Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Trump Wars

The United States is at war - with itself at the moment. Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States, wants to reverse all the wrongs he sees plaguing his country. Fair enough. New leaders often come in with the strongest of intentions. Nothing new there. This time it's different though. It is said that politics is the game of rich men. Trump won the presidency without having to cut deals with the US establishment. In doing so he cut them out of the power equation they have been used to holding, and that has become dangerous. Only a rich man could do it. One who could fund his own campaign. One who could pay for his own mistakes. That is Trump, and that's exactly what he did.

Now we have the aftermath. An unprecedented situation in western political history which many would welcome, but which also holds real danger for all. Trump is not controlled by the US elite. He now has the power in many ways to act unilaterally on the international scene - including deploying US forces into conflict.  The Chinese refer to politics as war without bloodshed, and to war as politics with bloodshed. A very accurate way to measure the dynamics of mankind. Today we are at the point of war without bloodshed - at least in the West. In the near future we will be immersed in politics with bloodshed - unfortunately for us all.

A troubling sign of  this was Trump's election campaign, and the constant reference to Iran as a pariah state. Another was a similar view of China. In my mind though, the Iran war is more immanent than the Chinese conflict. The reason for that conclusion? In a word - Israel. Trump has made his son-in-law his strategic adviser on the Middle East. His son-in-law is Jewish. That creates an immediate problem of perception. For instance, what if his son-in-law was Saudi or Palestinian? The optics are quite obvious - the strategic advice is more than likely to be slanted in one direction. That creates real danger for the world. It leaves him open to influence.

On the campaign trail, a bombastic Trump promised the crowds that he would "rip up" the Iranian nuclear deal which is just months old. That in itself is troubling. Even more troubling is the fact that such an act is fully inline with Israel's policy on the agreement. Just remember that without a nuclear deal Israel was pressing for a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. It appears that is now back on the table. They aren't talking about it publicly yet, but a curious, foreboding message was just released from the Israeli Prime Minister. The video message is directed at the Iranian people, and not the Iranian government he says. In it he calls the Israeli and Iranian people friends who are being separated by a religious dictatorship (regime). At one point, in the two minute video, he let's slip that the Iranian people will not he under the yoke of this regime much longer. The inference is clear. Iran is on the cusp of being "liberated". Regime change. War is coming, and he is asking the Iranian people to view Israel as a liberator.

That simple insinuation says a few things. Firstly, it says that the Israeli Prime Minister knows there is a war coming with Iran - otherwise he wouldn't have put the words in that context. It also jives with the new US President's view toward Iran. Trump has promised to stop the US's foreign wars, and essentially make the US a pre-World War One isolationist power, so is there a contradiction in his view of Iran? Consider that Israel was prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities prior to the nuclear agreement, but former President Obama would not "green light" that operation. Israel was held back. Now, however, the water on the beans has changed. Trump, it appears, is fully prepared to allow Israel a free hand in dealing with Iran. And that is very dangerous indeed.

It is now almost certain that Israel with attempt to bomb Iran. It's just as certain the Trump will turn a blind eye to it, with a quiet promise the US will back Israel if things get ugly. It's curious that just last week two unidentified drones were spotted over Iran's capital city - one was shot down. It's also interesting that during the same time Russia moved state of the art s-400 anti missile systems into the Moscow area, and placed them on "combat alert". The war of words with China dramatically escalated, as well, to the point Trump threatened China with a naval blockade. China, in turn, said it would not be deterred in the South China Sea by "word bombs" from the US. Clearly the world is moving dramatically toward conflict - armed conflict more likely than not. I suggest the first concrete step in that conflict will be Israel bombing Iran - sadly.

On the face of things it seems odd that Trump would be seeking to repair relations with Russia on the one hand, but raise the spectre of war with Russia's two most important allies, China and Iran, on the other hand. There seems to be a disconnect there. Of course, Trump is accused by his detractors as having many different disconnects on many different issues, so perhaps this is just another case. Or perhaps it is a ruse. Perhaps it's an attempt to split Russia away from China like Hitler tried to do with Britain and Europe. In any event, Russia is not about to abandon its eternal alliance with China, and strategically important alliance with Iran, to make nice with the Americans. That is not going to happen. So when Israel bombs Iran, and Iran and Israel go to war, it would seem inevitable that the US would back Israel and Russia/China would back Iran. Such a situation, if you can put the thought of nuclear destruction out of your mind for a moment, would give Trump the ammunition he needs to block China's access to many markets - a key plank in his way of thinking. Made in America, not made in China, is his goal. It fits pretty nicely.

One last very key point. The US is more divided as a country now than it has been since their civil war. Trump is not the cause, but he is the symptom. As Lincoln said: "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Has there ever been a clearer example of that than today's United States? The US, as a country, is in desperate need of a unifying cause. The US loves to unite for causes. In today's case, Trump is looking to use a war for that purpose. Dislike of Iran is almost universal in the US. It's almost a safe bet that the American people would rally around that - especially if Israel was attacked in retaliation for the bombing of its nuclear facilities. You can hear it now: "USA...USA..USA". Unfortunately, a war for the United States has become almost a national imperative. A patriotic duty to keep the country from breaking apart at the seams. The fact that such a war will almost certainly lead to a wider conflict with Russia and China will likely not mean a lot to a people in desperate need of a unifying cause.

Hope I'm wrong.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Our Time of Chaos

It's a new year, but it might as well be an extension of the year just passed. A year that saw the beginnings of a cataclysmic split between the global elites and the citizens of this earth. A movement of defiance. A global movement of defiance that is. In other words, a revolution. Sounds extreme I realize, but sit back and absorb what has taken place and where it must all lead.

Think of the world today as a "reaction". For every action their is a reaction as the old saying goes. What is the world of today reacting to? Well that's evident enough - the world of yesterday. Perhaps a better word is "movement" rather than "world". The movement of yesterday was a movement promising one world government, or as Bush senior out it "a new world order". Bush junior clarified it when he boldly stated: " you're either with us or against us". A force that could not be interrupted or delayed. A manifest destiny. A new world order according to, and ruled by, the United States and to a much lesser extent other worldly allies.

In many respects the movement really took its first bold baby steps with the Canada - US Free Trade Agreement signed by US president Ronald Reagan and his Canadian counterpart Brian Mulroney. The goal was to reduce and/or eliminate restrictions on capitalism. The fact that such actions would cause significant dislocation in some areas within each country were for the most part ignored. The truth is that at that time the countries economies were very closely tied so that upheaval was never that much of a threat, but then Mexico jumped in. Then China jumped in. And so it goes. The point is that the fat cat societies of the world, and their populations, had become very accustomed to a certain way of life and certain comforts. Comforts that the rest of the world, the vast majority, could never dream of attaining. World free trade agreements offered them that hope.

What Reagan, Bush, Clinton, the other Bush, and Obama offered was the biggest transfer of wealth in human history. A transfer of wealth from the old world to the underdeveloped world. In fact, these great icons of capitalism acted as the greatest socialists of all time. Socialism is after all a transfer of wealth from those that have it to those that don't. The result was massive imports of cheap goods from these underdeveloped countries that swamped and drowned the industrial bases of the first world. All of which was perfectly foreseeable, and all of which served a purpose - a one world economy or new world order. I say "economy" because integrated economies require integrated policies and standards, which necessarily causes integration, which makes political segregation unnecessary and even unhelpful. The economics will dictate the politics in other words.

Of course all this is premised on the idea that people are really not that different. That nationalities are artificial. That languages are unimportant. That cultures are racist incumbrancers to unity. Essentially, human beings are as interchangeable as parts on your car, and it really doesn't matter where they are made. They will do as they are programmed to do. This is where the fallacy of the one world economy, one world government, new world order fails the test of history and human nature, and that failure is the "reaction" we are beginning to experience today.

The truth, despite what you hear daily on your television, is that economics was meant to serve mankind - not the other way around. The human being is the central figure in our existence - not the dollar. Economic was only ever meant to do one thing, and that was to regulate consumption of resources. Obviously no world could survive for any period of time if every person just took as much as they wanted from it. There is only so much food, so much water, so much shelter, etc. Putting a price on those resources curbed their consumption - rationed them if you will. It's been that way since the beginning of time in one form or another. So economic models, in today's case capitalism, were a means to an end. Today the world is in a state where the economic model has become the end and human beings have become the means. Granted it has been that way for some time - which has caused such things as communist revolutions, etc. However, people always had their religion, customs, cultures and nationalities to take comfort in. To insulate themselves with. The new world order began to strip those last vestiges of dignity and security from people - and they rebelled. That is today.

Where there is rebellion there is chaos before there is resolution. In fact chaos is the first result of any revolutionary movement. Or to put it less "radically", chaos is the natural result of the "reaction" to the elite's push to global governance and control. 2016 saw the first few examples: Brexit; the rise of Russia and China; and of course the now infamous Trump win in the US. In the case of Brexit and Trump the "elite or establishment" campaigned viciously to stop both movements. All the polls predicted the movements would fail. The mainstream media predicted they would fail. They were all wrong. The people voted to "get their countries back". They voted for a return to the days before Reagan started signing free trade agreements. They wanted control of their economic, political, and sovereign institutions back. They rebelled against what the new world order had told them was just and right. They placed the world onto the path of the unknown. The vortex of chaos.

There can only be one result of this "reaction" or "revolt" if you will. The result can only be war. Not a war of hearts and minds, because it appears that war has been lost by the one world types, but a war of retribution. In other words, the establishment will attempt to cause significant retribution on the people of the world to show us the "error of our ways". I expect that war to take the form of serious economic consequences including stock market and currency collapses. I also expect part of the establishments retribution to include real war - unfortunately. Trump has insinuated a desire to take on Iran  and China which could be helped along by the establishment. Give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself. If Trump is viewed by Americans as the leader of the anti-establishment movement then it seems logical they would do everything they can to give him all the rope necessary. That will include support in the US Houses for aggressive actions internationally which will have devastating results, and more importantly to them prove to people that this revolt is unwise.

Because none of us has a crystal ball we can't predict exactly how it will all play out. We look around us at the world today, and instinctively we know things are very wrong. We sense that the world is heading to a very dark place. Yet, we're not sure exactly where that place is or how dark it is. That is the chaos. The time just before the storm when the winds are just beginning to pick up and the skies are clouding over, but its destructive result isn't yet known or experienced. Our time of chaos.