Gen. Barry McCaffrey Warns of Dangerous Consequences of Obama’s Deal with the FARC Cartel

Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.), who headed the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the cabinet of President Bill Clinton, said on Feb. 3 that he was very concerned about the agreement that Barack Obama has personally orchestrated with Colombia’s FARC drug cartel, in collaboration with Colombian President and British asset, Juan Manuel Santos.

As reported by PRNewswire, McCaffrey pointed out that the 15th anniversary celebration Feb. 4 at the White House of “Plan Colombia,” demonstrated its success. Plan Colombia was the program that McCaffrey personally formulated, and on which he coordinated closely with Colombian military and civilian leaders to wipe out the FARC narcoterrorists and restore stability to that country. “Cooperation with the government of Colombia led to massive cocaine transit reduction to the U.S., reduced crime, and improved Colombian stability,” McCaffrey underscored.

But, as for the pending agreement with the FARC, tentatively scheduled to be signed in March, General McCaffrey said he fears it would allow the FARC “to maintain or increase cocaine and heroin production, ease transit restrictions and enforcement, keep enormous profits for the FARC, worsen the heroin crisis in our country, threaten the security of Colombia and increase U.S. drug abuse.” Note that most of the heroin entering the U.S. today comes from either Mexico or Colombia—not from Afghanistan.

McCaffrey’s fears are justified. British tool Obama, whose drug-legalization policies have been instrumental in destroying the population—especially youth—of the United States, has personally overseen negotiations with the FARC. He sent his special envoy, former State Department official and now private equity executive Bernard Aronson, to participate in negotiations with the FARC leaders in Havana. According to the New York Times Feb. 5, Aronson was crucial in moving negotiations forward when “they appeared in danger of stalling.”

Who is Aronson? Former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under George H.W. Bush, he was involved in the 1989 invasion of Panama, and was a strong supporter of the drug-trafficking Contras in Nicaragua, whom he called “freedom fighters” against Soviet expansion.

The FARC has committed unspeakable atrocities in Colombia. So what? In discussing his involvement in the Havana peace talks, Aronson told the New York Times his strategy was to “simply treat the FARC negotiators with respect, cracking the stereotype of the arrogant imperialist.”

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U.S. Shift from Production to Speculation Behind Today’s Crisis

In their Feb. 7 “Wall Street on Parade” column, Pam and Ross Martens argue that losses suffered last week by four Wall Street banks in intraday trading—Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley—is intimately related to the shift in the U.S. economy that occurred beginning in the late 1970s, from productive economic activity to financial speculation. Noteworthy, they point out, is the fact that these same banks, which were bailed out during the 2008 crash,  have been spending billions buying back their own stock.

That same buyback strategy has also been taking place in publicly traded companies in the S&P 500 Index, to the tune of $2.7 trillion over the past six years. Some of the buybacks, the Martens say, simply offset insider selling or stock awards to executives; nothing goes to growing or innovating the company.

The Martens quote from one William Lazonick who, in the September 2014 Harvard Business Review attacked the buyback policy, arguing that the money should have been put into job creation and innovation in the U.S. economy. Instead it was used to buy back shares “for what is effectively stock-price manipulation.” The U.S. has shifted, he says, from a “value creation to a value extraction” model.

From the end of World War II to the late 1970s, the U.S. practiced a “retain and reinvest” approach, in which earnings were reinvested in increasing a company’s capabilities and those of its employees, providing workers with higher incomes and job security. In the late 1970s, Lazonick explains, the “downsize and distribute” regime took hold, focused on reducing costs, and distributing freed-up cash “to financial interests, particularly shareholders,” leading to employment instability and income inequality.

On Monday, the Martens point out, bank shares’ value has shrunk enormously, but executives have walked away with multimillion-dollar payouts from selling stock. Note the case of Citigroup’s Robert Rubin, a former Treasury Secretary who sat on Citigroup’s Board “after helping push through the repeal of Glass-Steagall.” That repeal, Martens says, allowed Citigroup to become a “Frankenbank, and require the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history.”

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The Collapse of the Roman Empire — Today

Look at the trans-Atlantic financial system. Reports from Europe and the US today reveal a financial system which is dead, with puppet masters pulling strings attached to the corpse, to make it appear to be alive. More quantitative easing, negative interest rates, a single European-wide Finance Ministry to remove any remaining economic sovereignty from the member nations — all simply trying to make the mass of worthless derivative debts appear to have some value, when they have none.

Look at the military situation. Obama’s closest allies in the Mideast, the would-be Sultan Erdogan and the feudal potentate King Salman, planning an invasion of Syria on behalf of their British controllers, frantically trying to stop the drive to victory against terrorism being carried out by the rejuvenated Syrian Army with Russian air support. The Turks last supply line into their al-Nusra and ISIS assets is nearly closed off as the government moves to liberate Allepo.

Look at the cultural collapse in the US and Europe. The greatest heroin epidemic in history is sweeping the United States, while President Obama is orchestrating an agreement with the world’s leading supplier of cocaine, heroin and marijuana — the FARC narco-terrorists in Colombia — while also legalizing drugs across the United States.

Lyndon LaRouche today made the point that the trans-Atlantic nations of the 21st Century are in the same situation as Europe in the 5th Century, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Fortunately, there is a new paradigm in the world, contrary to the dying British Empire. Under China’s and Russia’s leadership, working with the BRICS and most of the nations of the developing sector, this new paradigm offers a path to escape the descent into economic hell and thermonuclear war – if the nations of the west choose to learn from them. While Obama has shut down America’s once great space program, China is building a capacity to colonize the Moon and reach out to Mars, calling on all the nations of the world to collaborate. While Obama and the British wage wars of destruction across Southwest Asia, China brings the New Silk Road development perspective as the basis for a true peace.

While Russia is facing down the terrorist scourge created by the British/Obama regime-change wars, Russia itself is threatened from without and from within. Sergei Glazyev, one of Putin’s leading advisers, has openly challenged the monetarists at the Russian Central Bank and their supporters for failing to defend the national currency, and adopting the policies demanded by the City of London — even charging that the foreign exchange market is in the hands of foreign speculators. Glazyev wisely calls on Russia to follow the Chinese model.

Will the people of the US and Europe be as wise? It is a question of creativity, LaRouche argued today. The failure of the west is not due to Mankind’s nature, but due to his corruption. Creativity is expressed in the process of awakening creativity in others, in carrying forth man’s true mission, in each generation — to create a new state of the universe. If people can be brought to recognize the reality that the world is careening into chaos and thermonuclear war in front of our eyes, then they will be capable of clearing out the killer in the White House, shutting down the speculators on Wall Street, and joining with the BRICS in building a new world order based on the common aims of Mankind.

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LPAC Policy Committee Show, February 8, 2016

Join us every week at 1 pm EST for our regular Monday discussion with the LPAC Policy Committee and Lyndon LaRouche.

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Kissinger Advocates for U.S.-Russia Dialogue To ‘Merge Our Futures’

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger traveled to Moscow, last week, where he meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 3 and Putin’s Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov on Feb. 4. Kissinger also delivered the Primakov Lecture, in honor of the late Soviet/Russian diplomat, foreign minister, and prime minister Yevgeny Primakov, at the Gorchakov Foundation, the full text of which was published by the National Interest and by the Gorchakov Fund.

Kissinger discussed the Track II group made up of retired senior officials from both the U.S. and Russia which he and Primakov had co-chaired from 2007 to 2009, the purpose of which was “to ease the adversarial aspects of the U.S.-Russian relationship and to consider opportunities for cooperative approaches.” He paid particular homage to Primakov as “an indispensable partner” in the Track II effort. “His sharp analytical mind combined with a wide grasp of global trends acquired in years close to and ultimately at the center of power, and his great devotion to his country refined our thinking and helped in the quest for a common vision,” Kissinger said. “We did not always agree, but we always respected each other. He is missed by all of us and by me personally as a colleague and a friend.”

Kissinger then spent several paragraphs going through his view of the evolution of U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, showing the divergence in relations leading to the confrontation that exists today over Ukraine and Syria. He said, however, that what has driven the relationship are two different historical visions that were fundamentally at odds with each other. “For the United States, the end of the Cold War seemed like a vindication of its traditional faith in inevitable democratic revolution,” he said. “It visualized the expansion of an international system governed by essentially legal rules. But Russia’s historical experience is more complicated. To a country across which foreign armies have marched for centuries from both East and West, security will always need to have a geopolitical, as well as a legal, foundation. When its security border moves from the Elbe 1,000 miles east towards Moscow, Russia’s perception of world order will contain an inevitable strategic component.”

Dealing with today’s threats arising from the disintegration of state power and ungoverned spaces, Kissinger said, requires “sustained cooperation” among the U.S., Russia and other major powers. “Therefore the elements of competition, in dealing with the traditional conflicts in the interstate system, must be constrained so that the competition remains within bounds and creates conditions which prevent a recurrence.” He applies this to both Ukraine and Syria. Ukraine needs to be a bridge between Moscow and Europe, without being an outpost of either side, he said, while compatible U.S.-Russian efforts in Syria could create a pattern of peaceful solutions to conflicts in the Middle East more generally.

But more broadly, Kissinger said that Russia should be seen as an indispensable partner, not as a threat to the U.S. in the emerging new global order. “I am here to argue for the possibility of a dialogue that seeks to merge our futures rather than elaborate our conflicts. This requires respect by both sides of the vital values and interest of the other,” he concludes. “It will only come with a willingness in both Washington and Moscow, in the White House and the Kremlin, to move beyond the grievances and sense of victimization to confront the larger challenges that face both of our countries in the years ahead.”

Lyndon LaRouche, when briefed on Kissinger’s speech, said, “What do you think? They’re fighting the Nazis.”

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There Is No Practical Solution

Even Jaime Caruana, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Central Bank for Central Banks in the western financial system, is now admitting what Lyndon LaRouche has been saying for years—the entire trans-Atlantic banking system is hopelessly bankrupt, and nothing short of eliminating the debt can stop a cataclysmic breakdown. There are no “pragmatic” measures to fix the system – the system itself is irreparably broken. As the former chief economist to the BIS, William White, said at Davos:

It will become obvious in the next recession that many of these debts will never be serviced or repaid…. The only question is whether we are able to look reality in the eye and face what is coming in an orderly fashion, or whether it will be disorderly. Debt jubilees have been going on for 5,000 years, as far back as the Sumerians.

“Shut down Wall Street,” as LaRouche has argued, is no longer viewed as unworkable, but increasingly seen as the only hope to save the legitimate banking system and the legitimate debt from the cancer of the quadrillions of dollars of worthless derivative paper, with no real value. And to make the point clear to those who hope for a partial, pragmatic solution, if Barack Obama remains in the White House for even a few more months, preventing a Glass-Steagall elimination of the worthless paper, and proceeding with his rapidly escalating plans for war with Russia and China to stop the new paradigm they are implementing internationally, then thermonuclear war will almost certainly occur before the November presidential election in the U.S.

Look at those candidates—not one, Republican or Democrat, has uttered a word about the rush to global thermonuclear war. Hillary Clinton, in fact, chose to use the last debate before the New Hampshire primary to praise Obama and his equally insane Defense Secretary Ash Carter for quadrupling the troops and advanced military hardware being deployed on Russia’s border, claiming this was necessary for “defense,” precisely as Hitler argued as he prepared his suicidal invasion of Russia.

Obama’s rush to war was equally evident in Asia, where North Korea’s successful launch of a satellite is being used to justify a further build-up of advanced war fighting capacity in a ring around China and the Russian Far East.

Yet it is precisely China and Russia which are collaborating on the New Silk Road development process for Eurasia, while intervening in the Middle East—the “cockpit for war”—to stop that war and to prevent it from becoming a world war. Russia is demonstrating that the terrorists can in fact be crushed, by militarily cutting off their supply lines to Turkey and Saudi Arabia (Obama’s closest allies), while China extends the Silk Road process into the region, just a Helga Zepp-LaRouche had proposed.

Americans and Europeans must learn from China and Russia, rediscover their own roots in the Hamiltonian system, which is now being implemented in China and Russia, while the U.S. crumbles into British “free trade” destruction, replete with unrestrained speculation, permanent warfare, and even a new British Opium War against the United States and the world.

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Glazyev Assails Central Bank and Speculators

Academician Sergei Glazyev, the economist who is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor on Eurasian integration, has escalated his pointed attacks on the Russian Central Bank for promoting speculators, failing to defend the ruble, and thus violating its Constitutional responsibilities.

The ruble is now hovering at around 78 to the dollar, a 50% collapse since its 2015 high of 50 to the dollar in May, and worse than its January 2015 collapse to 69 after the Central Bank floated the currency in December 2014, along with hiking interest rates sky-high.

“The purpose of the international reserves is to ensure the stability of the national currency—they exist for that very reason,” Glazyev told the official news agency TASS Jan. 21. “Our international reserves are twice the size of the amount of rubles in the economy; it is easy to stabilize the ruble exchange rate, and it would even have been possible to keep it fixed over the course of the past year.” These remarks were highlighted by the Financial Times, in an article gloating over the collapse of the ruble and the IMF’s projection that Russia’s GDP would shrink by 1% in 2016, driven by falling oil prices. The FT quoted Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina that she was unprepared to take such action because she claimed there was currently no risk to financial stability.

In the past ten days, however, Russian leaders have engaged in fierce debates over Finance Minister Anton Siluanov’s announcement of a need to cut the 2016 federal budget by 10% (half a trillion rubles); over Central Bank and Finance Ministry calls for rapid passage of bail-in legislation to allow the forced conversion of deposits into stock shares, in the many Russian banks now in serious trouble; and over the decision to raise cash by privatizing substantial stakes in remaining state-owned giants like the oil company Rosneft, Russian Railways, and VTB Bank. The privatization plan was put on the agenda by the government in 2012, but blocked at that time by Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and then-head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin.

Speaking Jan. 30 on a Russian News Service talk show, Glazyev charged that Russia’s foreign exchange market is in the hands of foreign speculators. He said that over the past decade, non-residents made three-fourths of all transactions in Russian financial markets, while in the foreign-exchange segment, non-resident participation is as high as 90%. Glazyev noted that the lure of speculation over productive investment is the “insane profit margins,” which are 80-100%. “Let me note,” Glazyev said, “that the U.S. sanctions do not apply to speculative capital, they relate to only long-term loans, which are banned from being given to our country. As for the speculators—take a loan for 30 days, speculate all you want. Given the fact that the Moscow Exchange is run by speculators, they bet on fluctuations, using credit leverage and insider information. The Moscow Exchange has become a primary profit center in the country, which, in the past year of operations, has become two times the size of GDP, and five times the volume of exports or imports. This despite the fact that economic activity in the country is falling. They are pumping money to the banks, pulling it from the real sector, where the profitability is 5-7%.”

Glazyev has just released a 500-page book, titled The Final World War: The U.S.A. Is Starting It, and Losing.” He presented it at a Jan. 20 Moscow press conference, hosted by the Izborsk Club, at which he was joined on the podium, for discussion, by former Internal Affairs Minister and Accounting Chamber head Gen. Sergei Stepashin and Senator Yevgeni Bushmin, a member of Putin’s United Russia party. During the 90-minute event, Glazyev charged that the Russian economy is in the hands of “incompetents,” and that the Chinese model offers a clear and viable alternative, which we could have chosen. Glazyev said that it was madness to minimize state investment in the economy on the grounds of a lack of money for this in the budget; that budget spending is not the proper source for investment, but that the Central Bank should create new credit and direct it, through regulation, into the real economy. He noted that the spending on the military, at least, has been a net plus for the real economy, driving innovation and preserving industrial capacity.

At the book presentation, Glazyev also pointed to BRICS as representing a better future. He warned in a Jan. 30 interview with Russian News Service (RNS) however, that Russia’s trade, including with BRICS members, is being thrown into disarray by the Central Bank’s policies. “I’ve been engaged in Eurasian integration,” he said. “We successfully developed, we made plans that the ruble will become a reserve currency, we persuaded our partners to trade in rubles…. Now our partners don’t want to hear about trading in national currencies. They believe that the depreciation of the currency is unfair competition.” He concluded by blasting the Central Bank: “The Central Bank is not fulfilling its Constitutional duty of ensuring the stability of the exchange rate. As a result, today we have halted many investment projects…. No one knows what the rate will be tomorrow. In these conditions it is impossible to plan the conduct of business, or to invest, or to conduct trade in rubles.”

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