History proves a government can’t be fiscally responsible and the policeman of the world. All great empires were befallen by the inability of resources to keep up with ambition. From Alexander the Great to Rome to the great British Empire, hegemony doesn’t last forever. The U.S. government guarantees security to over 35 countries and has troops stationed in over 146 countries. Does such an astounding presence – completely unmatched by previous empires – really sound all that sensible?
NATO's Jens Stoltenberg unleashed the latest tirade against Russia this morning proclaiming - though offering no proof - that there are Russian forces and heavy equipment in Ukraine and a high number of Russian forces on the border which "doesn't contribute to a peaceful solution." Apparently pre-empting this outburst, Pravda reports Anatoly Tsyganok, director of the Military Forecasting Centre, exclaims, "Ukraine reiterates that Russia is in the war, but it's not true," adding that in fact "the USA and the NATO have artificial satellites continuously circulating above this territory and control the situation," concluding with a jab at The US & NATO that "Russia has never participated in the military conflict. And no attempt to involve Russia in the conflict will be crowned with success." The propaganda battle continues...
After reportedly rejecting Vladimir Putin's peace proposal and continuing heavy shelling in the pro-Russian-held regions of Donetsk, Ukraine's military spokesman Lysenko is reporting the Russian army is directly attacking Ukraine forces in the north conflict zone. The fight over what is now a destroyed Donetsk airport continues with Lysenko claiming to have stalled Russian forces adding that three Russian battallions are approaching the Ukraine border. CNN reports that the Russian Defense Ministry says, "Ukraine's allegations that Russian troops are in Ukraine are complete rubbish."
Further to the dramatic footage yesterday, Ukrainian troops have launched a massive assault on militia-held areas, according to RT. This comes on the heels of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko rejecting a peace plan proposed to him last week by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. As Reuters reports, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday evening, according to Russian media, that the plan, contained in a letter sent by Putin on Thursday evening, proposed a ceasefire by both government forces and separatist militiamen in southeastern Ukraine, as well as the withdrawal of heavy artillery by both sides. Given the images below, it will be hard to see how Ukraine (and The West) will spin this...
Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian state energy giant Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine amid accusations, according to The Daily Mail, that its neighbor has been siphoning off and stealing Russian gas. Due to these "transit risks for European consumers in the territory of Ukraine," Gazprom cut gas exports to Europe by 60%, plunging the continent into an energy crisis "within hours." Perhaps explaining the explosion higher in NatGas prices (and oil) today, gas companies in Ukraine confirmed that Russia had cut off supply; and six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas. The EU raged that the sudden cut-off to some of its member countries was "completely unacceptable," but Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller later added that Russia plans to shift all its natural gas flows crossing Ukraine to a route via Turkey; and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated unequivocally, "the decision has been made."
Following the adoption of its new military doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin in December which identifies NATO expansion as an external risk, it is perhaps hardly surprising that, as Reuters reports, Russia's top general, Valery Garesimov stated that the "Defence Ministry will focus its efforts on increasing the combat capabilities of its units and increasing combat strength.. with special attention will be given to the groups in Crimea." Amid renewed heavy shelling in Donetsk, NATO's top military commander noted they will be stepping up exercises in the Baltic Sea region as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin warns, "the situation in eastern Ukraine is deteriorating."
Currently there are a number of weak spots in the global financial edifice, in addition to the perennial problem children Argentina and Venezuela... The happy bubble in risk assets could presumably be derailed a bit if any of the possible worst case scenarios were to become manifest.
"This is why Putin is Public Enemy Number 1. It’s because he’s blocking the US pivot to Asia, strengthening anti-Washington coalitions, sabotaging US foreign policy objectives in the Middle East, creating institutions that rival the IMF and World Bank, transacting massive energy deals with critical US allies, increasing membership in an integrated, single-market Eurasian Economic Union, and attacking the structural foundation upon which the entire US empire rests, the dollar." Up to now, of course, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have taken the biggest hit from low oil prices; but what the Obama administration should be worried about is the second-order effects that will eventually show up...
If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war. The US has been waging economic, financial, trade, political and even kinetic war-by-proxy against Russia. The only question is why?
The mainstream media narrative - that Germany is ready and prepared for Grexit and that it is no longer a threat to financial stability - is all hype, according to German opposition finance minister Joachim Poss. As Bloomberg reports, all that is mostly posturing for an electorate tired of the aid and angst Greece has demanded since 2010. Simply put, the potential for Euro instability from a Grexit is a detriment to Germany's massive benefits from the single currency - "Europe can’t afford a Greek exit," Poss concludes, complacency by Merkel is "playing with fire."
Will truth be stranger than fiction...
It’s high time for a new model and for new people. But the old ones, and their utterly and dramatically failed economies, hold the power, the media, the money, everything. So what other way out is there but mass fighting, mass casualties, a complete overthrow of everything that exists today, probably nuclear bombs dropping, and in the end a world none of us would recognize, let alone be able to survive in? It’ll take a while yet to get there, and it won’t be a pretty while by any stretch of the imagination. The powers that be are not done yet pretending to rule the universe and playing God. We should kick ‘em all out today, but we won’t. Because we’re all too much like them.
"As a former military analyst myself I can tell you that by now the Russian intelligence community's "indicators and warnings" should be "flashing red" and that in all likelihood Russia is already preparing for war..."
2014 is in the bag and there's something for everyone to celebrate. Here are the narratives that painted the past year - what’s real about them versus what we’re being told they are about.