The current war-shrieking is irrevocably lashed to the over-extendedness of the West’s aggregate balance sheet. Somewhere in the basement of the NY Fed the Mother of All Spreadsheet’s (MOAS) burgeoning cells are starting to acquaint, of necessity, with scientific notation. A key leverage point has been reached if not surpassed. The terminal cycle in a secular trend swaps an ever-widening spreadsheet for the war drum.
Politicians don’t initiate anything, taking instead their cues from powerful interests. The manic yammering of Western pols on practically any anti-Russian pretense is the barometer of just how teetering the western banking edifice has become. We commoners listen to better gauge the proximity of our plight.
What Brzezinski circa 1995 breezily assured us, in warmed-over MacKinderism, was that the Grand Chessboard would checkmate to the West’s advantage in the near term. It sure looked like a walk in the park. And it would have been. So overweening in fact was Brzezinski’s hubris that he very helpfully put it in a book, something akin to leaving your secret-sauce formula on a bus seat for anyone to find. The world thanks him for it.
Yet funny things happen on the way to the forum such as a circuitously ruinous foray through a series of Neocon misadventures in the Middle East. Project Clean Break and the Yinon Plan precipitated an elective series of conflicts. Each involved territorial expansion (the Greater Israel project) at a time when no direct existential threat was being pressed on Israel itself.
With only changes, 2013 essays on Syria could have been penned today. Nietzsche’s most potent nightmare was eternal recurrence.
The American Empire should have prioritized itself and battened down another century of hegemony while Eurasian integration was still in its germinative phases. The Israel project could have been embarked upon subsequently. Instead the priorities were reversed. Brzezinski was a Rockefeller man who had little time for the Neocon ideologues. Nonetheless they prevailed upon Bush Jr and the rest is historical debacle.
To paraphrase Bob Seger (sort of) twenty years now, where’d they go? Suddenly it’s 2018 and the Eurasian resource basket continues to elude the Western bankers’ securitizing grasp. The ‘petro’ part of the petrodollar (shackled to the saline-tainted Ghawar field) was to have been superseded by a subjugated Eurasian resource basket of inestimable value.
Truly, the end of mercantilism (1st-world arbitraging of the here to the there) will have arrived when those who stride daily atop 3/4 of the world’s resources (Mackinder’s World-Island or the Eurasian land mass) become the direct custodians and exploiters of said riches. This massive repatriation will deliver a fatal blow to the extractive proclivities of the Western banking model. Prior to this, rest assured, there will be blood. Hence the current topic. Should we survive this epochal transition (questionable), even the Anglo-Saxon in me can see the contours of a healthier, less alienated world.
For the moment, straws (pipelines) not boats (Royal Navies) have become this season’s black. What is a pipeline after all but a boat on stilts? For that matter, what is a gunboat in a dawning era of hypersonic missiles but a tub at a bee-bee gun contest?
Can we say things haven’t worked out as planned? Putin has been the single most maddening impediment. That’s why the Putin-is-Hitler equivalency has been hammered upon since Hillary. Russian Collusion resonates out of this anxiety too. Then of course, the ultimate globalist nightmare: an America-Russia alliance spiritually girded and co-enabled by a Christian re-awakening as is occurring in the latter as we speak, leaving secular humanism to duke it out with Islamic jihadist in Tired Old Europe.
What we failed to acquire and subdue via liberal-democratic importation and expropriation (Atlanticism) must now be taken via war. And sooner rather than later. How dire are the bankers’ straits? Listen to the ridiculous Skripal or Goutha chemical weapon tales that the politicians are reduced to spouting. They barely make a stab at narrative consistency. One of alt-media’s crowning achievements has been to install a reflexive suspension of belief in a growing segment of erstwhile MSM consumers.
Though the manic yammering of Western pols on practically any anti-Russian pretense is the barometer of just how teetering the western banking edifice has become, it behooves us to listen as therein lie the entrails of our plight.
WW3 is non-negotiable. Our P-T-B have to precipitate it. For them, the alternative is far worse. Alas we are lashed to them. Even the ‘Antiwar Left’ is screaming for Putin’s head. How neat a trick is that?
Toss in Russian military superiority in a series of weapons classes, increased Russian-Chinese rapprochement/cooperation and you soon realize a whole lot more than twenty years separates 2018 and 1997. Somewhere in that interval, held aloft by the slowest most furtive thighs, a new epoch presented itself.
Now, a penny for the other side’s thoughts.
Poring through John Helmer’s writings this past weekend up on Dances with Bears, I found a compelling case that a cognitive Rubicon has been crossed in Russia. The tragedy is it will go largely unheeded by our western leaders, if they’re even heedful of bellicose signs.
Putin tends to play chess in an environment where the rules of the game conform more to whack-a-mole. I hope I’m missing a covert brain trust on our side. But I don’t think so. That’s a Putin flaw in my opinion. He extrapolates his discernment onto less able foes. A Grand Master can be useless at a whack-party. Yes, but can he swing a freakin’ plastic mole hammer? That’s what the world wants to know.
Historically, the last arrow in Russia’s ‘defensive’ quiver is surprise, which is to say an unexpected offensive move. Surprise is not reactive. It is unilateral and unanticipated by definition. Surprise also means that the West has been stripped of a speaking role on the Russian game board.
Were the West’s leadership not so eager for the war to commence, one might say the core tragedy will spring from a cultural misread. Eschewing symbolic gesture, the Russians do not telegraph. They deliberate slowly on crucial decisions, a quality easily misconstrued (through our cultural lens) as dithering and reticence.
When they do decide, often based on the oddest final straw (what Holmer calls their unseen red lines), Russia is perhaps the most resolute nation on the planet –and the most deadly. (Russia was responsible for three out of four Nazi kills in WW2.) Western war-gamers afford them all due respect.
They have convened their equivalent of a War Cabinet (a Stavka; research the precedents and function), but with crucial differences. Putin has called all ex-pats home. He is in semi-isolation at his dacha, thinking hard, one imagines, with a minimum of distractions. His weekly schedule is not publically available this week, a departure from the norm.
You may have noticed we’ve sort of stumbled into a War Cabinet as well.
The S-300 Rubicon has already been crossed. They’re in Syria already. Let’s hope Sec. Mattis and his MOD counterparts are belaboring the de-confliction lines. It may be up to the US Military to provide adult supervision on our side. I don’t think the Pentagon is too eager about this one. No wonder they’re getting out of Dodge and moving their dog-and-pony show to Iraq. The hope is to leave the fight to Israel, the Saudi’s and Academi/Erik Prince’s 1099 warriors.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently expressed its readiness to send its troops to Syria within the framework of a so-called International Coalition to replace American troops deployed there acting on the request of US President Donald Trump.”
One wonders how long this US ‘supervisory role’ will last in the fog of war. Clearly, Israel was not pleased with the message conveyed by Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the US Central Command during his unprecedented April 24th visit when he, “failed to convince Israel’s leaders that President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops from Syria offered any advantages to their security.” Time will tell.
Thus on early sheets paper at least, this coalition will not be heavily represented with American boots on the ground. It will however be an ‘American-led’ coalition, thereby skirting a number of prickly optics. This approach appeals to Trump’s P&L instincts, keeps him more-or-less honest on his neo-isolationist campaign pledges and offloads much of the blood and guts responsibility to the players whose abysmal neighborhood it is.
Anybody been watching Ukraine? These two boiling pots are being synchronized. The Russian military is on full alert. One suspects some crucial decision has already been taken by the Stavka. Is a surprise in the offing?
So, just as Russia is retooling for engagement, the West is becoming increasingly emboldened by what it perceives as passivity. Like two ships in the night, an escalation ladder fed by misread cultural cues, leavened by bad actors who actually hanker (G-d help us) for WW3, appears in the cards.