Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A short survey of the main international actors before the coming crisis

Looking at all the nonsense filling the news recently (Presidential debates in the USA, the dying EU with a Nobel prize, etc.) I get a feeling that we are living through a proverbial "calm before the storm" and that is a good opportunity to make a quick survey of the situation of the main actors of the coming crisis.

The EU: contrary to what we see in media reports, the EU is currently undergoing a massive systemic crisis which it is unlikely to survive.  Basically, the EU is broke.  And I am not only talking about Greece here, but also about Italy, Spain, Portugal and even France.  Unemployment is rapidly rising, corporations are closing everywhere, most banks have severe liquidity problems and, worst of all, not a single European politician is offering any suggestion, however tepid, as to how to overcome the crisis.  In the meantime, the USA is using fiat money to purchase real estate and other assets all over the continent.  The austerity imposed upon Europeans by a political class totally sold out to the USA and international bankers is literally pushing the countries of southern Europe into a social explosion which could very rapidly turn violent.  With a few rare exceptions, the media (mostly owned by banks) is buying time for the bankers by simply ignoring this reality and feeding its clueless audience a steady stream of nonsensical and irrelevant news.  Bottom line: both the Euro and the EU as a political project are dying, the continent is broke and a social explosion inevitable.

Russia: is stark contrast to the EU, Russia is doing great.  The Russian economy is booming, the Western-sponsored opposition totally discredited, the armed forces are in very good shape and getting even stronger and the economic and social prospects look excellent.  Interestingly, Russian government officials have been very candid about the situation in the EU and they are openly saying that they have taken all the necessary measures to protect the Russian population from the consequences of the inevitable collapse of the EU.  No matter how good things look in Russia now, a collapse of the EU will have negative consequences for the Russian economy and the Kremlin has taken a wide array of measures to prepare for this situation.  Likewise, the Russian military appears to be ready to act should a US/Israeli attack on Iran create a crisis on Russia's southern borders.  Bottom line: Russia is just about as ready as can be for any foreseeable crisis and getting stronger each day.

Iran: there is no denying that Iran is in a very difficult situation and that the economic war imposed on Iran by Israel via the USA and the EU is having a strong impact upon the Iranian economy.  In purely military terms, Iran is probably as ready as it can be for a US/Israeli attack which the Iranians have been expecting and preparing for since decades.  To quote my friend Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich "If I were to make a call, I would say that given the world economy, the unrest around the globe, if there is an ideal time for war (to benefit Iran), this would be the ideal time".   While it is true that a US attack on Iran could potentially result in an immense number of casualties, it is nevertheless true that Iran is probably better prepared to respond to a military attack than to the current economic warfare imposed upon it.  I believe that Russia and China could help Iran break the economic and financial blockade imposed upon it, but this will take time and small, incremental, steps.

Hezbollah: though there is very little information available about the effect the NATO war on Syria is having on Hezbollah, my guess is that Hezbollah is in a very difficult situation threatened on all sides by a nauseating mix of US agents and Wahabi crackpots.  It is bad enough to have to face Israel, the US, NATO, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda types and their respective puppets inside Lebanon, but to have to face this at the very moment when Iran is struggling to deal with a full-spectrum destabilization effort by the USA and Israel must be particularly difficult. Others might disagree with this, but my personal feeling is that all the high-fiving Hezbollah has been doing recently about its drone its threats conduct offensive operations in Galilee is mostly a case putting a brave face on a very difficult situation.

Latin America: first and foremost, in Venezuela Chavez did pull off something of a miracle by winning the recent elections with a wide margin and during an election which was universally hailed as extremely honest, transparent and fair.  For all his faults and mistakes, Chavez has had the courage to let the Venezuelan people make a fundamental and far reaching choice: US-style global capitalism or "Bolivarian socialism" and the majority of the people clearly have made the choice for the latter.  This is bound to have an effect on the entire continent, if only because it shows that it is possible to resist against the US pressure and survive.  Likewise, Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to Assange is probably the result of a calculated risk of daring to openly defy the USA and get away with it.  Finally, in Bolivia, President Morales has managed, so far, to survive the multiple crisis created by pro-US interests against his administration.  So even if it is true that Brazil, Argentina or Chile are showing signs of caving in to US pressures to submit, the resistance to the US domination still appears to be strong enough to present a complex challenge to the White House.

China: by far the major country about which I know the least and the little I know about it comes mainly from Russian sources.  According to these sources, China is working side by side with Russia in preparation for an economic collapse of the EU followed by an inevitable collapse of the dollar and the rest of the current international financial system.  There are persistent rumors that both China and Russia are quietly buying large amounts of gold and off-loading dollars.   What is sure is that these two countries are ideal partners to jointly overcome the consequences of the inevitable meltdown of the current international financial system.   According to Russian analysts, both Russia and China expect the USA to try to use its military to force the rest of the planet to accept the dollar as the quasi-sole currency of international exchange a this is why both Russia and China are spending a great deal of money and efforts to modernize their armed forces.  Unlike Russia, China is very heavily invested in the US market and this is the reason why the Chinese are scrambling to open new markets for their goods in Africa, Latin America and, of course, Russia.  I personally expect these two countries to continue to work hand in hand on all levels.

Last, but not least,

The USA: for all the constant saber-rattling of the White House and the hysterics of the Israel Lobby, it is quite amazing that the inevitable US attack on Iran, announced since 2006-2007, has still not happened.  It appears that the usually almighty Israel Lobby has failed to prevail against two powerful interest groups: the Pentagon and Wall Street (I personally think of them as the "old Anglo money" as opposed to "new Jewish money").  As long as there is simply too much to loose in a military strike against Iran, these forces are likely to limit their aggressive inclinations to a mix of threats and economic sanctions.  However, if the international role of the dollar becomes truly threatened, then all bets are off and all options very much on the table.

As a country, the USA is broke, bled to death by the so-called 1%ers running it.  Worse, the USA are becoming gradually de-industrialized and socially dysfunctional.  The only thing which currently prevents a complete collapse of the entire US economy is the ability to print more and more dollars and to exchange them against real goods and services.  This is nothing new, it all really began in the 1980s when the system began to show clear signs of fundamental systemic failures.  What saved the day was the collapse of the Soviet Union which opened a huge segment of the planet to a massive inflow of dollars.  In their typical arrogance, the Western elites decreed that they had "won the Cold War" instead of realizing that their capitalist system had only been temporarily given a reprieve from its inevitable collapse by the collapse of the Soviet system.  This was a one time thing, however, and now are no more potential markets to flood with US dollars and the entire scheme is about to come tumbling down.

The corporate media does a truly stellar job of hiding it all from the general population which continues to be fed a constant diet of irrelevant non-news with rosy forecasts about the future.  While Russia and China are clearly bracing themselves for the inevitable crisis, the Western government are putting all their efforts into hiding the facts from their population and delaying the inevitable.

How things will actually play themselves out is anybody's guess.  My personal sense is that the economic crisis in Europe will trigger a rapid collapse of the EU financial system which, in turn, will precipitate a collapse of the US banking system at which point a military attack on Iran will begin to start making sense even to the folks on Wall Street.  A war in the Middle-East will also be an ideal pretext to basically do away with the few civil rights still left and a period of internal Fascism is probably inevitable, at least in the USA (unlike the USA, Europe simply does not have a system in place capable of effectively beating down an angry population).  Whatever the actual scenario, a collapse the international financial system is probably inevitable and that, in turn, most likely means that we are going to witness one or more full-scale wars in the near future.

 What is your take on this?  Do you agree with my "doom and gloom" forecast?

The Saker