LaRouche: Dump Obama Now—Before He Starts World War III

American statesman Lyndon LaRouche today called on Congress to launch immediate impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama before he starts a thermonuclear world war conflict with Russia and China. Following Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Kiev this week, Ukraine’s rump government relaunched a military crackdown against pro-Russian protesters in the east of the country in violation of last week’s Geneva agreement, claiming they had a green light from Washington to launch the military actions. The actions immediately inflamed the situation with Russia, prompting a rapid and stark rebuke of the U.S. by top Russian officials. The same day, Obama, meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that the U.S. would invoke the U.S.-Japanese mutual defense treaty in the event of a conflict between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Prior to the Obama statement, the U.S. position had been to stay out of the island dispute and offer American mediation to avoid conflict.

LaRouche declared, “These latest provocations should make clear the necessity of impeaching Obama right away. As long as he is in place, there will be more incidents of provocation by him. He is bringing the world closer to thermonuclear war and he does not give a damn. Putin has Obama figured out just right. Somebody in Washington had better get onto this and get Obama out before we get into another war.”

LaRouche continued, referencing the Japan-China island dispute and Obama’s new provocation, “We as a nation are responsible for the messes we create. We don’t need conflict driven by adventurism and we certainly do not need conflict arising from a dispute over uninhabited islands that were historically areas of shared fishing rights. We need to return to the prior status.”

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AFL-CIO Backed Demcratic Coalition Begins Push for Glass-Steagall

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stated in a public meeting in Massachusetts last week that when Congress reconvenes (Monday), she and others would begin a major push to pass Glass-Steagall.

Today, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), a Democratic Coalition group formed around the AFL-CIO, and more than 200 other Democratic constituency groups, sent out a mass email, “Help Elizabeth Warren Change Wall Street and Pass the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.”

The letter states, “For over half a century, the Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall kept traditional banks separate from the high-risk world of investment banks and hedge funds. Uncle Sam agreed to insure our deposits. And the banks, in return, agreed not to use those deposits to try to make money for themselves gambling in the Wall Street casino. That all changed with … the deregulation of the 1980s and 90s… setting the stage for the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. TELL CONGRESS TO STAND UP TO WALL STREET AND PASS THE 21ST CENTURY GLASS-STEAGALL ACT!

“Now Senators Elizabeth Warren, John McCain, Maria Cantwell, and Angus King have introduced a bill that would make the biggest banks simpler and smaller and once again end the public subsidy to Wall Street speculation… DEMAND ACTION TO REIN IN THE BIG BANKS AND BUILD A FINANCIAL INDUSTRY THAT SERVES ALL.” (Capitalization and underlining in original E-mail.)

Americans for Financial Reform was formed after the 2008 financial crisis, and has said little about Glass-Steagall since its formation. In a Washington D.C. event in January, Glass-Steagall was mentioned only in a LaRouche PAC intervention.

Participating organizations in AFR include, besides the AFL-CIO, civil rights, consumer, labor, business, faith-based, civic, and community groups, such as NAACP, AFSCME, CWA, AARP, SEIU, Public Citizen, UNITE, LaRaza, DEMOS, and many others.

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Prins: Break Wall Street, Enact Glass-Steagall

The Seattle Times published an opinion column yesterday by former Wall Street banker and anti-Wall Street author Nomi Prins, entitled “Break the Alliances Between Wall Street and the White House.” Having just published a book on the history of those alliances, Prins has been widely reviewed and published beginning roughly with an interview with EIR in February. Her opinion piece is a strong argument for Glass-Steagall.

It concludes: “Today, the alliances between President Obama and the nation’s most powerful banker, JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon, might not be as closely personal as alliances were in the days when Teddy Roosevelt entrusted John Pierpont Morgan to save the American economy in the wake of the Bank Panic of 1907. But they are just as functional….

“Our nation stands at a crossroads. We, the American people, are at grave risk of another economic crisis because nothing substantive has been done to prevent it.

“Our leaders in D.C. must resurrect a Glass-Steagall division of big U.S. banks so that our deposits are not used as fodder for reckless practices. The Department of Justice should take punitive actions against those who pillage the nation’s bank accounts for personal and institutional gain while relying on government backing to keep them from failing….

“We need White House leadership to place the country’s economic well-being before that of bankers.”

For the rest of her piece, read the full article.

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Italian Foreign Minister Mogherini: “Do We Want a Nuclear War?”

In a long interview with Il Foglio April 19, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said that if we don’t want a nuclear war, negotiations with Russia on Ukraine are the only solution. Italy backs Germany’s approach to the Ukrainian crisis, and calls for a solution that involves “the interest of all” parties involved.

Mogherini said that Rome and Berlin “have a perfect understanding, an identity of views, a common reading of the crisis.” This has had an important effect: to soften the hardline approach pushed by some countries, such as France and Poland. “A military option is always possible, but only as last resort, and it is not guaranteed that it will solve the problems; sometimes it makes them worse… for this reason we and Germany, in Ukraine, are seeking to avoid using the word ‘NATO’ in order to be frightening. It would be counterproductive.”

Russia must not be fought, but convinced “to dialogue, to participate… What is the solution, a nuclear war? Nobody wants it, therefore let’s seek a way through negotiations.” Sanctions, “if used as the only instrument,” are a step backward.

On energy supplies, Mogherini says that “Russia made it clear that it will not cut its supplies because it is not worthwhile economically… And Europe will do everything to avoid that the next sanctions should produce a backlash on energy supplies, because the first country to suffer from this would be the country we want to help, namely Ukraine.”

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U.S.-European Military Response Continues Escalating

NATO’s eastward drive has continued escalating over recent days. The Pentagon’s announcement that small numbers of U.S. ground troops would be deploying to Poland and the three Baltic countries, followed reports indicating intentions to increase military posture in northern Europe. The Finnish broadcaster YLE reported that Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund had signed off on a memorandum of understanding with NATO that would allow Finland to receive military support from NATO countries and to maintain ships and aircraft on its territory. “In this time of peace it mainly relates to armed forces involved in training exercises,” Haglund said. “In theory, in times of crisis we are better qualified for receiving assistance from other EU countries, the Nordic countries and NATO countries.” Both Haglund and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja went out of their way to say that the MOU doesn’t mean Finland will be joining NATO. Tuomioja fretted that many people in Finland might, in fact, see it that way, and that such assumptions might actually prove to be an obstacle to the agreement moving forward.

Meanwhile, in Stockholm, the Swedish government announced that it would be increasing its defense budget over the next ten years, citing the crisis in Ukraine as the reason. “The recent past has been characterized by a deeply unsettling development in and around Ukraine,” the government said in a statement. “Russia has occupied parts of a sovereign state.” The government statement indicated that the increased allotment to the defense budget, part of which is to come from cutting cooperation with Russia on nuclear energy and environmental matters, would go to the purchase of 10 additional Gripen fighters (Sweden currently operates a fleet of 60) and two more submarines to add to the three it already operates.

While all of that was going on, NATO’s maritime response force, consisting of four minesweepers and a support ship, from Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, and Estonia, departed the German port of Kiel yesterday on mission to the Baltic Sea. The ships will make port visits and participate in previously scheduled operations, said a NATO official. Commodore Arian Minderhoud, the NATO Allied Maritime Command’s deputy chief of staff for operations, said the exercise “is part of the whole package of …. actions to show NATO’s resolve, to show NATO’s preparedness.”

Canadian Defense Minister John Baird, sounding much like John Kerry, told his hosts in Prague, yesterday, that Canada “will stand with you in the face of (Russian) aggression.” Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that six Canadian air force CF-18 jet fighters would be deployed to Poland, and Baird indicated that more such announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

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Ukraine Resumes Crackdown with Biden’s Backing

Ukraine’s coup-appointed president, Oleksandr Turchynov, announced, two days ago, that he had ordered the resumption of the so-called “anti-terrorism” operations in eastern Ukraine, and that he had the full backing of the United States, just as Vice President Joe Biden was leaving Kiev to return to the United States. His justification for the order was the deaths of two men outside Slavyansk — one a local legislator in the Donetsk region (reportedly from Turchynov’s party) — allegedly at the hands of pro-Russia militias, and the shooting at a government plane flying over Slavyansk.

“Both Russia and its terrorist units that are defiantly present in Ukraine haven’t implemented the agreements made in Geneva,” Turchynov said. While coup regime and its U.S. backer are blaming Russia for the breakdown of that agreement, even Reuters admits that Turchynov’s order “may complicate European efforts to mediate the crisis.”

That Turchynov’s order was issued on the heels of Biden’s visit in Kiev was not lost on Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that the operation was originally ordered after CIA Director John Brennan paid a visit to Kiev about ten days ago. “Now that Joe Biden visited Kiev this counterterrorist operation was declared in the active phase again,” Lavrov said during an English-language interview with the RT news channel. “It’s quite telling that they chose the moment of the Vice President of the United States to announce the resumption of this operation, because the launching of this operation happened immediately after [CIA Director] John Brennan’s visit to Kiev,” he said. “So I don’t have any reasons not to believe that the Americans are running the show in a very close way,” he added.

USA Today reports that the militias have so far refused to vacate the government buildings that they occupy in the eastern cities, and quotes a local resident to the effect that they’re unlikely to surrender anytime soon. “They obviously don’t recognize the government in Kiev, and there is no way they will obey the agreement that the government participated in signing,” said Oksana Makarenko of Donetsk. “The government and international community will have to come up with something else.”

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Vaclav Klaus: EU and U.S. Contributed to Ukraine Crisis

In an interview with the Czech TV, CT24, former Czech president Vaclav Klaus made clear that the EU and the United States had contributed to the Ukraine crisis.

“I think that not Russia is to blame for the outbreak in Kiev on the Maidan (Independence Square). Western Europe and the United States aggravated the situation,” he said. “I had told them from the very beginning not to exert pressure on Ukraine, as it will only destroy and disintegrate it. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened,” Klaus said.

In the website of his institute, The Vaclav Klaus Institute, he has issued a statement saying Ukraine has remained — and had to remain — a country economically deeply rooted in the post-Soviet bloc, a country linked to Russia and in many respects dependent on it. “That is natural and there is no easy way to change it. For Russia, the Ukraine is more than just its closest foreign country, more than, for instance, Estonia, Tajikistan or Azerbaijan. It is the historic cradle of its statehood and culture, home to tens of millions of Russians. It is very irresponsible from the West to nurture the ambitions and illusions of radicals from Western Ukraine that there really is a choice between East and West and that the EU and the US can not only support the Ukraine as an entity in its direction towards the West, but can guarantee it in the long run,” the statement elaborated.

Also, during a working visit to St. Petersburg, Kazakhstan’s Senate Speaker, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, emphasized Kazakhstan’s grave concerns regarding the situation in Ukraine, Tengrinews reported, citing the press service of the Kazakhstan Senate. “The primary objective of the Ukrainian authorities at this stage should be to hold the presidential elections, form a legitimate government, and adopt a new Constitution that would reflect the political realities in Ukraine,” Tokayev added.

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