The Project Before Us
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
April 4, 2008
The following presentation is a radical, but absolutely indispensable, and uniquely valid correction of the wildly mistaken way in which current history is discussed in leading academic, political and financial, as well as popular circles, more or less world-wide, today. The leading point is the following.
In "Project `Genesis,'" I emphasized the crucially important distinction between "event-driven" behavior in both beasts and man, on the one side, and, on the other, the "concept-driven" behavior which separates the distinguishing quality of the healthy human mind from both the behavior of the beasts, and from currently prevalent U.S. and European popular opinion. I apply that same, crucial distinction, here, for the purpose of emphasizing the significance of that distinction for the shaping of history....
U.S. Economic/Financial News
April 7 (EIRNS)"Foreclosures come to McMansion country" is the headline of an article published in China Daily today, featuring the collapse of the insane real estate bubble in Loudoun County, Virginia, which Lyndon LaRouche has described as "Ground Zero" for the housing bubble. The article shows a photo of two Loudoun realtors in an empty, cavernous McMansion, with a caption explaining that the house had been foreclosed and "winterized," since no one is expected to buy it any time soon.
"The U.S. housing crisis has come to McMansion country," the article states. "Just as the foreclosure crisis has hollowed out poorer neighborhoods, 'for sale' signs are sprouting in upscale developments so new they don't show up on GPS navigation screens. The crisis has hit especially hard here in Loudoun County, Virginia, where upscale developments have supplanted horse farms over the past fifteen years." The article describes Loudoun's alleged affluence, and gives details on the "McMansion" monsters, and how many people took out risky high-interest loans to fund them. While the first foreclosures were in poorer areas, now they are beginning to affect properties worth more than $800,000, China Daily reports.
April 8 (EIRNS)California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came under fire from union officials, for his promotion of "volunteerism" as part of his "green" agenda. Following last year's fires and a Bay Area oil spill, the governator established a cabinet-level Secretary of Volunteerism. This week, he launched a drive to bring more volunteers into work, cleaning and greening parks, which a spokesman extolled as a budget-balancing measure, as volunteer work is done "at no additional cost to the state." Schwarzenegger added that government "should welcome these dedicated volunteers with open arms rather than getting them all tied up in red tape."
This push comes at a time when Schwarzenegger has axed funds from state parks, calling for closing 48 of them, as he attempts to cut another $10 billion from next year's budget. Officials from the AFCSME union have correctly tied this push for "volunteerism" to the assault on public works in general, sending out a letter saying that public works "should be performed by full-time trained employees," adding that the governor's actions undercut the state's "need for economic stability and an individual's need for gainful employment." One legislative insider said that this drive by Schwarzenegger is "adding to LaRouche's credibility," as it shows that the much-hyped public-private partnership concept is "nothing more than a front for busting the wage scale, to establish a new precedent for cheap labor," replacing jobs previously paying union-scale wages. He added that there is also talk from the governor's office, of using "volunteers" to replace those who will be laid off when almost $5 billion is cut from the education budget.
Global Economic News
April 7 (EIRNS)Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, repeated his call for a public bailout of the bankrupt financial system, on the eve of the IMF Spring gathering in Washington, indicating that the United States government is meant. "I really think that the need for public intervention is becoming more evident," Strauss-Kahn told the Financial Times. "Effort has to be made on loan restructuring. With respect to the banks, if capital buffers cannot be repaired quickly enough by the private sector, use of public money can be examined."
Although not using the word "hyperinflation," Strauss-Kahn alluded to that danger, because liquidity injections from central banks are feeding speculation on commodities, and he called on governments to replace central banks with taxpayers' money, in order to avoid that.
Such a "solution" requires fascist regimes to be enforced, and would not solve the problem at all, as the lessons of history show.
Apparently, the bankers' call is addressed to the United States, in conformity with the British strategy to sink the U.S. economy and U.S. power in the world. "IMF analysts suggest that the U.S. and other countries that account for an additional 20-25% of the world economy are in strong enough financial positions to provide additional fiscal stimulus if required. But the IMF estimates that other countries, including most in Europe, are not in such a position," the FT writes.
April 7 (EIRNS)Efforts by European governments to set up a supranational safety net without a lender of last resort, are producing impotent bureaucratic monsters. At the same time, the European Central Bank (ECB) is targetting Germany, among other countries, to have its banks disclose balance sheets, with the possible intention of bankrupting those banks.
At their meeting at the end of last week in Brdo, Slovenia, the finance ministers of the 15 eurozone countriescountries whose currency is the euroagreed to establish "stability groups" for about 20 leading banks and insurance companies with a presence in several European countries. Among them would be Deutsche Bank and Société Générale. These groups would be formed on a national level, each involving officials of the respective finance ministry, central bank, and financial regulatory agency, for the time being. The question is, what channels of information are created also to the European Central Bank (ECB)? So far, banks have not been voluntarily willing to give information about their risk exposures even to their own national institutions. Therefore, the call by some for an ECB-centered oversight is not likely to meet much support among private bankers.
The ECB is putting pressure on Germany to remove obstacles to ECB access to banks' balance sheets. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, a member of the ECB executive board, said on April 4 in New York, that some eurozone countries should remove legislative obstacles that prevent full ECB access to banks' balance sheets, in order for the ECB to obtain "any necessary information concerning the liquidity and solvency problems of the markets and institutions." Bini Smaghi did not name countries, "but Germany might have been one he had in mind," the Financial Times writes.
Any bank in the world that provided such information, would instantly reveal its bankruptcy. Does the ECB want to pull the plug on some German banks, on behalf of the British Empire?
April 10 (EIRNS)Citing an 18-month drought, the Mediterranean port city of Barcelona, Spain will spend Eu22 million a month using tankers to ship water from France and desalination plants in southern Spain. Transporting water in tankers is insanely expensive, both from a physical-economic standpoint and a financial standpoint, and the irony of shipping water over water to a port city should not be overlooked. Barcelona sits atop a huge aquifer, and the city is already pumping out millions of gallons of (undrinkable) ground water to keep its subway system from flooding.
The real issue here is lack of water management and technology in Spain. There have been calls by José Montilla, the regional president of Catalonia, to divert water from the River Segre into the Barcelona reservoir, which is 80% below capacity; and a second proposal, from University of Zaragoza water management specialist Pedro Arrojo, is to use desalination to purify water from the aquifer.
April 11 (EIRNS)China's central bank is clearly concerned about the ever-widening effects of the international credit crisis, but is still referring to the crash as a "subprime crisis," an underestimation of what has happened to the world financial system. In the summary of its 2007 China Financial Market Development Report published on April 10, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) wrote that the subprime crisis got ever worse under conditions of far too much liquidity and far too few market controls. "This is a very good warning for the speeding up of our country's financial markets development," the report said. Since none of the Western bank bailouts have stemmed the crash, the "unclear future of the subprime crisis will have a certain impact on China's financial markets," the PBOC report acknowledged.
The continuing crisis will hit China's exports, and its trade surplus, which was down over 10% in the first quarter. Exports fell and import costs rose sharply, forcing China to "import" international inflationary commodity and energy prices into the Chinese economy.
The PBOC also took a swipe at the policy of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, commenting that "Some countries are trying to intervene in other countries' exchange-rate policies for their own interests." The Chinese yuan has risen to over seven to the U.S. dollar, an increase of 18% since mid-2005.
Overall, China, with its huge population and widespread poverty, is walking a very slippery economic tightrope. In March, crashing exports shot up again, leaving China with still-exploding foreign exchange reserves. The rising yuana direct result of the crashing dollar"has begun to squeeze Chinese exporters hard," the China Daily warned on April 11. A better trade balance would be good, but China had better be careful: "A too precipitous rise of the yuan could pose a grave challenge to the export sector that is under increasing pressure from surging costs for labor, energy, and materials," the China Daily warned.
United States News Digest
April 11 (EIRNS)While not explicitly referencing the destruction of Athens by its participation in the imperial Peloponnesian War, in his testimony yesterday before the House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Bruce Fein, a former Reagan-era Justice Department official, made the point that the very existence of a republic is incompatible with perpetual war. During his testimony, Fein thus elevated the question of Congressional war powers from the level of a legal, technical issue, to one of the existence of the nation.
In a very passionate, extemporaneous statement, Fein told the panel, chaired by Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.), that the destruction of republics has been the excessive pursuit of war, and he quoted James Madison to the effect that a republic and perpetual war are irreconcilable. The war against al-Qaeda has no end, he said. "Where's the case where a country has suffered from too few wars?" he asked. "It's always the case that it's too many wars that bring countries down." He concluded by telling the subcommittee that the responsibility of Congress is to defend the interests of the United States, not to become an empire.
The hearing was on legislation by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) which would amend the 1973 War Powers Resolution to more clearly enumerate the responsibilities of both the Congress and the Executive branch on the matter of making war in order to improve Congressional oversight, which has been absent for about the last three decades. Jones said, during the hearing, that his bill was an effort to have a debate and discussion about the responsibilities of Congress on the matter of taking the nation to war.
April 9 (EIRNS)Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, during an April 7 interview on Antiwar Radio, noted that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's assault on the Iraqi city of Basra was preceded by Dick Cheney's visit to Baghdad the previous week. "I have heard that in the aftermath [of the assault] that al-Maliki was complaining bitterly to his closest aides that Cheney had been the one who pushed him into it," Giraldi said. Giraldi added that the report was unconfirmed, but that it "seems to indicate that the activist role Cheney pursues is becoming dominant."
Giraldi, speaking a day before the Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, refuted the notion that Iran is at the heart of all of the Bush Administration's troubles in Iraq. He said he expected Petraeus to echo Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), last year, when he said that Iran is already at war with the U.S., which, he said, "elevates the possibility of hostilities." The reality, Giraldi said, is that there's no evidence that Iran is fomenting some sort of insurrection against the Iraqi government. In fact, the Iraqi government is made up of a coalition of two parties, al-Maliki's Dawa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, that have ties with Iran going back 30 years. He noted that it was Iran that engineered the ceasefire between the government and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, two weeks ago, and that some people say that they did that because they saw that their people, that is, the parties running the government, were about to lose.
April 7 (EIRNS)In a March 28 official statement on her Senate website, Hillary Clinton announced that she has co-sponsored legislation to ban the use of Blackwater and other private contracting firms in Iraq. Here is the full statement:
"From this war's very beginning, this administration has permitted thousands of heavily-armed military contractors to march through Iraq without any law or court to rein them in or hold them accountable. These private security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our mission in Iraq. The time to show these contractors the door is long past due. We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq, and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the U.S. government and follow the chain of command."
Her website adds, "The legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel. It also includes a whistleblower clause to protect contract personnel who uncover contract violations, criminal actions, or human rights abuses." Clinton joined Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who have sought to rein in private security contractors. Clinton noted, in a speech on April 7, that her Democratic Presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama, has not ruled out continuing to use armed contractors in Iraq.
On April 4, the Bush Administration renewed Blackwater's contract, scheduled to end on May 7, for another year, despite an ongoing FBI investigation into the killings of civilians by Blackwater guards.
April 7 (EIRNS)Investigative work by a private group in Chicago has shown that $222,000 of the war chest that Barack Obama acquired between 2001 and 2004, some of which went toward his Senator campaign, came from the tainted networks exposed in the Tony Rezko bribery and kickbacks criminal trial. The Los Angeles Times reported today that a Chicago-based nonprofit group, the Better Government Association, had cross-gridded the names of contributors to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, listed in an FBI-produced spreadsheet used as evidence in the opening days of the Rezko trial, with Obama's contributor list, and found that some of these were also maximum contributors to Obama.
One example noted by the Times blog says, "Rezko ... was, for instance, a link between Obama and Santa Monica developer Jay Wilton of Wilton Partners. On July 16, 2003, Wilton gave $5,000 to Obama's first U.S. Senate run. A few days later, Wilton gave $50,000 to Blagojevich, Illinois state records show. Unlike the Federal system, Illinois state campaign finance places no limit on contributions to state candidates.
"Another overlapping donor is John Rogers, head of Ariel Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm. Rogers gave $12,500 to Blagojevich in 2004, the FBI spreadsheet shows. Rogers has also given Obama $25,000, state and FEC records reveal."
But aides to Obama and Rogers say that the two men were friends independent of the Rezko connection.
April 6 (EIRNS)Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), speaking in part as a chief representative of Sen. Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania primary campaign, told CNN's "Late Edition" today that the United States has to get its forces out of Iraq "as fast as practicable" to end an occupation strategy that "is going nowhere" and costing $14 billion a month, nearly double the level of a year ago. A President Hillary Clinton, Murtha said, would get the United States out of Iraq an about one year.
As Murtha spoke, heavy fighting was again raging in Baghdad, in the Sadr City district. Murtha wryly noted that if U.S. Commander Gen. David Petraeus had testified in March, he would have said the Iraq "surge" was a success; but this week, Petraeus will say, "It's complex." Murtha noted that production of electricity, oil, employment levels are all still below those of pre-invasion Iraq, and said Americans want government funds invested here, against a collapse in the U.S. economy, rather than in "Iraq reconciliation which is not going anywhere."
Lyndon LaRouche reemphasized that the British, in collusion with Cheney during his March trip through the Mideast, triggered the current return to escalating violence across Iraq. "Get Cheney out of government, get the Brit Brutes out of there, and you have a chance for Mideast peace," LaRouche said.
April 6 (EIRNS)Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton in a brief interview on NBC-TV today, presented a forceful argument for seating the elected Florida Presidential primary delegates, similar to that laid out in a statement by LaRouche PAC on March 14. Rendell explained that Florida Democrats had done nothing wrong by voting in their January primary election. Rendell spoke on MSNBC's "Meet the Press," on behalf of Clinton, debating Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, the Obama spokesman, two weeks before the crucial Pennsylvania primary.
Rendell said that Florida's Republican governor and Republican-controlled House and Senate had forced through the change in the date of the primary elections there, and that the state's Democrats had opposed the change, unsuccessfully trying to stay within DNC guidelines. The Democrats had no choice but to vote at the appointed time, Rendell said, and 1.7 million turned out. He said the Democratic delegation elected in the Florida primary should be seated with full rights at the Denver Democratic Convention.
Ibero-American News Digest
April 9 (EIRNS)Faced with soaring international prices of grains and other commodities, Central American agriculture ministers met today in San José, Costa Rica, to devise an emergency plan to increase domestic production of basic grains. According to the regional head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano, millions of Central Americans are starving because of food scarcity and uncontrolled prices.
And things will only get worse, he warned. Hunger will increase dramatically in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, because these nations cannot produce sufficient food to feed their populations, and cannot pay the prices that rise every few days because of "imported inflation." Guatemala's deputy agriculture minister pointed to the current insanity of producing crops that are used for biofuels instead of for human consumption, while other ministers angrily explained that their governments had stupidly followed the advice of multilateral lending agencies, which recommended that they decrease the area of land under cultivation for food crops.
An economist at Guatemala's Research and Social Studies Association (ASIES) declared, "We are defenseless" in the face of rising food prices which have seen Guatemala's monthly basic market basketthe estimated minimum quantity of food on which a family of five can subsistincrease in price by 22 quetzales since January. The World Food Program representative in El Salvador, Carlos Scaramella, warned that the population is quickly losing its ability to "access food."
Agriculture and foreign ministers will meet again in emergency session on April 19 to evaluate the situation.
The Dominican Republic exploded in a general strike today, called to protest high food and fuel prices, and demand higher wages. It turned violent in some locations. The prices of staples such as milk, beef, chicken, vegetables, and cooking oil are steadily rising from week to week.
The Brazilian government announced today that it would be shipping 14 tons of food to impoverished Haiti, which has been convulsed by food riots.
April 12 (EIRNS)While the populations of Central America and the Caribbean starve, the newly launched "Bioenergy Alliance," whose members reportedly include "the leading ethanol producers of the Americas," is preparing a biofuels offensive in this same region, ensuring economic and humanitarian disasters.
There is big Brazilian input into this Bioenergy Alliance, through such entities as former Florida governor Jeb Bush's Inter-American Ethanol Commission, on which former Brazilian agriculture minister Roberto Rodrigues sits; and the Adecoagro firm, which is partially owned by speculator George Soros, and which is heavily involved in Brazil. They are all financial predators, with big hedge fund and private equity involvement.
These killers plan to use the impoverished Central America/Caribbean region as the base from which to significantly increase production of, and then export, biofuels to the United States, to get around the U.S. 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. If exported to the U.S. from a nation such as Guatemala, ethanol can enter the U.S. tariff-free, because of Guatemala's participation in the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI).
During an April 6-11 Bioenergy "road-show" through the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala, executives of various Brazilian sugar mills and affiliated investors were ecstatic at the prospects for vastly expanding their ethanol operations in Guatemala, a big sugar producer, and other nations of the region. Why, 30% to 40% of Brazil's ethanol exports go through the Caribbean, one private equity fund executive gushed. Rodrigo Muñoz, director of the Bunge cartel group, chortled that "Brazil must continue with this road-show because the prospects are so very good." Bunge is a huge investor in Brazil's ethanol market.
April 12 (EIRNS)Haiti has been convulsed by riots this past week, as its starving people demanded food. Contrast this with the fact that in 1941, thanks to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy, Haiti was nearly self-sufficient in food production. FDR took a personal interest in this island nation, twice meeting with its President Stenio Vincent, and ordering the establishment of ten Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps to assist in Haiti's economic development.
Haiti's land was largely owned by small farmers, who didn't produce cash crops for export, but for national consumption. In 1941, the FDR Administration set up SHADA (Haitian-American Society for Agricultural Development), a development corporation which would serve as a model for similar entities established in other Ibero-American countries, as part of the Good Neighbor Policy. With a $5 million credit line from the U.S. government, and active involvement by the Eximbank, SHADA pursued "the development and exploitation of all agricultural and other resources of, and within, the Republic of Haiti.... Rubber, oil, seeds, spices, drug plants, fiber plants, woods, and other resources indigenous to Haiti are to be grown and developed." Moreover, "experimentation is to be undertaken to improve existing crops and to cultivate new ones."
It was determined that while Haiti might not become industrialized, its ability to produce food, and expand into related areas, must be guaranteed. Compare this to the genocidal policy of free trade which, by demanding that Haiti open itself up to cheap food imports, destroyed what food-producing capability it still had left in the 1980s and 1990s.
April 9 (EIRNS)The dope in the White House, George Bush, sent a proposed Free Trade Accord (FTA) with Colombia to the U.S. Congress on April 7, for "fast track" approval within 90 days, in the name of defending U.S. "national security."
Only a dope could call expanding the drug trade a defense of U.S. national security. Eliminating protective tariffs will wipe out Colombia's remaining farmers, turning them over to the drug mafiawhich already calls the shots, by and large, in Colombia's economy.
Colombia is potentially an agro giant, but for 40 years, land under cultivation has never exceeded 4 million of its 20 million hectares of cultivatable land, not counting land which irrigation projects could open up for cultivation. Under the 1990-94 drug-mob controlled government of César Gaviria, a million hectares was taken out of agricultural production, as Gaviria's takedown of protective tariffs made growing coca and poppies the only profitable "farming" possible. Land used for food fell to 3 million hectares, from which it never recovered.
Now, with even that remaining land being converted into plantations like those that once existed in the U.S. Southslaves and allof African palm and sugar cane to produce for biofuels, Colombia has less than 3 million hectares of land being used to cultivate food.
Western European News Digest
April 5 (EIRNS)Jacques Attali, a co-thinker of synarchist banker Felix Rohatyn, wrote a scenario for Global Viewpoint (reprinted by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera) to slander the idea of a "planetary New Deal," and put Europe in conflict with the United States in such a perspective. Attali was a close advisor to the late French President François Mitterrand, one of the enforcers of the European Union dictatorship project, and chairs a foundation called "PlaNet France," on whose board Rohatyn also sits.
In Attali's scenario is a worsening of the crisis, with the collapse of the largest U.S. bank, the nationalization of the bank, a depression in the U.S., and the failure of all attempts to generate a recovery. Zero interest rates, and freezing the options market fail to stop the crash before the U.S. elections. The new President then starts a "planetary New Deal," proposing "to the most powerful countries in the worldChina, Russia, and oil producersto finance major infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, creating orders for U.S. firms. On these bases, in less than two years, world growth starts again. The world financial system becomes a Chinese one. Industry is American again. Europe is forgotten."
April 8 (EIRNS)Tony Barber writes in today's Financial Times that he had enjoyed former economics and finance minister Giulio Tremonti's company in the past, but now that he is "playing a more populist game," "lashing out" at globalization, and condemning the "dictatorship of the market," he's not so sure. Tremonti is the vice chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, and an endorser of Lyndon LaRouche's New Bretton Woods proposal.
Barber adds that with indications that Silvio Berlusconi will win the national election April 13, and "being a creature of habit," will appoint Tremonti as finance minister. In that case, "a victory for Tremonti ... would strengthen the defensive, inward-looking forces of Europe."
April 4 (EIRNS) Though hidden behind dry diplomatic language, NATO's decisions at the summit in Bucharest, last week, are clearly pointing in the direction of more geopolitical conflict and war. The alliance endorsed the U.S. missile defense stationing plans in Poland and the Czech Republic, called for more integration of the EU's and NATO's military capacities, called for "energy security" (which implies both cutting energy links to Russia, as well as intervening in Southwest and Central Asia to allegedly "protect" Western energy supplies).
NATO emphasized intensified cooperation with 17 non-alliance member states (like Japan, Australia, New Zealand) globally, and it also stated its intent to increase presence in the Balkans beyond the new alliance members Croatia and Albania, via military assistance to the creation of the Kosovar-Albanian armed forces, and special agreements with Bosnia and Montenegro. The start of formal membership processes for Ukraine and Georgia was not called off, but postponed until next year. The combat troop presence in Afghanistan will be increased, as well, and the long-term cooperation with Iraq was also stressed.
April 8 (EIRNS)A report prepared for the European Parliament by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC), an advisory firm for PPP's (Public-Private Partnerships), claims that Europe's 30 most important transport projects will cost far more than originally thought, forcing governments and the EU to delay financing, or to call in private capital. PwC claims that those trans-European projectswhich are Europe's part of the Eurasian Landbridgewill cost nearly Eu40 billion more than the 2004 estimate (Eu 379 billion instead of Eu340 billion). PwC singles out Corridor 3 (Lisbon-Kiev), Corridor 1 (Berlin-Palermo), and the motorway from Gdansk (Poland) to Vienna and Bratislava.
While the IMF and other mouthpieces of the British Empire are calling for state bailouts in the trillions for the bankrupted financial system, the same British Empire says that public financing of large-scale infrastructure should be cut in Europe.
April 8 (EIRNS) The above headline is the gist of three striking op-eds published in Le Figaro of April 5-6, arguing in favor of strengthening the relationship between France, Europe, and Russia, as a strategy against financial crisis. LaRouche associate Jacques Cheminade commented that he views this "as important reactions against the very dangerous rallying by Nicolas Sarkozy to the British policies and those of the men in power in the United States."
PARIS, April 7 (EIRNS)Mobilized by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), close to 40,000 demonstrators representing 54 trade unions from 29 countries demonstrated on April 5 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which is hosting the EU finance ministers meeting. Demands included substantial wage increases and the adoption of a minimum wage, at the very moment inflation is sharply rising, and some corporate profits are skyrocketing, while governments call for austerity. Among the demonstrators, were German public-sector workers, Italian steelworkers, Romanian autoworkers, and Polish teachers.
April 10 (EIRNS) A British high court has ruled that the London government Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted "unlawfully" when it stopped the investigation into the massive corruption of the notorious "Al-Yamanah" arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia. In December 2006, SFO director Robert Wardle stopped the ongoing investigation of the bribery and corruption involved in the £43 billion Al-Yamamah deal. In 2006, Tony Blair, then prime minister, and then-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith both brought a lot of weight to bear, to stop the investigation, claiming it would have caused "serious damage" to U.K.-Saudi relations and threaten national security, because the Saudis were allegedly refusing to continue counterterrorism cooperation.
The two judges, Lord Justice Moses and Justice Sullivan, ruled that "No one, whether in this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. It is the failure of government and the defendant [Wardle] to bear that essential principle in mind that justifies the intervention of this court."
As yet, there is no order to resume the investigation.
April4 (EIRNS)Cesare Romiti, former CEO of automaker Fiat, intervened today in the debate around the Alitalia crisis, saying that Italy's national airline should not be sold, but should get, finally, a competent management. Romiti gave the historical example of Enrico Mattei, the state manager, who in 1946 disobeyed government orders to liquidate the oil company AGIP and, instead, rescued and built upon it the energy giant ENI.
Romiti, who started his career as an Alitalia manager in the 1950s, says that Alitalia has not had a competent management "for the last 20 years." His suggestion is that Alitalia go through bankruptcy reorganization, and the man for this job is Enrico Bondi, the manager who rescued Parmalat. "Bondi does not pay homage to anyone. The banks hate him. We need someone like him."
April 5 (EIRNS) Spain's real estate sector is crashing and taking the rest of the economy down with it. According to a report by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in today's London Daily Telegraph, large French and German funds and insurers are liquidating holdings in Spanish mortgage and related assets at a 40% discount, while property prices are falling as much as 20-25%. Large property groups such as Inmobiliaria Colonial and Martinsa Fadesa are already in talks in efforts to stave off insolvency.
The real estate agents lobbying group API reports that no fewer than 40,000 real estate agents have closed their doors while laying off 120,000 staff workers. These figures don't include construction and other housing related job holders. This could bring the figure close to a million.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
April 9 (EIRNS)Addressing Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) April 8, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev charged that foreign NGOs were assisting "international terrorists" in recruiting Russian citizens for their operations. Patrushev said that this assertion is based on evidence gathered in Russia's Southern Federal District, which includes Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus.
Patrushev's statements were the latest in a series of indications that Russian authorities are increasingly looking, in their counterterror efforts, in directions that lead to London. In a commentary earlier this year, analyst Boris Mezhuyev wrote that last year's heightening of tension between Moscow and London was connected with Russian security agencies' discovery of a "British trail" in the destabilization of the North Caucasus. At the end of March, Patrushev warned about likely Islamist attacks on targets in Russia's Ural industrial region, citing the activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, which happens to be harbored in London.
Also speaking at the NAC session was Alexander Torshin, deputy chairman of the Federation Council. He told Novosti information agency that there are 59 NGOs that support Chechen and other anti-Russian insurgencies. "Foreign NGOs often turn into platforms for recruiting terrorists and extremists. What is particularly alarming is that in most cases they recruit young people," Torshin said in an interview after the NAC meeting. He cited anti-Russian events in Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey, and some of the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.
Human Rights Watch and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) were among the NGOs to protest Patrushev's statement.
April 8 (EIRNS)President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, a Central Asian nation bordering Afghanistan, on April 4 endorsed the Russian plan to allow non-military supplies across Russian territory into Afghanistan. Speaking after his discussions at the Bucharest NATO summit that same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin had stressed the importance of the agreement reached on the overland transit question, in the Russia-NATO Council.
Saying that such NATO supply convoys would be able to cross Uzbekistan, as well, Karimov further called for revival of the "6+2 stabilization process," involving the countries that ring Afghanistan, according to Eurasianet reports. At Bucharest, talking about concerns for the whole Central Asia region, Karimov said, "We in Uzbekistan are acutely aware that the decisive factor for security is the attainment of peace and stability in Afghanistan," and that stabilizing Afghanistan would create "big opportunities for the resolution of vitally important problems of the stable socio-economic development of the entire Central Asian region.... There is no alternative here, since the aggravation of the confrontation represents a serious challenge to global security and international stability."
Karimov talked about the 6+2 process, which included China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Russia and the United States. This group was founded in 1997, but stopped functioning after 9/11 and the U.S. move into Afghanistan. Karimov proposed recasting it as "6+3," including NATOapparently with Russian approval. Uzbekistan has also just ratified the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO), a security arrangement that unites Russia, Belarus, and Armenia with Central Asian countries. On the eve of Bucharest, a CSTO advisory board meeting had featured discussion of NATO being allowed to function in Central Asia under a cooperation agreement with the CSTO.
The "6+2" group includes Turkmenistan, which is an economic partner of Afghanistan on such projects as the proposed Turkmenistan-to-India pipeline via Afghanistan and Pakistan, and an Afghan proposal to build a ring railroad around Afghanistan, to unite all railroads in the region.
April 11 (EIRNS)The prime ministers of Russia and Mongolia met today in Moscow to discuss economic cooperation to develop nuclear energy, rail projects, and development of Mongolia's mineral resources.
Lyndon LaRouche has emphasized the great wealth of natural resources still unexploited in northern Eurasia, and the necessity to build transport and energy infrastructure to develop them. Mongolia is a poor and underpopulated country, which lies between Russia and China. In the 1990s, Mongolia had turned to "shock therapy" globalization, with disastrous results for its underdeveloped economy.
Mongolia and Russia intend to use their pre-1991 Soviet-era cooperation in developing Mongolia's uranium resources, to build nuclear power plants, Prime Minister Sanjiin Bayar told Itar Tass in an interview before he arrived in Moscow. "In Soviet times, much work was done for developing uranium deposits. And now the time has come to use information for mutual advantage." The Russian nuclear energy concern Rosatom's general director Sergei Kiriyenko, who held talks with Bayar, said that Russia may build a low or medium-capacity nuclear power plant. Rosatom is "to sign a joint action plan for cooperation in the sphere of nuclear power with Mongolia's trade minister," providing for the exploration of uranium deposits in Mongolia, joint investments in their development, and training of Mongolian personnel for the nuclear power industry. The Mongolian government in Ulan Bator estimates that just some of its explored deposits alone contain 60,000 tons of natural uranium, but overall reserves of natural uranium may prove as big as 120,000-150,000 tons. Other key joint projects will be for coal, copper, and silver mining, and interstate projects such as the Ulan Bator Railway.
Mongolia depends on imports, especially from Russia, for 70% of its grain and flour supplies. Bayar was to discuss with Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov "agreements on the easy-term supply to Mongolia of Russian consumer goods, including grain for the stabilization of prices on the Mongolian national market," Itar Tass quoted a Russian source. Bayar told the agency he hoped Russia would provide 200,000 tons of grain in the next two years.
April 9 (EIRNS)It's not known with certainty, whether Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up the project for a multimodal transport connection across the Bering Strait, when he met with President George Bush at Sochi on April 6. Scores of Russian press articles had anticipated that he would, citing a Sunday Times of London report that put together a Kremlin official's mention of "a real bridge" between the USA and Russia, with Chukotka Region Governor Roman Abramovich's purchase of a giant tunnel-boring drill. The Bering Strait was not mentioned at the post-summit press conference, nor in any releases, but the Russian publicity has not abated.
The transportation website www.kolesa.ru ("kolesa" means "wheels"), on April 7, noted that "it wasn't on the official agenda," but "it very well may be that there was discussion at Sochi of the somewhat extravagant, but nonetheless truly impressive, project of joining the two continents through an underground link." Argumenty i fakty, Russia's most widely circulated print publication, had an article the same day, titled "Chukotka-Alaska: a Map of the Crossing." This article stated in tones of certainty, that the project "should be started in the near future." Besides the bore acquisition by Abramovich's Infrastruktura company, AiF reprised the history of the Bering Strait project since the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, including the creation of the Interhemispheric Bering Strait Tunnel and Railroad Group. It gave a cross-section graphic of the Bering Strait showing a tunnel, albeit with only cars, not rail. The AiF article was picked up by Pravda.ru, among others, and further circulated today.
The surge in popularization of the Bering Strait project comes amid efforts by people in Russia who have advocated infrastructure and manufacturing as key to the nation's future, to ensure that already planned such projects are continued under the new leadership, when Putin moves to the premiership and President Dmitri Medvedev takes office, on May 7.
April 11 (EIRNS)Russia is not developing anywhere near enough skilled labor, Prime Minister Victor Zubkov told an April 11 Cabinet meeting with the Ministry of Education and Science. Russia has a "misbalance" between the people its labor market needs, and the graduates coming out of its universities and other educational institutions. "Out of 1.2 million university graduates, around 40% are lawyers and economists," Zubkov said, according to an Itar Tass report. "I say graduates, rather than specialists, since their diplomas are often not in compliance with the level of their knowledge. At the same time, industry is experiencing a dire shortage of technologists, metallurgists and other specialists."
Only 33% of school graduates enter specialized secondary schools and only half of them go in for technical professions, he said. "On the other hand, the real sector of the economy is experiencing a great need for skilled specialists. The country is developing, and it needs highly skilled personnel."
Russia also has a severe problem of juvenile delinquency, and the Ministry of Education and Science should take this on, Zubkov said. The Interior Ministry reports that the "police annually detain 600,000 minors, a considerable part of whom use drugs, while one-third of them have no permanent place of residence."
Southwest Asia News Digest
April 13 (EIRNS)In the wake of last week's Capitol Hill testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker, the Bush Administration, according to senior U.S. intelligence sources, has ordered American forces inside Iraq, to escalate the military campaign against Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Madhi Army. Lyndon LaRouche denounced this action as guaranteed to blow up the Iraqi situation, which is already fragile, at best.
According to the sources, U.S. military forces will increasingly take the lead in battling the Shi'ite militia in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, and in the southern region of Basra. This, LaRouche warned, is guaranteed to throw Iraq into further chaos. "Is President Bush actually psychotic?" he asked.
The United States is counting on Saudi Arabia to continue pouring money into the Sunni tribes in the Anbar and Diyala provinces, to prevent a new outbreak of anti-American insurgency in that part of the country. However, it is known, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources, that the Saudi support is not reliable, particularly as the Saudis view the U.S. support of the Shi'ite Maliki government, as evidence that Washington will back a Shi'ite domination of Iraq. The sources add that, within the Pentagon, both Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the majority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oppose the acceleration of U.S. ground operations against al-Sadr, because they are concerned about other threats to the stability of the larger region, including the prospects of a major escalation in fighting in Afghanistan and the bordering regions of Pakistan.
In recent testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, two retired U.S. Army generals, Barry McCaffrey and William Odom, had asserted that the Iraq situation could not be settled militarily, and called for a U.S. troop withdrawal, accompanied by a new U.S. diplomatic initiative, including direct talks with Iran and Syria.
LaRouche painted an even more dire strategic picture, one that is largely missed by American policymakers and intelligence officials. The entire Iraq fiasco was "Made in London," with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair playing a dominant role in drawing the United States into the invasion and ensuing quagmire. The British then pulled their forces out of Basra in 2007, setting the stage for the Shi'a-on-Shi'a confrontation, which the United States has now been drawn into as well. The psychotic policy of the Bush White House, LaRouche concluded, borders on treasonalthough President Bush, personally, could make a very compelling case that he is not guilty, by virtue of insanity. LaRouche suggested that medical records from the President's year-long drug rehabilitation treatment, from cocaine addiction, while he was purportedly serving in the Texas Air National Guard, during the Vietnam War period, might assist in his insanity defense.
As the result of the Bush Administration walking into the British trap, which is part of a larger British drive to orchestrate a world war between the trans-Atlantic powers and Asia, we now have both Russia and China preparing strategic asymmetric warfare against the West. India is headed in the same direction, and even Japan will be forced, albeit reluctantly, to join with the rest of Asia. "We are staring at World War III," LaRouche warned, "orchestrated from London. And most so-called strategic thinkers in Washington are clueless about the British role."
April 8 (EIRNS)Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is currently imprisoned in Israel, called for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, based on a two-state solution.
Writing in a letter to be read on April 8 before the ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Israeli peace movement, Peace Now, Barghouti declared: "The vast majority of the Palestinian people, myself included, are ready for an historic reconciliation based on international resolutions that will result in the establishment of two states, a Palestinian and an Israeli one, that will exist side by side in peace and security. We are ready for reconciliation that will grant ours and your own children a life devoid of the threats of war and bloodshed; to this end, we must reach a comprehensive ceasefire as soon as possible."
Barghouti, a leader of the PLO's Fatah group, is one of the most popular leaders in the West Bank, a strong nationalist who has the respect of all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas. In recent days, two leaders of the Israeli Labor Party, including Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer and former Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz, have called for his release. The latter will be launching a political campaign for that purpose. Lyndon LaRouche and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III have called for his release as well.
Calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners, Barghouti wrote, "I am writing to you from my small, dark cell in an Israeli prison, where I am being held along with 11,000 other Palestinian prisoners, including women and children; thousands of these prisoners are being held without a trial. From the Palestinian people who suffer, and have lived under military occupation for 40 yearsI extend my blessings to you and empower you."
Barghouti also referred to the so-called "prisoners" document which he helped draft with the imprisoned leaders of all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, which should serve as an agreement by which to unify all the Palestinian factions. "Our plan," Barghouti wrote, "determines very clearly that the goal of the Palestinian nation is to bring about an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands conquered in 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also presents a solution for the refugee problem based on international resolutions. This agreement will lead to a referendum. It paved the way for the launching of negotiations from a unified Palestinian stance."
April 11 (EIRNS)Following the report that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter would meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, several prominent Israeli leaders have also agreed to meet with him, including Israeli President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and even rightists Eli Yishai, leader of the Shas party, and Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the Israel Beiteinu party. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have refused to meet, claiming scheduling problems. Benjamin Netanyahu has simply refused to meet.
Carter will arrive in Israel on April 13, where he will meet Peres the same day. He will then visit Sderot (April 14), the town outside the Gaza Strip which has been targetted by Qassam rockets, and where he will meet Barak. Later that day he will speak at an event sponsored by Ha'aretz's business website; there will be meetings on the following days with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Yishai and Lieberman. He will then travel to Damascus where he will meet Meshal on April 18.
The U.S. State Department conveyed, through Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, its displeasure at Carter's proposed meeting with Hamas officials, saying that Hamas is a "terrorist" organization.
Yishai, who is a minister in the government, told the Jerusalem Post that he wants to meet Carter, because he hopes the former U.S. President will relay a message to Hamas to help bring about the release of Gilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier who is being held prisoner in the Gaza Strip.
Carter's full April 13-21 travel itinerary includes: Israel, West Bank, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
April 9 (EIRNS)Yevgeny Primakov, the former Russian prime minister, and senior specialist on Southwest Asia, accused the United States and Israel of dropping the follow-up to the November 2007 Annapolis conferenceespecially the important opportunities regarding Syrian-Israeli peace. Primakov said that the Annapolis discussions were to be pursued in Moscow, but the Americans are foot-dragging.
"The conference [in Russia] must take place without fail," said Primakov in an interview in the April 8 Voice of Russia. "...[W]hen the Annapolis conference was being planned, we were proceeding on the basis that there would definitely be a continuation in Moscow. The Americans spoke to me about thisthey agreed with itand so did the Israelis. Now, it seems to me that they are showing less interest in this matter. But I think they are wrong." Primakov said that the Russian foreign ministry has stepped up work on this conference, and "apparently" it will take place in the Summer, but didn't mention a date.
On Syria, Primakov said that the conference would be successful "if it examines questions not only of Palestinian-Israeli relations, but also of Syrian-Israeli relations.... The question of the restoration of Syria's sovereignty over the Golan Heights must also be tackled. In this case, Syria will also become a supporter of a general settlement in the Middle East, including a Palestinian-Israeli settlement. That will move the Middle East settlement process forward on all tracks. "
Asia News Digest
April 9 (EIRNS)A recent report, produced jointly by China's Ministry of Public Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency, said that drugs such as opium and heroin are getting smuggled into Xinjiang province for distribution throughout China. Most of the drugs are produced in Afghanistan. There had been a steep rise in seizure of Afghan drugs in western China.
As a result of a large volume of drugs moving in from the western periphery, Xinjiang province has become one of China's worst in terms of drug abuse, and the northwest has the fastest-growing drug addict population. The overwhelming majority of these use heroin, and a shift is occurring from smoking to injecting.
The report says Pakistan serves as a key trafficking route while Uighur groups are the distributors inside China. In 2006, Pakistan arrested 54 couriers from airports in Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar, destined for China.
At the same time, factors such as Afghanistan's bumper harvest, Britain's plan to undermine China's sovereignty by using opium/heroin, and the presence of a large population of Uighurs in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan, are encouraging wide-scale smuggling of heroin and opium inside China. The current low profile of drug smuggling across its borders with Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan is unlikely to continue. For the three Central Asian governments, managing the issue of their role as a transit country for heroin smuggling to China will prove challenging, and they are not currently equipped with the financial or human resources to assist China in trafficking prevention on their side of their borders with Xinjiang.
April 9 (EIRNS)A top British intelligence analyst with a prominent family background, Philip Bowring, in an article on the Asia Sentinel website on April 9, wrote that, the "Tibet effect," though it does not approximate the events in Bosnia in 1914, "can tip a delicate balance and stir what seemed dormant passions into gut-wrenching nationalistic rages." "Fanning the spark to produce flames and, they hoped, a conflagration, were the familiar Western powers who for 150 years have been endeavoring, often successfully, to humiliate and control the Middle Kingdom," Bowring added.
He said that globalization had given China an easy ride into international markets. Helped by the United States and easy access to foreign investment, China did well. But this is coming to an end, because of the economic disaster in the developed world. "Almost everywhere, but particularly in the developed world, there is a growing realization that whatever its overall benefits, globalization leads to rapid increases in income inequality and hence can threaten social fabrics and be easily undermined by democratic politics.... One could add in too the sudden rise in global food prices, giving the lie to the notion that self-sufficiency is no longer necessary and that production shortfalls can always be made up with imports," Bowring added.
April 10 (EIRNS)Present in New Delhi at the time the India-African Union Summit was in progress, the director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, said a solid India-Africa collaboration in agriculture can feed the world. "This is, indeed, possible. India has the capacity and technology, and Africa has land and labor," Yumkella, who was in Delhi for an international conference on agro industries and its role in development and poverty reduction, told India Abroad News Service (IANS).
According to the UNIDO chief, the Indian Green Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s had demonstrated how technology can boost productivity to push production of food grain in a short period of time. "But the huge advances brought about by the continuing Green Revolution must be accompanied by similar advances in processing efficiency, reductions in post-harvest losses and improvements in quality levels of products," Yumkella said.
Lyndon LaRouche has often emphasized the importance of essential infrastructure and technology, such as food irradiation, that can dramatically reduce the amount of spoilage of crops, which in the case of Africa reaches as much as half of the harvested crop.
In 1985, the now-defunct Fusion Asia organized an international conference, where India's then-Planning Minister (later, President of India), the late K.R. Narayanan, gave the keynote address. Ramtanu Maitra of Fusion Asia and EIR presented a study which showed India's Ganga Valley, where a population almost the size of the United States resides, can produce enough food for at least 6 billion people, provided the leaders are geared up to do so.
April 11 (EIRNS)In an article in the London Guardian on April 5, a British spy story writer, who is clearly doing the bidding of Britain's MI6, Charles Cumming, said that, by coincidence, his new novel, Typhoon, which will be published in June (two months before the Olympics), concerns a plot by "U.S.-sponsored" Uighur radicals to blow up the Beijing Games. Cumming's obvious ploy is to implicate the United States in the Uighur plots and keep the focus away from the MI6.
Cumming, an Eton and University of Edinburgh fellow, is widely considered to be an MI6 man, although he told the media on another occasion, that he was approached by the MI6, but never joined.
In his Guardian article, he says: "Uighurs have motives, at the very least, for fighting back. On January 5 this year, 18 Uighurs were killed and a further 17 arrested during a raid on what the Chinese described as a 'terrorist training camp' in the Pamir mountains. However, many western observers have cast doubt on the veracity of this claim. Just as there has been no proof of the planned attacks on the Olympic Games, the Chinese authorities have yet to produce any evidence which would suggest that the men and women killed in January were terrorists linked to al-Qaeda."
Cumming ignores the fact that 12 Uighurs were held and interrogated in Guantanamo Bay for their al-Qaeda links, and subsequently they were resettled in Bosnia.
April 9 (EIRNS)The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission said that it is interested in buying the technology for the German magnetic-levitation train, Deutsche Presse Agentur reported from Beijing today. "We would greet the sale of the magnetic train technology from the German developers to Chinese firms," DPA quoted the National Development and Reform Commission, which also said it hoped China could win the technology at an "attractive price." The proposed construction of a maglev train in Munich, Germany, has just been rejected on the basis of alleged "too high costs." China remains the only nation which has an operating commercial maglev train, in Shanghai. Prof. Xie Weida, deputy director of the Railway Institute at Shanghai Tongji University, acknowledged that the technology would be very expensive, but it would make it possible for China to produce the maglev trainsand even sell them to the rest of the world.
However, the German firm ThyssenKrupp, one of the developers of the technology, has let it be known that it would not be selling either the technology or a license to China, DPA reported.
Government officials in Lhasa, Tibet, today said that they will spend 1.2 billion yuan ($160 million) this year to construct the Naqu logistics center for the Qinghai-Tibet railway. The center will have facilities for product processing, storage and distribution. The Chinese railroad to the "roof of the world," is the first-ever railroad in Tibet.
Africa News Digest
April 13 (EIRNS)The April 12 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit that was called by SADC chair and Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa at the behest of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, did not give the Britishor the Zimbabwe opposition groups they are sponsoringwhat they wanted.
The summit communiqué did not state that there was an electoral impasse in Zimbabwe, in agreement with what had been stated before the summit by South African President Thabo Mbeki. The summit only called for the results of the March 29 election to be released expeditiously, and that the run-off election be held "in a secure environment."
Before leaving for the summit, Mbeki stated point blank that there was not a crisis in Zimbabwe, adding that what was going on there was a normal electoral procedure, and that it should be given time to go through. Mbeki stopped in Zimbabwe on his way to the summit, and had a warm meeting with President Robert Mugabe, who did not attend the summit. The summit, which was expected to last 2 hours, went for more than 12 hours, as the SADC members who wanted to do Britain's bidding, and come out of the summit with a communiqué asserting that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, fought unsuccessfully for that formulation.
Zimbabwe opposition Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai did hold discussions with the summit participants, and left hurriedly when the British did not get what they wanted, saying only: "We're finished here."
After returning from the summit, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said of the allegations by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC, Tsvangirai's organization) that Mugabe was trying to rig the outcome of recent elections: "It is not true." He added, "Neither the government, the ruling party or the opposition" had tampered with the outcome. Pohamba also said that "SADC heads of state had been satisfied with explanations provided about the arrest of several ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] officials over allegations by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party that they had deliberately underestimated his tally."
While the summit was taking place, the ZEC announced that it would conduct a recount on April 19 of all ballots cast in the parliamentary, Presidential, and local elections in 23 constituencies22 demanded by the government, one singled out by the opposition MDC, for irregularities. The Zimbabwe government has charged that the MDC paid off people working as election officials, to inflate the figures of MDC candidate Tsvangirai. The MDC is against a recount, and Tsvangirai says he won't compete in a run-off election. He would lose, now that his corruption of election officials has been smoked out.
As a result of not getting SADC backing for a unity government, the British are intensifying their condemnation of Mugabe. Brown said that he and his reputed allies in the West "are running out of patience" with Mugabe. Brown-asset Tsvangirai is reportedly being counseled to seek asylum in a neighboring country, and not return to Zimbabwe, for reasons of personal safety, playing into British plans to produce a rerun of the Kenya post-electoral crisis, in Zimbabwe. The British are charging that the election results will be fraudulent, and that the "crisis" can only be resolved by British-instigated mediation to install a power-sharing government, which would be plagued by conflict and instability, as Kenya's has been since Kofi Annan's "mediation effort" there.
April 12 (EIRNS)The Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) both want to negotiate a settlement of their devastating and long-running war, but the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has indictments and arrest warrants out for LRA leaders, refuses to withdraw them. BBC today reports that Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army did not show up for the signing of a peace agreement with the government of Uganda, which would have ended the state of war between them. The chief negotiator for the LRA resigned.
The ICC is a recent addition to the institutions of Wellsian world dictatorship. Under the proposed peace agreement, the Ugandan government would ask that the ICC indictments and arrest warrants be dropped, and would itself try the accused. The ICC says the indictments and arrest warrants can only be dropped through an appeal process.
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