Monday, July 28, 2014

Beware of the Bear !

It is a sure sign of the times that amid the hopeless and unmanageable mess that the US is fast becoming domestically and the mindless super-shitdisturber is has become in the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average keeps rising and setting new records.  Amazing, isn't it. The mood is almost as jubilant as Hitler was in his bunker under the Chancellery on learning that FDR was dead. Fuehrer's optimisim was short lived. In less than two weeks Zhukov's shells were exploding overhead and his increasingly insane plans to turn the tide around morphed into a solemn resolve to kill Eva, Blondie and the genius who lay the foundation of the Ten Thousand Year Reich.

     So beware investors ! The Bear is surely coming and the second superpower Granfalloon is following its one-time nemesis to the fast exit from history. It will not be pretty. The US economy lives without a manufacturing base; it has not much to sell as better or cheaper copies of everything are readily available in a free-trade world; it imports energy by hundreds of billions; its Treasury is seventeen trillion dollar in the red and the debt and trade imbalance grow by the day.  So pardon me if I perceive the plan to the re-enact a cold-war victory over Russia to slow things down as a sign of terminal insanity comparable to Hitler's attempting to blitz the Red army away from Berlin.

     Pardon me also for saying that kissing the Saudi ass as a Middle-East policy that trumps a principled political support for Israel as the only democracy in the region, is a sure sign of dementia - not simply incompetence. The US missed two glorious opportunities to deal with the most poisonous oil spill in the world, the creeping medieval scourge of Islamism: first proactively by removing Faisal in 1973 to pre-empt the monstrously skewed "resource-based" world economy, and then reactively, by re-asserting its control over the Saudi oil riches permanently after 9/11, ie by an occupation a la Japan 1945, with an accelerated internal reform toward a Western-style democracy.  This of course would have been the sane and intelligent response to an unprovoked attack on the US that would  have sent chills down the spines of the caliphate-mongers, not to speak of instantly emptying their pockets. Surely, this would have been not just the better course of action, but one that would have been way, way, way more cost effective than going to Iraq and Afghanistan!   But naturally if you are demented why would you wage a short winning war for principle and profit from it, when you have an opportunity to wage two longer ones that are a losing proposition in all respects. 

    Surely, John you are mistaken ! (John Robson, The Ottawa Sun, Myth of 'international community', 28, 2014)  There is an international community and it is watching.  It sees what you see but draws different conclusions than you do. In the case of Hamas , the perception is somewhat complicated since the Obama and EU bureaucrats are hugely anti-Israel. But since they have never been less popular with the electorates, the media's criticism of the IDF shelling is somewhat muted this time around. Most people in the streets around the world want Hamas gone - by and large they are simply shell-shocked by the human cost of the operation.  There is little popular support for Hamas, except among the usual suspects. The ten thousand protesters in London on the last two Saturdays testify far more to the creeping islamization of the city's outer borroughs than a popular sentiment. BBC call-in shows show clearly there is a large sentiment abroad for Israel's plight.

    There is, contrary to what you believe, no big sympathy in the international community for Putin either. In Europe, the situation in the Ukraine is of course seen differently than over here, especially with respect to the hyper-nationalist ideology which threatens to destabilize the whole of Ukraine, not just the East. No European politician would be seen shaking hands with the likes of Dmytro Yarosh (He is now wanted by the Interpol). But Europe is leery of Putin after his repatriating Crimea without blinking an eye. They are afraid of him because he knows what he wants and they don't. Merkel, who holds the EU trump cards, seems hopelessly torn between Bismarckian Realpolitik and the FickendieEUundPutinPolitik on offer by the current breed of geniuses in the State Department who bug her cell phone. She naturally holds to keys in exerting the right kind of pressure on Kiev to come to terms with the East and accede to some form of federal compromise for the country. The place cannot be brought back to normal otherwise. Putin (or for that matter any viable Russian leader) will not allow it. Moscow is the go-to regional power there and cannot abide Ukraine to become a part of a hostile military block. Putin knows better than anyone that the Maidan charade cannot last because essentially Ukraine is politically what Russia was before Putin, a noisy cackle of oligarchs and political operators fighting each other for bigger bowl of kasha and personal fiefdoms while letting the country go to pot.

       So, the problem with Putin appears to be above all that he gets things done where Obama fails miserably.  You may be contemptuous of the "supposedly emerging giant economies" of the newly formed BRICS but it is a formidable achievement (just think of it, bringing China and India together !), and one that may change a lot of things about how the world economy operates.  Most financial experts know this.   And it is not only the strength and sustained growth of the aggregate GDP but above all their combined assets-to-liabilities ratio which will be the telling factor in the competition with the US and Europe. Mythical or not, the international community registers all this.

        Likewise, with the downing of the the MH17 jet.  I am sure many in the body which you deny exists would see through the pathetic straw man of the plane with "preloaded dead bodies". Yes, there are stupid people in Russia who create noise.  But what I find interesting is that you would quickly snatch that in the face the much more plausible conspiracy theory advanced by some senior figures in the Russian military, namely that the plane was brought down not by a surface-to-air missile but a sidewinder weapon fired from a Ukrainian jet. From my vantage point this seems a much more probable "alternative" theory of the plane's demise, given the amount of time a crew of a BUK battery would have to detect and figure the trajectory of the coming plane for the wreckage to end up where it did. (The Donetsk airport control tower is closed btw. It could not have provided infor on the plane's course). You realize of course Russian intelligence listens to everything that is going on in the Ukraine. So when a mysterious Spanish traffic controller tweets that it was a jet belonging not to the military but to the Ukrainian Security, it just might be a way for the Russkis to let you know you are not fooling anyone by that pointing finger. Incidentally, you have noted I am sure that Kiev's military started a new offensive to get control of the crash site the moment the rebels came to an agreement with the Malayisan airline giving the investigators full access and control of the area. Why would they want to do that ?   I am not saying I know I am only saying some myths are evidently more mythical than others.  And the Bear is coming soon,  you can bet on that.

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