A Glidepath To World War III
The premise of my last post was that the West (and the United States, in particular) has been on a glidepath to World War III with Russia, and that news of the Supreme Court's impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade might save us from it.
Evidence that we've been on a glidepath to direct war with Russia includes President Biden's recent request for a whopping $33 billion in assistance to Ukraine. To put that number in perspective, it's roughly ten times America's annual aid to Israel. Other evidence includes ubiquitous pro-war propaganda with mysterious funding, maximalist demands by Western leaders,
British Foreign Secretary @trussliz said Russian troops must be pushed out of "the whole of Ukraine"— Helena Humphrey (@helenachumphrey) April 29, 2022
But @SamRamani2 tells me for the Kremlin "that would almost be the same of trying to launch an offensive on Moscow" and "increase the risk of a nuclear escalation" pic.twitter.com/P1kXqcOcpF
And a U.S. Congressman drafting a de facto declaration of war with Russia.
Might as well just vote on a declaration of war against Russia, because this is the same thing.— David Pinsen (@dpinsen) May 2, 2022
If this passes, the Ukraine will claim Russia used chemical or biological weapons, no one will bother verifying the claim, and off we'll go. https://t.co/LMUyehwDWJ
Derailing The Pro-War Social Contagion
Since part of what's been fueling the pro-war furor has been a social contagion,
You’re not gonna like this, but: your outrage at Russia is not real. It was put there by ppl who know you better than you do yourself. There have been dozens of wars w/millions of casualties in the last 20 years, and you didn’t care about any of them until you were told to.— Martyr Made 🦉 (@martyrmade) February 28, 2022
My hope was that the Roe v. Wade news might get us off that glidepath to World War III by becoming the new "Current Thing".
New Current Thing dropped plz update your emojis pic.twitter.com/qa8OSIMI8x— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) May 4, 2022
Unfortunately, "Officials" Still Want World War III
Two New York Times articles serve as a double-tap on this topic. First, there was this article questioning why President Putin has been showing "some restraint" (emphasis mine):
Then there is the question of why Russia hasn’t hit back harder against the West. The Kremlin narrative is of an existential war with NATO being fought on Ukrainian soil, but Russia is the one taking military losses while the West keeps a safe distance and supplies weapons that kill Russian soldiers.
“A lot of people in this town are asking why they haven’t retaliated yet,” said Samuel Charap, a former U.S. State Department official in Washington and a Russia analyst with the RAND Corporation. “It seems low probability that the U.S. and its allies will experience no blowback from having put this many Russian soldiers in their graves.”
If that article asked why Russia hasn't retaliated yet against the West, the second article seems like it's asking Russia to do so.
NEW: The US has provided intelligence that has helped Ukrainians target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials. w/ @helenecooper & @EricSchmittNYT https://t.co/vZ0wW5fem2— Julian E. Barnes (@julianbarnes) May 4, 2022
What other reason could there be for "senior American officials" to leak this to the Times? If the goal were simply to "weaken Russia"--which, we should pause to note, is not the same as simply defending Ukraine or trying to end the war--that would explain helping Ukrainians kill Russian generals, but it wouldn't explain leaking information about that to the most important newspaper in America. The only explanation for that would seem to be to provoke retaliation by Russia, which hawks can then use to argue for expanding the current proxy war against Russia, or even fighting Russia directly.
Still Not Out of the Woods
So, we're still not out of the woods as far as avoiding World War III, and we're still saddled with inflation and shortages due in part to the war in Ukraine and in particular the West's sanctions on Russia in response to it. With that macro picture in mind, I shared this hedged portfolio in my previous post.
Screen capture via Portfolio Armor on 5/2/2022.
A quick update on that: Two of the underlying securities in that hedged portfolio appeared in our top ten names on Monday, the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas ETF (BOIL), and the Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN). CORN is down a little over 1% since while BOIL is up nearly 23% as natural gas hit new highs in the U.S.
If you decide to buy any of these names, but especially the leveraged ETF BOIL, I suggest you consider hedging. You can use the Portfolio Armor website or iPhone app to scan for optimal hedges to get the level of protection you want at the lowest possible cost.
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