February 19, 2018 in News by RBN Staff



by: Harley Schlanger

February 16 — In the last week, U.S. President Donald Trump has engaged in the kind of personal diplomacy he pledged he would conduct during his campaign, when he said he would seek friendly, cooperative and mutually beneficial relations with Russia and China, in contrast to the dangerous hostility generated by Barack Obama’s provocative confrontations with the two great powers.  On February 10, Trump welcomed Chinese State Councillor Yang Jeichi, and they discussed moving ahead with the diplomatic and economic agreements reached last November between Trump and President Xi Jinping, in their historic summit in China.  Trump asked Yang, who is China’s leading diplomat, to convey sincere regards to Xi, with whom he often says he has developed a “great” personal relationship.  He said that Washington is willing to strengthen cooperation with China, and push for more positive progress in bilateral relations.  Yang also met with National Security Advisor McMaster, and Secretary of State Tillerson while in Washington.

Two days later, Trump spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he opened by expressing his condolences for the loss of life from a tragic plane crash near Moscow, which had occurred the day before.  The statement released by the Kremlin on the call made note of Trump’s condolences.  In addition, they discussed collaborating to attain a lasting peace in the Middle East, joint efforts to defuse the crisis with North Korea, and other matters of “mutual concern.”

Ten days earlier, leaders of the three major Russian intelligence services had been in Washington, to meet their counterparts in the U.S. intelligence services.  The discussions were reported to be wide-ranging, taking up areas of cooperation including the war on terror and combatting drug trafficking, as well as an exchange of views on areas of potential conflict.  In commenting on an earlier visit, in late January, by Sergey Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, during which he met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats and others, the American Ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman, told a Moscow radio station that these were “probably the most important meetings on counterterrorism that we’ve had in a very, very long time, at the senior levels.”

In response to shrieks from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said that allowing the Russian officials to come to the U.S. was “an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump,” Pompeo took offense with the idea that “there was something untoward in officials from Russian intelligence services meeting their U.S. counterparts.”  In a letter to Schumer, he wrote, “we periodically meet with our Russian counterparts for the same reason our predecessors did — to keep Americans safe.”  He added, “We would put American lives at risk if we ignored opportunities to work with the Russian services in the fight against terrorism.”

While these developments are what one should expect from governments of leading nations, to seek collaboration to address crises which threaten to trigger new, dangerous wars, there is an altogether different dynamic coming from circles which violently oppose Trump’s efforts to break away from geopolitics-as-usual. This was on display during hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 13, when the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” was released.

In contrast to the diplomatic track taken by the President, his intelligence officials — including some who had just met with their Russian counterparts — used language to describe relations with Russia and China which echoed the worse extremes of the Cold War period.  DNI Coats opened his presentation by saying, “Frankly, the United States is under attack.”  He and others who spoke, including Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, reaffirmed their support for the statement released on January 7, 2017, which stated that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election.

This view was backed up by the language in the Threat Assessment report. “We assess that the Russian intelligence services will continue their efforts to disseminate false information via Russian state-controlled media and covert online personas about US activities to encourage anti-US political views. Moscow seeks to create wedges that reduce trust and confidence in democratic processes, degrade democratization efforts, weaken US partnerships with European allies, undermine Western sanctions, encourage anti-US political views, and counter efforts to bring Ukraine and other former Soviet states into European institutions.”
In his testimony, Coats said that since Russia believes that its past efforts at “disrupting” U.S. elections were successful, they will target the 2018 elections.  The U.S. must “stand up and say we’re not going to allow some Russian to tell us how to vote, how we ought to run our country.”  From this and similar statements, it seems that some of the intelligence officials appointed by Trump have accepted the line of the coup-plotting anti-Trumpers, that his election victory over Hillary Clinton was due to the meddling of Russia, under Putin’s direction.

No one on the Senate panel, including pro-Trump Republicans, asked if Coats and his colleagues believe the other part of the Russiagate fairy tale, that Trump colluded with Putin, making him a puppet of the Russian President!

There were also very bellicose comments directed at China, led by Senator Marco Rubio, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Executive Committee on China (CECC).  Rubio said that, while Russia is still a threat, “China is the biggest issue of our time.”  The CECC sponsored a conference on December 13, 2017 titled “The Long Arm of China: Exporting Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics,” a play on Xi Jinping’s characterization of his successful economic policy as “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.”  Speakers at the CECC conference included representatives of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has been a coordinating center for regime change under Bush and Obama, and the neocon-directed Hoover Institute.

A major focus of Rubio’s activities is shutting down China’s Confucius Institutes, which he describes as the leading edge of “China’s aggressive campaign to ‘infiltrate’ American classrooms, stifle free inquiry and subvert free expression both at home and abroad.”  FBI Director Wray chimed in, telling the Intelligence Committee that Chinese interaction in academic settings is a threat to the U.S., “whether it’s professors, scientists, students — we see [this] in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country. It’s not just in major cities. It’s in small ones as well, it’s across basically every discipline. And I think the level of naivete on the part of the academic sector about this, creates its own issues. What’s more, the Bureau is actively investigating some Chinese government-backed groups that facilitate dialogues between Chinese and American academics.”

Wray and Rubio are using the formulation coined by the NED, that China is deploying “sharp power” to undermine U.S. “democracy.”  This was the subject of numerous conferences in the last months, sponsored by neocon “think tanks” such as the NED, the Heritage Foundation and the Center for a New American Security, whose newly-appointed CEO is Victoria Nuland, who played a hands-on role in running the bloody regime change coup in Ukraine in February 2014, as well as in numerous tracts in publications such as {Foreign Affairs}, the journal of the establishment’s Council on Foreign Relations.  Among the “subversive” activities of the Confucius Institutes identified by Rubio, <>., is teaching American university students the Chinese language!

As Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp LaRouche has been emphasizing in her weekly webcasts, the real issue propelling the anti-China and anti-Russia polemics is not a military threat to the U.S. posed by those countries, nor a new imperial design to supplant the U.S., to replace “democracies” with “authoritarian” regimes — it is the fear of the imperial forces who run the neocons and the economic neoliberals that their bankrupt and discredited paradigm, based on free trade, austerity, and endless wars, is being replaced by a New Paradigm.  This New Paradigm is based on the concept of mutual development, what Xi calls “win-win” relations, and is centered on the appeal of the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI), as a global economic plan to bring into being new platforms of infrastructure, increasing the productive wealth of the nations which participate.  Unlike Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excludes China, the BRI and its related use of Hamiltonian-style credit generation is open to all countries, including the United States.

The reaction against China and Russia from small-minded characters like Rubio is that the success of the BRI threatens the privileged position of global finance, insurance, pharmaceutical, energy and raw material cartels, which are the only beneficiaries of the collapsing speculative financial system, and which fund the neocon, geopolitical think tanks which provide Rubio and his allies with their talking points.  Rubio was explicit in an op ed he wrote for CNN, on December 13, 2017, that it is the BRI which is the “threat” posed by China, to the collapsing Trans-Atlantic system.  He accused China of “expanding and modernizing its military conventional and unconventional capabilities,” while “using its economic might to extend the long arm of its geopolitical influence, especially through its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ — aggressively promoting infrastructure projects throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.”  (Perhaps someone should inform Rubio that it is not China, but the U.S., which has military forces deployed in more than seventy nations, and whose defense budget, now at nearly $700 billion, is larger than the next eight biggest defense-spending nations combined!)

This same argument against the BRI was put forward in a report by the think tank MERICS in Germany, which has taken the lead in China bashing.  In a rare moment of candor, the authors of a recent report provide an answer for the question, why is China so dangerous: “because it has a successful socio-economic model”! Instead of attempting to emulate the extraordinary success of China’s anti-poverty campaign, which has lifted 800 million Chinese out of poverty, those dependent on the old paradigm would have you believe that China is guilty of taking away the freedom of those who previously lived in conditions of desperate poverty.

These are the same networks behind the fraudulent Russiagate attacks on President Trump.  If Trump succeeds in bringing the U.S. into the New Paradigm, the old Wall Street elite and their City of London allies will find themselves deprived of their privileged position, based on looting 99% of the world’s population, and having to do some honest work for a living — if they manage to escape being jailed for their financial frauds.

While the Chinese leaders have calmly answered the outrageous slanders against them, there is a higher level on which they are acting, to inspire by example, to demonstrate that the principle underlying the New Paradigm is not hatred, but love of mankind.  This was the theme taken up by China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, during a celebration of the Spring Festival, at the Chinese Embassy on February 13.  Speaking of relations between the U.S. and China, he said, “Last year we saw important progress in our relationship.”  While we continue to have disagreements, “the agreements are important and dialogue will lead to a solution.”

He added, “People are all seeking better lives and all peoples are striving to achieve this. International relations are sometimes seen as competition for power, but people’s pursuit of happiness is common to all peoples.  And meeting the needs of our people should be our highest goal.”