Tuesday, October 11, 2022



  Alastair Crooke lays out a contextual framework for understanding current events in the world, from politics, to war to global movements of oil, gas and resources and the collapsing western financial system. Thanks FS.  
Why are European Elites being so silent about NATO and Financial attacks on Europe? 
It appears that all of the key European bureaucratic elites have been captured by the security-complex with bribes and blackmail.

​  ​Western media is full of speculation whether, or not, we stand at the cusp of WW3. Actually, we are already there. The long war never stopped. In the wake of America’s 2008 Financial Crisis, the U.S. needed to reinforce its economy’s collateral resource base. For the Straussian current (the neocon hawks if you prefer), Russia’s then post-Cold War weakness was ‘opportunity’ to open a new war front. The U.S. hawks wanted to kill two birds with one stone: to pillage Russia’s valuable resources to reinforce their own economy and to fracture Russia into a kaleidoscope of parts.
  ​For the Straussians, the Cold War too never ended. The world remains binary – ‘us and them, good and evil’.
​  ​But the neoliberal pillage ultimately didn’t succeed – to the lasting chagrin of the Straussians. Since 2014 at least, (according to one senior Russian official), the Great Game has moved towards the attempt by the U.S. to control the flows and corridors of energy – and to set its price. And, on the other side, on Russia’s counter-measures to create fluid and dynamic transit networks through pipelines and Asian internal waterways – and to set the price of energy. (Now via OPEC+)
​  ​Why​ is this "WW3"? 
In my view it is a world war because it is an existential struggle for existence between a prevailing global economic structure in decline, and efforts by about 75% of the world to replace it with something less brutal and more equitable. The necessity for sustained exponential growth​ is the final failing of the exponential expansion of debt and debt-based money. The exponential-growth debt-economy was able to grow faster than other models in a time of abundant and inexpensive natural resources  where using them faster allowed it to use them faster-er and swamp any slower competitors. On the other hand, Russia is finished with its collapse and has been rebuilding for 20 years. Much of the world, even the House of Saud, is aligning against global neoliberalism, as it  appears to be unable to persist without expansion, which is effectively blocked.

​  ​One prescient financial commentator noted: “Bubbles bursting are not just about inflated prices falling, they’re about the recognition that an entire way of thinking was wrong”. Put simply, did the Straussians adequately think through their recent exaltation of the pipeline disruption? ... Curiously, the sabotage coincided with reports suggesting that secret talks were afoot between Germany and Russia to resolve all Nordstream issues and to restart supply​..​.
​..​The ‘Straussians’ are the followers of Leo Strauss, the leading neo-con theorist. Many are former Trotskyists who morphed over, from Left to Right (call them Neocon ‘hawks’ if you prefer). Their message is a very simple doctrine about the maintenance of power: ‘Never let it slip’; block any rival from emerging; do whatever it takes.
​  ​Leading Straussian, Paul Wolfowitz, wrote this simple doctrine of ‘destroy any emergent rivals before they destroy you’ into the U.S. 1992 official Defence Planning Document – adding to it that Europe and Japan particularly were to be ‘discouraged’ from questioning U.S. global primacy.​..​
..Straussians flit easily from U.S. political party to party. They have too their ‘useful’ auxiliaries deeply burrowed within the U.S.’ élite class, and institutions of state power. The oldest and most trusty of these auxiliary forces however, is the Anglo-American intelligence and security alliance...
..The ‘Straussians’ prefer to scheme from ‘behind the curtain’ and in certain U.S. think-tanks...Their alliances always remain temporary, opportunistic.​..
..The first such important impulse in the current reframing is liberal-woke, activist-driven, social justice-oriented identity politics. Why wokeism? Why should woke be of interest to the CIA and MI6? Because it is revolutionary. Identity politics was evolved during the French Revolution to upend the status quo; to overthrow its pantheon of hero-models, and to displace the existing élite and rotate a ‘new class’ into power. This definitely excites the interest of Straussians.​..
..Biden refers here, not to generic democracy in the wider meaning, but to America’s liberal-woke re-justification for global hegemony (defined as “our democracy”)...
​..​The second key dynamic – the Green Transition – is one that co-habits under the Biden Administration umbrella, together with the very radical and distinct philosophy of Silicon Valley – an eugenist and trans-human view that aligns in some respects with that of the ‘Davos’ crowd, as well as with the straight-forward Climate Emergency activists.​..
..T​hese two distinct, but companion piece dynamics to ‘our democracy’, crossed the Atlantic to burrow deeply into the Brussels leadership class. And, put simply, the Euro-Version of liberal-woke activism keeps intact the Straussian doctrine of U.S. and western exceptionalism...
..The aim of Manicheanism (since Carl Schmitt first made the point) is to foreclose on any mediation with rivals by portraying them as sufficiently ‘evil’ that discourse with them become pointless and morally defective...
..At the tip of the European ‘spear’ reside the Green zealots— particularly the truly revolutionary German, Green Party. They hold the leadership in Germany and are at the helm at the EU Commission. It is Green zealotry fused to ‘ruining Russia’ – an intoxicating mix...
..With Russia weakened sufficiently, and with Putin effected, the vultures would prey at the Russian carcass for resources – precisely as occurred in the 1990s...
..What can the European Green zealots say? They wanted anyway to throw down the pillars of industrialised society. Well, they got it. The Nordstream ‘escape route’ out from economic catastrophe has gone. There is nothing else, but to mumble unconvincingly: ‘Putin did it’.​ ​​ (Note: ​T​hat's not an action-plan.)
..What next? The hawks likely will now play their next hand in the high stakes game of WW3 ‘chicken’. The soaring dollar is one vector. The question is who holds the stronger cards? The West believes it holds the Ukraine card. Russia believes it has ace economic cards of food, energy, and resource security – and has a stable economy...
​  ​Much will depend on the fall-out from the Bubble burst. As that one commentator put it: “The moment has come for central bankers to tighten and to unwind their various market distortions: The impact has already been catastrophic.”

​  ​The financial system based on trust that loan-interest will be serviced​, or collateral seized, is now completely in doubt.​ Massive losses must be imposed on entire nations and classes of assets and asset-holders. Killing a lot of people seems unlikely to extinguish enough property-claims, and it also destroys real-property.
​  One great appeal of the nascent BRICS+ system is the renunciation of $US debt. That chooses who loses, holders of $US debt, which is mainly western-banking-and-finance. Those debts are 75% owed by the west, as well. If the global south and Asia can default and live, then European and English speaking countries, and Japan, will also need to follow suit and join the new financial regime.​ 
That will be a transition of great hardship, like the Russian 1990s, I think.

  Pepe Escobar has a lot more to offer than the sensational headline: Terror on Crimea Bridge forces Russia to unleash Shock’n Awe
  Russian President Vladimir Putin neatly summarized it: “This is a terrorist attack aimed at destroying the critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation.”
​  ​The head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, confirmed face-to-face with Putin that Terror on the Bridge was carried out by the SBU – Ukrainian special services.​   [Except that maybe it was MI-6 that did it.]​
​  Escobar describes in detail the initial order for Bulgarian explosives, originating in Ukraine, and the transport route through various countries, where packaging prevented its identification. It was apparently planned to explode on Friday October 7, Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday, but it ran a bit late.
..The driver of the first truck is already testifying. Yusubov, the driver of the second truck – which exploded on the bridge – was “blind:” he had no idea what he was carrying, and is dead...
..The packaging most certainly took place in Bulgaria. That, as Russian intel has cryptically implied, indicates the involvement of “foreign special services.”​...
​..An assessment received by The Cradle from another Russian intel source is way more intriguing.
​  ​At least 450 kg of explosives were employed in the blast. Not on the truck, but mounted inside the Crimea Bridge span itself. The white truck was just a decoy by the terrorists “to create a mirage of cause and effect.” When the truck reached the point on the bridge where the explosives were mounted, the explosion took place.
​  ​According to the source, railroad employees told investigators that there was a form of electronic hijacking; the terror operators took control of the railway so the train carrying fuel received a command to stop because of a false signal that the road ahead was busy.
​  ​Bombs mounted on the bridge spans were a working hypothesis largely debated in Russian military channels over the weekend, as well as the use of underwater drones.​ 
[There is ​also ​a rumor and video of missile attack which seems untrue.  https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-do-videos-show-missile-hitting-russias-kerch-bridge-crimea-1750364 ]
​  ​In the end, the quite sophisticated plan could not follow the necessarily rigid timing. There was no alignment by the millimeter between the mounted explosive charges, the passing truck and the fuel train stopped in its tracks. Damage was limited, and easily contained. The charges/truck combo exploded on the outer right lane of the road.​..
​..​"Terror on the Bridge" yielded a short, Pyrrhic PR victory – duly celebrated across the collective West – with negligible practical success: transfer of Russian military cargo by railway resumed in roughly 14 hours.
​  ​And that brings us to the key information in the Russian intel source assessment: the whodunnit.
​  ​It was a plan by the British MI6, says this source, without offering further details. Which, he elaborates, Russian intel, for a number of reasons, is shadow-playing as “foreign special services.”​ ...
..Americans rushed to establish plausible deniability. The proverbial “Ukrainian government official” told CIA mouthpiece The Washington Post that the SBU did it. That was a straight confirmation of an Ukrainska Pravda report based on an “unidentified law enforcement official.”​ ...
..The face of Russian Shock’n Awe is Russian Commander of the Aerospace Forces, Army General Sergey Surovikin: the new commander-in-chief of the now totally centralized SMO/CTO (counterterrorism operation) ...
..Surovikin has been commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces since 2017; was awarded the title of Hero of Russia for his no-nonsense leadership of the military operation in Syria; and had on the ground experience in Chechnya in the 1990s...

..Over 60 percent of Ukrainian power grids are already knocked out. Over 75 percent of internet traffic is gone. Elon Musk’s Starlink netcentric warfare has been “disconnected” by the Ministry of Defense...
​..​Ukraine is about to embrace nearly total darkness in the next few days. Politically, that opens a completely new ball game. Considering Moscow’s trademark “strategic ambiguity,” this could be a sort of Desert Storm remixed (massive air strikes preparing a ground offensive); or, more likely, an ‘incentive’ to force NATO to negotiate; or just a relentless, systematic missile offensive mixed with Electronic Warfare (EW) to shatter for good Kiev’s capacity to wage war.
​  ​Or it could be all of the above.

​  ​How a humiliated western Empire can possibly raise the stakes now, short of going nuclear, remains a key question. Moscow has shown admirable restraint for too long. No one should ever forget that in the real Great Game – how to coordinate the emergence of the multipolar world – Ukraine is just a mere sideshow.

​  John Helmer, at Dances With Bears, has a lot of information about the Ukrainian power grid, which has been disabled several times this year, though official Ukrainian government statistics seek to paint a rosier picture. This grid is completely vulnerable to military attack going into winter.​

​  ​People in England, Scotland and Wales could be in for three hour power cuts this winter if it can't import enough gas and electric imports from other parts of Europe, the British National Grid has warned. The utility said that the scenario was "unlikely," but that a perfect storm of Russian gas cuts and a cold snap akin to 2018's "beast from the east" could result in the rolling blackouts - reminiscent of power outages experienced in the 1970s.

Global margin call hits European debt markets​    (No more free lunch​es​ at the expense of the real economy?​ How far can this load-shedding proceed?​)
Hedges blow up after risk gauges in Germany’s government debt market exceeded those of the 2008 world crash​  
  ​NEW YORK – Risk gauges in Germany’s government debt market rose last week to levels higher than recorded in the 2008 world financial crash, as margin calls forced the liquidation of derivatives positions held by banks, insurers and pension funds.
​  ​Big institutional investors that spent the past ten years insuring their portfolios against falling interest rates now face massive losses as hedges blow up. A key measure of market risk, the spread between German government bonds (Bunds) and interest rate swap agreements jumped above the previous record set in 2008.
​  ​The cost of hedging German government debt with interest-rate options, or option-implied volatility, meanwhile rose to the highest level on record.

​  There's always the "kinetic option"  Biden’s Options To Counter OPEC+ Are Limited
  OPEC+ bluntly demonstrated it can do whatever it feels it needs to do to protect its own interest, even if t
his means going against the interests of its traditional allies, including its biggest one.
​  ​As Bloomberg’s Javier Blas put it in a commentary piece after the meeting, “The US and its Western allies need to pay attention. For the first time in recent energy history, Washington, London, Paris and Berlin don’t have a single ally inside the OPEC+ group.”
​  ​One might argue that this tectonic change in geopolitics is more important for the future of the world than the war in Ukraine, although these are certainly not isolated from each other.
​   ​Saudi Arabia has already stated its desire to join the BRICS alliance in what can hardly be interpreted as anything less than a declaration of support for the Russia/China bloc. Its closest ally at home, the UAE, tends to follow Riyadh’s foreign policy, so it is on board with this distancing from the West and forging closing relations with a symbolic East and a very literal group that represents a substantial portion of global GDP.

​  Consciousness ​of Sheep has much more on the implications of the shifting power alliances which may soon cancel the petro-buck.
​  ​The political fallout from the OPEC+ decision to cut its oil production target by two million barrels a day – which would leave the world economy around six million barrels a day short of its pre-pandemic peak – is sufficient to push us closer to collapse.  The Biden administration, who optimistically believed the President had secured a 200-million-barrel deal with the Saudis to replenish the USA’s strategic reserve, have treated the announcement as tantamount to a declaration of war.​..
..The Biden administration’s response is likely to be an attempt to implement the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels – NOPEC, geddit? – Act, which passed through the Senate in May, to bring anti-trust suits against OPEC+ states and to impound their US-held property.​..
..​In 2019​ ... Saudi Arabia threatened to sell its oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar if Washington passed a version of the NOPEC bill. Such a move would reduce Washington’s clout in global trade by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s main reserve currency, while also weakening the U.S.’ ability to enforce sanctions on nation states.​..​
..These latter concerns point to the likely next steps, as it is an open secret that Saudi Arabia is partnering with the BRICS states in their project to launch a new, commodity-backed reserve currency which is expected to encompass a third of world trade the moment it is launched...
..Concern has been increasing this year that OPEC states may no longer have the capacity to raise production.  At the very best, the production cut may reflect the $150-$200 oil price which might be required even to maintain today’s level of output for a few more years.  At worse, it may simply be the first recognition of an irreversible decline in output which will bring an end to the western parts of the global economy in short order.​..
​.​.If the 75 percent of the world’s countries which ​... have been historically exploited by​ ​the Western states were to deny those states the energy and commodities they have become accustomed to, then the remainder of the world’s people might be able to grow their standard of living for another decade or so.

​The EU can censor the whole-world-of-Twitter:  ​How the EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor (and Musk Can’t Stop It)

  Tulsi Gabbard renounces Democratic Party membership in first 5 minutes of her new TV show. She cites war-mongering and divisiveness, the opposite of what drew her to the peace-protesting and inclusive party initially. 
Tulsi can only get elected in Hawaii as a Democrat, so she will need to run nationally if at all. 2024 Republican VP position looks about right,..

  Meryl Nass MD is being heard before the Maine Medical Board, now, after her license was suspended early this year for treating COVID with antivirals. 
Not a single patient complained about her care. 
Legal arguments are underway. Sound quality is good and video is ok. She has a competent and well prepared attorney.

Resisting Evil

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