"It is later than you think" - Father Seraphim Rose, American Orthodox priest and 20th century saint"Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you -- you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside."- Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын)
Six themes for 2016.
That was how he we wanted to summarize 2015 and look ahead to the world in 2016 as a parting New Year's gift to RogueMoney readers. Instead of a series of year-end posts as we had planned, we decided to summarize the themes we see as the main geopolitical trends of the approaching year, while leaving the forecasting of the Fed, precious metals and markets in the strong hands of the Guerrilla and Team Rogue Money.
[embed]https://twitter.com/Russia_Direct/status/680030434353377280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw[/embed]Note the 'art work' used as the cover image for this final JWS post at RogueMoney comes from some interesting new Russian 2016 calendars...
Could President Hillary ! Start World War IV? Or More Likely, Will Washington Try to Attack Moscow by Proxy -- Only to See the U.S.-Backed Force Get Crushed by the Angry Russian Bear?
As we wrote in our Boxing Day and New Year's message to the Rogue Money community, certain time constraints as well as the need to pursue new paid projects and 'get out of the way' in 2016-17 has led us to cease publishing analytical articles at this forum (though we still toy with the idea of posting the occasional 'watch this' YouTube video). However, another reason motivating us to take a step back is the fact that Cold War 2.0 shows no signs of abating, despite the diplomatic 'deals' struck between Moscow and Washington over Syria. If one were to follow it on the verge of obsessively as I have for the past year or more, then the risk of burnout would run high. For better and mostly worse, the undeclared conflict will grind on in 2016 and especially headed into an election that will likely pit Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz against Hillary Rodham Clinton. 2017 -- as we intended to write in a lengthy piece we've just run out of time to complete -- could become the most dangerous year for mankind since 1983. Especially with a physically debilitated, vengeful over perceived American 'defeats' in Crimea and Syria, and manipulated by her aides President Hillary Clinton at the helm.
As Agent W the Intelligence Insider told John B Wells on a recent Caravan to Midnight program, 'chicken legs' aka Barack Obama is not a President you go to war with in Syria or anywhere else.
As the Beijing-Moscow strategic partnership analyses it, the oligarchic elites who really run the Empire of Chaos are bent on the encirclement of Eurasia – considering they may be largely excluded from an integration process based on trade, commerce and advanced communication links.
Beijing and Moscow clearly identify provocation after provocation, coupled with relentless demonization. But they won’t be trapped, as they’re both playing a very long game.
Russian President Vladimir Putin diplomatically insists on treating the West as “partners”. But he knows, and those in the know in China also know, these are not really “partners”. Not after NATO’s 78-day bombing of Belgrade in 1999. Not after the purposeful bombing of the Chinese Embassy. Not after non-stop NATO expansionism. Not after a second Kosovo in the form of an illegal coup in Kiev. Not after the crashing of the oil price by Gulf petrodollar US clients. Not after the Wall Street-engineered crashing of the ruble. Not after US and EU sanctions. Not after the smashing of Chinese A shares by US proxies on Wall Street. Not after non-stop saber rattling in the South China Sea. Not after the shooting down of the Su-24.
Is Washington Capable of Accepting the Defeat of its Proxies in Syria or Will We See the Empire Strike Back and Do Something Very Stupid?
Our concerns remain that President Hillary (!) (since we all know the neocons would rather burn the Republican Party down and alienate half the convention delegates next summer than accept Trump in the White House) will pursue reckless policies, intended to 'show the world' that 'America is back' and the dollar is still backed by overwhelming military strength.
To that end, Clinton and a bunch of single digit support GOP also rans (including the one with the famous mother Jeb) keeps plugging the idea of a U.S. no-fly zone in Syria. Unfortunately for the CFR crowd that advises the Clintons, by the time a President Hillary ! could be sworn in to implement it, the Syrian war could well be over. According to retired Army Green Berets Col. Patrick Lang, the Saudi/Qatari/Turkish proxies in Syria will be mostly crushed by spring/summer 2017. Signs that the jihadists supply lines are buckling under the pincers of the Kurds advancing from the north and the SAA/Hezbollah from the south and east of Aleppo are evident to all who care to see and ignore drivel (and Washington/Riyadh wishful thinking) like this.
Stars and Stripes sees the writing on the wall: U.S. backed 'Free Syrian Army' on the verge of collapse under Syrian, Iranian and Russian attacks, many 'FSA' members who haven't joined Jabhat al-Nusra are leaving Syria as refugees
If Hillary ! won't start a fight with the Russians in Syria, either directly or more likely by proxy after a contrived U.S.-Turkish rapprochement, then she could look to Ukraine as another handy 'battering ram' against the Russians and their Donbass native proxies. Transnistria, a thin sliver of territory that seceded from Moldova in the early 1990s, is another pressure point on the Russians. However, as we've already explained, the Ukrainian army is in woeful shape after its humiliating defeats early in the autumn of 2014 and over the winter of 2015. For any Ukrainian offensive to actually succeed in gaining more than useless, bombed out villages on the periphery of the DNR/LNR and actually enter the outskirts of Donetsk or Lugansk, foreign mercenaries if not NATO advisers would be required. And the combat record of Western mercenaries in the Yemen war has not been good, despite the lavish amount of money and equipment the Saudis provide.
The Next President's Options for Attacking Russia By Proxy Whether Using Ukrainians or Turks as Cannon Fodder? Not So Good
Therefore if Hillary ! wants to attack the Russians, she will need a professional military like Turkey's to do it. But as we've written over the last few weeks, we strongly suspect the Turkish army is going to have its hands full just suppressing the Kurds within Turkey's borders over the next few months to years, much less occupying northern Syria or Iraq as part of some 'Sunni refugee safe zone' that's a convenient cover for Ankara's neo-Ottoman ambitions.
Furthermore, the rumors about low morale and growing opposition to Erdogan within the Turkish Army he purged of secularists a few years ago are probably true, not just Russian or Iranian disinformation.
As Dr. Joseph P. Farrel of @GizaDeathStar says, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are increasingly 'on the menu', and Kurdistan is rising on both sides of the Syrian-Turkish border that Ankara thought it would be clever to ignore
If the neo-Ottoman sultan orders his troops and tanks to march into northern Syria with his F-16s failing to provide air cover due to the Russian SAM threat, a mutiny and tanks in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara are both possible. In fact, it probably wouldn't even take a 'Highway of Death' of Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi or Russian air force destroyed Turkish armor and trucks stretching from Jarablus or Mosul to the border to make the Turkish Army finally move against Erdogan. Dozens to scores of body bags every month at the hands of the PKK and Iraqi Shi'a militias just might be enough to tip the scales towards Erdogan's overthrow.
If the Houthis can kill Saudis with anti-tank weapons and cross their open border, then the PKK are more than capable of attacking Turkish army units with Russian anti-tank missiles (the cover being that these will be the older Konkurs models) 'captured' from the 'Free Syrian Army' that Turkey was supporting. Not unlike the first weapons to the Afghan mujahadeen used to fight the Russians in 1980 coming from then Communist China. It's the perfect way for Putin to slowly pay back Erdogan for not only the shoot down of the Russian SU-24, but also the Turkish wannabe sultan's failed proxy war against Syria. If we were the Turkish army commander of the base the Turks have established outside Mosul at Bashiqa, we'd have nightmares about Russian Tochka missiles sold to the Iraqis raining down on our heads -- just like they did on the Saudis after they invaded Yemen.
Our Washington D.C. energy consultant source with his relatives in Lebanon believes that Erdogan's regime may have less than two years to live, as the Turkish oligarchs begin to count the cost of billions in lost tourism and trade from Russia. We hope he's right, as the fall of first Erdogan and then his Saudi sponsors would make the world a much safer place and deprive jihadist and Wahhabist radicals of billions in annual funding as well as a sanctuary/transit state for further terrorist attacks on Europe and the United States.
So if the Ukrainian army is too weak or incompetent to successfully attack the 'combined Russian separatist forces' in Donbass and the Turks are too bogged down fighting proxy forces like the PKK or the Iraqi Shi'as who intend to liberate Mosul from Daesh, who will be left to play the Mikhail Saakashvili tie eating cannon fodder thrown against Russia role? Perhaps President Hillary's ! Council on Foreign Relations hardliner team will try to sucker Washington's easily bribed vassals in Romania into a snap anschluss with Moldova, which is sliding out of the EU/NATO camp and towards Moscow's Eurasian Economic Union in any case?
Perhaps, as the infamous cover art of The Economist's World in 2016 issue implies below, it is Russian ally Serbia that will once again feel the wrath of the Anglo-U.S. Empire, this time through terrorism in the name of a 'greater Albania'? If Serbia were savagely attacked by terrorists with fairly brazen support from the regular Albanian army (with you know who standing behind them), would Moscow be able to avoid at least sending advisers if not establishing a military base on Serbian soil (the avoidance of which by NATO is perhaps the only reason such attacks haven't happened already)?
The Economist's World in 2016 Cover: Bix Weir of RoadtoRoota.com Has the Goods Before we get into our six geopolitical themes for 2016, please note that our decision to produce one big parting post here at RogueMoney for the end of 2015 was influenced by the Rothschild-family owned Economist magazine's thirty year tradition of producing an annual 'special edition'. The Sgt. Report blog does an excellent job of summarizing some of the occult and financially esoteric symbolism of the issue's cover art, which has received more scrutiny this year after many in the alternative media concluded after the Paris attacks that The Economist cover had eerily predicted exactly 311 days (3/11) between the Charlie Hebdo magazine murders and the Friday the 13th of November mass shooting jihadist terror assaults on the Bataclan theater and other Parisian locales.
Here a few highlights of Bix Weir's analysis (in YouTube format here):
Germany/Euro On the cover it is Angela Merkel front and center wearing a GOLD SHIRT and Germany holds the second largest gold hoard in the world behind the USA!! Will Germany try to keep the Euro alive by backing it in some way with their gold?(with parachute strings attached?) Also look at the huge chunk of gold represented in the picture above! Will all the hidden gold come into mainstream knowledge in 2016?
2016 Presidential Race - The Globalists Want the Clintons Back in the White House
1) Clearly Hillery [sic] Clinton is the "Bad Guys" choice for US President as she is the only candidate in the picture.(note the gold on her earring as she is hiding BILLIONS in secret funds off shore!)
2) Why is Bill Clinton featured so prominently on the artwork and in color. Clearly something is planned for Bill to come out of the shadows...which is never a good thing!
The Russia Analyst's Analysis of the Economist 2016 Cover and What it Foretells -- Ecumenical Orthodox/Vatican Dialogue, Terrorist Attacks on Germany (Merkel's Jacket Red Represents Blood/Communism), Albanian Flag for Further Destabilization of the Balkans and Russia's Ally Serbia
Speaking for ourselves here, we find the presence of a smiling Indian PM Modi and President Putin quite noticeable. As for the meaning of Angela Merkel's front and center red jacket (red being historically the color of communism), we believe the Economist is winking and nodding at inoffiziele mitarbeiter Angela M's not so secret Stasi asset, communist past. Since one of the tenets of historic Bolshevism and Trotskyism is worldwide revolution (which RogueMoney readers know was sponsored by Wall Street), we think The Economist is trolling right wing Europeans who believe Angela M is still loyal to or blackmailed by her Stasi past into the globalist bankers' revolution through open borders and the immi-destabilization of Germany.
Fröhliche Weihnachten Frau Bundeskanzler! Wir sind das Volk! A crowd sings Christmas carols at PEGIDA Dresden
As for religious symbolism, note that the sun of the globalists' favor is shining over a waving Pope Francis who is posed next to the his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. Whether this is a nod to the current scandal in the Moscow Patriarchate involving the firing of the staunch Russian nationalist Father Vsevolod Chaplin, we don't know. That prospect seems unlikely, as The Economist cover was clearly conceived and published before Chaplin's year end dismissal from his post.
However, there can be no doubt that the globalists' full spectrum attack on Russia and Christianity in general includes undermining trust in the Orthodox Church as a bedrock for a resurgent State and the rebirth of Russian society. Many conservative and ultra-conservative Russian Orthodox clerics, particularly among the 'White Russian' legacy Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which established canonical unity with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007, have warned that Satan will try to use ecumenism to destroy the Russian Church in the latter days. See for example, this article about a 'battle priest' chaplain to the Donetsk People's Republic militia, or the late 1970s ! warnings of the late American ROCOR Saint Fr. Seraphim Rose:
Looking at Orthodoxy, at its present state and its prospects in the period before us, we may see two opposed aspects. First of all, there is the spirit of worldliness which is so present in the Orthodox Churches today, leading to a watering-down of Orthodoxy, a loss of the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy. This worldliness has produced the Ecumenical movement, which is leading to the approaching Unia with Rome and the Western confessions—something that may well occur in the 1980s. In itself, this will probably not be a spectacular event: most Orthodox people have become so unaware of their faith, and so indifferent to it, that they will only welcome the opportunity to receive communion in a Roman or Anglican church. This spirit of worldliness is what is in the air and seems natural today; it is the religious equivalent of the atheist-agnostic atmosphere that prevails in the world.
What should be our response to this worldly ecumenical movement? Fortunately, our bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia have given us a sound policy to follow: we do not participate in the Ecumenical Movement, and our Metropolitan [Philaret] has warned other Orthodox Christians of the disastrous results of their ecumenical course if they continue; but at the same time our bishops have refused to cut off all contact and communion with Orthodox Churches involved in the Ecumenical Movement, recognizing that it is still a tendency that has not yet come to its conclusion (the Unia with Rome) and that (at least in the case of the Moscow Patriarchate and other churches behind the Iron Curtain) it is a political policy forced upon the Church by secular authorities. But because of this policy, our Church suffers attacks both from the left side (from ecumenists who accuse us of being uncharitable, behind the times,and the like) and from the right side (by groups in Greece that demand that we break communion with all Orthodox Churches and declare them to be without grace).
While the Kremlin clearly promotes the Papal-MosPat dialogue to enhance Moscow's 'soft power' and appeal to conservative Catholics and Evangelicals across Europe, the globalists may be aware that ecumenical dialogue is unpopular with the ROCOR and many monks on Mt. Athos in Greece -- the most important monastic center in all of Orthodox Christianity. Meanwhile, Lebanon-based Al-Masdar News reports strains in the relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the schismatic Kiev Patriarchate, as well as between Russia and Turkey, are threatening to disrupt or prevent the first planned Pan-Orthodox Council in 1,200 years. If such an event could be held in ancient Constantinople (Istanbul) and not blocked by the fractured geopolitics of 2016, it would be a significant milestone for the return of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington described as 'Orthodox civilization', which Tsarist Russia as the Third Rome and heir to the fallen Byzantine Empire historically championed.
1) The fragmentation of the Republican Party as America's two party system enters its twilight years and U.S. politics becomes more Balkanized along class/income, race and globalist ('free trade, interventionist foreign policy') vs. nationalist (anti-TPP, 'isolationist') lines. Plus the infighting in the U.S. Deep State will continue to spawn allegations of 'treason' between those who undermined President Barack Obama's treasonous policy of arming America's Salafist jihadist enemies to fight Assad, and the neocons/globalists who supported it
Neoconservative war hawks tied to the 'defense' industry and transnational corporations would rather destroy the Republican Party or vote for Hillary than concede to Donald Trump winning the nomination. There is now far more hatred within and among the GOP's warring factions than there is on the part of Republicans towards Democrats in general, though loathing of President Barack Obama seems to be the only glue left holding the already cracked GOP together. This in of itself is not remarkable, if it weren't for the fact that the political crisis trend line is coinciding with the Shemitah of financial turmoil (thus far 'contained' or exported in terms of economic pain overseas by the 'strong dollar') and a generational line of general social upheaval (the last cycle peaking around 1968 when we had the riots outside the Democratic National Convention that itself was being torn apart inside by the Vietnam War and racial unrest). William Strauss and Neil Howe's theories as set down in their pivotal 1997 book, The 4th Turning, foretold much of the current crises in the U.S. socio-economic and political systems. As The Who sang so many years ago, "the parting on the Left" (as in Vietnam destroying the Democrats in 1968) "is now the parting on the Right" (Trump's economic and borders nationalism vs. globalism tearing the GOP apart in 2016).
Former top aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell, retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: 'the ship is sinking'
What happened to the Democrats in 1968 appears to be possible for the more staid Republicans of 2016, IF the party power brokers go for disenfranchising Trump delegates or get caught blatantly rigging the outcome behind Marco Rubio or another Establishment candidate in the primaries. A second wave in the U.S. of the global economic crisis that began in 2008, namely with oil bust related defaults in the bond market prompting a general crisis in credit confidence not unlike what mortgage bonds set off over seven years ago -- looms over late 2016. Europe's own bond markets remain rickety and its top banks led by Deutsche Bank are stuffed to the gills with trillions 'worth' of derivatives trash.
Even as the Federal Reserve seeks to keep the party going and the wheels turning so they don't come off at highway speed, we believe the 2016 political conventions will take place in the shadow of rumblings from the markets that the modest 'rate hikes' initiated by the Fed this December aren't being digested, but instead are causing monetary gas, constipation and bloating. Still, like the Guerrilla we don't expect the wheels to come off, only the occasional plunge protection team requiring Dow Jones down -300 points event, until 2017.
2) Continued 'incidents' involving police officers shooting young black males and racially charged reactions, whether in the U.S. or Europe
This one needs very little elaboration by the Russia Analyst. Just look at riots in Baltimore, greater London, Paris car burnings, Swedish Malmo violence by Muslim gangs, the German police union warning about 'no go zones' and the like. The internal problems of the U.S. and its European 'first world' allies are quickly becoming a geopolitical liability, in the sense that they make it much harder to criticize Moscow for being paranoid about Maidans and civil unrest.
Did you know Black Lives Matter shut down the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for hours Christmas weekend?
Chaos as our late friend Michael Rosecliff described to the Guerrilla is The Plan, and what better way to provoke it than continue to spout insane drivel about multiculturalism while importing more human beings into economies that already have little need for low-skilled labor and are in fact, either in recession or depression from the USA to France.
An anti-Islamic immigration banner at a Polish nationalist rally in 2015 (Photo by: RT.com)
3) European nationalism will continue to rise as the EU(SSR) and Atlanticist 'center' cannot hold, as NATO fails miserably to protect the borders of members especially the Central European Visegrad (Poland, Hungary, Czech/Slovakia and Austria) and Mediterranean states this summer. At times populist resistance against open borders will take on a violent, and frightening face in riots, Weimar Republic-style street clashes between native 'friends' and foes of open borders in Germany, and arson attacks on mosques and 'refugee' centers.
While the powers that be dodged a bullet in the spring of 2015 regarding a Greek debt default, efforts to prolong the unsustainable status quo in Europe continue to lose energy and falter in the face of populist resistance. Only by combining the Democrats and Republicans of France against the National Front of Marine Le Pen was the FN denied a huge victory in the French parliamentary elections. Such collusion can work for a while, and may keep Le Pen out of the presidential palace in 2017, but it comes at the price of discrediting the very notion of real democratic choice and the Establishment's claim that elections solve anything.
The discrediting of electoral democracy after World War One infamously resulted in the rise of Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy, and also created many Western intellectual admirers of the nascent Soviet Union. Writing over at The New York Times, that pillar of the Atlanticist Establishment's 'liberal' wing, the NYT's token in-house Establishment conservative Ross Douthat admits that: "Here in the dying days of 2015, though, something seems to have shifted. For the first time in a generation, the theme of this year was the liberal order’s vulnerability, not its resilience. 2015 was a memento mori moment for our institutions — a year of cracks in the system, of crumbling firewalls, of reminders that all orders pass away. This was especially true in Europe, where for generations the parties of the center have maintained a successful quarantine against movements that threatened their dream of continental integration — be they far-right or far-left, nationalist or separatist."
Above: 'Mutti' Merkel the open borders Chancellor. Below, native Dutchmen riot against a proposed 'refugee center'
Since populist anger over the European Union's failure to secure its Mediterranean borders cannot be expressed via the ballot box or through media dominated by Atlanticist and PC ideology, the anger will boil over in both street protests and riots. Love him or hate him as a racist white male, Vox Day aka Theodore Beale, an American sci-fi author and blogger who expatriated to Italy many years ago, has been a keen blogging observer of these events, which European and especially U.S. media do their best to ignore. Still, the burning of a mosque on the French island of Corsica (Napoleon Bonaparte's native land) this week, a December riot in a small Dutch town which forced multi-culti administrators and the town's mayor to flee and eventually abandon their plans to host thousands of 'refugees', and Balkan Muslims beating Orthodox Christian Serbs in Berlin on Christmas Day are all foretastes of the crimes and violence to come caused by Europe's inability to assimilate millions and Merkel's insane open borders policies.
Tabloids like The Daily Mail and Germany's pro-open borders Bild express alarm over these 'incidents' of what could degrade into anti-Muslim or Arab pogroms, particularly if young African and Islamic males continue to rape or assault indigenous Europeans with perceived impunity. (As an addendum to this item, it's not for nothing that a Russian nationalist publication known as Sputnik i Progrom shut down by the authorities). A dialectic of neo-Nazis or skinheads versus Islamists in the heart of Europe seems to be exactly what the globalists want, as an excuse to create an even more powerful Euro-fascist police state that would encompass nearly the entire Continent -- a 4th Reich that would be fully merged with a militarized American NWO State (with war against Russia and China as the rallying around the flag element, as described by Joel Skousen).
Unfortunately for the globalists, we believe they have miscalculated just how big the nationalist backlash will be -- and how Russia will seek to profit from it by breaking the deathgrip Berlin and Brussels have on European nations acting as Washington's local hegemon and regent respectively, over the Old World.
4) Just as the globalists are working to tear down borders and create one global economy, empire and currency, nationalism and anti-Establishment politics increasingly transcend borders -- with the Trump/Putin 'bromance' or the support by UK eurosceptics for Marine Le Pen and the Czech President's widely denigrated friendly posture towards Russia all as examples.
Many months ago the Russia Analyst noticed a young Russian woman who worked at RFE/RL in Prague, Czech Republic denigrating Texas Congressman Ron Paul and his son Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter as stooges for the Russians. She even tweeted out bizarre conspiracy theories about the Soviets supporting the Koch brothers, and therefore being the real godfathers of libertarianism along with ex-Soviet citizen Ayn Rand, before deleting her Twitter feed. These theories were later picked up from or by the Accuracy in Media disinfo agent and fake conservative activist Cliff Kincaid.
The recent hysteria among American journalists like Miriam Elder that Donald Trump is 'a threat to America' and thus is being supported by Vladimir Putin for this reason and its enthusiastic re-tweeting by hundreds of Atlanticist think tankland and even government-funded Twitter accounts shows that politics is increasingly personalized and defiant of quaint concepts such as Putin declaring in his praise of Trump that ultimately 'the American voters will decide'. Apparently if the voters of France want Marine Le Pen or the voters of the USA want Trump, extreme measures may be justified to save the Anglo-globalist Empire from the prospect of avowed nationalist/s undermining its cohesion.
It would not surprise us in the least if Marine Le Pen truly started to approach a winning margin in pre-election polls in 2017 if neocons and even some taxpayer funded hacks at RFE/RL started dropping hints about postponing the elections or even a military coup in France. As evidenced by their enthusiasm for the violent overthrow of a corrupt but duly elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, hardcore Euro-crats and Atlanticists don't have much use for elections that don't turn out 'their' way. Even when overturning them through violence, as with the so-called Maidan 'revolution' or putsch, results in civil war.
During the Greek debt crisis in the spring, Lithuanian politician Linas Antanas Linkevičiustrolled Greeks on Twitter, demanding that the Tsipras government not even think about accepting a relief loan from Russia and China. When we tweeted to him that Mr. Linkevičius as a Lithuanian ought to respect the sovereignty of small nations and their right to choose with whom they wish to do business, whether the U.S. or Russia, our @JSmithRus account got blocked. Clearly Mr. Linkevičius did not appreciate us comparing his statements to an EU(SSR) form of the old Soviet Brezhnev doctrine, which infamously declared that once a state joined the socialist/Communist Bloc it could never be permitted to deviate from that course and force would be used, as in 1956 or 1968, to ensure that Warsaw Pact members stuck with Moscow.
The recent hysteria over '#KremlinTrolls' everywhere and growing tendency for Ukrainians or Balts paid with U.S. tax dollars to troll on the Kiev regime or NATO's behalf; combined with their tendency to label all Americans opposed to Washington's foreign policy as 'Kremlin Trolls' or at least 'useful idiots' like NYU Prof. Stephen Cohen speaks to a troubling globalization of propaganda combined with the erosion of national sovereignty. Meaning that NATO has ceased to be an alliance of sovereign nations and has increasingly become, as Nina Kouprianova points out, a globalist 'world army' that speaks of 'defending NATO's borders' instead of national frontiers. This, along with the disturbing proposals coming out of Germany that an EU contingency force be permitted to take over border security for Greece, suggests that NATO is truly going the way of the old Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact.
That is to say, IF for some reason the banksters were to lose control over the situation in Greece, say with a new government toppling Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras or the Golden Dawn gaining a piece of the government portfolio, then we are seeingthreats by the European 'center' that they will consider soft invasion as an option against nations that attempt to break away from the European Central Bank or aggressively pursue an Eastern/Eurasian oriented foreign policy. Such 'contingency plans' by the EU against a populist or debt jubilee demanding Greek coup ere the subject of our first post for RogueMoney way back in November 2014, and we have come full circle in mentioning them today.
Such a scenario sounds crazy now, especially in light of Germany's post-WWII aversion to using force on its neighbors or military might in general. But we have to recall that the precedent was already set in the 1999 Kosovo war that a European nation can be attacked over what is a purely internal conflict between its security forces and insurgents (and German warplanes participated in that campaign). If the Federal Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, for example, faces an assault from 'greater Albania' terrorists combined in hybrid warfare with peaceful demands from its large ethnic Albanian minority, who can protect the FYROM from being 'freedom-ized' Kosovo-war style -- if not their brother Serbs or the Russians? That is why we mentioned FYROM, Montenegro (where Russia may yet sponsor a 'Colored Revolution' against the corrupt, unpopular NATO joining stooge running the country) and Serbia as potential flashpoints for conflict in 2016.
Your taxpayer dollars at work, with the State Dept. paying Syrians to hold up a sign insulting U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Remember, according to neocon Michael D. Weiss these people are on the verge of starvation from Russia bombing humanitarian aide convoys to them, but still have the time for such shenanigans
5. Ukraine will continue to disintegrate under the pressures of its collapsing economy and nationalist anger over Kiev's humiliating military defeats, with the worst case scenario not a renewed outbreak of all out war in the Donbass drawing in large-scale Russian military intervention, but a radiation-releasing accident at one of its nuclear plants
Dmitry Orlov, the man who wrote Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects recently wrote an article summarizing the rapidly degenerating state of the Ukrainian economy and State. Like exiled Ukrainian political analyst Rotislav Ischenko, Orlov believes the only prospects Ukraine has in 2016 is more of the same elite fragmentation and oligarch infighting that it saw in 2015, after losing Crimea and large parts of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts to pro-Russian uprisings supported by Moscow in 2014.
Painting a frightening picture, Orlov points to the dependency of Ukrainian nuclear plants on parts and perhaps expertise from Russia that for political reasons are being blocked, and not permitted even on a quiet basis by the hysterically nationalist Kiev regime.
As Orlov and his highly informed commenters write, nuclear power plants don't come with simple 'off switches', and can remain very hot for days or weeks after an emergency shutdown. Without a continuous supply of power either from generators, as when pro-Kiev Crimean Tatars and Right Sector Nazis blew up the power lines to a Kherson region nuclear plant, the cutoff of external power supply to the largest nuke plant in Europe in Zaporozhye for example, could quickly go critical and turn into another Chernobyl (the plant at Zaporozhye started operating when Ukraine was part of the USSR in 1984 and shares many of the Chernobyl reactor's design characteristics).
We recommend RogueMoney readers read the whole thing, as we don't wish to simply rehash it all here, but as one commenter wrote below the piece, it's certainly got to grate Ukrainian nationalists to see the European Union and especially their old ally Germany accepting over a million people from the Mideast and North Africa in 2015, while 'European' Ukrainians who 'chose Europe' still cannot travel visa free in the EU and face passport controls at the Polish borderland!
Speaking of Poland, the alarm in U.S./UK media over Poland's alleged 'backsliding on democracy' and the new 'right wing' government's steps to restrict the Polish Constitutional court's jurisdiction likely have a lot to do with the perception among Polish elites that Ukraine is falling apart and could send a mass exodus of humanity their way, even if Poland can successfully defy German demands that it also take in Mideast refugees as part of 'burden sharing' within the EU bloc.
As in the U.S., so in Europe courts have often usurped the will of the people and been used by transnational progressives, many of them useful idiots for the globalists, to undermine borders and national sovereignty. The Poles, seeing how Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has successfully installed a fence to staunch the massive influx of humanity into his country, are eyeing similar solutions to the ongoing implosion of Ukraine or another Mideast refugee wave washing into their country.
As we've stated before here at RogueMoney, there are many Polish nationalists who support the Kiev regime and especially their Right Sector counterparts in Ukraine unconditionally against the supposed common Russian enemy. But there are also Polish patriots who see the U.S.-backed Kiev government as hopelessly corrupt, incompetent, and glorifying of the WWII Nazi collaborationist OUN and UPA that massacred Poles by the tens of thousands in 1943-44.
Several years ago we laughed at Stratfor CEO George Friedman's prediction that Poland would re-emerge as a great power in the 21st century. But we do have to admit that the prospect of Ukraine eventually losing territory to its non-Russian neighbors Poland and Hungary is not nearly as far fetched as it seemed back in the mid-2000s. Especially not after the collapse of the dollar which is one of the few things, along with affordable Russian gas, propping the sclerotic and insanely corrupt Ukrainian State up.
6. Russia will accelerate dollar dumping and strengthen its military alliances with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states/Eurasian bloc -- even as its economy struggles in 2016, and pro-Western parts of the Russian elite are sacrificed to appease growing populist anger
Finally, we conclude our world in 2016 geopolitical analysis with our take on Russia. As this piece is already almost 5,300 words we'll wrap up by saying: expect more of the same -- including deteriorating macro-economic conditions amidst military successes in Syria -- but also some surprises.
If the rumors/rumblings the Saker and others are picking up on are true, then the surprises will come in the form of personnel shakeups in the Kremlin, the Interior Ministry, and especially, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and energy/economic ministries. Just as we did not see the forced resignation of Fr. Vselod Chaplin who had been, truth be told, a hardline critic of Putin for not doing MORE to help the pro-Russians of Donbass, the WesternMSM and even seasoned Russia watchers won't see the firings or forced resignations coming in 2016.
The Russian economy is clearly sliding into a deep recession, with unpaid wages and wage arrears re-appearing in the poorer and remote regions of the country for the first time since the depths of the 2009 oil price collapse. In part because incompetent or corrupt local officials are blamed for regional problems rather than the man at the top, Putin's popularity remains enduring. Russians are a patient people, but their patience is not limitless. No nation ever devalued its currency to prosperity, but devaluation of the ruble can help Moscow's import substitution strategy, and is already achieving some success in the important agricultural sector.
The main problem is Russia wants to return to growth while retaining Paul Volcker-like high interest rates, which naturally depress consumer and business borrowing, especially by small to medium size businesses which ought to be the engines of job creation. Putin is going to have to do something about that this year and the heads likely to symbolically roll (since Putin isn't the new Stalin, nobody's going to be shot as a 'wrecker') are those that U.S. government dominated media tend to favor when covering Russia. As Irish journalist and RT contributor Bryan MacDonald writes:
Russia has numerous problems. Thanks to low resource prices and the government's repeated failure to adapt the domestic economic model, the country is in deep recession. For the first time since the 1998 crash, living standards seem set for a sustained plunge. Meanwhile, social friction has emerged in pockets, the recent truck drivers protests being an example. With a few million people forecast to fall out of the middle class in 2016, the situation could get worse before it gets better.
Nevertheless, Russia is not about to collapse any time soon. Predictions along those lines only serve to make their authors look stupid. With sky-high approval ratings, allied to a lack of any realistic opposition candidate, the president’s job also looks fairly secure in the short-to-medium term. To paraphrase Landau, I’ve seen Russia’s future and its name is probably Vladimir Putin.
We won't say more than that, except to reiterate our call on the last Team Rogue Money Guerrilla Radio program that Putin's adviser Sergey Glazyev is the man to watch. While he won't be a successor to Vladimir Vladimirovich (the consensus seems to be that role is reserved for Sergey Shoigu, the current defense minister), Glazyev appears to be the man of the hour when it comes to finding ways to reverse the post-Soviet de-industrialization of Russia -- even if it takes a heavy amount of state investment at the outset to do it. Unfortunately for now, it appears most of the re-industrializing in Russia will continue to be in the rapidly modernizing military industrial complex, which just picked up huge orders of S-400 air defense systems from India. As Pepe Escobar reports, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states led by Russia, China, India and Iran are arming up and laying the foundations for an integrated supercontinental air defense system -- one that is already causing considerable trepidation among Pentagon planners about Russian 'area denial' capabilities being extended across the vast steppes of Eurasia.
Conclusion: Happy New Year and Use 2016 to Prepare and Pray
The war in Syria will continue in 2016 to what will, by the end of the year, evidently be the defeat of Washington and its Turkish and Persian Gulf Sunni allies jihadist proxies. The mainstream media will slowly wake up by summertime to the reality that not only are the Saudis losing big in their proxy war for Syria, but the Yemen war may pose a threat to the survival of the House of Saud. As mentioned above with our focus on European mayhem more terror attacks in Europe and especially Germany are likely, as the Islamic State lashes out while the territory of the caliphate shrivels under the combined assaults of the Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis, Kurds and Russians.
As with 1944-45 Europe, the U.S. will be there at the end to take the most credit for the victory. Perhaps Raqqa the Islamic State's capital will become the new Torgau, as we predicted, and the last year of the Obama Administration will conclude with a handshake between Russian and American special forces officers with their boots on the Islamic State's black banner, not because but in spite of Obama and the idiots and neocon fanatics in his State Department. All in all, not such a bad way to end 2016. And this is how we end our 2015 with RogueMoney -- with hope for new projects that TeamRM's Economic Silverback leader knows of coming to fruition.