How to Prevent the Coming War – Sergei Glazyev

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Courtesy of Anna News:

The hostilities in Donbass are a menace to Russia, Europe and the entire world. Failure to realize it may spark a regional war, and eventually a world one. The world media’s interpretation of that war as the Ukrainian authorities’ crusade against pro-Russian separatists for the sake of the country’s integrity is as superficial and senseless as the delusion that World War I resulted from the murder of an Austrian prince, and World War II, from the Nazis’ success in Germany’s parliamentary elections. The Russian mass media’s explanation of that war is only slightly meaningful – popular resistance in Donbass against a Nazi junta that grabbed power in Kiev in an anti-government coup.
In the meantime, without understanding the underlying causes and driving forces that keep the armed conflict going it is impossible to bring it to a halt. In this paper the Ukrainian crisis is scrutinized in the context of global economic changes that are breeding objective prerequisites for an escalation of military-political tensions in international relations. The analysis explains the motives of the main actors in the Ukrainian conflict and the technologies they employ. It also unveils the reasons why attempts to end the conflict have failed and prompts a forecast it may evolve into another world war. Avoiding that will be possible only by upsetting the cause-effect relationship between the persisting crimes, whose scale is growing in a geometric progression. Otherwise there will be no option left other than getting ready for a world war, in which many would like to see Russia as an enemy, a victim and a prize to win.

Conflict Fields of the Ukrainian Crisis

The nature of the Ukrainian crisis is complex, indeed. It is a tight bundle of quite a few conflict semantic fields. Regrettably, frontline reports, commentaries by politicians or explanations of their decisions fail to take due account of them. The most obvious conflict is that between the current Ukrainian authorities and the Donbass militias. The authorities have been trying to resolve it through the physical extermination of the militias and of the population whose interests they express as well. There are two semantic fields in this conflict and neither is strong enough to trigger a fratricidal war. Continue reading

Debt, Propaganda And Now Deflation

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Dorothea Lange Negro woman who has never been out of Mississippi July 1936

Courtesy of Raul Ilargi Meijer @ The Automatic Earth blog:

Looks I have to return to the deflation topic. I’m a bit hesitant about it, because the discussion always gets distorted by varying definitions and a whole bunch of semi-religious issues. The Automatic Earth has for many years said that an immense bout of deflation is inevitable because of global debt levels, and it’s all only gotten a lot worse since we first said that. Our governments and central banks have ‘fought’ deflation with more debt, and that was always the stupidest idea in human history. Or at least, most of us were stupid for believing it would work, or was even intended to.

Just so we don’t get into yet more confusion, i probably need to explain that the debt deflation we’re talking about here is not some subdivision like consumer inflation or price inflation or cookie inflation, those are just hollow and meaningless terms. Debt deflation is deflation caused by too much debt, and the deleveraging it must and will lead to. Deflation does not equal falling prices, those are merely an effect of it.

The reason this matters is that when you equate inflation and deflation with rising or falling prices, you’re not going to be able to know when you actually have deflation. Because prices can rise for all sorts of reasons. Inflation/deflation is the money/credit supply in an economy multiplied by the speed at which money is spent in that economy, the velocity of money.

It should be obvious that prices for some items can still rise, certainly initially, when deflation sets in. Producers that see less sales can try to raise prices for their remaining buyers. Basic necessities will always be needed. Governments can raise taxes. Rising/falling prices tell us only part of the story, and with a considerable time delay.

Ergo: rising/falling prices are a lagging factor, and if you look at them only, you will have missed the point where deflation has set in. What follows, obviously, is that you can’t measure deflation by looking at consumer prices (CPI) or production prices (PPI) numbers. You’d be way behind the curve. CPI and PPI tell you something, but they don’t tell what causes falling or rising prices. And that is a valuable thing to know. Continue reading

Putin Stockpiles Gold as Russia Prepares for Economic War

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Courtesy of Andrew Critchlow @ The Telegraph:

Russia has taken advantage of lower gold prices to pack the vaults of its central bank with bullion as it prepares for the possibility of a long, drawn-out economic war with the West.

The latest research from the World Gold Council reveals that the Kremlin snapped up 55 tonnes of the precious metal – far more than any other nation – in the three months to the end of September as prices began to weaken.

Vladimir Putin’s government is understood to be hoarding vast quantities of gold, having tripled stocks to around 1,150 tonnes in the last decade. These reserves could provide the Kremlin with vital firepower to try and offset the sharp declines in the rouble.

Russia’s currency has come under intense pressure since US and European sanctions and falling oil prices started to hurt the economy. Revenues from the sale of oil and gas account for about 45pc of the Russian government’s budget receipts.
The biggest buyers of gold after Russia are other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States, led by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
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In total, central banks around the world bought 93 tonnes of the precious metal in the third quarter, marking it the 15th consecutive quarter of net purchases. In its report, the World Gold Council said this was down to a combination of geopolitical tensions and attempts by countries to diversify their reserves away from the US dollar.

By the end of the year, central banks will have acquired up to 500 tonnes of gold during the latest buying spell, according to Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council.

“Central banks have been consistently adding to their gold holdings since 2009,” Mr Hewitt told the Telegraph. In the case of Russia, Mr Hewitt said that the recent increases in its gold holdings could be a sign of greater geopolitical risk that has arisen since it seized Crimea sparking a dispute with Ukraine and the West. Continue reading

How the West Created the Islamic State

Courtesy of Nafeez Ahmed @ Counterpunch:

Part 1 – OUR TERRORISTS

“This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated,” Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon press conference in August.

Military action is necessary to halt the spread of the ISIS “cancer,” said President Obama. Yesterday he called for expanded airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, and new measures to arm and train Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces.

“The only way to defeat [IS] is to stand firm and to send a very straightforward message,” declared Prime Minister Cameron. “A country like ours will not be cowed by these barbaric killers.”

Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).

Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.

Now despite Pentagon denials that there will be boots on the ground – and Obama’s insistence that this would not be another “Iraq war” – local Kurdish military and intelligence sources confirm that US and German special operations forces are already “on the ground here. They are helping to support us in the attack.” US airstrikes on ISIS positions and arms supplies to the Kurds have also been accompanied by British RAF reconnaissance flights over the region and UK weapons shipments to Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Divide and Rule in Iraq

“It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs,” said one US government defense consultant in 2007. “It’s who they throw them at – Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Continue reading

The Economics Of Perpetual War

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Courtesy of Matt McCaffrey @ Mises Economics Blog:

The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I seems like an ideal opportunity to spread a message of peace and economic cooperation; sadly, 2014 has so far been a year of new and renewed conflict far more than one of reconciliation.

By now, talk of the horrors of war is nothing new. Everyone knows about the total destruction war brings; in fact, we’ve known for millennia. As Lew Rockwell points out, “just about everyone makes the perfunctory nod to the tragedy of war, that war is a last resort only, and that everyone sincerely regrets having to go to war”—but war continues all the same. Even classical military strategists like Sun Tzu believed war should only be used only as a last resort, and argued that military campaigns could bankrupt states and ultimately, destroy them. Art of War actually states that “no country has ever profited from protracted warfare,” and cautions generals to “fight under Heaven with the paramount aim of ‘preservation.’” Yet as far back as we have historical records, these sorts of ideas have fallen on deaf ears among governments and military organizations alike.

Economics offers many insights into war making and why it persists, but the most fundamental explanation is an institutional one. It’s tragically simple: warnings about the horrors of war go unheeded because the power to make war—as well as “justify” it in the eyes of those forced to fight and finance it—lies in the hands of the state and its business and intellectual allies. States are monopolists of organized force, and as such decide when and how to use their power on a grand scale, especially when they wish to confront other monopolists. Continue reading

Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia

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Courtesy of Ian Traynor @ The Guardian:

Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia.

Rasmussen said: “We will adopt what we call a readiness action plan with the aim to be able to act swiftly in this completely new security environment in Europe. We have something already called the Nato response force, whose purpose is to be able to be deployed rapidly if needed. Now it’s our intention to develop what I would call a spearhead within that response force at very, very high readiness.

“In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations. So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters. The bottom line is you will in the future see a more visible Nato presence in the east.”

Poland and the three Baltic states have been alarmed at the perceived threat from Russia and have been clamouring for a stronger Nato presence in the region. They have criticised what they see as tokenism in the alliance’s response so far.

But the issue of permanent Nato bases in east Europe is divisive. The French, Italians and Spanish are opposed while the Americans and British are supportive of the eastern European demands. The Germans, said a Nato official, were sitting on the fence, wary of provoking Russia. Continue reading

Order Out Of Chaos: The Doctrine That Runs The World

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Courtesy of Brandon Smith @ Alt Market:

“From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.”

– Winston Churchill, February 1920, in an article that appeared in the Illustrated Sunday Herald

The concept of conspiracy frightens some people, so much so that they are willing to overlook any and all evidence that world events are for the most part directed, rather than chaotic and coincidental. For those who are uneducated and unaware, explanations for the terrible tides of politics and war generally revolve around a false understanding of Occam’s razor. They argue that the theory states that the “simplest explanation” is usually the correct one for any particular problem or crisis. But Occam’s razor actually states that the simplest explanation according to the evidence at hand is usually the correct answer for any given problem. That is to say, the simplest explanation must conform to the evidence, or it is likely not correct.

Unfortunately, “skeptics” of directed conspiracy often turn a blind eye to evidence that is contrary to their simple explanations, while arguing that simplification is its own vindication. In other words, they don’t feel the need to defend their simplistic world view because, in their minds, simplicity stands on its own as self-evident. There was a time when men believed that the planets revolved around each other because they were tied together by long glass strings, and this was evident to them because it was the simplest explanation they could come up with. The thinking of skeptics of the New World Order and concerted globalization is much like this.

The most common argument they tend to exploit is that the world is far too “chaotic” and that if the elites are actually seeking a fully centralized one-world system, they are “failing miserably” because so many cultures are so clearly divided. For anyone who holds this argument as logical or practical, first I would suggest they look beyond the surface of the various conflicts at the similarities between these so called “enemies.”

For example, what about the United States versus Russia? These two nations have a long history of opposing ideologies and have come close to war time and time again. Certainly, average Americans see themselves as individualists and Russians as socialist or communist. Average Russians see Americans as capitalist imperialists and see themselves as humanists. But what about their respective governments? What about their respective financiers and oligarchs? Do they really see each other as enemies?

If that were so, then why did American Wall Street tycoons and the U.S. military aid the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917? Continue reading