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Zepp-LaRouche on Afghanistan: ‘The New Name for Peace Is Development’

Dramatic developments are taking place over the past days which make clear that the world is sitting at a crossroads. Two clearly distinct ideas about the nature of man are contending for the future of human civilization. One, which could well lead to the destruction of civilization itself in a nuclear holocaust, sides with the Aristotelian outlook of the British Empire, that some people are born to rule and others to serve, that human beings are as defined by Thomas Hobbes, as “all against all,” with nations following the same logic, locked into geopolitical laws of zero-sum “survival of the fittest.” The other view believes that: “Development holds the key to the people’s well-being, [and] no country should be left behind. All nations are equally entitled to development opportunities and rights to development.” While it would be understandable that one may think this statement came from Franklin D. Roosevelt as he planned his postwar vision for the role of a United Nations, it is in fact the words of Xi Jinping, speaking on July 6 to delegates of 500 parties and institutions from around the world, representing 160 countries, fully three-fourths of the human race, joining in support of the principle of “Peace Through Development,” as intended by China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Today, the Schiller Institute’s founder and president Helga Zepp-LaRouche released a statement titled: “Afghanistan at a Crossroads: Graveyard for Empires or Start of a New Era?” She posits that the policies taken by the world’s nations today on the future of Afghanistan not only affects every citizen of every country, in the sense that the danger of terrorism and drug proliferation affect us all, but also because it could well determine the fate of mankind itself. The only solution to the Afghanistan quagmire, she writes, is for the great nations of the world, and all the nations of the region, to join forces in a “Great Project” to develop Afghanistan as the hub for the New Silk Road, both East-West development corridors connecting East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe, and North-South development corridors linking Russia, China, Iran, India and Pakistan.

Is it possible? Or is it, as seen by the geopoliticians of the British Empire, contrary to their warped sense of “human nature,” which will always seek out an advantage against “the other”? Will Americans follow this British prescription for imperial “divide and rule,” or will they recall the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Was this intended only for those who follow so-called “Western values,” and who follow the so-called “rules-based order,” or is it indeed intended for all mankind?


Chinese Scientists “Reinvent” the Potato to Feed More People

In a groundbreaking experiment, Chinese scientists led by Huang Sanwen, a researcher with the Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen (AGIS) (a city just north of Hong Kong), under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), used a genome design to transform potato breeding, and developed “pure and fertile potato lines” with genome-editing technologies

Their study, titled “Genome Design of Hybrid Potato,” was published online in one of the world’s leading academic journals, {Cell}, on June 24.

Unlike other crops that are propagated from seed, the potato is a tuber crop which is propagated by cloning. This results in long breeding cycles, low reproduction efficiency, and makes the potato plant more susceptible to disease and insect attacks. 

CGTN reported that “Huang and his team initiated the “Upotato Plan” in 2015, aiming to replace vegetative reproduction with hybrid seeds via genome design and improve potato breeding speed and reproduction efficiency.

“‘We must first solve the problem of self-incompatibility, which is that potatoes do not produce seeds after self-pollination. Through material selection and gene editing, we have successfully tackled the problem and produced seeds,’ said Huang. 

“‘Meanwhile, we have also discovered how to improve plant health and output. By genome design, we eliminated harmful mutations, aggregated good genes and finally cultivated the potato variety called ‘Upotato NO. 1.’ After testing, it has shown excellent performance…

“We now only need 2 grams of potato seeds for a one-mu land, compared to 200 kilograms of seed potatoes before, which greatly reduces the planting costs.” (There are about 15 mu to one hectare.)

Their work has been recognized by their international peers, with one scientist from the European Academy of Sciences commenting, “This work is very important because it’s relevant to feeding the planet.” 

Genome design of hybrid potato


David Beasley to Musk and Bezos: We Need You NOW to Stop Starvation!

David Beasley, World Food Program Executive Director jumped into the competition between billionaires Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, on which of them would be the first to go into space, by tweeting them on June 26, that they should “team up” to save 41 million of people on Earth facing starvation. He followed it up with a number of tweets that day, including specific messages to Bezos and Musk personally: .

“Jeff Bezos’ net worth increase during Covid was $65 billion. Jeff, just 10% of your net worth INCREASE would save 41 million people about to die from hunger. We need you, NOW! Can we talk? @famine” and

“Elon Musk’s net worth increase during Covid was $137 billion. Elon, just 5% of your net worth INCREASE would save 41 million people about to die from hunger. We need you, NOW! Let’s talk. #famine” and

“During the covid pandemic, the world’s 2,275 billionaires’ net worth increase was over $5.2 BILLION PER DAY. Is it too much to ask for just ONE day’s worth of wealth increase to save 41 million people about to starve to death?!!! #famine”


Taikonauts Successfully Complete First Space Walk From Tianhe Station

This morning, taikonauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo finished all assigned tasks during a seven hour space walk outside China’s Tianhe space station. This is only the second space walk in the history of China’s space program. The first one was in 2008, but it lasted only 20 minutes. As the first taikonauts aboard Tianhe, Liu and Tang with support from Nie Heisheng from inside the station, performed tasks to set up Tianhe for future use.

The completed tasks included raising the external camera to a height that maximizes its ability to record panoramic views; installing and testing footsteps on the working arm and external working station; and conducting an emergency escape drill to rapidly get back inside Tianhe if necessary. The space walk also initiated use of newly designed 130 kilogram space suits.


Mexico and Argentina Coordinate Through CELAC to Distribute Vaccines to Ibero-America and the Caribbean

Mexico and Argentina are exercising important leadership in providing vaccines to Central and South America and the Caribbean, coordinating through the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Mexico is the President pro Tempore. This initiative reflects the two nations’ strategic partnership which extends beyond the matter of vaccines, into foreign policy and economic development issues. In the middle of the Covid pandemic, however, their collaboration on vaccine production and distribution has been crucial. As per the agreement signed by the two governments last year, Argentina’s mAbxience lab produces the actual AZ vaccine which is then shipped to Mexico’s Liomont lab for final bottling and packaging.

Delayed for a few months, the program really got underway on June 12, when Mexico sent 400,000 AZ doses to Bolivia, Paraguay and Belize–100,00 for Belize, and 150,000 each for Bolivia and Paraguay–which, as Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard pointed out, makes six CELAC countries that have access to the AZ vaccines. He reported that Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago would soon be receiving vaccines as well; Jamaica did receive 65,000 AZ doses on July 3, the seventh Mexican vaccine donation to that country.

All of the vaccines donated to other nations are personally delivered by high-level officials of the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Maximiliano Reyes, Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, delivered vaccines to Belize, and on June 24, Ebrard himself flew to Central America on a Mexican Air Force jet–two planes were deployed, one to Honduras and one to Guatemala and El Salvador– to deliver 400,000 doses of AZ vaccine for distribution among those three countries. In a tweet, he emphasized that the 400,000 donated doses are “produced by Argentina and Mexico” and are being provided to demonstrate “that we are consistent and [have] solidarity with other countries,” Sputnik reported him saying the same day. “The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is present! United we are better!” he added.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche interviewed on CGTN’s Asia Today

Helga Zepp-LaRouche was interviewed by Zhong Shi today, the host of the “Asia Today” program on CGTN, as part of its lead coverage on the crisis in Afghanistan.

Zhong Shi: I want to now also bring in Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the president and founder of the Schiller Institute, a German-based political and economic think tank. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, welcome to the program. It’s a pleasure to have you on today.

The Pentagon says returning Bagram base to Afghan security forces was a key milestone in U.S. military withdrawal. Now, the question is, what type of milestone will this be for Afghanistan? How will this affect the country’s ability to fight against the Taliban?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think it’s a very serious situation. There is the danger of civil war, not only between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, but according to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who yesterday pointed to the fact that there are now ISIS forces massing in the north of Afghanistan. I think the danger is that the war will continue, this time with Afghans killing Afghans, so I think it does require some other approach. Something completely different than just withdrawing and leaving the place as it is.

Zhong: The world is now watching the situation unfold in Afghanistan. We know the Taliban certainly has been sweeping into districts as foreign troops go home. When the United States watches what is happening right now in Afghanistan, how would you characterize Joe Biden’s policy towards Afghanistan after U.S. forces leave? He certainly has promised continued support.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, I’m not so sure. Obviously, this is a quagmire. Twenty years of war and lost lives and lost money for nothing. I think that the withdrawal from Afghanistan has similar reasons like the United States reducing logistics in other parts of the Persian Gulf. It’s in part, in my view, this focus on the Pacific, on Russia, on China. So per se, it’s not an Afghanistan policy, but it’s more a policy led by geostrategic considerations. I think this is a path to disaster as well.

Look, Afghanistan in the last year, the opium production increased by 45%. Afghanistan produces 85% of the world’s opium production. If you just leave that, the Taliban will for sure increase that production as a way of financing their military operations. The deaths will be in the streets of the United States and Europe, of the many addicts. In Afghanistan, there are 3.5 million drug addicts, but that just shows that you need to have a completely different approach to solve this problem.

Militarily, Afghanistan cannot be won. That was proven by the Soviet Union trying to win for 10 years, now the United States and NATO for 20 years. I think it’s high time to rethink, that one needs to have a completely different approach than the continuation of the same.

Zhong: As you say, it would be 20 years of a war for nothing, if Afghanistan quickly descended back into chaos; into where it was before the war. Some fear that this is more likely to become a reality once foreign troops are gone. What do you think are the chances that this will happen? That Afghanistan will dive deeper into a civil war?

Zepp-LaRouche: As I said, if nothing is being done, it will be a nightmare. There will be more terrorism, which will spread not only in the region, but beyond. I think there must be a change in the approach. The only way there would be any hope to stabilize the situation is if you bring real economic development to Afghanistan, but also to the entire region, of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, all these countries which have been destroyed by the endless wars. This could be taken as one region, and one should understand that both the problem of terrorism, but also the problem of drugs, is one which should concern all the countries—the United States, Russia, China, Iran, India. They should all work together for an economic development perspective. One could extend the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road. The previous president, Karzai, saw that he sees the only hope for Afghanistan would be development. And the new name for peace is development, also in Afghanistan. So, my wish would be that this could become a subject of a UN Security Council special conference. President Putin has demanded, in any case, that the Permanent Five of the UN Security Council should meet. That would be one of the urgent items; how to prevent Afghanistan becoming a source of terrorism, drug trafficking, and just a nightmare for everybody. And how can you stop thinking in terms of geopolitical confrontation, and concentrate on the common aims of mankind? I think Afghanistan is one of these absolute crossroads—it is a crossroad—but also a crossroad in the history of mankind.

Zhong: This is more of a pressing issue by the day. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, we appreciate your analysis today; thank you so much for taking the opportunity to talk to us.


Guangzhou — Another Demonstration of China’s Superior Public Health

Guangdong is reopening after fully containing the latest COVID-19 outbreaks without losing one single life. Global TImes reports today that the virus has been brought under control, with no cases being reported the last ten days as of Friday.

Since May 21,  three separate outbreaks in Guangzhou, nearby Shenzhen and Dongguan. All were caused by imported virus variants, including the Delta strain. After isolating the three areas and conducting extensive testing and treatment, followed by a further 60 million nucleic acid tests on high risk groups in mid June, no positive results were found, according to the Guangdong provincial government.

Before today, residents in the three regions were required to provide negative nucleic acid test results from within the last 48 hours before they could leave the regions. Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, has reopened with some restrictions on closed public places, including cinemas, theaters and indoor stadiums, to reopen with a 75 percent capacity limit.

An expert team under China’s joint prevention and control mechanism have also withdrawn from Guangdong on Friday Global Times reports. Again, China has set the example to the world of competent public health measures to protect its population.


President Bukele to Nuland: “Thanks, but We Have Our Own List”

It took just two days for El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele to deliver his public response to the imperious orders he had been delivered by Biden’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, notorious neo-Nazi supporter Victoria Nuland. Nuland threatened that all Salvadorans identified as “corrupt” and “anti-democratic” on the State Department’s “Engel’s List,” must be investigated and prosecuted—or else. The list of those names, released as Nuland was meeting with Bukele in San Salvador, was egregiously weighted towards allies of the Bukele government, including naming four top officials in his government. Note that Nuland’s other theme was to lecture Bukele against accepting “malign influences” from the Peoples’ Republic of China.

“Thanks for the list, but in El Salvador we have our own,” Bukele tweeted yesterday.

And then: the Prosecutor General, with the authorization of the relevant court, ordered National Civilian Police units to search and seize the headquarters of the ARENA party, the rightwing party founded by death squad commander Roberto d’Aubisson, the man accused of planning the assassination at the altar of the now-sainted Bishop Oscar Romero during a mass in the national cathedral in 1980. The grounds for the action was the long-known but never prosecuted “Taiwan Case,” in which the ARENA government in 2003 channeled at least $10 million donated by Taiwan in the name of helping victims of an earthquake into the party’s 2004 presidential election campaign and the pockets of several top party leaders. The “Taiwan case” was so egregious that some ARENA party officials admitted to it after it became public in 2013-2014. (El Salvador’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan were only cut the year before Bukele took office in 2019.)

Bukele’s government recovered $3.9 million in assets from ARENA: two buildings, 17 vehicles and $2.9 million in public electoral funds the ARENA party had received in February this year for the legislative elections. Bukele reports that the money will be used to remodel 15 schools, and one of the seized buildings will be converted into a gym.

As for the life-size bronze statue of Roberto d’Aubuisson found inside ARENA’s headquarters: Bukele proposed to melt it down, and use the metal to make sewer manhole covers. “Sublime…” he tweeted!


Beasley Calls on Branson, Musk, and Bezos for $6 Billion To End Starvation

Over the weekend, World Food Program Director David Beasley sent out a tweet, reiterating his frequent call on billionaires to step up to meet the $6 billion more needed this year to roll back hunger and prevent starvation. But this time he named names. He included in his tweet the June 26 CNN video story, “Bezos vs. Branson: Billionaires Battle Over Being First in Space.” Beasley tweeted June 26:
            “Hey, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, so excited to see you compete on who gets to space first! BUT, I would love to see you TEAM up together to save the 41 million people who are about to starve this year on Earth! It only takes $6 billion. We can solve this quickly!”

The financial worth of these three, according to Global Citizen: Branson, $6.3 billion; Musk, $165.9 billion; and Bezos $192.6 billion.


G20 Matera Summit: Long on Rhetoric, Short on Solutions

Foreign and Development Ministers of the Group of 20 and representatives of UN agencies met today in a one-day summit in Matera, Italy, hosted by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as Italy is currently the rotating president of the group. Several of the ministers appeared in person, but China’s, Russia’s, Brazil’s, and other ministers attended virtually. The major emphasis of the summit, whose unimaginative title was “People, Planet, Prosperity,” was combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as food insecurity, famine, poverty, disease, and promoting “sustainable development,” and “sustainable” health systems–especially for Africa. Di Maio said in the closing press conference that the G20 has a special responsibility to help Africa to emerge from a “difficult period.” This must be done in such a way, he said, that people won’t feel the need to leave their countries and migrate to Europe.

The “Matera Declaration on Food Security, Nutrition and Food Systems,” announces a number of initiatives for addressing the developing sector’s most urgent problems, but all are couched in terms of “sustainability,” respecting biodiversity and gender equality, and adapting “agriculture and food systems to climate change.” The statement ends with a call for a “global mobilization” to solve these problems, while it presents none of the solutions that might actually yield results. This document cries out for the Schiller Institute and LaRouche Organization’s programmatic proposals for building a global health system, bankruptcy organization of the global financial system, and reconstruction of the world’s economies with major infrastructure projects.

During the conference itself, there was much rhetoric about “multilateralism,” loudly advocated by Secretary of StateTony Blinken, who had the audacity to say that the U.S. is leading the multilateral effort for vaccine distribution, to which Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi tweeted in response that “multilateralism is not a high-sounding slogan, let alone gift-wrapping for the implementation of unilateral acts.” In his public statements, Wang called for an end to the “zero-sum game” in foreign relations. For example, he said, in fighting the pandemic it is to everyone’s benefit that those nations which have vaccines and vaccine capacity lift their export restrictions. Forget about ideology, and get to work on stabilizing vaccine production and supply lines, he said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas ignored that advice when he complained that Russia and China are only using their “vaccine diplomacy” for political leverage in the countries they aid. “We must openly discuss the fact that we do not think much of their vaccine diplomacy,” he harrumphed.

Michele Geraci, former Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, said in an interview with CGTN that there is a lot of talk about multilateralism, but if it means that 200 nations do their own thing, and there is retrenchment, this doesn’t work. It hurts production, people-to-people contact, international education, etc. What is needed is real collaboration, he insisted.

Di Maio and other Italian participants pointed out that in terms of protecting health, Rome is home to a number of international food organizations–World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization, etc.–and that they and Italy will host the July 26-28 World Pre-Summit of the Food Systems meeting that will be held at the UN in September. As this news service has pointed out, the Rome affair in July is terribly organized as a gathering of “stakeholders” — women, youth, climate, and biodiversity groups, etc. — and that its solutions are nature-based, not focused on ending famine. This is precisely the World Economic Forum/Davos model announced by Charles Schwab last January.


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