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Afghanistan Crisis: Humanity Comes First!

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”                                                                                                                  –Mark 8:36

The head of the United Nations World Food Program, American David Beasley, has fought to bring to the world’s attention the now-unfolding catastrophe in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a nation which has known nothing but war and internal conflict for more than 40 years. The rapidly worsening multiple crises in that nation–lack of food, lack of health care, lack of a sovereign national credit system, lack of production–demand immediate solutions in the next weeks, if the world wishes to avoid the unnecessary, unwarranted deaths of millions– many of them children, who have clearly offended no one. Over 20 million people are presently at risk. Geopolitical rationalizations for continuing inaction, from “taking cautious steps to not allow the Afghanistan government to exploit our good will” to “demanding that other countries step up,” will do almost as much to take the lives of the innocent, through depraved indifference, as the coming famine 

Several of us have been outraged by the callous indifference expressed in the worldwide, persistent inequality of efficient distribution of medical care, not merely in the selective availability and affordability of life-saving medicines, but in the widening disparity in available basic facilities and capabilities. Whole continents, such as Africa, are stigmatized as “disease farms” because of deplorable economic conditions that are conveniently perpetuated but then never actually improved. That happened in the 1980s with HIV/AIDS, and is happening today with COVID-19. The clearly man-made Afghanistan disaster is an opportunity to reverse that syndrome. . A crucial first step would be the release of the $9.5 billion of assets of Afghanistan’s central bank, which are currently being held in the United States.

Why? That nation, familiar to the United States, Russia, China and several NATO countries, as well as the five other states that border it, has a clearly urgent, largely war-induced set of problems that could be quickly resolved, and offers a test case for how to actually uproot war, through multinational cooperation involving even real and/or imagined enemies working together for a common good. This Afghanistan initiative has been called “Operation Ibn Sina” after the great Islamic physician known for centuries as “the father of modern medicine” and who comes from that general vicinity. In contrast, it is perhaps the lack of exactly such initiatives that begin with compassion for, and cooperation with others, that has allowed COVID-19 to grow from being a relatively controllable epidemic to a pandemic, and is causing that pandemic to worsen by the hour. That would not be the first time that the vice of selfishness had doomed mankind. Historian Barbara Tuchman, in “The March of Folly,” warns us: “A phenomenon noticeable throughout history, regardless of place or period, is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests.” 


We who have devoted our lives to acting upon the conviction, so eloquently enunciated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” say that there is no injustice like famine, no crime worse than slowly snuffing out the life of a child through neglect, through depraved indifference. Though the need is equally important everywhere, the time to change “the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests,” and those of humanity, is now. The world can–must– choose one place, this Christmas season, to begin a march in the opposite direction, and prevent the slaughter of the innocent upon the altar of a geopolitical folly that would sacrifice both conscience and true self-interest for the aura of power.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon General – On behalf on the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites 

December 23, 2021

Dr. Walter Faggett, pediatrician, Col. U.S. Army (ret.), former Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health of Washington D.C., professor of medicine Howard University

Dr. Bennett Greenspan, Founder Family Tree DNA

Ernest Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP, civil rights attorney

Barbara Kamara, former Associate Commissioner, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for the National Head Start Program (Carter Administration); former Director of Early Childhood Education, Washington DC, for 22 years

Dr. Khadijah Lang, pediatrician, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the National Medical Association, President of the Golden State Medical Association, the California branch of the NMA 


Another Advance Toward Fusion Power in China’s EAST Tokamak

A record combination of high temperature and long duration of confinement of a fusion plasma has been achieved by China’s primary fusion power experiment, known as the experimental advanced superconducting tokamak, or EAST.


{Daily Pakistan} reported on May 29, “China’s artificial sun [has set] a new world record as it achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for a period of 101 seconds. The huge accomplishment is a key step toward the test running of a fusion reactor. Announced by Gong Xianzu, who is a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), [who] was in charge of the experiment conducted in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui Province.”


The EAST experiment took a full year to prepare; and in another run, this Chinese prototype of an “artificial sun,” reached an even higher plasma temperature, 160 million degrees Celsius, and sustained it for 20 seconds. These temperatures are high enough and sustained long enough for deuterium-tritium ions in the plasma to fuse and produce energy, if the superhot plasma can be stably confined with less energy input than the output from the fusion reactions. This requires the third parameter — sustained, much higher plasma density than has thus far been reached in tokamaks.


“It’s a huge achievement in China’s physics and engineering fields,” the paper quoted ASIPP Director Song Yuntao. “The experiment’s success lays the foundation for China to build its own nuclear fusion energy station.”


China Launches Tianzhou Cargo Ship Which Docks With the Space Station

China launched the cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-2 on Saturday, May 29, which has docked with the space station core module Tianhe. It delivered supplies for the first crew, equipment, and propellant. The Long March-7 Y3 rocket, carrying Tianzhou-2, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site at 8:55 p.m. (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The launch was a complete success, the CMSA said.

The cargo includes more than 160 large and small packages, including supplies for astronauts, space-science equipment, and two tons of propellant, which are needed to keep the station in a stable orbit. After docking with Tianhe, Tianzhou-2 will replenish Tianhe’s propellant and help test equipment for space application projects.

Three astronauts will be launched on the Shenzhou-12 mission, and will stay in orbit for three months. It will be their job to unpack the goods stowed inside Tianzhou-2. In addition to supplies for the three-astronaut first crew, the gear delivered by Tianzhou-2 also includes two spacesuits for extravehicular activities, each weighing more than 100 kg, which will be needed on future “space walks.” This year, two manned craft will dock with the station.

Tianzhou-2 is also delivering space food, dubbed “space deliveries” by Chinese engineers, including many traditional Chinese dishes. From staple foods to non-staples, from meat to vegetables, the menu is appetizing for Chinese astronauts. Famous stir-fried Chinese dishes like shredded pork with garlic sauce and Kung Pao chicken are both on the menu. (The menu may be an added inducement for non-Chinese astronauts to visit the station.)

Later this year, another cargo vessel will dock with the station, as will a second manned mission. In 2022, the station will be complete, with the addition of the Wentian and Mengtian laboratory modules.

Then it will be open for other countries to send their experiments, their astronauts, or even their entire laboratories, to this truly international space station.


Argentina to Sign MOU Joining the Belt and Road Initiative As Soon As Possible

Argentina Ready to Sign MOU on Joining the Belt and Road Initiative As Soon As Possible

May 28 (EIRNS)–In a lengthy interview with the Spanish-language edition of China Today published May 18, Argentine Ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, underscored that while President Alberto Fernandez was unable to travel to China in early May to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he is absolutely committed to doing this as soon as conditions permit him to travel, or alternatively, to sign the MOU virtually during this year’s biannual Belt and Road Forum.

Vaca Narvaja, who is an expert on China, noted that of course Argentina seeks to maintain a positive, “mature” relationship with the Biden administration, but pointed out that China is Argentina’s “main investor and financier.” China’s strict protocol for quarantining foreign visitors makes it difficult for the President to travel right now, because of the time this would involve, but, he continued, “it’s an option to sign the MOU for the Belt and Road if the President’s trip is put off much longer. We want to sign it as soon as possible because we already announced it, and because our government’s decision is to deepen even further its relations with China.” The bilateral relationship “is central for our President,” he said. “China is one of the countries at the top of his travel agenda.”

China and Argentina, he said, are about to renew a five-year development perspective including 16 to 20 development projects worth $30 billion, to be presented soon to China’s National Development and Reform Commission and to the Argentine Foreign and Finance ministries.. Those projects include railroad construction, telecommunications, energy–including a new nuclear plant with China’s Hualong technology–science and technology, “everything that has to do with bioceanic corridors…and working on the possibility of improving our rail lines and highways to have access to both the Atlantic and Pacific.” In this context, he emphasized the necessity of Latin America forging its own economic integration, having a long term development perspective just as China does, and pointed to ASEAN and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as examples of Asian integration. “If we don’t integrate and begin to think on a level of scale, our relationship will be more difficult,” he warned.

“China is a sufficiently large market for us to think about a continental strategy and this must be a policy of state for our governments,” he insisted. ”Our relationship with China should be an excuse to work for the long term in the region.” Latin America, he said, “should have its own Belt and Road and its own infrastructure plan linked to [China’s] Belt and Road Initiative.” China’s economy and those of Latin American nations are complementary, so, he emphasized, “we have a lot of potential for joint development and the Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure plan for humanity.”


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Broadcast ‘Dialogue, Ideas Matter’

Dec. 3 (EIRNS)–The following is a transcript, done by EIR, of the Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 broadcast on CGTN of “Dialogue,” with Helga Zepp-LaRouche as a guest.

XU QINDUO: [recording starts in progress] … achieved over the past eight years, what are the concerns behind it, and how does it embody Green development? To discuss these issues and more for the first part of the program, I’m joined by Shiran Illanperuma, research analyst at Econsult Asia, and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and president of the Schiller Institute. For the second part of the program, I’ll also be joined by Erik Solheim, president of the Green Belt and Road Institute. That’s our topic; I’m Xu Qinduo.

Welcome to the show, Helga. For starters, how do you evaluate China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the BRI, over the past eight years?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think it has changed the world for the better. It is historically the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the history of mankind. I think with all the attacks on it recently, there is a very good way of looking at it, and that is to imagine that it would not exist. Just imagine if Xi Jinping would not have announced the New Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road and all these projects would not have been undertaken. The world would be in a much worse situation. You would have much more poverty; the pandemic would still be here. However, the developing countries would not have received a lot of help from China, because it was this civilizational contribution by China to first lift its own population — 850 million people — out of poverty. And then have the economic strength to offer to the developing countries the model and offering them to do likewise by applying the same economic principles. So, I think the world has changed for the better in ways it never has happened in history before, and I think this will be recognized eventually by everybody; including those people who don’t seem to be so happy with the existence of the Belt and Road Initiative, because they will recognize in the coming period, which will be characterized by more upheavals, inflation, even a hyperinflation in the Western liberal system. You will have new waves of the pandemic because these other countries did not manage as well as China to deal with it. And in the end, it will be clear that the cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative is really the savior of civilization.

XU: Jiran, if you look at the Belt and Road Initiative, in particular for the developing world — more investment, more trade, more connectivity — it is a good thing in particular for developing countries, right?

SHIRAN ILLANPERUMA: Yes, I would definitely agree, especially coming from Sri Lanka, which is situated in the Indian Ocean very strategically close to some of the busiest shipping lines in the world. For example, the Hambantota Port, which was an investment from China, is situated just ten nautical miles off the shipping route. So, building that regional connectivity is really beneficial for Sri Lanka, as well as for its neighbors.

XU: Helga, the China-Laos Railway constructed in the BRI is the first international railway mainly funded and constructed by China, directly connected with the Chinese railway network after the proposal of the BRI in 2013. So, how significant is it to Laos? And how important is it to the BRI?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is one of the most exciting projects I know of, because Laos has so far not been a very developed country. And by having a high-speed railway connecting Kunming with first Laos, but then beyond that to Singapore, Thailand. This connects ASEAN with China; it opens up the connectivity for Laos for eventually the entire Belt and Road infrastructure. Also, it’s not just a railway, even so it is very exciting and it will be very high-level technologically. But infrastructure corridors which always develop out of such transport lines open up the potential for the real industrialization of the country. So, I think this is a major breakthrough, and I think given the rather desolate condition of the railway system in the United States and Europe, I think people will go to Laos and Laos can be proud of having such a modern system, which will be a shining example for many other countries around the world.

XU: Shiran, you talked about the Hambantota Port. In 2017, Sri Lanka and China signed this deal with the leasing of Hambantota. Then there were criticisms — mostly from Western media — that Sri Lanka was forced into the deal, afterwards it was lured into a “debt trap” with easy access to Chinese money. What do you make of that criticism?

ILLANPERUMA: I think it’s nonsense, basically. The facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately, this narrative has been forward as you say by the Western media. But not just Western media. It has been picked up locally as well, whether it’s politicized or deliberate misinformation, that’s another topic. But if you just look at the facts, only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt is to China; 50% is to international sovereign bonds, most of which are held by US banks and financial institutions. We have the same amount of debt to China as we do to Japan or the ADB, but nobody says we have a Japanese of ADB debt trap. So, that’s one thing.

Then, on the other hand, if you look at the facts of the case, Sri Lanka never actually defaulted on the loan that it took for the Hambantota Port. What happened was that in 2017 there was a huge balance of payments crisis, which forced the government to go to the IMF and then later it disinvested from Hambantota Port. But as you said, that was a 99-year lease that was given to a Chinese company, and we got an infusion of US$1 billion for that; something around that amount. That was not used to settle debt or anything like that. It was used to buffer our reserves. So, there was no debt default, there was no debt [ inaudible ] or anything of the sort.

XU: One thing is like a prominent feature of building infrastructure — it’s long-term. And also, it takes a long time to see positive results; usually like you are building a road, when does your return come back? It takes years, right? If you look at this Hambantota Port, experts say, “The Chinese-built Hambantota Port is expected to create 200,000 jobs and contribute $11.8 billion to the Sri Lankan GDP per year.” How do you evaluate the potential of the port?

ILLANPERUMA: As you said, the potential is huge. And it’s not just the port, because the port is kind of a catalyst for a lot of other things. Sri Lanka has traditionally lagged a bit behind in terms of manufacturing. The port has an industrial park adjacent to it which is also operated as part of the port. So far, there has been investments of $300 million into a tire factory; there’s been a plug-and-play electronics manufacturing factory; there have been deals signed for ship building, yacht building specifically. So, there’s a lot of potential to create jobs, and for Sri Lanka to improve its exports. Because of the way it’s situated in Hambantota Port, there is a lot of agricultural land as well as land that can be used for industrial investments. So, the potential is quite huge, and already I can tell you that there are a lot of locals who are employed there in the RO-RO facilities at the Hambantota Port. So, that’s quite a lot of potential for Sri Lanka to improve its exports, its regional connectivity, and tap into global value chains.

XU: There’s a criticism for Chinese, they say there is a lack of transparency and it’s increasing Chinese influence, or even Chinese military influence. So, what’s your response to that, Helga?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The argument that it’s just to increase the military influence is sort of ridiculous, given the fact that the United States has about 1000 bases around the world, and China has a meager one or two. But I think more important is not to just look at the label. I think what’s behind it is an ideological difference. I think this has been expressed most clearly by the head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, who in his new book, Stakeholder Capitalism, says the famous sentence that “The real problem is overcoming poverty, because that desire to overcome poverty is what causes the climate catastrophe.” So, for these people, real development is the problem, because it supposedly according to their wrong science, damages the planet by causing climate change. Which is obviously completely wrong. What China is doing, look at what happened at the FOCAC meeting where China again for the I don’t know how many times, is forgiving the debt to the least developed countries. That has not been done by the countries of the Paris club likewise. But I think this ideological question that that there is a Malthusian faction who do not want the developing countries to develop. I think that has been left out of the discussion so far, but without recognizing that that is the motive, and it’s in the old tradition of Malthus, of the British Empire. It’s the same philosophy as what was behind the Opium Wars, or what was behind the British policies in India, and Africa for that matter. Nothing has changed in terms of this colonial outlook, which is the idea that the developing countries should stay undeveloped and be just the reservoir for raw materials for the rich countries.

If you look at the behavior during the pandemic right now, where the rich countries were hoarding vaccines, they were not trying to distribute masks and other medical supplies. We have now the result of that in the form of the pandemic spreading with omicron and mutations which are the result that you cannot leave pockets of the world without medical help. Then you get that as a result. So, I think we have reached a point where we need a complete change of the system. I think the model China has offered so far is the best available on the planet.


Putin and Xi Jointly Launch Construction of Four Nuclear Plants in China, Emphasize “Innovation-Based Development”

May 20, 2021 (EIRNS) – The presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, both participated in a videoconference hookup yesterday to launch the beginning of construction of four new nuclear plants in China, based on Russian technology. These are two units each at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in the city of Lianyungang, and at the Xudapu nuclear plant in Huludao district in northeastern China.

The two presidents chose to make this a major policy-shaping occasion for their two countries, as well as one globally focused on the role of innovation and scientific and technological cooperation in achieving development. “It is necessary to strive for innovation-based development and to strengthen scientific and technical cooperation in the nuclear sphere,” Xi Jinping stated, reiterating that the two countries had agreed “to make a sizable intellectual contribution to the innovation-driven development of the global nuclear sphere.” The Chinese president asserted that “our countries have been providing each other with solid support and have been engaged in close and effective cooperation” in many areas, and that “energy has always been the biggest and most successful branch in our practical cooperation while nuclear energy cooperation has been its strategic priority. We are jointly upgrading our cooperation in this area and have already put into operation a host of major projects.”

Through their joint work, Russia and China will “make a sizable contribution to the global development of nuclear energy,” Xi stated.

Putin responded by effusively greeting “President Xi Jinping, my dear friend,” emphasizing that “Russian and Chinese specialists are working on this flagship joint project which is truly a milestone. They are building powerful, modern Russian-designed nuclear reactors that meet all safety and environmental standards. It is planned that they will start operating as soon as in 2026–2028, which, as President Xi just said, will be a solid contribution to China’s energy security.”

Putin emphasized “Russia’s unique high technology capabilities in industrial production,” adding that “President Xi and I determined the main areas of our genuinely close partnership, the cooperation between Russia and China on nuclear technology, during my state visit to China in 2018… It can be said that Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history.”

The Russian President then stated: “Returning to the topic of nuclear energy cooperation, I would like to note, with great satisfaction, that all the agreements reached at the highest level are being consistently and unfailingly fulfilled. In addition to the construction of new power units at the Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants, there are many other large Russian-Chinese initiatives that have been and are being implemented. These initiatives include an experimental fast neutron reactor built in China with Russia’s participation… Russia also supplied China with radionuclide heating blocks for the spacecraft that was the first in history to land on the far side of the Moon in 2019. We were extremely happy about your success, dear Chinese friends.”

“I am convinced that Russia and China will have many more ambitious and successful projects together. We are ready to develop our cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants, and innovative partnership in the development and implementation of low-carbon and other technologies.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the project is the biggest China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project to date.


Global Health Security Requires Medical Infrastructure in Every Country—Major Industrial Nations Must Collaborate Now!

PDF

May 14 (EIRNS)–The following statement was released today by the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, for the Global Health Summit in Rome, May 21, 2021, and for general circulation.

The only way that the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic can be stopped, is by re-thinking the solution. We must have modern health care systems in every country. This means infrastructure for public health, and for medical care delivery at modern standards, to all populations. One model for this is the U.S. Hill-Burton Act (“Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946,”) whose principle was to state how many hospital beds per 1,000 residents must be in each locality (at that time, 4.5), and deploy accordingly to build them, including modern equipment and staff.

Look at instances of our ability to do this today. The 1,000-bed Huoshenshan hospital was built in 12 days in Wuhan in 2020. In the U.S., multiple field hospitals were built in record time last Spring by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We must do this simultaneously around the world.

This means that all countries must work together to accomplish this. We must put aside tensions and conflicts for the time being.

There are new strains of the SARS CoV2 that are showing up, that are more aggressive, and more transmissible. These can make vaccines obsolete. “Many of these variants show enhanced transmission and, in some studies, enhanced disease,” was the report in April by Dr. Dan Barouch, an immunologist at Harvard Medical School, who helped develop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He said that the variants, “also have the property of being able to partially evade antibodies, and therefore raise the specter as to whether they may reduce vaccine efficacy.” We are in a race against time.

Thus, our response to the pandemic seen in these terms is a question of existential importance to the human species. It requires the cooperation of all major industrialized nations. A new paradigm of coordination among the United States, China, Russia and others is central.

In this spirit, a grouping was formed in June, 2020, called the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, to further such international collaboration on large-scale response to the crisis. Co-initiated by Helga Zepp LaRouche, founder and President of the Schiller Institute, and Joycelyn Elders, M.D., former U.S. Surgeon General, the Committee acts on the principle of the “coincidence of opposites” put forward by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), which pursues acting on the common good, and deters pitting sub-groups against each other.

The Committee has two pilot projects underway, embodying this principle concretely, in order to promote major government and institutional action. In Washington, D.C. in Ward 8, a team—involving youth leaders–is working to reach full COVID-19 vaccination rates, and initiate ongoing public health measures in the largely poor community. In Africa, a Committee shipment will arrive soon in Mozambique of combined medical, health, water, food and seed supplies, to make the point that both emergency and overall development measures are urgent at all points of need on the globe.

Health security is possible anywhere, only by provision everywhere of sufficient public health infrastructure and medical treatment capacity. This, in turn, depends directly on expanding water, power and food, which is associated with building up industrial capacity, as well as providing for adequate transportation, housing and other basics. Of necessity, collaboration among nations to deal with these tasks means deliberating on how to provide credit, and otherwise deal with the unstable, unjust financial system. Guidelines for a new paradigm for economic development were presented in a report “The LaRouche Plan to Reopen the U.S. Economy; The World Needs 1.5 Billion New, Productive Jobs,” (May 29, 2020, EIR, Vol. 47, No. 22)

Global Health Infrastructure

The following are summary elements of what is required for health security. For details, see, “LaRouche’s ‘Apollo Mission’ to Defeat the Global Pandemic: Build a World Health System Now!” from April, 2020, by the Schiller Institute.

Hospital systems. There is currently a huge deficit of hospital beds. Today’s world total of 18. 6 million beds needs to be nearly doubled to some 35 million, along with staff and equipment. This calculation is based on the metric set in the post-WW II U.S. “Hill Burton Act,’ for 4.5 beds per 1,000 residents in the community, in order to provide treatment for both routine and surge circumstances. After the U.S. approached this 4.5 beds per 1,000 standard in 1980, the level then dropped back to 2.8 today, due to privatization and deregulation of U.S. health care. The ratio is 0.7 for the nations in the category of “Heavily Indebted Poor Countries.” For example, South Asia is 0.7. Nigeria has 0.5 beds per 1,000, which has one fifth of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa.

A mobilization is necessary for building strategically located military-style field hospitals, in conjunction with vaccination campaigns, while at the same time, moving to launch longer-term construction of durable hospitals, continuing the crash mobilization mode. E.G. In Ghana, there is the national plan for multiple 100-bed hospitals. Depending on the number of beds in each new hospital, the world faces a need for 35,000 new facilities, especially in Africa, Ibero-America and Asia.

Health corps. Vast numbers of doctors, nurses, public health and related staff—technicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, dieticians, administrators, etc. are required worldwide. Meeting this need demands the spectrum of training, ranging from many more teaching hospitals, to thousands of youth training programs for invaluable community health service, beginning with today’s pandemic emergency. 
Water and sanitation. One fully-equipped hospital bed requires plumbing for at least 110-120 gallons of water a day. Every nation must have adequate water and sewerage. Today more than two billion people lack access to safe water, sanitation or both. The deployment of temporary sanitation facilities (which could be mass-produced and then distributed) will be a stop-gap measure, while durable improvements in infrastructure are constructed. Building largescale water management systems, for example, comprehensive river basin development in Africa and South America, along with littoral desalination—nuclear powered, as soon as possible—will end the extremes of drought and flooding, and provide millions of skilled jobs in the process.

Electricity. Modern medical treatment, including inoculation, is not possible without reliable, ample electricity, which of course is essential at large facilities. A large, modern hospital can use, roughly 19 million kilowatt hours per year of electricity for its many power requirements, including scanning and data devices, refrigeration, oxygen provision, ventilation, as well as lighting, cooking and cooling.

Science and technology. There must be an expansion of both basic research and development of technologies against diseases, including those affecting animals and plantlife. This is best done by collaboration among R and D institutions throughout the world. We must advance our understanding of viruses, such that in the near future we can do more than react to each new outbreak. In the immediate term, full collaboration on mass inoculation, and on anti-viral treatment regimens are essential to save lives.

“Food is medicine.” David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program reported May 7 that nine million people died from starvation in 2020, more than the official death toll of 3.24 million from COVID-19. “Food is the best vaccine against chaos,” he stressed, early in the pandemic. It is urgent to provide the $5 billion requested by the WFP for extra 2021 food relief, over and above current levels of aid. There are over 270 million people in acute need of food, and another 600 million with food insecurity. Ten nations are in terrible famine—with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other African nations in the lead, as well as Yemen, Syria, Haiti and other locations. In addition, interventions must be made to support independent family farming in many of the most highly productive agriculture regions in Europe, North America, Australia and South America, whose output is vital, but where the family farmer is being driven out of operation by the transnational food monopolies. Modern agriculture must be rapidly developed in Africa and elsewhere. The goal is to double food production, to ensure nutrition and health for all.

The Global Health Summit is the responsible representation of the world population in this moment of a crisis of Biblical dimensions. This meeting must not end without a decision to start a process of worldwide international cooperation for a crash program to build a modern health system in every single country on the planet, including the necessary infrastructure to sustain that system.


Schiller Institute Brings Haiti Development Plan to Spanish-Speaking Audience

Schiller Institute Brings Haiti Development Plan to Spanish-Speaking Audience –

Nov. 7 (EIRNS) – Some 40 people from nine countries in the Americas participated in a Spanish-language international dialogue on “The Schiller Institute Plan for the Development of Haiti” held Nov. 6 via Zoom video conference. The opening presentations were made by EIR’s Dennis Small and Plan co-author Cynthia Rush, followed by remarks from three respondents: Domingo Reyes (Dominican Republic, economist); Billy Anders Estimé (Haiti, co-founder of Café Diplo Haiti); and Caonabo Suárez (Dominican Republic, water expert). All three respondents emphasized the importance of the Schiller Institute’s global approach to solving the Haiti problem, denounced attempts to pit Haitians and Dominicans against each other, and urged the widest possible circulation of the Schiller Institute Plan (now available in English, Spanish, and French versions).  The dialogue lasted almost three hours, and is now posted on the EIR Espanol YouTube channel https://youtu.be/q8S7W8TB2ZQ . The countries represented were Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and the U.S.


President Xi Awards Highest Science Award to Two Scientists, Including the Developer of China’s Pebble-Bed Reactor

Nov. 3 (EIRNS)–The National Natural Science Award was given in a ceremony on November 3 at the Great Hall of the People by President Xi Jinping to Gu Songfen from the China Aviation Industry Corporation and Wang Dazhong from Tsinghua University. Professor Gu was the first to develop an original design for a Chinese jet fighter in the 1950s. He was also instrumental in pushing China at an early date to move into the area of stealth technology and artificial intelligence.

Professor Wang Dazhong was the chief designer of spherical nuclear fuel elements, which are essential for fourth generation pebble-bed high-temperature reactors. He was leading the work on the first demonstration reactor at Tsinghua University at a time when the world was moving away from this technology. As a result of his work, China has now constructed two commercial pebble-bed reactors in Shandong province, the first of which is to be connected to the electricity grid before the end of this year. With the lead in this technology, China is prepared to become a major producer of these reactors for export.


Afghanistan’s Drought and Water Crisis Worsening; 2,000 Health Facilities Close

Afghanistan’s Drought and Water Crisis Are Worsening; 2,000 Health Facilities Close

Oct. 25, 2021 (EIRNS)–Afghanistan’s collapse in physical economic and agricultural production, the implosion of its health system, as well as the threat to human life, has gotten worse over the last two months. The nationwide drought is intensifying, while the West applies a tourniquet to the flow of necessary funds.

Physical economic conditions never stay in a “metastable state;” they either get better or worse.

In June of this year, then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani officially declared a drought in Afghanistan. This was based on information from several agencies, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which declared that “80% of Afghanistan is exposed to serious drought”—30% to “severe drought,” and 50% to “serious drought,” comprising 80%—and the remaining 20% part of the country was exposed to “moderate drought.”

Richard Trenchard, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization director for Afghanistan, stated in late September, “This is the worst drought in 35–36 years. Many public institutions which provide a safety net, have ceased to function. Farmers have very little to fall back upon.”

Farming is being destroyed. The UN reported August 25, “Some 40 percent of [Afghanistan’s] crops have been lost to drought in the second massive water shortage in three years—further heightening food insecurity.” The World Food Program already reported that 14 million people in Afghanistan are food insecure, a number that is doubtless rising.

But the shortage of water is affecting not only agriculture, but the whole economy and society, which depends on water. A 2008 report reported “that drinking water supplies reach only 23 percent of Afghanistan’s total population… The country’s total sanitation coverage [is] only 12 percent.”

Two critical infrastructural sectors expose some of the crisis.

Afghanistan has only a combined approximately 100 private and public hospitals for a nation of 40 million people, a meager amount. The nation’s health system is run through a network of 2,200 “health facilities,” about 200 of which appear to be primary health clinics; it is not clear how large the other facilities are. These 2,200 facilities are run through an institution called Sehatmandi which is administered by the World Bank through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund and the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. It is funded through the World Bank, the European Union, Canada and Global Financing Facilities.

When the Taliban came to power in the period of August 17–18, these funding institutions cut off money. On September 30, Alexander Matheou, the Asia Pacific director of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies stated that “over 2,000 health facilities have closed.” He added that more than 20,000 health workers in the country were no longer working or were working without being paid; more than 7,000 of them are women. “People might agree to work without salaries for a few more weeks,” Matheou stated. “But once medicines run out totally, if you can’t switch on the lights, if you’ve got nothing to offer somebody who comes to your clinic, then they’ll shut the doors.”

Under intense pressure, on September 20, the Global Fund and the United Nations Development Fund signed an agreement to supply $15 million to the 2,200 health facilities. This is a drop in the bucket.

International donors pledged in October $1.2 billion to Afghanistan. But there are three roadblocks: 1) it is not clear how much of the pledged money will be really delivered; 2) it takes sometimes months for the money to get into the system; and 3) above all, the clinics are greatly inadequate, Afghanistan needs hundreds of new advanced hospitals, tens of thousands of skilled doctors and nurses, and so forth.

In the meantime, COVID is looming. Nine of Afghanistan’s 37 COVID hospitals have closed. Afghanistan has put a reported only 2.2 million COVID jabs into people; it has 1.2 million doses of vaccine waiting to be distributed, that haven’t been. They will expire by the end of the year.

This is pure and simple genocide.

As for water, Afghanistan has an annual surface water runoff water volume of 57,000 million cubic meters per year, which comes out to approximately 1,425 cubic meters/year per capita. This is insufficient, but would be a start. However, Afghanistan does not have an adequate water basin catchment system, and precipitation is not evenly distributed geographically.

In 2016, India spent $275 million to complete what is now called the “Afghan-India Friendship Dam” in Herat province on the Hari River. It will irrigate 75,000 hectares of land. But otherwise, new dam construction and broader water management hardly exists.

The U.S. is blocking more than $9 billion in Afghanistan’s central bank that belong to the Afghan people. The World Bank, IMF, and EU are blocking hundreds of millions more. (See the Schiller Institute’s demand for release of the Afghans’ funds at this link.)

These more than $10 billion, were they deposited in a fund under sovereign Afghan control, could be used to build hospitals, administer the COVID-19 vaccine; begin emergency food and water distribution; make down payments on dams and water management projects; build power stations, etc. Immediate building in Afghanistan must start.


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