Category Archives: European Union

Short Observations II

The predominant idea or movement of the 21st Century has been the movement away from subservience to independence.

The power that is trying to arrest this flow is the US, the status quo power. Dialectics is the enemy of status quo. Dialectic change is a historical process, and is a  threat to US hegemonic position. The US is enlarging NATO, yet NATO is falling apart. Turkey, one of the most significant nations of NATO is moving away from it and the US after the unsuccessful putsch against Erdogan in 2016. Turkey is pursuing an independent policy in the Middle East, which are contrary to the interests of Israel and the US.

The EU is also moving away from unconditional subservience to the US to independence, as recent German elections have demonstrated. Actually, Germany is moving away from remaining an occupied state to being independent. The poor showing of the Christian Democratic Union Party of Angela Merkel and the Social Democratic Party of Martin Schultz is the proof. Alternativa fur Deutschland party scored big. They came from nowhere. They are the third largest party in Germany and they want change. Big change that is an anathema to US interests. Alternative for Germany wants to follow the Bismarck policy of friendship with Russia. Will the EU follow Germany?

Middle East great changes! Alliances are shifting and changing. Overall, huge Islamic alliance is forming in the Middle East and South Asia. Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, possibly Bangla Desh, Malaysia, Indonesia. At the same time that this Alliance is forming, India is drifting West. The lynch pin of this alliance will be Iran and Turkey. Just look at the geographical position of Turkey and Iran. The Saudi King is visiting Moscow. Very interesting…

Israel is in panic mode. Assad is successfully fighting ISIS. Iran is a key player in this game. Iran has strong connections with Hesbollah of Lebanon, as well as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria have determined that an independent Kurdistan will fail;  Israel wants Kurdistan to succeed. Israel is instructing the US to destroy Iran, thereby assuring Israeli domination of the Middle East, and the fresh water resources which Israel critically needs. Whether the US will oblige remains to be seen.

There is an economic factor involved here as well. The Fed is pushing stocks higher. Some are predicting the DOW at 40,000 within a decade or sooner. Others are predicting total collapse. Foreigners are pouring their money into the US stock market, thereby supporting the dollar and the bond market. The Fed must support the stock market at all costs. If it fails, all hell will break loose. All three will collapse: the dollar, the bond market, and the stock market, and there will be no more free lunch for the US.

The Ukrainian situation is ‘dormant’; a low intensity war. Kiev has no choice but to do that. It must be in the game even though it is losing. Ukraine is slowly dying. Population is decreasing. Wages are decreasing. People are very angry. What is keeping the Kiev afloat are Ukrainian remittances from Russia where over 4,000,000 Ukrainians work. Kiev is selling the Ukraine on the cheap to the West. It is only question of when, not if, the Ukrainians revolt.

Africa and Latin America are two continents where natural wealth is in relative abundance and people are waking up to protect it. Epiphany is rampant in Africa and Latin America. Western corporations are milking them as in colonial times. Globalism is just another name, more modern, for colonialism. Epiphany cannot be stopped. Venezuela will not buckle. In due time, more countries will join Venezuela. That is the flow of History.

North Korea is a thorn in US foreign policy in Asia. US interest is to maintain a Wall of Enmity extending from the Baltic, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persian Gulf, India, Straits of Malacca, Philippines, Japan, all the way to South Korea. The idea is to maintain this Wall of Enmity and push it to squeeze the hell out of China, Iran, and Russia.

China has said that if the US attacks North Korea it will automatically be on the North Korean side; a Korean War II would be inevitable and the potential catastrophe would be immense. North and South Korea would be destroyed. If China got involved, then Japan, China, and, possibly, the US would be severely damaged. A Korean crisis is, and will be, lots of thunder and very little, if any, rain.,

All scenarios discussed here could end up in a big war. In my opinion, the most likely scenario would be a US attack on Iran to make the Middle East safe for Israel. All kinds of excuses would be used to justify the attack. But wars never go according to plan. It seems that Iranian strategy is to receive and not give the first blow. After that, all hell would break loose. All of the Middle East, and possibly the world, would be in flames.

The only thing that will prevent wars that may occur anywhere is the collapse of the US stock market. Foreigners would pull their money out. At least, those who would be able. That would lead to the dollar and bond market collapsing. The US would have no choice but to turn inward. We will see.

 

 

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Zugzwang situations of US in Korea, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Ukraine, etc.

After the USSR dissolved itself in 1989, the US pushed East. All of Eastern Europe fell under US influence, plus many republics of the former USSR such as the Baltic republics and Georgia. It was the greatest gain of geostrategic territory in human history in such a short amount of time. It was done without war, but through lies, deceptions, and false promises that were never kept. Russia, under Yeltsin, was on the verge of collapse. Life expectancy and demographics were collapsing. It appeared that the further fragmentation of Russia was inevitable. But one man finally aroused Russian defiance, and that man was Putin.

It was evident to the West that Russia under Putin would not buckle. On the contrary, Russia grew stronger. Like the Phoenix, it rose from the ashes. Despite its economically  small size compared to the US, China, and the EU, it is incomparably powerful due to its size, geographic position, natural wealth, and resilience of its people. It is present in the Pacific, Arctic, North Atlantic, Baltic, Central Europe-Kaliningrad, Central Asia, Black Sea without spending a kopek.

US, being essentially isolated geographically in North America must project power in order to be pertinent and to extract natural wealth from others. This policy has become unbearably expensive and the rewards have had diminishing returns with the passing of time.

As universal hegemon, the US is involved everywhere diplomatically, economically, and militarily, imposing its policy and worldview on others. The world has become very resentful and is starting to fight back.

One modus operandi of US foreign policy has been economic strangulation of economies of countries that do not follow US instructions. But lately, this policy has not been too successful. A good example is Iran. Many methods have been tried occultly with the participation of Israel but to no avail. Iran is getting stronger and stronger. The US and Israel may try a military option, but this is fraught with great danger.

The US Congress is legislating serious sanctions against Russia which the President will sign in order to weaken the Russians. It will fail. Russia is an autarchy (meaning a country who is economically independent, not the authoritarian definition) and such countries only get stronger. The German invasion of the USSR is a good example. Also, countries of the world are moving away from subservience to US and moving to independence. An excellent example is Turkey.

Thus, the US is caught in Zugzwang in many geographic situations of the world: North Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, etc.  It is conducting military exercises constantly with its allies from the Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, South China Sea to North Korea.

One can say that US foreign policy consists of a constant poking and provoking.

The Geo-Political Motives of Anti-Russian Sanctions

General Von Clausewitz stated: War is the continuation of politics by other means. It can also be stated that in addition to war, economic sanctions are the continuation of politics by other means. The US is notorious for using economic sanctions to overthrow the governments that are not willing to be subservient to its’ interests by destroying their economies. Also, the US uses its’ economic clout to force friendly countries to enter into subservient alliances with the US. NATO is a classical example. The US used sanctions against the USSR from the beginning of its existence to its end.

With the demise of the USSR, the West considered Russia to be easy prey. Yeltsin made Russia an easy prey. Even Yeltsin realized when NATO bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999  that the West was not what it pretended to be. In the 1990’s, the West started to plunder Russia to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. The Russian fifth column and oligarchs participated in the plunder. By quirk of fate or by design, Yeltsin appoints Vladimir Putin as the Prime Minister of Russia at its greatest hour of need.

Putin immediately restores the Russian back bone. He made sure that Russia cannot and will not be taken for granted. Tensions develop between Russia and the West. Selective sanctions were applied against Russia by the US using the Magnitsky Act. The big break occurred with the Maidan coup d’état in the Ukraine in the spring of 2014. Crimea splits and returns to Russia via referendum and not aggression. Crimea was gifted to Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Khruschov, leader of the Soviet Union at that time. Lugansk and Donetsk split from the Ukraine and became independent. The West cried aggression and imposed massive sanctions on Russia. The ruble was attacked, and collapsed from 29 rubles to one dollar to around seventy. The price of oil was collapsed from around 100 dollars to below 40. Russian officials were sanctioned. Credit to Russian banks and corporations was frozen. They tried to ban Russia from using SWIFT, Society for Worldwide International Financial Transactions. They backed off because they feared the consequences.

Russia responded. It banned all agricultural products from countries that imposed sanctions: the EU, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and others. Result: boomerang. The Baltic republics are in super depression because they lost the Russian market for their dairy products, fish, and transport. Greece’s condition worsened with the Western embargo. The rest of the EU is in a recession which can be said to be severe. Some reports state that the EU has lost 500,000 jobs and three hundred billion euros of revenue due to Russian sanctions. Damage to the US has been minimal. The US still uses Russian delivery systems to carry its space capsules to the International Space Station. If the US had prevented Russia from using SWIFT, it is likely that Russia would have refused to transport US capsules to space station. Tit for tat.

Many EU countries are clamoring to end the sanctions. President Hollande will not run for re-election. Marine Le Pen of the National Front {Front National} will win. She will pursue independent economic and foreign policy for France. Chancellor Merkel’s re-election is in doubt. Beppe Grillo of Italy, founder of the Five Star Movement {Movimento Cinque Stella}, may be the next leader of Italy. Populism is breaking everywhere. Movements from subservience to Independence are evident on all continents

The idea behind the sanctions was to destroy Russia economically, partition it and control its immense natural wealth. The Ukraine was the first step. The Ukraine’s future is only with Russia. Russia is the Ukraine and the Ukraine is Russia. They have a common culture, blood, and soul.

Clausewitz stated: Russia cannot be defeated.

 

Subservience vs. Independence

In the next twenty five years, if there is no nuclear war, the intense struggle in the world will be between Subservience and Independence. By 1945, the US became the dominant power of the world. The dollar became the official currency of the world backed by gold and military power. The US obligated itself to protect European Empires as they disintegrated slowly. The British Empire became the British Commonwealth of Nations, the French Empire became the French Union, while other European Empires simply disintegrated. All the states of the European Empires became de Jure Independent States, but the de Facto were subservient to the West. The only country that could challenge the US was the USSR. The US proclaimed the USSR as the enemy and created military blocks such as NATO, CENTO for the Middle East and SEATO for South East Asia. With the collapse of USSR in 1991, the US became the Hegemon of the World. With Yeltsin in power there was the danger that Russia might disintegrate, but this did not happen.

With the advent of Putin, the Yeltsin policy of subservience to the US has been abandoned, and Russia has become stronger and is growing stronger despite sanctions. Iran, since the Islamic Revolution of I979, despite Western sanctions, has become much stronger and becomes a key player of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It is not likely that Iran would have become influential in the region and the world if it had stayed subservient to US, and not sought independence.The question must be asked as to why  the US fought the War of Independence against Britain if subservience is such a pleasant state? It is very simple, the US would have never become what it is today if it had stayed a member of the British Empire. Why did Britain elect to leave the EU if it so pleasant to obey the rules and regulations of the European Commission? One of the reasons why Japan is still stagnating is  because Japan is still occupied and subservient to the interests of the US. Ask China why its growth has been phenomenal. The main reason is that China is independent and subservient to no one. The end result is everybody wants good trade relations with China, including the US. The Rest of the World is also observing this geostrategic situation…

Turkey, under Erdogan, was questioning its relation to the US. Turkey was helping the US by supporting ISIS and allowing the US to use Incerlik Air Base to bomb the Syrian Government positions in their fight against ISIS. At the same time, the US was scheming with the Kurds to set up a Kurdish State of Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. Also, the Turks shot down a Russian bomber over Syria to please the US. Apparently, Erdogan was not involved in the Russia plane shooting. His pro-American Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutuglu ordered the shoot down. All hell broke loose. Erdogan fired his Prime Minister Davutuglu, appointed Binali Yeldirim as Prime Minister, and apologized to Russia. Rapprochement with Russia occurred followed by an unsuccessful coup engineered by US help from the Incerlik Air Base. Turks are very unhappy and very defiant. The main opponent  of Erdogan is Islamist Gulen who lives in US. Extradition of Gulen to Turkey will be very, very slow, if it ever occurs. Hope that Turkey would revert to being a subservient ally is gone. Turkey has chosen an independent path.

The Philippines has also chosen the path to independence. After the Spanish- American War of 1898-99 engineered by President McKinley using the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana Harbour to declare war on Spain. The US won with not much difficulty. Subsequent occupation and suppression of Philippino resistance was somewhat more difficult. After several years of guerilla war, the Philippines were fully pacified. One would expect that after 116 yrs under American Rule, the Philippines would be highly developed and prosperous! But it is not.  The Phiippines are one of the poorest countries of South East Asia. They resent their subservience to the US, and elected Duterte as their President. He immediately opted for independence.

Turkey and the Philippines, major countries of Afro-Eurasia have set an example for other countries of Latin America and Afro-Eurasia to follow. Germany will follow the policy of Otto von Bismarck, the friendship with Russia. France will resurrect the policy of General Charles de Gaulle of Europe from the Atlantic to Vladivostok. Italy, Spain, and other countries will follow. Russia only has to sit and wait and remain strong.

In Asia and South East Asia, countries following the Philippine example are Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, etc. They all want to be independent.

In Africa there is a yearning for independence from Algeria in the North to the Republic of South Africa in the South. The yearning to be independent and free is unstoppable.

Latin America is the same. There is a yearning from the Rio Grande in the North to Tierra del Fuego in the South to be free and Independent. Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin have not been forgotten by the people of Latin America and the West Indies.

Another name for subservience is globalization. Globalization is the system that allows giant multinational corporations to exploit and rule the world according to the rules set up by the City of London and Wall Street. Globalization has been around since the British East India Company ruled India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Shri Lanka, Myanmar. Globalization sounds much nicer than subservience.

Also, subservient states are holding dollars, while independent ones are accumulating gold.

However difficult, the road to independence is unstoppable. That is the flow of history.

 

Is the US facing the same problems as Third Century Rome?

The world, but particularly the US, is entering a period of great uncertainty, as did Rome in the third century AD. There were external threats and internal instability. Inflation was destroying the internal fabric. The coinage was diluted of its precious metals, silver and gold. People lost faith in its institutions, its army and its emperors. Through such inflation, the people were getting poorer. The longevity of its emperors was very short after the assassination of the Emperor Alexander Severus in 235 AD  The Empire fragmented and was in danger of collapsing. Two external threats were ever present: the Tribes of Northern and Eastern Europe were pressing on the Empire and in the East, there were Persian threats. Three emperors lost wars with Persia, and one, Emperor Valerian, was even captured by the Persians in 260 AD through a ruse.

The 42nd Emperor Claudius Gothicus, (268-270), stabilized the frontiers by defeating the Alemani and the Goths, but unfortunately, died of some kind of infection.  The 51st Emperor Deocletian, (284-305), further strengthened the Empire by reducing inflation, further stabilizing the frontiers, and introducing tetrarchy to government. Tetrarchy is four person rule.  Deoclitian split the administration into a Western Empire centered in Rome, and an Eastern Empire centered in the future city of Constantinople to be founded by Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD. When the Western Empire fell in 476 AD, the Eastern Empire or Byzantine Empire lasted for almost one thousand years until Contantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.

Is the US in a similar situation? Possibly?  The US has been in decline since President Nixon defaulted on the gold obligation of 35 dollars for one ounce of gold. Nixon proclaimed it would be temporary, but almost 50 years later is still going. As a result inflation became rampant, Congress became generous and passed the law that allowed Americans to own gold again. President Roosevelt and Congress banned ownership of gold except in jewelry in 1933.

Economic conditions were deteriorating slowly. Inflation in the seventies, Reaganomics in the eighties, Clintonomics in the nineties, subprime mortgages and the tech bubble in the first decade of the new millennium and a severe bust in 2007-09 that nearly collapsed the entire system. Throughout this period, living standards for Americans were going down. The main culprits were debt, public and private, quality job losses, inflation, lack of affordable universal health care, expensive education, and foreign military interventions.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the three pillars of paper, all based on debt, are keeping this system afloat, but just barely, and they are the dollar, the stock market, and the bond market. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are keeping the system going by shunting new money into stocks and bonds creating conditions for a financial shock that is becoming inevitable. Zero interest rates and quantitative easing are propping up the system, but not curing it; it cannot be cured.

One could call the US economy a “mirage” because there has been no actual growth since the late 1960’s. The living standards of the people have been going down and down, but the lies and deceptions have been going up. One does not know whom to believe. In socio-economic terms, three economic classes have developed in the US: the owner class of 1%, the overseer class of 4-5%, and the Precariat class of around 95%. The Precariat Class is composed of all ethnic groups, religions, and races, but it is kept divided by the Ownership Class for its own interests. The Precariat is on the whole totally dispossessed, and they live from pay cheque to pay cheque, with the loan sharking firms eating them in between.

The present recovery after the almost system collapse 0f 2007-8, has been nothing but “a mirage”, a statistical “recovery” propped by a series of quantitative easings and zero interest rates. The ownership class and the overseer class are doing extremely well, but the precariat class is barely surviving.

In foreign policy, the US, a hegemonic power, has become a reactionary force in order to maintain its world wide empire based on dollar indebtedness and exploitation of the rest of the world. Through its policy in the Middle East, it has lost Iran and now may lose Turkey, two large countries dominating the key strategic areas of the Afro-Eurasia. It is true, the US has gained  eastern Europe through the European Union and NATO, but Europe itself has become unstable.

In the Middle East, some claim that the US and Israel have created ISIS and Al-Qaeda  to destroy Syria and Iraq in order to get to Iran, and take total control of the Middle East and its natural resources. If Turkey switches to Eurasia, and a compromise is reached between Syria and Turkey, the US will lose the Middle East. The next shoe to drop will be Saudi Arabia because of its disastrous war in Yemen, as well as internal dissension.

Never before in its history has the US faced such complex problems as a dying economy  reflected in dying cities, dilapidated infrastructure, poor but costly education and health care; city violence could be a precursor to a general revolt.

The world is waiting with bated breath the results of the US presidential elections, The precariat class is flocking to Mr. Trump for salvation and the ownership class is in a panic. How the elections will turn out nobody knows, but if there is a financial collapse Trump would win massively. In that case, it is quite likely that martial law would be proclaimed and the elections postponed. Only time will tell.

The Significance of the Failed Turkish Coup

The coup of July 15-16, 2016 that  was not supposed to have failed, failed. The balance of power, the strategic changes  that are taking place now and that will take place in the future will have profound influence on the flow of world history.

Turkey is the key country of the Mediterranean Sea. Via the Straits of Bosporus and the Dardanelles, is the gateway to the Black Sea, Russia,  the Caucasus Mountains, and the Caspian Sea, as well as being the road that leads to Baghdad, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. The question must be asked why a country of 84,000,000 people, occupying an area of over 750,000 square kilometers, and with a very proud history is not only not independent but subservient to the Interests of the US. They helped the US in many wars from the Korean, 1950-53, to present-day involvement in Syria and Iraq, with no or minimal benefits to Turkey. With Russian intervention in Syria, the military situation there began to change in favor of Syria and its allies. The neocons in the US State Department panicked and wanted a confrontation with Russia. They wrote a letter to Secretary Kerry in early 2016 to that effect.

The shooting down of the Russian bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015, changed everything. The US had hoped for a military confrontation between Russia and Turkey, but President Putin never took the bait. Putin accused the Turks of ” stab in the back”, and ordered massive sanctions against them. Turkey suffered all the economic costs of the Turkish boomerang, the US none, but it was about to suffer the strategic damage of the Turkish boomerang…

President Erdogan started to doubt the wisdom of Turkish foreign policy concerning his neighbors. Europe would not let him join the Union, nor give visa free entry to Turkish citizens, and Russia had punished the Turks economically. The US, most likely, wanted for Turkey to participate in the invasion of Aleppo which would destroy the Syrian resistance. But Erdogan refused, dismissed his pro-US prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and apologized to Putin. The US strategy in Syria, and, in Iraq was now in disarray. Something had to be done, a nice little coup d’etat with a minimal of noise, but it simply did not work out.

The consequences of this unsuccessful coup d’état will be enormous. The intimate subservient relationship that Turkey had with the US is now gone. No amount of nice talk and visits by US officials will restore this relationship. Erdogan has chosen independence for Turkey that the Turkish people support. If that means a friendly and strategic relationship with Russia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon, then so be it. If that means a cool and correct relationship with Israel and the US, then so be it.

The rapprochement with Russia is remarkable. The meeting between Erdogan and Putin in Russia will be significant. The possibility of a strategic alliance in the making between Iran, Turkey, and Russia is there.  This alliance could easily beat ISIS and free the Syria and Iraq of the scourge. Iraq and Syria would join the alliance of Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, and Russia. Another domino would fall, and Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US would be totally isolated. That would be a nightmare for Israel and the US. The European Union would start shifting East. After all, Napoleon said that “geography is destiny”. Let us observe what happens. Only time will tell.

Will Turkey leave NATO and join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Turkey has been a “good boy” ally of the West since 1952 when it joined NATO. It’s been in many wars supporting the US, from the Korean,1950-53 to Iraq One, 1990, Afghanistan 2001. Iraq Two in 2003, to present wars in Iraq and Syria, by supporting ISIS. ISIS nearly won, but now, is possibly losing.

The only benefit Turkey has ever achieved from being the “good boy” ally was supplying cheap labor to West German economy. Germans look kindly on the Turks for being their close ally in the First World War, and by being pro-German in the Second World War.

For all its devotion to the West, the rewards have been small. Wasn’t it the British ex-prime minister Cameron, who said that Turkey can become member of the European Union in next three thousand years? Turkey has no chance of joining the Union. Vague promises yes, but no membership. Russia was one of the most important trading partners of Turkey. Turkey gambled and lost an excellent neighborly relationship with Russia by shooting an unarmed bomber over Syrian territory. I am sure that, Turkey got an encouragement from the West to increase the enmity between the Turks and the Russians. The economic reprisals from Russia were massive and Turkey is still suffering from them. All this Turkish confrontation with Russia did not cost the US a penny, but the benefits were immense.

The Turks started to put two and two together and they did not like what they saw. President Erdogan started to think. First, he apologized for the plane, and Putin responded; rapprochement between Russia and Turkey began. It will be a slow process, but it is the beginning.  Also, Turkish rapprochement with Iran, Iraq, and Syria will begin. ISIS will be the big loser. Someone in the West did not like this, hence the coup d’état.

The coup d’état failed, and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization beckons to Turkey to join provided the conditions are met. The New Silk Road of Afro-Eurasia led by China also beckons Turkey, and Turkey might just bite. As a result, the West will face a debacle in the Middle East. The West will not like the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. Another coup d’état will be attempted to prevent it. A great confrontation between Turkey and the West is in store. How the historical wind will blow, and how history will flow remains to be seen. Only time will tell.