Israeli security chiefs were gravely concerned Wednesday, May 17, when they learned that a high-ranking Iraqi military delegation had arrived in Damascus, the first in decades during which the Iraqi and Syrian ruling regimes were at odds, for a discussion on the situation unfolding on the Syrian-Iraqi border – in particular the Al-Tanf crossing.
Wednesday saw a flurry of military activity in the area by US, British and Jordanian special forces, on the one hand, and Syrian, Hizballah and other pro-Iranian forces, on the other. A race appeared to be quietly developing over who would reach the border first and seize control of the Al-Tanf crossing.
On this very subject, the Iraqi military delegation held separate talks in Damascus with senior officers of the Russian command in Syria and senior Iranian officers posted at Syrian General Staff headquarters. Concurrently, the Russian military command announced that Russia, Iran and Iraq were holding consultations on how to secure the border regions between Syria and Iraq.
Our forces add that the three groups of officers got down to brass talks, in fact, on ways to fit Iraqi army units into the Syrian-Iranian effort for guaranteeing full control by Damascus and Tehran of the sensitive border regions.
Israel was deeply disquieted to discover that Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had secretly pivoted his support away from the US-Jordanian campaign for control over the borders of Iraq and Syria, and switched instead to alignment with Moscow and Tehran.
Israeli policy-makers are worried that President Donald Trump will be constrained by the daily barrage of personal attacks descending on from fully focusing on the forces building up dangerously against US military plans in Syria.
Following the deployment of the cutting-edge US-built THAAD missile system in South Korea and Sunday’s successful launch of Pyongyang’s most powerful ballistic missile to date, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has declared that war with the North is a "high possibility."
Mere hours after President Moon stated his intention to reopen negotiations with the People's Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), the leader tempered his suggestion by asserting that an armed conflict with his northern neighbor was probable.
"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL [Northern Limit Line] and military demarcation line," Moon said, cited by Reuters.
Moon's remarks follow statements from Pyongyang officials asserting a continuation of their defiance of the United Nations Security Council ban on nuclear and ballistic missile weapons testing, and the concurrent deployment of a powerful new US-built anti-missile system on South Korean territory.
With Putin in agreement, China is peddling away at the project, and the next meeting is in 2019. The European Union is hanging in the balance of this monstrous plan, and of course, trade with the US is at stake as this spans across the entire Eurasian continent.
If there is one reality that is denied or obscured by the Status Quo, it is that the economy no longer works as it did in the past. This is the fundamental economic context of our current slide into political-social disintegration.
The Status Quo narrative is: the policies that worked for the past 70 years are still working today. Boiled down to its Keynesian state-corporate essence, the Status Quo economic narrative is simple:
All we need to do to escape a “soft patch” (recession) is for governments to borrow and spend more money to temporarily boost incomes and demand until the private sector gets back on its feet and starts borrowing and spending more.
But the inconvenient reality is these Keynesian policies no longer work. Fiscal stimulus (governments borrowing and spending trillions more than they did before the recession) has continued for a decade–or in Japan’s case, almost three decades.
The Keynesian gods have failed, but the worshippers of these false idols have no other form of black magic to turn to.
The answer is uncomfortable: if fiscal stimulus is withdrawn (or even trimmed), the economy immediately goes into a self-reinforcing contraction.
As for near-zero interest rates: after 10 years of supposed “recovery,” central banks are terrified of pushing rates higher by quarter-point baby-steps, for the same reason that fiscal stimulus cannot be withdrawn: raising interest rates to historic norms would immediately send the economy into contraction.
There’s no Plan B for a state-corporate form of central-planning capitalism that is no longer functioning. The only policies available are the “emergency” ones that are now permanent life-support systems of our failed global economies.