Mês: setembro 2017

USA

The Epic US Fail in Syria   “The Syrian defeat is not the result of a single operation, but an entire sequence of them, each resulting in what can only [be] described as an epic fail. The entire US Syrian campaign can be described as a relentless pursuit of failure.”   Dmitry Orlov Sep. 19, 2017 Back in 2007 I wrote Reinventing Collapse, in which I compared the collapse of the USSR to the forthcoming collapse of the USA. I wrote the following: “Let us imagine that collapsing a modern military-industrial superpower is like making soup: chop up some ingredients, apply heat and stir. The ingredients I like to put in my superpower collapse soup are: a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil (that magic addictive elixir of industrial economies), a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget and ballooning foreign debt. The heat and agitation can be provided most efficaciously by a humiliating military defeat and widespread fear of looming catastrophe.” (p. 2) A decade later these ingredients are all in place, with a few minor quibbles. The shortfall of oil is in the case of the US not the shortfall of physical oil but of money: against the backdrop of terminal decline of conventional oil in the US, the only meaningful supply increase has come from fracking, but it has been financially...

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Syria

Russia Emerges As Victor in Syrian War   Strategic Culture Editorial Sep. 18, 2017 No matter what was the US initial goal in Syria, the plans have ended up in failure. Two investigative documents have emerged stating that the United States have been supplying arms and ammunitions purchased from several Eastern European countries to terrorist groups in Syria under the guise to fight the Islamic State (IS). The weapons included AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, mortars, and other weapons and ammunition purchased in the Czech Republic, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. The supplies did not result in victories. President Trump gave the American field commanders in Syria the authority to launch strikes, raids and campaigns as in an active war zone, loosening restrictions protecting civilians. The measure did not help drastically change the situation in US favor. The Pentagon initiated the ill-fated ‘train and equip” program to have pro-US forces on the ground. It failed and was cancelled. The America-backed rebels tried to launch offensives along the Jordanian border but to no avail. The United States had to pull out from al-Tanf, one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq, to leave the border area to pro-Syrian government forces. The US-led coalition had decided not to enter the eastern city of Deir ez Zor, where Syrian troops recently broke the IS siege that had lasted for three years. No...

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USA

Whatever Happened to America?   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 18, 2017   Over the course of my lifetime America has become an infantile country. When I was born America was a nation. Today it is a diversity country in which various segments divided by race, gender, and sexual preference, preach hate toward other segments. Currently white heterosexual males are losing in the hate game, but once hate is unleashed it can turn on any and every one. Working class white males understand that they are the new underclass in a diversity country in which everyone has privileges except them. Many of the university educated group of heterosexual white males are too brainwashed to understand what is happening to them. Indeed, some of them are so successfully brainwashed that they think it is their just punishment as a white male to be downrodden. Donald Trump’s presidency has been wrecked by hate groups, i.e., the liberal/progressive/left who hate the “racist, misognynist, homophobic, gun nut working class” that elected Trump (see Eric Draitser, “Why He Won,” in CounterPunch, vol. 23, No. 1, 2017). For the liberal/progressive/left Trump is an illegitimate president because he was elected by illegitimate voters. Today the American left hates the working class with such intensity that the left is comfortable with the left’s alliance with the One Percent and the military/security complex against Trump. America, the melting pot that...

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The Dollar

Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars For Oil Payments   Tyler Durden Sep. 14, 2017   Did the doomsday clock on the petrodollar (and implicitly US hegemony) just tick one more minute closer to midnight?   Apparently confirming what President Maduro had warned following the recent US sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela has officially stopped accepting US Dollars as payment for its crude oil exports. As we previously noted, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said last Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week. According to Reuters, “Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal. Maduro hinted further that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies. “If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said. *  *  * And today, as The Wall Street Journal reports, in an effort to circumvent U.S. sanctions, Venezuela is telling oil traders that it will no longer receive or send payments in dollars, people familiar with the new policy said. Oil traders who export Venezuelan crude or import oil products...

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USA and China

An Economic Lesson for China and Russia   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 13, 2017   Is there anyone in Trump’s government who is not an imbecile? After years of endless military threats against Russia—remember CIA deputy director Mike Morell saying on TV (Charlie Rose show) that the US should start killing Russians to give them a message, and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley threatening “We’ll beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before”—now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatens China. If China doesn’t abide by Washington’s new sanctions on North Korea, Mnuchin said the US “will put additional sanctions on them [China] and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system.” Here is the broke US government $20 trillion in public debt, having to print money with which to buy its own bonds, threatening the second largest economy in the world, an economy on purchasing power parity terms that is larger than the US economy. Take a moment to think about Mnuchin’s threat to China. How many US firms are located in China? It is not only Apple and Nike. Would sanctions on China mean that the US firms could not sell their Chinese made products in the US or anywhere outside China? Do you think the global US corporations would stand for this? What if China responded by nationalizing all US factories...

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