ASA and Russia Continue Space Cooperation, Regardless of “Sanctions”

In response to widespread criticism in the U.S., and the fact that every other space-faring nation has ignored the Obama Administration’s attempt to halt cooperation with Russia, the National Security Council, which promulgated the sanctions, has apparently had to exempt nearly all space programs with Russia from its suspension of space cooperation. While initially the International Space Station was the only project specifically exempt, due to absolute necessity (it cannot function without both major partners), now NASA scientists have been cleared to attend an international space conference in Moscow this Summer, to continue joint experiments with the Curiosity rover on Mars, and to supply mirrors for the Russian Spektr-RG astronomy satellite.

At this point, only one or two joint science projects are not yet exempt. Although the initial announcement of the suspension of cooperation was advertised as affecting a “majority” of joint projects, Russian analysts estimate less than 20% of the joint activity has been halted. As space analyst Jim Oberg observed after the sanctions were announced: “Outer space is a severe punisher of foolishness and pretense and posturing, and people who operate there all understand this.”

That understanding was expressed most recently by former cosmonaut, Yuri Lonchakov, recently appointed head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, where astronauts from all of the space station partners do their training before launching to the station on a Russian Soyuz. In an interview with Russia-24 television on April 18, Lonchakov described the relationships of the crew members from all countries, saying, “I have been flying with these guys, with the Americans and the Europeans, my friends have been flying, as well. I can say for sure that we have always worked together for the good of Earth, and will keep on working in the future. So these recent statements are wrong. Our colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Japan have also confirmed their readiness to continue joint projects.”

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Asia Tensions Rise as Obama Trip Begins Wednesday

President Obama’s four-nation Asia trip begins Wednesday night in Japan with a private dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe has chosen to prepare for the visit by sending an “offering” to the Yasukuni Shrine to Japan’s glorious history of warfare. Although he refrained from another personal visit, the offering of Shinto symbols and a plate engraved with his name and position is yet another signal to China and South Korea that Abe is taking Japan back to militarism, with Obama’s implied backing due to the timing of his visit to Tokyo (despite strong objections from leading US military and diplomatic circles).

Other related developments further heat up the situation:

* In addition to the military base and radar installations being set up on Yonaguni Island, only 100 miles from the Sengaku/Diaoyu islands contested with China (see Sunday briefing) just days before the Obama visit, the Self-Defence Forces also launched a squadron of four E-2C early warning planes at its air base in Naha on Okinawa Sunday, the first time such planes have been based on the island. At the inauguration ceremony in Naha, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Japan faced a “dangerous situation” as China’s continual attempts to “change the status quo by force and threaten the rule of law could trigger emergencies.”

* A Chinese Navy spokesman announced that Chinese Admiral Wu Shengli will not meet with the Japanese military officials who are attending the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (of 20 Pacific nations, including the US) this week, which is being held in Qingdao, China this year. The decision was made “in view of the wrong words and deeds by the Japanese leaders … which have substantially hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and undermined bilateral ties,” according to the spokesman. Earlier, China told Japan they were not invited to send a warship to the symposium, as is the normal practice at these annual meetings.

* In Shanghai, a Chinese court has approved the seizure of a Mitsui OSK Lines iron ore transport ship by a private Chinese firm as “compensation” for two Chinese ships commandered by Japan in 1937. Japan complained that the WWII peace treaties exempted such claims, but the Chinese court ruled that this applied only to government claims, not private claims.

While Obama will be trying at every stop (Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Philippines) to further encircle China strategically and economically, his current failing stature in the world could well take another hit, as South Korea and Malaysia want nothing to do with the confrontation with China, and Japan, despite Abe’s destructive alliance with Obama in confronting China, is highly unlikely to concede ground on Obama’s free trade demands in regard to the TPP. Even the subservient Philippines government may not be willing to grant the US the right to totally exclude Filipinos from the proposed US military facilities in the Philippines, as demanded by Obama. They would all be well advised to make no deal with a political corpse.
Corker Cheerleads for Obama’s confrontation with China

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the rabid war hawk who is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave President Obama a thumbs-up for his Asia trip this week, telling him to hang tough as China “continues its coercive and aggressive behavior in the East and South China Seas,” and on ramming through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, despite intense opposition from the Congress and from many of the countries in the negotiations, including two of Obama’s intended stops, Japan and Malaysia.

Writes Corker: “First and foremost, the president must clearly and unequivocally reaffirm U.S. security commitments to our allies and partners in the region, including U.S. extended deterrence.” In regard to China, he writes, “President Obama also must make clear that in acknowledging China’s growing global impact, President Xi’s ‘major new power relations’ does not suggest a U.S. retreat from its responsibility as a Pacific power to maintain freedom of navigation, safeguard unimpeded lawful commerce and uphold the rule of law. The East and South China Seas are increasingly becoming a potential flashpoint for conflict because of China’s aggressive air and maritime posture.”

Most important, Corker writes, Obama’s future budget submissions to the U.S. Congress, despite budget constraints, “should fund efforts to guarantee the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent and to support continued regional missile defense cooperation,” to “ensure that U.S. military capabilities and readiness levels are sufficient to manage a range of potential threats and contingencies in the Pacific.” The expanding missile defense capacities are correctly seen in China as part of the first strike capacity of Obama’s Air-Sea Battle policy.

German Economics Minister Gabriel in China

Accompanied by 50 representatives of various industrial and business branches, Sigmar Gabriel will arrive in Beijing today for a three-day visit of China, which will also lead him to Shanghai. Although according to the ministry’s press release, the automobile sector and energy efficiency are top items on Gabriel’s agenda, there are also other aspects which may not result in new concrete contracts yet, but yield something for the planned September visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel to China.

The participation of the firm Herrenknecht, a world market leader in tunnel-building, in Gabriel’s delegation points to infrastructure projects. It is also said that Siemens may receive another contract for supplying electronic equipment for Chinese high-speed rail lines.

In Beijing, Gabriel, who is also Deputy Chancellor, will meet with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Trade Minister Gao Hucheng, and Science Minister Wan Gang, on April 22. Today, he will attend the official presentation of a new technology development center in Beijing, to which Germany contributes a section dealing with research and development of energy efficiency solutions. One aspect, which overlaps with other, planned joint projects of German and Chinese automakers, is the development of electric engines for automobiles.

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German Foreign Minister Steinmeier Demands End To Sanction Threats

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in an article in Bild am Sonntag, said that he wished that those who are so aggressively supporting sanctions against Russia, would be likewise committed to deescalating the situation. Defense Secretary Ursula von der Leyen, on the other hand, called for stronger sanctions.

Steinmeier said he hoped that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers could be increased to 500 as soon as possible. He pointed to the fact that there are armed groups, which are neither in the control of Moscow nor Kiev, which makes the situation complicated. He emphasized there are not too many opportunities for a peaceful resolution, and one should not create new obstacles after the first successful beginning of talks in Geneva, on April 17.

Steinmeier’s remarks reflect the ongoing factional disputes inside the Merkel government, and in Germany more broadly, over Obama’s suicidal policy of sanctions agains Russia.

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LPAC Policy Committee – April 21, 2014

 

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LaRouchePAC in Action · April 21st, 2014

This week’s LaRouchePAC in Action feature remarks by Lyndon LaRouche on the fact that Obama’s removal will change the entire geometry of the current drive for Thermonuclear War. Also included are remarks from Vladimir Putin and Bill Roberts.

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Bill Roberts Announces His Candidacy: Democrats Must Break With Obama To Save the Country

I am proud to announce my decision to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan’s 11th District. On Thursday, I filed nominating petitions with 2,000 signatures at the Bureau of Elections in Lansing and submitted my name for the nomination.

LaRouche Candidate for Michigan’s 11th District, Bill Roberts.

As a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, I will continue to fight for solutions which do exist to reverse the breakdown of the economy, a collapse trend that has accelerated under both the Bush and Obama presidencies. Solutions do exist, but you have to confront reality. There will be no economic recovery unless Wall Street is shut down and there will be no humanity if Obama succeeds in launching thermonuclear World War III. Neither the leadership of the Republican or Democratic Parties have had the integrity or courage to confront this reality and remove Obama from office.

Practical politics is not only particularly stupid, as we are now seeing with the failing campaigns of Democrats who have hitched their wagons to Obama’s Wall Street directed policies, but they will get you killed. Only by breaking with the suicide pact of party politics and reviving the real American legacy of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy can a positive trend in national politics be created. This means crushing the criminal financial apparatus known as Wall Street and recommitting the nation to the true American legacy of a Hamiltonian credit system.

Congress is operating on the clock of political election cycles while humanity is gripped by a clock operating on the timescale of the onrushing total collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system. Since the banking crisis of 2008, the U.S. and the European Union have gone through first, “bail-out” (taxpayer funded financing of toxic private gambling debts), quantitative easing (direct Federal Reserve purchasing of securities through almost unlimited liquidity pumping) and now, “bail-in.” The transition is now being made to “bail-in”, where large, globally connected banks zero out large amounts of what is owed to depositors and bondholders, effectively contracting the money and physical activity of entire national economies in an instant. This is analogous to an elevator having its cable cut at the 70th floor. It is a sort of concentration camp without the walls. Either Wall Street’s toxic gambling claims are unwound under a revival of Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Act or entire sections of the economy will be liquidated in the name of saving relatively small portions of the ridiculously unpayable fictitious claims of Wall Street.

Think I am exaggerating? In July of 2012, I called on the Detroit City Council to reject any further cuts that endangered the lives of the population and instead fight for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act to bankrupt Wall Street. I warned that most major cities had entered into interest rate swaps which had been criminally rigged at the highest level through something called the LIBOR. I urged the Council to stand up to the bankers and tell them they are going to jail rather than submit to being victim to their murderous schemes.

After submitting to various austerity measures, Detroit eventually was forced into bankruptcy by the guy appointed to run the city’s finances for the sole reason of avoiding bankruptcy – Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr. His initial bankruptcy proposal was to pay the investment banks 80 cents on the dollar and severely slash the pension obligations to retired workers, contracts which were supposed to be protected under the state constitution. Only just this month – after years of diverting precious city resources away from essential services – these banks were forced to accept large write-downs on their claims after being confronted on the clearly illegal circumstances surrounding the creation of those instruments. If that had not been done, the cuts to the pensions of uniformed and un-uniformed city employees would have been much more severe and life threatening.

However, the problem we now face is that this model of asserting claims of financial gamblers above human life, is now built into the entire trans-Atlantic banking system, courtesy of a recent vote in the European Parliament and the implementation of Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. This openly exposes the intention to resolve the current financial crisis by means of mass genocide.

Nations not beholden to the trans-Atlantic system, such as China and Russia – who refuse to cooperate with the desire of Obama and the British Queen to implement “green” and other forms of population genocide – are now encircled by civil war, regime change, terrorism and the increasing buildup of ballistic missile defense and thermonuclear missile systems, including the deployment of the U.S.S. Donald Cook this week into the Black Sea. Do not be naive. Neither Russia nor the American people have any strategic interest in starting a war right now. This is the deployment of the U.S. military by a complete tool of desperate international financial circles, to gain the advantage of nuclear first strike capabilities. Russia’s military and civilian leadership has repeatedly warned that there is a certain red line at which actions toward fulfilling this aim of a thermonuclear upper hand will be confronted militarily. We are headed straight into a war that no one can survive and so far no one in the Congress has lifted a finger to effectively stop it.

We must change that! Nothing is set in stone if we act as Promethean beings. Defeating treason and reviving the commitment to the U.S. Constitution means defeating the green agenda, and committing to an economy driven not by the pursuit of speculative monetary values, but created through scientific and technological progress, characterized by achieving breakthroughs in thermonuclear fusion.

Join me in escalating the fight to impeach Obama now and revive the true American legacy of building the future.

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Reverse Warren Buffett Led Breakdown of U.S. Energy, Transport and Ag Infrastructure!

The killer shortage of U.S. food and energy supplies brought about by drought, fracking, and Warren Buffett’s financial manipulation of vital transportation infrastructure, must be reversed by decisive action by lawmakers: Impeach Obama. Stop fracking. And use Federal powers to ensure that vital supplies have access to transportation and to push through the development of the fusion power-driven North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA XXI). The energy flux density of our national economy must rise with technological advances, not sink into Hell with insane “green” policies.

Lyndon LaRouche stated emphatically this weekend: “We demand that they stop the fracking! Stop it now, or else! Anybody who does not support stopping the fracking, under these conditions, should therefore be impeached, immediately! Anybody who blocks it should be impeached immediately. Because this is a threat to every person in the United States!”

The “Great Fracking Oil & Gas Boom” is sucking up water in dry states; using up railroad capacity to haul oil; using up pipeline capacity to convey gas products, especially propane, for export, while domestic users go short and pay to the hilt. The 2013 harvest of wheat, beans, and other farm products is overflowing storage capacity in the Upper Midwest, for lack of rail shipment to move the produce outward. This process is destroying communities and farming throughout the Central States; it now constitutes a national food supply crisis.

Fracking must stop immediately. Emergency measures must be taken to move in fertilizer, propane and other farm inputs, and move out crops. If President Obama refuses, or stall, impeach him. Stop fracking or else.

Foremost among the culpable figures is Warren Buffett, whose Burlington Northern Santa Fe RR (BNSF RR), part of his Berkshire Hathaway empire, is the leading hauler of crude out of the Bakken shale oil field in the Dakotas, and a leading hauler of inputs to fracking (sand, etc). Buffett also is a gas pipeline mogul, after buying up strategic stretches of pipeline routes during recent years of the Dick Cheney energy deregulation revolution. Buffett, like his fellow Wall Street sharks, is making a killing off the Obama energy goal, to make the U.S. into the new “Saudi Arabia” of the world, thanks to the shale boom.

The extreme situation is so bad, that even two Federal government entities were recently forced to make unprecedented, rearguard interventions.

On April 15, the Commerce Department’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued an order to Buffett’s BNSF and the Canadian Pacific RR—they serve the upper Plains States and Bakken oil fields—”to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for Spring planting of U.S. crops, and, beginning April 25, 2014, to provide weekly status reports for six weeks regarding fertilizer delivery over their respective networks.”

The STB directive stated: “Given the immediate need for fertilizer to meet rapidly approaching planting deadlines, and the potential long-lasting and widespread effects of missing those deadlines, the Board” is taking this decision.

On February 7, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its first-ever directive to one of the gas pipeline cartel firms (Enterprise Products Partners LP), to reverse its flow-to-the-ports shipments of gas and propane, and instead make shipments south-to-north, to bring in emergency gas supplies to the north Central States. This came about amidst the crisis this Winter, when propane users, including farms, households, schools, and institutions, were slammed by scarcity and skyrocketing prices.

Over the last 18 months, the Obama administration lifted restrictions against exports of certain Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Given that the world “market” price was much higher than the domestic, the London/Wall Street cartels shipped it abroad. Exports of propane and propylene have increased 5.5 times in the past two years. Exports in the last year alone, tripled. In 2013, over 20% of all U.S. propane was exported, way up from 5% in 2008.

Act Against Fracking, Buffett, Or Be Impeached

The lawmakers standing by this situation as observers, must now act, or be impeached. Stop the fracking. Remove Warren Buffett from corporate office and power. Take the steps to do this; use Federal injunctions where necessary. Corporate interest has to be subordinated to national interest, to the General Welfare. It is a Constitutional issue.

No more cowardly complaints or reassurances from the sidelines. The national interest is the principle here. For example, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), can’t have it both ways, backing the fracking boom, but saying he backs farmers and eaters. On April 14, Hoeven announced that he met with the BNSF Chairman Matt Rose, and was assured that the railroad “will dedicate additional resources and crews to get fertilizer to North Dakota producers faster.” Warren Buffett, BNSF owner, is the man who caused the crisis to begin with. He is an enemy of the people.

The fracker-backers are all now on the line, from Democrat Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), who calls fracking the “New Gas Revolution,” and wants her state to lead the LNG exports, to Republican Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). The United States cannot withstand any further destruction of its vital infrastructure and its physical economy. It must stop now.

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