More Reactions to Hagel Resignation

The evidence that the resignation of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was anything but “mutual” continues to pour out. Author Mark Perry writes in an essay in Politico Magazine that, according to one unnamed senior officer, the beginning of the end for Hagel was his two-page memo to Susan Rice on Syria policy that he sent to the White House in mid-October. Hagel wrote the memo, according to this officer, because he couldn’t “live with the ambiguity of an ambiguous policy,” a view apparently shared by many senior military officers. In the end, though, it was the NSC’s “micromanagement” of the military’s ISIL fight that most disturbed the Secretary of Defense and top brass. “It’s a hell of a thing,” a top military officer explained to Perry last week, “but the chief targeting officer for Iraq is Susan Rice. It’s very frustrating.”

In a similar vein is a commentary by Paul Bonicelli in Foreign Policy. Bonicelli, who identifies himself as someone who endorsed G.W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attributes Hagel’s firing to this: The military deals with hard on-the-ground realities, and Hagel insisted on bringing these realities to a White House that wasn’t interested in them.

“Hagel, who works in a building devoid of campaign aides, appreciated these realities and what they meant for our national security. Obama, who is rarely ever separated from political people and their constant curating of him as a political figure, did not appreciate these realities. Rather, these events are irritating intrusions on his more important work of saving his domestic agenda and the one all-important foreign policy agenda item, a deal with Iran,” writes Bonicelli. The important thing to be noted, he goes on, “is that this forced resignation is emblematic of the Obama presidency’s flaws: cliquishness, groupthink, and permanent campaign mode. No matter what one thinks of Hagel’s qualifications, performance or intellect, the simple fact is that he is an official who insisted on telling the White House what it did not want to hear.”

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, posted an article Tuesday reporting that Hagel was frustrated by the indecisiveness of Obama’s national security team and their “endless gab sessions,” and that “he simply didn’t click” with Susan Rice and other top WH advisors.

“The White House fears what the Pentagon is going to say and do. The Pentagon fears how the White House will react. Both sides are nervous of the other,” said an unnamed longtime Pentagon official. “It has persisted through three secretaries now —Gates, Panetta and Hagel — and it will probably persist through a fourth secretary.”

The WSJ says what Hagel prizes is policy clarity, which was lacking in the Obama White House. It says that he wanted a firmer policy against Putin and Russia, viewing Moscow, not the Middle East, as the most serious long-term threat to international security. The WSJ also confirms that Hagel never pushed for a policy of ousting Assad; he was warning of the consequences of leaving the policy unclear.

The Los Angeles Times, quoting former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, now resident at the Center for American Progress in Washington, reports that Obama is looking for a “more forceful, articulate” military leader for the next two years, who can better explain the Administration’s policies to Congress.

“The president clearly wants someone who can be more forceful and win a public debate defending his policies,” said Korb. “He wants someone who looks good on the Sunday talk shows.” Obama also wants someone who is comfortable working with his national security staff; Hagel’s two predecessors, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, weren’t, both complaining about White House micromanagement of the military.

“What’s most needed is a secretary who will challenge assumptions and ask tough questions about policies for issues like [Islamic State] and Afghanistan, and help avert group-think,” said Stephen D. Biddle, a military expert with the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. “I’m not sure that’s what the White House wants, though.”

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Behind the Hagel Firing: Dump Obama Before He Starts World War III

Lyndon LaRouche today identified the firing of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as a rallying point for all sane Democrats and Republicans to stand up and demand President Obama’s immediate removal from office by impeachment, or resignation, or invoking of the 25th Amendment.

“It is time for authentic voices to demand Obama’s removal,” LaRouche elaborated.

“We may be weeks away from thermonuclear war, and there is no other way to guarantee that we avoid extermination.”

LaRouche added that

“Europeans like German Chancellor Angela Merkel are further contributing to the grave and escalating war danger by their cowardice.”

LaRouche noted that there are leading public servants who went through the hell of having served under the Obama presidency, who must now set aside all other considerations, to take a public stand against the White House.

“Leon Panetta, Gen. James Jones, Robert Gates, and Hillary Clinton all know what I am talking about. The time to act for the sake of the nation and all of mankind has arrived.”

Chuck Hagel’s crime was that he joined with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and other military leaders in demanding that the White House stop the amateur micro-managing of the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and spell out a clear diplomatic plan for ending the Syrian civil war. After Hagel sent a late October two-page angry memo to National Security Advisor Susan Rice, elaborating these concerns, Obama decided—despite his political impeachment by the American electorate on Nov. 4—to fire Hagel and circle the wagons around his White House team of sycophants.

Senior Pentagon sources have confirmed, additionally, that the anger and fear at the Pentagon is that Obama’s “pissing contest” with Russian President Vladimir Putin has created the preconditions for the eruption of thermonuclear war. The JCS and related military circles are deeply worried that Obama’s behavior has badly damaged the long standing military-to-military war- avoidance channels between Washington and Moscow, and that we could be on the verge of a strategic showdown leading to a war of extinction at any time.

The firing of Hagel should be a clarion call for action. Unless there is a serious backlash now—demanding Obama’s ouster—the consequences can be deadly and irreversible.

In a further move that shows that he is fully committed to the total destruction of the United State, President Obama today approved new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on ground-level ozone emissions that, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, will cost American industry $270 billion in compliance costs!

Some signs of a tentative break with the Obama madness are emerging—largely centered around Obama’s slavish defense of Wall Street, the City of London, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Sen. Chuck Schumer has come out against Obama, for his having squandered his early mandate and control, in 2010, over both Houses of Congress. Instead of addressing the real desperate economic needs of the American people at a time when he had a clear congressional majority, he focused everything on the hated Obamacare. This belated attack by Schumer is long-overdue, but signals an emerging break.

Last Friday, Sen. Sherrod Brown, joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, assailed the New York Fed for its protection of the Wall Street too-big-to-fail banks. It was a face-to-face confrontation with William Dudley, the successor to Tim Geithner as President of the New York Fed. Dudley was at JP Morgan in 1984 and led the working group that devised the plan to eliminate Glass-Steagall. He went on to Goldman Sachs.

The day before, Sen. Carl Levin had released a 400-page report at a Senate hearing, exposing the Wall Street banks’ manipulation of the commodities futures market by hoarding and driving up prices.

These baby steps have got to translate into a wholesale revolt. With the firing of Chuck Hagel, President Obama, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough, and the rest of the White House team have put their cards on the table. They are going for top-down dictatorship and war. They must be stopped while there is still time.

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British Royal Snobs are Simply Revolting Say New Yorkers

Washington at Valley Forge

Washington at Valley Forge

Denis Hamill, N.Y. Daily News columnist, published a right on the mark column on Buckingham Palace’s insistence that American reporters respect a certain dress code if they want to cover the N.Y. visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, those royals who, we’re told, are not as dotty as the previous generations.  Will and Kate, the spin goes, are just like regular people. Kate has been known to wear the same outfit more than once and Will changes nappies like any other prince’s dad.

The headline of Hamill’s column reads: “IT’S REVOLTING! Remind royal dress-code snobs we kicked ’em out in 1776 “

The New York Daily News is no little newspaper. Published in Manhattan since 1919, it has a huge readership in New York and has the fourth biggest circulation in the whole United States.

It is impossible to just paraphrase Hamill’s biting wit. The column begins:

The sartorial police of Buckingham Palace have issued a royal edict instructing how journalists here across the pond must dress to be granted an audience with Prince Welfare-Artist and Princess Layabout of the Royal Family.

That genteel bloodline that has given the world a legacy of smartly dressed imperialism, genocide, incest and quite possibly Jack the Ripper.

The press release issued to the rumpled American press last week read: “Attire for journalists covering royal engagements: Journalists wishing to cover royal engagements, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, should comply with the dress code on formal occasions out of respect for the guests of the queen, or any other member of the royal family. Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie and for women a trouser or skirt suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians.”


As the son of Belfast Catholic republicans, I considered donning a jacket and tie to bow before the royal couple whose ancestors occupied, plundered and massacred my Celtic tribe for eight violent centuries of smartly dressed British tyranny.

Better, I thought of dressing as the truly noble men of the Continental Army who followed Gen. George Washington into Valley Forge on Dec. 19, 1777, after the Brits had taken Philadelphia.

Washington’s army was on the verge of collapse, dressed in tatters, without winter coats, many shoeless.

On Christmas Eve the troops ate only rice and vinegar, wrapping their frostbitten feet with rags.

Then they marched on in the freezing winds, leaking blood trails in the unforgiving snows in pursuit of liberty.

If an American journalist showed up dressed in their likeness next month here in New York City to cover the descendants of King George III, whose royal butt the Continentals kicked 237 years ago, he would be shown the door.

OK, but here’s the scoop: This is America.

We won the Revolution fair and square from the smartly dressed redcoats of King George’s royal army.

We don’t live in palaces here. No one wears a silly crown.

Read the rest of Hamill’s column here. There’s even more zingers to go. Have fun reading it. We did.

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London in Flight-Forward Toward War on Russia—The ‘Manhattan Project’ Holds the Key to Survival

Image: Tsar Alexander II orders the Russian Navy to dock at New York Harbor and San Francisco, warning Great Britain that if the British recognized the independence of the slave-owning southern Confederacy, the Russians, too, would consider it a casus belli and would come in on the side of the Union. Here is a Russian Fleet, commanded by Admiral Lessofsky in New York Harbor, 1863.

In his opening statement to the LaRouchePAC Policy Committee discussion on Monday, Lyndon LaRouche noted that the world is on the edge of frightening developments, with one international force, seeking a global war confrontation, and another, mobilizing to defend itself against this threat. The decisive factor in determining which way this confrontation goes, is the United States—whose presidency is now under control of the war party.

That control is fragile, as a large portion of the U.S. population and leadership, sees an insane President leading the nation to destruction. The question is whether that opposition can bring the positive alternative to nuclear confrontation, to a position of sufficient power, in time.

The key to mobilizing that opposition, as LaRouche discussed at some length in the same Policy Committee event, is the LaRouche movement’s “Manhattan Project.” He put it this way:

“What’s happening in Manhattan and our organizing in Manhattan which has been going on for several weeks now, this is typical of the way in which the people of the United States can get out of the mud which most of them are stuck with….

“So I think what we have to do, is take the case of the New York City experience, as we’ve experienced it recently, as a sort of an experimental operation, and realize that that is an example of what we must apply, to what we discuss here, in order to define the concept, of how could we take this U.S. economy, and the features, to recognize that there is — what kind of steps do we take, in what direction to turn this thing around, so that the old drudgery and the old degeneracy and so forth, no longer controls us. Because we’re on the verge, if we just keep going along, sliding along, letting the flow take us, we are going to be all pretty much dead! Civilization’s going to be dead. …

“Without using the fact of Manhattan, the New York City area, and using that as saying, well, that is and was the center of the United States, in terms of the policy in the history of the United States. Other places were important. But without Manhattan, there was nothing to pull them together. And this was the case, beginning with our most famous statesman, Alexander Hamilton.

“Yes, Hamilton — Hamilton was a New Yorker. And so therefore, Manhattan. And he was a great one, and he was shot because he was good, which was one of the things that happened in those days, when the British were running around.

“So this is the issue, I think which is what we have to emphasize and focus on, because it’s the only way, by taking a coherent view of the nature of the United States, and the United States’ relationship to the world of nations, it’s the only way that we can save the United States and save civilization. And New York is an excellent case for this thing, because you get a resonance and a response, a resonance among key people that you don’t get anywhere else.”

The British Empire, in the form of the long-standing anti-American London Economist, took the lead for the international war faction, with a cover feature on destroying Russia and Vladimir Putin with economic warfare. The clear intent of the economic “analysis” is to show that the West can bring “regime change” to Russia, just as the Russian leadership has charged. Among the elements mentioned, are not only the economic sanctions—which could be increased—but, also, the intentional collapsing of the oil price, on which oil-exporter Russia relies.

Meanwhile, London puppets in Europe and the U.S., are, also, moving into a dangerous escalation. The German paper Tagesspiegel is trumpeting the idea, as “exporting the Maidan” to Russia—as the anniversary of last year’s “color revolution” against Ukraine approaches. At the same time, the Merkel government is moving to try to purge not only the government, but, also, private East-West industry associations, of any figures who seek to maintain economic ties with Russia. If they are successful, this will eliminate a crucial war-avoidance force.

The pro-war mania seems, likely, to be behind Barack Obama’s removal of U.S. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel. As former DIA official Pat Lang, who runs a blog that frequently serves as an outlet for the uniformed military, put it:

“So, Hagel is out. He is evidently the loser in a struggle between the military leadership and the Children’s Crusaders, at the White House and State Department. The military want more clearly defined goals, across the Islamic culture continent, and, ‘the kids’ want to run foreign affairs on the basis of the crap they write in magic marker on white boards in their seminars.”

Lang is referring to those British utopian harpies, such as Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, and Samantha Power, who are all-out for regime change globally—and thus driving the world toward World War III.

Russia and China, with massive global support, have so far succeeded in not falling into any of the provocation traps being sent for them. With concerted effort, they succeeded in preventing the Iran nuclear talks from outright failing—and they were extended yesterday for another six months. They have also doggedly pushed forward with their alternative to these geopolitical games—offering economic cooperation to all who will listen, even those within the war-mongering camp.

But, as the Empire forces escalate provocations, the situation becomes more and more dangerous. The only sane response is pro-active: seeking to put in place a movement for cooperation with the BRICS, that will brush the war lunatics like Obama aside, and create the potential for peace. That is the task the LaRouche movement, with its series of meetings on the model of recent such events in Manhattan, has set out to accomplish, in the very short term.


Obama Throws a “Shit-Fit” and Fires Hagel

President Obama fired Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Monday, in what an inside source described as a “shit fit” of retaliation from the White House insiders over Hagel’s resistance—which was really the military’s resistance—to the academics who think they can reshape the world using regime change and military intervention according to their utopian visions of democracy promotion.

Hagel has said that he will stay on until his successor is confirmed. A brief appearance by Obama and Hagel yesterday morning shed no light on the policy differences behind what is almost universally seen as a firing, despite Hagel having submitted his resignation.

The New York Times, which first broke the story, reported that Hagel was forced to step down “as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ,” but there is evidence even on the public record that Hagel’s policy differences with the White House over Syria, run deeper than that, most famously in the memo Hagel sent to White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice in the middle of October, the existence of which was leaked to the New York Times at the end of the month. According to the Times, Hagel, in the memo, “warned that the administration’s Syria policy was in danger of unraveling because of its failure to clarify its intentions toward President Bashar al-Assad.”

Hagel wasn’t just expressing his own concerns, but those of the military, an institution which he has always felt close to from his days as a squad leader in Vietnam. So he served as a channel for those concerns to the White House, and he allowed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to express many of those concerns in public fora, including a conference in Washington, last week, in which he indicated that his mission in Syria, at present, isn’t overthrowing the Assad regime, but is, instead, fighting ISIS.

Other media have noted that Hagel always had a problem with Obama’s inner circle, which was intent upon micromanaging the wars.

Pat Lang: The Children’s Crusaders Won Out Over the Military

Retired DIA officer Pat Lang, whose blog Sic Semper Tyrannis tends to be an outlet for the traditional American military outlook, had this to say, on Monday, in response to the announced resignation of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel:

“So, Hagel is out. He is evidently the loser in a struggle between the military leadership and the Children’s Crusaders at the White House and State Department. The military want more clearly defined goals across the Islamic culture continent and ‘the kids’ want to run foreign affairs on the basis of the crap they write in magic marker on white boards in their seminars.

“The armed forces are being asked to assume larger and larger missions in the Middle East, Afghanistan and West Africa. At the same time the money needed to maintain DoD operations and perform such functions as Strategic Triad modernization has largely disappeared in the welter of sequestration and general reductions in budget.

“Understandably the generals and admirals are pushing back and the constitutional way for them to do that is through the civilian head of the Department of Defense.

“The back pressure was probably displayed last week in a loosening of ROE [rules of engagement] in Afghanistan.

“Obama, true to his nature, will, IMO [in my opinion], choose someone to replace Hagel who will not challenge him and who will ‘play nice’ with the other boys and girls without regard to the realities of life.

“That woman is likely to be Michele Flournoy. This woman is just another member of the Washington/New York playcircle of academics who think they understand war.”

Reports in the mass media, such as the Washington Post, Politico, et al., indicate that there are other possible candidates, besides Flournoy, including former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and current Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, although Flournoy has been angling for the job since Robert Gates retired in 2011. She served as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from 2009 to 2012 before returning to academic life at the Center for a New American Security where she has been hanging out ever since.

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EIR Releases: ‘The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge’

Executive Intelligence Review’s comprehensive study of the progress of the Eurasian Land-Bridge project which Lyndon and Helga LaRouche have championed for over 20 years, has finally been completed. The official release date is Dec. 1.

Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche in Mexico, 1982. For a full history of their decades long fight, see: LaRouche’s battle for a new international economic order.

The 374-page report, entitled “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” is nothing less than a conceptual, and often physical, “road-map” to a New World Economic Order. This path is currently being charted by the nations of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), who are leading a dynamic of global optimism toward real economic development, complete with new credit institutions and major high-technology projects for uplifting all mankind.

After an introduction by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the report lays out the “Metrics of Progress,” based on the economic scientific principles developed by renowned physical economist Lyndon LaRouche. It then proceeds region by region, beginning with China and Russia, to present the stunning progress, and plans, which have been made toward the Eurasian Land-Bridge design that the Chinese government laid out in 1996, and other nations have begun to rally behind in recent years.

World Land-Bridge Network—Key Links and Corridors.

Table of Contents

Part 1 • Introduction

The New Silk Road Leads to the Future of Mankind!
The Coming Fusion Power Economy on the Basis of Helium-3

An Explosion of BRICS Initiatives
World Land-Bridge Network—Key Links and Corridors

Part 2 • The Metrics of Progress

Energy-Flux Density: Global Measure of Economic Progress
The Principle of the Development Corridor
Financing the Global Land-Bridge 2064
Expand Nuclear Power for the World’s Survival
Solve the World Water Crisis

Appendix: Initiatives for Nuclear Desalination

Part 3 • China: Silk Road to Development and Peace

China Becomes a Model Among Nations: A Science-Driver Approach to Lift Up Mankind
China’s New Silk Road: Changing the Paradigm Toward Global Development

Appendix: China’s Silk Road – Pathway to a New Human Civilization

Part 4 • Russia’s Mission in North Central Eurasia and the Arctic

Russia, Eurasia’s Keystone Economy, Looks East
Tumen River Initiative: A Step for Peace in Northeast Asia

Part 5 • South and Central Asia: From Arc of Crisis to Corridors of Development

India Is Ready to Fulfill Its Legacy of Leadership
Bringing High-Technology Development to South Asia
Central Asia: Ending Geopolitics

Appendix: The Industrial Development of Afghanistan and Central Asia: A Russian Vision

Part 6 • Southwest Asia: Crossroads of the Continents

Southwest Asia and the Eurasian Land-Bridge

Part 7 • The Crucial Contributions of East and Southeast Asia

Japan Must Return to Leadership in Nuclear EnergyThe Mekong Development Project: A TVA for Southeast Asia
Thailand’s Kra Canal: Keystone for South Asian Development
Connecting Indonesia to the Eurasian Mainland

Part 8 • Australia—Driver for Pacific Development

A Vision To Bring Australia into the Land-Bridge Process

Part 9 • Europe—Western Pole of the New Silk Road

Germany: The Key to European Integration into the New Silk Road
Greece and a Marshall Plan for the Mediterranean
Italy: Build the Mezzogiorno, and a New Renaissance
Spain: The World Land-Bridge’s Bridge to African Development

Part 10 • Africa—Test for Global Progress

A Nuclear-Based Infrastructure Platform Is Necessary for Africa’s Future
Appendices: The Transaqua Project, Africa Pass

Part 11 • Bringing the Western Hemisphere On Board

Rediscovering the Americas
North America: Restoring the American System

President Kennedy Would Be Building the World Land-Bridge

Part 12 • Fighting for International Development

LaRouche’s 40-Year Record — Fighting for International Development
Development Models

—Tennessee Valley Authority: Great Projects Make Great Nations
—Deng Xiaoping’s China Miracle
—The South Korea Model: How to Transform an Impoverished Nation into a Modern Economy

Part 13 • Epilogue

Dump Geopolitics, and Create a Future for Humanity

The report, complete with many full-color maps of its featured development corridors, will be available in PDF, for $200, and in hard copy, for $250.

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Regime Change in Russia by Economic Warfare is Violation of Nuremberg

This week’s cover of The Economist, mouthpiece of the City of London, depicts a bear bleeding in the snow, headlined “Russia’s Wounded Economy.” Backed up by three pages of in-depth profiling of Russian economic weak points, the lead editorial serves to confirm Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s charge, that the purpose of the West’s economic sanctions against Russia is “regime change.” Speaking for a trans-Atlantic financial sector that is itself bankrupt, The Economist declares that Russia “is closer to crisis than the West or Vladimir Putin realize.”

The list of vulnerabilities includes dependence on oil exports, when oil prices are now 10 to 20 dollars/barrel below what Moscow had counted on; a 23% collapse in the ruble, bringing potential consumer price inflation despite efforts to substitute domestically produced goods for imports; and the Russian corporate foreign debt, of both state-owned and private companies, which is now over $500 billion, with $130 billion due before the end of 2015. The Economist suggests ways for “international finance” to exploit each of these, to breach “Russia’s defenses.” Continuing its propaganda campaign of recent weeks about vulnerabilities within the BRICS, The Economist suggests that if Russian companies default, then Brazil will be the next to suffer. “When economies are on an unsustainable course,” the editorial intones, “international finance often acts as a fast-forward button, pushing countries over the edge more quickly than politicians or investors expect…”

One of the back-up articles purports to find a Russian “weakness” in the fact that $170 billion of its reserves and “rainy day” assets are in the National Welfare Fund (NWF) and the Reserve Fund, and the NWF has been partially committed to infrastructure investment, so it won’t be available for bailouts!

The Economist’s international editor, Ed Lucas, is a notorious Putin-basher and author of books on the need to bring down Putin, also famous for the utterance in 2008, “I hate the Westphalian system” of sovereign nation-states. Lucas personally used his Twitter feed last December to fan the Maidan coup process in Ukraine, by putting out a false report that President Victor Yanukovych had pledged to join the Eurasian Customs Union as a full member.

Today economic issues were debated in the Russian Federation Council, as one of a series of top-level economic policy meetings, in advance of Putin’s Message to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 4. There are rumors of government and/or policy changes. One of the speakers was Academician Sergei Glazyev, adviser to Putin on Eurasian integration, who said that Russia is losing 11 trillion rubles (around $250 billion) this year through capital flight and currency speculation. He blasted the Central Bank for starving the Russian real economy of credit, and called for increased funding of development institutions (like the Development Bank, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and others), a heavy tax on “dubious” cross-border capital movements, and the implementation of serious deoffshoreization at last. Russia has $500 billion parked in offshore tax havens, Glazyev said, adding, “These offshores are in British jurisdictions, so at any moment they can be cut off from our financial system by sanctions.”


U.S. Prosecutors Target Russian Businessman, Promoter of High-Speed Rail Cooperation with China

One recent item in the dangerous Anglo-American drive to confront and even overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a Nov. 5 Wall Street Journal pot-boiler claiming that U.S. Federal Prosecutors were going after Gennadi Timchenko, co-founder and former co-owner of the Cyprus-registered and Geneva-based Gunvor Group, for money-laundering. For years, Timchenko has been called the Putin “crony,” whose supposed crimes might bring the Russian President down. None of the principals would comment on the alleged probe, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said “We’re not aware of any investigation.” Nonetheless, the WSJ cited anonymous government sources who situated such a case within “a wider push by U.S. prosecutors to go after the proceeds of foreign corruption under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.”

The renewed chatter against Timchenko coincides with his emergence as a promoter of Eurasian high-speed rail (HSR), one of the most promising real-economy projects on the agenda in Russia today. As detailed in EIR‘s just-released Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” the mid-October visit to Moscow by Prime Minister Li Keqiang saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Russian Railways, the Russian Ministry of Transport, and their Chinese partners, on cooperation to build the long-planned and oft-delayed Moscow-Kazan HSR, as part of a Beijing-Moscow HSR corridor.

Timchenko chairs the Russian-Chinese Business Council. In that capacity, according to a PRNewswire release, today he addressed a group of Moscow-based Chinese journalists on the potential of the Beijing-Moscow HSR project. One of his talking points was this: “I would like to single out the high-speed link between Beijing and Moscow, which one could call a `high-speed silk road.’ The route is already under serious consideration, and the Russian government is allocating budgetary funds for the planning process. The Moscow-Kazan section, which is where I think construction will begin, will give a serious boost to the development of transport infrastructure…. Of course, this rail-link will have a huge investment effect, with new business and industrial centers developing along the route.”

Timchenko noted the more southerly Silk Road rail route to Europe, already built by China. He portrayed the Beijing-Moscow route as complementary to it, adding: “I am a genuine supporter of this project, but I understand that it requires huge amounts of investment. How much Chinese money today is invested in U.S. Treasuries? I believe it is more than USD 2 trillion. And what is this money doing? China is actually losing money on this investment, because of dollar inflation. Investment in the railway would pay for itself. Maybe not overnight, but we would create infrastructure connecting Asia with Europe for future generations.”

Back in 2009, Lyndon LaRouche said that China’s U.S. dollar reserves would be worth something real, if they were invested in infrastructure and other tangible production in Russia and elsewhere, including in cooperation with India, and that this would create an opportunity for the United States to change its own policies and join in economic cooperation with these other great powers. LaRouche’s statement was hotly debated in Russia at the time.

With Reason Absent, Monsters Rise in German-Russian Relations

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Francisco Goya.

Having the vicious witch-hunt in the mainstream media against critics of the anti-Russia confrontationism as a supportive background, no-brains like Christian Democrat Andreas Schockenhoff pop up to poison the debate even more. Schockenhoff, notorious for his anti-Russian diatribes, including coming out in favor of “Pussy Riot” against Putin, attacked the chairman of the German-Russia Forum Matthias Platzeck, in particular, for the latter’s alleged call for a diplomatic recognition of the Crimean unification with Russia—which Schockenhoff said disqualifies Platzeck at the Forum.

Apart from the fact that Platzeck never said that, but called for a new referendum of the population in Crimea to decide, the disqualification is clearly on Schockenhoff’s side, and should he be able with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support to replace Platzeck at the Forum, this organization might as well be embargoed by Russia, for no longer being of any use. Schockenhoff also attacked Lothar de Maiziere, the German co-chairman of the St. Petersburg Dialogue. What is bad is that Platzeck also came under attack from inside his own Social Democrats.

Unfortunately, the Forum and the Dialogue had been subverted to a large extent already long before, with “civil society” aspects dominating the internal meetings and public sessions during the past couple of years. The only reasonable aspect remaining has been the Raw Materials Forum as a sub-branch of the St. Petersburg Dialogue, in which industrial interests that have good relations with Russia are prevalent.

Obama’s Policy a Disaster for Ukraine

James Carden, who served as an advisor to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the State Department from 2011-2012, took aim at the Obama Administration’s policy on Ukraine, in an essay published by The American Conservative on Nov. 21. He described it as the worst policy disaster since at least the 2003 invasion of Iraq and maybe since Vietnam, but “not one of the President’s men or women have been called to account.”

The list of those who should be held accountable, he wrote, should include “National Security Adviser Susan Rice, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and CIA Director John Brennan” and, not to mention, Tony Blinken, who is being promoted to the Sate Department’s no. 2 position—all of the people, in fact, who saner elements in the Democratic Party want to see purged from the White House. The policy of supporting the overthrow of the legally elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, over his refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement has also been a disaster for Ukraine, which has suffered over 4,000 war dead, many thousands more wounded, a million people displaced, the loss of Crimea and the defacto partition of the country, Carden added.

One “curious aspect” of the whole affair, Carden noted, is that Putin is solely blamed for the disaster by policymakers and pundits alike. “But as was too often the case in the blood-soaked 20th century, a set of particular (to say nothing of peculiar) set of ideas can sometimes become the driver of events, and in the case of the year-long Ukraine crisis, it has been the Washington establishments misguided and ultimately dangerous belief that ‘democracy’ is some sort of panacea for what ails developing nations,” Carden wrote. “What the last year has shown is that our foreign policy has become hostage to our illusions,” Carden concludes. “And, tragically, for thousands of Ukrainians those illusions have proved to be fatal.”

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LaRouche Warns of the Imminent Danger of General War

In pointed remarks to colleagues on Sunday, November 23, Lyndon LaRouche warned that the world is moving closer by the day to strategic confrontation between a British-manipulated, Obama-led United States on the one side, and Russia and China on the other. LaRouche called for a series of pointed strategic initiatives to defeat the war drive.

LaRouche developed his strategic assessment as follows:

“Now, we have to look at the reality of the global situation. We are actually on the edge, of the threat of a general state of global thermonuclear warfare. This is coming on fast. The center of this is the British Empire, that’s the leading factor in this—and the current President of the United States is also a big factor, in terms of causing genocide, in that manner.

“So therefore, these problems have to also be addressed efficiently. In other words, it’s not sufficient just to say the right things, to educate the people of the United States and so forth. What’s necessary is actually to get across the points, to our people, and to organize them to organize their mind, in ways where they can efficiently act to prevent a global thermonuclear war, which is a very live possibility now.

“And those guys who say they don’t want to listen to what we have to say, but nonetheless, they want to tell us what to do, these guys have got to be straightened out. Before they open their mouths, they should find a way of saying something competent.”

LaRouche warned that the global situation is characterized by an intent to provoke strategic confrontation. The question is how the provocations will be staged. He cautioned against any tendency to sit and wait for a provocation to occur, when the urgency of the situation demands preventive action before a single provocation triggers extermination warfare.

Sunday’s editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post both reflected the war propaganda drive. The Washington Post featured a call for escalating economic warfare against Russia, and for the preemptive positioning of NATO and American military forces in the Baltics, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The New York Times warned that Xi Jinping’s recent successful diplomatic and economic forays to Australia and New Zealand revealed a devious scheme by the “Big Boy” to displace the United States as the strategic economic and security partner for China’s neighbors.

In a series of blunt public statements in the past days, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have made clear that they recognize that the Obama and NATO policy towards Russia is nothing less than regime-change. Vice President Joe Biden’s return visit to Kiev was a further reflection of the Obama Administration’s active provocations against Putin. He pressed for the formation of a coalition government including Washington’s hand-picked lackey “Yats” (Prime Minister Yatsenyuk) and announced new “non-lethal” military assistance to Ukraine, including advanced tracking systems for precision retaliatory missile strikes.

In addition, there are growing signs, escalating since the speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel a week ago in Sydney, Australia, that she is preparing a purge her administration, to weed out all ministers and advisors who promote cooperation with Russia. This is tantamount to assembling a war cabinet.

Behind the scenes, the British are driving the war escalation against Russia and China. In Brisbane, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, Prime Minister David Cameron had directly insulted Putin, charging that his actions towards Crimea and Ukraine were identical to Hitler’s actions on the eastern front.

Russia has backed its words with actions. Russian strategic bombers have greatly increased their surveillance flights over the Atlantic region, and the CSTO has announced a unified air defense system that will soon be in place.

The reason for the insane drive for war is that half of humanity—led by China, Russia, India, and the other BRICS countries, and allies like Egypt and Argentina—have opted for a future of cooperation, development, and scientific advancement for the benefit of all mankind. That spells death for the system of Empire that has dominated the affairs of man for centuries.

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