Three months to the election? Check. Which means war-mongering rhetoric, once considered a staple of the GOP, may very soon become action, first in Syria, and soon, everywhere else. From Bloomberg: "The U.S. and allied forces probably will impose a “no-fly zone” over Syria and take other “more aggressive action” against the Syrian regime, former Defense Secretary William Cohen said. While the U.S. has been leery of another military intervention after a decade of wars, “We’re coming to the point, however, where the violence is getting so severe, I think, that you’ll see a movement towards setting up those no- fly zones,” Cohen said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend." Is war and immediate geopolitical escalation guaranteed? Not yet: "The former Pentagon chief and Maine senator, now chairman and chief executive officer of the Cohen Group consulting firm in Washington, said any U.S. military action would depend on participation and support from allies." Although desperate times, and by that we mean unfavorably trending popularity ranking, will certainly require desperate measures. Such as the continued massive build up of US naval assets in the middle east.
More from Bloomberg:
"I think that the United States is not going to go into this alone," said Cohen, who served as defense secretary during the NATO air strikes in the Kosovo conflict during the Clinton administration. "That’s why we’ve been working with the Gulf states."
John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, said on Aug. 8 the administration is studying the option of a no-fly zone with air protection “very carefully, trying to understand the implications, trying to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this.”
Cohen, a Republican, also criticized the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for promising to issue an executive order on his first day in office labeling China a currency manipulator.
Then there is Iran. And Israel:
On Iran, Cohen said the odds are increasing that Israel will strike the Islamic regime's nuclear facilities to prevent the Persian Gulf state from being able to produce a nuclear bomb.
“I would say it’s a little bit better than 50-50 that the Israelis would take action,” Cohen said. “The rhetoric is starting to get ratcheted up,” he said, though the sharp language may be a “tactical” move to pressure Russia and China to sanction Iran.
Which they won't as both see Iran, as well as Syria, precisely as the fulcrum points in an anti-US/Israel axis. And from there, where the escalation takes us, is anybody's guess.
The good news is that if and when Syria is finally "liberated", following what is sure to be a barrage of daily media propaganda including the gratuitous includsion of "weapons of mass destruction" for old time's sake, when brent and crude soar to new record highs, at least the market can be finally assured that no QE will be coming any time soon. Or not so soon.