Saturday, June 01, 2019

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors: War and Economics

The great military strategist, Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz, once said, "war is a continuation of politics by other means", and what is politics except trying to secure a better outcome for yourself (or who you represent) than the other person. Of course, it's also supposed to be about compromise, where each side gets at least some of what they want. War is ensuring that your side gets all of what it wants when compromise is unpractical or unnecessary. Let's take the Napoleonic Wars for instance.

What was Napoleon Bonaparte actually attempting to do? Was it the simple conquest of Europe for the sake of grabbing up some great (and not so great) real estate? Was it about tweaking the nose of the British? While certainly a bonus, that wasn't his actual intentions. Nope. Napoleon was about trying to establish a united Europe for the sake of economics. It was all about creating a economic and political union. England's beef was that it would be at the cost of the British Empire. No longer would Britain be the dominant economic power in Europe.

It also didn't take long for many of the other monarchies realized that their hopes of economic success would be affected as well, especially with the French spreading this nonsense about "fraternity, equality, liberty" and all that democracy rot. Beside, not only did it threaten the current economic system, it threatened the existing monarchies and, by creating a more secular society, the power of the Catholic Church as well. Obviously that would not do! And so, Napoleon was eventually defeated and sent off to the Isle of St. Helena to (hopefully) quietly fade away, and with him all the ideals of the revolution.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen and in time, the ideals of the revolution with its "Rights of Man", a secular society, increased democracy, and the growth of the business (and middle class) took hold. Absolute monarchies gave way to constitutional monarchies and democracies grew, and along with it an industrial revolution. In the colonies across the "pond", a sense of personal and economic freedom had also begun to germinate earlier. Eventually, they--that is, "we"---decided that we would like to govern ourselves thank you very much. We also didn't care much for the tariffs and taxes being imposed. So, we too had our revolution, which was as much about taxation as it was over self-governance which, of course, had everything to do economics!

World War I had everything to do with economics. At least as much as it did about Serbian independence and the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sofia. While their murders were the spark, it was the interlocking economic and political system set up in post-Napoleonic Europe, as well the rising economic threat to the British and French empires by the German Empire as anything.

Its outcome resulted in the infamous Versailles Treaty which pinned the blame for the war on Germany while stripping it economically and militarily. Germany lost vast lands to the west, north, east (which also separated Germany from Prussia) and all of it colonies (the majority of which going to Britain and France). It lost its industrial heart---the Ruhr and Saar---while forcing huge reparations on Germany with no means of paying. In total, gone was 13% of its territory in Europe and one-tenth, or 7 million, of its citizens. The German imperial government was toppled, and its military emasculated. No air force. A 100,000 strong army. The surrender of its surface fleet with severe limits on any new ships (including merchant) and no submarines. Its world famous General Staff was disbanded while any research was strictly curtailed.

Germany's fragile new democratic Republic faced repeated social unrest and revolution. Assassinations were almost commonplace. With the hyperinflation of Depression nearly wiping out the upper, middle, and lower middle classes, the stage was all but set for the Second World War. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire had collapsed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire imploded, and Imperial Russia was overthrown by revolution and its ruling family, the Romanovs, were executed. As an aside, France and Britain benefited from the fall of the Ottomans, and divided up its lands in the Middle East, which, based on economics, arbitrarily created the nation-states we have there now not to mention much of our current problems since no respect was paid to tribal alliances, traditional boundaries, or opposing Islamic sects.

The new political, military, and economic realignment completely changed international relationships. Germany's former key trade partner, Russia, was now a Bolshevik nation opposed to the West. The US, thanks to its involvement late in the war, catapulted to the center of the world stage now that both France and Britain was weaker, despite their economic gains, having nearly bled to death on the battlefields of Europe, and Austria-Hungary was no longer a world power. Everything was different.

World War II was also all about economics, albeit along with other factors such as racism. Germany wanted to become a world power again, which meant reclaiming more than lands lost through the Versailles Treaty. Specifically, it was the conquest of western Russia and the Ukraine for "Lebensraum" or "Living Space" for the German People. Britain and France faced increased troubles in their colonies as the locals demanded more independence and share of their country's economic wealth. Japan too wanted a piece of the action. It was rapidly industrializing, however, it was resource poor.

As a result, it sought to form the "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere", in order to create something of an All-Asian economic alliance of, by, and for Asians with Japan at its center. At least, that was its justification for its military expansion in the Pacific. Even Italy wanted to recreate a version of the Roman Empire. As for the United States, we had been active in Latin America, not so much for actual conquest of land, but for ensuring US corporations could operate freely there and without any undo interference from the pesky locals.

Fast forward 1956, and the war in Europe and Asia is over. Europe was laid waste and the US "Marshall Plan" (along with the Berlin Airlift) had kept the Europeans out of a new Dark Ages. Japan was rapidly rebuilding its economy, turning former planes, tanks, and ships into cars, radios, and VCRs. The Korean War was a draw, despite a massive loss of life on all sides. Independence movements were blossoming everywhere, including the birth or rebirth of new nations. The Age of Empire was quickly fading, and the new kid on the world stage was the US, but we weren't alone. The USSR and Communist China were there too, and each sought to expand their ideological influence, and that meant both arms and money. The Cold War is on. Conflicts, pseudo-wars, and proxy wars spread throughout the world. We now had the Warsaw Pact, NATO, and the Common Market which was to morph into the European Union or EU (ironically, Napoleon's old idea anew). The world also had a defacto single global currency---the US Dollar. However, this wasn't a dollar backed by gold. It was tied to oil and on the "faith and confidence" of the US Government and the strength of the American economy. The one world currency was the Petro-Dollar.

By 1991, the ideology of Marx/Lenin/Mao couldn't compete with the ideology of the "Benjamin's", that is, American led capitalism. The Warsaw Pact broke up and the USSR left with a whimper. In short, instead of outfighting them, we simply outspent them. Sure, China survived, but even it too adopted a limited form of capitalism. Communist Eastern Europe has adopted the economic system of its once hated enemy, and is doing quite well thank you very much. Europe itself is much more integrated than ever and well on its way to a "United States of Europe".

Now, along came Osama Bin Laden. The "chic sheik" of a wealthy Saudi family in the construction business turned terrorist. Of course, before that, he was "our" freedom fighter opposing the Soviets who had invaded Afghanistan. Bin Laden and his fellow zealots, al Qaeda, had declared war not just on the Soviets, but apparently the US and the West, except no one bothered to notice, and so they embarked on a campaign of ever bolder attacks on US interests in the Middle East; embassies, ships, military barracks, discos, and so forth. Finally came 9/11, and they got our undivided attention and anger.

The prime reason for the attack was revenge for the US and other Western influence in the Middle East, but especially our control over Middle Eastern oil. After all, if it wasn't for the oil and gas, not only would we have little to no interest, but the British and French wouldn't have bothered to interfere the region's politics following the fall of the Ottomans post World War I. Nevertheless, we "interfered" now, and in a big way. Before long, the Taliban in Afghanistan, which had sheltered Bin Laden, was gone and "Arab Dillinger" was on the run.

Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein, an ally in the region, decided to invade neighboring Kuwait. Hussein was a known sadist who had previously attacked the Iranians and the Kurds. He even used chemical weapons. Sure, he was a tyrant, but he was our tyrant. This time he overstepped and his actions affected oil and gas prices worldwide. Soon we were rallying public support and building a coalition to liberate Exxon and BP... err...I mean the Kuwaiti People. He was soon defeated, but left in power and would hopefully resume his preapproved place as a deterrent to the Iranians, and so he did for awhile. He also resumed his attacks on the Kurds for good measure. But, soon he was back to coveting his neighbors oil fields, which I'm sure is a prohibitive commandment somewhere.

With that, his removal started with "shock and awe" and ended with the dull thud of a hangman's noose. At that point, America decided to take a direct hand at running Iraq, albeit with a cast of puppets which would make Jeff Dunham proud. Of course, the having proved to be more difficult than the wanting, and without Saddam's iron glove, the genie of religious fanaticism was released in the form of ISIS/ISIL, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, and dozens more. It wasn't long before most of al Qaeda's leadership and much of its followers had been eliminated, along with its founder, Bin Laden. In the interim, civil war had broken out in Syria, and we were doing more than rooting for the anti-Assad "freedom fighters" (in Iraq and elsewhere, they were terrorists. In Syria, they were freedom fighters). The reason is partly Syria's oil and gas; partly because they're Russia's key regional ally; and partly because it would make for a great staging area to launch an attack against Iran, which has been a thorn in our side since 1979 and the overthrow of the Shah and the US Hostage Crisis.

Despite numerous claims, albeit false, of "chemical attacks" by Assad's forces (they were actually carried out by our pseudo-allies, ISIL, in Syria, public support just wasn't there no matter how much the media spun the story. So, now the war is all but over and Assad is still in power. Iran continues to make threats against "Big Satan" and "Little Satan" (that's us and Israel). Iraq is stable...more or less...though US troops remain despite promises of coming home.

Europe is under invasion from "migrants" from the Middle East and Africa, which has done more than destabilize an economic and social system which has worked well since the end of World War II. It is on track to replace the native populations within the next couple of decades. Gone will be European culture, its social norms, values and traditions, and even its Judeo-Christian based religions.

Europe's politicians have more than proven themselves to be spineless cowards and traitors to European history and culture. They have had the audacity to try and make criminals out of the victims---the European People themselves. Nevertheless, those who wield the real power; the world's ruling Oligarchs couldn't care less as long as the wealth flows. Their interest is in control. Nothing else matters.

In America, we too are under invasions from economic migrants from Latin America. Our ruling Oligarchy could equally care less. To them it means more competition for jobs, which translates to lower salaries and fewer benefits. It's also an opportunity to attack traditional US ideals such as free speech, the 2nd Amendment, traditional family values, secure borders and the very notion of national sovereignty.

Of course, this makes perfect sense. They think and operate in a world made up of economic markets and trade zones. Borders and nations mean nothing to them. They're outdated notions from a bygone era. Their goal is control and compliance. If it means creating short term chaos in order to obtain long term economic stability in order to generate maximum profits, then so be it.

Besides, war is useful. Even the threat of war is profitable, especially if it forces open new markets, accesses new resources, or ensures compliance by governments. If bribery, threats and sanctions don't work and war becomes necessary, the public can easily be convinced of its patriotic duty. Meanwhile, the selling of weapons is a multi-billion dollar business. It artificially stimulates the economy, reduces "excess" population and thus lowers unemployment, and it allows for incursions into freedoms not otherwise tolerated, such a personal privacy. Given enough time, those incursions seem completely normal and acceptable.

Meanwhile, the population is entertained with distractions; distractions about their debt, loss of jobs, lowering of wages, loss of benefits, rising crime, and decline in their quality of life. The corporate media even spins it to make it look all so normal. It tells us what they want us to know, who is to blame...and then a word from our sponsors, we're back to the illusion of our pretend reality.

List of Designated Terrorists Groups

French Revolution

American Revolution

The Muslim Migrant Invasion and the Collapse of Europe

Muslim Invasion of Europe

Trump's Right: It's An Invasion

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