The Election Decided Nothing;
The U.S. Needs Leadership Now
by Nancy Spannaus
Nov. 3The results of the election yesterday decided nothing, stated Lyndon LaRouche in today's LPAC Weekly Report. True, the Democratic Party has been left in tatters, but the Republican Party that is coming in, has absolutely nothing to offer, in response to the actual breakdown crisis engulfing the nation, and the world. Those who are declaring victory are like the leaders of the French Revolution: on top today, and on the way to the guillotine tomorrow.
We cannot come to any conclusions yet as to what the ``trend line'' is going to be, LaRouche continued. For example, take the contrast between the results in Texas and California. In Texas, a lot of good Democrats were wiped out, because President Obama was seen as the ``bad guy,'' and they were associated with him. In California, it was that son-of-a-Nazi Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was the hate object, and therefore, the Republicans, who were associated with him, lost the significant contests. What we know, is that important decisions are going to have to be made soon, but we can't really expect them to surface before the end of the week, after his webcast, LaRouche said. Certain sections of the Democratic Party that represent actual leadershipincluding LaRouchePAC, and the Clinton groupingare going to have to decide what moves to make in the face of what, otherwise, looks to be a move toward political chaos...
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)In the week following the British government's announcement of massive budget cuts in public employment, pensions, health care, and other services, the predictable cry for the U.S. government to follow suit has arisen in both "right-wing" and "mainstream" press outlets. As in the case of the Thatcher government's "model," the London-based financial establishment is keen to use a dramatic turn in British policy, to try to impose it on the United States.
An example is David Broder's column in the Oct. 24 Washington Post, entitled "Omens of Austerity." Broder hails the "boldness" of the Cameron government for taking this action, which includes a substantial increase in the value added tax as well. He concludes:
"If Republicans emerge next month with sufficient leverage in the House and Senate to approach Obama with a proposition, they could insist that he 'do a Cameron' when it comes to federal spending: a radical rollback now in the welfare state in return for a two-year truce on such policy questions as repeal of the health-care law.
"The vehicle could well be Obama's strong endorsement of the Dec. 1 report from his fiscal responsibility commission, which is expected to emphasize spending discipline over raising revenue. This would offer major gains to both parties, and set the stage for another experiment in the British model."
The lead editorial in the Washington Post, oh-so-cleverly entitled "The English Patient," likewise argues that U.S. policymakers should learn from the UK model, declaring that the British plan "offers a useful and, in many ways, impressive example of what a serious approach to deficit-cutting entailsand will eventually require from U.S. policymakers."
The British model is what is killing the U.S.including through actions of that British puppet Obama himself.
Oct. 27 (EIRNS)Cities and towns all across the country are going through horrible gyrations to try to get a balanced budget in place, often making deep cuts across the whole range of city services. After completing the process, some budget officials breathe a sigh of relief and think their worries are over until they begin the difficult process over again for the next fiscal year. Think again, buddy! At least two cities in our survey have discovered that's not the case at all. The city manager of Santa Clara, Calif. reported, in an interoffice memo acquired by the Santa Clara Weekly, that, less than half-way through its budget year, the city and its emergency reserves "are nearing depletion," and proposed three alternatives to deal with the budget situation: a 5.15% across-the-board salary reduction for all employees effective Jan. 2011; unpaid furloughs; or layoffs. The city is to begin negotiating with its unions in November to try to gain some concessions; otherwise, there will be layoffs.
In Sugar Land, Texas, where the budget took effect on Oct. 1, the budget writers there have discovered that the revenues they projected are already obsolete because of greater than expected declines in sales tax receipts. So, the city council approved a budget amendment on Oct. 19 to eliminate 11 full-time positions, on top of the 20 positions already eliminated, to save $676,450.
Oct. 29 (EIRNS)On Oct. 28, the Newark, N.J. City Council approved a budget that raises taxes 16% and lays off 866 city employees, effective Nov. 12about one-quarter of the city's workforcein an effort to close an $83 million budget deficit. The layoffs include 167 police officers, 96 firefighters, and 251 sanitation workers, among others. The police layoffs wipe out the last three classes of police recruits, virtually all of the new police officers who have been hired since Mayor Cory Booker took office in 2006. The budget also demotes 112 police officers to lower ranks.
On Oct. 27, three public safety unions sued the city to try to stop the police and firefighter layoffs. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, the suit argues that the Mayor did not have the authority to proceed with the layoffs; but that argument appears to have been undercut by the City Council's 6-3 vote in favor of the plan. The suit also claims the layoffs will put police officers in danger, and will have a "real and imminent impact" on residents' safety. Given what has happened in other cities that have substantially cut back on police and fire services, that seems likely.
Global Economic News
Oct. 27 (EIRNS)The Shanghai-Hangzhou Passenger-Dedicated Line opened on Oct. 26, with 350 km/h running cutting the 202 km journey between the cities from 1-1/2 hours to as little as 45 minutes. The line forms one side of a triangular high-speed network, which will provide journey times of less than two hours among Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanjing, significantly increasing capacity in the Yangtze Delta region. The 301-km Shanghai-Nanjing leg opened on July 1, and construction is underway on the 251-km direct link between Nanjing and Hangzhou.
In addition, the CRH380 train which will run on the Shanghai-Hangzhou route was taken on an experimental run, reaching a speed of 416.6 kilometers/hr. Although this does not top the 578 km/hr reached in a test run by the French TGV in 2007, the French test was conducted with the help of a TGV modified for that purpose, while the Chinese run remains the record for a normal train set. The nose shape of the locomotive was developed after extensive testing and is derived from China's Long March family of space rockets.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)At the end of a chaotic, contentious meeting of the G-20 Finance Ministers in South Korea last weekend, which blew apart when U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented his proposal to supranationally dictate the foreign trade policy of all nations, Geithner and his British allies tried to pull the following rabbit out of a hat:
A rush meeting of the G-7 and the BRIC was held on the sidelines, and a flashy reorganization of the IMF was worked out and announced, which gives the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) two seats formerly held by Europe on the IMF's 24-member executive boarddeck chairs on the sinking IMF. The BRIC group was also granted a 6% increase in their voting blocbut not enough to overcome the U.S.'s 17% share, which gives it an effective veto, since all major IMF decisions require an 85% majority. And the IMF was then charged with "surveillance" over all economies, by means of which the British and Obama would like to force all nations to follow them over the edge of the hyper-inflationary cliff.
The response was prompt, and sharp:
* German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle slammed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, saying that, at the meeting, "there was criticism of the American policy of creating more liquidity.... I tried to make clear that I regard that as the wrong way to go. An excessive, permanent money creation in my opinion is an indirect manipulation of an exchange rate."
* Japan's Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that "a prolonged appreciation in the yen is not good for Japan's economy. Our stance, that we will take appropriate, bold action if needed, is unchanged."
* Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan generously invited Geithner for an unscheduled conversation in China immediately after the G-20, where Geithner again shot his mouth off (he believes China is now "committed" to allow the yuan to rise, he stated), and the Chinese smiled and promised nothing.
Oct. 28 (EIRNS)The austerity policies being forced on Greece, Portugal, Ireland, et al., are being seen as politically unsustainable and as threatening another "sovereign debt" crisis. The Guardian, and City of London mouthpiece Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Daily Telegraph, point to Greece, where local elections will be held on Nov. 7. Prime Minister George Papandreou has turned the elections into a referendum on his brutal austerity policy, hinting that if his PASOK party loses, new elections might be called. This news sent interest rates on Greek ten-year bonds back up above 10%, forcing the Finance Minister to assert that there is no support for fresh elections.
Then, there is the fact that the budget numbers have little relationship to reality. The Greek population is told that the deficit for 2009 was 12.4% of GDP, which was used as the measure for all the budget cuts that would reduce the deficit by 4%, in order to eventually reduce the deficit to 3%, as required by EU treaties. Now it has been revealed that the budget deficit for 2009 has been revised to above 15%, thus making the already massive cuts in the budget almost meaningless.
In Portugal, the government negotiations with the opposition over the budget collapsed on Oct. 27, with no agreement in sight. Finance Minister Fernando Texeira dos Santos said the failure of the talks will "plunge the country into a very deep financial crisis." The news sent the interest on Portuguese debt up by almost half a percentage point.
In Ireland, the government announced a EU15 billion cut in the budget over the next four years, twice what was originally planned, which sent the interest rate on its debt up another 0.25%.
United States News Digest
Oct. 28 (EIRNS)President Obama promised to slash Social Security and Medicare in order to "save the economy." In an interview with MSNBC yesterday, Obama made no effort to hide his intentions: "The question is what do we do going forward," he said. "Our problem is a long-term structural problem that has to do with the fact that we've got an aging population. We've got a bunch of entitlements that are very expensive and are very popular. You know, people like Social Security. They like Medicare ... but we've got to make sure that we make some adjustments so that those programs are in place."
Obama said that he would work with Republicans to make permanent his freeze on all non-defense discretionary spending. "If we followed that program, it would mean that non-defense discretionary spending ... would actually be lower as a percentage of our GDP than any time in 50 years. So we each year have identified billions of dollars in cuts and wasteful spending.... We've got to have a government that is lean and mean."
Oct. 31 (EIRNS)President Barack Obama lost it again, this time at a campaign rally in Bridgeport, Conn., when he yelled back at protesters who chanted for more global funding for AIDS relief, during his speech. Despite the crowd of supporters, the President lost his temper, fell silent for 20 seconds, then yelled back at the AIDS protesters, who were chanting "Keep the Promise."
Obama had pledged to increase global AIDS relief to $50 billion by 2013, but instead, his last funding request was no more than was provided under Bush-Cheney, meaning a net decline in funds earmarked for AIDS drugs.
The cost of anti-retroviral cocktails, which can extend the life of AIDS victims, can be as little as $350 per year, but in the poorer countries where AIDS is most prevalent, governments cannot afford it. They depend upon the Global Fund and a U.S. program known as Pepfar. But the amounts are not sufficient. For every two people treated under the U.S. program in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, five more become infected each year.
Worldwide, the number of those infected reaches at least 34 million, and 2.5 million new cases are identified every year.
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has blasted the big banks, which are trying to restart evictions in Ohio after claiming they'd fixed the problems in their foreclosure processes. Cordray ridiculed Wells Fargo's efforts to replace affidavits in 55,000 foreclosure cases that, it admitted, did not "adhere" to the law. "The suggestion by Wells Fargo and its colleagues at several other national firms that they can cure fraudulent testimony by simply refiling new affidavits and continuing to proceed toward foreclosures shows they do not recognize the seriousness of the problem they have created," Cordray said in a statement issued yesterday. "There is no simple 'do-over' for false testimony that will be likely to avoid sanctions and penalties imposed by the courts. Their brazen efforts to minimize their financial exposure by sweeping these problems under the rug are an insult to the justice system in this country. These disclosures by Wells Fargo will now become the focus for a new prong of our ongoing investigation."
Earlier in the week, Cordray wrote to 133 administrative judges in Ohio asking them to send to him any foreclosure paperwork by a certain Wells Fargo employee who has been identified as a "robo-signer" of foreclosure notices. In a separate letter, he called on the bank to vacate any foreclosures in Ohio involving false affidavits. His office also filed a friend of the court brief in a foreclosure case involving GMAC in Parma, asking the court to consider evidence that fraud committed by GMAC tainted the entire judicial process. "Judges rely upon the accuracy of affidavits to grant judgments and ensure that the integrity of the judicial system can be trusted," said Cordray. "False affidavits throw the entire system into question. Foreclosures should not move forward when the basis of evidence is perjured statements."
The Wall Street Journal today complained that Cordray's actions "threw a wrench into the banking industry's push to quickly restart foreclosures by fixing faulty paperwork."
Oct. 26 (EIRNS)Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) administrator Neil Barofsky's Quarterly Special Report to Congress, released today, is a slap in the face to President Obama, Treasury Secretary Treasury Timothy Geithner, and the Democratic Party Congressional leadership that has cheered on and covered up for Obama's crimes. The report warns that it is "too early to write TARP's obituary," because there is still a stash of about $100 billion of previously committed funds that can be poured into buying Wall Street's toxic waste. People have the mis-impression that the days of bailouts are over, Barofsky warns.
The 338-page report rips into the false recovery claims, and reports that TARP has not met its mission goals on "Main Street"in fact, things have gotten worse:
"TARP has failed to 'increase lending,' with small businesses in particular unable to secure badly needed credit ... despite the billions of TARP dollars provided to banks with the express purpose to increase lending....
"As to the goal of 'promot[ing] jobs and economic growth' ... unemployment continues to hold at 9.6%, 3% higher than at the start of the program.
"While large bonuses are returning to Wall Street, the nation's poverty rate has increased from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.3% in 2009....
"Finally, the most specific of TARP's Main Street goals, 'preserving home ownership' has so far fallen woefully short," with only 207,000 mortgages in "'permanent modification' ... a number that stands in stark contrast to the 5.5 million homes receiving foreclosure filings and more than 1.7 million homes lost to foreclosure since January 2009."
America's News Online, an Internet publication, says the report shows that the TARP "program has failed miserably," adding that foreclosures are now being investigated for fraud and abuse at the national level.
Barofsky also charges that Treasury appears to be "manipulating information for a public-relations gain," in the case of the insurance giant AIG. By using new methods of accounting, and switching the type of AIG stock the U.S. government owns, the Treasury Department is claiming that it will only lose $5 billion, not $42 billion as previously reported, because of the increase in AIG stock price.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)Obamacare is not only allowing the insurance companies to gouge the people they insure, but which has already triggered cancellation of employee benefits plans, as the HMOs continue to enrich themselves. Some updates:
* 21 states have filed suits challenging the Obama health-care law on Constitutional grounds;
* 3 other states have potential ballot referenda related to rejecting aspects of Obamacare;
* State health insurance pools are bombing. In the Missouri Health Insurance Pool, there are only about 140 enrollees, since this Summer, when it opened. Obamacare state insurance pools are intended to entice the uninsured to sign up with an HMO plan, subsidized (through tax credits) by the Federal government, but premiums are still out of reach for masses of people: The premium in Missouri is as high as $972 per month;
* Boeing Corp. informed 90,000 of its workers this month, that their expenses for insurance deductibles in 2011, will go up 50%. Boeing said this is partly in preparation to be in compliance with Obamacare rules going into effect over 2014-18, that are to penalize "overinsuring" workers in "Cadillac" plans offering too much care. Dozens of other companies are considering the same action.
* Thousands more companies are readying plans to discontinue employee-offered insurance altogether, and tell their workers to go to a state pool to get their own policy. The employer will be fined $2,000 per worker for doing that, no big deal.
* Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) said that for private and state and other government plans, the "financials" involved in dropping employee health coverage, are "about to become very attractive to many employers, both public and private."
* The Obama Administration has already granted waivers from its health reform rules, for a raft of companies employing some 1.5 million workerssuch as McDonald's, Home Depot, and Disneyworldallowing them to continue spending far less than 80% of health insurance premiums on actual care, with the rest going to profiteering and overhead.
Ibero-American News Digest
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)As President Obama continues letting Haitians die without aid, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) yesterday called upon "the U.S. government to take immediate action to contain this outbreak" of cholera in Haiti, an outbreak which, she noted, probably would not have occurred, had the United States assisted Haiti after the January earthquake in implementing "a comprehensive plan ... to acquire thousands of durable shelter units and set them up safely, sustainably, and immediately," as she had demanded on March 11, 2010.
In a statement yesterday, Waters noted that "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and its infrastructure was depleted by the earthquake. Haiti does not have the capacity to respond to a health crisis of this magnitude on its own, so humanitarian assistance from the U.S. and other international actors is desperately needed....
"More than four thousand people have already been infected with cholera, and there is a frightening potential for this disease to spread in Port-au-Prince, where more than a million people are living in tent camps for the displaced and thousands of others live in impoverished communities without access to clean water and basic sanitation.
"Humanitarian assistance is essential for Haiti, but it is not enough. The United States and other international donors need to keep their promises to help Haiti develop its infrastructure. If the Artibonite region of Haiti had basic sanitation and clean water distribution systems, this cholera outbreak probably would never have happened," she said.
Oct. 31 (EIRNS)A new hurricane threatens to worsen the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Obama Administration's refusal to act effectively after the Haitian earthquake of January 2010.
The government of Haiti issued a level "orange" warning at 10 a.m. Oct. 30, for extreme weather within the following 48-72 hours, as the outer reaches of Hurricane Tomas are projected to hit the southern portion of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported their preparations, as the mobilization of tarps and tents, blankets and plastic sheeting, to protect 1.3-5 million people living in 1,300-1,500 temporary camps from hurricane winds and rain!
They say they have sufficient food to feed 1.1 million Haitians for six weeks, but water purification supplies, particularly for treating water that contains sediment, are already urgently needed. (Ordinary purification tablets are not sufficient to treat water with high turbidity levels, which is the case in many places.)
The Pan American Health Organization on Oct. 29 reported that over one-third of communities in the 15 communal sections at the epicenter of the cholera outbreak have not yet received water purification tablets. Lack of roads into some of the affected areas make it difficult to get water in; UN helicopters did some deliveries. IV fluids are in short supply, and hospitals in the Centre Department (i.e., outside of Artibonite) are reportedly overwhelmed by cases.
This crisis is totally man-made at this point, because all of the well-established proposals for rebuilding Haiti, after the January earthquake, including relocating large portions of the population to the highland plains, building new towns with modern infrastructure, etc., have been outright rejected by the Obama White House.
Western European News Digest
PARIS, Oct. 28 (EIRNS) A two-day EU summit of chiefs of state and heads of government began in Brussels today. The main issue is to define a "permanent crisis mechanism" capable of "rescuing" bankrupt member-states without provoking the collapse of the entire Eurozone. Therefore, budget rules and default procedures are on the table.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other monetarists, under pressure from her Liberal Party coalition partner, are calling for a highly improbable rewrite of the Lisbon Treaty, especially to eliminate its "no bailout" clause, which makes bailouts illegal. Today, heads of state, the EU Parliament, and the EU Commission strongly disagree on this issue.
The Commission is very reluctant to change a treaty that went into operation only one year ago and took ten years to be ratified by the 27 member-states, via referenda and votes in each national parliament. Any change in the treaty would mean going once again through the entire process.
The EU Parliament, in order to avoid a rewrite of the treaties, could convoke a convention or organize an inter-governmental summit with a limited mandate, as called for by Berlin and Paris. The EU Parliament wants even more severe criteria for the Stability Pact, a position welcomed by Merkel, who told the German Bundestag Oct. 27, that the two questions were "a single package."
PARIS, Oct. 28 (EIRNS)After French President Nicolas Sarkozy's retirement reform law was rammed through the Senate Oct. 19, it passed the French Assembly 336-233, Oct. 25. However, as long as the law is not implemented, as scheduled for mid-November, social protest keeps growing to scrap it entirely, or at least modify its application. The opposition announced that it will oppose the law at the French Constitutional Court. The reform aims to save money by raising the allowed retirement age from 60 to 62.
Today unions expect once again to bring millions into the street, the seventh time since the Summer. Two hundred sixty-nine rallies, strikes, and demonstrations will take over the country, both today and on Nov. 6. A new poll published today by Le Parisien indicates that 65% of the population backs the social protest.
On Oct. 27, Bernard Thibault, the head of the CGT union, in an interview with Libération, declared that he suspected the government of having organized secret police operations to discredit legitimate social protest. Earlier this week, the rail workers union denounced strange sabotage actions. On Oct. 25, a 40-kg piece of metal was put on the TGV high-speed train line connecting Paris with Bordeaux. Thibault said that back in 2007, during the strike against the railroad workers' pension reform, sabotage actions took place that were immediately blamed on the strikers.
PARIS, Oct. 26 (EIRNS)In a newly published book, $20,000 Billion: Chronicles of the American Madness, financial insider Edouard Tetreau, who recently called on French Radio BFM to reinstate Glass-Steagall-style banking regulations, estimates that worldwide hyperinflation is a 70% possibilitya "diabolical" scenario. Tetreau starts by lining up the figures of the worldwide debt pyramid, build up after years of financial deregulation. Without mentioning Lyndon LaRouche's policies and the possibility for organized orderly bankruptcy, Tetreau examines the oligarchy's scenarios to get rid of this insane debt.
After three silly scenarios, Tetreau gives his fourth scenario: global hyperinflation. Tetreau: "Why not print tomorrow a bank note with the face of Obama, or Sarah Palin, with the value $20 trillion, a small piece of paper, similar to the 2 billion reichsmark printed in 1923 which have I kept in my possession since I spent some time learning German. Repay one's debts with funny money. Here is the solution!"
Oct. 28 (EIRNS)The first group of 11 CASTOR containers for used nuclear fuel from German nuclear plants has been put on trains in La Hague, France (where the fuel is processed), and are on their way to the German storage site at Gorleben. By the time they arrive there, Oct. 29 or 30, the anti-nuclear movement has announced, massive protests in the region around Gorleben will be underway. The movement is planning protest actions in about 100 other German cities the same day. These actions serve as feeder events for a big rally in Gorleben, on Nov. 6, for which the group Campact and other organizers want to gather 50,000 people. More radical sections of the movement have announced that they will commit sabotage against the trains and the tracks. At the peak of the protests, about 15-16,000 policemen will be deployed, to protect the trains.
On Nov. 1, 70 rock singers, TV actors, and other "artists," will publish a signed statement against nuclear power in newspapers, and the national executives of the Green Party and the Linke have announced they are taking part in the Nov. 6 rally at Gorleben. The Greens have once again attacked the CDU-FDP government for its decision to extend the lifespan of Germany's existing 17 nuclear power plants by up to 14 years in some cases, charging the government with allowing the nuclear industry to produce an additional 5,000 tons of nuclear waste, which implies 500 additional CASTOR containers that have to be transported to La Hague, and then back to Germany. The Greens are threatening 25 more years of anti-nuclear protests, if necessary.
In spite of this noisy environment in the streets, the governing CDU-FDP coalition voted in favor of the government's decision to extend the licenses of existing nuclear power plants for up to 12 years. Motions by the three opposition partiesSPD, Greens, and Linkewere voted down.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)The British government is coming closer to launching its hyperinflationary policy of "quantitative easing." The Office of National Statistics is due to release figures tomorrow demonstrating the worsening of the economy, all of which serves to justify the Bank of England turning on the printing presses at high gear. The figures are expected to show a collapse of what has been called "growth" over the past three quarters, while the property market is expected to "lurch downwards." The Independent writes that the news is "likely to concentrate minds ahead of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committees next move on 4 November ... where many expect it to announce another round of 'quantitative easing.'" This decision is slated to be made two days after the U.S. midterm elections.
Oct. 25 (EIRNS)The British royal family's income is expected to increase by as much as £38 million through access to the revenues of the "Crown Estate," in return for giving up their £30 million government subsidy. The Crown Estate owns 107,000 hectares of prime agricultural land; vast holdings of prime real estate in London, said to be worth £6 billion; and over half (55%) of the coastline and all its resources out to the 12-mile limit, including off-shore oil and gas revenues, as well as monies from the proposed giant wind turbine "farm" at Aberdeen.
Oct. 31 (EIRNS)Konstantin Sokolov, vice president of former Russian Defense Ministry official Gen. Leonid Ivashov's Academy for Geopolitical Studies, cited some of Lyndon LaRouche's latest statements, in an Oct. 15 interview about the systemic nature of the current economic crisis. The broadcast on Russia's most popular web-TV channel, KM.ru, has been viewed by a quarter of a million people.
The ostensible topic of the interview was tensions between Russia and Belarus, but as soon as the interviewer asked if the conflict were being manipulated by "the West," the topic became the world breakdown. Sokolov stated that there exists a force "above the West," as typified by how the Federal Reserve System dictates the actions of U.S. Presidents.
Sokolov stressed that this supranational force wants to reduce the world's population to 2 billion people. Asked by the shocked interviewer if this could really happen, Sokolov pointed to the vulnerability of China and other great nations to epidemics, under breakdown conditions. Sokolov noted that Russia itself faces a food dependency crisis, given current levels of slaughter of herds under this year's drought conditions.
The interviewer remarked that Sokolov was talking about something so momentous, that it made their announced discussion topic about Russia-Belarus relations seem minor.
Sokolov said, "My gloomy forecasts about a deterioration of the situation are not only forecasts"they are already real. Polemicizing with those who talk about an ongoing emergence out of the crisis, he said, "The economic crisis has not been overcome. The measures adopted to supposedly cure the crisis are total nonsense. The latest information I received from LaRouche [on the Fed's hyperinflationary actionsed.] contained absolutely devastating data. There is an intensification of the situation."
Sokolov's interview is one of an array of Russian publications giving attention to LaRouche as a unique, authoritative voice in the world. The 2006 Russian film "Global Redivision," a critical look at globalization that featured an interview with LaRouche, is undergoing a revival in the Russian-language segment of the Internet, in connection with the Kremlin's ongoing push to join the WTO. The introduction to Academician Sergei Glazyev's new book, A Development Strategy for Russia in the Global Crisis, released in September, cites LaRouche as the first name on a short list of economists who foresaw the onset of a systemic crisis. Also published this year is a book by economist Mikhail Delyagin and journalist Oleg Bobrakov, What the Presidential Messages Don't Tell You, which reportedly cites LaRouche extensively on the conflict between the financial sector and the real economy.
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)A 30-car train carrying coal from Mongolia's Tavan-Tolgoi mine left the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator Oct. 28, bound for the Russian port of Vostochny. Previously all Mongolian freight traveling through Russia went to the West. This is the launch of an entirely new line, developed in collaboration between the Mongolian authorities and the state-owned company Russian Railways.
Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said at the ceremony launching the train, "Today we are witnessing a historic event. This is the result of a colossal amount of work carried out jointly by Russia and Mongolia. We and our Mongolian colleagues have developed the whole transport chainfrom creating a modern, powerful locomotive and rebuilding infrastructure, to setting competitive tariffs. The launch of rail freight services from Mongolia to Far East ports is a clear demonstration of the potential for diversifying sales of Mongolian products on world markets."
The Russian Railways president said the new route will allow coal to be delivered from mines in Mongolia to Japan and South Korea via Russia's Far East ports, and also in the future via the developing port of Rajin. Through these measures, Mongolian freight is being given a reliable link to the coast. The first "pilot" train, launched Oct. 28, was pulled by a 2TE-116UM locomotive, specially built by Transmashholding to withstand the Mongolian climate, with hauling capacity of 6,000 tons. After serious debate in the Mongolian parliament, the decision was made to build the rail lines with the Russian gauge of 1,520 mm.
Oct. 31 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche has raised questions about the alleged Yemeni al-Qaeda bomb plot targeting two Chicago-area synagogues: Was this a desperate Obama ploy to salvage something out of the Nov. 2 elections, as pressure mounts for his ouster under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment? The question is not whether there were bombs planted inside two desktop printers, shipped through UPS and FedEx to addresses of Jewish sites in Chicago. The question is whether the bombs were a genuine operation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or a Saudi-engineered operation, to give a boost to President Obama on the eve of U.S. elections.
LaRouche commented today that, with pressure mounting for Obama's ouster under the 25th Amendment, he had been expecting some kind of operation to divert attention and boost Obama's credibility, while creating the basis for a police-state dictatorship in the United States.
News accounts published over the Oct. 30-31 weekend have added further credibility to skepticism about the bomb plot's origins. On Oct. 30, the Yemeni Information Minister, Hassan al Lawzi, reiterated that there are no UPS or FedEx flights from Yemen, and there were no direct flights from Yemen to either the United Kingdom or the United States. A female Yemeni college student, whose name and phone number appeared on the shipping documents of the two packages containing bombs, concealed in desktop printers, was initially detained, along with her mother, but later released, after her alleged links to the alleged bomb plot did not check out.
According to the Sunday New York Times, word of the bomb plot was first provided by the Saudi Interior Ministry, in a phone call between Prince bin-Nayef, the head of the Saudi anti-terrorist program, and White House counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, a former CIA station chief in Riyadh, on Oct. 28. It was on the basis of the Saudi intelligence that the two bombs were discovered in Dubai and in Britain. Prince bin-Nayef, the son of Interior Minister and potential successor to King Abdullah, Prince Nayef, was himself targeted in 2009 by an al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula suicide bomber, in an incident that left the would-be bomber dead, and the prince only slightly wounded. The incident greatly boosted the credentials of the Nayef clan. As the Times reported, since 9/11, Saudi intelligence has greatly increased its penetration of al-Qaeda, and has conducted extensive operations inside Yemen. The alleged mastermind of this latest bomb plot is a leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a sophisticated bomb-maker. According to a senior U.S. intelligence source, al-Asiri comes from the Saudi-based Asiri tribe, which also operates on the Yemeni side of the border.
That intelligence source, a Middle East specialist, expressed his own deep skepticism about the incident, citing the proximity to the U.S. midterm elections and the central role of the Saudis. "Prince Nayef and his son are on the rise," the source noted. "And if there are any members of Saudi royal family with close ties to the networks behind the 9/11 attacks, it is the Nayef family. They are promoters of the most hardcore Wahhabi networks."
Oct. 26 (EIRNS)Russian engineers have started loading nuclear fuel into the core of Iran's Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr. The Iranians announced that the reactor will start producing electricity next year. AFP reports that Russia is supplying 82 tons of uranium, which will also be reprocessed by Russia.
"Today, the plant is going through the sensitive phase of loading fuel in the core.... We hope that the electricity produced by the Bushehr nuclear plant will be connected to the national grid in three months' time," state television reported atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying.
The transfer of fuel into the facility began on Aug. 21, in a process that was described as the "physical launch" of the power plant by Russia.
Oct. 29 (EIRNS)The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, told reporters that Iran had responded to a "standing invitation" to resume talks on its nuclear program, which have been suspended for the past year.
Ashton said that Iran's letter was a "significant response," and that nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili had said that he was ready to restart talks, "in a place and on a date convenient to both sides," sometime after Nov. 10, reported the Los Angeles Times. The Islamic Republic News Agency added today that Jalili's office welcomes a decision by world powers "to return to talks."
But the "significant development" is already sabotaged because of President Obama. On Oct. 28, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs issued demands that are guaranteed to provoke a hostile reaction from Iran. Gibbs stated that, "Based on the unilateral actions that they [Iran] took, they have increased their enrichment," and therefore, in order "to lift any sanctions, they would have great responsibilities." His statements came in the context of media reports that the United States and the European Union are finalizing details for a new proposal to swap enriched fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) for Iran's low enriched uranium (LEU). Only this time, the LEU being demanded is reportedly 4,400 poundsabout double the amount discussed a year ago at the initiation of Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, who was then head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This change in terms is likely to be seen as "moving [the] goalposts," warned Federation of American Scientists analyst Ivanka Barashka, and would cause further delays in talks.
On Oct. 21, former National Security Council analyst Flynt Leverett blasted Obama for "lying" about what conditions were acceptable in the 2009 swap offer to Iran, in an April 2010 letter to Brazil's President Lula da Silva. As soon as Iran agreed to what Brazil and Turkey were negotiating with them in good faith belief that the Permanent Five-Plus-One group would accept it, Obama rejected Iran's decision, and moved for super-sanctions at the UN Security Council. Obama's actions are only explicable from the standpoint of the British Empire's century-old Sykes-Picot game in the Middle East.
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a laudatory message to Turkey on its Republic Day, reported the Turkish daily Zaman today.
"In the 87 years since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk set out a new vision for the Turkish people, Turkey has risen to become a leading economic power and an important presence on the world stage. The opportunities for Turkey to lead in the 21st century are even greater," Clinton said.
"The relationship between Turkey and the United States is broader and more dynamic today than ever before," she added, while referring to the visits she and President Obama paid to Turkey in the Spring of 2009. According to Clinton, the visits are signs of Washington's recognition of the importance of a strong partnership between the two nations, a partnership "based on mutual respect, mutual interests and mutual responsibility."
Zaman welcomed Clinton's message, noting that voices within NATO had been suggesting that a new rift between the U.S. and Turkey could be brewing over a proposed missile defense system. In recent weeks, the London Economist has attacked Turkey's NATO membership, over Istanbul's support for the humanitarian aid flotilla to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which was attacked by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010.
Oct. 28 (EIRNS)At a press conference in Kabul on Oct. 26, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that U.S. private security companies, including Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater, were behind explosions that have claimed the lives of women and children. The President added that they have caused "blasts and terrorism" in different parts of Afghanistan.
The private military firm has been under investigation by the U.S. government for four years, following accusations that it was responsible for numerous murders and other violent crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait.
"In fact, we don't yet know how many of these blasts are by Taliban and how many are carried out by them [U.S. security companies]," Karzai said, and reiterated his commitment to ensuring that all foreign private security firms presently operating in the country leave by January 2011. Only those operating inside embassies, international organizations such as the UN, and military bases, will, he said, be allowed to continue operations, with the majority being replaced by Afghan police forces.
Oct. 29 (EIRNS)A 30-minute meeting yesterday between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Hanoi gave promise of stronger China-India relationsa much-needed antidote to the crisis that engulfs the Eurasian landmass. Following the meeting, Wen said he plans to visit India by the end of this year.
During the meeting, reports indicate, Singh said India is willing to join in a concerted effort with China to strengthen their high-level exchanges, as well as consultations at all levels, to expand reciprocal cooperation, and to enhance their coordination on global and regional issues.
Wen said the world is not only large enough for the development side-by-side of both countries, but that it offers enough areas in which the two can cooperate. China and India should safeguard the interests of developing countries through better coordination when addressing global issues, such as the reform of the international financial system, climate change, energy and food security, prevention of natural disasters, relief efforts, and anti-terrorism, he said.
Meanwhile, the largest-ever single business deal between the two countries took place, involving the Shanghai Electric Group, one of China's three largest power equipment makers, and India's Reliance ADA Group, for the supply of power equipment and related services to India over a ten-year period. The deal involves supply by Shanghai Electric of 36 660 MW thermal power generation units, as well as spare parts for three power stations, to Reliance, costing close to $10 billion.
Oct. 29 (EIRNS)U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing a gathering in Honolulu, on her way to a seven-nation tour, said the rise of the India and China "is reshaping the world." "Our ability to cooperate effectively with these two countries will be a critical test of our leadership," she said. She outlined three pillars of the U.S. strategy in Asia: relations with U.S. allies, new partners, and key regional institutions.
Taking a swipe at those in both the U.S. and China who are trying to sabotage relations, Clinton said, "The relationship between China and the United States is complex and of enormous consequence, and we are committed to getting it right.... There are some in both countries who believe that China's interests and ours are fundamentally at odds. They apply a zero-sum calculation ... so whenever one of us succeeds, the other must fail. But that is not our view.... There are also many in China who still believe that the U.S. is bent on containing China, and I would simply point out that since the beginning of our diplomatic relations, China has experienced breathtaking growth and development."
Oct. 26 (EIRNS)China and nations of Southeast Asia are speeding up construction of the southern tier of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, building modern and high-speed rail lines in regionsincluding northern Myanmar, Laos, and eastern Bangladeshwhere no rail lines existed before. This system will eventually link landlocked Southwest China with Thailand and Malaysia, as well as Singapore, one of Asia's main seaports. Southeast Asia is China's third-largest trade partner.
Of even more strategic importance, direct rail lines between India and China will be built. China and Myanmar are planning a rail link from Kunming in Southwest China, to the port of Kyaukphyu, and Myanmar and Bangladesh (which has rail links to India) are discussing rail connections. These would, for the first time, connect East Asia to South Asiathe two biggest population centers on Earthby rail.
On Oct. 26, the Parliament of Thailand approved a proposed draft framework for Thailand and China to build a high-speed train system in Thailand. Thai Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum said Bangkok wants to invest with China in particular, because Beijing had been successful in developing high-speed rail routes in Laos.
This week, Cambodia was finally able to re-open a rebuilt conventional railway for freight transport, and Vietnam is currently upgrading its 1,700-kilometer line from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. To expand upon the sole rail link between China and Southeast Asia, through Vietnam, China is building a rail line through Laos, in cooperation with the Laotian government. Impoverished, landlocked Laos only got its first rail connection, to Thailand, in 2009. In addition, a new rail link between Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam, and Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, will be built.
The entire system will greatly reduce shipping time, as the Europe-China rail link does. Currently, it takes 14 days to ship goods just from Bangkok to Hanoi, but that will be reduced to three days.
Oct. 27 (EIRNS)Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Oct. 24. "Given the current situation, companies have thought ahead and prepared for exchange-rate fluctuations as well as an increase in labor costs," according to the state-run China Business News. "But because the issuance of dollars is out of control, and international commodities prices are continuing to rise, China is confronted with imported inflation, which has created major uncertainties for businesses," he said.
Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren also spoke out to urge "major reserve currency countries [i.e., the U.S.] to take responsible economic policies."
The Global Times editorially denounced the "wolfpack of anti-China radicals" who "are seemingly joining hands to attack China's exchange-rate policy, political system and regional strategy. Such attacks are bringing uncertainty and tension to the global economy, politics and security. If these people still feel anxious, perhaps the only way they can take solace is from psychological aids. Labeling China as a scapegoat for Western incompetence in fighting the financial crisis is not a creative move. By blaming China, some politicians are seeking to escape from their responsibilities."
Oct. 30 (EIRNS)South Korea's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were elevated to a "strategic partnership" level, to reflect the growing partnership between the two. Currently, China and Japan are the two partners with that status. ASEAN and South Korea also agreed to accelerate implementation of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak also proposed establishing a meeting of foreign ministers of South Korea and countries in the Mekong regionCambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailandto boost economic cooperation and reduce the development gaps. The hydroelectric and other development projects along the Mekong have been described as a TVA in the making, due to the vast scale and the potential for improved standards of living resulting from the infrastructure upgrade.
Oct. 27 (EIRNS)The British-run International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday made public its demand to the Kenyan government that it arrest Sudan President Omar al-Bashir when he arrives for an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting originally scheduled to take place there on Oct. 2.
The IGAD is a regional grouping of nations in the greater Horn of Africa area. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the January 2011 referendum in southern Sudan for unity with or separation from Sudan.
The ICC initiative is a direct threat to ongoing negotiations between North and South Sudan over 1) a settlement over Abyei, and 2) the future of relations between Sudan and South Sudan if the South votes to secede.
The ICC move has created a crisis in Kenya, South Sudan's neighbor, because, on a previous visit by Bashir, the Kenyan government had refused to arrest him, despite the fact that Kenya is a signatory of the ICC, and is theoretically obligated to do so.
The British financial empire is escalating political tensions in Kenya because the ICC is expected to soon charge a number of high-ranking Kenyans for the post-election violence that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Kenyans in 2007-08. The election was held in late 2007.
Kenya's refusal to arrest Bashir is an indication that it will also refuse to deliver the individuals who will be charged by the ICC. As a result, the ICC is creating a controversy before making the new charges in Kenya.
As a result of the ICC intervention over Bashir's attendance, the African leaders decided to change the venue of the meeting from Kenya to Ethiopia, which is under no treaty obligation to arrest Bashir.
Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula said Kenya's interests would always come first: "Our strategic interests are more important than the ill-founded criticism that people level at us."
Oct. 26 (EIRNS)More than 1,500 people have died from cholera in Nigeria this year, according to reports from the UN, WHO, Red Cross, and government agencies. Nearly 40,000 have been infected in Nigeria.
The combination of heavy rains and the lack of clean water and sanitary facilitiesclassic issues resulting from the lack of developmenthave contributed to the spike of needless deaths, the worst toll since 1991.
The killer waterborne disease has spread to Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Benin, all neighbors of Nigeria.
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