Beltway Mediocrities Bumble Toward Armageddon

Photograph Source: Senate Democrats – CC BY 2.0

Our government is run by second-raters. Mediocrities in the state department and national security apparatus have seized the political steering wheel, because president Joe Biden, like senator Dianne “No Show” Feinstein and many others in our extensive gerontocracy do not inspire confidence. And the results are disastrous for Americans. De-dollarization across much of the planet and the possibility of a two-front, conceivably radioactive war against China and/or Russia. You think these two developments sound far-fetched? Well, the former is already underway, and as for the latter, rabid neo-cons and jingoistic four-star generals have stepped into the vacuum at the top and on your TV screen, and these dimwits can’t imagine losing, so now we move closer than ever before, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to igniting nuclear Armageddon.

Just picture the Ukrainian drone that struck the Kremlin May 3 and ask yourself what would have happened had a Russian drone collided with the roof of the white house? The U.S. might well have launched nuclear missiles – amirite? We denizens of planet earth are all very lucky, and especially those of us who reside in American cities, that Russian leaders were rational enough not to target western metropolises with nuclear warheads. They have made clear that they won’t be further provoked, even by preposterous U.S. media claims that the Kremlin droned itself, claims that reveal yet again two sorry facts: first, our press outlets think we are morons and second, they parrot CIA talking points.

That’s the hot war. Then there’s the economic one. Dollar boosters like Treasury secretary Janet Yellen like to note that it would be very difficult for any other country’s money to replace the greenback as the world’s reserve currency. True enough. But who says the world has to HAVE a reserve currency? What China, Russia and the Global South show, as they stop trading in dollars and dump U.S. Treasuries, is that they can conduct business in their own currencies and will do so, having witnessed Washington’s idiotic sanctions on numerous nations and thus having been terrorized by the imbecilic weaponization of the dollar. So most of the world, aside from the west, now takes steps to abandon the U.S. financially. The dollar’s reign is ending, and soon we Americans will face a radically altered and indisputably grimmer future. All thanks to the stupidity of the very pedestrian people at the top in Washington, starting back in the Clinton administration.

As for the China-Russia alliance, anyone with a brain could see that coming. But not our congressmembers. And those forewarned had not a care in the world. As long ago as 1997, senator Joe Biden proclaimed: “And then the Russians say to me ‘You keep expanding NATO, we’re going to make friends with China.’ I almost burst out laughing. I could barely contain myself, I said ‘Good luck to you guys. If China doesn’t work out, try Iran.’” Well, who’s laughing now? Not the U.S. president, who can’t even get China’s leader to answer his phone calls. Not the American people, who, according to some polls (58 percent, said a Reuters-Ipsos poll in October), worry that this administration of very unexceptional people will enrage the Russia-China colossus and thus stumble into a nuclear holocaust.

Meanwhile congress throws gasoline on this political dumpster fire with its Ukrainian Victory Resolution. In the House, Tennessee Dem Steve Cohen and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson sponsored this bill. A companion resolution, introduced by senators – Connecticut Dem Richard Blumenthal, liberal darling and Rhode Island Dem Sheldon Whitehouse, and South Carolina Republican Lindsay “Bombs Away” Graham – now percolates through that chamber of the capitol. This very unfortunate and wildly provocative legislation mandates “the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and to bring Ukraine into NATO after the war is over,” according to Daniel Larison in Responsible Statecraft April 28.

This is called asking for trouble. Because these are precisely the points that led to Russia’s invasion in the first place. Moscow tried to negotiate over Kiev joining NATO, but Washington turned up its nose. And as far as the Russians who populate the Donbas are concerned, well, it looked like Ukraine had ethnic cleansing for them on the schedule, and the west didn’t object. So Russia invaded. In short, congress now actively touts its own recipe for nuclear World War III, since that is what the Ukrainian Victory Resolution will bring.

That same last week in April, NATO delivered depleted uranium weapons to Kiev. Over to the east, the U.S. declared it would dock nuclear warheads in South Korea for the first time in 40 years, despite long-established promises to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Not surprisingly, Beijing responded with fury. Has ruthless Washington decided that if it can’t rule the world, it will destroy it? Hard to tell, because it’s even harder to tell who really controls the North American ship of state – but whoever it is, we need a change, pronto, because the current inside the Beltway gang appears poised to sink it to the ocean floor.

But back to money. In 2022 “the dollar share of reserve currencies slid 10 times faster than the average in the past two decades,” wrote Pepe Escobar in the Cradle April 27. “Now it is no longer far-fetched to project a global dollar share of only 30 percent by the end of 2024.” For this economic catastrophe besetting the United States, blame falls squarely on the white house.

At the Biden administration’s behest, $7 billion in Afghan money was sanctioned, that is, stolen, and $300 billion in Russian assets. You can’t pull nonsense like this without blowback. But the Biden clique thought you could, since Washington has been sanctioning the bejesus out of everybody and their grandmother starting back during the Clinton regime. The Biden coterie was wrong, however. They overplayed their hand, and now the dollar is on its long, slow way to becoming kaput, as we Americans traipse down the primrose path to penury. According to Escobar, the trigger “was in February 2024, when over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves were ‘frozen’ by the collective west, and every other country on the planet began fearing for their own dollar stores abroad.” That’s a heckuva job from the white house.

Once the dollar’s global share drops to 30 percent, it is no longer truly the reserve currency. And then we Americans start to sink in a sea of hyperinflation. “Demand for dollar-denominated bonds is slowly but surely collapsing. Trillions of U.S. dollars will inevitably start to go back home – shattering the dollar’s purchasing power and its exchange rate.” Quite an accomplishment for the president who crowed “the ruble will be rubble!” Well, it isn’t. But the prognosis for OUR currency ain’t rosy – with this decline coming sooner than any Beltway bigwigs or economists predicted.

There’s a bright side to this calamity, however, namely the end of the empire and the possible restoration of some semblance of a republic. “The fall of a weaponized currency will end up smashing the whole logic behind the U.S.’ global network of 800+ military bases and their operating budgets.” Hey, the fall of the dollar could even sideline humanity’s date with nuclear annihilation, fast-tracked by China hawks in the U.S. congress. So we’ll be poor for a while, here in the heart of the formerly Exceptional Empire, but, defying the lousy odds created for us by our rulers, we’ll still be alive.

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Busybody. She can be reached at her website.