This article appears in the February 12, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. Mike Billington
Escalating Toward World War IIIby Robert IngrahamFeb. 7—If they desire to live, well-meaning political leaders, military commanders, and the people of Europe and the United States must wake up from their self-imposed fantastical dreamworld. The ruthless crushing of the Martin O’Malley presidential campaign, an action taken by the Obama White House together with its masters in London and Wall Street, has now signaled a commitment by the British Empire and the Obama administration to rapidly escalate the war confrontation with both Russia and China. Everything which has happened so far—from Ukraine, to Syria to the South China Sea—is a mere prelude, a preface to what is now about to unfold. A terrifying scenario is upon us.
As Matthew Ogden characterized recent remarks by Lyndon LaRouche in the Feb. 5, 2016 LPAC Webcast, “the abrupt termination of the O’Malley presidential campaign, even before the final Iowa results were announced, was [a signal] that leading British circles, controlling the Barack Obama Presidency, are desperately escalating their preparations for war against Russia and China. The actions against O’Malley were, in effect, a red-dye indication of the war preparations already well underway. The fact that there were escalating British Crown provocations against Russian President Vladimir Putin, coincident with the actions against O’Malley, sealed the case.”The top-down decision to force O’Malley from the presidential race was taken mere days after Lyndon LaRouche had identified O’Malley as the only viable candidate around whom a new Presidency could coalesce, a Presidency whose first order of business would be to terminate the murderous speculative activities of Wall Street. It was the specter of a LaRouche-influenced O’Malley Presidency which forced the hand of Obama and his friends, and which has now catapulted them into a desperate flight forward.
I. Casus BelliSome analysts offer the opinion that it is the crisis and disintegration within the trans-Atlantic banking and financial system which is propelling Western leaders to opt for war. That is only apparently true, and ultimately represents misinformed opinion. Rather, there are two far more urgent considerations confronting the oligarchs and pseudo-oligarchs of London and Wall Street. The first of these is the reality of the catastrophic collapse of the productive economies of both Europe and the United States, a collapse that began in the 1970s but which has escalated non-linearly, since the repeal of Glass-Steagall, during the last fifteen years of the Bush and Obama presidencies. This collapse includes both an ongoing destruction of the physical economy, that is, industry, infrastructure, and science, as well as the destruction of the cognitive powers of the workforce, in terms of skills, education, and culture. The starkest example of this take-down of productive potential has been the almost complete annihilation of the remaining U.S. space program by Barack Obama.This ongoing, escalating collapse of productive capabilities has created two problems for the forces of Empire. On the one hand, since the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the entire trans-Atlantic financial system has been transformed into a speculative house of cards, with gambling bets being multiplied daily and hourly, the whole multi-quadrillion dollar edifice of paper becoming ever more precarious by the minute. Yet, at the end of the day, those financial obligations rest on top of a physical economy which is disappearing and a workforce which is being driven into the ground. The physical means to sustain the gamblers’ carnival no longer exists as of 2016. The U.S. and European physical economy—and the humongous financial parasite which feeds off of it—is going, going, gone. In response to this reality, some people will jump out of windows; others will go to war.The second, and from the imperial viewpoint, more urgent problem associated with the collapse of the trans-Atlantic economy is that, simultaneous with this process of western physical decay and death, the world has also witnessed the explosive economic and scientific emergence of Russia and China, as well as several other nations associated with them through the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Chinese “One Belt, One Road” policy. China, Russia, and their allies are now surpassing the West in terms of manufacturing, energy production, basic science, and space technology and exploration, and this gap is widening rapidly. The reality that a new China/Russia-led world is coming into existence—a world directionality which is increasingly determined by this explosive growth of productive potential—is a mortal threat to the interests of the British Empire and Britain’s self-obsessed puppet Barack Obama. A future world, wherein the outlook of the win-win philosophy of Xi Jinping becomes hegemonic, is a world in which the British Empire will no longer exist and the oligarchical outlook will be obliterated.To put the reality of the strategic disparity into tangible terms, consider:China is now the largest manufacturing economy in the world, with a 22% share of manufacturing activity. The United States is in second place with a 17.4% share. Between 1992 and 2012 China has gone from 7th to 1st place; Russia went from 17th place in 2002 to 7th in 2012; and India went from 16th to 9th place. During this same period, manufacturing output in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy dropped, and dropped precipitously in some cases.In 2000, the United States produced 102 million metric tons (mmt) of steel. China, India, and Russia combined produced 214 mmt. By 2014, U.S. production had dropped to 88 mmt, while the production of China, India, and Russia leaped to 1,001 mmt, a 500% increase. China now produces ten times as much steel as the United States. (An even starker picture emerges if one looks at the 1967 figures, when the U.S. produced 115 mmt, and China and India combined produced only 20 mmt.) As of 2015, the United States is now the largest steel importer in the world.There were almost 18 million Americans employed in manufacturing jobs in 1998 (already substantially down from the post-World War II peak in 1979 of 20 million). By 2010, this figure had declined to slightly over 11 million, a decline of more than 35% in twelve years. Despite the much ballyhooed Obama campaign (and its phony statistics) to bring manufacturing jobs back to America, this picture has not changed in the last six years. Seven million American factory jobs have simply vanished in the “post-Glass-Steagall era” since 1999, many from the most advanced U.S. industries and machine tool sectors. Today, “public services,” as well as finance, insurance, and real estate all surpass manufacturing in employment.Even more dramatic has been the ongoing decay and collapse in education, water delivery systems, electricity generation, transportation, and other crucial infrastructure in America. Space does not permit a full description of all of the particulars of this collapse in productive capabilities here, nor an examination of the ongoing destruction of the culture, cognitive levels, and productive skills of the American population. One has only to look at the possibility that Flint, Michigan, could soon vanish as a city due to the lead poisoning of its residents from untreated local river water, to gain insight into the current state of physical breakdown in the United States.
CC/KhalidshouMeanwhile, since 2007—i.e., in only nine years—China has built over 12,000 miles of high-speed rail lines, with 7,000 additional miles planned for completion by 2020. In nuclear technology, in addition to China’s already operating 31 nuclear power plants, there are now 23 more plants under construction, which will bring the total to 54. Additional reactors are also planned, including some of the world’s most advanced. China’s current Five Year Plan includes provisions for building six to eight new nuclear power plants a year up to 2020, at which time it will increase to ten new plants a year.In the field of nuclear fusion, on Feb. 3, 2016 China’s Institute of Plasma Physics reported that experiments on its EAST superconducting tokamak had successfully created a sustained hydrogen plasma for a record 102 seconds. The goal of EAST is to reach 100 million degrees in the plasma and operate for 1,000 seconds, towards an eventual steady-state operation, which will be required for commercial fusion power production.
Space Exploration and the GalaxyAs LaRouche PAC leader Kesha Rogers has declared, in terms of a national policy orientation that provides the platform for the future generation of new scientific and productive potentials, the greatest crime of the Obama administration has been the take-down of the U.S. space program. When Obama ended the Constellation Project in 2009, he effectively terminated the fifty-year U.S. space effort.On Feb. 3, 2016, the same day as the breakthrough in fusion energy research was announced, China’s Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced that China is planning its next manned space launch, the Shenzhou-11 mission, for later this year. Also, in 2016, China will launch its second orbiting module, Tiangong-2. The Tiangong series is designed to develop and test the technology that will be needed for the full-sized, manned station in the next decade. There will be further test launches of China’s rockets this year, including the heavy-lift Long March 5, which is needed to launch the station modules and other heavy payloads, and the medium-lift Long March 7, which will launch the future unmanned cargo vehicle, Tianzhou.Earlier this year, on January 14, China announced the Chang’e-4 mission, a project to land a rover on the far side of the Moon, possibly as early as 2018 (see accompanying articles in this issue). Another lunar mission, the Chang’e-5, is scheduled to land on the Moon in 2017 and return lunar samples to Earth.Meanwhile, the Feb. 3 issue of Popular Mechanics reports that Russian engineers are creating increasingly detailed designs for a future manned lunar lander.Let there be no unclarity. These Chinese and Russian space efforts represent the future of the human race, because they represent what the human being actually is, in his innermost nature, as different from and opposed to any animal. Discoveries about the processes of our solar system and our galaxy, new scientific breakthroughs, new technologies and inventions that can revolutionize human affairs on Earth—this endeavor is now being aggressively pursued by China, Russia, and their friends. If allowed to develop, this future will leave the institutions and axioms of the British Empire in the dustbin of history.
The Bigger Issue for the MonarchyPlease take note: None of what has been discussed so far is occurring in a timeless vacuum. To understand “the why and the how” of how world events are proceeding, it is absolutely necessary to view the current state of affairs through the eyes of the last three to four generations of British oligarchs.Beginning in 1900 Bertrand Russell authored a battle-plan, on behalf of the British Empire, to put the “Renaissance Genie” of human development back inside the lamp. Together with his allies, such as David Hilbert, Russell launched attacks on Gottfried Leibniz, Bernard Riemann, Albert Einstein, and others. His intention was to destroy the Renaissance tradition in science and to impose a linear, logical view of the universe, one in which human creativity—that is, actual human nature—is deemed not to exist. Russell’s view is that of the Malthusian British imperialist, of the type that has always hated the human species.This is not simply a topic for scientists or mathematicians. The Florentine Renaissance of Brunelleschi and Cusa had created the culture from which the founding of the United States of America sprang, and the “republican virus” of the American Revolution had led, particularly after the Union victory in the U.S. Civil War, to the spread of American Ideals throughout the world. The Russia of Alexander II, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, and—most importantly—the Germany of Bismarck all represented, in their own ways, the American policy to eradicate the bestiality of Empire.
Russell’s job was to turn back the tide. Joined by others, such as H.G. Wells and Prince Philip, Russell battled throughout the Twentieth Century to destroy science, destroy classical culture, and to impose a policy of worldwide population reduction which would end human progress forever.Unfortunately for the Monarchy, things don’t always go their way, as seen in the case of Franklin Roosevelt or the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. And things are not going their way right now. If the progress and optimism engendered by China and Russia are allowed to proceed, rule by empire is finished. Yet, the British, with their puppet-on-a-string Obama, are fiercely committed to their own agenda, the agenda defined by Russell. They will not yield. Thus, the stage is set. The drama proceeds. It is not that everyone wants world war. But that, most certainly, is the trajectory. Blunders, bluffs, and miscalculations will all add to the danger.
II. Financial Armageddon and RearmamentSince January 1, 2016, that is, within just the last 38 days, major U.S. and European bank stock values have crashed by more than 30%. On February 1, the German financial mouthpiece Handelsblatt declared that “Deutsche Bank is in a free-fall,” adding that the real center of the collapse of European finance is not on the periphery, i.e., Greece, Portugal, or Spain, but is centered in Germany and France, the industrial heartland of Europe. One financial publication estimates that Deutsche Bank, the largest foreign exchange dealer in the world, is sitting on a pile of debt that is 70% “impaired.” On Feb. 4, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that BlackRock and Qatar, the two largest shareholders of Deutsche Bank, might pull out if things get worse. Other institutional investors have long since sold their shares. Union Investment, a German fund owned by the Raffeisen (cooperative) banks and credit unions, has halved its Deutsche Bank equities and warns of investing in shares altogether. One analyst stated that European leaders are now desperate to hide the actual nature of the crisis, “the real European problem: a giant financial black hole being created in Germany.” Deutsche Bank alone holds 64 trillion Euros of derivative investments, five times the GDP of the 19-country Eurozone.
CC/EpizentrumThe banking sector on both sides of the Atlantic is crashing down. While Deutsche Bank shares have fallen by 35%, those of Citicorp have sunk by 22%, Goldman Sachs by 6%, JP Morgan Chase by 14%, Morgan Stanley by 23%, Bank of America by 22%, and Credit Suisse by 22%.As financial expert Claudio Celani reported in the Feb. 5, 2016 issue of EIR, on Jan. 26 the entire European banking system came within a hair’s breadth of collapse, which was only prevented by a decision of the European Commission to allow a bail-out of bad Italian bank loans, in violation of its own explicit rules.As to the real physical economy, in the United States, mass layoffs in January were 42% higher than in January 2015, and a whopping 218% more than in December 2015. Retail cut the most jobs, with 22,246 announced mass layoffs—a seven-year high—and the energy sector was a close second, with the 20,246 mass layoffs. Texas was the state worst hit in the nation, followed by Arkansas, Ohio, and Virginia.Meanwhile, the January monthly survey by the U.S. Federal Reserve of loan requests from the manufacturing and commercial sector shows a dramatic decline—more than 11%.
On the Hair TriggerOn Feb. 2, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter delivered a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, a speech wherein he presented what can only be characterized as a military budget for World War III. Naming both Russia and China as the two primary strategic threats to the United States, Carter announced that the Obama administration will be requesting $3.4 billion for the “European Reassurance Initiative,” way up from the current $789 million, to fund an expanded U.S. military presence in Europe, more training, more exercises, and more pre-positioned equipment, all designed to “respond theater-wide if necessary.” At the same time, the Carter/Obama budget plan also calls for $13 billion for a new ballistic missile submarine over the next five years, to replace the current fleet of Ohio-class submarines, and it stresses the need to fund all three legs of the U.S. strategic deterrent “triad”—not only the new submarines but also new nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles and a new bomber for the Air Force.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. IkaOther Obama Administration spokesmen have also emphasized that it is the targeting of Russia and China, not the “war on terror,” which dominates what passes for thinking in the White House. On Feb. 4, an interview with Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was broadcast over all major TV and radio outlets in the Washington, D.C. area. Clapper bluntly declared, “ISIL is not a mortal enemy of the United States. It causes harm and can kill our people. But it can’t inflict mortal damage to the United States. Russia can.” He stressed the nuclear capability “that could render great harm to this country,” and warned that Russia is “on a very impressive campaign to modernize its military in all its dimensions.”On Feb. 4, Obama’s lapdog, the bitch-in-heat Hillary Clinton, went all in for a confrontation with Russia. Asked about Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s plan to massively build up advanced nuclear military forces on Russia’s borders, Hillary said, “What Secretary Carter is looking at is the constant pressure that Russia’s putting on our European allies. The way that Russia is trying to move the boundaries of the post-World War II Europe. The way that he [Putin] is trying to set European countries against one another, seizing territory, holding it in Crimea. Beginning to explore whether they could make some inroads in the Baltics . . . We’ve got to do more to support our partners in NATO, and we have to send a very clear message to Putin that this kind of belligerence, that this kind of testing of boundaries will have to be responded to. The best way to do that is to put more armor in, put more money from the Europeans in so they’re actually contributing more to their own defense.”On the same day as the Clinton speech, the Turkish government, in defiance of the Open Skies Treaty, blocked a Russian crew from flying an observation flight over Turkey. The next morning, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov tied the Turkish refusal to evidence that shows Turkish troops are in the midst of preparations to invade Syria. Konashenkov stated, “The Russian Defense Ministry regards these actions of the Turkish party as a dangerous precedent and an attempt to hide the illegal military activity near the Syrian border. Moreover, the Russian party has reasonable grounds to suspect intensive preparation of Turkey for a military invasion of the territory of a sovereign state—the Syrian Arab Republic.” Russia is in possession of a video that shows the Turkish military shelling Syrian territory using heavy artillery positioned close to the border. Konashenkov stated, “This is what we call a fact. This is irrefutable proof that Turkish armed forces shell borderline Syrian settlements with large-caliber artillery systems.”
Russian Ministry of DefenseEscalation in the region is not merely coming from Turkey. Recent decisions have been announced by the Obama administration to send more troops and military equipment to both Iraq and Syria, which in the case of Syria is a direct violation of both Syrian sovereignty and international law. Additionally, on Feb. 5 the government of Saudi Arabia announced its desire to send ground troops to Syria to aid the anti-Assad “rebels” in their efforts to topple the Syrian government, an action which would put them in direct military conflict with Russia.Desperate diplomatic efforts to diffuse the escalating conflict—most particularly those of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in pushing forward Syrian peace talks in Geneva—are being sabotaged by Obama and Obama’s controllers in London. Under direct pressure from Obama, Kerry’s State Department was forced to add five names to the so-called “Magnitsky List”—a list of leading Russian individuals sanctioned by the U.S. government for supposed human rights violations. This act, a blatant affront to Putin and the Russian government, came just days after the Treasury Department issued the scurrilous attack on Putin personally, as “corrupt,” and the simultaneous release in London of a judge’s report which states that the 2006 death of Alexander Litvinenko was “probably” ordered directly by Putin. All of this is intended by the murderer Obama and Buckingham Palace to poison the well in Geneva and destroy the peace talks.
On the Other Side of the WorldOn Feb. 1, Global Times, a publication put out by People’s Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published a lead editorial warning that the United States is preparing for war, nuclear war, against China. It called for China to “accelerate its speed of building up strategic strike capabilities, including a nuclear second-strike capability.”The Global Times editorial references the U.S. deployment of a warship within the 12-mile limit of one of its islands in the Xisha (Paracel) Islands on Jan. 30, noting that this is not an unoccupied island, nor an artificially created island, but rather the Zhongjian Island “under China’s actual control, and China has released the territorial sea baseline of the Xisha Islands, including Zhongjian Island. Therefore, the U.S. provocation this time is more vicious.” The editorial goes on to state that this violation of Chines territory by the U.S. military has to be seen within the context of both the ongoing U.S. military occupation of the Philippines as well as a direct threat to the enormous sea trade by China through the South China Sea.On the same day as the appearance of the Global Times editorial, Chinese President Xi Jinping participated in a grand inauguration ceremony in which he awarded the ceremonial flags of the five reconstituted military theaters. After the singing of the national anthem, President Xi spoke, saying, “The establishment of the five theater commands and their joint operational institutions is of great and far-reaching significance in ensuring the People’s Liberation Army to be capable of fighting and winning battles and effectively safeguarding China’s national security.” Xi said the move to establish the theater commands and form the joint battle command system is a strategic decision by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Central Military Commission aimed at creating a strong military. He concluded by stating that the Chinese military should “always be prepared for war, so as to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
III. History to ConsiderIn his autobiography, Marshal of Victory, General Georgy Zhukov documents how the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany in June 1941 was an action taken, to a large degree, out of fear, weakness, and desperation. By 1941 the economy of the German Reich was collapsing, held together largely by slave labor and raw materials looted from conquered territory. German industrial output actually declined from 1936 to 1940. The ability of the Hitler government to fund and resupply the German military regime was actually disappearing. Despite intensive efforts by the British ruling class to entice Germany into attacking the Soviet Union, almost all of Hitler’s military advisors warned that this was a war Germany could not win.
Conversely, between 1938 and 1941, Soviet industrial output overtook and surpassed German production. The same is true for military armament. By 1941 the Soviets were outproducing Germany in tanks and other key equipment, and the gap was growing. The newer Soviet tanks and aircraft were also superior to their German equivalents. By June of 1941, the situation facing Hitler—in regard to going to war with Russia—was essentially “now or never,” as any further delay would only increase the growing gap in industrial and military capabilities.A very similar situation existed in 1914. Between 1880 and 1913, German coal production increased by 400%; steel production increased 500%; German rail lines increased from 5,000 km to 47,000 km; 50% of all European electric power generation was in Germany; other German manufacturing increased by 500%. A physical-economic-scientific power was developing that posed a direct threat to the global hegemony of the British Empire, an empire whose power was waning, and one which was largely sustained through colonial wars of extermination, drug-trafficking, and financial speculation. It was the growing weakness and fear within the Empire which impelled it to act.So today, we see the collapse of the trans-Atlantic region proceeding apace with the industrial and scientific Renaissance emerging from China and Russia. Will London respond any differently than in 1914 or than as Hitler acted in 1941? Under the Putin leadership, over a relatively very brief time span, Russia has achieved a startling revolution in its war-fighting and war-avoidance capabilities. That includes new generations of military equipment and well-trained personnel. Even the top NATO maritime commander recently congratulated the Russians on the technological leap in their submarine warfare capabilities.On Feb. 2, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a teleconference with the leadership of the Russian military leadership to review the progress of its modernization programs. The proportion of modern equipment in the Aerospace Forces has now reached 52%, with further deliveries of Su-35 fighters and Su-34 bombers, and Ka-52 and Mi-28N strike helicopters. They also discussed the resumption of production of Tu-160 strategic bombers and the implementation of automated planning systems and programs to improve the manning of the armed forces in general, among other things.Reviewing the staggering accomplishments of this effort for military modernization, one is struck forcefully by the similarity to what was accomplished under Stalin from 1938 to 1941.Responses to these developments from U.S. military analysts have been somber. Russia’s submarine fleet is now particularly feared, much more so than during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union had many more submarines. NATO submarines are seeing “more activity from Russian submarines than we’ve seen since the days of the Cold War,” Royal Navy Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, commander of NATO’s Maritime Command stated in an interview. He added that NATO submarines are encountering “a level of Russian capability that we haven’t seen before . . . the submarines the Russians are building are much better than anything they had before . . . Russia has made technology leaps that [are] remarkable, and a credit to them.”Johnstone’s comments followed, by days, an article in the Jan. 31 London Independent, which reported on the “shock” felt by Western military leaders who expected Russia’s military deployment to Syria to fail in short order, but instead have watched the Russian military sustain a complex operation at a high operational tempo for four months now. “Russian military jets have, at times, been carrying out more sorties in a day in Syria than the U.S.-led coalition has done in a month,” the Independent reported. “The Russian navy has launched ballistic missiles from the Caspian Sea, 900 miles way, and kept supply lines going to Syria. The air defenses installed by the Russians in Syria and eastern Ukraine would make it extremely hazardous for the West to carry out strikes against the Assad regime or Ukrainian separatists.”
* * *The American and European physical economies and productive capabilities are in a shambles, declining and dying day by day. The trans-Atlantic banking system and financial empire of derivatives is at the point of vaporizing. What will Obama do? What will Queen Elizabeth do? What do you think they might do?Lyndon LaRouche stated during his Feb. 4 national Fireside Chat:The question is this: There’s things we don’t know, but they are going to happen anyway. But we just have a lack of certainty among some issues, because we’re not in an effective place to take on everything all at the same time. But there’s no question that those of us who are intent on surviving this situation, surviving this period of history, are going to work with us, because it’s the only way we have available, to do any good.I’m not being pessimistic at all, because it’s possible that we could bring off, which would actually shut down some of the things that are actually being put into place; it’s possible. What we have to do, is concentrate on those conceptions, those options which do exist, and concentrate our attention on those options which we know are of a type which would be perfected, rather than trying to swarm around and trying to feel your way through the darkness. I don’t believe in feeling through the darkness. I believe in finding loopholes in which we can make a progress.It’s like the military thing, you know; troops were out there on the field sometimes, waiting for the signal to enter combat, and it probably didn’t happen at that time. But the point is, whenever this thing is in place, whenever it’s in place as it is now; and then you have to react accordingly. And I’m ready to react accordingly.There are things that can be done, which should be effective, in dumping Obama from the Presidency of the United States. That is the only thing, which will save the United States from self-destruction. So that’s what I’m working on, and that’s what I’m concentrating: It’s the only thing that could work, and should work.