The European Union's Lisbon Treaty Constitution for Dictatorship in a Global Fascist System?
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Lyndon LaRouche spoke before an overflow crowd of 130 people on Feb. 13 at a conference in Munich, Germany. Entitled ``Maglev: The Technology of the 21st Century," the event was sponsored by the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo) and the Fusion Energy Forum (FEF). Munich is planning to build a maglev route from the airport to the downtown train stationa topic of heated debate in the city....
Here is Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche's keynote speech, which has been translated from German. Lyndon LaRouche's speech follows.
...I would like to discuss a great danger, which has been hardly been taken up by the press at all: the new European Treaty, or the Treaty of Lisbon....
The European Union's Lisbon Treaty:
Constitution for Dictatorship in a Global Fascist System?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses a Munich conference on 'Maglev: The Technology of the 21st Century.' She situates the fight over high technology for Germany, in the context of the European Union's drive to obliterate the sovereignty of its member nations, and to impose top-down fascist control by the financier oligarchy, in this time of financial collapse.
LaRouche in Munich:
Today's Crisis Is the Opportunity To Bring the World Back to Sanity
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. told the Munich conference that to reverse the process that transformed the United States from a great, agro-industrial power, into a junkheap, the State must intervene. The rate of inflation, caused by the collapse of physical economy, has created a breaking point which allows such a transformation of policy to be carried out. The only weapon of defense that the United States or any other nation has now, against a hyperinflationary collapse like that which Germany experienced in 1923, is the power of the sovereign nation-state.
Drive Escalates To Impose 'Mussolini' Bloomberg Option
The drive by George Shultz, Felix Rohatyn, and their oligarchical 'fixers' to impose a latter-day Mussolini, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as President, is moving forward rapidly. A new book by Doug Schoen, 'former' Bloomberg advisor, is pushing the Bloomberg option, saying the twoparty system has broken down. Others are calling for infrastructure projects through private funding schemes, modelled on the early Mussolini and Hitler slave-labor programs.
Calderón Spills the Beans on Bloomberg Fascist Plans
Mexico's President, during a U.S. visit, embraced the slave-labor schemes that a U.S. President Bloomberg would implement. Felipe Calderón is offering up his own countrymen as the slaves.
To Defeat a Bloomberg Presidency, Vote HBPA
The LaRouche Youth Movement is organizing support for the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act, with an eye to the big upcoming Presidential primaries.
My Early Encounter with Leibniz:
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
'The text of the Monadology,' he writes, 'is, of course, available to those who will seek out its spark of genius; but, the way in which I came to experience it, and to probe its implications ever more deeply over the decades since my adolescence, is an experience which is rarely encountered among those living persons whose world outlook has been dominated by the cultural ruins left by the post-1968 European civilization of today; that will remain the prevalent condition, until more among us do as I have done, work to convey to others, especially the young adult generation of leaders emerging today, a sense of that specific quality of Promethean spark by which men and women may be freed from the chains of Sophistry.'
Beating the Drum for a Banking Bailout
As the U.S. banking system seizes up, we are beginning to hear calls for a bailout of the banks, and we see what Treasury Secretary Paulson, Fed Chairman Bernanke, and the Plunge Protection Team are really doing.
Is Washington Planning Regime Change in Kabul?
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is under serious attack from Washington, as well as two of Washington's best colonial friends in AfghanistanBritain and the Netherlands. The level of attack indicates that Washington may opt to dump its old friend, blaming Karzai for the insurmountable problems created by the foreign occupation of his country.
Celebrating 50 Years of America in Space
Fifty years ago, a group of German rocket pioneers led the team that put America into space. Marsha Freeman reports on a celebration held at the Huntsville, Alabama, to mark that milestone.
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)As one of the effects of the collapse of the securitization markets, local governments and public institutions, from hospitals and museums to water treatment authorities, are facing skyrocketing interest costs as they find it nearly impossible to sell bonds and other securities. One corner of the municipal bond market, the $330 billion market for "auction-rate securities," has nearly ground to a halt for lack of buyers, with almost 1,000 auctions failing over the past three days. As examples, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has found its costs of debt service quadrupled, and is now paying 20% on its debt, and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is paying 15%.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is warning the monoline bond insurers to find substantial amounts of new capital within days, or face the prospect that the state will strip them of their municipal bond businesses and sell them to someone with deeper pockets. Such an action would leave the monolines holding little but collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other toxic waste, and hasten their doom. The number three monoline insurer, FGIC, announced today it would split its municipal bond and non-muni businesses.
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson announced a 30-day "pause" or "suspension" of home foreclosures by six big mortgage lenders on Feb. 12, Lyndon LaRouche responded that Paulson and company are under increasing pressure from the nationwide mobilization for the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA), which would freeze mortgages and stop chartered bank insolvencies.
Here are some of recent developments:
* The number of California homes auctioned off as foreclosures jumped 55% in January compared to December, and were up 454% from January 2007, hitting a total of 19,821 homes auctioned off in that state in that one month, says ForeclosureRadar. A whopping 98% of auction sales went back to the lender after receiving no bids, despite significant discounts offered.
* Eighty-six of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas reported increases in 2007 in the number of properties entering some stage of foreclosure, compared to 2006, said RealtyTrac, an online market of foreclosure properties. The total number of foreclosure filings in the top 100 metro areas soared 78% to 1.775 million, according to its Year-End 2007 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report. Most metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates fell into two categories: cities with unsustainable housing price appreciation, or cities hit by a more widespread economic downturn.
* Fifteen of the 20 metro areas with the top foreclosure rates were located in four states: California with six, Ohio with four, Florida with three, and Michigan with two.
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)Countrywide, the largest U.S. home mortgage company, recently taken over by the Bank of America, announced today that the delinquency rate on its 9 million home mortgages jumped from 4.3% of unpaid balances in January 2007 to 7.5% last month. The foreclosure rate on its 9 million mortgages doubled to 1.5% last month from 0.8% a year earlier.
The National Association of Realtors said Feb. 14 that U.S. home sales fell nearly 21% from October through December, compared with the same period the year before. At the same time, the median price plunged by a record 5.8% to $206,200. Nevada has the biggest drop in sales, with 44%; sales of existing homes fell in 45 states and Washington, D.C., in the last quarter of 2007, and prices dropped in more than half the metro areas the association tracks.
Rich Cosner of Prudential California Realty reported in USA Today that the foreclosures are driving down prices and spurring home sales, because there are so many, that lenders "need to get them sold and will take a much lower price than a normal home seller."
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)"The party's over," stated Loudoun County (Va.) Board of Supervisors chairman Scott K. York this week, referring to the impact of falling real estate values on local government revenues. Loudoun County is a Virginia suburb of Washington, one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and the site of an enormous speculative bubble in recent years. Lyndon LaRouche has referred to it as "Ground Zero" for the collapse of the real estate bubble.
To offset the current decline, the Loudoun County administrator proposed a 35.6-cent increase in the real estate tax in the fiscal year 2009 budget, adding 13.6% to the average homeowner's property-tax bill. The budget also calls for a $23 million reduction in the already adopted school budget. The local tabloid Leesburg Today carried York's comment as a banner headline.
Supervisor Steven Miller (D-Dulles) said that some of his constituents, particularly those who are on fixed incomes, are worried about being able to afford their increased tax bill. "For them it's not about tightening the belt.... They get certain amount of money and when that money's gone," that's it. And this is in the county that ranks in the top five out of 3,000 counties, for the highest average income in the U.S.A.
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)General Motors is offering a new round of employee buyouts, and unlike that in 2006, which was aimed purely at shrinking GM's workforce, this time the plan is focused on "opening up jobs" so that the company can greatly expand hiring workers at a much lower pay scale, which is allowed to do under the four-year contract sold-out by the UAW last fall.
UAW head Ron Gettelfinger expects 15,000 to 20,000 workers to leave GM under the buyout, after which the company would hire 16,000 workers into "noncore jobs" at wages of $14 to $16 an hour, compared to $28 an hour that an assembler makes now. This will "save" GM nearly $100,000 a year per worker, which is nonetheless peanuts compared to the $38.7 billion the company lost last year. If 15,000 workers left in this buyout round, that would be about 20% of the 74,000 UAW-represented workers who remain at GM. The monetary offer is now larger than the first round, and Gettelfinger said, "I'm sure there will be a lot of interest."
Ford also is offering workers a general buyout from Feb. 18 to March 17. The company expects to shed 8,000 workers, out of the 57,900 hourly workers in the Ford operations, and 5,200 in its subsidiary, the Automotive Components Holdings (ACH), founded as a temporary unit to sell of dispose of facilities owned by Ford's spinoff, Visteon Corp. Here, the move consists in leaving room to ACH workers to go back to Ford when all the ACH plants are sold or spun off this year, according to Joseph Hinrichs, Ford vice-president for global manufacturing.
Global Economic News
Feb. 16 (EIRNS)The world's top banks may have to write off as much as $203 billion in new losses, on top of the $152 billion in writedowns already taken, Swiss banking giant UBS said in an analyst's report. UBS said the banks may have to write off as much as another $120 billion on their collateralized debt obligations (CDO) holdings, an additional $50 billion for losses in structured investment vehicles (SIVs), $18 billion for mortgage-related securities, and $15 billion for leveraged buyout (LBO) loans. "Risks are increasing and spreading and the liquidity situation is still far away from normal," the report said.
On Feb. 14, UBS revealed that it had an additional $26.6 billion exposure to American mortgages, on top of the $27.6 billion it had already admitted, plus a $2.9 billion exposure to monoline insurers. The bank took a $13.7 billion writedown in the final quarter of 2007, after a $4.4 billion writedown in the third quarter, giving it a net loss of $4 billion for the year.
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)Under pressure to privatize Japan's airports and to encourage foreign investment to Japan, the Japanese Transport Ministry is planning to hand over part ownership of the Narita Airport of Tokyo. At the same time, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged Japan on Feb. 14 to avoid repeating the same mistakes as in past airport privatizations, such as the "disaster" at London's Heathrow. Heathrow is now maintained by Spain's Group Ferrovial, the mother company of Cintra, a subsidiary that owns the Chicago Sky Way, among other U.S. infrastructure. "We have seen too many privatizations fail because governments sold the 'crown jewels' without appropriate guidance to the new owners," IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani said during a speech in Tokyo. "Look around Heathrow. Failed regulation allowed for a 42% profit margin. The new Spanish owner is happy, but Londoners suffer with terminal facilities politely described as a national embarrassment," he said.
Heathrow, along with Gatwick and Stansted airports, were put under control of Group Ferrovial by the British government under Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2006. Japan's Transport Ministry has drawn up the bill to limit foreign ownership of airports, after it emerged that Australia's Macquarie Airports Management Ltd. now owns nearly 20% of the operator of buildings at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)The meltdown of the financial system is sending speculators scrambling to get in on the privatization of government infrastructure, with 72 new funds established over the past 15 months; these funds intend to raise some $120 billion for infrastructure buyouts. In 2007, some $30 billion was raised internationally by 19 firms for infrastructure buyouts.
The people behind these funds expect to grab a portion of the income streams from privatized infrastructure projects as a way to survive in the post-bubble world, and are supporting the "Rebuilding America's Future" coalition fronted by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose undeclared Presidential campaign is intended to promote Mussolini-style corporatism in the United States.
The leading players worldwide are the Anglo-Australian Macquarie Infrastructure Group, interlinked with the Spain-based Cintra/Ferrovial, Cheney's Halliburton, France's Suez, plus Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros., and a few others. Their choice takeovers to date include highways and airports, but also long-term rights to school system properties, municipal cleaning services, and other government functions, especially military. A few examples, besides highways:
Schools. In 2006, a 30-year private initiative contract was awarded to a consortium involving Ferrovial, for £400 billion, to build, refurbish, maintain, and operate all the schools in Bradford, England.
Airports. Among those privatized in part or whole by Ferrovial, are Heathrow in London; Sydney, Australia; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Niagara Falls, New York.
PARIS, Feb. 15 (EIRNS)French Economics and Finance Minister Christine Lagarde on Feb. 14 presented a draft of a new law to extend the development of corporatist public-private-partnerships (PPPs). Under the draconian "no-spending" conditions of the Maastricht agreement and the Stability Pact, France has already turned to private capital to finance such basic infrastructure as energy and sports facilities. New targets for PPPs are transportation and prisons. Ten billion euros of PPP deals have been authorized so far, in projects ranging from airports, to school systems, highways, water treatment, and many basic government functions. Still, France lags far behind Britain, where PPPs represent 15% of all public services.
Lagarde's proposal intends to simplify procedures and lower the prohibitive taxes which have so far restrained PPPs in France. Until now, in order to get approval for a PPP deal, local and state authorities had to prove they were facing an "emergency" situation or extremely "complex" conditions. Lagarde's new proposal adds the criterion of "higher efficiency" to make PPPs easier, to the delight of the bankers.
With the economy collapsing, emergencies pop up everywhere, and "emergency" PPPs are in the works for education, research, security, defense, health, and transport infrastructure.
United States News Digest
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)The House of Representatives left town today for a 12-day recess, without renewing the Protect America Actleaving President Bush and Republican members of Congress screaming that this leaves the country vulnerable to terrorists. That is a lie: All the currently-existing authorized electronic surveillance continues without interruption, so there is no "gap" in coverage. Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell acknowledged this in an interview with National Public Radio this morning, admitting that surveillance "is not the real issue," and explaining: "The issue is liability protection for the private sector," because there is no retroactive immunity for them.
This immunity is actually an amnesty for Vice President Dick Cheney, who personally ran the illegal wiretap and data-mining program. If Congress were to do what the White House wants, no one would ever find out what Cheney and Co. did, and what they are still doingwhich observers believe to be much more than they have ever admitted.
A day earlier, the Senate caved in to White House demands, with 19 Democrats joining 49 Republicans, voting to give retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in Cheney's warrantless wiretap program, conducted from at least 2001 through 2004.
The House yesterday did approve contempt citations against White House officials Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers over their refusal to cooperate on the investigation of the firing of U.S. Attorneys, and their claim that they could refuse to testify due to executive privilege. The vote triggered a walkout by the Republicans, who said the House should be instead be passing wiretap legislation.
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)In an operation not too dissimilar to that carried out one year ago by China, the U.S. will launch a Navy missile from a cruiser sometime soon, to try to shoot down a disabled military reconnaissance satellite. The spy satellite is expected to fall to Earth early next month. Soon after launch 14 months ago, its control computer failed. There is no way to either predict, or control, where the 5,000-pound satellite will enter the atmosphere. The concern is that large pieces that do not burn up in the heat of reentry could do damage on Earth, as could the toxic fuel that is still on board. Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffries briefed reporters today at the Pentagon on the decision.
Breitbart.com comments, "shooting down a satellite is particularly sensitive because of the controversy surrounding China's anti-satellite test last year ... [which drew] immediate criticism from the U.S. and other countries." James Oberg, space expert and military space analyst, explained to NBC News that perhaps more than any damage caused by falling fuel and pieces, the military is concerned that if any of the top secret hardware, such as sensor equipment or the computer's memory unit, fell into the wrong hands, "it could be exploited by hostile intelligence agencies."
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)Gregory Kulacki, a China scholar from the Union of Concerned Scientists, speaking at a seminar sponsored by the New America Foundation (NAF), reported on his impressions of the Chinese space program and its much-discussed anti-satellite (ASAT) test. Kulacki has had long experience in China as a teacher and a researcher, and close relations with Chinese space researchers.
While China will certainly utilize any spinoffs from their innovations which are of a "dual use" nature, Kulacki said, it is not the military applications which are the thrust of the R&D efforts.
Kulacki and a colleague from NAF, Jeffrey Lewis, had spoken to many Chinese scientists on the ASAT test. Their conclusions were that the ASAT program, which dates from the 1970s, and which had been accelerated after President Reagan's announcement of the SDI program in 1983, had been allotted a certain amount of money to develop a basic anti-satellite capability. "The people involved probably felt that they could only prove their proper use of the funding by producing some result," Kulacki said. "While they had undoubtedly permission to go ahead, it's not clear that those higher up were fully aware of the extent of the space debris that would result from the test. This would explain the failure of the foreign ministry to say anything whatsoever immediately after the test."
Kulacki also noted that the muzzling of NASA scientists visiting China was counterproductive. While there are indications China would prefer to cooperate with the U.S., on some level, on space exploration, they will pursue their goals on their own if they are given the cold shoulder.
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)The hard sell to privatize America's public infrastructure is on. Budgets are tight, so what better time to press the Mussolini corporatist agenda on state and local officials. Attendees at a March 3-4 conference on "Public Private Partnership for Transportation Infrastructure Assets in North America," to be held New York City, will be schooled in everything from how to clinch a PPP project, from state laws to tax laws, to which hedge funds, attorneys, and insurance company investors provide the best services. These snake-oil salesmen are touring the country to sell their wares to desperate but foolish officials looking to build a road or rail or water project.
Feb. 10 (EIRNS)A Washington, D.C. Federal judge has temporarily frozen some of the U.S. assets of Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, as part of an ongoing civil class action suit, involving alleged payoffs of $2 billion by BAE Systems, the British arms manufacturer. The civil suit was brought by the City of Harper Woods Employees' Retirement System, a shareholder in BAE, accusing the company, along with Riggs National Bank and its successor, PNC Financial Group, and Prince Bandar, of "intentional, reckless and negligent breaches of their fiduciary duty." The lawsuit charges that the defendants deprived company shareholders of funds through the massive bribery scheme.
Federal District Court judge Rosemary M. Collyer issued a temporary restraining order on Feb. 5, preventing the Saudi prince from removing proceeds from real estate sales from the United States. Bandar has been attempting to sell two luxury properties in Colorado and California, with a combined value of an estimated $300 million. A Feb. 14 hearing is scheduled, to determine whether the TRO should be extended through an injunction.
As EIR has uniquely reported, the real story behind the BAE Saudi oil-for-weapons barter deal is much bigger than the billions of dollars in bribes paid to Prince Bandar and a host of other Saudi officials and princes. The real story is that at least $100 billion in offshore, off-the-books funds have been accumulated since the original "Al-Yamamah" deal was signed in 1985, and those funds have been used to finance covert intelligence operations around the globe, including the Afghanistan "mujahideen" war against the Soviet Union, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scheme, and the channeling of Soviet-made weapons to Africa.
In December 2007, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to shut down its investigation into the BAE Saudi scandal, invoking British national security interests. Just before leaving office, Blair inked another deal between BAE and the Saudi Ministry of Defense, worth an estimated $8.7 billion. However, in the furor that followed the shutdown of the British investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice opened its own investigation, still ongoing, into the BAE bribery, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and U.S. anti-money laundering laws. The Justice Department is probing the bribes paid to Prince Bandar by deposits in American banks, including Riggs National Bank. The Harper Woods lawsuit is taking up the same bribery allegations, on behalf of American BAE shareholders.
Ibero-American News Digest
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner pointed out, in a speech Feb. 4, that state intervention into the economy is crucial, "so that the social and economic infrastructure that we Argentines need can be built."
Speaking at the inauguration of the improved deep-water port in the city of Necochea, she debunked the arguments of those foreign-trained economists who argue that state investment in infrastructure is "unproductive," and demand that everything be left in the hands of the market. On the contrary, she said, "The state's role is to [accompany] production, the economy, and stand at the side of the workers." Argentines know all too well what happens when a nation's fate is left to the market, she underscored.
President Fernandez de Kirchner also replied to those business and other sectors who argue that the government's plans to build two high-speed rail lines, the first in South America, are unrealistic, given that there are much more fundamental needs that aren't being met in the country. "It's important that we always keep our minds open," she said, "to imagine a different kind of country. If we only look at the things that we lack, or get stuck on the things that still have to be done, [then we won't] do the others that also have to be done, allowing us to take a qualitative leap that will create a different scenario and a generalized attitude of optimism."
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin, during a visit to Israel Feb. 14, offered to mediate between Syria and Israel. According to Ha'aretz, Amorin put Brazil forward as an honest broker: "We don't care about oil; we are interested in mediating only to resolve the conflict between Israel and its neighbors, out of goodwill."
Western European News Digest
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)The European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels, after a fight, ordered France to balance its budget, refusing to give France the power to deal with its own situation as a sovereign country.
But Jean Louis Borloo, the Infrastructure and Environment minister of France, announced today in an interview with Le Figaro that the government will proceed with investments projected last year for the construction of 2,000 kilometers in new high-speed TGV rail lines.
A first line of TGV will be extended from Tours to Bordeaux, close to the Spanish border, for an investment of Eu7 billion. Studies for transversal lines, between large cities of France (Nantes and Lyon, for instance), impossible throughout the history of France because of hyper-centralization, will be started at the same time.
Borloo confirmed the government's project to drastically reduce freight transport by truck throughout France. Four out of five trucks transporting goods are foreign, and France wants to move all this freight to rail, and is also planning to improve its maritime ports. Financing will be public and the regions will be called upon to contribute.
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)After the LaRouche movement in Sweden, the EAP, has, for years, campaigned for infrastructure corridors and maglev in that country, and five days after the release of the leaflet, "Instead of Financial Bubbles, Build Nuclear Power and Maglev Trains!" there is finally motion. Today, the daily Dagens Nyheter has a two-page spread on the building of new rail lines in Sweden for high-speed trains, citing the interest in all political quarters, however, failing to mention LaRouche.
Jan Forsberg, the head of the state rail system, SJ, wants to catch up, as "Sweden is 15-20 years behind." The proposals follow the arguments from a Prof. Bo-Lennart Nelldahl, who in a seminar in Linkoeping in January 2008 presented a vision on how to eliminate (for "climate" reasons) domestic passenger air transport. From his studies, he has found out that this can be done, if the train ride takes less than three hours. For this you need more than 300 kph and such an investment pays back whenever it is done, the better the earlier it is done. In this way he calculated from the vision down, and not the customary way, from "what can we afford," up.
His argument is dominating the Swedish debate. Infrastructure Minister Aasa Torstensson is figuring out whether this can be proposed in the infrastructure plan this Autumn. Discussing money, she said: "For these kinds of tracks, the role of the state is decisive," and went on to say that the yearly budgetary allocation is not enough, and that the best guarantee for the projects to be realized is to borrow money.
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)Some European circles know the open "secret" being prepared as a coup against the U.S. election process. "The Outsider That Is Preparing an Election Coup" is the headline of a Feb. 11 article in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, on the plan to put Michael Bloomberg into the White House. Bloomberg's top henchman, Doug Schoen, author of a new book pushing his "independent" candidacy, is interviewed, as is Deputy Mayor of New York Kevin Sheeky.
After briefing readers on the evolution of his still-undeclared campaign, the article gives Europeans a short history of the financial and media empire that Bloomberg founded in 1981. It reports on Fortune magazine's estimate that Bloomberg LP is now worth $20 billion, with Bloomberg himself owning 60% of the company, and notes that "Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York in 2001 and then ran as a Republican, although he had formerly been a Democrat. He left the Republicans in 2007 and is now a potential independent candidate for the Presidential elections."
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)Yesterday in Copenhagen, three men, two of them Tunisian citizens, were seized by Denmark's police intelligence (PET) for allegedly plotting to murder Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew the most controversial of the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten's cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, showing him with a bomb as his turban, which sparked violent demonstrations two years ago. Eleven newspapers in Denmark and one German paper have reprinted the cartoon, and the story is the lead item on Al-Jazeera, so there is the possibility that another round of destabilizations will occur.
Westergaard and his family have been living in PET hideouts for the last three months. Today's Jyllands-Posten also carries a new cartoon by Westergaard, a portrait of himself with a pen, with a flag behind him dripping in blood.
In response to the alleged murder plot, a spokesman for the Danish Islamic Society pleaded for individuals to not take things into their own hands; however, the day after the news broke, Danish youth of foreign descent rioted throughout the night in the housing complex in Aarhus where the two Tunisian men were taken into custody. Riots also occurred in six other locations in the Copenhagen area, and in at least one provincial town. Police arrested 17 people.
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)The British High Court began conducting a judicial review today, of the British government's closing down of the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) investigation into BAE Systems' alleged corruption, involving payoffs of billions of dollars to Saudi Prince Bandar. This is part of an effort by two campaign groupsthe Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner Houseto request that the court quash the SFO's decision to close down the investigation, according to a report in the Lancashire Evening Post.
The British court case is one of three involving BAE, two of them in the United States (see also, USA Digest). The long-running SFO investigation was related to the so-called Al-Yamamah contract for BAE aircraft, which was signed in 1985. In December 2007, then Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered SFO director general Robert Wardle to drop the investigation, invoking British national security concerns. Attorney Dinah Rose, however, told the court that Blair had wrongly interfered in a legal matter, following threats by the Saudis.
It was widely reported that the threats came from Bandar and his agents, who visited London and met with Foreign Office officials on Dec. 5, 2006. U.S. Vice President Cheney was in Saudi Arabia just before that, in November.
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)Germany's state-owned IKB bank, which received billions of euros in bailouts in 2007, now requires between Eu1.5 and Eu1.7 billion more to keep its head above water. On Feb. 13, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück met in emergency session with representatives of private and savings banks, and the state-run Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, but failed to reach a definite agreement on what to do.
Meanwhile, the crisis afflicting Bayern LB, the state bank of Bavaria, is now moving into the headlines. Just three weeks ago, the bank's management admitted "upwards of Eu100 million" in losses, although it said it could not make details of its 2007 performance public before April 28. Yesterday, however, Bayern LB was forced to report losses of Eu1.9 billion for 2007, adding that this is only the most acute problem of a total of Eu16 billion at risk in three conduits on the leveraged mortgage market in the USA.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
Feb. 16 (EIRNS)Contrary to media headlines that Vladimir Putin had "lashed out at," or "ripped" Sen. Hillary Clinton, during his Feb. 14 final annual press conference as President of Russia, Putin carefully refused to be baited into doing this, and instead took the occasion to emphasize the importance of U.S.-Russian relations. A Greek reporter asked Putin what his reaction had been to Clinton's comment that, as a former KGB officer, Putin, "by definition," did not have a soul (hardly mentioned in the U.S. media, this was big news in Russia). Putin replied, "I think that, at minimum, a statesman should have a head," and, therefore, instead of reacting, he (or she) would be "guided by the fundamental interests of the country." Thus, "I believe that Russia has an interest, as does the United States, in having relations between our two countries that would enable us to solve the problems that face us, in the areas of security, disarmament, non-proliferation, the battle against diseases, etc. For this, we need constructive dialogue, and Russia is ready for that kind of work. How the American leadership, and future leadership, plans to shape its relations with Russia, you'll have to ask them."
Earlier in the press conference, Putin said that Russia would be prepared to "work with any U.S. President who wants to work with us." Whatever may happen during election campaigns, he added, "the fundamental interests of Russia and the United States inevitably push the leadership of these two countries towards developing a positive dialoguea kind of partnership, at minimum."
Putin also cited the intersection of U.S. and Russian activity around the Israeli-Arab conflicts. Asked by an Arab reporter to contrast his vision of that region with that of George Bush, Putin emphasized that the close proximity of Israelis and Arabs, including Jews and Arabs within Israel, requires "thinking about some fundamental changes in Mideast policy, ... to order relations among these people, who live so close together in this region, in such a way that they all have an interest in stabilizing the situation, rather than heating it up." In that context, Putin said that Russia, in fact, welcomes "what President Bush has been doing in the most recent period," adding that "I think he sincerely wants the situation to be stabilized." Putin noted that Russia has encouraged its traditional partner, Syria, to engage in the dialogue and conference process.
Putin also discussed the quality of national leadership, from the standpoint of a statesman. Asked what advice he had given Presidential candidate Dmitri Medvedev, Putin said that he would not have endorsed a candidate who needed a baby-sitter or day-to-day advice. Medvedev is a "mature politician," Putin said. At the same time, he said that he, Putin, would continue to express his views, whether holding office or not. As President, Putin said he had stayed in touch with his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, until the latter's death, and that Yeltsin's observations, "including on international affairs, had been important for me, because he was a knowledgeable person and an experienced one, so I thought it was no disgrace for me to listen to his opinion."
Putin said that he welcomed the presence of Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Communist Party candidate Gennadi Zyuganov in the race, because "these are serious people, ... and, despite differences in our approaches to social and economic policy, they are patriotic people, ... with whom, in general, we share views on the course of international relations."
A reporter from the Associated Press asked Putin if certain newspaper reports were true, in saying that he was the richest man in Europe, and, if so, what was the source of his wealth. Putin looked directly at him and answered, "It's true. I am the richest person not only in Europe, but in the world. Let me collect my emotions. I am rich, because the people of Russia twice entrusted to me the leadership of such a great country as Russia, and I believe that is my greatest wealth."
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)Following revelations by Serbian and European Union officials that Feb. 17 was the likely date of a declaration of independence from Serbia, by the parliament of Kosovo province, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a new warning against such a move. According to Novosti information agency, Lavrov directed his remarks primarily at the EU and the United States.
"We are speaking here about the subversion of all the foundations of international law," he said, "about the subversion of those principles which, at huge effort, and at the cost of Europe's pain, sacrifice, and bloodletting, have been earned and laid down as a basis of its existence. We are speaking about a subversion of those principles on which the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe rests, those laid down in the fundamental documents of the UN.... They are planning to act in a hit-or-miss fashion on an issue of paramount importance. This is simply inadmissible and irresponsible.... I sincerely fail to comprehend the principles guiding our American colleagues, and those European [countries] who have taken up this position."
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)On Feb. 12, Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Yushchenko jointly announced the successful negotiation of a deal which averted the threatened cut-off of Russian natural gas to Ukraine. During this press conference, Putin was asked if Russia would reconsider its relations with Ukraine, if Ukraine joined NATO. The Russian President replied by invoking the common history of Russia and Ukraine, adding: "If Ukraine is willing to limit its own sovereignty, this is, of course, Ukraine's own affair, as is the choice of principles for its security strategy. We have no right to intervene in this process. What we are trying to point out is that these kinds of limitations on sovereignty have consequences in real life; for example, stationing bases or deploying elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, which we see as pursuing the goal of neutralizing our nuclear missile potential.
"This forces Russia into a situation where it has to take countermeasures. It would be awful even to consider the prospect that if such a missile defense system were eventually extended to Ukrainian territory, tootheoretically this can't be ruled outRussia would have to target its nuclear offensive systems on Ukraine. Just imagine it for a second! This is what worries us. This is most certainly a subject we need to discuss frankly with our partners, above all with the Ukrainian leadership."
Ukrainian President Yushchenko added: "Our position is that each nation, each country, has the right to decide on its own defense and security policies, and I am pleased that we have complete understanding on this point; and secondly, the Ukrainian Constitution does not allow foreign states and alliances to establish bases on Ukrainian soil."
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)Russian economist Sergei Glazyev, who has been elected deputy head of the new Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc), was recently in China, discussing the proposal to form a Russian-Chinese joint bank. Glazyev is a long-term discussion partner of Lyndon LaRouche, and is a former Presidential candidate in Russia. He was elected to his new post on Jan. 25, when the Russia, Belarus, and Kazakstan prime ministers and other officials met in Moscow at the EurAsEc Interstate Council. The three nations signed the agreements necessary to form the Customs Union, which Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are expected to join in the future. The session also discussed cooperation in the real economy sector, cooperation on water supplies, and creating a single energy market.
The proposed bank would finance long-term trade, which grew by almost 45% in 2007, following double-digit increases over the past several years, Sergei Blagov reported on Eurasia Daily Monitor today. Glazyev proposed using rubles and renminbi for joint trade, rather than the U.S. dollar, although this proposal was not backed by either the Russian or Chinese sides.
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)Badri Patarkatsishvili, the 52-year-old Georgian former business partner of Russian "oligarch" Boris Berezovsky, was found dead at his lavish home in Surrey, England, on Feb. 13. The controversial Patarkatsishvili was a candidate in Georgia's January Presidential elections, but garnered only 7% in a tight field of candidates.
Patarkatsishvili ran a Rupert Murdoch-connected TV channel in Georgia, which, during the riots that forced the early elections in January, was shut down by the Saakashvili government. Although he had been a supporter of the 2003 Rose Revolution that brought Saakashvili to power, the two had become bitter enemies, and Patarkatsishvili had joined the opposition, using his TV channel to help organize the street demonstrations that preceded the decision by the government to hold new elections. The Saakashvili government accused him of organizing a coup.
Patarkatsishvili left Georgia for his home in Great Britain, claiming that his life was in danger. British police are investigating the matter as a "suspicious death," although the family says that he suffered a heart attack. Patarkatsishvili is known for his ties to Berezovsky and other individuals who were involved, in one way or another, with the ex-intelligence agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who died of polonium poisoning in London just over a year ago. Andrei Lugovoy, accused by British authorities of killing Litvinenko, was chief of security at ORT-TV in Russia, when it was jointly owned by Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili in the 1990s.
Southwest Asia News Digest
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)Israel is planning a major military operation against the Gaza Strip, the planned size and scope of which could lead to a broader regional conflict, according to an article in the Feb. 15 Yediot Ahronot by Ron Ben Yishai, a leading correspondent. The article claims that the Israeli government has already made the decision to launch the operation over the next three months, and is now making all the preparations, so as not to make the same mistakes it made in the Lebanon War of 2006.
Ben Yishai writes: "This time around, the targets have already been defined, and they are clear. Some of them are tactical.... [The include] the facilitation of operational ... freedom of action for the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] and Shin Bet all across the Strip, ... destruction of most military infrastructure, arms arsenals, and means of production. We are not only talking about Hamas infrastructure, but rather, also that of the other organizations and crime families, ... [curbing], by at least 60%, smuggling into and out of the Strip."
Among the "strategic objectives" is "removing Hamas from power, and establishing a stable Palestinian regime in the Gaza Strip, with international monitoring and assistance," which includes "Israeli security and monitoring for years to come of crossings into the Strip, including [the crossing to Egypt at] Philadelphi (either independently or through an agreement with the Palestinians, the Egyptians, and international monitoring parties)."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he has ordered the military to prepare for a major operation against Gaza, but no decision has been made as to when the operation will be carried out.
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet are preparing to step up assassinations against Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, in response to continued rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza. Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said, "They [Hamas] don't know when the missile is going to reach them, and that is the focused prevention. We needn't have mercy, rather to go with all our might. The IDF is ready to perform if called upon." The daily Ha'aretz reports that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and others have gone underground.
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)In an interview with UPI, the political doyen of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, revealed the following:
"Iraq was a mistake. I've said this before and I said this in the presence of Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the invasion, at an IISS conference two months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, when someone asked me what will happen in Iraq. In October 2002, I was in Washington and became quite convinced an invasion would take place. On the way home, I stopped in London and asked Tony Blair to brief me. After 45 minutes, I said, 'Look I accept the argument that with British and American military capabilities it would be a walk over, but then what do you do the day after?' Blair replied, 'That's up to the Americans.' I then said to Blair, 'If you were in charge, what would you do?' His political adviser then stepped in and said, 'We would appoint the strongest pro-Western general and then get out quickly.' So I repeated all that at the IISS conference and explained this reflected the institutional memory of what the British had been through in Iraq in the early 1920s...."
When asked: Did Wolfowitz ask anything of you? Lee replied: "Yes, he came to my office to ask that Singapore send police trainers to Iraq. I had known Paul since his days as an ambassador at the State Department. I said, 'Paul, do you realize how long it takes to train a policeman in Singapore? And that's only in one language, English, and it still takes two years. And you want me to teach Iraqis how to do it in three months in English?' No, he replied, we'll supply translators. This is an emergency, he said, and many nations are helping us. So I replied OK, but we'll do it in Amman, Jordan, not Baghdad, where we would become the targets of suicide bombers. When he told me they had disbanded Saddam's police force, I became very nervous. Because when the Japanese came down here in World War II, 20,000 of their troops captured 90,000 British, Indian and Australian troops. They sent them into captivity, but they left the local police in charge, and kept all the other positions of the British administration intactfrom power management to the gas boardand simply put Japanese in charge of each British position. And 20,000 Japanese troops moved on to Java. But in Iraq, you disbanded everything, and tried to run things without the former Baath party officials who had been in charge of civil administration. You created an ungovernable vacuum...."
Asia News Digest
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)The U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford, whose propensity is to issue "tough" statements from time to time, to exert pressure on New Delhi on the U.S.-India nuclear deal, raised his voice a notch higher this time: "If this [nuclear deal] is not processed in the present Congress, it is unlikely that this deal will be offered again to India. It certainly would not be revived and offered by any administration, Democratic or Republican, before the year 2010, which is after the life of this administration," referring to India's Manmohan Singh-led coalition government that had agreed to the deal.
Mulford's statement drew angry retorts from the Left politicians in India, who are opposing the deal, arguing that it endangers India's nuclear program. A Communist member of Parliament, D. Raja, reminded newsmen in New Delhi that India is a sovereign nation, with a vibrant Parliament, and cannot be hustled into taking any decision under pressure. He said the U.S. Ambassador's remarks that "if the deal was not processed in the present Congress it would not be offered to India again" amounted to "intimidation." "Who is this Mr. Mulford? Why is he threatening India on the issue?"
Lyndon LaRouche commented on hearing this report: You can hear some Indians, who oppose the anti-sovereign intentions of this deal, breathing a sigh of relief: "Thank God for David Mulford."
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)Since 2001, when George Shultz and his boys in the Philippines pulled off their second military coup, this time against President Joseph Estrada (the first was the 1986 coup against Ferdinand Marcos), the Philippines has been run by a triumvirate of puppet President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Gen. Fidel Ramos (Shultz's man on the spot, who also ran the 1986 coup), and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jose de Venecia. De Venecia has served as the primary asset of the Heritage Foundation circles in Washington, offering up the Philippines for sale cheap, to the London-New York speculators, with debt-for-equity schemes and constitutional changes to allow the foreign takeover of mining and other industries.
Last week, de Venecia was dumped as Speaker by his own ruling party, and is likely to be thrown out of the party. Meanwhile, he held a high-profile dinner with the deposed President Estrada, and is threatening to "tell all" about the corruption and the election theft in the Arroyo Administration.
While it is unclear what plans are being activated behind the turmoil, it is certain that the turmoil itself is a primary intention of the British/neocon networks who pull the stringsin keeping with the chaos being unleashed by the British internationally as the financial system unravels.
The spark was a deal signed by the Arroyo government with China to build an extensive broadband network across the Philippines. De Venecia's son Joey made a counter-offer, for a far less extensive, but also less expensive, network. When the deal went to the Chinese, Joey and his Daddy accused the government (and Gloria's husband in particular) of huge kickbacks and corruption in the deal. This accusation smelled for many reasons, not the least of which being that de Venecia's friends at the Heritage Foundation have always denounced Gloria Arroyo for her ties to China, simply as part of their anti-China campaign. The President eventually cancelled the deal, while denying the corruption charge.
Now, an engineer, who was part of the deal, is accusing the head of the elections commission (who was also in on the scheme) of getting a multimillion-dollar kickback, in payment for having fixed elections for Arroyo! This led to the de Venecia ouster, as Arroyo fights back.
With the hyperinflationary explosion ripping through Asia and the world, the already destitute Philippines economy is being thrown to the wolves, while the leading families are turned against each other. LaRouche allies in the Philippines are focused on reviving the economic leadership lacking in the nation since the Marcos coup, which stole the nation's sovereignty.
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)When the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed in a military coup in September 2006, applauded by the civil society networks backed up by Wall Street, Thaksin's large-scale development projects and programs for the poor were cut back or put on hold. Now, with the first post-coup election turning power back to a pro-Thaksin party coalition, led by the People's Power Party of Samak Sundaravej, the projects are back on the table, and then some.
Although Thailand is facing the same hyperinflationary disaster as the rest of the world, the government, which took office last week, has committed to: a three-year study to devise a plan for nuclear power development (proposed by the outgoing military government); nine mass transit routes around Bangkok; a water project to capture floodwater from the Mekong to irrigate the arid Northeast; reviving in full the debt forgiveness program for farmers and cheap access to hospital care for all. Also, two beneficial programs launched under the military juntapartial currency controls and compulsory licensing to produce generic drugs, bypassing the big international pharmaceutical companieswill likely be retained, although the new party criticized them during the election campaign.
Africa News Digest
Feb. 17 (EIRNS)On his arrival in Tanzania on the second stop in his five-nation African tour, George W. Bush reportedly announced immediately that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was on her way to Kenya, to make clear that the United States has withdrawn any support for the shaky government of Mwai Kibaki. Bush said Rice would tell Kibaki that the United States would not support his government under current circumstances, but only if, and after, Kibaki reaches a power-sharing deal with opposition leader Raila Odinga and his party.
U.S. Democratic statesman Lyndon LaRouche recommended that Rice "keep her nose out of it; it's a bad enough situation, she will only make it worse by taking sides. The side she's taking," LaRouche added, "is the British side. This is their chaos policy, and has been throughout this crisis."
Feb. 16 (EIRNS)Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula lashed out publicly at Adam Wood, Britain's High Commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya Feb. 14, after Wood, in a Kenya Television Network interview, cited "irregularities" in the contested Dec. 27 election that have been the pretext for the London-orchestrated violence sweeping Kenya that has already claimed at least 1,000 lives. Wood said, "In view of these irregularities, we do not find that the government that is presently constituted represents the democratic will of the Kenyan people." Wetangula said in a statement: "While we have acted with restraint, continued provocation will not be tolerated further and the government will not hesitate to take appropriate remedial measures. The High Commissioner is still hell bent to wreck the boat."
While it is acknowledged that both sides in the conflict were involved in irregularities, Wood's statements are spurring the opposition to take a more hard-line stance against the government, at the time that former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is trying to negotiate a settlement to the conflict.
Given the large number of Kenyans who are living in poverty, some warn that if this conflict is not resolved, the result will be perpetual class war, of the poor against both political groups now vying to control the country. "If this issue is not resolved, the worst thing we would hear or see is a class war, where these people ... say they have nothing to lose," Abbas Gullet, secretary general of the Kenya Red Cross, said recently. While the political divisions in Kenya, created by London, are along ethnic lines, the message is that those on both sides have more in common because of their poverty, than they do with the wealthy of their own ethnic group. "If there's no political settlement soon, at some point, the gangs will unite together, attacking, without discrimination, the homes of [President] Kibaki and [opposition leader] Raila's middle-class supporters," wrote managing editor Charles Onyango-Obbo of the Daily Nation of Kenya.
Feb. 16 (EIRNS)On his five-nation tour in Africa, Bush is making it clear that the United States will play the role of enforcer for London's policy of turning Africa into a plantation for the Anglo-Dutch financier oligarchy, while its population will be greatly reduced by destabilizations and wars. Bush, no doubt, has his own agenda, targeting the countries he is visiting for special reasons, such as providing a base in Africa for the Pentagon's Africa Command. During his trip, Bush vowed that his administration "will continue to do more to combat violence in Africa." So arms supplies and American armed forces intervention, through training of African military forces, or actual on-the-ground interventions, in the name of fighting terror, are on the agenda.
Bush also intervened in the internal affairs of Kenya, by backing a call, as have the British, for a power-sharing agreement (as opposed to resolving the crisis by aiding Kenya's economic development) between the President of Kenya and the opposition. The political cleavage in Kenya is along ethnic lines, as previously set up by London. Bush said he is sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Kenya Feb. 18 to convey that message directly.
Feb. 16 (EIRNS)The London-based financier oligarchy has given another indication that it is determined to destabilize South Africa, by using the BBC to organize South Africans against their government, as well as to give BBC's audience a sociologicalas opposed to politically truthfulexplanation for anticipated unrest. During African National Congress (ANC) party leadership elections in December 2007, financiers from the City of London were in favor of Jacob Zuma's campaign to unseat South African President Thabo Mbeki as president of the ANC, which Zuma won. Now London is going after Zuma, who the poor in South Africa had been led to believe represented an alternative to the economic policies of Mbeki.
BBC rattled Zuma in an interview for a BBC1 Panorama documentary entitled "No More Mandelas." After making the unsuspecting Zuma squirm by asking him point-blank: "Are you a crook?" the interviewer went on to ask his audience: "How did the Presidency pass from Mandela to this man?" Within half an hour, on its Sunday night broadcast on Feb. 10, thousands of British TV viewers were given the impression that South Africa's democracy and the ANC's moral integrity were on a downward spiral, while crime, unemployment, and AIDS ravage the country. After interviewing a number of poor people in South Africa, the program host said: "From answers like these, you get a sense of how far the elite of the ANC has drifted away from their constituencythe people of the townships."
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