This post was published at George Webb
The War Cycle is in full swing upward since 2014. We have witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, the invasion of Syria, Rocketman in North Korea, and numerous civil uprisings. However, the war also comes with sharply declining economies as political leaders need to point the finger outside their domestic rule to distract their people.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is also on a power trip and the sharply collapsing currency only puts more pressure on him to start conflicts. That basic incentive has played out with his visit to Greece in December. This was the first time a Turkish leader visited Greece in 65 years. As the Guardian reports, Erdoan shocked Greece by calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Turkish president in Turkey has sharply criticized the opposition for this demand and as always there is the justification for protecting people of Turkish origin living in Greece. Hitler used the same excuse to invade neighbors to defend Germans living on foreign lands.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 28, 2017.
An interesting report on the official accounts for war-related spending in the U. S. is available here: Which is, of course, a massive under-estimate of the full cost of 2001-2017 wars to the U. S. taxpayers.
It is worth remembering that war-related expenditures are outside discretionary budgetary allocations (follow links here: And you can read more here: The problem, as I repeatedly pointed out, is that no one can tell us what exactly – aside from misery, failed states, collapsed economies, piles of dead bodies etc – did these expenditures achieve, or for that matter what did all the adventurous entanglements the U. S. got into in recent year deliver? In Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, in Pakistan and Sudan, in Ukraine, in Somalia and Egypt. The sole bright spot on the U. S. ‘policy horizon’ is Kurdistan. But the problem is, the U. S. has been quietly undermining its main ally in the Syria-Iraq-Turkey sub-region in recent years. In South China Seas, Beijing is fully running the show, as multi-billion U. S. hardware bobbles up and down the waves to no effect. In North Korea, a villain with a bucket of uranium is in charge, and Iran is standing strong. In its historical backyard of Latin America, the U. S. is now confronting growing Chinese influence, while losing allies.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
Earlier this week the Washington Post reported that President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve lethal arms sales to the US-backed government in Kiev, Ukraine, and has now moved forward with Obama-era legislation to export weapons to the war-torn country.
Though as was noted at the time this commercial license approval was limited to small arms and ammunition as part of an initial $41.5 million deal, and not the heavier anti-tank systems sought by Kiev, it now appears the White House is going to announce inclusion of Javelin antitank missiles and possibly other advanced systems that could change the battlefield calculus of the war between Ukrainian and Russian-aligned forces in the Donbass region along the Russian border.
According to a new report by ABC News, Trump is expected to include the anti-tank missile systems as authorized exports to Ukraine, this based on four unnamed state department sources:
President Donald Trump is expected to announce his approval of a plan to sell anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian government, a move that would mark a significant escalation in lethal U. S. military support for Ukrainian forces battling Russian-aligned forces in the border region, four state department sources tell ABC News. If the president formally signs off, the plan will be presented to Congress for a 30 day review period where it would need to be approved before the State Department can implement it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 23, 2017.
Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Boris Johnson arrives in Moscow today to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the next day – the first visit to Russia by a British foreign minister in five years. International security issues are to top the agenda, including North Korea, Iran and regional stability in the Middle East as well as security for the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia. This time the bilateral relationship is at the lowest ebb due to the differences over Ukraine, Syria, and the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the politics of various European countries. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dramatically escalated attacks on Russia recently, accusing it of malign influence and hostile intentions.
Mr. Johnson gave an interview to the Sunday Times as he prepares for the trip to Moscow, in which he said that ‘Russia has not been so hostile to the UK or to Western interests since the end of the Cold War.’ According to him, ‘In the Crimea, capturing a part of sovereign, besides, European territory from someone else’s country and holding it for the first time since 1945.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.
After years of covert American involvement in the Ukrainian proxy and civil war which has raged since 2014 – and which a leaked recording confirmed was precipitated by the US State Department – President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve arms sales to the Kiev government. Late Wednesday the Washington Post first reported the bombshell news that after months of indecision over whether or not to move forward with Obama-era legislation which initially paved the way for legalizing US arms sales to Ukraine, Trump has approved the first ever US commercial sale of weapons to the war-torn country.
According to The Washington Post, “administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
At the beginning of the year as the President was assuming office, I penned a piece that focused upon the need for the President to ‘clean house’ regarding the Administration, and putting Congress in its place. I also stressed the need for him to run a ‘tight ship,’ as the midterm elections of Congress in 2018 are going to determine the success of his term. As it stands, things do not look very promising. RINO (Republicans in Name Only) members of Congress have derailed his efforts on everything from Obamacare to Border Control. Every effort the President has initiated has met with dogged resistance.
Who are these resistors? To be sure, many of them can be found ensconced within levels of government or government-influenced positions where said position is not necessarily determined or changed by an incoming administration. An example of how this happens is Ben Bernanke, appointed to head the Federal Reserve under George W. Bush, and kept in place by Obama until 2014 when Yellen stepped into the spot.
The prime example of an infestation are the holdovers from the Obama administration in the State Department…the same department boasting such ‘winners’ as Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton. The State Department that almost singlehandedly (with the help of Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain) toppled the government of Ukraine via coup d’tat, as well as enabling the ‘Arab Spring’ to unfold.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 24th, 2017.
Russia-gate blame-scaping is accelerating across Europe… and now it is being embraced by none other than European Council President Donald Tusk.
In what is an unprecedented attack by an EU leader on a member state’s sitting government, Bloomberg reports that Tusk explicitly suggests the ruling Law & Justice party is merely a ‘puppet of Putin’ and just forwarding Russian interests…
‘Strident dispute with Ukraine, isolation in the European Union, walking away from rule of law and judicial independence, attack on non-governmental sector and free media,’ Tusk wrote on his personal Twitter account on Sunday.
‘Law & Justice strategy or Kremlin plan? Too similar to sleep well.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.
When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
One day after Trump caused the latest round of broad media outrage when he reportedly sided with Putin over Russia’s alleged “election interference”, while slamming US intel agencies, and repeating his allegation that the investigation is a ‘hoax’, and the FBI a ‘bunch of hacks,’ Trump reversed himself and “cleared up confusion” over whether he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the U. S. election last year.
Speaking at a news conference in Vietnam with President Tran Dai Quang on Sunday morning local time, Trump distanced himself from remarks he made one day earlier in which he suggested he believed Putin when he said there had been no Russian meddling in the election that took him to the White House. The comments drew a backlash of criticism at home because US intelligence agencies have long since “concluded” there was Russian meddling.
As a result, Trump was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership: “What I said is, I believe Putin believes that,” Trump told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam. “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. What he believes is what he believes.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.
All eyes were on Trump and Putin again as the two leaders bumped into each other at the APEC meeting on Saturday. They patted each other on the back several times, and Putin whispered something in Trump’s ear. The US leader listened attentively leaving reporters to guess what the two discussed.
Shortly after, President Trump again dismissed allegations of Russian meddling in last year’s U. S. election, following his first brief meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the APEC conference after their first encounter in July. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said that he believes Vladimir Putin’s denials about election meddling – over allegations raised by US intel agencies including the CIA, NSA, and FBI which claim that Russia actively worked to meddle in the election – which are an ‘artificial Democratic hit job’ and did not want to press further because he thinks the U. S. and Russia can work together on issues that include North Korea, Syria and Ukraine. He also said that interference talk “gets in the way and that’s a shame,” because people will die because of it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 11, 2017.
The Great Gas War has already two distinct fronts: The now relatively quiet Northern Front in Ukraine and the Southern Front in Syria in which the Western empire has been losing. It looks to me that Lebanon is being targeted as the next front, where the West hopes its loses might be recouped.
Yesterday, November 6th, Reuters reported,
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that Lebanon had declared war against it because of attacks against the Kingdom by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
This comes after Israel, Saudi’s long time though largely un-offical best friend in the region, has been very publicly preparing to renew its own war with Lebanon – or more accurately with Hezbollah. As the American news journal Newsweek put it recently,
ISRAEL PREPARES FOR ANOTHER WAR WITH HEZBOLLAH AS IDF PRACTICES LEBANON INVASION.
Why now and why Lebanon? Well the rulers of Saudi, a Sunni dominated country, will tell us that it is because Hezbollah is a Shia terrorist organisation. ‘Hezbollah’ literally means the ‘Party of Allah’ or ‘Party of God’. Saudi Gulf affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan yesterday pointedly referred to Hezbollah as, ‘the Lebanese Party of the Devil’. Saudi is not alone of course, Hezbollah has also been listed as a terrorist organisation by America, Israel, the Arab League, the UK and the EU. It is also, however, part of the popular government of Lebanon having seats in its parliament.
I suggest, however, a powerful reason that a new war with Hezbollah may be in the offing is because Lebanon is the next link in any gas pipeline that could potentially bring Iranian Gas to Europe. That was the reason the West decided to ‘liberate’ the Syrian people and it will be why they decide to enforce the same salvation upon the people of Lebanon. Having failed to liberate the Syrians, Saudi, the West, its Sunni Gulf allies and Israel will now see if they can succeed in blocking any Iranian gas ambitions by liberating the Lebanese from their own government. I would not be surprised to hear quite soon from opposition groups vocally denouncing the government or at least Hezbollah. I expect spokes people from those groups to suddenly get a global platform along-side American and regional supporters such as Saudi.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.