If you pay any attention to the news on a daily basis, one thing is abundantly apparent - things are collapsing everywhere. The world financial system is crashing. The EU is is beginning to "not remain united" as we were informed in Daniel 2. The U.S. is in its final stages, as the economy tanks, the military is fractionated and a shadow of what it once was (most likely by intent), the basic tenants of Christianity are being questioned by the current pope, earthquakes, volcanoes and bizarre weather patterns continue to threaten. Movements towards a cashless society are gaining momentum - along with the totalitarian control of money. Radical Islam has literally invaded Europe and making similar progress in the U.S. Terrorism is increasing around the world. Iran is on the brink of having nuclear weapons. Russia and China aligning as they have threaten the old world order and certainly pose a significant threat to the U.S. And on and on it goes. Today's news reveals much of these themes.
One cannot help but see the evolving scenario which screams for a world leader who has the answers, and this will increase as the chaos and deterioration worsens.
When the French Prime Minister starts talking of the "end of Europe" and Germany announces indefinite border controls amid the growing refugee crisis - it is time to get concerned. The crisis is not new, so why the sudden panic?
The answer lies in the fact that next year – 2017 – the French will go to the polls to elect its president and Germany votes-in a new Bundestag. With the European refugee crisis showing no signs of abating, both French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel know they have only a few months to get the situation under control or they will be the losers.
France and Germany are at the heart of Europe, having both been founding fathers of the European Union with its central dream of the freedom of movement of goods, workers, services and capital. Any threat to those freedoms spells doom for the union.
With the refugee crisis causing chaos in the Schengen zone of borderless Europe, leading to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia and others all imposing border controls – completely against the values of the four freedoms – the European dream is hanging on a gossamer thread.
For Hollande, the situation is different. He has been unpopular for a long time for his poor handling of the French economy, which is struggling.
At 25.7 percent, France’s youth unemployment is increasingly problematic, particularly in marginalized suburbs that are predominantly Muslim and face growing social instability.
"Europe had forgotten that it needs borders. It’s Europe that could die – not the Schengen area. If Europe can’t protect its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that will be thrown into doubt. It could disappear of course – the European project – not Europe itself, not our values, but the concept we have of Europe that the founding fathers had of Europe."
But this time around, the global market crash is not even the fault of the corrupt and incompetent Federal Reserve System or the Wall Street scam artists but rather the blame falls squarely on the joint shoulders of the Obama Administration & the GOP foreign policy advisors. Their failed geopolitical efforts to destroy the (oil and gas based) Russian economy following our overthrow of the legitimate government in the Ukraine is the root cause of both the oil price collapse and the global stock market crash. There is no question that the wars in Syria and Iraq are a direct result of a failing American foreign policy and attempt to maintain the US petrodollar system while trying to destroy the energy focused Russian economy.
The results have been horrific and staggering with certainly some Russian economic pain but Canada our wonderful friend and ally to the north and the US oil patch have been decimated by the collapse in oil and gas prices brought about by our Washington politicians and the corrupt Saudi leadership. Note for the record, I’m a proud American but I have permanent residency in Canada and love the country.
Forget the false commentary from the establishment cable networks including Fox News as our attempt to bring down the current government of Syria was all about a gas pipeline route from Qatar to Europe. This was and is a foreign policy designed to reduce European dependence on Russian gas and to weaken the Russian economy and nothing more.
President Putin’s military actions to defend Syria from ISIS invasion was a game changer for the survival of Syria, continued Russian gas exports to Europe and together with Washington policies in the Middle East have guaranteed the ultimate death of the Petrodollar system that has benefited the US economy so much over the years.
China and Russia are currently securing large gold reserves, as I believe both nations will eventually back their currencies with a percentage of gold reserves as they challenge the manipulated and paper dollar for world reserve currency and trading status. Therefore my first recommendation for those with US dollars is to buy gold at today’s rock bottom prices when calculated in temporarily strong US dollars.
The shipping industry is facing its worst crisis in living memory as years of rapid expansion fueled by cheap debt have coincided with an economic slowdown in China.
"We are now at the stage where people are struggling to remember an era when it was this difficult, we've gone through what it was like in the '90s, the '80s and the '70s, so expressions like 'living memory' start to apply," said Jeremy Penn, the chief executive of the Baltic Exchange in London.
Fears about the global economy have seen the Baltic Dry Index fall by more than 20% this year, to 369 — its lowest level since records began in 1985. The Baltic Dry, which is compiled by the exchange, gives an indicator of the cost of shipping dry bulk goods such as coal, iron ore, grains, and finished goods such as steel, but it is feted for its apparent ability to predict the world's financial fortunes.
The immediate problem has been the slowing of the Chinese economy; the world's largest consumer of commodities has been the driving force behind the shipping trade for the past two decades.
In a normal market the rational decision would be to remove loss-making ships from the fleet, but this is anything but a normal market. The world shipping fleet is drowning in debt.
Kidwell describes how ship owners who have financed their fleets with 60% debt and 40% equity have seen that equity become worthless.
Meanwhile, the banks that provided the debt won't pull the plug, as they would be forced to recognize the losses. Instead, they accept that they won't have debt service, and they are forced to wait and see whether the ship owner can survive until the market recovers. At some point they might be able to sell the vessel at a better price.
On October 10, 2015, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. By the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, U.S. trade negotiators are instructed to discourage potential trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination or participating in or promoting acts of BDS against Israel. The bill seeks to eliminate the politically motivated boycott and barriers on Israeli goods, services, and other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.
President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress should relate this firm statement to the shameful behavior of the European Union. It is generally assumed that the EU and Israel share common values. Yet on January 18, 2016, the European Council of the European Union issued yet another of its fatuous conclusions on the Middle East peace process. It was "deeply concerned about the continuing cycle of violence" in Israel and the Palestinian territory in recent months. It recalled the special significance of the holy sites and called for the upholding of the status quo put in place in 1967 for the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Saharif.
With the moral equivalence that it illustrates to perfection, the EU urged "all parties" not to worsen the situation by way of incitement or provocation and called on all parties to condemn attacks when they occur.
The remembrance by EU ministers and officials of things past is uneven, if not schizophrenic. Absent from its memory is any note of the unprovoked Palestinian violence that has "worsened" the situation in recent months. The EU memory is steeped in the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood. There is no hint in it of the corruption and inefficiency of Palestinian authorities and the intent of some to start Intifada III, let alone their refusal to come to the negotiating table for peace. Above all, not a word is said or thought about the Palestinians wielding knives to stab innocent Israelis to death. The EU did not point out that since October 1, 2015, Palestinians have killed, by stabbings, car-ramming, and attacks by guns, 24 Israelis and a U.S. citizen. Israeli soldiers, in defense, have killed 93 terrorists, and another 50 died in clashed with Israeli security forces.
What is present in a full way is the reiteration of EU opposition to the policy of Israeli settlements, which it considers illegal and an obstacle to peace. So is the EU "strong opposition" to actions such as building the separation barrier, which more properly may be considered an Israeli security fence, beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscations, illegal outposts, and restrictions of movement.
The EU, like the U.N. General Assembly, holds Israel to a double standard. No censure applies to other territorial conflicts such as those in northern Cyprus (Turkey), Western Sahara, Kashmir (India), or Tibet (China). This is now shown in a dramatic way. The EU decided on November 11, 2015 to issue guidelines for the labeling of exports originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. They cannot be labeled "Made in Israel." The EU says the objective of the labeling policy is to distinguish between goods made inside the internationally accepted borders of Israel and those outside. Britain, Belgium, and Denmark already do this.
At a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on January 18, 2016, the ministers finally agreed on a joint statement on the degree to which they should stress a distinction between the country, Israel, and its occupied territories. Even the final softer text expresses that all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate they are not applicable to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
The ministers had spent several days in heated discussion and had been deadlocked over the statement concerning Israel's actions in the territories it has occupied since 1967. Interestingly, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, and Hungary were concerned that the criticism of Israel not be too strong, while Sweden, Ireland, and Malta pressed for tougher language.
It is noteworthy that the person most in favor of a stronger text against Israel was the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, who has already called for an investigation not of the Palestinian terrorists wielding their knives against Israeli civilians, but of how Israel deals with the knife-attackers.
President Obama and Congress now have the opportunity to implement the October 2015 bill. They should inform the EU that its boycott, call it what you will, will not be tolerated.
The Russian Navy gave journalists an onboard tour of the Udaloy-class anti-submarine destroyer that has been deployed to the Syrian port of Latakia to assist other Russian warships in their Mediterranean mission.
The Vice-Admiral Kulakov is one of eight frigates of its class currently in service in the Russian Navy. Its main purpose is to detect and destroy enemy submarines, meaning its current Syrian deployment is in more of a supporting role.
While guarding the Russian flotilla off Latakia, the ship detected and tracked several foreign submarines on reconnaissance missions off the Syrian coast, but was not engaged in combat missions. The Vice-Admiral Kulakov's search and rescue helicopter, a Kamov Ka-27PS, is ready to respond to emergencies on the seas.
The operation in Syria has became a turning point for the military's public relations. The latest tour is one of a series in which the Russian military has invited journalists from Russian and foreign media outlets to high-security facilities. Earlier, the media were allowed to visit the Khmeimim airbase south of Latakia, from which Russian warplanes fly sorties, and the Moskva missile destroyer, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet.
Unlike most of the Russian Navy ships involved in the Syrian operation, which belong to the Black Sea Fleet, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov is based with the North Fleet in Severomorsk. Mixing ships from different fleets is a common practice aimed at building cross-fleet cooperation and fostering ties between officers and sailors.
The warship left its home base four months ago and started its mission off the Syrian coast in December.
The world is now in recession at best and maybe flirting with a global depression. This means politicians will do what is best for their national political future and the consequences for the national economy, citizens or business future is of little consequence to them. This also suggests that global alliances will mean little when domestic national politicians are fighting for survival.
Here is how the chess matches have turned out so far in the Putin/Obama competition.
Chess Match 1 - Consider the pattern of Washington actions against Russia. First Washington supported the overthrow of the legitimate but pro Russian government of Ukraine. The goal was three fold, first to control and cut off Russian gas exports to Europe through Ukraine, second to force Russia to vacate their warm water naval base in Crimea or else act militarily against Ukraine and create the fear of a Russian threat against all of Europe. This would force Europe to depend more on NATO that is an extension of the American military power in Europe. Putin's response was checkmate, as he wisely didn't take the bait and this plan failed to create the desired Russian military threat to strengthen NATO and US leadership in Europe against Russia.
A strong and united NATO is necessary to put pressure on Russia and since the collapse of communism and the perceived Soviet threat to Europe, NATO has had little reason to exist. Well now I would suggest that part of the Islamic threat and massive movement of refugees to Europe is being manipulated and manufactured as a means to recreate a mission for NATO forces in Europe. A strong Washington led NATO will allow the United States to bring more pressure against Russia.
This would probably take more than just Syrian troops as it may mean Russian troops on the ground in both countries after military security requests from Syria and Lebanon to halt the exodus and end ISIS occupation of Syria. Security in Syria and Lebanon would help to halt the refugee flow to Europe and Putin and Russia would then get the credit they deserve for this action to protect Europe. This successful outcome would guarantee good relations between the people of Europe and Russia ultimately forcing more European politicians and governments to restore friendly and close relations with Putin's Russia.
This would be the final checkmate needed to force the Obama Administration to reevaluate Neocon policies in the Middle East. American military actions and occupation have already destroyed much of the prosperity of the region. When this is combined with our earlier attempt to weaken Russia and Iran with lower oil prices not taking into account the growing threat of global recession and depression the problem today only gets worse. Today the Middle East is looking at increased instability and a lower standard of living at a time when Europe is suffering economically and can not absorb the inflow of refugees.
Finally, take a look at a map of Europe and you will see the 28 members of the European Union and most are in NATO. Then look at the lone country not in the EU or NATO that can still control it's borders and policies and it is the neutral but still independent Switzerland. Neutral Switzerland can be a safe haven for your personal and retirement wealth in the coming global crash and depression. More information is available by contacting the author here.
Yes Russia and Europe would do well to work together to counter and halt the flood of Middle East refugees to Europe before the current global recession/depression destroys the prosperity of the region. While the refugee threat might have been a reasonable tool or Washington geopolitical tactic to restore NATO and therefore American leadership over Europe under normal economic conditions, the situation is now getting out of control. With today's global economic slowdown and the risk of depression threatening the economy of Europe this tactic borders on economic genocide for Europe and must be countered and restrained for the peace and prosperity of the region. Let us all work together and hope and pray that the Obama Crash of 2016 does not turn into the Obama Global Depression of 2016 because of some poorly timed geopolitical brinkmanship and maneuvering suggested by Washington neocon advisors.