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Intro: not a pretty picture

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: in this article, I will assume that there will be a US Presidential election in the Fall. Right now, it appears to be likely that this election will take place (there appear to be no legal way to cancel or delay it), but this is by no means certain (see here for a machine translated and very interesting article by one Russian analyst, who predicts a diarchy after the election). Right now, the state of the US society is both extremely worried (and for good reason) and potentially explosive. It is impossible to predict what a well-executed false flag attack could do to the US. There is also the possibility of either a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) or even an unnatural one (considering the condition of the US infrastructure, this is almost inevitable) which could precipitate some kind of state of emergency or martial law to “protect” the people. Finally, though at this point in time I don’t see this as very likely, there is always the possibility of a coup of some kind, maybe a “government of national unity” with the participation of both parties which, as Noam Chomsky correctly points out, are basically only two factions of what could be called the Business Party. There might come a point when they decide to drop this pretense too (just look at how many other pretenses the US ruling elites have dropped in the last decade or so).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to explain that all governments can be placed on a continuum ranging from, on one end, “states whose power is based on their authority” to, on the other end, “states whose authority is based on their power“. In the real world, most states are somewhere between these two extremes. But it is quite obvious that the US polity currently has gone very far down the “states whose authority is based on their power” path and to speak of any kind of “moral authority” of US politicians is really a joke. The (probable) upcoming “choice” between Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump and Joe “creepy uncle” Biden will make this joke even more laughable.

Right now, the most powerful force in the US political system must be the financial sector. And, of course, there are many other powerful interest groups (MIC, Israel Lobby, the CIA and the ridiculously bloated Intel community, Big Pharma, the US Gulag, the corporate media, Oil, etc.) who all combine their efforts (just like a vector does in mathematics) to produce a “resulting vector” which we call “US policies”. That is in theory. In practice, you have several competing “policies” vying for power and influence, both on the domestic and on international front. Often these policies are mutually exclusive.

Last, but certainly not least, the level of corruption in the US is at least as bad as, say, in the Ukraine or in Liberia, but rather than being on the street and petty cash level, the corruption in the US is counted in billions of dollars.

All in all, not a pretty sight (see here for a good analysis of the decline of US power).

Yet the US remains a nuclear power and still has a lot of political influence worldwide and thus this is not a country anyone can ignore. Including Russia.

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the “Putin regime” is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the “little guy” is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the “Washington consensus” types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed “social” and “patriotic” character and they absolutely horrified the “liberal” 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a “fraud”. None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, “bumpy” years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.

What can Russia reasonably hope for?

This is really the key question: in the best of situations, what can Russia really hope for in the next elections? I would argue that there is really very little which Russia can hope for, if only because the russophobic hysteria started by the Democrats to defeat Trump has now apparently been completely endorsed by the Trump administration and the all the members of Congress. As for the imperial propaganda machine, it now manages to simultaneously declare that Russia tried to “steal” COVID vaccine secrets from the West AND that Russian elites were given a secret COVID vaccine this Spring. As for the US Dems, they are already announcing that the Russians are spreading “disinformation” about Biden. Talk about PRE-traumatic stress disorder (to use the phrase coined by my friend Gilad Atzmon)…

 
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Roughly half-way through the year 2020 it is becoming pretty obvious that there are a number of major developments which almost got our total attention, and for good reason, as these are tectonic shifts which truly qualify as “catastrophe” (under the definitiona violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth“). These are:

  • The initiation of the global collapse of the AngloZionist Empire.
  • The immense economic bubble whose ever-growing size is the best predictor of the magnitude of the huge burst it will inevitably result in.
  • The implosion of the US society due to a combination of several and profound systemic crises (economic collapse, racial tensions, mass poverty, alienation of the masses, absence of social protections, etc.).
  • The COVID-19 (aka “it’s just like the seasonal flu!!“) pandemic which only exacerbates all the other major factors listed above.
  • Last, but not least, it is hard to imagine what the next US Presidential election will look like, but one thing is certain: by November we will already have a perfect storm – the election will only act like a battery which will feed even more energy into this already perfect storm.

To be sure, these are truly momentous, historical, developments whose importance cannot be over-stated. They are, however, not the only very serious developments. There are, in fact, several areas of serious political tensions which could also result in a major explosion, albeit a regional one “only”!

I will list just a few, beginning with the most visible one:

Turkey

Erdogan is up to no good. Again. What a big surprise, right? Every time I hear somebody writing something about Erdogan the dreaming of becoming the sultan of a new Ottoman Empire, I tend to roll my eyes as this is a cliche. Yet, there is no denial that this cliche is true – the neo-Ottoman ideology is definitely alive and well in Turkey and Erdogan clearly wants to “ride that horse”. So let’s list some of the things which the Turks have been up to:

  1. Syria: The Turks have clearly been dragging their feet in northern Syria where, at least according to the deal Erdogan made with Putin, the “bad terrorists” should have left a long time ago and the key highway should have been under the joint protection of the Russian and Turkish forces. Well, Turkey did some of this, but not all, and the “bad terrorists” are still very much present in northern Syria. In fact, they recently tried to attack the Russian Aerospace Forces base in Khmeimim (they failed, but that is still something which the Turks have to answer for since the attack came from a zone they control). Protecting terrorists in exchange for promises of immunity from their attacks has been tried many times in the past and it has never worked – sooner or later the terrorist groups always slip out of the control of their masters and even turn against them. This is now happening to Turkey.
  2. Libya: The Turks are also deeply involved in the Libyan civil war. In fact, “deeply involved” does not give enough credit to the Turkish military which used Turkish-made drones with devastating effectiveness against the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, the commander of the Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (which is backed by both Russia and Egypt). Only the prompt (and rather mysterious) deployment of Russian air defenses and a number of unidentified MiG-29s succeeded in eventually bringing down enough Turkish drones to force them to take a pause. The Egyptians have made it clear that they will never allow the so-called “Government of National Accord” to take Sirte or any land East of Sirte. The Libyan Parliament (of East Libya) has now given Egypt the official authorization to directly intervene in Libya. This makes some kind of Egyptian intervention an almost certain thing.
  3. Hagia Sophia: And just to make sure there are enough sources of tension, the Turks have now declared that the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul will no longer be a museum open to all, but a mosque. Now the CIA-puppet modestly known as “His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch” Bartholomew should be the most vocal opponent to this move, but all he can do is mumble some irrelevancies (he wanted to go down as the Patriarch who patronized the Ukrainian schism and, instead, he will go down in history as the Patriarch who did nothing to prevent the Ottomans from seizing one of the holiest sites of the Orthodox world. Truth be told, he probably could not have prevented that (Erdogan’s move is entirely due to upcoming elections in Turkey) – but he sure could have tried a little better. Ditto for the head of the Moscow Patriarchate (and, for that matter, the Russian government) who expressed stuff like concern, or dismay, of some form of condemnation, but who really did nothing to make Erdogan pay for his move.

What the Turks just did is a disgrace, not only for Turkey itself which, yet again, proves that the Ottoman version of Islam is a particularly toxic and dangerous one. It is also a disgrace for the entire Muslim world which, with a few notable exceptions such as Sheikh Imran Hosein, has done nothing to prevent this and, if anything, has approved of this move. Finally, this is a disgrace for the entire Orthodox world as it proves that the entire worldwide Orthodox community has less relevance and importance in the eyes of the Turkish leader than the outcome of local elections. Russia, especially, would have the kind of political muscle needed to inflict all sorts of painful forms of retaliation against Turkey and yet Russia does nothing. This is a sad witness to the extreme weakness of the Orthodox faith in the modern world.

Add to this all the “traditional” sources of instability around Turkey, including the still unsolved (and unsolvable!) Kurdish issue, the tensions between Turkey and Iraq and Iran, Turkish low-key support for anti-Russian factions in the various former Soviet Republics and the constant confrontation with Greece).

Turkey remains one of the most dangerous states on the planet, even if most people remain unaware of this. True, in the recent years Turkey lost a lot of its power, but it still has plenty of formidable assets (including a very strong domestic weapon systems manufacturing capability) which it can use for a vast spectrum of nefarious political and military interventions.

Egypt

Egypt is another country which regularly makes some headlines and then disappears from the public’s radar. Yet, right now, Egypt is faced not with one, but with two possible wars!

  1. Libya: as I mentioned above, should it come to an open clash between Turkey and Egypt in Libya, there could be a rapid horizontal escalation in which initial military clashes in Libya could turn into clashes over the Eastern Mediterranean and even possible strikes on key military objectives in Turkey and Egypt. The only good news here is that there are a lot of major actors who do not need a shooting war in the Eastern Mediterranean and/or the Middle-East. After all, if it came to a true military confrontation between Turkey and Egypt, then you can be pretty sure that NATO, CENTCOM, Greece, Israel and Russia would all have major concerns. Besides, it is hard to imagine what kind of military “victory” either Turkey or Egypt could hope for. Right now the situation is very tense, but we can hope that all the parties will realize that a negotiated solution, even a temporary one, is preferable to a full-scale war.
 
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Just by asking the question of whether the next Presidential election matters, I am obviously suggesting that it might not. To explain my reasons for this opinion, I need to reset the upcoming election in the context of the previous one. So let’s begin here.

The 2016 election of Donald Trump

The first thing which, I believe, ought to be self-evident to all by now is that there was no secret operation by any deep state, not even a Zionist controlled one, to put Donald Trump in power. I would even argue that the election of Donald Trump was the biggest slap in the face of US deep state and of the covert transnational ruling elites this deep state serves. Ever. My evidence? Simple, look what these ruling “elites” did both before and after Trump’s election: before, they ridiculed the very idea of “President Trump” as both utterly impossible and utterly evil.

As somebody who has had years of experience reading the Soviet press or, in another style, the French press, I can honestly say that I have never seen a more ridiculously outlandish hate campaign against anybody that would come even close to the kind of total hate campaign which Trump was subjected to. Then, as soon as he was elected, the US neo-liberals (who are not liberals at all!) declared that Trump was “not their President”, that Trump was put into power by Putin and that he was a “Russian asset” (using pseudo-professional jargon is what journos typically do to conceal their abject ignorance of a complex topic) and, finally, that he was a White racist and misogynist who will deeply divide the country (thereby dividing the country themselves by making such claims).

The fact is that for the past four years the US liberals have waged a total informational war against Trump and it would be absolutely unthinkable for them to ever accept a Trump re-election, even if he wins by a landslide. For the US Dems and neo-liberals, Trump is the personification of evil, literally, and that means that “resistance” to him and everything he represents must be total. And if he is re-elected, then there is only one possible explanation: the Russians stole the election, or the Chinese did. But the notion that Trump has the support of a majority of people is literally unthinkable for these folks.

Truth be told, Trump has proven to be a fantastically incompetent President, no doubt about that. Was he even worse than Obama? Maybe, it really all depends on your scoring system. In my personal opinion, and for all his very real sins and failings, Trump, at least, did not start a major war, which Obama did, and which Hillary would have done (can’t prove this, but that is my personal belief). That by itself, and totally irrespective of anything else, makes me believe that Trump has been a “lesser evil” (even if far more ridiculous) President than Obama has been or Hillary would have been. This is what I believed four years ago and this is what I still believe: considering how dangerous for the entire planet “President Hillary” would have been, voting for Trump was not only the only logical thing to do, it was the only moral one too because giving your voice to a warmongering narcissistic hyena like Hillary is a profoundly immoral act (yes, I know, Trump is also a narcissist – most politicians are! – but at least his warmongering has been all hot air and empty threats, at least so far). However, I don’t think that this (not having started a major war) will be enough to get Trump re-elected.

Why?

Because most Americans still like wars. In fact, they absolutely love them. Unless, of course, they lose. What Americans really want is a President who can win wars, not a President who does not initiate them in the first place. This is also the most likely reason why Trump did not start any major wars: the US has not won a real war in decades and, instead, it got whipped in every conflict it started. Americans hate losing wars, and that is why Trump did not launch any wars: it would have been political suicide to start a real war against, say, the DPRK or Iran. So while I am grateful that Trump did not start any wars, I am not naive to the point of believing that he did so for pure and noble motives. Give Trump an easy victory and he will do exactly what all US Presidents have done in the past: attack, beat up the little guy, and then be considered like a “wartime President hero” by most Americans. The problem is that there are no more “little guys” left out there: only countries who can, and will, defend themselves if attacked.

The ideology of messianic imperialism which permeates the US political culture is still extremely powerful and deep seated and it will take years, probably decades, to truly flush it down to where it belongs: to the proverbial trash-heaps of history. Besides, in 2020 Americans have much bigger concerns than war vs. peace – at least that is what most of them believe. Between the Covid19 pandemic and the catastrophic collapse of the economy (of course, while the former certainly has contributed to the latter, it did not single-handedly cause it) and now the BLM insurgency, most Americans now feel personally threatened – something which no wars of the past ever did (a war against Russia very much would, but most Americans don’t realize that, since nobody explains this to them; they also tend to believe that nonsense about the US military being the best and most capable in history).

Following four years of uninterrupted flagwaving and MAGA-chanting there is, of course, a hardcore of true believers who believe that Trump is nothing short of brilliant and that he will “kick ass” everything and everybody: from the spying Russians, to the rioting Blacks, from the pandemic, to the lying media, etc. The fact that in reality Trump pitifully failed to get anything truly important done is completely lost on these folks who live in a reality they created for themselves and in which any and all facts contradicting their certitudes are simply explained away by silly stuff like “Q-anon” or “5d chess”. Others, of course, will realize that Trump “deflated” before those whom he called “the swamp” almost as soon as he got into the White House.

As for the almighty Israel Lobby, it seems to me that it squeezed all it could from Trump who, from the point of view of the Zionists, was always a “disposable President” anyway. And now that Trump has done everything Israel wanted him to do, he becomes almost useless. If anything, Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of them will try to outdo Trump’s love for everything Israeli anyway.

So how much support is there behind Trump today? I really don’t know (don’t trust the polls, which have always been deeply wrong about Trump anyway), but I think that there is definitely a constituency of truly frightened Americans who are freaking out (as they should, considering the rapid collapse of the country) and who might vote Trump just because they will feel that for all his faults, he is the only one who can save the country. Conversely, they will see Biden as a pro-BLM geriatric puppet who will hand the keys of the White House to a toxic coalition of minorities.

So what if Trump does get re-elected?

In truth, the situation is so complex and there are so many variables (including many “unknown unknowns”!) that make predictions impossible. Still, we can try to make some educated guesses, especially if based on some kind of logic such as the one which says that “past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior”. In other words, if Trump gets elected, we will get more of the same. Personally, I would characterize this “same” as a further destruction of the US from within by the Democrats and their “coalition of minorities” combined with a further destruction of the US Empire abroad by delusional Republicans.

 
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I have to say that I am amazed that so many folks on the Left seem to think that the current riots in the US are a spontaneous rebellion against police violence, systemic racism, and history of persecution and exploitation of Blacks and Indians, etc. As for the violence, looting and riots – they are either excused as a result of some kind of righteous wrath or blamed on “infiltrators”. In my previous article I tried to show how the Democrats and the US media tried to instrumentalize these riots and to use them against Trump’s bid for reelection. I accompanied the article with a carefully staged photo-op of US Democrats “taking a knee” in solidarity (as if the leaders of the Democratic Party gave a hoot about Blacks or poor US Americans!).

What I did not mention was how the US (and even trans-national) corporate world backed these riots to the hilt. Here are just a few examples of this:

YouTube:

Amazon, Bank of America & Sephora:

And it is not only in the USA. Check out what Adidas in Germany has been up to:

and finally, my personal super-favorite:

Jamie Dimon and the JP Morgan Chase Bank:

All those of us who thought that the corporate world was all about money, that the corporate “culture” had all the signs of severe psychopathy and that billionaires did not give a damn about the poor and the oppressed, but now we know better: we thought of them as evil 1%ers, and it turns out that there are kind, highly principled people, who care about injustice and freedom and who truly feel bad, very very bad, for all the injustices done to Blacks!

Do you really buy this?

I sure don’t!

These are not small mom-and-pop stores where ethics and kindness still exist. These are the very corporations who benefited most from all the inequalities, injustice, violence and imperial wars of aggression and it would be truly pollyannish to think that these corporations and their CEOs suddenly grew a conscience (the exact same applies to the leadership of the Democratic Party, of course!).

So let’s go back to the basics: corporations are about money, that is a truism. Yes, sometimes corporations try to present a “human face”, but this is nothing more than a marketing trick destined to create consumer loyalty. Now I don’t believe for one second that the mega-corporations listed above expect to make much money from supporting the riots, at least not in a direct way. Nor do I believe that these corporations are trying to impersonate a conscience because they fear a Black consumer boycott (what was true in Tuskegee in the late 1950s is not true today, if only because of the completely different scale of the protests).

So if not money – what is at stake here?

Power.

Specifically, the US deep state – at a major faction within that deep state – is clearly desperate to get rid of Trump (and not for the right reasons, of which there are plenty).

Another victory of the “coalition of minorities” and another defeat for Trump
Another victory of the “coalition of minorities” and another defeat for Trump

There are plenty of signs that illustrate that Trump is even losing control of the Executive, including Secretary Esper contradicting Trump on what is a key issue – restoring law and order – or the US Ambassador to South Korea voicing support for BLM (I consider that these actions by top officials against their own Commander in Chief border on treason). Needless to say, the pro-Dems neo-libs at Slate immediately began dreaming about, and calling for, a military revolt against Trump.

Last but not least, we now have a “free zone” in Seattle, the notorious Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, “CHAZ” aka “CHOP” where, among other “curiosities”, Whites are told to give 10 bucks to a Black person. This means that until law and order are restored to what is now the CHAZ, the United States has lost its sovereignty over a part of one of its cities. That is a “black eye” for any US President who, after all, is the leader of the Executive branch of government and the Commander in Chief of a military supposed (in theory only, of course) to defend the United States against all enemies.

What do all of these developments have in common?

They are designed to show that Trump has lost control of the country and that all good and decent people now stand united against him.

There are several major problems with this plan.

For one thing, this is all completely illegal. What began as a typical race riot is now openly turning into sedition.

The second major problem of this plan is that it relies on what I call a “coalition of minorities” to achieve its goal, it is therefore ignoring the will of the majority of the people. This can backfire, especially if the chaos and violence continue to spread.

Will he take orders from Pelosi?
Will he take orders from Pelosi?

Next, there is the “Golem/Frankenstein” issue: it is much easier to launch a wildfire than to contain or suppress it. Nancy Pelosi might be dumb enough to think that she and her gang can control the likes of Raz Simone, but history shows that when the state abdicates its monopoly on violence, anarchy ensues.

By the way, it is important to note here that Trump, at least so far, has not taken the bait and has not used federal forces to reimpose law and order in Seattle, Atlanta or elsewhere.

He must realize that liberating the so-called CHAZ might result in a bloodbath (there appear to be plenty of weapons inside the CHAZ) and that the Democrats are dreaming about blaming him for a bloodbath. Trump’s strategy, at least so far, appears to let the lawlessness continue and blame the Democrats for it.

While Trump’s strategy makes sense, it also is inherently very dangerous because if the state cannot reimpose law and order, then all sorts of “volunteers” might decide to give it a shot (literally). Check out this headline “Bikers For Trump Organizing to Retake Seattle On July 4th“. Whether these bikers will actually try to take over the CHAZ or not, even the fact that they are preparing to do so shows, yet again, that the state has lost its monopoly on violence.

Finally, this strategy to oust Trump by means of lawlessness and anarchy could greatly contribute to the breakup of the United States, if not de jure, then at least de facto. How?

 
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It is quite interesting to observe how many commentators are completely misreading the current race riots or compare them with previous race riots in the history of the US. I suppose that by telling themselves that these latest riots are “just like” or “not nearly as bad” as past US race riots they try to reassure themselves by maintaining the illusion that what is taking place now is of limited and/or temporary magnitude. It is not.

No, it is not “just like” the past

Oh sure, there is plenty of racial violence (by all sides) in US history, from the very inception of the US as a slave-owning society, to the immense number of lynchings (which took place in the North as much as in the South, those interested ought to read “At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America” by Philip Dray) to the murderous “Tulsa Massacre” which even saw Black neighborhoods bombed from the air! And while those who point out that there have been many race riots in the past are correct, they are fundamentally missing the key fact that the current “race riots” are not “just” race riots, but the result of many more complex and multi-layered phenomena. The best proof of this qualitatively new nature of the riots is that they have not only spread across the US like wildfire, but that they also spread to Europe and in Asia and Oceania (see here and here). Even some Japanese joined this decidedly gaijin phenomenon!

So what is going on here?

Unless we assume that Danes, Belgians or New Zealanders have been personally victimized by racist US cops, we have to admit that what triggered this worldwide rash of protests is not a first-hand personal trauma, but only second-hand exposure to a very specific narrative spread with quasi total uniformity by the legacy corporate ziomedia. I call this narrative “Black is Beautiful“.

The pernicious “Black if Beautiful” ideological dogma

Black is beautiful began in the US in the 1960 and it has since become an integral part of the western doxa, an ideological dogma which cannot be challenged without immediately resulting in an accusation of “racism”. Simultaneously, another ideological dogma was developed, the one which claims that “all races are equal”, but without ever really defining the terms “race” or the term “equal”. Interestingly, the notions that Black is beautiful or races are all equal are never demonstrated, only proclaimed, and any insistence that these notions be factually substantiated also results in an immediate accusation of “racism”.

It is not my purpose today to assess the merits (or lack thereof) of this narrative. But what I want to point out is this: any narrative which cannot be challenged or questioned without immediately being branded “racist” is an extremely intolerant one. It is also obviously a narrative which fears any scrutiny for empirical evidence. Yet, those who otherwise denounce the “lying media” or say things like “I don’t believe it unless the government denies it” or “how do you know when a politician is lying? when his lips are moving” seem to be more than willing to uncritically accept these ideological dogmas.

Furthermore, one key tenet of any honest quest for true moral values is that it be equally applied to all (if it ain’t – then it is, by definition, hypocrisy). Yet just try to mention something like “White is Beautiful” or, say, support the idea of a “National Association for the Advancement of White People” or wear a Tshirt with “White Lives Matter” on it and you will will be instantly branded a racist. Why? Because far from promoting real “equality” the modern liberal ideology really preaches Black superiority – a special status for Blacks which cannot be symmetrically granted to White (or any other) people. Furthermore, since most people agree “that beauty is in the eye of the beholder“, we can immediately conclude that the thesis “Black is Beautiful” is really an opinion, not an established fact. Presumably, it would imply the right to the opinion that “Black is not beautiful”, right? LOL, good luck with that! Again, this is a clear case of bias/hypocrisy and, most crucially, the categorical rejection of any dissenting opinion. Finally, what does the term “Black” even mean here? Does it only apply to US and Sub-Saharan Blacks (apparently so), or does it also include, say, Ethiopians, Somalis, Tamils or even Australian Aborigines? Does it also apply to dark skinned Greeks or Sicilians? Yet again, we see that the category “Black” is entirely meaningless (as it the category “White” or “Yellow” – by the way!).

Those who have read me in the past know that I don’t even accept the notion of “race” which, in my opinion, is wholly non-scientific. I also loathe the so-called “White nationalism” of the Alt-Rights & Co. which I consider as a rather primitive form of racism (which I defined under #4 here) and even a whitewashing of the Nazi ideology which is “pushed” by the deep-state (for details, please see my article here on this topic). Yet, following my previous article on this topic, I still had a few knuckleheads accusing me of, what else, “racism”. I think of these people as “pachinko brains”(“payazzo brains” would also work): they take each idea they come across as an “ideological ball” and they immediately assume that it absolutely *must* fall within one of a very limited set of categories. For them the simply fact of saying, for example, “the thesis about racial equality has never been properly defined, never mind proven” can only mean one thing: the person saying so is a racist. Period. No other options possible. What they obviously miss is that a person which does not even accept the notion of “race” cannot be a “racist”, but who cares about these logical niceties, right? Virtue-signaling is much, much more important than facts or logic, at least for pachinko-brains.

 
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I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

  1. Racism or “White privilege”
  2. Police violence
  3. Social alienation and despair
  4. Poverty
  5. Trump
  6. The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
  7. The infighting of the US elites/deep state

They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of “cause” and “pretext”. And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

The next thing which we must also keep in mind is that evidence of correlation is not evidence of causality. Take, for example, this article from CNN entitled “US black-white inequality in 6 stark charts” which completely conflates the two concepts and which includes the following sentence (stress added) “Those disparities exist because of a long history of policies that excluded and exploited black Americans, said Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group.” The word “because” clearly point to a causality, yet absolutely nothing in the article or data support this. The US media is chock-full of such conflations of correlation and causality, yet it is rarely denounced.

For a society, any society, to function a number of factors that make up the social contract need to be present. The exact list that make up these factors will depend on each individual country, but they would typically include some kind of social consensus, the acceptance by most people of the legitimacy of the government and its institutions, often a unifying ideology or, at least, common values, the presence of a stable middle-class, the reasonable hope for a functioning “social life”, educational institutions etc. Finally, and cynically, it always helps the ruling elites if they can provide enough circuses (TV) and bread (food) to most citizens. This is even true of so-called authoritarian/totalitarian societies which, contrary to the liberal myth, typically do enjoy the support of a large segment of the population (if only because these regimes are often more capable of providing for the basic needs of society).

Right now, I would argue that the US government has almost completely lost its ability to deliver any of those factors, or act to repair the broken social contract. In fact, what we can observe is the exact opposite: the US society is highly divided, as is the US ruling class (which is even more important). Not only that, but ever since the election of Trump, all the vociferous Trump-haters have been undermining the legitimacy not only of Trump himself, but of the political system which made his election possible. I have been saying that for years: by saying “not my President” the Trump-haters have de-legitimized not only Trump personally, but also de-legitimized the Executive branch as such.

This is an absolutely amazing phenomenon: while for almost four years Trump has been destroying the US Empire externally, Trump-haters spent the same four years destroying the US from the inside! If we look past the (largely fictional) differences between the Republicrats and the Demolicans we can see that they operate like a demolition tag-team of sorts and while they hate each other with a passion, they both contribute to bringing down both the Empire and the United States. For anybody who has studied dialectics this would be very predictable but, alas, dialectics are not taught anymore, hence the stunned “deer in the headlights” look on the faces of most people today.

Finally, it is pretty clear that for all its disclaimers about supporting only the “peaceful protestors” and its condemnation of the “out of town looters”, most of the US media (as well as the alt media) is completely unable to give a moral/ethical evaluation of what is taking place. What I mean by this is the following:

By repeating mantras about how “Black anger is legitimate” the US liberal media is basically placing a seal of approval on the violence and looting. After all, if Black “anger” is legitimate, and if “White privilege” is real, then it is quite “understandable” that this “anger” “sometimes” “boils over” and leads to “regrettable” “excesses”. Just take a look at this image of Biden kneeling down before a Black demonstrator:

Of course, Biden and his supporters will claim that Biden was only kneeling before a cute little girl and her peacefully protesting father, but when combined with the attacks against Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric by Biden and his supporters (including four former US Presidents!), I believe that these kinds of photo-ops are sending a very different message: keep “protesting” as we are on your side which, coming from a guy like Biden, the ultimate symbol of the 1%er elites and a perfect example of “White privilege”, just goes to show that the hypocrisy of US politicians really knows no bounds or limits.

I have to note here that these riots also represent a potential danger for both factions of the Uniparty in power: for the Demolicans the riots probably represent the very last chance to prevent a Trump-reelection, but if the Demolicans are too obvious in support of the riots, then it could backfire against them and turn all the frightened “law and order” types against them. But if they do not support the riots, then the Demolicans will alienate their core constituency (a hodgepodge of various “minorities” pushing their narrow identity-politics agenda). Likewise, for Trump this is an opportunity to show his “law and order” credentials and promise the White people and the relatively fewer Blacks of his base that he will protect them. However, if he is too direct about this and if Trump orders what might be seen by many as unfair or excessive force (of which there has been a lot almost everywhere), then he risks pushing many moderate Republicrats over the edge and side with the Demolicans (or, at least, withhold their vote). In other words, both factions of the Uniparty feel that the riots are both an opportunity and a threat and this is why neither faction can come out and speak truthfully about the real causes of the riots.

The exact same message of weakness and even submissive impotence is, I believe, sent every time a cop kneels when confronting even peaceful demonstrators like on this photo. While this might be intended as a message of compassion, and maybe even an apology, the only thing the rioters will see here is a powerful sign of surrender of the local authorities and I find that extremely dangerous.

 
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At this time of writing, it is too early to declare the danger over, but at least three out of five Iranian tankers have made it safely to Venezuela (confirmation from TeleSur and PressTV). Furthermore, while we should never say “never”, it appears exceedingly unlikely that the US would let three tankers pass only to then try to impede the arrival of the other two. So it ain’t over until its over, but as of right now things look way better than last week.

Besides, this is mostly a symbolic issue. While these 5 tankers will make a difference, it won’t be a huge one, especially considering the devastating consequences which the US sanctions, sabotage and subversion have inflicted on Venezuela.

Still, symbols are important, if only because they create a precedent. In fact, I would argue that the latest climbdown by Trump is no different than all his other climbdowns: Trump has had a very consistent record of threatening fire and brimstone before quietly deflating walking away. And since he did that many times now, we have to wonder whether this strategy is effective or not?

One could argue that this strategy could be described by saying that you put the maximum pressure on the other side in the hope that the bluff will entice the adversary to fold. This could be a semi-credible argument where it not for a very simple but crucial problem: so far the other guys have never folded. In other words, Trump’s bluff has been called over and over again, and each time Trump had to quietly deflate.

Some will say that this only proves that Trump is truly a peace-loving President who, unlike his predecessors, does not want to go to war. But then, what about the cruise missile strikes on Syria? What about the murder of Soleimani?

Truth be told, the kindest thing we can say about this strategy (assuming that it is a strategy to begin with, not the evidence of a total lack of one) is that it is tantamount to yelling “fire!” in a crowded movie theater: the fact that Trump did not set any movie theater ablaze hardly justifies his yelling “fire” in such a dangerous environment. The perfect example of this kind of irresponsible behavior is the murder of General Soleimani which truly brought the US and Iran a millimeter away from a real, full-scale war.

Furthermore, while I salute Trump’s climbing down following the Iranian strikes, I also believe that in doing so he hurt the international image of the US. Why? Think about this: this is the first time ever (if I am not mistaken) that the US was the object of a major military strike coming from another state-actor and did not retaliate. In the past and until this Spring, the US always held the view that if anybody dares to mess with it this would result in very serious consequences. Thus the US upheld a world order in which some where a lot more equal than others. Specifically, “others” had to meekly accept US strikes and shut up whereas Uncle Shmuel could strike left and right and expect no retaliation.

By “accepting” the Iranian counter-strike, Trump did essentially place an “equal” sign between Iran and the US. He probably never understood that, but in the region this was understood by all.

Just as Hezbollah destroyed the myth of Israeli impunity, Iran destroyed the myth of US impunity.

Still, I will always prefer the politician who does not start a war (for whatever reason) to one who would. I also have no doubt whatsoever that Hillary would have started one, or even several, wars. But the fact that Hillary would have been even worse than Trump is hardly a reason to start fawning about Trump’s brilliant “5D chess” genius or peace-loving policies…

Trump reminds of a guy pointing a gun a people in the street only to later say “but it was a toy gun, I never meant to really shoot anybody”. This is definitely better than shooting people with a real gun, but this is hardly a sign of maturity or intelligence.

The other problem with this “strategy” (let’s assume for argument’s sake that this is a strategy of some kind): each time the “indispensable nation” and “sole hyperpower” has to climb down, it increasingly looks like a paper tiger. Not looking like such a paper tiger is probably the mean reason behind Michael Ledeen’s famous wordsEvery ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business“. In a strictly evil and imperialistic sense, Ledeen’s strategy makes a lot more sense than what Trump has been doing.

As Marx famously said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce“. The outcome of what some now call the “Battle of Macuto Bay” is a perfect example of this: if the Bay of Pigs was the “root case” then the disaster in Grenada was the tragedy and the Battle of Macuto Bay the real farce.

Humor can be a devastating weapon and anybody who has studied the late Soviet Union (in the late Brezhnev years and after) knows how the Russian people ridiculed the Soviet leaders with literally thousands of jokes.

A real imperialist would much rather be hated than ridiculed, and while Trump himself probably does not realize that he is the laughingstock of the planet, his aides and deep state bosses most definitely do and that is very, very dangerous.

Why?

Because the pressure to, once again, “ pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall” increases with each climbdown (see my article “Each “Click” Brings Us One Step Closer to the “Bang!” for a fuller discussion of this).

Besides, finding an even smaller and weaker country than Venezuela will be hard (maybe the Island of Saba? or Grenada again? who knows?). And potentially very dangerous.

The other problem is predictability. Any international system requires that its most powerful actors be predictable. In contrast, when a major international actors acts in what appears to be unpredictable, irrational or irresponsible manner, this puts the entire stability of the system at risk.

This, by the way, is also why it is so disastrous that the US has withdrawn from so many international organizations or treaties: the participation in international organizations and treaties indicate that the US is willing to play by the same rules as everybody else. The fact that the US is ditching so many of its former international obligations only shows that the US has gone rogue and is from now on totally unpredictable.

Finally, there are also lessons for Moscow here, the main one being that when confronted with a determined adversary, the Empire tries to bluff, but eventually folds. True, Moscow has to be much more careful than Tehran simply because the consequences of a US-Russian war would be dramatically worse than even a major conflict in the Middle-East. Yet it is also true that over the past years the Russian armed forces did have the time to prepare for such a conflict and that now Russia is ready for pretty much anything the US could try to throw at her, at least in purely military terms.

 
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Amidst the worldwide pandemic induced scare most of us have probably lost track of all the other potential dangers which still threaten international peace and stability. Allow me to list just a few headlines which, I strongly believe, deserve much more attention than what they got so far. Here we go:

  • Military Times: “5 Iran tankers sailing to Venezuela amid US pressure tactics
  • Time: “5 Iranian Tankers Head to Venezuela Amid Heightened Tensions Between U.S. and Tehran
  • FoxNews: “Iran tankers sailing to Venezuela in effort to undermine US sanctions

Notice that Military Times speaks of “US pressure tactics”, Time of “tensions” and FoxNews of “efforts to undermined US sanctions”?

I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Folks in the US military are much more in touch with reality than the flag-waving prostitutes which some people call “reporters” or “journalists”.

Furthermore, the US has embarked on a new policy to justify its acts of piracy on the high seas with something called Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) all under the pretext of the war on drugs. To get a better understanding of the context of these developments I asked a specialist of Maritime issues of our community, NatSouth, who replied the following: (stress added)

If a ship does not comply with the request to be boarded, it is usual that the pursuing authorities must gain the permission of the ‘flag’ state prior to boarding, on the high seas and the pursuit has to have started in the coastal state’s jurisdictional waters. The caveat here is that in the Caribbean – Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement (CRA) – (long name: Agreement Concerning Co-operation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime and Air Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the Caribbean Area). So, there is an agreement with participating coastal states on boardings and pursuits in EEZs and the like. You can find more on the legal aspects of boardings at sea here: https://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2344&context=hlr and more info on so-called “consensual boardings” here: https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/international-law/the-legal-implications-of-consensual-boarding-international-law-essay.php

The anti-drug/ counterterrorism angle allows the U.S. Navy and the USCG to carry out interdictions on the high seas. Important point to note whether this approach will be taken to interdict the tankers, given that Venezuela is a declared narco-State. The absurdity is that Venezuela isn’t the primary transit point in the region, Colombia holds that honour. https://orinocotribune.com/narco-state-the-report-that-leaves-venezuela-on-the-sidelines-of-the-cocaine-route/

If I could add at this point, the origins are that Venezuela didn’t wish to play ball with Washington anymore, specifically with the DEA back in 2005, squaring the circle of sorts, (or should that be a vicious circle cunningly used by Washington, because who is going to argue with that narrative, aka the war on terror). March: SOUTHCOM’s Adm. Faller: “There will be an increase in US military presence in the hemisphere later this year. This will include an enhanced presence of ships, aircraft, & security forces to reassure our partners… & counter a range of threats to include illicit narco-terrorism.” At the same time, the State dept released this https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/1260988270302777350 so the US could effectively carry out boardings under the guise of counterterrorism as well.

While the Iranian tankers were in the Mediterranean, Washington released a (delayed) “Global Maritime Sanctions Advisory”, to the maritime industry, setting out guidelines to shipowners and insurers to enable them to avoid the risks of sanctions penalties related to North Korea, Syria and Iran. This also concerns oil exports from Iran, (but doesn’t apply to Iranian flagged ships). This came after the State Dept gave warning notice to oil companies to stop operations, including Rosneft (Russia), Reliance (India) and Repsol (Spain).

Then NatSouth concluded the following:

Under international law, every merchant ship must be registered with a flag state, which has jurisdiction over the vessel. Hence, this time, the use of Iranian-flagged tankers, as a direct response from Washington’s latest version of restating “maximum pressure” campaign on enforcement of Iran and Venezuela sanctions, (back in Feb, literally the same language as in Aug 2019). There was talk back then of a naval embargo, which would a serious notch up in tensions. There was mention of the 4 U.S. warships in the Caribbean, the U.S. Navy tweeted about, but one the Preble went through the Panama Canal into the Pacific). https://twitter.com/USNavy/

Pretty clear, isn’t it?

What the US is doing is substituting itself for the United Nations and it is now openly claiming the right to board any vessel under whatever kind of pious pretext like, say, narco-trafficing, nuclear proliferation, sanctions against so-called “rogue states”, etc. Clearly, the AngloZionists expect everybody to roll over and take it.

How likely is that?

Let’s look at a few Iranian headlines, all from PressTV:

  • PressTV, May 16th: “Iran’s fuel shipment to Venezuela guaranteed by its missile power
  • PressTV, May 17th: “US aware Iran will respond ‘very strongly’ if Venezuela-bound ships attacked: Analyst
  • PressTV, May 18th: “Iran: US bears responsibility for any foolish act against tankers heading to Venezuela

Three days in a row. I think that it is fair to assume that the Iranians are trying very hard to convince Uncle Shmuel not to mess with these tankers. Does anybody seriously believe that the Iranians are bluffing?

Before we look at some of the aspects of this potential crisis, let’s just mention a few things here.

First, the US is acting in total and official illegality. Just like the bombing of Syria, the threats to Iran, or the US murderous sanctions Uncle Shmuel imposes left and right – the blockade of Venezuela is a) totally illegal and b) an act of war under international law.

Second, if USN commanders think they can operate with impunity only because the Caribbean is far away from Iran, they are kidding themselves. Yes, Iranian forces cannot defend these tankers so far away from home, nor can they take any action against the USN in the Atlantic-Caribbean theater of naval operations. But what they can and will do is retaliate against any AngloZionist target in the Middle-East, including any oil/gas tanker.

 
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First, let’s begin with a few (apparently unrelated) recent news items:

These apparently unrelated news items all have one thing in common: the illustrate how weak and ineffective the US armed forces have become over the past couple of decades. And while, for the sake of brevity, I chose just three examples, the truth is that there are hundreds of similar stories all over the Internet, all pointing to the same reality: most of the US military is in a terminal state of disrepair.

Let’s look at the various services one by one:

  • The USN‘s entire surface fleet is now compromised due to its carrier-centric structure. The USN also lacks modern cruise missiles. Entire classes of surface ships are now either outdated (frigates) or have major design failures (LCS).
  • The USAF flies mostly Cold War jets, often modernized, but all in all, it is an outdated fleet, especially when compared to Russian or Chinese 4th++ and 5th generation aircraft. In fact, the absolute disaster of the F-35 program means that for the first time in its history the US aircraft will be qualitatively outgunned by its likely adversaries. Even US AWACS and other reconnaissance aircraft are now threatened by Russian and Chinese very long range anti-air missiles (both ground and air launched).
  • As for the US Army and Marine Corps, the embarrassing disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere prove that the US ground forces are basically only able to protect themselves, and even that not very well.
  • Then there are the recently created Space Forces which exist only on paper and the US Coast Guard which is basically irrelevant in a major war.

Finally, there is the US Special Operations Command, which is not one of the service branches but only a “functional” and “unified combatant” command, but which is often thought of as a separate branch of the armed forces. These forces always look great on propaganda rolls, but the truth is that these putatively “best in the word” (what else?!) forces have yet to achieve even their first real, meaningful, operational success anywhere (at least to balance out their long history of abject failures, from Desert One, to Grenada, to Afghanistan, to Libya, etc.). And minor firefights against a much inferior adversary do not qualify.

Now let me ask the crucial question: what does that mean for Israel?

Well, first, it means that the “poor” Israelis now have to fly with the F-35 as their flagship fighter. In most cases, I would trust the Israelis to modify/upgrade their F-35’s to get rid of at least the worst “features”, but in the case of the F-35 this is not even theoretically possible due to profound design flaws (for those in need of an “official” refresher on the catastrophic reality of the F-35 program, please read this official US government report which includes 276 “critical” deficiencies). Sooner rather than later, the Israeli F-35s will meet the export version of the Su-35, the much cheaper but high-performing Mig-29M/MiG-35 or even a Russian Su-57 and then they will be hopelessly outgunned (even if the outcome of any air-to-air combat cannot be reduced to comparing aircraft, you need a full and much more complex picture to model possible outcomes). Currently, the Su-35 has only been exported to China, but future potential operators could include Egypt, Algeria and Turkey. As for the MiG-29M/MiG-35, countries such as Egypt and Syria have expressed interest.

Speaking of Syria, so far we have seen several cases of Israeli aircraft intercepted and forced to withdraw by Russian Su-35Ss, and not a single case of the opposite. There appears to be at least one case, though not confirmed officially (yet?) of a Russian Su-35S chasing away an USAF F-22 (once the Su-35 and the F-22 are in close enough proximity, the latter has very few hopes of survival).

Can you guess what else the Israelis are going to eventually meet in the skies over the Middle-East? Possibly an export variant of the MiG-31 or even Russian MiG-31BMs (with their 400km R-37 air-to-air missiles). In fact, the range, speed, radar and weapons of this aircraft would make it possible for Russia to maintain combat air patrols over, say, Syria while operating from southern Russia.

I dwell on these aircraft because in the past, and just like the US, the Israelis have always relied on the following combination of factors to prevail:

  • A surprise attack (more or less justified by a false flag or by preemption)
  • The destruction of enemy aircraft when they are still on the ground
  • Air superiority to protect their rotary-wing aircraft and advancing armor

True, the Israelis still have a large force of modified F-16/15/18 (14 squadrons, over 300 aircraft), but just like their US counterparts, they are rapidly becoming dated. In sharp contrast to the dated Israeli Air Force, Israeli neighbors are all acquiring more and more advanced air defense systems along with EW and battle management systems. In other words, this is a very bad time for Israel to rely on F-35s for the foreseeable future.

Right now, the Israelis are regularly bombing Syria, but with very little result other than the mantric, and no doubt therapeutic, proclamations of Jewish superiority over the Arabs. And, predictably, the Ziomedia watching folks in Israel and the West are very impressed. The Syrians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, not so much…

Just like the US MIC put all its eggs into the F-35 basket, so did the Israelis put all their national security eggs into the eternal willingness and capability of Uncle Shmuel to come and rescue them with money, weapons or even soldiers.

The willingness is still here. But the capability is quickly disappearing!

Furthermore, there are two more countries which are entering a period of severe instability which will also affect the security of Israel: Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

 
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I have always held Michael Hudson in the greatest esteem. Not only do I consider him my favorite US economist out there, I also know that he is a kind human being. He manifested this kindness again when he agreed to reply to some very basic questions which a non-economist like myself would ask. I am deeply grateful to Michael for taking the time to reply to them!

The Saker: I suppose that like any system, the economy and financial system in the USA and, more generally, in the West can take some punishment, but there has to be a “point of no return” after which the entire systems comes tumbling down like a house of card. My first question is double: a) what would be this “point of no return” and do you think that we have (or will soon) reach it? b) What would be the signs that this “point of no return” has been reached (or is about to be reached)?

Michael Hudson: The point of no return would arrive when the Federal Reserve and government stop bailing out the bankers and the stock and bond markets and let real “free market” asset prices collapse to reflect the “real” economy’s shrinkage. There would be a sell-off without the Fed’s promise to be the buyer of last resort.

The problem is that the economy can never recover from the Obama Depression (resulting from his refusal to write down the junk-mortgage debts and the other debts to the leading financial institutions) as long as it keeps the present debt overhead on the books. But Sheila Bair’s comment still applies: “It’s all about the bondholders.”

So I don’t expect a soon “point of no return.” But when it finally does occur, it will be sudden – as all crashes are. It may be triggered by a bank or speculator making a bad trade and being unable to pay, as AIG’s London office was unable to do so in 2008.

That said, who would have believed that the stock market would continue to go up while the underlying “real” economy is shrinking drastically. Obviously, there has been a decoupling of the economy’s two sectors: the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector from the production-and-consumption economy.

I think that the Fed will let the large insiders sell out (and even make a fortune on selling stocks and bonds short) before they pull the plug. The key is that the collapse of the economy must be managed as a financial gain-seeking opportunity for the big banks and financial speculators.

The Saker: There is a lot of talk about the big corporations out there, but I want to ask you about the “little guy” (like myself and most of our readers): what can we do to prepare for a possible economic and financial collapse? For example, do you consider that our money is safe in US FDIC insured deposits banks? Or there be a “bank holiday” or even a full scale “run on banks” like what happened in Argentina? Should we pull our saving and keep cash? Or even get gold/silver? What do you recommend for the “little guy”?

Michael Hudson: FDIC-insured deposits are safe. They won’t let that go, because that would end the banking system.

There won’t be an Argentina-style run, because its foreign debt is owed in U.S. dollars, which it can’t print. But US debt is owed in its own currency, which the Fed and Treasury can create at will.

The stock market will zig-zag in approximately the current range, until the plunge is permitted to occur. The safest investment is in U.S. Treasury securities. Gold is fine also, but the problem is how to keep it free from theft. Like currency, it can be robbed.

For your small investors, the best aim to protect themselves is to get (and stay) out of debt, secure their home and livelihood from what may be a Third-World type austerity plan, IMF style resulting from state and local bankruptcy. (Avoid buying tax-exempt state and local bonds.)

The Saker: How bad is, in your opinion, the current crisis in financial/economic terms? Some say that this will (or, already is) worse than 2008, 9/11 or even the Great Depression. Do you agree and, if not, why?

Michael Hudson: The current depression is the worst since the 1930s. There will be a new wave of foreclosures, on commercial real estate as well as residential homes. The problem will not be merely junk mortgages, but the loss of income by rent-paying stores and other commercial property and residential housing.

We are at the end of the 75-year upswing that began in 1945 when the war ended with few private-sector debts and abundant savings. Now, the situation has been reversed: a heavy debt overhead, with little savings by most of the population. The growth in the economic surplus is now spent almost entirely on debt service and other financial charges and rentier payments to the FIRE sector. Rentier capitalism has replaced industrial capitalism.

The Saker: a lot of people (and corporations) out there are loosing millions and even billions. But others are making a killing (Amazon?). Who in your opinion benefits most from this crisis and how?

Michael Hudson: Financial and political insiders will benefit from the crisis, along with monopolists. The rest of the economy will lose – but the quickest fortunes often are made in a crisis. As Adam Smith noted, profits often are highest in countries going fastest to ruin. But this time it is not profits that are the key to fortunes, but “capital gains” from bank-inflated asset prices.

In a nutshell, the financial game has been rigged by political insiders and their financial backers. Their time frame is short-run.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Coronavirus, Federal Reserve, Wall Street 
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