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Pakistan’s PTV World Features Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Sep. 20 (EIRNS)–On Pakistan’s “PTV World” broadcast, Faisal Rehman hosted Helga Zepp-LaRouche of the Schiller Institute and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy, Jauhar Saleem. Rehman began by welcoming “Our guest, Ms. Helga!” with an opening question as whether the world had entered into a clash of civilizations. Zepp-LaRouche answered that she had read Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, and, first, it must be said that he knew very little about the civilizations that he wrote about.

Further, the world is not about “geopolitics but geo-economics” — employing the distinction recently made by Pakistani President Imran Khan. AUKUS is not the spirit of the time. The AUKUS attempt may even provoke something like de Gaulle’s response to NATO, as in 1958. This move has destroyed trust in Biden. He had just said, in pulling troops out of Afghanistan, that this was the end of an era; the end of useless wars. Was he serious? Or was it just to concentrate forces against China? This is not good for Biden, as trust in his word is undermined.

Rather, the New Silk Road is the pathway – and the Schiller Institute, by the way, has been on this pathway since 1991. So, does Australia want to be an aircraft carrier for this new military alliance? Or does it want an economic future for its own people? The situation is that there is a decaying neo-liberal system, and it has been refusing to respond to offers from China and Russia.

After a question and some discussion with Ambassador Saleem, Rehman turned back to Zepp-LaRouche, and asked: How would the U.S. and China, given the present conflicting positions, move ahead? Zepp-LaRouche set out that, objectively, neither China nor Russia represent a threat. There have been many offers on demilitarization from Putin — including to Germany, when he spoke, in German, to the Bundestag. And China has lifted 850 million of their people out of poverty. The BRI is not a threat. They are offering to developing countries to conquer poverty.

We need to take a step back. It is a nuclear-armed world, and there is the threat of war by accident, war by miscalculation. China’s Global Times clearly warned that China will fight and win certain conflicts, such as Taiwan. Therefore, we must stop geopolitics. In Afghanistan, David Beasley from the World Food Program made clear that 90% are hungry. Afghanistan’s Health Minister Majrood explained that 90% have recently been denied health care. The recent move to use the Extended Troika (of China, Pakistan, Russia and the United States) involves reaching out and collaborating to develop Afghanistan. It can be integrated into the BRI — and there is the offer to Europe and the US to join in. Pino Arlacchi, e.g, was able to conclude an agreement in 2000 with the Taliban on opium production.

There are presently two billion people in the world without access to clean water. We need a modern health sector in every country. Not doing so simply means that there will be more mutations, new variants and the defeat of the last round of vaccines. Clearly, this crisis requires a new paradigm. Afghanistan can be the new building block. The human species is the only one endowed with creative reason. We can find cures for a pandemic, for overcoming poverty, even colonizing Mars. You know, in February, the United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all had Mars missions at the same time. It is time to become an adult species.


Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

As Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment warned on September 13 that the country would plunge into an economic crisis unless frozen international reserves were released by the U.S. Treasury, there is a growing cascade of voices calling on the U.S. to do just that. These private sector representatives charged that the U.S. Treasury’s freezing of reserves is a violation of humanitarian law and reported that since the reserves were frozen, all transactions between Afghan and international banks have been halted.

Unless this situation is reversed, the country won’t avoid a deep recession, the representatives warned, according to TOLO News. “We call on the United States and the world to solve the issue with the frozen assets, because that money belongs to the people of Afghanistan. If you have political issues with the government or some people, you should not take people’s money hostage,” ACCI acting director Yunus Mohmand said. A fellow member of the ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozay, said that most of the factories are facing serious financial shortages and raw materials because they are unable to withdraw money, adding that in the last month over one million laborers have not been paid.

In addition, Afghanistan’s Health Minister, Wahid Majrooh, who had stayed on from the previous government, said that the Afghan health system is teetering on the edge of collapse, “We are losing personnel, we are losing lives, and the morale and momentum we had,” Majrooh said.  “The crisis is very, very extensive.”

Pressure is growing on the U.S.  to release the funds. On September 15th, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijjan said that the U.S. should release those Afghan Government assets which they have been holding in abeyance as the new Afghan government was in the process of formation. Zhao was replying to a question regarding the Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen’s call for release of the funds. “Shaheen is right,” Zhao said. “The assets belong to Afghanistan and should be spent for the Afghan people. The U.S. should not freeze them without justification. The U.S. should face up to the legitimate demand of Afghanistan, abandon pressures and sanctions, and stop creating obstacles to the economy, livelihood and peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”

One can also expect a clear statement from the upcoming SCO meeting as both Russia and China have indicated that the U.S. which is responsible for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan have got to take the primary responsibility for resolving the crisis. A first step in that direction would be releasing the funds to the present interim government before it is too late.


UN Aid Conference Insists, Act Now, or Afghanistan “Will Truly Enter the Abyss”

Sept. 14, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Sept. 13, United Nations conference in Geneva on aid to Afghanistan succeeded in raising $1.1 billion, beyond the original target of $606 million. But given the dramatic reports by speakers on the dire humanitarian crisis and the urgent need for food and medicine to avert imminent starvation of tens of millions of people, the $1.1 billion won’t suffice. The situation is so fragile that 1 million children are at immediate risk of starvation if their immediate needs are not met, the New York Times reported Sept. 13. “At least 10 million children depend on humanitarian aid just to survive,” UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta H. Fore told the Times*. The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 40% of Afghanistan’s crop has been lost this year, and the prices of basic food items are soaring. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is taking steps to help farmers so that they don’t miss the upcoming winter wheat planting season, and to keep life-sustaining farm animals alive, but the situation has been complicated by a severe drought. Over half of an average Afghan’s daily caloric intake comes from wheat, most of which is domestically grown, FAO director general Qu Dongyu, told the meeting.

World Food Program director David Beasley starkly warned that “14 million people—1 in 3—are marching to the brink of starvation…. On top of that, you have 14 million people in IPC2”—a category of acute food insecurity—“that are knocking on the same door, so if we’re not very careful, we could truly enter the abyss and see catastrophic conditions, worse than what we see now.” WFP estimates that 40% of Afghanistan’s crops have been lost for this year; the price of wheat rose by 25%, and the price of flour has doubled at local markets. Beasley stressed that a major concern is that 4 million people live in hard-to-reach areas, for whom, if food isn’t prepositioned before winter, “we will face a catastrophe. The time is now. We can’t wait six months. We need the funds immediately so we can move the supplies.”

Like other speakers, Beasley also warned, “if we’re not careful, and we’re not strategic, we could face mass migration, destabilization in the region, and for certain starvation for millions of Afghan people.” Beasley’s full remarks can be found here.

Making the same point, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the Geneva UN office, stressed that “Kabul’s traditional Western sponsors must provide active help to the country’s population to reduce or stop migration flows,” according to TASS.


Andrei Kortunov Warns Afghanistan Is on “Life Support;” No Time for Delay!

Sept. 14, 2021 (EIRNS)—In an interview with TASS published Sept. 13, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council Andrey Kortunov warned that, due to both U.S. and UN sanctions, Afghanistan faces the threat of famine. The country is now “on life support,” he said, because it depends entirely on assistance from international development institutes, the UN, the EU, and the U.S. In fact, David Beasley, director of the World Food Program, reported during yesterday’s UN conference in Geneva on aid to Afghanistan that 40% of its GDP comes from foreign aid, and 75% of its public spending from international funding. Kortunov admonished that, if the Taliban coming to power means there will be more sanctions placed on the country, it could jeopardize food deliveries. He told TASS that it will take an estimated $1 billion a month, minimally, to maintain basic social institutions and avoid hunger in certain regions—that is, $12 billion yearly.

Kortunov also highlighted the issue of who will control distribution of humanitarian and food assistance to Afghanistan. Take the case of Syria, he said, where the West claims that President Bashar al-Assad can’t be trusted to handle this task, so it’s left in the hands of international agencies and aid groups. “It is not to be ruled out that the same position will be taken in respect of the Taliban,” Kortunov said, explaining it would lead to a situation where the international community “will be ready to provide food assistance but on the condition that unimpeded access will be granted to the areas in need,” and the Taliban excluded from any decision-making as to whom aid should be delivered. In the Syrian case, Western arguments are simply a pretext for curtailing Syrian sovereignty under the guise of “humanitarian” protection. How this plays out in Afghanistan—a more complex situation—remains to be seen. The TASS article can be found here.


Four Times More GI Suicides than Killed in Battle

Four Times More GI Suicides than Killed in Battle

Sep. 6 (EIRNS)–One of the more striking statistics compiled by the Watson Institute at Brown University on the costs of war is that, since 9/11, more than four times as many US soldiers and veterans have committed suicide than were killed in battle. There were 7,057 killed in battle, and 30,177 suicides, further demonstrating the horrendous toll on soldiers sent into senseless and illegal wars.

A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study in 2019 on suicides by active duty U.S. soldiers since 1840 shows that the lowest number of such suicides in the 20th Century were in 1944-45, the last two years of a horrendous, but just, war, at 5 per 100,000 service members. This increased to 18 per 100,000 in the last years of the Vietnam disaster, and set the record high of 29.7 per 100,000 in 2012 during the Iraq and Afghanistan endless wars, staying above 20 since then.  Full story here.


Now More Urgent Than Ever: Afghanistan Is an Opportunity for a New Epoch for Mankind

~ Schiller Institute Webcast: Saturday, August 21, 12pm EDT ~

PDF of this invitation

Aug. 18 – With nearly all policy-makers and strategic analysts in the trans-Atlantic sector of the world in a clueless state of utter chaos and hysteria over the developments in Afghanistan, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche today convoked an urgent international seminar for this coming Saturday, August 21 to pursue the only available solution to the crisis: peace through development. The seminar will continue the prescient discussion held by the Schiller Institute on July 31, with many of the same panelists, as well as new ones.

Zepp-LaRouche drew a crystal clear picture in a webcast interview yesterday, Afghanistan: Opportunity for a New Epoch.

“First of all, I do not agree with the hysteria of the Western media that this is the end of the world. The first thing that must be stated, is that it ends 40 years of war for the Afghani people, and if people have any sense of what it means to live in such a long war, all the suffering of the civilians, all the terrible things people had to endure, in terms of drone attacks, in terms of anxiety, I think, first of all, it’s very good that the war has ended.

“I think it is, on the contrary, the real chance to integrate Afghanistan into a regional economic development perspective, which is basically defined by the Belt and Road Initiative of China. There is a very clear agreement of Russia and China to cooperate in dealing with this situation. The interest of the Central Asian republics is to make sure there is stability and economic development; and there is the possibility to extend the CPEC, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, into Afghanistan, into Central Asia. So, I think it’s a real opportunity, but it does require a complete change in approach.”

Zepp-LaRouche continued: “This is an epochal change… I think that if the European nations and the United States would understand that this is a unique chance, if they cooperate, rather than fight Russia and China and their influence in the region, and if they join hands in the economic development there… then this can become a very positive turning point, not only for Afghanistan, but also for the whole world.”

Zepp-LaRouche made a special appeal to the United States in remarks earlier in the day on Aug. 17: “The United States must go back to the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers and the initial period—such as John Quincy Adams–that the aim of the United States is not to chase foreign monsters, but to build alliances. John Quincy Adams said that the United States should have alliances of perfectly sovereign republics, and this is now the moment to really do that. The idea is to not oppose China linking Afghanistan into the Belt and Road Initiative, but rather see it as an opportunity to cooperate, and stop this geopolitical confrontation which can only lead to catastrophe.

She concluded: “That’s the kind of discussion which we have to catalyze.”

Here is the video archive link of the July 31, 2021 Schiller Institute conference on “Afghanistan: A Turning Point in History after the Failed Regime-Change Era”

Those speakers included:

Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany), Founder and President of The Schiller Institute; Pino Arlacchi (Italy), Sociology Professor at the Sassari University, Former Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, and former European Parliament Rapporteur on Afghanistan; H.E. Ambassador Hassan Shoroosh (Afghanistan), Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Canada; H.E. Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva (Russian Federation), Deputy Permanent Representative at the Mission of The Russian Federation to the UN; Dr. Wang Jin (China), Fellow with The Charhar Institute; Ray McGovern (U.S.), Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA-ret.), Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); Hassan Daud (Pakistan), CEO, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Board of Investment; and Hussein Askary (Sweden/Iraq), Southwest Asia Coordinator for the Schiller Institute.


Implement LaRouche’s 2010 Rebuilding Program in Haiti Now: The 2021 Earthquake Can Not Be Allowed To Be A Further Descent into Hell!

Had American statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s program to rebuild Haiti been implemented, in response to the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, which killed between 250,000 and 300,000 people, this impoverished nation would not be suffering the level of death and destruction so far wrought by the August 14 earthquake that measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. And the carnage will become much greater as a series of tropical storms hit, which are expected to be rolling in, perhaps one after another. 

As of August 17, reports are that 1,900 people are dead, 10,000 injured, and 37,000 homes have been destroyed. Homes, schools, supermarkets, and roads were leveled in the southern and western parts of the country. People are terrified. They have once again been abandoned by the United States and its international partners, left to perish in extreme poverty, disease, and misery.

Lyndon LaRouche immediately responded to the 2010 earthquake by calling for an emergency reconstruction program for Haiti, to which, he said, the U.S. had a special responsibility. He called on the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to first deploy to rescue and relocate up to 1 million homeless Haitians from Port-au-Prince to higher ground before the rainy season arrived and unleashed a dangerous health and sanitation crisis for these destitute citizens; he then proposed a comprehensive program to focus on building infrastructure—for sanitation, water management, irrigation, earthquake-proof housing, transportation, agriculture, etc.

LaRouche also recommended that the U.S. sign a 25-year treaty with Haiti, “a treaty agreement to reestablish the efficient sovereignty of the nation of Haiti, after the destructive effect of this and preceding difficulties. We make a contract with the government, as a treaty agreement, between the United States and Haiti, to assure the rebuilding of their country, in a form in which it will actually be a functioning country which can survive.” Those proposals are available here.

President Barack Obama rejected LaRouche’s proposals, and instead removed crucial economic and military aid, encouraging what became known as the “Republic of NGOs” — a large unwieldy network of foreign NGOs that had a lot of money to throw around but did nothing of any real substance. 

Years later, in 2017, when China’s Southwest Engineering Municipal Design Research Institute joined with the Haitian firm Bayti Ayiti to propose a $30 billion program to completely rebuild Haiti, with $4.7 billion to rebuild the capital, Port-au-Prince, with sanitation infrastructure, housing, and transportation, the IMF reportedly stepped in—EIR was told at the time—to make sure the proposal went nowhere.

On March 10, 2010, EIR published a 20-page package which detailed the programmatic solutions Haiti required and identified those monetarist political forces committed to keeping in place the Malthusian economic policies that had made Haiti so vulnerable to disaster, and which remain in effect today. That package is available here.


Blinken Attacks China; Wang Yi Says None of the ASEAN Nations Agree

Blinken Attacks China; Wang Yi Says None of the ASEAN Nations Agree

Aug. 7 (EIRNS)–The final conference of the week of ASEAN meetings this week, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, involved a larger group in the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States, Japan and Australia. U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, like the skunk who came to the picnic, decided to do something of a repeat of Anchorage, going after China’s alleged human rights abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. While there was no transcript to the meeting, it seems that Japan and Australia may also have chipped in on this. Wang Yi asked for the floor a second time to respond to the attacks.

Wang Yi said that as expected, the United States and other countries will use the multilateral platform to attack and smear China’s internal affairs. “These clichés are not worth refuting, and none of the ASEAN countries agree with you, but out of the principle of reciprocity, China certainly has the right to refute them. But for such abominable behavior, we will resolutely make refutation each and every time it comes up,” Wang asserted.


UN Security Council Unanimously Pushes for Afghan Political Solution

UN Security Council Unanimously Pushes for Afghan Political Solution

Aug. 4 (EIRNS)—In New York, the UN Security Council unanimously issued a press statement condemning deliberate attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and all instances of terrorism “in the strongest terms” on Aug. 3, while declaring its opposition to restoration of rule by the Taliban, reported The Associated Press. The council called on the Afghan government and the Taliban “to engage meaningfully in an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in order to make urgent progress towards a political settlement and a ceasefire.” The council statement also expressed “deep concern” at the high levels of violence and reported serious human rights abuses in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s offensive. It urged an immediate reduction in violence.

It is noteworthy that the U.S., China and Russia (as well as the U.K. and France) all agreed with this perspective on Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani by phone yesterday to press for a political settlement and lecture Ghani on democracy and human rights.

Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar told TOLOnews in an Aug. 2 interview that the Taliban enjoys the support of foreign terrorists in Afghanistan. “The Taliban relies on the support of foreign terrorists and mainly aims to attack cities,” he said. “Afghanistan’s international allies hold the same opinion.”

“Two important encounters will take place in Doha (Qatar) in the coming days: One with our regional allies and the other with international allies in the format of the Extended Troika,” comprised of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan, Atmar continued. “We are turning to the international community with a request to exert pressure on the Taliban so that this movement observes human rights. Up to now, the Taliban has been brutally assaulting civilians.”

On the ground, heavy fighting reportedly continues in both Herat in western Afghanistan and in the southern province of Helmand. Several airstrikes were reportedly launched by Afghan and U.S. air forces since Tuesday night (Aug. 3), according to security sources. The commander of the Army’s 215 Maiwand Corps, Gen. Sami Sadat, called on residents in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, to evacuate their homes as the army was preparing for a large-scale operation to clear the city of the Taliban. However, as of the latest reports, the army had not made much progress beyond controlling government buildings.


Climate Models: With Enough ‘Free Parameters,’ Data Will Confess to Anything

Aug. 3, 2021 (EIRNS)—One of the criticisms leveled against the climate models used to terrify the world with the unfathomable horror of a change of 1.5 degrees by the turn of the century, relates to how modelers deal with uncertainties.

The entire Earth is a very complex system to model, and our understanding of many of its processes—wind patterns, rainfall, ocean circulation—is incomplete. This means that models cannot claim to be based purely on fundamental physics and well-known laws of nature, the way a simple physics demonstration used in a classroom would.

Instead, each of the uncertain values that is incorporated into the final model has some “wiggle room” in the specific value given to it.

If there are only a few uncertainties, the model as a whole will have only a few adjustment points, and there may be a very small range of setting the uncertain parameters that results in the model accurately producing past data, against which it can be verified.

But if there are many “knobs” on the machine, so to speak, there can be many ways of adjusting them such that the model matches the past relatively well (given the extremely incomplete data, no one expects perfection), while offering wildly different predictions for the future.

Climate models have many free parameters, many knobs to adjust, such that their matching past data says little about their ability accurately to predict the future. In this sense, you can get the underlying climate data to confess anything you’d like about the future, including out- of-control warming.

The Executive Director of the CO₂ Coalition recently wrote about the origin of climate models: “The father of these models was Cold War military theorist John von Neumann, who wanted to see if we could cause drought in the Soviet Union. He failed, thank goodness. Von Neumann joked, ‘with four parameters I can draw an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.’”

Professor Will Happer uncovered a 2010 paper by Jürgen Mayer et al. (DOI: 10.1119/1.3254017) that does just that. They use a Fourier coordinate expansion with four complex parameters to successfully parameterize a shape resembling an elephant. And adding a fifth causes the trunk to move around as its path is traced.

(Unlike the cases in climate models, in this case there was no data against which to validate the parameters, so the authors were completely free to set them as they pleased.)

What can a climate modeler achieve with hundreds or thousands of free parameters?


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