Since the end of the Second World War, the major powers of the world have lived in relative peace. While there have been wars and conflicts — Vietnam, Afghanistan (twice), Iraq (twice), the Congo, Rwanda, Israel and Palestine, the Iran-Iraq war, the Mexican and Colombian drug wars, the Lebanese civil war — these have been localised and at a much smaller scale than the violence that ripped the world apart during the Second World War. Hopefully, the threat of mutually assured destruction and the promise of commerce will continue to be an effective deterrent, and prevent any kind of global war from breaking out. Nothing would be more wonderful than the continuing spread of peace. Yet we must be guarded against complacency. Sixty years of relative peace is not the end of history.
The Wars in the Middle East and North Africa Are NOT Just About Oil ... They're Also About GAS
New York Times Concedes that It Is Unknown Whether Syrian Artillery Came from Rebels or Government ... Ron Paul: Beware ...Submitted by George Washington on 10/07/2012 13:44 -0500
Weekend Mideast News Roundup
While some have blamed last night's 'performance anxiety' on the President's efforts to save our economy and not having time to practice, and others at Romney's 'bullying' of the moderator, it seems Al Gore has come up with the real reason - it's the altitude, stupid!
Those who rally behind the modern concept of America rally behind a façade — an empty shell devoid of the heart and soul that gave life to this once great experiment. It is time for us to decide what kind of Americans we wish to be: the deluded rah-rah puppets of a desiccated totalitarian society, or the watchmen on the wall. Will we be the keepers and protectors of the vital core of the American identity, or will we be fly-by-night consumers of the flavor-of-the-day political carnival, eating every tainted sample from the elitist platter in an insane attempt to replace our free heritage with a sleek, sexy, rehashed form of top-down feudalism?
The conventional validation for perpetual war in the Middle East does not hold when looked at rationally. When the ideas of nationalism and statist glory are wiped away, the state appears as it really is: institutionalized exploitation of the masses by the few. The undertaking of war masks this reality for a short period while accelerating the pace at which liberty is stripped away. In the end, wars are waged to fulfill the sadistic desires of government leaders and to give them an opening to tighten their grip on society. The parasitic class which makes up the state doesn’t just war with other states; it conducts war against the citizens it claims to protect.
The problem we are going to face at some point as a nation and in fact as a civilization is this: there is no well-developed economic theory inside the corridors of power that will explain to the administrators of a failed system what they should do after the system collapses. This was true in the Eastern bloc in 1991. There was no plan of action, no program of institutional reform. This is true in banking. This is true in politics. This is true in every aspect of the welfare-warfare state. The people at the top are going to be presiding over a complete disaster, and they will not be able to admit to themselves or anybody else that their system is what produced the disaster. So, they will not make fundamental changes. They will not restructure the system, by decentralizing power, and by drastically reducing government spending. They will be forced to decentralize by the collapsed capital markets. The welfare-warfare state, Keynesian economics, and the Council on Foreign Relations are going to suffer major defeats when the economic system finally goes down. The system will go down. It is not clear what will pull the trigger, but it is obvious that the banking system is fragile, and the only thing capable of bailing it out is fiat money. The system is sapping the productivity of the nation, because the Federal Reserve's purchases of debt are siphoning productivity and capital out of the private sector and into those sectors subsidized by the federal government.
Regular readers are aware that periodically, usually weekly, Zero Hedge presents critical naval updates demonstrating the positioning of key US maritime assets, primarily strategic aircraft carriers. The location of these indicates far more what US foreign policy is focused on at any moment, than propaganda distributed for general consumption via the coopted media. Today, however, instead of focusing on aircraft carriers, using Stratfor analysis, we present several broad "curious" US and French military developments.
Liquidity, Fund Flows and Technicals matter now. Fundamentals, Dow Theory and the real economy, not so much.
If yesterday it was the Middle East's turn to escalate, today it is the Far East, aka Pacific Rim, where China and Japan both remind the world nothing has been fixed in the diplomatic snafu between the two countries over a barren rock in the East China Sea. First, it was China, which on the front page of the biggest daily Xinhua, over the weekend, demanded that Japan immediately stop infringing upon its "territorial sovereignty. To wit: "China asked Japan to immediately stop all acts that harm China's territorial sovereignty, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said late Saturday, after some Japanese landed on the Diaoyu Islands. Hong said the Japanese landed on the Diaoyu Islands Friday evening with the excuse of preventing Taiwanese activists from landing on the islets. "It is a severe infringement upon China's territorial sovereignty, and the Chinese government has lodged solemn representations and strong protests to the Japanese side," Hong said in a statement." Other headlines make it quite clear that it is in China's interest to stir populist anger at Japan instead of seeking an amicable resolution. What, however, was the most important article in today's Pacific Rim press is this one which has nothing to do with Japan, and everything to do with China's expanding zone of influence: "China's top security official on Saturday made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, the first time in 46 years that a Chinese leader set his foot on the soil of this landlocked Asian country."
Today's Zero Hedge articles in audio summary! "I'm sorry guys. I can't go out. Mum's grounded me for not burning our U.S. embassy." Everyday. Yeah, just everyday.
Up until now, the LHD 7 Iwo Jima Big-Deck Amphibious Warfare ship was all alone in the Arabian Sea, patiently awaiting orders to liberate this or that middle east country of their oil reserves. This is no longer the case: launching today in general direction - Middle East - for a brand new 7 month engagement, is the LHA 1 Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, consisting of the amphibious assault ship, the USS Peleliu which consists of 4000 marines. LHA 1 also comprises of the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay and the dock landing ship USS Rushmore. Also deploying Monday is the Marine Corps' 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and elements of Fleet Surgical Team 1, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Assault Craft Units 1 and 5, and Beach Master Unit 1. And as we reported previously, the middle east veteran - the CVN 74 Stennis aircraft carrier - was providently already on its way. In other words, in about 2 weeks, the Middle east will be the focal point of 3 aircraft carriers, 2 amphibious assault forces, and who knows how many "developed" world armadas, all hell bent on securing that one extra bit of Middle East oil, under the guise of spreading democracy and liberating the local people who "hate America's for its freedom."
People often ask me why the West doesn’t attempt a Libya-style intervention in Syria. After all, things are going so well in Libya. Oil production is up. But oil production is merely a mirage, as is security in Libya, which was doomed from the day one PG (post-Gaddafi) because of the way it was “liberated”. Anyone who thinks that Libya will be a secure oil frontier after the formation of a new government next summer is mistaken. On Wednesday, US envoy to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed along with three other American diplomats in a rocket attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The anti-Islamic movie is a red herring in all of this. “This is a cut and dry example of the backfire of the US intervention strategy,” Bagley said. “Let’s hope it isn’t attempted in Syria.” The post-Gaddafi Libya is not real. It’s a dangerous fabrication of materials stuck together by the glue of dubious alliances with jihadists who are cut loose with their weapons once the immediate goal (Gaddafi’s demise) was achieved. Forget about the oil for now.
Having trouble keeping track of how many countries have now officially rebelled against Pax Americana in the past week? Here is your handy one-stop resource to keep you abreast of all the latest in the embassy storming fad.