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Putin Calls on Western Nations to Release Afghanistan’s Reserves

Asked at the Valdai Club Discussion, how Afghanistan can be helped to achieve political stability and economic development, President Putin emphasized that while the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Afghanistan’s neighbors will help the country economically, the Western nations who occupied the country for 20 years must take primary responsibility to stabilize the situation. “The first thing they must do,” Putin said, “is to release Afghan assets, and give Afghanistan an opportunity to resolve high priority socio-economic problems.”

The exchange, with Tsinghua University strategist Zhou Bo, follows:

Zhou Bo: “Mr. President, it is really my great honor to ask you this question. I will ask you something about Afghanistan. Afghanistan lies in the heart of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. So, if Afghanistan has a problem, then the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has a problem. Now the United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan. So how can the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is led by China and Russia, united with other countries, help Afghanistan to achieve political stability and economic development?”

Vladimir Putin:
“The situation in Afghanistan is one of the most urgent issues today. You know, we have just had a meeting in the appropriate format, in part, with representatives of the Taliban. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is also active in Afghanistan. This is a very serious issue for all of us because for both China and Russia it is extremely important to have a calm, developing Afghanistan that is not a source of terrorism, or any form of radicalism, next to our national borders, if not on our borders.

“We are now seeing what is happening inside Afghanistan. Unfortunately, different groups, including ISIS are still there. There are already victims among the Taliban movement, which, as a whole, is still trying to get rid of these radical elements and we know of such examples. This is very important for us, for both Russia and China.

“In order to normalize the situation properly and at the right pace, it is necessary, of course, to help Afghanistan restore its economy because drugs are another huge problem. It is a known fact that 90 percent of opiates come to the world market from Afghanistan. And if there is no money, what will they do? From what sources and how will they fund their social programs?

“Therefore, for all the importance of our participation in these processes – both China and Russia and other SCO countries – the main responsibility for what is happening there is still borne by the countries that fought there for 20 years. I believe the first thing they must do is to release Afghan assets and give Afghanistan an opportunity to resolve high priority socio-economic problems.

“For our part, we can implement specific large projects and deal with domestic security issues. Our special services are in contact with their Afghan counterparts. For us, within the SCO, it is very important to get this work up and running because Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are right on the border with Afghanistan. We have a military facility in Tajikistan. It was based on the 201st division when it was still Soviet.

“Therefore, we will actively continue this work with China on a bilateral plane, develop dialogue with relevant structures and promote cooperation within the SCO as a whole. In the process, we will allocate the required resources and create all the conditions to let our citizens feel safe regardless of what is happening in Afghanistan.”


EU Gas Shortage: What About the Netherlands?

Brussels is blaming Putin for causing gas shortage in the EU. As ridiculous as this can be, the established media and politicians trumpet this lie around. But nobody mentions that the Netherlands, once a major provider of gas to Europe, is curbing its production right now.

The Dutch government had decided to shut down the Groningen gas field, because of fear of earthquakes, and began to wind it down last year. Earlier this month, Dutch Home Affairs Minister Kajsa and Economic Affairs Minister Stef Blok said that the government will not increase natural gas production from the Groningen fields to head off the impact of soaring gas prices. The gas taps will only be turned on again if there are very cold winters, not for price rises, the ministers said.

If reactivated fully in an emergency, Groningen could alleviate the scarcity. It delivered 88 billion cubic meters at its peak in 1976 and above 30 billion cubic meters just five years ago. Natural gas production in the Netherlands has been falling in recent years, and in 2020 totaled 20 billion cubic meters. This was the lowest production of natural gas in the Netherlands since the turn of the century.

Gas consumption in the EU amounted to 521 billion cubic meters in 2019, and it dropped to 380 cubic meters in 2020, due to lockdowns. As demand resumed this year, and Gazprom increased its supply, the Dutch could help fill the gap. But maybe the Dutch government wants to let “creative destruction” get its way…


Zepp-LaRouche Participated in “The International Academic Forum In China, 2021–a New and Uniquely Chinese Path to Modernization”

Oct. 20 (EIRNS) — Helga Zepp-LaRouche participated in the high-level International Academic Forum in China 2021, hosted by CASS, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, on the theme of “A New and Uniquely Chinese Path to Modernization,” which was held in Beijing on the 14th and 15th of October.

The conference opened with a speech by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee. He said: “Over the past 100 years, the CPC has led the people in pioneering a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization and creating a new model for human advancement…. China will follow its own path, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning with other countries, and make greater contributions to the world with the new achievements of modernization.”

He pointed out that the forum is an important platform for the promotion for exchanges in philosophy and social sciences between China and the world. More than 100 scholars from various universities, thinktanks, and academic institutions from twenty nations participated.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, speaking as the president of the Schiller Institute,” titled her presentation, “A Chinese Contribution to Universal History Viewed from the Future.” She presented the great achievement of China’s transformation from a poor primarily agricultural nation into one of the world’s leading nations in science, industry, and culture. Her call for a dialogue on the highest level all cultures of the world elicited a very positive reaction from the panel moderator, who emphasized that the juxtaposition of both the greatest poets and thinkers of West with those of China demonstrates that while they represent very different cultures, the dialogue between them represents truly universal values. One could see this idea expressed in the song of the European Union (EU), Schiller’s and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

The questions that needed to be answered were also addressed: What steps must be taken to push the world into a community of a shared future and how can the knowledge produced in China more directly become part of world knowledge?


Dominican Friend of the Schiller Institute Proposes Emergency Measures for Haiti

Oct. 18 (EIRNS)–A Dominican friend of the Schiller Institute who has been discussing the plan for reconstruction and development of Haiti, made a number of specific proposals on emergency measures he feels should be taken right away, in the context of the broader strategic program to transform the nation. While he took issue with the Institute’s proposal to solve Haiti’s vast energy deficit with nuclear energy, and only addressed the security situation in a general way, his proposals overall are serious and excellent. He emphasizes the Dominican Republic’s crucial role in developing Haiti and the whole island of Hispaniola. He writes:

“I want to make a couple of comments regarding the program to develop and save Haiti as well as my own country, because we are inextricably linked to the same consequences as this is one island and neither of our nations can relocate ourselves. I think that the program should be divided into two main parts:

1) A comprehensive emergency program to mitigate hunger, disease, uncertainty and the dissolution of the country. This would include:

–massive and sustained distribution of cooked, canned or fresh foods—cooked on the spot on stoves on trucks (many of these are already used in my country in disaster zones).

— set up mobile clinics on trucks that can reach poor neighborhoods in the cities or countryside;

—set up mobile schools, transported by truck, for basic education that can be located in rented locales;

—provide facilities, funding, tractors, consulting, etc., to small farmers who produce food, as well as to cattle ranchers and poultry farmers who raise cattle, pigs, chickens and eggs either at home or on farms;

–provide specialized machinery and personnel to build basic access routes, indispensable neighborhood roads or trunk routes, and small bridges

–provide large quantities of construction material to build low-cost houses, preferably prefabricated, and furnish them with household goods;

–build mobile government offices that would be used primarily for dealing with civil matters;

— identify sources of water to be made potable through chemical processes and osmotic filtration (in which I am a specialist).

–provide large quantities of clothing, shoes, sheets, mattresses, folding beds, mosquito netting and insect repellent;

–massive distribution of vitamins, minerals, painkillers, medicines to treat parasites and diarrhea, mobile laboratories for basic analyses of fluids, and dental clinics;

2) A strategic program like [the Schiller Institute’s Haiti program,] with which I fundamentally agree. We have to see how a mechanism for directing the process can be created without interference—so that everything can be monitored and be above board, because the whole [Haitian] government is illegitimate, and no one knows for sure what its plans are nor to whom it really answers. As I mentioned, the Dominican Republic can play a crucial role in the carrying out of any plan, as we’ve already done this [before] without international aid.


Uzbekistan Delegation Meeting with Taliban Promotes Infrastructure and Aid

A delegation from Uzbekistan’s government, led by Investment and Foreign Trade Minister Sardor Umurzakov, met with the Afghan delegation led by Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of the Taliban’s provisional government in Termez (in the southern portion of Uzbekistan) on Oct. 16, for a one-day conference.

In a statement from Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yusup Kabulzhanov told TASS on Oct. 16: “‘At the meetings, representatives of a number of ministries and agencies discussed trade and economic cooperation, border security, cooperation in the fields of energy, international haulage and transit.’

“The talks are reported to have focused on the implementation of infrastructure projects, which include the construction of the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri transmission line and the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway,” TASS reported.

The Afghani English-language online daily 8AM also reported that “In the meeting, the two sides have appointed a joint technical team to provide instructions for the implementation of projects. After 10 days, the team is supposed to complete strategy and instructions on how to implement these projects and present them to the officials of both sides.”

Termez is becoming a hub for humanitarian aid. The UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) said this week that three consignments of humanitarian aid would be airlifted to Termez in the near future before entering Afghanistan by truck.

Radio Free Europe reported that last month, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told the UN General Assembly that his country has resumed the supply of oil and electricity to Afghanistan. “It is impossible to isolate Afghanistan and leave it within the range of its problems,” RFE quoted him as saying.

In related news, AFP reported that acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met in Ankara on Oct. 14 with Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu: “Cavusoglu called on governments to unfreeze Afghanistan’s foreign accounts to ease the growing humanitarian crisis but said Turkey was not yet ready to recognize the group.”


Hungary To Become Regional Logistics Hub, as Rail Project Proceeds

At a stone-laying ceremony in Kiskunhalas for the Hungarian section of the modernization of Budapest-Belgrade railway on Oct. 15, the Hungary Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said: “Railways will clearly be in the focus of Hungary’s transport development efforts in the next 10-15 years, with the upgrade and capacity expansion of the Budapest-Belgrade line as one of the priority investments.” Palkovics attended the ceremony, as did Serbia’s Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Tomislav Momirovic, and Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Qi Dayu, and via video, Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Palkovics elaborated that with the renovation of the Budapest-Belgrade railway, Hungary will offer the fastest transport route for Chinese goods between Central and Southeast Europe, extending from Budapest to Belgrade, into Skopje, North Macedonia, and extending to Athens. He also thanked the Chinese people for their help in supplying medical and other equipment to Hungary, as it was hit by COVID-19.

Xinhua reported today: “For his part, Ning said that the railway project will promote the connectivity between Hungary and Serbia and other European countries, help the two countries build a regional transport and logistics hub, give a strong boost to European infrastructure and economic growth along the route, and enhance the well-being of the European people.

“The project is also of great significance for the connection of the Belt and Road Initiative to European development strategies and the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Europe, Ning added. ‘It could be said that the railway is beneficial to our three countries, to Central and Eastern European countries, and to the entire Europe,’ he said.”

Kiskunhalas, Hungary is about 20 miles north of the Serbian border, and is 122 miles from Belgrade. During July 2021, Hungary celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Hungarian Railways. A short clip of the ceremony was posted by “Built by China”


Sergei Glazyev: The Future Is Being Created Through Eurasian Development

Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—Interviewed by an editor of the Russian newspaper Zavtra on August 18, Russian economist Sergei Glazyev spoke optimistically of the entirely new world economic order taking shape around the growing economic integration between the countries of Eurasia, in contrast with the disintegrating Western speculative financial system, whose imposition of “pure usury” is creating “genocide” in countries like Ukraine. The October 2 publication in full of Glazyev’s interview on Spain’s El espía digital website, reflects the growing recognition in Western nations that the high-tech cooperative development model evolving in Eurasia offers some crucial lessons about what works.

Glazyev is no mere commentator, but a man who understands that “ideas rule the world.”  He is the Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics for the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the executive body for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the common market established by Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which is coordinating projects with the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative. He is also very familiar with that “titan of thought,” American statesman Lyndon LaRouche, and his “realistic school of economic thought,” as Glazyev describes him, having spoken many times with LaRouche and his wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche over the past two decades, both privately and publicly.

The EAEU has completed the first phase of forming a common market, and is now working on how to “saturate” that market with “new infrastructure, information, and cultural ties, and joint economic projects” in order to bring about “accelerated development,” Glazyev reported.

Unlike the previous world order, which “had an imperial character, in which the principal centers of development, the US and the USSR, dictated their will upon the other countries which fell in their area of influence … the new world economic order is not monocentric,” he emphasized. “In our new world economic order, there is mutual respect for the sovereignty of different countries, both large and small; cultural diversity is preserved; interference in internal affairs is not attempted; and cooperation is based not on the zero-sum principle within the framework of liberal globalization, but rather on the search for a combination of competitive advantages to achieve a synergistic effect, in order to raise the social well-being of all the countries which participate in integration processes….

“This is what unites our approach with the Chinese approach in the framework of building a complete new world economic order.”

Glazyev stresses the great importance of the Chinese model of development, which in the last 30 years achieved three times greater growth than the United States, by combining strategic planning by the State with markets and private entrepreneurship. Under this dirigist model, if a private corporation tries to destabilize or manipulate the market to gain super-benefits, the State can shut it down. This system has proven to be “extremely effective,” and many countries are introducing such measures, following China’s path, which is widely known through the Belt and Road Initiative, he argued.

This, he emphasizes, is how a new world economic order is emerging, accelerating economic development, not only in Asia, but in other continents, such as Africa. Yes, we have problems and differences, he said, but “the logic of history, … the logic of development, the objective interests of the countries participating in the transition to a new technological world economic order allows us, despite all the obstacles, achieve positive results in order to advance, step by step.” [All quotes are translated from the Spanish translation of the original Russian.]


China, Russia UN Envoys Call for International Community To Assist Haiti

It is notable, that at yesterday’s U.N. Security Council debate on Haiti, it was left to the representatives of China and Russia to at least raise Haiti’s desperate need for development and reconstruction, beyond merely relief aid.

All representatives who spoke, pointed to the need for Haitians to come together to resolve the nation’s government and institutional crisis, and spoke of elections, and of the terrible security problem of gangs and drugs that must be addressed. But without moving beyond meager humanitarian relief efforts, to international assistance to allow Haiti to undertake the kind of full-scale reconstruction program which the Schiller Institute is proposing, no political solution is possible.

Geng Shuang, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN of China, called on the international community to step up and help Haiti recover, and “spare no effort in humanitarian assistance and post-disaster reconstruction…. China calls on the international community to respond actively to the UN humanitarian emergency appeals totaling about $187 million, and urges the Haitian government to work closely with the UN system to ensure that supplies reach people most in need and to avoid waste and embezzlement,” he said.

Geng suggested that a change in strategy is needed, pointing to the failure of the humanitarian strategy towards the country, in which the 14.7 billion U.S. dollars spent since 2010 “have yet to deliver the expected results…. The international community’s long-standing assistance model that can be compared to blood transfusion and oxygen supply to Haiti has proven to be neither markedly effective nor sustainable…. We are ready to join the rest of the Council members to address the systemic and operational impediments to peace and development in Haiti, and to consider adopting a novel approach to help Haiti come out of its plight,” he said.

Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy spoke of the “urgent need to address issues that are inevitable to all States, among them combating unemployment and improving overall standards of living…. We cannot but be appalled by the information contained in the report from the World Bank that in 2021, 60% of Haitians will fall under the poverty threshold…. Clearly, such a dire situation in this insular country requires consolidated international support, first and foremost, from regional neighbors.”

Many representatives could not fail to reference the shocking decision to forcibly return to Haiti thousands of “people who cobbled together their last money to leave the country in search of better lives for their children,” as Polyanskiy—but not only he—put it. On that subject, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield was silent.


UN Agencies Warn Again: Afghan Children Face “Acute Malnutrition” and Death

After a visit to Herat, Afghanistan, the UNICEF and World Food Program Representatives to Afghanistan, Hervé Ludovic De Lys and Mary-Ellen McGroarty, respectively, warned that one half of Afghanistan’s children under five years old —an estimated 3.2 million children— are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year, and at least a million of them are at risk of dying, should they not get immediate treatment.

The WFP estimates that 95% of households in Afghanistan are not eating enough food, and the two UN agencies are now adding 100 more mobile health and nutrition teams, to the 168 already operating in hard-to-reach areas. UNICEF rep De Lys warned that “the nutritional health of mothers and their children is getting worse by the day…. Children are getting sicker and their families are less and less able to get them the treatment they need. Rapidly spreading outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhoea will only exacerbate the situation.”

WFP’s McGroarty reiterated: “Unless we intervene now, malnutrition will only become more severe. The international community must release the funds they pledged weeks ago, or the impact could be irreversible.”


EIR Publishes “The Schiller Institute Plan To Develop Haiti”

Sept. 30, 2021—Today, EIR News Service posted, “The Schiller Institute Plan to Develop Haiti,” a 16-page report, which presents a comprehensive program addressing “eight fundamental areas of infrastructure, industry, and agriculture, which are at the core of the Haitian economy … present[ing] what capabilities and what problems exist, along with recommended development plan solutions.” Those areas are 1. Power and Electricity, 2. A Universal Health Care System, 3. Hunger and Agriculture, 4. Railroads and Roads, 5. Airports and Seaports, 6. Sanitation and Water Purification, 7. Industry and Labor Force, and 8. Education. The full report is available here.

The Schiller Institute Plan is clear in the mandate, and the urgent necessity of acting now, saying:

“The task of rebuilding Haiti is a daunting one because of the level of destruction deliberately imposed on it by two centuries of Malthusian policies. Every sector of its physical economy must be rebuilt from the bottom up, to uplift its impoverished population. But it’s not an impossible task if China and the U.S. collaborate along with other nations of the Caribbean Basin and Central America, as part of an expanded Belt and Road Initiative and Maritime Silk Road throughout the region.

“Haiti will have to establish diplomatic relations with China: it is still one of the few countries in the world that maintains diplomatic relations instead with Taiwan. China rightly insists that it will only work with nations that recognize the principle of One China, and Haiti would be wise to follow the path taken by its neighbor, the Dominican Republic—which recently broke with Taiwan and established ties with China—if it is to have any hope of attaining Chinese participation in its reconstruction.

“Haiti has been repeatedly subjected to an intentional depopulation policy every time a ‘natural disaster’ strikes the country. For 125 years, the looting of Haiti by the City of London, Wall Street, and other Trans-Atlantic banks (France is key among them), joined in the 20th Century by the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral lending agencies, has denied it the right to develop into a modern nation, leaving it defenseless in the face of repeated disasters, the August 14, 2021, earthquake being only the most recent one.

“The Schiller Institute program for the rebuilding and reconstruction of Haiti, the initial outlines of which are presented below, includes a unified infrastructure plan, financed by a Hamiltonian system of ample directed credit, created as a central feature of a bankruptcy reorganization of the disintegrating international financial system. The Schiller Institute has estimated preliminarily that a viable Haiti reconstruction program will cost between $175 and $200 billion, or $17.5 to $20 billion per year over ten years.”

The report also reviews the scuttled 2017 Haitian-Chinese $4.7 billion project to rebuild Haiti’s capital, in which “two Chinese companies—the Southwest Municipal Engineering and Design Research Institute of China (SMEDRIC), and the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC)—outlined a series of detailed projects valued at $4.7 billion to carry out the rebuilding of the capital and its environs. SMEDRIC indicated that the projects for Haiti’s capital were part of a broader, $30 billion proposal for the whole country, discussed at the May 14-15, 2017, Belt and Road Initiative summit in Beijing. A short time after that, a Chinese delegation carried out an 8-day investigative visit to Haiti and met with local officials.”

   Video Preview—‘Need Creative Genius of the World To Bear on Haiti and Afghanistan’

The report was previewed on Sept. 25, on an international webinar by the Schiller Institute, with the intent of bringing together the forces to make it happen. The 2.5-hour event was titled, “Reconstructing Haiti—America’s Way Out of the ‘Global Britain’ Trap,” featuring the Schiller Institute Plan and the immediate emergency action required. The plan was summarized, and discussed by experts with ties to Haiti, in engineering, medicine, and development policy. This deliberation stands in stark contrast to the events of the past weeks, which included the U.S. forced deportation of thousands of displaced Haitians from the Texas-Mexico border, back to Haiti, to disaster conditions from the August earthquake and before. The full video of the webinar is available here.

The six panelists were Richard Freeman, co-author of “The Schiller Institute Plan To Develop Haiti”; Eric Walcott, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Caribbean Studies; Firmin Backer, head of the Haiti Renewal Alliance; Joel DeJean, engineer and Texas based LaRouche political organizer; and Walter Faggett, MD, based in Washington, D.C., where he is former Chief Medical Officer of the District of Columbia, and is currently Co-Chairman of the Health Council of D.C.’s Ward 8, and an international leader with the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites; and moderator, Dennis Speed.

Firmin Backer pointed out that the USAID has spent $5.1 billion in Haiti over the 11 years since the 2010 earthquake, but asked, what is there to show for it? Now, with the latest earthquake on Aug. 14, we can’t even get aid into the stricken zones, because there is no airport nor port in southern Haiti to serve the stricken people. We should reassess how wrongly the U.S. funding was spent. Firmin reported how Haiti was given some debt cancellation by the IMF years back, but then disallowed from seeking foreign credit!

Eric Walcott was adamant. “We need the creative genius of the world to bear on Haiti and Afghanistan.” He said, “leverage the diaspora” to develop Haiti. There are more Haitian medics in New York and Miami than all of Haiti. He stressed that Haiti is not poor; the conditions are what is poor. But the population has pride, talent, and resourcefulness. Walcott made a special point about elections in Haiti. He said, “Elections are a process,” not an event. He has experience. From 1998 to 2000, Walcott served as the lead observer for the OAS, for elections in Haiti.

Joel DeJean, an American of Haitian lineage, was forceful about the need to aim for the highest level in that nation, for example, to leapfrog from charcoal to nuclear power. He advised, “give China the opportunity” to deploy the very latest nuclear technology in Haiti—the pebble-bed gas-cooled modular reactor. We “don’t need more nuclear submarines, we need nuclear technology!” He called for the establishment of a development bank in Haiti, and other specifics.

Dr. Faggett summed up at many points, with the widest viewpoint and encouragement of action. He served in the U.S. military’s “Caribbean Peace-Keeping Force,” and was emphatic about taking action not only in Haiti, but worldwide. He referenced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying that “you can tell a lot about people, by how they take care of the health of their people.” He reported that, at present, aid workers in Haiti are having to shelter in place, because of the terrible conditions.

But, he said, we should mobilize. Have “vaccine diplomacy,” and work to build a health platform in Haiti, and a health care delivery system the world over. He is “excited about realizing Helga’s mission,” referring to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, who issued a call in June 2020, for a world health security platform. At that time, she, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, formed the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites.

For more information contact the Schiller Institute at contact@schillerinstitute.org


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