator strike in Yemen in 2002, which was aiming for a foreign citizen said to be an al-Qaeda official, but this was never "elevated" to a formal doctrine by Bush-Cheney.

Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald in Salon emphasizes that all this is just done on the President's say-so: There is no due process, no charges or trials; no evidence is offered, nor any chance for the accused to deny or refute the charges (which Awlaki has vehemently done). Even right-wing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn't go this far: In the 2004 Hamdi case he said it was unconstitutional for the U.S. government to detain a citizen without some due process, and the Supreme Court as a whole has agreed.

When he was running for President, Obama attacked the Bush Administration's detention of U.S. citizens without charges. Yet, now the Neronic President not only claims the power to imprison an American citizen, but to assassinate a U.S. citizen without any charges or any presentation of evidence.

Obama Appoints Another Fascist Commission To Support Killing Program

April 8 (EIRNS)—President Barack Obama yesterday appointed ten members to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. With the passage of the health-care reform legislation that includes the Independent Medicare Advisory Board to direct cutbacks of life-saving care for the elderly, the Bioethics Commission is now ready to go into action to give the "ethical" seal of approval to this euthanasia.

Last November, when the Administration was preparing to ram his deathcare through Congress, Obama appointed Amy Gutmann as chairman of this Bioethics Commission. The Commission's staffing and launch would await the outcome of his struggle with popular hatred of the deathcare legislation.

Gutmann, currently the president of the University of Pennsylvania, had been founding director of an anti-human bioethics agency at Princeton, called, inappropriately, the University Center for Human Values. As that Princeton center's boss, Gutmann in 1999 had headed a global search for a "star" advocate for genocidal principles to fill the Bioethics chair at the Center.

Gutmann chose Peter Singer, bringing him in from Australia. He had become the world's most famous "bioethicist" by calling for the murder of infants whose disabilities were a burden to their elders, and by his sensational animal-rights attack on the "prejudice" of placing any special value on human life.

The Obama Bioethics Commission, now chaired by Gutmann, is entirely guided by the promotion of euthanasia. Obama's principal medical-reform advisor, Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and chair of bioethics of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has managed the production of pro-murder propaganda in this administration, including the selection of this Commission. Emanuel's understudy and vice chair at NIH Bioethics, Christine Grady, is one of the 10 Commission members just appointed.

Ezekiel Emanuel and Christine Grady are both fellows of the Hastings Center, which was created in the late 1960s with Rockefeller family money to promote the pro-death philosophy of the eugenics and population-control movements.

Ibero-American News Digest

Come On, People! Haiti Is Not 'The Sims'!

WASHINGTON DC, April 8 (EIRNS)—The "can do" attitude toward every challenge thrown our way, has always been an emblem of great pride for the United States of America. It is an agonizing sign of the times, that the same "pragmatic" world view which has begotten the disintegration of the nation, and the entire global economy, commandeers today's discussion amongst the very policy makers responsible for, and, quite visibly impassioned with, the mission of helping the disaster-stricken nation of Haiti.

The U.S. government-sponsored United States Institute for Peace held an event this morning, on "What the Donor's Conference Means for Haiti's Future," to evaluate the recent United Nations international donors conference. The two events of the United States Institute of Peace's Haiti Working Group in which LaRouche PAC has participated, have involved the highest level of U.S. and international personnel at work on Haiti policy. Today's event, which hosted OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, State Department Senior Advisor to Counselor Cheryl Mills, Meghan Curtis, and others, displayed the deeply delusional state of mind and Harvard Business School economic models which Barack Obama's presidency have come to typify.

Viewing the up-tick in cocaine trafficking to the United States through Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, is a reasonable, and actual risk. Talking about correcting the "distortionary" effects of U.S. aid money on prices, in a completely destroyed, and dysfunctional internal market system, is not.

Curtis captured this insanity in her speech outlining State Department policy toward Haiti. Quoting British genocidalist and Soros-flunky Paul Collier, she declared that one of our "guiding tenets is: we cannot chase the needs, we have to chase the opportunities."

Her elaboration? Haiti has great natural beauty, and, therefore, can depend on building up its already "thriving" tourism in the north; and, Haiti benefits from having the most liberal trade agreement in the hemisphere. Focused investment in Haiti's "comparative advantages," such as indigenous mango, avocado, and coffee cash crops, can "pump-prime" their economy for "sustainable growth." The United States is a part of an international consortium for aid, which must be adept to these opportunities, and the risks, posed by Haitian Disaster, and should "leverage the atmosphere" accordingly.

Cities such as Cap Haitien, St. Marc, and Les Cayes, are to become new, "geographic" development polls; prime spots to build up gentrified tourist resort towns, using Haitians to service wealthy travelers. And, as for the wealthy Haitian oligarchy, Haiti's economy would greatly benefit from their offers of, for the first time, paying taxes; and, increasing their own "private" investment into an economy over which they already have a strangle hold.

Turning Haiti into a new Dubai, or Rio de Janeiro, is the pipe dream of persons who think of the future as a constructed scenario in "The Sims"; it's not real—it never can be.

Cardinal Praises Narcoterrorist FARC

April 6 (EIRNS)—In an April 5 interview with Colombia's El Tiempo, Roman Catholic Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos broadcast that he intends to broker a power-sharing deal for South America's largest cocaine cartel, the narcoterrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in his native Colombia.

Castrillon's brazen interview signals that London is going for broke for the full legalization of the cocaine trade throughout the Americas, after a Colombian court ruled on Feb. 26 that Alvaro Uribe could not run for a third term in the May 30 Presidential election. Lyndon LaRouche had identified Uribe as a target of the British, because he was the only President in the Americas refusing to bow to drug legalization. With President Uribe now on his way out, and with Obama still in the White House, London is confident it can get away with bloody murder.

Cardinal Castrillón, long hostile to LaRouche's policies, has retired from any official post in the Vatican, but is still based in Rome. He told El Tiempo that "political space must be opened" to the FARC, citing his personal meetings and phone conversations with FARC leaders on such a deal in the recent period.

He declared it "not only dangerous, but odious and damaging" to label the murderous FARC (correctly) as "narcoterrorists," and announced that he'd been in their camps, and in their combat areas, and has pictures, including with Cano, going back at least 18 years to prove it. He spoke of "my friends, and I dare to call them that, in high levels of the armed leadership of the guerrillas. Some of them have been in my chapel here in Rome.... They know I do not profess a false friendship towards them," and spoke of the "good intentions to help the people" of a FARC leadership which has waged mass terror campaigns against their nation for decades.

Castrillon called refusal to negotiate with the FARC "hypocritical," because all of Colombia—leading families, businessmen, military and police—has been corrupted by the drug trade. He should know. The term "narco-alms" was coined after Castrillón met with drug kingpin Carlos Lehder, blessed his lodging in the earlier 1980s, and admitted he took money from the trafficker. Likewise, Castrillon confessed publicly in 1984 that he took money from Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel—for a good cause, of course: to keep it from being used in illegal activities such as prostitution. And, he warned the donors that giving money would not save their souls.

Brazil's Political Bubble Will Pop, Too

WASHINGTON, April 7 (EIRNS)—A foretaste of the nasty shock Brazilian policymakers are in for when London's carry-trade bubble pops under them, was seen at the Woodrow Wilson Center's Brazil Institute forum today, on prospects for Brazil's October 2010 Presidential elections. Brazilian political analysts and leading U.S. Brazilianologists sat around discussing pre- and post-election trends, starting from the premise that Brazil's economic "success" ensures economic and political stability, no matter who wins the election. This, in an economy based, as EIR has documented, on the biggest speculative bubble around.

In this surreal environment, the most lunatic was Chris Garman, Latin America head of the so-called political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group. Garman reported that his firm's clients—hedge funds and institutional investors located in London, Wall Street and Boston—consider Brazil "the market darling," and believe that not much is at stake in the election, because the political class agrees that monetarist policies cannot be violated. Garman insisted that the issue in the elections, is the differences in how the two main contenders will "manage abundance."

It was left to EIR's Gretchen Small to drop "a stinkbomb" into the discussions, pointing out that the "abundance" they were yakking about is based entirely on the speculative carry trade, and the entire international financial system is blowing up! The Euro is at the point of disappearing. And what will that do to all their political projections for Brazil?

To which Garman fanatically insisted that none of that would hurt Brazil's great success story, while many nodded their agreement.

Brazilians Die in Mudslides: No Natural Disaster

April 13 (EIRNS)—Historic levels of rain fell in the state of Rio de Janeiro last week, but like the destruction wrecked by the January earthquake in Haiti, the rising death toll in Rio is not a result of rain, but a policy of throwing millions of people onto the garbage heaps—literally.

Mud and landslides crushed homes and people in "favelas" built precariously on steep slopes in and near the city of Rio de Janeiro this week, leaving a confirmed death toll at 239 by April 13, with dozens still missing; the homes of 11,000 people destroyed; while 60,000 fled homes that are at risk.

Rio's mudslides expose the ugly oligarchic culture which Lyndon LaRouche has identified as what London finds so congenial for such imperialist frauds as the so-called "BRIC" (Brazil, Russia, India, China forum). While rich elites live in their walled communities and armed fortresses, the majority of Brazil's people still live in slave-like conditions, or worse. A fifth or more of the city of Rio de Janeiro's people live piled on top of each other in the infamous favelas, the 500 or so slums covering its steep hillsides, in self-built shacks, with no public services. Most are under the control of drug gangs, and police dare not enter.

When the rains hit, the lack of drainage and haphazard construction turned these hillsides into time-bombs. The worst catastrophe occurred in Niteroi, across the harbor from Rio, where 154 people, so far, were buried in one hill alone, after a forty-foot wall of earth and garbage roared down its slopes. Morro do Bumba had been built on top of a garbage dump, with no drainage system, and the ferocity of the slide is believed to have been generated by an explosion of methane released by the rotting garbage.

At least 18 of Rio's favelas are built on garbage dumps, it is now reported.

Western European News Digest

Franco-Italian Summit Pushes Nuclear Agenda

April 9 (EIRNS)—The bilateral Franco-Italian meeting today in Paris pushed forward an important agenda of industrial cooperation, spearheaded by cooperation in nuclear energy development, but also including railways and finance. Italy plans to build four nuclear power stations with French technology. To this purpose, a deal has already been signed between Electricité de France (EDG) and the Italian electricity company ENEL, which will be the leader of the consortium.

Today, three more deals will be signed by the French nuclear company AREVA: 1) With Ansaldo Nucleare. Italian technicians and engineers will work together with their French colleagues in plants being built abroad, such as in Finland, and eventually in France and Great Britain on engineering, building, and starting the reactors. 2) A deal for a strategic partnership with Techint to build components for plants, not necessarily nuclear plants. 3) An agreement with a dozen Italian universities to reconstruct lost skills and develop new ones in the nuclear fields, including joint research programs, student internships at AREVA, and visit to plants.

British Tories Would Reopen Kelly Inquiry

April 5 (EIRNS)—British Conservative Party shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said that if the Tories win the next elections, they will reopen the investigation into the July 2003 death of weapons of mass destruction scientist Dr. David Kelly. Grieve is quoted in the Daily Mail as questioning the Hutton Inquiry, organized by the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, which claimed that Kelly had committed suicide. Kelly was the source for a BBC story exposing that the Blair government had "sexed up" the report that Iraq had of weapons of mass destruction.

The Hutton Inquiry refused permission to have an official coroner's investigation, and Lord Hutton has had all evidence relating to the case sealed from release to the public for 70 years. The Mail reports that Hutton later made a statement saying that the doctors' group could have access to the documents, but he has yet to act on it. The doctors hope that, with Grieve joining their cause, Hutton will finally release the documents to them.

Paris Public Hospitals Financed by Bond Bubble

PARIS, April 9 (EIRNS)—The largest Japanese Mutual Bank, Zenkyoren, is buying upo bonds of the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris (AP-HP), the largest public hospital group of France.

The bonds are for sale in Zurich and, of course, in France. Since 2006, AP-HP, increasingly pressured to be financially "autonomous," has been taking loans from private banks, and in 2009, the group borrowed 275 million euros from private banks.

But the hospital also found a much cheaper way to obtain cash: It writes its own bonds. In 2009, the totality of bonds written out by the public AP-HP were bought by foreign capital. "With the new prudential rules, international investors are looking to safe investments," explains its financial manager, Philippe Sauvage.

So far, AP-HP has AAA rating, but rating agencies are starting to worry about the debt increase, from 1 billion in 2005 to 1.87 billion euros in 2009! To "restructure" the debt, one has to expect the IMF will very soon send its "men in black."

Budget Fascists Assault German Health Care

April 6 (EIRNS)—Apparently encouraged by the Obama success in the U.S. Congress, budget- cutting fanatics in Germany are moving ahead for a new round of deep cuts in the health-care system. On the one hand, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble restated that the "debt brake" policy will have priority, and, since deep cuts in pensions and other social budgets are not possible for the time being, the health-care budgets are the prime target. Schaeuble said the "debt brake," which goes into full effect in 2011, is neither debatable nor changeable, and he encouraged Health Minister Philip Roesler to march ahead with his "reforms."

Claiming that he wants to do something about the chronic under-supply of health care and infrastructure, including the shortage of doctors and nurses in some regions of Germany, Roesler has called for the creation of more medical service centers (modelled on the British centers), which would employ doctors and nurses at fixed salaries, and operate on the basis of restrictive budgetary and medical ceilings. This is accompanied by a populist move by Roesler, calling for lifting the quota system that puts a limit on the number of medical students at universities, and for changing the training standards, so that universities produce medical personnel who are much more specialized and streamlined in certain categories of medical treatment, and can therefore finish universities in less time than an average student today.

No Future for Youth Employment with EU System

April 7 (EIRNS)—The latest unemployment figures published by the European Union's statistical service Eurostat, in Brussels yesterday, show that unemployment of youths under age 25 is on the rise, reaching 20% now, which is twice as high as that of unemployed generally. That figure broken down by country shows an alarming rise of jobless youth in Spain and Latvia, in particular, with above 40.7% and 41.3%, which means that almost one out of two citizens under age 25 in those states is without a job.

Throughout eastern and southeastern Europe, youth unemployment is considerably above 20%: Slovakia 33.2%, Lithuania 30.4%, Hungary 27.6%, Estonia 27.5%, Greece 27.5%, Poland 23.4%, Bulgaria 22.4%, the Czech Republic 21.6%. Italy with 28.3%, and Ireland with 28.6% are not far behind, nor are Sweden with 25.6%, Belgium with 24.8%, and Finland with 23.7%. Also France with 22.1% and Portugal with 21% are above the EU average. Germany and Austria are at 10%. Figures for Britain and Romania were not available.

Not quite a "success story" for the Eurocrats who try to lecture the Greeks about how to behave.

France Legalizes Internet Gambling

PARIS, April 6 (EIRNS)—Confirming the sleaze factor among elected officials and also among many citizens, who are becoming gamblers in the millions, the French National Assembly will soon adopt a law legalizing gambling on the Internet, and expanding the gamut of gambling that had been relatively restricted, to be allowed on the Internet.

Since the end of the 19th Century, gambling in France has been run by a public company, La Française de Jeux, and was limited to betting on equestrian competitions. The present law will eliminate the state monopoly, open up to private gambling companies, and legalize Internet gambling in poker games and sports betting.

Tremonti Speaks Again On Need for Chapter 11

April 10 (EIRNS)—Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, speaking before 5,000 industrialists, regretted that no "Chapter 11" bankruptcy proceedings and no "New Deal" solution had been adopted at the onset of the world financial crisis, and so the crisis continues to unfold, like monsters popping up in a videogame.

Tremonti was speaking at a general staff meeting of the Italian Industrialist Association in Parma. "The threat is not over," he was quoted saying by the business daily Il Sole 24 Ore. "It is like in a video game. The crisis has mutated. It was not managed as with the New Deal, not with 'Chapter 11.'"

Russia and the CIS News Digest

Putin Heads Investigation of Fatal Polish Crash

April 11 (EIRNS)—In the wake of the still-unexplained airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, which killed President Lech Kaczynski of Poland and a large number of top Polish military, government, and cultural leaders, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken charge of supervising the investigation. The Polish government plane crashed near Smolensk, just before 11 a.m. on April 10, killing all 96 people on board. Among those killed were the President, his wife, the head of the national security office, two other presidential aides, the national bank president, the deputy parliamentary speaker, the army chief of staff, the navy chief commander, the heads of the air and land forces, and several members of parliament and the Polish clergy.

The group was traveling to a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre, in which 22,000 Polish officers were killed by the Soviet NKVD. In what was hailed as an important reconciliation gesture, Putin had attended an official commemoration, along with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, on April 7. The first Russian leader ever to attend the annual commemoration, Putin declared, "We bow our heads to those who bravely met death here." Russian television aired Andrzej Wajda's famous documentary film, Katyn, in another Russian gesture.

Preliminary flight data and voice recorder reports, received by Putin April 11 at a first meeting of the official investigatory commission, which he is chairing at President Dmitri Medvedev's request, indicate no mechanical trouble with the aircraft. They also confirm that the Polish crew received voice instructions from Russian air traffic controllers, to divert the Tu-154 plane to Minsk, Belarus, or Moscow, due to dense fog in Smolensk which limited visibility to under 400 meters. The pilot chose to ignore the warnings and attempt the landing. The plane crashed through forests and broke into pieces.

In the midst of broad questioning as to why the pilot would have made such a decision, former Polish President Lech Walesa is quoted in the Polish press saying that somebody must have leaned on the pilot to get him to act against the air controllers' advice.

Putin returned to Smolensk to meet Tusk at the crash site. On April 11, he presided over the investigatory commission meeting in Smolensk, then took part with Tusk in the ceremony during which Kaczynski's body was loaded onto a plane for return to Poland. Medvedev also responded quickly to the crash, posting a statement in both Polish and Russian on the presidential website, and placing calls to top Polish officials, including Prime Minister Tusk.

Russian media report an overwhelming outpouring of support by the Russian people, putting piles of flowers in front of the Polish embassy, and a steady flow of coverage of the historic event which occasioned the trip by the Polish leaders: the commemoration of the victims of the Katyn massacre. The statements of Prime Minister Putin in the April 7 ceremony with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk are being reprised as well. Putin had said, at that event, that it was the "historical duty and a belief in the future" that compelled the two nations to honor the Polish officers who had been massacred, and the Soviet citizens killed by the Nazis. President Medvedev's statement that "together we mourned the victims of totalitarian times" is also being rebroadcast.

Russian Youth Group Pickets NATO, Demands Afghan Poppy Destruction

April 6 (EIRNS)—The Moscow news radio station City-FM reported today that activists of the Nashi youth group staged a demonstration against non-action on narcotics production in Afghanistan. They targetted the office of NATO in Moscow. On March 24 in Brussels, Russian Federal Service for Narcotics Control chief Victor Ivanov head presented to NATO, Russia's Rainbow-2 plan for the elimination of Afghanistan opiate production within five years. In the absence of a positive response, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the next day, blasted NATO forces in Afghanistan for refusing to destroy poppy fields, which are now in bloom, calling this "connivance" with the dope trade.

The Nashi ("Our People") organization was set up several years ago with Kremlin sponsorship, during Vladimir Putin's term as President. According to City-FM, "the rally was organized around the demand to destroy the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan." The report cited the well-known figure, that opium production there has increased 40-fold since NATO operations began. Nashi leader Nikita Borovikov said the group had handed a letter to the NATO representative office in Moscow, demanding to know what guidelines NATO was following, in "abetting the world narco mafia and systematically aggravating the drug situation in Russia."

Russia's Finances Are Run From the Cayman Islands

April 4 (EIRNS)—"The financial capital of Russia is the Cayman Islands!" Lyndon LaRouche exclaimed in a discussion with colleagues yesterday. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev demonstrated the case on March 23, making good on his ill-advised promise to rely more on businessmen than on specialists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, in implementation of a "modernization" program for the country. He named Victor Vekselberg, CEO of the Renova holding group, to head the project to build an R&D center in the Moscow suburb Skolkovo, to develop new technologies and—above all—market them. This is the scheme Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov has dubbed "the Russian Silicon Valley." (See EIR, March 26, 2010, "London's 'Our Men' Continue to Poison Russian Economic Policy.")

The "principal business address" of Renova is in the Bahamas—well-known as a British Commonwealth tax haven.

As readers of Stanislav Menshikov's The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism know, Vekselberg is also one of the post-Soviet Russian "oligarchs" most directly entangled with City of London interests. His Renova group has a long-standing alliance with the Alfa Group of Pyotr Aven, one of the members of the 1991-1993 Gaidar government in Russia who was schooled through the London Institute of Economic Affairs and, especially, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). In 2003, Alfa and Renova engineered the merger of TNK, then Russia's fourth largest oil company, with British Petroleum, to form BP-TNK. In 2003-06, Vekselberg negotiated unsuccessfully to form a joint venture between his aluminum company, SUAL, and the core City of London investment outfit, Fleming Family & Partners Capital Management LLP.

Vekselberg's Renova is a partner in constructing a new factory in Chuvashia to produce solar batteries, which Rosnano CEO Anatoli Chubais (Gaidar's close ally and privatization czar in the 1990s) has hailed as the wave of the future for high tech in Russia.

More Than 20% Of Russian Children Lack Parents

April 4 (EIRNS)—Reports given at a March 25 board meeting of the Russian Center for Aid to Homeless Children (CAHC) revealed the continuing horror of life for children in Russia, which represents a threat to the country's future. The meeting was held at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whose chairman, former Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov, is a sponsor of the Center.

Leonid Romanov, director of the CAHC foundation, said that 6 million of Russia's 28 million children are officially "not cared for," that is, living without either parent. Primakov told the meeting that the CAHC must urgently address the fact that the government allocates only 5 to 8 rubles (16 to 26 cents) daily for the care of a child in a state orphanage.

Putting the CAHC figures together with Russian anti-drug chief Victor Ivanov's recent report of 2.5 million drug addicts in the country (counting only those who are officially registered as such), that means that 8.5 million Russians, or 6% of the population, fall into those two categories alone: drug addicts and homeless children. Such is the legacy of Russia's "free market" reforms, imported from British imperial practice during the 1990s.

Britain-Controlled Terror in Ingushetia

April 5 (EIRNS)—Terrorists in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia attacked a police station in Karabulak with two suicide bombers. The explosions killed six people, two of them security guards who had barred the terrorists from entering the precinct house. This attack followed the recent terrorist attacks inside the Moscow subway and on the freight train in Dagestan. The President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, believes that the people behind the terrorist attacks in Moscow and Dagestan, were perhaps the culprits in Ingushetia, as well. "They do not operate within one republic, they do not even consider it to be such, but they have what they call the Caucasus Emirate, and therefore, there is a connection between these attacks," President Yevkurov explained.

While President Yevkurov is right that the terrorists on the ground are seeking the so-called Caucasus Emirate, they were trained, armed and funded by Britain and Saudi Arabia. In Britain, two Islamic organizations, Hizb ut-Tahrir and Tablighi Jamaat, operated by British intelligence, and financed mostly by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and opium money, are directly involved in the terrorist activities carried out in Caucasus. These British Muslims helped train Central Asian secessionists and Arab Chechens, and indoctrinated them with Wahhabi-variety of orthodox Sunni Islam in Pakistan's tribal areas, in order to launch violent activities inside Russia, and some Central Asian countries.

Southwest Asia News Digest

Sneh Reiterates Threat of Israeli Attack on Iran

April 12 (EIRNS)—Israel's former Deputy Defense Minister, Efraim Sneh, appeared on a conference call today, organized by the right-wing Israel Project, and reiterated that Israel could be forced, by American inaction, to bomb Iran. Sneh asserted that, for Israel, the "point of no return" is reached when Iran has mastered all the technology required to have a nuclear bomb, and while "for us, the Iranian retaliation will be painful, and a high price for us, nothing is worse for us than to live under a nuclear Iran."

Sneh demanded "crippling sanctions" that would forever prevent Iran from doing business in the United States, Britain, France, and the rest of Europe. He warned the U.S. not to wait for Russia and China to acquiesce to sanctions. Instead, the sanctions by the U.S.—which already exist in a Congressional bill, he noted—and its European allies, would be to tell countries that do business with Iran that they would "never be able to do business in the U.S. Britain, France, or anywhere in Europe." Asked about Turkey, he threatened that Israel will be watching how Turkey behaves toward Iran at the UN, because Turkey, which is a democracy, "cannot side with the greatest enemy of democracy."

He went one step further, declaring that "the purpose of the sanctions is not just to stop the Iranian nuclear program, but to get rid of this horrible regime, which is cruel and brutal at home, and aggressive abroad." Sneh claimed that Iran is already in a pre-revolutionary period, and that the regime could be toppled with the right kinds of economic pressures.

He ended the call with a blunt warning: "Don't push Israel into a corner so we have no other option."

Israeli Assassination Policy Explodes into the Open

April 10 (EIRNS)—An espionage case involving the leaking of classified documents to an Israeli journalist has exploded into a confrontation between the Israeli daily Ha'aretz and the domestic security service Shin Bet. Ha'aretz is accusing the security service of reneging on a deal to protect the journalist, Uri Blau, and his sources, in the course of its investigation into the leakage of documents between 2005 and 2007 that, among other things, revealed the nature of Israel's targetted assassination policy.

On Nov. 27, 2008, Blau published a lengthy article in Ha'aretz exposing how the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ignore High Court rulings in carrying out targetted assassinations of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The court had ordered that if a Palestinian suspect could be arrested, then that's what the IDF and the Shin Bet security service must do. Blau showed, using interviews and documents, that the Shin Bet was targetting individual Palestinians for assassination, even when they could have arrested them, and was accepting collateral deaths of innocent civilians in the process.

Blau and the young woman alleged to have supplied him with the documents, former IDF officer Anat Kamm, are now, themselves, being targetted by the Shin Bet. Kamm is under house arrest in Israel. Blau was on an overseas trip when the Shin Bet took the case public, and his newspaper has arranged for him to stay in London. In what the Jerusalem Post described as "an extraordinary press conference," Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned of a "direct threat" to national security and said the agency should have "taken the gloves off" long ago in pursuing the culprits.

Ha'aretz fired back in an editorial, that the real crime is "the one committed by the security apparatus in ignoring a High Court order and approving the targetted assassination of wanted men who could otherwise have been detained, in strikes that claimed the lives of innocent civilians." The real culprits are "those same commanders who chose to so blatantly flout the High Court ruling." The editorial goes on to detail the agreement that Ha'aretz reached with Shin Bet's legal advisor, and how that agreement was then ignored by the agency.

Nor did Ha'aretz's defense of Blau end there. Senior political commentator Akiva Eldar, in an accompanying column, took on the even larger issue: what the occupation of Palestinian territories has done to the state of Israel. "As early as the first intifada, we understood there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation," Eldar wrote. "One nation cannot rule over another for 43 years without behaving cruelly toward the helpless, without executing people without trial, without embittering the lives of women and children, the sick and the elderly." To manage an occupation, said Eldar, a nation must raise obedient soldiers and officers, willing to hide the crimes of that occupation. "Right now, hundreds of clerks and officers are sitting in the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the army lacking the courage to contact a journalist and divulge that the ministers or commanders are endangering their children's future." Some, Eldar concluded, such as Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz, and Moshe Ya'alon, are hiding behind the lie that Yasser Arafat planned the intifada, which gave rise to the disastrous notion that Israel has no negotiating partner. "The real story, of course, is contained in documents stamped with the words, 'Top Secret.'"

British-backed Terrorists Hit Pakistan, India, Iraq

April 6 (EIRNS)—Terrorist violence has claimed more than 100 lives in at least three countries today. Following a brazen commando attack on the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, which killed at least six people, the United Nations announced closure of its offices for two days in that city.

In Baghdad, Saudi- and British-backed terrorists, under the cover of protecting the interests of the minority Sunni sect, launched a series of blasts, destroying several buildings in the Iraqi capital, and killing at least 41 people, while leaving more than 200 wounded. Today's bloodshed brings the number of people killed in Baghdad in the last five days alone to well over 100.

In the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, at least 70 policemen, mostly from the paramilitary unit Central Reserve Police Force, were killed as a party of the Chhattisgarh police was ambushed on its way back after completing its operations near Markam Nala. Indian Maoists, no longer an ideological outfit, but joined by many rural poor neglected economically by New Delhi, have become part of the international terrorist organization drawing its support from drug- and gun-running mafia associated with all international terrorists.

Asia News Digest

Amnesty International Goes To Bat for Jihadis

April 4 (EIRNS)—That old British intelligence apparatus, Amnesty International, landed itself in hot soup when its Secretary-General, Claudio Cordone, issued a statement saying that jihad is a form of "self-defense." The issue arose after Amnesty International suspended Gita Sahgal, one of its senior officials in London, for expressing the view that Amnesty's collaboration with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzem Begg "fundamentally damages" the group's reputation. Sahgal pointed out that "to be appearing on platforms with Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment."

Begg is also reputed to be a friend and supporter of Anwar al-Awlaki, imam to some of the 9/11 hijackers, and an inspiration to both the 2009 "Christmas Day bomber" and the Fort Hood mass-murderer.

On Feb. 10, Sahgal stated: "This morning the Sunday Times published an article about Amnesty International's association with groups that support the Taliban and promote Islamic Right ideas.... Within a few hours of the article being published, Amnesty had suspended me from my job." Sahgal is not expected to back down. Lyndon LaRouche commented: "This is going to be very painful for Gorbachov's British owners. Somebody is going to revolt against this. With all the killing, you can no longer cover up for the Brits on this one."

British lawyer Peter Benenson, a member of the Bletchley Park (British intelligence codebreaking) establishment, was set up by British intelligence to launch a worldwide campaign, Appeal for Amnesty, 1961. His article launching the appeal, "The Forgotten Prisoners," published in The Observer, was reprinted in newspapers around the world and turned out to be the genesis of Amnesty International. Targeting the Soviet Union primarily, AI set up its office and library, staffed by volunteers, in Benenson's chambers in London.

Stavridis: Afghan Opium Is Security Threat in Caucasus

April 5 (EIRNS)—Adm. James Stavridis, who took over as commander of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) last July, said at an April 1 conference in Stuttgart, Germany, with ambassadors from the Black Sea nations, that the flow of narcotics, particularly heroin from Afghanistan, human trafficking, and weapons smuggling, are some of the factors that contribute to instability in an area where regional rivalries have historically limited cooperation. "When I look at the [Caucasus] in general, as we see with the recent subway bombings, ... I'm worried about that as a zone of terrorism," Stavridis said.

"For instance," he said, "NATO needs to do more regarding heroin flowing into the region from Afghanistan." Stavridis said that heroin is to blame for the deaths of some 30,000 Russians between the ages of 18-24, last year. "That, in and of itself, is a humanitarian disaster. And the profit and the money from that goes right back to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Heroin made from Afghanistan poppy crops generates from $100 to $400 million each year for the insurgency. And though poppy production has declined in the past year, the situation is a long way from good."

Acknowledging that the U.S. relationship with Russia, the most important player in the region, was complicated in recent years, but has now begun to improve, Stavridis expressed sympathy with the Russian concern with poppy production in Afghanistan. Stavridis said he intends to speak with his Russian counterparts in the near future to discuss NATO's counternarcotic efforts, which in large part are focussed on getting farmers to grow alternative crops. "We're going to have to help Afghanistan solve that problem," Stavridis said.

Thai Government Retreats—To Fight Another Day

April 12 (EIRNS)—The crisis in Thailand took a bizarre turn today, two days after the bloody but failed assault by military forces on the mass anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok. The Election Committee, one of several judicial bodies appointed directly by the King which have "Star Chamber" type dictatorial powers, ruled that the Democratic Party, the governing party headed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjajiva, should be dissolved over possibly illegal contributions during the elections in 2005—five years ago! Although the decision must be approved by the Constitutional Court, the announcement of the ruling at this time is a clear signal from the Monarchy that they have decided to throw their baby, Prime Minister Abhisit, to the wolves, or they will soon face the wrath of the people against the institution of the Monarchy itself.

The decision came in the wake of a stalemate between the government and the opposition "Red Shirts," loyalists to deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin has enormous popularity among the rural and urban poor, due to his "general welfare" approach to uplifting the living standards and educational opportunities of the poor. But the Monarchy and its Privy Council, with support from their sponsors in the British Royal Family, have orchestrated three military and/or judicial coups against Thaksin and his supporters since 2006, and then placed the British-born and educated Abhisit in the Premiership.

The "Red Shirts" have been occupying the streets of Bangkok, and now regional capitals as well, for weeks, demanding that Abhisit resign and hold new elections. Numerous attempts by the government to get the military to crack down have failed, as the protestors fraternized with the soldiers, and convinced them to back down. A brief military crackdown, which killed 10 to 20 protestors, was finally achieved on April 10, but the military refused to follow through.

EIR will be monitoring this situation closely, as it is part of the global British imperial crackdown against sovereign national movements, and the crisis is far from over.

Chinese-Developed Maglev Slides Out in Time for Expo

April 9 (EIRNS)—The first Chinese-developed, 312-mph, maglev train was delivered in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province yesterday, China News Service reported. This train was built by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), for the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Company, and is expected to be put into use during the Shanghai Expo, which starts in May. The train is energy-efficient, the report said; when running at the speed of 250 m.p.h., it only consumes half the energy of a sedan.

In 1876, America exhibited her newly developed industrial might to the world at the Philadelphia World Exposition. China has similar hopes.

EIR's Jones Nails Obama's Support for Afghan Drug Trade

April 6 (EIRNS)—The following exchange between EIR's Bill Jones and State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley occurred at yesterday's regular State Department briefing:

Jones: On Afghanistan and drugs, last week, there were two major meetings on the issue. One was held by General Stavridis, the head of the European Command, who called in the ambassador—U.S. ambassadors, from the Black Sea countries to talk about it, saying that the question of the narcotics in Afghanistan is one of the biggest threats facing the NATO countries and urging action on this issue. The second one was in Kabul, which was addressed by Viktor Ivanov, the Russian drug head, who indicated that over the past year, there have been 30,000 victims of death by heroin overdoses, calling it a war that Russia is fighting which is undermining their capability, and addressing NATO, calling on them to set up a strategy within the NATO-Russia Council for going after the drugs.

Now, our policy under the McChrystal plan is to—hands off the heroin, let them do what they're doing. And in effect, we're actually defending the heroin trade, and our soldiers are fighting and dying to create an Afghanistan in which drugs, the heroin, is flowing. Isn't that a contradiction? And don't we have a responsibility to do something to get together with these nations like Russia, which is heavily affected by that, to deal with the drug trade?

Crowley: Well, Bill, I do not agree with your characterization of our strategy or its implications. Clearly, narcotics is a major concern as it pertains to Afghanistan and the region and beyond, including Europe. This was a subject that came up during the Secretary's recent trip to Moscow and her bilateral with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We are looking to have—we have a strategy. We've made some adjustments over the past year. Our focus is on going after the middlemen, those who are responsible for the drug trades.

As you've had people here, including a couple of visits by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, we are affirmatively working to shift the Afghan economy, to try to expand and re-grow a legitimate agricultural sector. So we are working this hard. It is an issue of great concern to the region, to Europe, to the United States. Ninety percent of the world's poppies are grown in Afghanistan. So central to the future of a stable and democratic and prosperous Afghanistan is dealing with the current drug challenge.

We are working that aggressively, but we work this on many levels. Focussing just on one thing, as we've seen in recent years, despite heavy emphasis during the previous administration on eradication, the growth of poppies continued in Afghanistan. We think we have the right strategy. We're putting resources in place. This is not—this is something we're—that is central to our efforts in Afghanistan.

Africa News Digest

Sudan Election Period Extended by Two Days

April 13 (EIRNS)—Two more days have been added to the Sudanese election period, which began April 11, and was scheduled to end today. The two extra days will help alleviate technical and logistical difficulties, and the complex balloting procedure in which each voter votes for a large number of candidates on local and legislative levels, as well as for President. In some areas, voters mark 12 separate ballots. The elections will now end April 15.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is in Sudan, leading a delegation of observers from his Carter Center. According to press accounts, he commended the Sudanese government for organizing the election procedure in very difficult circumstances, and characterized the elections as a vital step in the process of peace between north and south Sudan.

On the first day of the elections, Carter said in Khartoum: "It's not going to be a perfect election. There are no such things. But if we feel that in the elections the will of the voters has been expressed adequately then that would be the primary judgment we will make."

Carter later pointed out that despite the pullout by some candidates from the election, there are still about 14,000 candidates participating. The pullout by the opposition's Presidential candidates, is reportedly because they didn't want to expose their lack of support. Their names will still be on the ballot, because they announced their decision to back out too late. According to a Financial Times report on the first day of the elections, "Some opposition sympathisers see the partial boycott as a strategic error by opponents of the regime because they have shut themselves out of future institutions." There are 750 international observers and 18,000 domestic observers, according to the UN.

Despite long lines and delays, there has been no reported violence in the elections, outside of SPLM-ruled southern Sudan. Observers point out that elections that do not include violence are uncharacteristic in Africa. Sudan observers report a great deal of excitement with respect to the election, not necessarily over who will win, but in having the chance to vote.

Despite these developments, and because of the widely anticipated victory of Sudan President Hassan Omar al-Bashir, intelligence operations run by the British imperial financial cartel, such as Save Darfur and the International Crisis Group (ICG), are gearing up to discredit al-Bashir, charging that if he wins, it will be proof of fraud. Al-Bashir had been widely credited in Sudan as the leader who made the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) possible. The CPA ended the protracted north vs. south civil war in 2005.

The ICG was founded by George Soros and Britain's Mark Malloch-Brown, both operatives for the British imperial system. The groups' March 30 report on Sudan advocated that "governments, and international organisations should state that the newly elected government, particularly if the incumbent wins, will have very little legitimacy." The report was quick to add, however, that this campaign to deny legitimacy to an al-Bashir victory "should not serve as a pretext for refusing to ensure the remaining implementation of the CPA." The remaining implementation of the CPA is the referendum scheduled for next year, which the British Imperial system hopes will lead to the breakup of Sudan, if southern Sudan votes to secede.

The anglophile U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice made no secret of the fact that she shares this anti-Sudan view. She undiplomatically said, according to an April 8 CNN blog, that "she found much of what she had learned about Sudan's election preparations 'quite disturbing.' "

Tony Blair Pushes Imperialism in Africa

April 10 (EIRNS)—The April 19 edition of Time magazine carries a fundraising piece by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, entitled, "What Aid Can't Buy in Africa," which promotes his new "soft" version of British imperialism, based on his Feb. 9, 2009 U.K.-registered charity, the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative. The Initiative, beginning in 2008 with deals signed between Blair, and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, has recently expanded to include a deal with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, and there are reportedly more such arrangements in the works.

What Blair calls good governance involves Blair placing hand-selected, British-trained "advisors" into key positions in the Presidents' Office, the Finance Ministry, and other command positions in the three countries' governments, ostensibly, according to Blair's Time piece, to translate the Presidents' "vision" into "good governance action." In reality, what the neo-colonial "advisors" do, is to persuade the countries' leaders to open the doors for British finance and political control. Blair has personally taken Kagame (Rwanda joined the Commonwealth two months ago as the 54th state) to meet the Queen, and has taken Kagame and Koroma to special investment fora in the City of London, for loans.

But, Blair preaches a "sustainable development" model, and advocates green technology, which will never lift the citizens of these countries out of poverty. The loans will drive them deeper into indebtedness, and not supply necessary infrastructure such as rail, nuclear energy, water treatment, and sewage.

Blair handles the funding for the Africa Governance Initiative through a thicket of 12 impenetrable limited liability companies headed by Windrush Ventures No. 3 and Firebrush. The Gates Foundation and the Gatsby Foundation were donors.

The plan for Blair's scheme dates back to a Venetian Memorandum drafted by Sir Oswald Mosely (onetime head of the British Union of Fascists, turned post-World War II united Europe leader), whose principles Blair embraced when he was campaigning to be EU President. Mosely's Memorandum envisioned a European Empire with a softly ruled African sphere of influence. Now, Blair, having failed to win the EU Presidency, is organizing a new "soft" version of British imperialism in Africa.

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