Executive Intelligence Review News – Friday 6th May 2022
This news brief is so important that I have reproduced it unedited here:
Global NATO Prepares To Unleash ‘Financial Nuclear War’ Against the World
May 5 (EIRNS)—The Western political elites who have brought us to the brink of nuclear war, are now openly preparing to unleash “economic MAD—mutually assured destruction” against the global economy. They intend to launch the same scorched-earth economic warfare against China that they have turned against Russia: seizing foreign reserve assets, cutting them off from SWIFT—for the moment still the world’s principal international payments system—and sanctioning anyone who dares import from, or export to, China.
Global NATO’s Washington, D.C., outpost, the Atlantic Council, has been “Wargaming a Western Freeze of China’s Foreign Reserves,” Council senior fellow and former banker Hung Tran reported on April 29. The pretext to be used is China’s refusal to join the West’s assault on Russia. He concluded that “in a scenario of Western sanctions coupled with Chinese countermeasures, both sides will suffer substantial damages. This could lead to a situation of economic MAD—or mutually assured destruction—reinforcing the more catastrophic nuclear MAD.”
Planning for this is gearing up as President Biden prepares to head off for meetings in Asia at the end of May, with Global NATO’s intention to encircle China top on his agenda. U.S. and U.K. officials are consulting closely on how and when to best to impose sanctions on China, the most recent (public) discussion being Tuesday’s phone call on May 3 between Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Foreign Secretary Liz “Geopolitics Is Back!” Truss. The State Department tells us “economic consequences for those who continue to provide financial or material support that aids the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine” was a leading topic of that call.
To propose to cut China out of the global economy is clinically insane, and cannot be done. China is a nation of 1.4 billion people, 18% of all the people in the world, the nation with the fastest rate of scientific and technological development on this planet, which also has significant trade relations with most every nation in the globe—the U.S. and the European Union emphatically included.
But the elites of the West are “wargaming” exactly such measures. The Atlantic Council suggests containing the “geopolitical” intent of the sanctions just short of full “economic MAD.” The Global Economics Director of S&P Global’s IHS Markit subsidiary, one Todd Lee, proposed in his May 4 risk analysis of the “prospects and impact of ‘shock and awe’ financial sanctions against China,” that if the West didn’t cut off China from the international payments system, but “only” stole its foreign exchange reserves, the West could get away with it.
Such infantile, game-theory-driven, table-top exercises on how to decouple China from the world economy are as insane as the arguments that a “limited” nuclear war can be waged.
As retired U.S. Col. Larry Wilkerson stressed April 29 in his interview with Paul Jay, decades of military war games and computer simulations have all come to the conclusion that dropping one nuclear bomb, even within a purportedly-limited “tactical” context, gets out of hand and cannot be controlled.
It is crazy to push a nuclear power into a situation where they have no other choice, Wilkerson warned.
Yes, but that is precisely what is being done against Russia, and soon against China as well. The U.S. military and intelligence establishment is deliberately pushing stories into the media of how the U.S. military has been training and advising a Ukrainian military seeking war with Russia since the 2014 coup, and they are still in charge today. The New York Times published a provocative article on May 4 asserting that “U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals,” citing anonymous “senior officials.” The Times as much as says that it was assigned to write the article in order to be provocative.
“Although the administration remains wary of inflaming Mr. Putin to the point that he further escalates his attacks … current and former officials said the White House finds some value in warning Russia that Ukraine has the weight of the United States and NATO behind it,” their “sources” told them.
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson demurred after the story was published, that U.S. intelligence wasn’t provided to the Ukrainian forces “with the intent to kill Russian generals.”
How can we allow these insane, degenerate “elites” to blow up this beautiful world and human species? Join our mobilization to stop nuclear war, financial or military, in time!
Remember: once one nuclear weapon is fired, the whole arsenal goes. And that is the end of civilization, if not the human species.
This strategic disaster could be turned around in one week, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche insisted earlier this week. The Institute demonstrated how the world can be pulled together around the concept of a new paradigm in its April 9 conference. Top figures from Russia, China, India, and South Africa, joined by leading people from other nations and regions, all worked together, fighting for the same idea: that the interest of one is the interest of all. Watch the conference, and then get others to do the same.
All it will take to shift the entire international debate, is the decision of a handful of top-level people, or a few dozen medium-level people, to spread this paradigm of security based on the common development of each and all, Zepp-LaRouche insisted. We know we can pull the political forces together to do this, with confidence in the human mind and what the Schiller Institute has already set in motion, the depth of the crisis will shake people into motion.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Warns, Kagan’s Chatter of ‘Tactical’ Use of Nuclear Weapons Could End This World
May 5 (EIRNS)—Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.) took to the airwaves to call out the dangerous incompetence of chickenhawk, think-tank warriors—explicitly naming Robert Kagan. “You even have people like Victoria Nuland’s husband, who essentially tells the rest of us that we are just shrinking violets because we won’t use the bold threat of using nuclear weapons,” he told Paul Jay on April 29. But Kagan’s fantasy of adding nuclear weapons to the poker game goes against all military experience and reality. Further, simply the ease, the mere facility with which Kagan’s language about the utility of nuclear weapons on the battlefield is accepted is, in itself, dangerous.
Countless studies and investigations over 70 years have weighed in intensively against this tactical nuclear fantasy. “We had a saying in the military; if you use one, you’re going to use them all or enough to destroy the globe…. I’ve war-gamed this too much and too often, to think that the other side wouldn’t react, and react in a way that you could predict, and that way is to use them back on you. That way is to use them back on you. Would it be a tit for tat, or would it be a massive counter-strike?… That’s for humans to sit down and count the number of angels on the head of a pin…. I don’t think you can control it once the genie is out of the bag.”
Wilkerson was taken aback by the language of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin after their trip to Ukraine. He said he’s heard their remarks that afternoon and “It didn’t help any. It’s almost like we are going to take you. We’re going to get you. We won’t fight, but we’re going to get you more money.”
In his considered judgment, the present leadership in the West is possibly the worst we’ve ever had. “You would have no trouble whatsoever in convincing me that there could be a confluence of leadership that would start a world Holocaust. No difficulty convincing me at all. I’ve been there…. I’ve seen how self-interested they can be in their decision-making. Frankly, Paul, I’ve seen how stupid they are. I do mean that, how stupid they are.”
Forget everything that you are told about Ukraine, he said: “I think the situation is made doubly dangerous by the fact that we have so many interests playing around in Ukraine right now in things that have nothing to do with Ukraine. … That is not what it’s about. It’s not about NATO. It’s not about NATO membership…. It’s about interests that are profiting from what’s going on, either politically, financially, economically, or geopolitically. That latter being the most dangerous one of them all. This all involves bringing Putin down, destabilizing Russia, and clearing that flank for a war with China. That’s the grand strategic thing that’s driving this. They do not give a dang about a single baby, a single woman, or a single person in Ukraine. They will use every one of them if they can or have to get to Putin and to get to their ultimate objective. That’s why this is so dangerous.”
EU Targets Head of the Russian Church in New Sanctions
May 5 (EIRNS)—The European Union proposes to level sanctions against Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, on the claim that he is one of the most prominent supporters of Russia’s war in Ukraine. According to Politico, the Patriarch is accused in an otherwise secret document of the EU foreign service, the European External Action Service (EEAS), of being “one of the most prominent supporters of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine,” citing allegedly pro-war sermons and remarks by Kirill, plus his blessing for Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.
The Patriarch refuted these EU accusations, in a response to Pope Francis, who insulted the Patriarch in an interview published May 3 with Corriere Della Sera: Pope Francis told the Italian daily when the two had spoken by Zoom on March 16, Patriarch Kirill had read him a list for “justifications of the war,” to which Francis had replied, “Brother, we are not state clerics…. A Patriarch can’t lower himself to become Putin’s altar boy.” Francis reported that the two religious leaders had a meeting scheduled for June 14 in Jerusalem, which would have been their second face-to-face encounter, “nothing to do with the war. But we [both] called it off, we agreed that it could send the wrong message,” he told Corriere.
The office of the Patriarch issued a considerably more diplomatic statement: “It is regrettable that a month and a half after the conversation with Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis chose the wrong tone to convey the content of this conversation. Such statements are unlikely to contribute to the establishment of a constructive dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches, which is especially necessary at the present time.”
According to TASS, the Patriarch had told the Pope about some facts that were completely ignored or that had had only cursory mention in Western news media, such as the fact that the conflict started from the 2014 coup d’état in Kyiv; the tragic events of May 2, 2014, in Odessa, when Nazi groups caused deaths of 40-50 Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens; Western promises in 1990 not to expand NATO, etc.
The Patriarch pointed out that his flock is found on both sides of the conflict, and the situation caused him great pain. He urged putting aside geopolitics and looking for ways that church leaders could help the conflicting sides to achieve peace and justice.
Leveling sanctions against the Russian Patriarch is another attempt to cut off a channel for dialogue. Moreover, it demonizes the leader of the largest Orthodox Church in the world. The Pope’s statement is worse than undiplomatic; it also plays into the hands of the war party.
Anti-War Open Letter Signers Strike Back against Witch Hunters
May 5 (EIRNS)—Attacked heavily by the anti-Russian war party, Germans who signed an Open Letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz calls for Germany to ban supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine and for peace diplomacy instead, are striking back against the witch hunters (see EIR Daily Alert for May 3). Peter Weibel, an Austrian art manager and co-initiator of the Open Letter, tells a rather hostile interviewer of the Standard daily on May 4: “The rhetoric with which the signatories of the letter are showered is not reminiscent of the free world, but rather of Russian state television, which also showers its opponents with ridicule and scorn. The warning of a third world war is admittedly based on a hypothesis. We know that today’s nuclear weapons are much more sophisticated than they were in 1945. Today, it is possible to detonate Graphite bombs, which are used to render electrical installations such as power plants, substations or overhead power lines inoperable for a limited time by short-circuiting them. So nuclear strikes are quite realistic because of their local limitation and targeting, precisely because they no longer trigger an uncontrolled, devastating conflagration.”
“The chapter on the eastward expansion of NATO is the crucial point in my eyes,” Weibel continues. “Again and again it is doubted whether Gorbachev was actually promised at the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. and promised at the reunification of Germany that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO. And again and again documents emerge that prove exactly this promise. When Putin is accused of clinging to great power dreams, it obscures the realization that his phantom pain is a broken promise by the West, not the loss of the Soviet republics.”
Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, another prominent signer of the Open Letter, remarks: “It is not about leaving Ukraine alone or that it should surrender…. The letter is about a level of escalation where something could happen through heavy weapons that we all don’t want to happen…. It won’t be that one fine day Ukraine will stand up and say, ‘We won the war.’ Likewise, the reverse will not happen either.” So the war can only be ended through negotiations, he said. “We must not give in to the illusion that there is no negotiating with them and we supply weapons. In the end, that will lead to the complete destruction of Ukraine,” Yogeshwar warned. Instead, he said, there could only be a compromise in the end that both countries could accept: “Russia and Ukraine must be given the feeling that both players will emerge from the war as victors.”
Juli Zeh, another of the initial signers, defended her signature, as well: she made the important point in a May 3 interview with the Die Zeit weekly that every single day that this war continues increases the threat of escalation and can lead to a “worst-case scenario for Europe and the world.” And she pointed out, “For decades we have been looking at the fatal risk of a Third World War and doing everything we could to prevent it. In the meantime, there is talk about the ways in which ‘a Third World War could be made manageable.’ We must not ignore that!”
Zeh replied to Die Zeit’s question whether it were “not simply psychological warfare” when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the danger of a nuclear war as “serious and real” on April 25: “The dangerous thing is precisely that not even Putin is the master of events. Escalations have a momentum of their own. An unwanted entry into war by NATO states can occur at any time, with all the consequences. All it takes is for a bomb to land on the wrong side of a border. Whether Lavrov’s statement was psychological warfare then no longer matters.”
The Open Letter was originally signed some 30 artists and cultural figures when issued on April 29. The number of signers has since grown to some 235,000.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Crazed Elites Wargame ‘Financial Nuclear Option’ Against China
May 5 (EIRNS)—Under the headline, “Wargaming a Western Freeze of China’s Foreign Reserves,” the Atlantic Council published a summary report on April 29 of what could ensue from any attempt to steal China’s foreign exchange reserves, as Russia’s have been stolen. Its author was Atlantic Council senior fellow Hung Tran, a former banker whose career includes serving as Deputy Director of the IMF and Executive Managing Director at the financiers’ cartel, the International Institute of Finance.
The scale of any operation against China is far bigger than that against Russia, Tran notes. The exact composition of Chinese $3.2 trillion in foreign reserves is a state secret, but at least $1.1 trillion is in U.S. Treasury securities, and $490 billion in other equities, plus a goodly amount held in euros, yen, and pounds sterling subject also to freezing. In addition, Chinese companies hold some $145 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S., and about $83 billion in the European Union.
What countermeasures might China take that would impact Western economies?
Foreigners have $1.9 trillion in direct investment in China, and China might nationalize the hefty portion of that owned by the Western sanctioning countries. It could also freeze the $1.2 trillion-plus of Chinese domestic stocks and bonds owned by foreign investors. Then there is the $2.7 trillion in external debt held by Chinese companies, most of it in U.S. dollars and euros, which China could stop servicing, using the same argument as Russia: that it is willing and able to pay, but is prevented from doing so by U.S. government actions. “A pause in servicing China’s external debt would inflict substantial losses on Western investors—largely through investment funds and pension funds,” Tran writes.
His tally of the monetarist impact? China has $3.4 trillion of “identifiable international assets” that could be seized, but it holds up to $5.8 trillion in international liabilities, largely from Western countries, which it could seize.
Tran only considers the physical-economic impact of an attempt to decouple China from the world economy from the standpoint of trade: China would be hurt by a cut-off of international trade, but 18.6% of U.S. imports, and 22.4% of EU imports come from China: including critical goods such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals to make pharmaceutical products, not to mention their significant exports to China.
“In short, in a scenario of Western sanctions coupled with Chinese counter measures, both sides will suffer substantial damages. This could lead to a situation of economic MAD—or mutually assured destruction—reinforcing the more catastrophic nuclear MAD,” Tran concluded drily. “These considerations would set the parameters of the geopolitical rivalry and conflict between China and the West. This will likely intensify in the foreseeable future to encompass all areas of relationship between the two sides, but hopefully will stop short of economic or military wars!”
Usurious ‘Rules-Based Order’ Is Murdering Sri Lanka
May 5 (EIRNS)—Sri Lanka has less than $50 million in usable foreign currency reserves left, Finance Minister Ali Sabry told the nation’s parliament on May 4. Less than $50 million with which to import medicines, foods, fuel, and cooking gas, already in acute scarcity, for 22 million Sri Lankans. This, he said, is the worst economic crisis the island nation has faced since gaining independence from the British Empire in 1948.
Children will die. Having no funds, the government has cut the budget for free school meals by two-thirds, enough for only one school term, at most. According to Save the Children, 1 million children—one in four students in the country—rely on free school meals to eat. And increasingly so, as the cost of such basic food items as rice and oil have skyrocketed by 195% over the past month alone, forcing many schools to already stop serving meals, at the same time.
Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament today that the country needs 4,000 metric tons of diesel per day, but the public Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is currently able to only release 1,000 to 1,500 metric tons a day. The country has already been suffering hours of power cuts daily since February, because of a diesel shortage.
While the West finds hundreds of billions of dollars to finance weapons production, there is no money to be found to aid Sri Lankans to eat in their hour of need. The International Monetary Fund refuses to grant an emergency loan or reschedule Sri Lanka’s debts, until the government imposes a greater austerity program! World Bank President David Malpass refused a loan, on the grounds that Sri Lanka might try to use the funds to pay debts to China—to which it owes much less money, it must be noted, than what it owes the international financiers who run the World Bank. Sri Lanka’s Asian neighbors have been helping, with aid being sent by its neighbors India and China, in particular.
U.S. Food Banks Struggle To Meet Demand, as Food Insecurity Rises
May 5 (EIRNS)—U.S. food banks are scrambling to meet growing demand from a population hit hard by rising fuel and food prices and unable to make ends meet. It is a sign of deepening poverty and food insecurity as more people become reliant on food kitchens and pantries to feed their families. The Wall Street Journal reported May 2 that a survey by Feeding America, which runs a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, found that about 85% of its food banks saw demand increase or stay the same in February, compared with the previous months. Forgotten Harvest, which serves the Metro Detroit area, reported that demand has increased 25%-45% since last December in the areas it serves. In March alone, demand rose by 30% over that of February.
Exacerbating the crisis is that companies, and even the Federal government, which used to be reliable donors to food banks, have cut back their donations, due to supply chain problems. Feeding America estimates that it will suffer a 20% decrease in donations from food manufacturers and a 45% drop in food provided by the federal government in fiscal year 2022, which runs through June, CNN reported May 4. Higher prices and reduced supplies mean that food banks have to restrict how much pantries order—while the number of needy people increase, sometimes on a weekly basis.
Consumer price inflation hit a 40-year high in March, CNN reported, with food and gas prices accounting for much of the increase. According to federal data, over the year ending in March, the cost of food eaten at home jumped by 10%. Meat increased by 14.8%; milk, 13.3%; eggs, 11.2%; fresh fruits, 10.1%; rice, 8.6%; bread, 7.1%. Food banks are buying as much food as in 2021, but pay 40% more for it, Feeding America reports.
One woman who runs a food pantry in Virginia Beach, Virginia, reports that “the supply flow is tenuous and unpredictable, and that’s what causes anxiety when running a food pantry where 300 families a week are counting on us.” Second Harvest Heartland, which serves Minnesota and western Wisconsin, reports that it currently receives less than half what it received last year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
China Sets Up World’s Highest Automatic Weather Station
May 5 (EIRNS)—China has placed an automatic weather station on top of Mount Qomolangma¸ or Mount Everest as it is known in the West. The work was a accomplished by the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and with the aid of some very experienced Tibetan mountain climbers. In addition to the weather station, eight elevation-gradient meteorological stations have been set up on Qomolangma at over 8,000 meters (26,250 feet) high.
Collecting and studying data from Qomolangma, at 8,849 meters above sea level, and its surroundings will yield valuable insight about the condition of local glaciers and mountain snow, which have been the water source for more than 10 major rivers in Asia that nurture more than 2.5 billion people, the journal Science of the Total Environment reported.
It will also help scientists monitor and understand the global monsoon system and other weather mechanisms so that experts and policymakers can make informed decisions regarding changes in the climate, biodiversity preservation, and development. Studies will be conducted to monitor pollutants, and changes in the Rongbuk glacier and in the ice lake.
In addition there will be medical studies conducted on the researchers themselves to explore the impact of an ultra-high altitude environment on human health. This expedition is the largest since surveys of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau started in 2017.
Lula Da Silva Urges Stop Putin Hate Campaign, for Serious Talks
May 5 (EIRNS)—In a wide-ranging interview for the cover story with Time magazine published yesterday, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose formal candidacy in the presidential 2022 elections will be announced on May 7, insisted that world leaders, U.S. President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the EU cut out the games, and get serious about negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin should not have invaded Ukraine, he said, but “it’s not just Putin who is guilty. The U.S. and the EU are also guilty. What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the U.S. and Europe should have said: ‘Ukraine won’t join NATO.’ That would have solved the problem.”
Nor did Lula spare Biden. “I don’t think he made the right decision on the war between Russia and Ukraine. The U.S. has a lot of political clout, and Biden could have avoided the war, not incited it. He could have talked more, participated more. Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader. To intervene so things don’t go off the rails. I don’t think he did that.” Asked whether Biden should have made concessions to Putin, Lula responded, “no,” but recalled how the Americans resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. “Biden could have said, ‘we’re going to speak a bit more. We don’t want Ukraine in NATO, full stop.’ That’s not a concession.”
Asked whether he thought that Putin allegedly invaded Ukraine because he thought Ukraine would join NATO, Lula replied that that was the reason Putin gave. The other reason was Ukraine joining the EU. So, he remarked, the Europeans “could have said: ‘No, now is not the moment for Ukraine to join the EU, we’ll wait.’ They didn’t have to encourage the confrontation.” Lula also rejected the pretense that the EU/NATO tried to speak to Russia. “No, they didn’t. The conversations were very few. If you want peace, you have to have patience. They could have sat at a negotiating table for 10, 15, 20 days, a whole month to find a solution. I think dialogue only works when it is taken seriously.”
Lula ridiculed Zelenskyy. He could have put off NATO and EU discussion and sat down to talk. Instead he gave constant TV addresses and spoke before many foreign parliaments, “as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table…. He did want war.” If he hadn’t, he would have negotiated more. But, he underscored, “I don’t think anyone is trying to help create peace. People are stimulating hate against Putin. That won’t solve things!. We need to reach an agreement. But people are encouraging the war. You are encouraging this guy and then he thinks he is the cherry on your cake. We should be having a serious conversation. ‘OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV.’ ”