FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The End of Something

The euro is going down and may take the 17 nation euro zone with it, if not the entire 28 nation European Union.  Or maybe it will be the other way around?  Does it really matter?

Having never recovered from the 2008 recession, the collapse of the euro will drive the U.S. economy deeper into the quagmire of more unemployment, negative economic growth, schizophrenic fiscal policy, Congressional gridlock, inflationary monetary policy, and the rout of the dollar.  Is it possible that whatever the White House, the Congress, or the Fed may do will make not one whit of a difference?

To deflect public opinion away from their incompetence and corruption the White House, the Congress, the Fed, the European Central Bank, and all of the political leaders of Europe need an international scapegoat.  What could be better than a war against some unpopular rogue state such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela whose leader is considered by many Americans to be demonic.

Enter Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bearing gifts for American and European political leaders.  “Have I got a deal for you,” says Netanyahu.  “Why don’t NATO and its Arab allies take out the nuclear weapons program of the terrorist state of Iran?  It would divert the attention of the American and European people away from their economic woes.  Everyone (except the Iranians) would gain.”

With the demise of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Qadhafi, and Kim Jong Il, there are few demons left with whom to wage war.  Bringing down Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would significantly enhance Barack Obama’s chances for re-election in 2012 and help preserve the political status quo in Europe despite the economic turmoil.

And then what?  Iran is no Iraq.  This would not be kid’s stuff.  For starters, Iran has some very influential friends, not the least of which are Russia and China, who would be unamused by such an attack.

Unless the NATO strikes severely inhibit Iran’s ability to respond militarily, one could expect almost instantaneous retaliation by Iran in the Persian Gulf, closing down the Strait of Hormuz as well as oil production in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq.  This would effectively shut down the global economy.  If Iran were not in a position to respond militarily, then either Russia or China might do so.  They would perceive an attack on Iran to be a major threat to their national security.  China could always opt to pull the plug on the trillion dollar or so investment which it holds in U.S. Treasury bonds sending the U.S. economy into an even further death spiral.  China could also offer to help refinance the European economy thus driving a permanent wedge between Europe and the United States.  Russia might cut off the supply of natural gas to Europe as well.

And if Russia or China retaliates on behalf of Iran, how might the United States respond?  I think it is quite likely that the American Empire would launch missile strikes against Moscow or Beijing depending on the circumstances.  And since the White House and the State Department love to proclaim that all options will be on the table, one cannot rule out the possible deployment of nuclear weapons by missiles targeted at Moscow and Beijing.

Could this be the beginning of the endgame?  If so, so what?

Maybe Meursault, the Algerian clerk who narrated Albert Camus’s famous novel The Stranger and who was sentenced to death for murdering an Arab, said it all upon the death of his mother:

Mother died today.  Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.  The telegram from the Home says:  YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW.  DEEP SYMPATHY.  Which leaves the  matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday.

Thomas H. Naylor is Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of AffluenzaDownsizing the U.S.A., and The Search for Meaning.


More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
January 27, 2020
Peter Harrison
Adani and the Purpose of Education
Dean Baker
Can Manufacturing Workers Take Many More of Trump’s Trade “Victories”?
Robert Fisk
Trump in Davos: US isolationism is Reaching Its Final Narcissistic Chapter
Ariel Dorfman
The Challenge for Chile and the World
Victor Grossman
The Misuses of Antisemitism in the UK and the USA
Thomas Knapp
Bernie Sanders, Joe Rogan, Human Rights Campaign, and Truth in Advertising
Fred Gardner
NewsGuard Can Save You From Putin!
Lawrence Wittner
A Historian Reflects on the Return of Fascism
Rose Miriam Elizalde
Cuba: a Matter of Principle
Bob Topper
The Better Moral Creed
George Wuerthner
Giving Cover to the Abuses of Big Ag
Christopher Packham
This is Really Happening
Negin Owliaei
Americans Need to Hear More From Iranians, Here’s Where to Start
Ted Rall
Corporate Crap That Doesn’t Kill Bernie
Elliot Sperber
Sunset’s Soon
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
Jess Franklin
Globalizing the War on Indigenous People: Bolsonaro and Modi
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What the Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail