The Tennessee Valley Authority of the 21st Century
by The LPAC Basement Team
July 31Upon the removal of Barack Obama from the Presidency of the United States, and the implementation of a Glass-Steagall reorganization of our banking system, the economic recovery of the United States can begin with the immediate launching of the North American Water and Power Alliance.
The expressions of human economy are only understood in physical terms, in which the principal drivers for advance are developments in basic economic infrastructure and increases in energy-flux density. The combination of advances in the implementation of these factors creates the environment in which the individual, or groups of individuals, act, and, therefore, determines the level of potential productivity which can be achieved. That is to say, the productivity of industry, agriculture, and labor generally, are dependent on these two factors. Therefore, any economic recovery, or progress generally, must focus on rapid advances in these core areas.
Based on these criteria, and the present situation of the economy, the most immediately beneficial recovery project to be taken up is the North American Water and Power Alliance, NAWAPA.....
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
July 25 (EIRNS)In what he calls a "bold and risky" move, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is proposing that the state take over the Atlantic City casino district, and turn the seedy gambling town into a "family resort," along the lines of Las Vegas. Christie also plans to privatize the Meadowlands horse-racing track and Izod sports center, and float a bond issue to save the nearby Xanadu mega-mall.
The move to turn Atlantic City into "Las Vegas East" is apparently based upon a McKinsey & Co. report issued in June, on "Revitalizing Atlantic City." McKinsey notes that gambling accounts for 5% of state tax revenues, and that Atlantic City's gross gambling receipts fell by $1.1 billion, from 2006 to 2009. According to McKinsey, Atlantic City needs to target demographic groups ranging from "young entertainment seekers" to "recreation-seeking," "gaming," and "wealthier boomers," to "family vacationers" and "recreation and scenery seekers."
Underneath the slick marketing campaign aimed at presenting this as a way to save jobs and increase tax revenue, is a move to have New Jersey taxpayers bail out one of Dope, Inc.'s premier U.S. money-laundering facilities. The idea of turning Atlantic City into a "family resort" is patently absurd, and Las Vegas has already abandoned the concept, in favor of a return to the more traditional gambling and hookers. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," is the new theme. Especially your money.
July 28 (EIRNS)In an attempt to pressure state legislators and unions to give in to his austerity demands, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency today. Arnie ordered three furlough days per month, beginning in August, for 156,000 state employeesequivalent to a 14% wage cut. Schwarzenegger previously tried to slash workers pay to the minimum wage, but that effort has been blocked by State Controller John Chiang and the courts.
Public employee union leaders called Schwarzenegger's order a blatant political stunt. "This is just to put pressure on the unions that haven't agreed with his program. If you agree with him, there are no furloughs," said Professional Engineers in California Government president Bruce Blanning, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle. "His people told us on conference call earlier, 'When they pass a budget, the furloughs will end.' So this is clearly aimed at putting pressure on Legislature as well state employees."
"Every decision he's made has been designed to punish working families," Assembly Speaker John Perez said. "It would be a refreshing change if for once he could make a decision that helps the economy rather than hurts it."
Global Economic News
July 26 (EIRNS)BP, along with its German partner, is set to begin deep-sea drilling off the coast of Egypt, after revisions to their agreement with the Egyptian Oil Ministry were announced, last week. Under the revised agreement announced on July 19, BP and RWE Dea, the oil and gas unit of German utility RWE AG, will pay royalties to the Egyptian government, instead of the government investing in developing the offshore gas fields. The first gas from the Egyptian fields is expected in 2014. BP says that Egypt has the third-largest gas reserves in Africa, with 77.3 trillion cubic feet, behind Algeria and Nigeria.
A few days ago, it was announced that BP is also to start deep-sea drilling off the coast of Libya, this time for oil.
July 28 (EIRNS)Alan Brown, group chief investment officer at Schroders Bank in London, writes in the Austrian online journal Börse Express that, "looking at developments in the euro-zone, one has the image of a train wreck in slow motion. The developments have a kind of predestination," which Brown says has to do with the insane German government's "mathematical" approach of massive austerity to save the euro system.
The Germans say that all of southern Europe should be put on the penalty bench for a decade or even longer, to "adjust" their economies, which, in the case of Greece, would drive the debt to 150% GDP, a level which it could keep only if it had an 8% surplus GDP annuallyan impossible scenario for the Greeks. "Under these circumstances it would not surprise if Greece came to the conclusion that a restructuringmeaning a defaulttogether with the exit from the euro-zone were the lesser evil. Then, Brown asks the question: 'How about a new d-markeven if that sounds populistic? Nearly everything is possible, beginning with the exit of an individual country, through the creation of one or several currency zones, to the return to all national currencies that did exist before.'"
Alan Greenspan also joined the chorus of the euro-doom singers: Speaking to CNBC earlier this month, he said, "I don't know where the end-game is. Something has got give here. One possibility is there are fewer members of the European Monetary Union."
July 27 (EIRNS)Nobuo Tanaka, the head of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), a forum of the OECD that advises the 28 industrialized member-nations on energy matters [not to be confused with the IAEAed.], called for France to deregulate its electricity prices. The unspoken objective, is to increase the cost of nuclear-produced electricity to make BP's and Goldman Sachs' wind and solar power projects more "competitive." Tanaka made his remarks at a news conference yesterday.
Officially, the IEA wants France to speed up reforms of its power industry by pushing the country's former electricity monopoly to charge prices closer to market levels. So far, the price of French electricity is around one-third cheaper than the European average, thanks to France's reliance on nuclear reactors, which have turned a profit, over more than 30 years of use. European rivals of the utility Electricité de France (EDF), which runs the country's 58 nuclear reactors, say it has a competitive advantage.
"It is questionable whether the current tariff structure is sustainable," as cheap power prices threaten the investments needed to maintain and extend the operating life of its nuclear reactors, the IEA report stated, in a report on France.
The French market has already been liberalized since July 2007, in line with European Union directives. In June, French lawmakers passed a bill that would force EDF to sell a quarter of its nuclear output to private rivals such as Poweo and GDF Suez, but the bill has yet to be approved by the Senate.
July 27 (EIRNS)The European Central Bank's Italian directorate member, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, was deployed to calm the critics in Germany (whose number is increasing), of the euro bailout system, in a commentary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung July 27. Under the headline, "A Rational View of the Greek Crisis," Bini Smaghi first claims that the euro, 11 years after its introduction, is stronger than the deutschmark ever was.
He then presents a set of scenarios of what would happen, if Greece were to default instead of being bailed out: The Greek financial system would collapse; Greek citizens would storm the banks and empty their accounts; the Greek government would be forced to impose draconian measures like capital controls; the entire country would fall into chaos. Even the fact that within Europe, the Greek economy is a very small one, would not protect the rest of the euro-zone against new shocks; for example, speculators, who would make huge gains because they speculated on a Greek default, would be encouraged to speculate also on the default of other countries like Portugal, Ireland, or Spain, Bini Smaghi argues. As for those who call for the replacement of the euro by the national currencies, he warns that a big devaluation of savings, notably in Germany, would result from a dissolution of the euro system.
By contrast, the IMF approach offers a positive future for Greece, Bini Smaghi lies, citing the 1995 IMF loan to Mexico, and the 2001 loan to Brazil, claiming that the harsh austerity programs carried out then, helped both countries to get back on their feet. If Greece does that and pays back its debt, the euro-zone will come out stronger from this crisis than ever before, he claims.
In the same spirit, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's Prime Minister and chairman of the Eurogroup of euro-zone countries, used a visit to Slovenia, this past weekend, to call for a new round of austerity policies. He urged European states to reduce public deficit and debt: "Consolidation of the European public finances is not an option, it is a necessity. If deficits and public debts remain high, there will be no growth in Europe."
United States News Digest
July 30 (EIRNS)Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today repeated his demand for a full confirmation hearing for Sir Donald Berwick, whom President Obama named, by recess appointment, to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), bypassing the Senate confirmation process. On July 19, clearly under pressure, Obama re-submitted Berwick's nomination, but Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, has still refused to schedule a hearing.
Roberts, speaking at a Committee hearing today, pointed out that Berwick will be in charge of implementing sweeping changes to the nation's health-care system, and that he is charged with finding nearly a half-a-trillion dollars in cuts as required in the health-care bill that was "jammed through" Congress.
"Given that all we know about Dr. Berwick [is] from his public statementsone, which he expresses his love of the British National Health System, a system which rations care to patients in order to contain costsit is incumbent upon us to know more about his views on what services are acceptable and what medical services will get the cut."
On the same day, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, sent a new letter to CMS demanding that Berwick submit the last three years of taxes and contributor information for his Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the nonprofit he left to become CMS administrator. "The public has the right to know whether the numerous and significant policy decisions that you make are vulnerable to these potential conflicts of financial interest," Grassley wrote. Berwick and his wife have health care for life from the IHI, and Grassley wants to know whose contributions are funding this. Grassley said that Berwick had agreed to supply such information after he was nominated, but before he was recess-appointed.
July 28 (EIRNS)Warning of the threat of healthcare rationing, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and four other Republican Senators introduced a bill Tuesday to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (formerly known as IMAC) the specific "death panel" provision in the Obamacare bill.
A press release on Cornyn's website emphasizes that IPAB puts power over Medicare spending decisions in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats, and quotes the cosponsors: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says this is "an unelected board with unprecedented power over the health decisions of every American senior." Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) warns of "the inevitable rationing that will result in the delay and denial of care," and that certain tests and treatments will not be covered. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) says: "On the hook to find $500 billion in cuts to pay for the new health care law, IPAB is yet another government body tasked with rationing to contain costs." And Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) also warns that the law puts "government bureaucrats and rationing boards in the middle of medical decisions."
July 28 (EIRNS)Two more examples arose today, of a recognition that President Obama is following in the footsteps of the Schmittlerian "Unitary Executive" policies introduced over the past decade by George Bush and Dick Cheney.
In a eulogy for the departing White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, the New York Times' Matt Bai notes how Orszag pressed for shifting power, especially budgetary power, from Congress to the Executive. In order to "bend the curve" on health-care expenditures, Orszag pushed through IPAB (the Independent Payments Advisory Board) for Medicare and more, which he himself has called the "single-biggest yielding of power to an independent entity since the creation of the Federal Reserve."
Similarly, Orszag brokered the creation of the Fiscal ["Catfood"] Commission. "Taken together," observes Bai, "all of these proposals would seem to represent a clear exertion of executive power over the legislative branch from an administration that was supposed to have been more deferential to Congressional prerogatives."
At the same time, two U.S. Senators are challenging Obama to heed the Senate's Constitutional powers. According to Politico, Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) sent a letter to Obama today, asking him to respect the Senate's Constitutional obligation to give "advice and consent" on treaties and declarations of war, and demanding that any agreement with Afghanistan should "carry the weight of a treaty and be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent in keeping with Constitutional requirements." They also warned Obama not to continue former President George W. Bush's sidestepping of restrictions on the Executive in declaring and funding wars.
July 28 (EIRNS)The so-called National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ("Catfood Commission"), co-chaired by former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, was established by President Obama, to impose austerity, especially against the elderly and poor. But most of the members of the Commission are sitting Members of Congress, about to face another rough August out among the political mass strike of their constituents. Two "sub-commissions" which were supposed to report to the Commission todayone on cutting mandatory expenditures like Social Security, the other on cutting discretionary spending like education, health, and defensepretty much reported that they had not been able to agree on anything, despite "friendly and bipartisan meetings."
The problem Obama has in pushing his murderous cuts, was revealed again, when Democratic Commission member Rep. Janice Schakowski of Illinois, denounced the Commission's "expert" witness Barry Anderson of the OECD, for glibly stating that Social Security "won't be there" for today's younger members of the workforce. "We in Congress will decide on meeting Social Security obligationsthat's outside your authority," Schakowsky scolded Anderson, reflecting the anger of the aroused American citizenry.
July 27 (EIRNS)A new report issued by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Counties, estimates that local government job losses will approach 500,000 this year and next, with public safety, public works, public health, and social services among the hardest-hit sectors. The estimate is based on a survey of cities of over 25,000 population and counties of over 100,000 population, conducted in May and June. 214 cities and 56 counties responded. The survey found that 63% of cities and 39% of counties reported cuts in public safety personnel, 60% of cities and 68% of counties reported cuts in public works personnel, 52% of counties reports cuts in social services, and 48% in public health. Parks and recreation, public libraries, and schools are being hit similarly.
The report was presented on Capitol Hill, today, by senior officials of all three organizations, and was used by them as well as by members of Congress to lobby for the Local Jobs for America Act, a relief bill sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), that would allocate money to state and local governments, and community service organizations, to create local service jobs, including in public safety and other areas.
Ibero-American News Digest
July 29 (EIRNS)Franklin Delano Roosevelt's policies, which put millions back to work during the Great Depression, should be the model for rebuilding Haiti, said Dr. Paul Farmer, speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on July 27. "We need a sense of urgency" to get this done, he warned, because what's been done so far isn't working. He slammed the free-trade and globalization policies that helped to destroy Haiti long before the January earthquake.
Farmer, physician and founder of Partners in Health (PIH), is also a UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti, who works closely with former President Bill Clinton. Until now, only Lyndon LaRouche had called for an FDR-style mobilization to ensure Haiti's national survival. The reference to FDR is appropriate, given the latter's deep concern for Haiti and efforts to assist in its development, seen in the Good Neighbor Policy's promotion of the Artibonite Valley Agriculture Project for flood control and power provision, including plans to build the Peligre hydroelectric dam project.
Farmer told the CBC's "Focus on Haiti" hearing that if Haiti is to survive, assistance must be directed toward strengthening the Haitian government and "public-sector capacity, especially in the arenas of health, education, water, and housing...." This, he noted wryly, hasn't been the "favored approach," historically, toward assistance to Haiti. But now, he said, more aid money must be put into the government's handsless than 2% of the $1.8 billion in earthquake relief sent so far to Haiti has gone to the governmentto strengthen the public sector, "including its regulatory and coordinating capacity." The "veritable Republic of NGOs" now existing in the country has "failed to provide basic services to all who need them or to create a functioning safety net for the poorest."
If Haiti is to have a real, sustainable health-care system, Farmer pointed out, there must be "massive investment in new clinics and hospitals, staff to run them, and health insurance at a time when only 300,000 families have it. These are indivisible tasks. As FDR noted at the outset of the Depression: 'Public Health ... is a responsibility of the state as [is] the duty to promote general welfare. The state educates its children. Why not keep them well?' "
For Haiti, Farmer warned, "the most urgent task of all is the creation of jobs that will confer dignity to those in greatest need. As FDR said early in the Depression, 'The Nation asks for action and action now. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work.' As it was during the Great Depression, there are innumerable public-works jobs imaginable, from reforestation and rubble removal to preparing for back-to-school (la rentrée), which must put kids back in schools, safe schools...."
Farmer recalled that Roosevelt, as Governor of New York, devised programs that put people back to work, lessons that were later "taken to scale in many programs, including the Civil Works Administration, which created millions of jobs and moved billions [of dollars] into the public sector through public works and into the hands of the previously unemployed." Certainly, Farmer underscored, "Haiti's need is no less great than that faced by the States during the Depression." Moreover, he concluded, "there is no evidence whatsoever that this is an impossible mission."
Western European News Digest
Aug. 4 (EIRNS)The 32,000 members of the Confederation of Greek Truck Owners and Drivers have temporarily suspended their strike against attempts to "liberalize" their industry, pending negotiations with the government. The week-long strike had paralyzed food and fuel deliveries. This followed action by the Greek government, on July 31, to call out the Army and Navy to crush striking Greek truck drivers, who are attempting to protect their livelihood, now threatened by the government's determination to deregulate the trucking industry.
The Army was ordered to seize tanker trucks, as well as using those of the military, to deliver fuel. In addition, the government has already started issuing military mobilization orders to the 32,000 striking truckers which would force them to report for military duty, in which circumstance, they would be ordered back to work. If they fail to obey, they will be arrested, their trucks seized, and their licenses revoked. The Navy is being deployed to deliver fuel to the islands.
After initially voting overwhelmingly to continue the strike and to defy the mobilization orders, the truckers decided on the temporary suspension. There had already been clashes between truckers and police.
July 27 (EIRNS)Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stunned the Italian nation by announcing that Fiat will outsource the production of two new car models to Serbia, thus jeopardizing the future for the plant at Mirafiori, Turin, the historical base of the auto company. Marchionne said his decision was due to the obstructionist conduct of Italian trade unions, especially its most radical faction, FIOM, as manifested in the recent negotiations for the Fiat plant in Pomigliano (Naples).
FIOM regional secretary in Piedmont, Giorgio Araudo, said: "We must say that they go to Serbia because 70% of the investment is paid by the Serbian government, because they will pay no taxes for the next 10 years, and because workers get [only] a EU400 monthly salary."
The London School of Economics considers the Fiat Auto Serbia (FAS) project a case study for the neo-feudalist model of Manchester capitalism without nation-states. According to Il Sole 24 Ore's correspondent from Kragujevac, the LSE has, in the Serbian "auto-city," the "scientific explanation" for the outsourcing model. The head of the local university, Dejan Arsenijevic, explains that "in the future the classical [nation] state will no longer exist, but there will be many city-states developing around an industry."
In the wake of the uproar over the possible shutting of the Turin plants, the Fiat management met with the workers, and declared that it intended to keep them open.
PARIS, July 30 (EIRNS)As part of the cuts in the Social Security budget, the French government is getting ready to eliminate Social Security coverage for treatment of benign hypertension. This is really a symbolic exercise, since this disorder concerns only about 40,000 people in France for a grand total of tens of millions of euros, while this year's deficit will reach EU13 billion.
The reality is, however, that this is the first attack by the government on a group of diseases which is now covered by Social Securitythe ALD (covering long-duration diseases)which includes much graver diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, chronic diseases of all sorts, etc. It signals the government's intention, as in the case of pushing back the retirement age, to cut state support for the vulnerable.
PARIS, July 27 (EIRNS)The nations participating in the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world's largest tokamaka magnetic confinement fusion deviceare now meeting at the construction site in Caderache, southern France. After a meeting of ITER representatives in June in Suzhu, China, setting a new timetable, the EU, in charge of 45% of the financing, finally arranged to cover a projected funding shortfall. Four days ago, the European Commission decided to bite the bullet, pull funding from other science programs, and fulfill its obligations to the future.
French Science Minister Valerie Pecresse met with President Obama's advisor, John Holdren, in Washington on June 25, and with the Chinese Science Minister in Beijing on July 5, to finalize matters. The decision on how to proceed with ITER is expected to start the real take-off of the four-year old program.
July 30 (EIRNS)Swiss People's Party (SVP) leader, populist Christoph Blocher, has threatened a popular referendum against bank bailouts if the Swiss Parliament fails to enact a satisfactory bill next November. The Parliament is expected to discuss and draft a bill on the basis of the coming report by the TBTF (Too Big To Fail) Committee, which will be released mid-August. The committee was set up following concerns by Parliament and the Swiss National Bank that Switzerland cannot possibly bail out either of the two large banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, whose assets are four times the national GDP. A conflict has emerged between chairman of the SNB Governing Board Philipp Hildebrand and the banks, which resist any regulation or separation of activities.
July 25 (EIRNS)According to today's London Guardian, Carne Ross, the U.K.'s Iraq expert at the United Nations, from 1997-2002, says all the Iraq invasion documents should now be made public. Last week, the former head of MI5 gave backhanded support to U.K. weapons expert David Kelly, who was found dead in 2003, allegedly by suicide, after it had been revealed that he was the source of a BBC story that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had "sexed up" the danger of Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion. Ross's statement further supports Kelly's position.
Ross criticized "Britain's own "deep state"that is, secret government, for covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents," for trying to intimidate him over his testimony. Ross stated that, shortly before his testimony, "an official" cautioned him to not publicly refer to certain of the documentsthose which clearly overexaggerated Iraq's military capabilities.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
July 29 (EIRNS)Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin will visit Iran in the Autumn, to sign an agreement to construct a key railway link in the proposed International North-South transport corridor (INSTC), Voice of Russia reported yesterday. The corridor project, under discussion among Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, India, and other nations of the region, since 2000, will eventually link St. Petersburg with Bandar-Abbas, the Iranian port on the Persian Gulf. A consortium, in which Russian Railways (RZhD) will take a lead role, is being considered to construct new rail lines between Iran and Azerbaijan along the Caspian Sea.
During World War II, the Trans-Iranian railway from the then-Shapur (now Bandar Khomeini) port at the far northern end of the Persian Gulf was a key transport link to get U.S. Lend Lease supplies to the Soviet Union. Bandar Abbas, which has since become the most important Iranian Gulf port, lies much farther south, and was linked to the Iranian rail system in the late 1990s.
Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko, who met with his visiting Iranian counterpart Masud Mir-Kazemi in Moscow July 14, to discuss gas, oil, and civilian nuclear cooperation, called the INSTC a crucial transport corridor between the nations, VOR reported.
Earlier, on July 6, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed integrating the North Caucasus area of Russia into the project, as part of a new strategy to develop the regions backward economy. "We see a real perspective of building the North Caucasus into a north-south international transit corridor that would link Russia and Europe with the Persian Gulf and Central Asian states," Putin told a United Russia party conference on the region, Novosti reported.
July 29 (EIRNS)21st Century Science & Technology has posted on its website an exclusive report by radiation expert Zbigniew Jaworowski, on the decision of Belarus to repopulate the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. Jaworowski concludes that Belarus "should be commended for its courage in standing up to the Chernobyl hysteria, for years cultivated by Greenpeace and other Greens." The "panic-stricken reaction to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor mishap was a fatal error on the part of Soviet authorities," he says. He reviews in detail the scientific data on the effects of radiation in the Chernobyl area, in contrast to the radiophobic hysteria.
Jaworowski cites the years of scientific studies which show that the Chernobyl catastrophe caused a minuscule risk for the general population. The only fatalities were of 31 rescue workers and employees of the power station at the time of the accident. Among those workers who survived, there is no increase of cancer mortality. Among the inhabitants of the contaminated areas, there is no increase of cancer incidence and hereditary diseases.
Jaworowski is a multidisciplinary scientist, who has published more than 300 scientific papers, four books, and scores of popular science articles, including many in 21st Century and EIR. He has been a member of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) since 1973, and served as its chairman from 1980-1982.
An article by Jaworowski on Chernobyl will be published in the Summer 2010 issue of 21st Century.
Southwest Asia News Digest
July 31 (EIRNS)The UN Human Rights Committee, a body of 18 independent experts that monitors compliance with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, found, in a report issued July 30, that Israel is in violation of nearly every civil and political right of the Palestinians. In fact, in its response to the committee, Israel argued that the covenant does not apply to the Palestinians, although they say it does apply to Jewish settlers in the West Bank. "In Israel's written responses to the committee, one could see a total discrimination in the sense that settlers benefitted from the pact," said committee member Christine Chanet, a former French judge and international human rights expert. The committee vehemently disagreed with the Israeli view and noted in its report that the covenant applies to all equally, except under extreme and temporary conditions.
The committee has been backed up by the International Court of Justice, which, in 2004, stated that the provisions of the covenant "apply to the benefit of the population of the occupied territories, including in the Gaza strip," and that Israel has the responsibility to ensure that the rights of the Palestinians under the covenant are protected. However, Chanet noted, "It is very difficult to have a real dialogue" with Israel on these matters.
Among the recommendations in the committee's report, were that Israel should:
* end the military blockade of Gaza because of its adverse effects on the civilian population;
* carry out credible investigations into serious human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, human treatment, freedom of expression, and use of torture;
* end its practice of extrajudicial executions of individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism; and that, since 2003, Israel has carried out 184 extrajudicial executions in Gaza, which also resulted in the deaths of 155 additional individuals;
* incorporate into its laws legislation against the crime of torture, in conformity with the Convention Against Torture;
* end its practice of collective home and property demolitions. It should also stop construction of the separation wall in the West Bank, and the construction of settlements as well.
July 30 (EIRNS)"We have to force people to come to terms with the fact that the biggest war threat comes from Obama's madness," said Lyndon LaRouche concerning the continued drumbeat for war against Iran. LaRouche said that it is "imperative" to keep the spotlight on the war party. Meanwhile, Nerobama is pushing every possible provocation against Iran, and pressuring countries like China and Turkey, which are trying to bring about the possibility of a negotiated solution.
"The reality is: Iran holds the key to a viable exit strategy from both Iraq and Afghanistan," said LaRouche, and given some of the problems with the current Iranian leadership, that means we need some really creative John Quincy Adams-style diplomacy on the part of the United States.
There continue to be opportunities for diplomacy, but Obama is shooting them down, while warmongers like the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer call for war. A July 30 Journal column by Edward Jay Epstein claims that the entire 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, that reported that Iran ended its weapons program in 2003, was a fraud based on false intelligence from one or more Iranian "double agents." Also on July 30, Krauthammer wrote about a Sunni Arab/Israel/USA/European alliance to attack Iran that is breathing down the neck of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, leading him to publicly worry that the United States is going to attack two countries in the region in the next few months.
While these war rantings are the daily fare in the U.S. and British press, Iran has indicated that it would end the enrichment of uranium to 20%, "if the United States and other countries agreed to a plan brokered in May for exchanging Iranian uranium," stated Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as quoted in Global Security Newswire. But Obama continues to call for more sanctions against Iran, as in his praise for the European Union's additional sanctions.
Both Russia and China object, reported Agence France Presse on July 30. "China disapproves of the unilateral sanctions put in place by the EU against Iran," according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu in a released statement. "We hope the relevant parties will adhere to diplomatic means on the issue, and properly resolve the issue through talks and negotiation," she continued, wrote AFP.
But the U.S. is sending "two top envoys" to China in August to press for China to support these sanctions outside the UN resolutions.
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS show today, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested that now would be a good time for President Obama to engage Iran in a dialogue.
A good place to start, he said, would be to discuss a way forward in Afghanistan. "I think Iran has interests in Afghanistan. They don't like the Taliban. They don't like narcotics being transited. There are reasons they would want a stable government there."
Kerry emphasized that raising the Afghan issue with Iran would also be a way "to get in on the other issues of concern to us, not just nuclear, but the whole regional issue."
Kerry's mention of the drug trade is noteworthy. Lyndon LaRouche has charged that Obama's treasonous protection of the Afghan opium trade, and sending American soldiers to be killed by insurgents financed by that tradea British imperial policyis grounds for impeachment. Obama has also refused Russian overtures to work with the U.S. and others to destroy the drug trade.
Asked by Zakaria whether he would support a request by Gen. David Petraeus for more troops in Afghanistan, Kerry responded, "I personally would say, no, I don't think troops are the answer. The answer is a political resolution, and that ... has to come about by engaging to a greater degree with India, with Pakistan itself.... I think we should also engage China, Russia, and I would say to you that the possibility could exist even of Iran playing a role in helping to change the equation on the ground."
July 29 (EIRNS)A former member of the British-controlled narco-terrorist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) charged that the Turkish "deep state" is controlling the PKK terror operations. This is a reference to the Ergenekon, a network which has been embedded in the military security institutions of Turkey. Well over 100 individuals, including military personnel and officers, have been put on trial as members of Ergenekon over the past two years.
Hueseyin Yildirim, the former right-hand man of Abdullah Ocalanthe jailed leader of the PKKaccused the Ergenekon of being behind the conflict between Turks and Kurds in Turkey, and charged that Ocalan is also under the control of the deep state.
Yildirim, who defected from the PKK years ago, said, in an interview with the Turkish daily, Taraf: "The environment of chaos cannot end unless Turkey does away with Ergenekon. It is Ergenekon that wants a clash between Turks and Kurds. The deep state wants weapons shot. Ocalan controls the PKK and the deep state controls Ocalan." He added that Ocalan made the deal after his capture several years ago, while he was imprisoned in Imrali prison. "Ocalan made an agreement with the deep state at Imrali to save his life. A program was given to him [by the Ergenekon] and he is following it. He had made this public previously. He said that he was told to leave some 500 PKK members in Turkey to be used in clashes, because an environment of clashes is needed for the deep state. This is crystal clear. You have to be blind if you cannot see that," Yildirim said.
These statements were made in the currently tense situation in Turkey, following the handing down of arrest warrants against 102 active-duty and retired military officers, including 25 generals, for their involvement in the Sledgehammer coup plot which had been planned for implementation in 2003, after the current ruling Justice and Development Party came into power. These plotters form the basis of the British Empire's ability to manipulate Turkey. The plot, which was never implemented, included the use of PKK terror to create a strategy of tension behind which the coup could take place. An article in the Turkish English-language newspaper Today's Zaman this week reveals that in the districts where several of the indicted generals were in command, there has been an increase in PKK terrorism.
In a discussion with EIR, one Turkish source feared that a military coup was possible and asked whether U.S. President Obama would support such a coup.
Asia News Digest
July 30 (EIRNS)Heaven was not smiling down on British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his late-July visit to India, in which he promoted a "special relationship" with Britain's former colony. First, it was Myanmar's head of state Gen. Than Shwe, who upstaged him as the state guest of India, and made Cameron cool his heels in Bangalore until Than vacated Delhi. And then, the much-awaited meeting with the Congress Party president, and arguably the most powerful political person in India, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, did not come through.
In fact, Cameron had requested a meeting with not only Gandhi, but also a separate meeting with her son, Rahul Gandhi, considered by many as a prime minister-in-the-wings. None of these meetings came through though, and the Congress Party spokesman told the news media that he was aware that the meetings were requested but were never set up.
But that was not all. At an interview with an Indian TV channel, NDTV, Cameron was asked whether Britain would return the 105-carat gemstone, Koh-i-Noor, set in the British Royal coronation crown when Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The stone was mined in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and later seized by the East India Company. Cameron could only weakly argue that, "What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, then you would suddenly find the British Museum empty."
July 28 (EIRNS)Twenty-four years after neo-cons George Shultz and Paul Wolfowitz overthrew Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, for the crime of building a nuclear power plant (which Marcos did with the help of some sane Americans), newly elected President Noynoy Aquino today quashed the budding effort to revive the fully completed Bataan nuclear facility, a campaign which has been spearheaded by the Philippines LaRouche Society.
The pro-nuclear effort had won such a degree of support that Aquino had been forced to give some lip service to nuclear power in the days following his election, but in the end, he covered for his mother, Cory Aquino, the puppet placed in office by Shultz after the coup in 1986. Her first act as President was to mothball the completed nuclear plant, before it had produced a single watt of power, while promising to pay every penny of the cost and interest costs on its construction.
That Noynoy is following in his mother's footsteps is no surprise, as his election was the result of a massive fraud, run by the Venezuelan/American voting machine company Smartmatic, and facilitated by a dirty deal between outgoing criminal President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and incoming President Noynoy Aquino, orchestrated by foreign interests, including U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas. As a result, the Philippines continues its slide into economic oblivion, poverty, and hunger, failing entirely to break from the Anglo-American straightjacket and join in the Asian drive for nuclear-driven development which is otherwise dominant across Asia.
July 29 (EIRNS)The British Empire's sponsorship of the royalist police state in Thailand has taken another step towards blowing up Southeast Asia by threatening war on neighboring Cambodia. The threat came from the leading apologist for the monarchy and the fascist government at The Nation, the newspaper partially owned by Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones. At issue is a small tract of land on the border which holds a temple complex known as Preah Vihear. Although the issue was settled in 1962 by the International Court of Justice, in Cambodia's favor, the government has revived the issue, in a typical British imperial ploy to use territorial issues to "divide and conquer," and in this case, to further the policy of creating a "ring of crisis" around China.
The Foreign Minister under the current fascist government, Kasit Piromya, not only participated in the coup against former nationalist Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but led a campaign among royalist "Yellow Shirts" to stir up revanchist sentiment against Cambodia over the temple, which resulted in several firefights between military forces from the two countries.
Now, with a UNESCO meeting that is discussing the issue taking place, Thanong Khanthong of The Nation, who serves as an international spokesman for the fascist regime and the feudal "lèse majesté" laws used to justify the police-state measures, published an article, demanding that Thailand respond to the international ruling granting Cambodia management over the temple, by "closing the borders and stopping all trade with its neighbour." Thanong continued: "This would be the first warning. Thai soldiers on the border are on high alert. If the first warning goes unheeded, we should reserve the right, under our sovereignty, to drive out any nationals infringing upon our land."
Earlier this week, former general and religious cult leader Chamlong Srimuang, a leader of the "Yellow Shirt" gangs, led a demonstration at the UNESCO building demanding Thai control over the territory. When he offered a protest petition to the government, both Foreign Minister Kasit and Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjijava personally appeared to receive the protest.
Meanwhile, the corrupt courts in Thailand have announced that the exiled Thaksin and 24 of his allies among the "Red Shirt" opposition forces are to be indicted as "terrorists," facing death sentences, for their sustained protests against the criminal government in April and May.
July 31 (EIRNS)The government of China is "calling for official bilateral talks to end the state of hostility between the two sides the Mainland and Taiwan, based on the "One-China principle," and to forge a peace agreement." "To stabilize the situation and reduce military misgivings in the Taiwan Strait, both sides can conduct exchanges in terms of military issues by beginning with setting up a cross-strait military trust mechanism."
China's Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng made the proposal at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. The proposal by Geng does not appear to contain any language directly concerning mainland China armaments near Taiwan, although the Taiwan press has interpreted it as "Beijing would discuss the removal of guided missiles targeting the island."
Initial official reaction from Taiwan has been cautious. Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) vice chairman Liu Te-shun said it would not comment until it fully understands China's offer. He said he believes after business and trade issues are tackled, a good climate will arise for the two sides to talk about other matters, including building a cross-strait military mutual trust mechanism.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, who was elected by a large majority in March 2008, has worked to better economic relations and trust with the Mainland, supported by his Nationalist Party (KMT) majority in the Legislative Yuan (congress). A number of agreements to improve transportation and communication across the strait were agreed to and implemented early in his term.
On June 29, an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, was initialed by both sides after several rounds of negotiations. The agreement, which is structured to favor Taiwan, would greatly increase trade between the two, while protecting Taiwan from "cheap competitive imports" and other potentially negative effects. Ratification of the agreement is now under debate in the legislature where the opposition, DDP, is desperately dragging its feet to slow passage.
Africa News Digest
July 28 (EIRNS)The 53 African heads of state and leaders at the African Union (AU) summit that took place in Kampala, Uganda, July 19-27 adopted a final resolution that took a strong position against the arrest warrants of the private, British-financed International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The final resolution advocated non-cooperation with the ICC. It also condemned the conduct of the ICC prosecutor.
Despite a concerted effort during the summit to soften the previous AU opposition to the ICC, according to reports, in the end, the resolution was changed to a more hard-line stance in opposition to the ICC's attacks on Bashir in particular, as well as against Africa more generally.
The Resolution stated that the Summit "reiterates its decision that AU member states shall not cooperate with the ICC in the arrest and surrender of President al-Bashir of the Sudan." The Resolution also expressed "concern over the conduct" of the ICC prosecutor, and accused him of "making egregiously unacceptable, rude and condescending statements in the case of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of the Sudan and other situations in Africa."
During the summit, the AU Commission chair, Jean Ping, slammed the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno 0campo. Ping said that the ICC prosecutor "does not care" if his actions jeopardize peace in Sudan. He also opposed the ICC's idea of opening an office in Africa. He asked, "Why are they only interested in opening an office in Africa?" and asserted that the ICC is "bullying" Africa.
While the AU Summit was taking place, 13 heads of state at a separate regional African summit demonstrated their determination to settle the Darfur conflict by advocating negotiations between the Bashir government and the Darfur rebels. Held in N'Djamena, Chad, a Sahel group of nations issued a statement which "rejected all" ICC allegations against Bashir. The head of that organization, the Community of Sahel-Saharan states (CEN-SAD), Mohamed al-Madani al-Azhari, on July 22 stated: "Darfur continues to be a source of concern. CEN-SAD refutes all accusations against President Bashir. These accusations do not contribute to bringing peace to this part of Sudan." He added: "We declare our total support and our solidarity to Sudan and its people."
Chad President Idriss Deby Itno called on the 28 CEN-SAD member nations to back the peace process in Sudan and help solve the Darfur crisis. Bashir attended the summit. It was his first visit to a country that recognizes the ICC.
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Libyan government officials, had been lobbying other countries to withdraw from the ICC. They also accused the court of targeting Africans. Wade was quoted by Sudan state media during the CEN-SAD summit as saying that charges against Bashir should be scrapped altogether.
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