The Worst Case

It is assumed that the worst case scenario for the Russo-Ukrainian conflict is the direct or even indirect involvement of NATO in Ukraine. If NATO forces came into direct conflict with Russian forces, the result would be total war and total war could easily and quickly lead to nuclear war. This is a remote possibility as NATO has been adamant about not getting militarily involved. The West is content to use the economic weapons at its disposal that it assumes the Russians have anticipated.

While there is nothing worse than nuclear war, the fact that it is the least likely outcome means it is not the worst probable outcome. The fact is, the Cold War was a good lesson in the use and non-use of these weapons. Nuclear weapons are last resort defensive tools. A nation will use them as a last gasp at survival. This is why Israel stole the technology from America in the last century. It is why North Korea is developing the ability to deliver a nuke to North America.

If nuclear holocaust is off the table and a wider scale war in Europe is off the table, then that leaves the softer, less predictable outcomes. We are already seeing big ripples in the financial markets as people try to figure out the downstream consequences of the economic sanctions on Russia. Despite what the media may claim, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are not hermit kingdoms. They have a lot of economic links to the rest of the world and are a vital part of the global supply chain.

For example, one bottleneck in the chip supply chain is in Ukraine. The world has just started to turn the tide on the chip shortage, but now a vital bottleneck has been closed due to the war. Optimistic predictions said the chip shortage would be over by the end of 2022, but now that date is pushed well into the future. Everyone in the dreaded private sector knows the mischief caused by the chip shortage. That mischief is now going to play out for a much longer period than expected.

That last part is where to focus. Economics is about expectations. People will stock up on something, for example, if they anticipate a shortage or price hike. On the other hand, people will take risks in good times, risks like starting a business, buying a new home or hiring new staff. A massive amount of risk has been dumped into the global economy as a result of this war and the response from the West. For the first time in a long time everyone has a reason to not take any risks.

On the more tangible side, energy prices are spiking at a time when we have spiraling food prices globally. The last time this happened there was civil unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The so-called Arab Spring was marketed as a quest for freedom but it was a revolt over food and fuel shortages. It is good to remember that the same people who sold those results as a positive are the ones responsible for the mess in Ukraine and responsible for managing the fallout.

Ten years ago, the Arab Spring was watched in America during a time of historically low inflation and interest rates. The population was fairly content. Today, America has double-digit inflation and is now about to get an energy cost spike. The population is also at each other’s throats because the people in charge are sure one half of the population are evil insurrectionists. A global depression is not going to help sooth the social tensions that exist in Western nations.

Wide-scale supply chain and financial disruptions is probably the rosy scenario end of this conflict in Ukraine. Shippers are already hesitating to take on Russian products, even those products are not sanctioned. It is conceivable that deliveries of vital natural resources like fertilizer, food and energy from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will be delayed for the next several months. These countries ship a lot of food to the global south, so it is a profoundly serious problem.

If that is not enough to consider, think about the last time waves of men flooded into Europe from the south. That was largely driven by economics. Given the socio-economic mood in Europe right now, how well will they handle a million men marching into the heart of Europe from the Middle East and Africa? Who will be blamed this time for the demographic calamity that would follow? Far-right candidate Eric Zemmour could end up sounding like a moderate.

The global order that the West, led by the United States, has evolved over the last several decades assumed certain things. For example, populism was assumed to be impossible in a system that efficiently delivered quality consumer goods. It assumed that price shocks were a thing of the past. Similarly, inflation was assumed to be controlled by the judicious control of the money supply. It assumed the free flow of goods, capital and information.

The system struggled to contend with the populist revolts of the last decade. Two years of mismanagement of the Covid crisis have brought populism back to the fore and called into question key economic axioms. We have labor shortages all over the place, despite rising wages, but we also have spiraling inflation. This is at a time of historically low interest rates. Prior to the war, this combination was assumed to be impossible and now it will only get worse as a result of the crisis.

When the axioms of a system begin to crumble, people quickly begin to doubt the system that rests on those axioms. Confidence in the socio-political order was already falling as a result of demographics and mismanagement. The banging of war drums by the geriatrics ruling Washington is not going to change this. In fact, it is clear that the public blames those geriatrics for the Ukrainian mess. We are entering uncharted territory with regards to public confidence in the system.

It very well may be that the worst case scenario is upon us with regards to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. A fragile system that was already wobbling due to demographics and mismanagement is now about to receive a series of economic body blows. Europe may be getting a new wave of demographic reality. The worst case scenario may be a revolution in public consciousness about the socio-economic order. The elites may be blowing their world up the old fashioned way.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Russia – Ukraine

One of the interesting sidelights to the crisis in Ukraine is the hyper-reaction of the American media. It has been a blend of foaming at the mouth jingoism, unhinged hysteria and absolute nonsense. Since the rest of the English-speaking world follows the lead of the American media, the world has been flooded with what probably sounds like a tidal wave of craziness. The start of actual fighting in Ukraine has made the situation worse in the information space.

As is so often the case, the one place you must avoid if you want to know what is happening in Europe right now is the American media. They have fallen for at least one Sam Hyde gag. They have been caught using old pictures from different events and screenshots from movies. They seem to be willing to believe the most outlandish nonsense about both sides. Of course, the Ukrainians are the Spartans at Thermopylae and the Russians are bloodthirsty Nazis.

What we know so far is that there has been some contact between Ukrainian forces and Russian forces. We also know the Russians are now staged in-country, outside various cities and strategically important spots. We also know that the Ukrainians have been willing to talk, after initially refusing peace talks. The first round happened a couple of days ago and another round is scheduled this week. We also have not seen much in the way of reliable footage indicating heavy combat.

Taken as a whole, with the understanding that lots of pieces of the puzzle are missing, the most likely situation right now is not much is happening. The Russians swept in but stopped short of going into major cites. They have most certainly occupied the disputed provinces in the east and have liquidated the Ukrainian irregulars. Otherwise, the lack of images is the result of two armies in a stand-off as the political and psychological war rages around them.

For their part, the Ukrainians have no reason to engage the Russian army directly, as they would eventually lose. It may take a few weeks, but the outcome is certain and the price to the civilian population would be high. They have the backing of the West to a point and the longer their army is in the field and functioning, they have a chance to cut a deal with the Russians. For Zelensky, his army and his cities are chips he will play over the next weeks to make a deal for himself.

Interestingly, the Russians may have a similar calculus. As long as their army is camped outside Kiev, they have options they did not have last week. For example, they can settle the question of the eastern provinces now. The facts on the ground matter and those two provinces no longer belong to Ukraine. They can also force NATO to discuss their security concerns in a serious way. The longer their army is in the field the more willing the West is to cut a deal with them.

That is where the Ukrainian and Russian similarities end. Zelensky agreed to talks because he knows the other option is he becomes a CNN anchor. If the press reports were true and the heroic Ukrainian army was fighting the Reds to a standstill, his position would be simple. Russia leaves or else. He is at the table to buy time and avoid being run out of his own country. He is looking for a face-saving deal that leaves him in power and in good standing with the West.

The Russians want what they have plus two more things. They have the provinces and they are not going back to Ukrainians control. What they want from the peace talks is agreement from Zelensky on this fact. That becomes an endorsement of the deal and thus strips the West of claims to the contrary. They also want an end to discussions about Ukraine joining NATO or the EU. If this comes from the Western puppet government, it basically comes from Washington.

A wildcard in all of this is time. It is assumed the Russians wanted to quickly knock out the Ukrainians, but that appears to be false. They want a deal with this Ukrainian government, not one they install. That means they came into this with a much longer timeline than has been suggested. How long they are willing or able to keep their army in the field is unknown, but it is probably months, maybe longer. All we know is we do not know their timeline for ending this.

For now, the Ukrainians have all the time in the world. The West is waving around their flag on social media and promising support. They know this is mostly public relations and that eventually, the West will move into other issues. For now, they have no reason to cut a deal with the Russians. They have every reason to stall for time and hope some miracle happens that causes the Russians to change their position. Like the Russians, they have months, maybe longer to wait.

Another wildcard in all of this is economics. Ukraine and Russia ship a lot of food and energy to the MENA countries. The reason that region was convulsed by revolts ten years ago was food and fuel prices spiked. In a world already suffering double-digit retail inflation and supply chain problems, another factor driving up prices for essentials could create massive headaches for everyone. It is not as if the Western countries are in peace and harmony right now either.

That brings in the other wildcard. Another wave of migrants from the south could easily swamp Europe this spring. What keeps the waves of migrants from flooding Europe are countries like Syria and Turkey. The former is a Russian client state and the later has a lot of axes to grind with the Europeans. Turkey has been in economic crisis for months, so opening up the migrant valve could be a useful way to lower the temperature domestically, especially if there are food shortages.

What all of this means is this conflict could stagger on for a long time before the parties decided they have to settle things. It also means the geniuses in Washington who instigated this did not anticipate any of what is happening. That will surely cause problems in trying to reach a deal. They have backed themselves into a corner and cannot sign off on any deal right now. That will drag out whatever negotiations are happening between Ukraine and Russia.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


View From The Road

Note: No show today as I am traveling this week. I will be posting travel logs behind the green door for those interested. Here is the first installment. I also have a lengthy book review ready to go and once that is posted, I’ll update this with a link.


One of the funny things you experience when traveling to another English-speaking country is their version of your news. I first experienced this in Dublin half a dozen years ago when I popped on the BBC in the hotel. When I travel, I never turn on the television, as the room is just a place to sleep and shower. It was pouring rain so I decided to check out Irish television for the first time. I was greeted by two actors confidently spewing out laughable nonsense about the news.

One guy was talking about Trump as if he had grown up with the man and knew him like a family member. The trouble was, the things he was saying were so absurd that it felt like satire of a crazy MSNBC talking head, but it was serious. The person on the other side of this was an over-the-top version of the pompous news anchor. He was an English version of Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman. I was sitting there cackling like Kamala Harris while watching it.

I clicked around the many versions of the BBC and then found Sky News. I had never consumed this product, but my understanding was that it was the Fox News Channel for the rest of the English-speaking world. In reality, it was just another version of the BBC, without the same level of smugness. They had a different actor pretending to know the mind of Donald Trump, telling the audience for this stuff what they needed to hear to get through the trauma of the election.

After I recovered from the hysterical fits of laughter, I realized I was watching the modern version of the freak show. The difference is the freak show never tried to normalize the freaks. The modern freak show seeks to normalize the weirdness in order to open the mind of the viewer to the messaging. Then I realized that like all Americans, I had grown up in the same freak show, with different freaks. In other words, American mass media was worse than I noticed.

This week I have been busy with a million things and I am on the road in Orlando, so I have not been following the news very much. I caught some bits about the war in Europe, but I have not had time to look at the inevitable commentary or watch the chattering skulls on television. What I know about what is happening comes from what I know about the history of the area, prior analysis and the many e-mails I have been getting from readers in Eastern Europe.

At the airport, they had CNN on and it was all war news, but I saw no one watching is so I followed the mob and ignored it too. I’ve been in a lot of airports during tranquil times and turbulent times and the airport crowd is always a good gauge of whether something is resonating with people. In the 2016 election cycle, people stopped to watch Trump news at the airport. Even people busy living their lives knew it was a big deal so they stopped and watched the man.

Putting the news out of my head meant I missed all the talk and analysis until I arrived in Orlando Thursday evening. The Uber driver asked me about it, but it turned out his reason had nothing to do with the news. He is just a huge Putin fans so this is like seeing his favorite sports team in the championship. He wanted to talk about it because it makes him feel good to talk about it. That said, his analysis would turn out to be the most sensible I’d hear that day.

After checking into the hotel, I decide to see what the news was saying about the great Slavic invasion of Europe. War is good television and the pioneer in modern war television was CNN. They are down on their luck these days and this is the sort of thing to boost their ratings, so I hit CNN first. Memories of the freak show from Dublin rushed into my mind as one lunatic after another came on to make sure they said “Keev” several times, rather than “kee-ev” like a normal person.

Luckily, MSNBC seemed to be in a commercial loop, so I broke free and went over to Fox News, which has fallen into an alternative reality. In this new reality, it is the year 2000 and the chicken hawks are at their zenith. Instead of Saddam Hussein as the next Hitler, it is Putin. They are all saying “Keev” now too. The amusing thing is that when these simpletons say it, they stumble, because they have not had enough time to practice saying this weird new word in front of the mirror.

Like the goofy English pundits on the BBC claiming to know the mind of Trump, the current pundits all claim to know the mind of Vladimir Putin. Of course, they tell us that he is the evil monster they need to justify the warmongering. You see, if Americans do not accept ten-dollar gasoline and breadlines, Putin will march all the way to Paris, just like you know who, in what always feels like yesterday for these people. You must sacrifice for their principles.

It really is a freak show. The one exception is Tucker Carlson, which is the great irony in all of this. The people trying to understand what is happening and maintaining healthy skepticism and objectivity are cast as mindless puppets of evil. The people suddenly saying “Keev” like they have contracted a new form of Tourette’s are the deep thinking, worldly servants of all that is holy. This is not propaganda. It is an alternative reality used to impose mass psychosis.

What is amazing about the Fox News coverage is it all sounds like the stuff you see on CNN and MSNBC. It is just various ways of repeating whatever the White House is saying, but with a hint of Biden criticism. They try to compare him to Neville Chamberlain when the opportunity arises. In other words, they are following the lead of the ratings losers, instead of the most popular man in the mass media. It just shows the real face behind those masks they wear.

One final observation about Fox News. Sean Hannity was never a guy working math problems in his free time, but he seems to have gotten dumber. He always looks like he is going to snap and fly into a Chris Farley-like tantrum. His show is angry stupid man interviews stupid people pretending to be smart. You have to wonder about the audience for such content. You can excuse people for wanting to see the Siamese twins or wolf-boy, but what is the excuse for watching Hannity?

There are many theories of the mass media. They usually revolve around the Orwellian propaganda angle. When you can look at it from the proper distance, you get the sense that maybe the real point is to fill the air with the sounds of weirdos and lunatics, so the sober voices cannot be heard. A guy like Tucker lives like a serious lecturer employed by the traveling circus. Even if you like his content, it is hard to appreciate it over the sound of freaks and carnies.

It is not entirely spontaneous, of course. You see that with the vapid repetition of the word “Keev” from these airheads. There are people behind the curtain injecting phrases and opinions into the system for the freaks to repeat. On the other hand, it is a system  that operates by the logic of people who think the purpose of life is to win the catchphrase contest each day. The mass media is the freak show populated with credentialed members of the managerial elite.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The End Of Empire

At the end of the Cold War, the American empire was at the height of its global influence and power. The verdict of history was that it had the best economy, the best military and the best political culture. Thirty years on and no one looks at the American economic model with envy. China is viewed as having the best economy. While the military has amazing weaponry, its culture is looked upon as increasingly bizarre. Of course, the political culture has become coarse and unstable.

The sharp decline in the competence of the Global American Empire is where the decline is most evident. The place to start is the blunders in the Bush years, where they miscalculated at every step in the crusade against Islam. One can argue about whether they should have anticipated the 9/11 attacks, but the response was poorly conceived and poorly executed. Like a sports team that takes a far weaker opponent lightly, the empire survived the encounter with Islam. It did not win.

The Obama years brought new failures. The administration started with the goal of resetting relations with Russia, which had been soured by the behavior of the Bush administration in the Russo-Georgian war. They sent Hillary Clinton to cackle with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Obama administration ended with Hillary Clinton’s election team manufacturing a smear campaign and conspiracy theory around the now famous Russian collusion hoax.

The Trump years were mostly filled with noise, but the fact that Trump was president at all suggested the competence of the empire was cratering. The system left to the current ruling class was supposed to prevent both Clinton and Trump. Worse yet, when the system failed and Trump was selected, the people in charge engaged in a four year tantrum rather than making the best of it. For his part, Trump spent his four years giving the Israel lobby a blank check.

The Biden regime has ushered in a new era of bungling. The exit from Afghanistan was never going to be smooth, but it had to be done. This was known in the Trump years but the system refused to cooperate with Trump. A competent system would have let the hated orange man own the ugly exit. Instead, they left it to Biden and then proceeded to find ways to blunder no one thought possible. The sight of Afghan herdsman sitting in abandoned Blackhawk helicopters was a poignant symbol.

Now we have the Ukraine debacle, which threatens global stability. This crisis is a long time coming so it is not all the fault of the Biden administration. The Empire has been trying to encircle and destabilize Russia since the Bush years. The overthrow of the Ukrainian government by the Obama people and the installation of a puppet government was just one step in a long process. Biden does own the attempted coup in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Ukraine is a complicated place with a tragic history. That history has mostly been defined by great armies marching through its territory. Modern Ukraine is the product of the communists committing genocide, then the Nazis committing genocide then the communist returning to impose three generations of communism. Since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine has been defined by corruption and a massive brain-drain as its people head for the rest of Europe.

Ukraine is the counter to the old De Maistre aphorism about government. He said that every country has the government it deserves. This has always been interpreted in the West to mean bad government is the fault of the people. This is not how De Maistre meant it, but even if he did, Ukraine shows the idiocy of that sentiment. No people deserve the governance Ukraine has received over the last century. It is proof that government is a ruling class tool of control.

It is the corruption that has come to define American policy with regards to both Russia and Ukraine recently. Senior members of the political elite have had family members put on the payroll of Ukrainian oligarch. The most famous of which is the drug-addled son of President Biden, who was put on the board of Burisma Holdings, the energy conglomerate owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Ukraine has been buying a lot of influence in Washington this way.

Now we have the Russian military moving into Ukraine on the pretext of protecting both the large Russian population in Ukraine and the two breakaway republics in the east of Ukraine. This could have been avoided if the Global American Empire had recognized the reality of the situation. They could have hashed out a deal with Putin on the issues at the heart of the crisis. Instead, we got months of bizarre hysteria that only served to undermine peaceful solutions.

The fate of Ukraine is not particularly important. What matters in this crisis is the display of staggering incompetence by the empire. They managed to turn what should have been a minor diplomatic matter on the fringe of Europe into a global crisis. The result is soaring energy prices in a time when the global economy is still staggering from two years of incompetent Covid polices. We have double digit inflation now. Just wait until massive spikes in energy prices hit the system.

The incompetence does not end here. We are now seeing a parade of experts from the imperial chattering class compare Ukraine to the Sudetenland, Putin to Hitler and Biden to Neville Chamberlain. Some are just yesterday men looking for one last grift before they exit the stage. Most are people locked into a blinkered mindset bounded by their ignorance and self-regard. To people with any knowledge of the issue, they sound like idiots because they clearly do not know what they do not know.

Much of this public relations campaign is aimed at shifting the focus from the failure of American foreign policy. The Russia hawks blaming Biden is a way of shifting the blame from the permanent foreign policy establishment. That too is another example of the incompetence of the system. Instead of learning from their error, they are shifting the blame to a convenient target, so they can continue in error. Thirty years of failure since the end of the Cold War has taught them nothing.

Put side the armchair diplomacy and what we are seeing is the world slowly adjusting to the reality of the Global American Empire. It is the sick man of world politics and the world knows it. Putin easily outmaneuvered the empire on this issue. The Europeans made sure to not make any enemies on the Russian side. The empire is left with talking tough from a distance. This is what the end of empire looks like. The question now is just how quickly it reaches its inevitable conclusion.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The End Of Empire

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. The subject of it and today’s post is the rather bizarre crisis in Europe. Of course, Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door for those needing audio stimulation. Much of it is about the situation in Europe.


The question that has not been given much consideration over the last few decades is how exactly will the Global American Empire end? All empires come to an end, but not all of them end the same. Usually, they dissolve into their constituent parts like we saw with the Soviet Union. This may or may not bring with it a spasm of violence, but the unnatural combination eventually returns to its nature. What makes each empire unique is its birth and its death.

Like every empire before it, the Global American Empire will end. This may be what we are seeing with the current crisis in Europe over Ukraine. Russia is well past the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. Europe has also evolved past the old arrangements made necessary by the Cold War. The only player stuck in the past is the Global American Empire, which is carrying on like it is 1960. We are now seeing the hints of the end for the American empire in Europe.

The starting place is the fact that the stuff coming from Washington is so bizarre that not even the Ukrainians understand it. The rhetoric has gone well beyond the normal sort of moralizing that has distinguished the American empire. Washington and now London have conjured a reality in which the Russians are ready to launch into Ukraine while the Russians and Ukrainians are happy to find a peaceful solution. The whole thing is making Washington look a bit nuts.

All of this happening against the reality that if the Russians want to invade Ukraine there is nothing NATO can do about it. If the Russians wanted to move onto Berlin there is not much NATO could do to stop them. Over time, the West would be able to rally and cripple the Russians economically, then roll them back militarily, but in the short term everyone gets that NATO is a paper tiger. It is also a pointless vestige from a bygone era that should have been scrapped a generation ago.

This is one entry point into the crisis. The Germans want to finish Nord Stream 2 and build closer economic ties with Russia. The Russians want to restore their ancient relationship with Western Europe. They will not accept the American conditions that they must embrace the religion of the West. There will be no rainbows and transsexuals in the Russian culture. There will be no scenes of Russian soldiers walking around in pumps claiming to be sorry for their ancestors.

The Germans and the French seem to be ready to make the deal with the Russians and begin a new era for both sides. The Russians can maintain their traditional model for organizing themselves and Europe will begin to normalize economic relations with the rest of Eurasia. This leaves little room for the Global American Empire, which is based on an assertion that there is only one moral way to organize a society. This potential new arrangement is a rebuke of the very idea of empire.

Another entry point into viewing the current crisis as a stage in the dissolution of the Global American Empire is in the reaction itself. Even the American media has lost track of how many times the Biden people have claimed an invasion is imminent. It feels like it is a weekly thing now. The State Department swears the tanks are revving their engines and then nothing happens. European leaders have to be wondering if the empire is losing its grip on reality.

The hysteria could very well be the only thing left. Again, if Russian draws the line on NATO expansion and takes over Ukraine, there is very little Washington can do about it other than make a lot of noise. The promise of crippling economic sanctions is as ridiculous as the rest of the bellowing. Europe needs to buy important stuff from Russia in order to exist. Germany and France will go along with superficial stuff to please Washington, but they are not committing suicide over Ukraine.

What we may be entering is a final phase of the Global American Empire in which conflicting realities create a lot of friction. One reality is that America’s dominion over Europe was always unnatural for both sides. In the Cold War it was seen as a necessity, so it was a tolerable contradiction. Those conditions have not existed for over a generation now and reality is reasserting itself. Western Europe will be dominated by France and Germany and Eastern Europe by Russia.

Another set of conflicting realities is that the heritage stock of America never wanted to be a major player in world affairs. The sales pitch by the imperial leaders was always based on this assumed reluctance. The Global American Empire was a necessity born out of war and tragedy. That necessity is long over and yet the managerial elite of the empire insists on maintaining the empire. Meanwhile the public is dealing with cultural and economic collapse.

There has never been a time when the average American has felt more divorced from his government than now. The guy the empire counts on to wave the flag and respond to war drums is not sure which side to support. This is one of those unspoken truths about this Ukraine affair. The reservoir of patriotism is now dry among the cohort of Americans who have always been the most patriotic. The response from these people over Ukraine is a shrug or maybe a wry smile.

This may be what the end empire is like from the inside. We will have spasms of bellowing and shouting from Washington, but the world will slowly crawl out from under the shadow of Washington. Meanwhile, domestic politics will grow increasingly untenable, with populist revolt replacing electoral organizing. The system simply stops working as the reason for it to keep working no longer makes sense. The end of empire is a million small breakdowns in the system.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


To What End?

Note: For those in need of some audio stimulation, my appearance on Cotto & Gottfried is now up on iTunes. It is mostly about the state of conservatism.


It has been noted many times now that people in the West have to read American media the same way they used to read the Soviet media. Most of what we get from mainstream sources is the natural propaganda one expects from the toadies and bootlickers that follow every authoritarian regime. Other pieces are planted by regime elements for reasons that are not always obvious. As with Kremlinology a generation ago, regime-ology is something of sport now.

For example, the regime keeps planting these stories about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine in their favorites outlets. A few days ago this entirely made up report was sprinkled all over regime media. It painted a grim picture of the attack that we are told was happening any minute. Of course, the White House comes out every day and tells the stenographers in the press pool that the Russians will invade Ukraine as soon as tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

Today we have the latest regime scare story written by one of the zombies at their favorite outlet. The point of this story is to embarrass French President Emmanuel Macron who is trying to work out a deal with the Russians. He has been meeting with the parties the last two weeks to put an end to the situation. Unlike the Washington regime, Europe has no interest in war over Ukraine. The Europeans can read a map and they are not insane.

For a long time, it was assumed that the reason for the war drums from Washington was due to so many pols being on the Ukrainian payroll. We know the Biden family has been taking bribes from Ukraine for over a decade. That was one of those interesting stories that arose from the second impeachment of Trump. This tiny little corrupt country in Eurasia had a lot of friends in both political parties. The best sort of friends, the kind that can be bought and will stay bought.

That may be part of it, but it is clear that the Ukrainians have no desire to be the battleground in a new Cold War. For their part, the Russians have made clear they will never tolerate Ukraine in NATO. This should be an easy demand to meet, as no one in NATO, other than the Washington regime, wants Ukraine in NATO. Everyone in Europe understands the reality of Ukraine. It is a hyper corrupt kleptocracy that would be better off turned into a federalized neutral zone.

The other aspect of this is that the stories about the Russian military buildup appear to be mostly fake. The Russians are free to conduct exercises in their own land, which is what they have been doing thus far. They have not been sending weapons or “advisers” to the friendly militias operating in Ukraine. The CIA has been conducting covert operations with friendly militias for a decade now. In other words, this whole thing is one long running color revolution.

That raises the obvious question. If no one in Europe wants a war over Ukraine and the Ukrainians are not interested in a war, what is really going on here? One option is the permanent foreign policy establishment is infested with paranoids who wake in the middle of the night to the sound of hoofbeats. That has been an amusing line for years, but it would be a terrifying reality. Is the Ukraine mess really the result of deranged fanatics operating in the Washington foreign policy establishment?

Another less terrifying option is energy. The one thread that ties the foreign policy misadventures of the last thirty years together is energy. Russia has partnered with Iran and Syria because of energy. If they can control of natural gas out of the Middle East into Europe, that gives them leverage. Nord Stream 2 is a regular topic for the regime media, so it is fair to assume that the regime is worried about it. In this context, Ukraine is just a convenient cat’s paw in a larger geopolitical game.

What the regime is hoping for is an invasion of Ukraine that would then force the Europeans, especially the Germans, to kill Nord Stream 2. The Russians would remain the primary supplier of natural gas to Europe, but they would not become the exclusive supplier of energy. If Nord Stream 2 comes online Washington loses most of its leverage over Europe with regards to Russia. This is why they are so committed to this narrative about a Russian invasion. It has to happen.

The problem with this scenario is that it is too late to kill Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is complete and filled with gas. The last step in the project is for Germany to start using the gas and pay the Russians for it. No sane person can imagine a scenario in which this project is shut down. Even an invasion of Ukraine by Russia would only delay the opening of the pipeline. The Germans want the gas, the Russians want to sell it to them, so that deal will be consummated no matter what.

One interesting side bar to this is that the regime is certain they can jawbone the Russians into invading Ukraine. They also seem to think they can convince the world that a war is imminent. It is one of those examples where the regime reveals how disconnected they are from reality. Exactly no one seems to be falling for this disinformation campaign, especially the Russians. Yet the regime keeps running these stories in their media as if they are working.

As was the case with Kremlinology, we are left with our best guesses as to why the Washington regime is hyper-aggressive toward Russia. It could simply be cultural momentum within the foreign policy establishment. No one inside the regime knows why they have to talk about Russia as the great villain. It has just been the way it has always been. No one questions it, so the cultural inertia inside the system just keeps pushing the political class into confrontation with Russia.

That is the problem with closed regimes like we have in Washington. No one can see inside to figure out what is happening. Everyone inside sees everyone outside as a possible enemy, so no one talks candidly about what is happening. Everything operates inside of a black box. No one sees in and no one sees out. To the outside the world, the regime looks increasingly paranoid and dangerous. Eventually, it burns through its legitimacy and we arrive at a Ceausescu moment.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Ukraine On The Brain

The surest way to lose an argument is to concede the premise put forth by the person taking the other side of the debate. His starting premise is, at the very minimum, not harmful to his argument. Most likely, he starts with a premise that makes his conclusions inevitable. It would be insane to start from a premise that must lead to a contradictory conclusion. If you concede his premise without considering this strong possibility, you are sure to lose the debate.

This is why it is always good to be wary of people who claim to support your argument, but who insists upon conceding the premise of your opponent. Either that person is stupid or they are trying to undermine your argument. This has been the history of conservatism in America. They concede the premise to the Progressives, while claiming they can win the argument against the Progressives. This was famously observed by Robert Lewis Dabney a century ago.

Victor David Hanson has a post about Ukraine that is a good example of how the so-called conservatives concede the moral high ground. He opens with what is best described as a gratuitous assertion. “Americans want an autonomous Ukraine to survive. They hope the West can stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strangulation of both Ukraine and NATO.” No evidence is offered in support of this assertion, because no American outside Washington cares about Ukraine.

His third sentence is even more divorced from reality than the first. “Most Americans oppose the notion that Russia can simply dictate the future of Ukraine.” The truth is, most Americans do not care about this part of the world in the least. Russia could turn Ukraine into a nuclear testing zone and most Americans would only care if it made for some interesting video. Otherwise, Ukraine is down there on the list of concerns with land management in Uzbekistan.

What Hanson is up to here is making the old neoconservative case for endless intervention in the world. That case has been built on the claim that Americans care about the world and Americans will support the costs of meddling in the affairs of far away places like Ukraine. Neoconservatism has always rested on a manufactured consent of the majority. This appeal to the will of the people provides the moral authority for endless intervention in the world.

When the premise of the debate is that the American people care deeply about the territorial integrity of our ancient ally Ukraine and they are committed to stopping our ancient enemy Russia, there is only one plausible conclusion. The to-ing and fro-ing he goes through in that post is just window dressing. If the people demand the safety of Ukraine and define that as the rejection of Russian interests along their border, America has no choice but to be enmeshed in this conflict.

The rhetorical sleight of hand does not end there. Hanson makes clear that this conflict would be over if Putin respected Biden and his team. You see, despite the bellicose language from Team Biden, they are appeasers. Their tough talk about Ukraine is really just a coded surrender of Ukraine. Everyone knows that only one man in human history was ever appeased, so when you think about it, Ukraine is the Sudetenland and Joe Biden is this generation’s Neville Chamberlain.

The argument here is totally bonkers, but it is the natural result of conceding the premise of empire. Once you accept that America has a right and duty to arrange the world to reflect the current values of American elites, there is no conflict too small or too far away that does not demand intervention. In fact, Americans must naturally demand intervention, as to do other wise would be to let evil triumph. This is neoconservatism tarted up with some populist sounding handwringing.

This is why non-interventionism is seen as a bigger threat to the current order than a nuclear exchange with Russia or war with China in the Pacific. To accept the fact that there are some places around the world that are not the business of the American empire opens the debate about the limits of empire. Once we accept that there is a line beyond which it is immoral for us to go, the debate is about where to draw the line and neoconservatism has no argument for this.

Further, if we concede that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine, rooted in their history and culture, then we must concede that history and culture exists as something other than social constructs. In other words, to take the claims of Russia seriously is to question a fundamental premise of the current order. This is where it becomes plain that American interests in Ukraine have little to do with reality on the ground and everything to do with the prevailing morality of Washington.

This is why the neoconservatives insist that the American people have a strong interest in protecting Ukraine. If they can make that the premise of the debate, there is never a reason to question the endless meddling in the region. The debate is about how to meddle in their affairs, not whether we should meddle in the region. The former serves the interest of the neocons, while the latter excludes them from the debate, something that needs to happen sooner rather than later.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Clash Of Ideas

The most difficult thing for most people to grasp is that the first mover of history is not people or events but ideas. The thing that sets it all in motion is a mental construct or a set of constructs that form the concept of a potential future. It is this mental image, not always well defined, out on the horizon that motivates men. Often the popular players in the drama are not fully aware of the ideas behind their actions. They are men of action, not thinkers, so they act on what they believe they know.

The simmering conflict in Ukraine between Russia and the American empire is a good example of how ideas drive events. On the surface it looks like a petty and pointless conflict between two old rivals. As Pat Buchanan notes in his recent column, Ukraine is meaningless, in terms of national interest, to the United States. Buchanan is speaking in practical terms here. Ukraine has nothing but corrupt politicians and poor people who deserve better than their current rulers.

This lack of practical interest does not prevent the usual suspects in the American foreign policy establishment from claiming otherwise. They see Ukraine as another block in the containment wall they are hoping to build around Russia. For them, the Cold War never ended, because their hatred of Russia goes back to much older ideas about Russia and Eastern Europe. For them, Ukraine is important because it is important to the Russian sense of itself.

For Russia, Ukraine is the line in the sand. Their role in the region goes back to the very dawn of the Russian people. Not only does this region have practical interests for the Russians in terms of doing business with the West, but it is the Russian frontier with the West, the place where the West ends and Eurasia begins. The American empire annexing Ukraine into the West is an act of war because it is the next logical step in the West invading Russia proper, a habit going back to Napoleon.

There you see another one of those ideas that is driving the scheming sessions in the West over Ukraine. The American empire is animated by a set of ideas we now call liberal democracy. One of the ideas within that basket of concepts is the belief that there is only one moral way to organize a society. That one way, conveniently enough, is liberal democracy. Anything and anyone opposed to it is outside the family of man and standing athwart the flow of history.

The alternative to that universalist belief in liberal democracy, the thing that stands in the way of history, is not an alternative universal belief, but rather the rejection of the claim to a universal order. The opposite of the unipolar, global order organized around a secular religion is a multipolar world that reflects the different histories and traditions of the human family. In other words, what opposes liberal democracy is the rejection of it being the one true god of man.

This is what lies at the heart of the Russian interest in Ukraine. Few in the West bother reading Dugin, but he is rejected as a neo-fascist ideologue because that is how the hive mind of liberal democracy works. In reality, Dugin is not much of an ideologue but more of the rejection of ideology. Universalism is the traveling partner of ideology just as it is with religion. The ideologue starts from the assumption that his beliefs are correct, which by defining means the alternatives are wrong.

Duginism accepts that there are many ways for a people to organize themselves and these ways are tied to their history as a people. What works in the West is not going to work in Africa or Eurasia, because the history and traditions of the West that created liberal democracy do not exist in other places. To impose liberal democracy on a people without the necessary ingredients for it is no different than forcibly converting a people to a new religion, which is the liberal project at heart.

As this applies to Russia, it means the interests of the Russian people are only tied to the global order in so far as the global order tries to impose on them. History says Russia needs to maintain a buffer zone between itself and the West in order to guard against whatever the global order is calling itself at the moment. The long open country was what defeated Napoleon and Hitler. It is what is required to defend against the American empire and its cultural forces.

This is why war between the West and Russia may be inevitable. Universalist creeds like liberal democracy cannot abide by dissent. That is why the West in general and America in particular operate like theocracies now. Dissent, even in the mildest form, suggests the one true faith is flawed. Worse yet, it suggests it is proper to question the tenets of the faith. This suggests the wheel of history does not move as the faith requires, which calls the whole project into question.

This is why the American empire must bring Russia to heel. Washington views Russia as it does heretics at home. The annexation of Ukraine is not about mundane things like money and power. For sure, powerful people are benefitting from this by cutting deals with the crooks running Ukraine. Opportunists exist in every stage of history. What is animating foreign policy, however, is a millenarian zeal to finish the liberal project and bring about the final chapter of humanity.

On the other side, it is why Russia must resist this encroachment. In order for there to be a Russia it must exist outside of this ideological space called the West. Russia is defined by being both in Europe and outside of Europe. The Russian people have always been at the top of this alternative order populated by the people of Eurasia, so they exist to maintain it. To succumb to the West, to be incorporated in the liberal order, is to cease to exist as a unique people.

At a practical level, the war over Ukraine is a pointless fight over trivial stuff, but it is the ideas behind it that make it world changing. From the perspective of the mullahs in Washington, the survival of the West is at stake. From the perspective of Russia, the survival of the Russian people is what is being challenged in Ukraine. Even though the Finlandization of Ukraine looks like a practical solution, in reality there is no compromise between these two conflicting ideas.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The New Bogeyman

Last week, the media was buzzing with claims that the Chinese have mastered hypersonic technology. They had flown a hypersonic glider around the globe and then delivered it to a target. Supposedly the glider was capable of carrying and therefore delivering a nuclear weapon. Additionally, the US military claimed to not know how they managed to pull it off. The implication being that the Chinese have now surpassed the American empire in military technology.

The official outlet for the Washington regime promptly put out an essay warning about the threat China now poses. Th point of the essay is to frame the debate over how best to wage the new cold war. One side will be dovish and seek to negotiate, while the other side will be hawkish and want to keep pace with the Chinese. The compromise will be both sides get what they want. This means jobs and cash for the army of managerial class flunkies and military contractors.

The one thing the ruling elite agrees upon is that they need a new enemy and the best one available is the Sino-Russian alliance. On the one hand, the Russians reportedly have magical powers that allow them to muck around in the domestic affairs of the United States and its allies. The Russians are well known meddlers. They are also known for their hacking. The proof of that is Washington has been complaining about Russian meddling and hacking for years.

While the Russians are the brains of the operation, China is being cast as the muscle, supplying the men and arms to threaten the world. Until now everyone understood that Chinese military technology was not cutting edge. China has always been a land-based civilization, so that means no blue water navy and no ability to project power too far beyond her borders. That is why these Chinese hypersonic stories are being planted in regime friendly media outlets.

Even in a cynical age, the power of the mass media is real. The steady beating of the drums about China even has the antiwar people alarmed. The American Conservative opposed all of the wars against the Muslims, but it is now hawkish on China. They are even going in for the “we must defend an abstract concept” ploy that has always been popular with the regime. In this case, China threatens the “alliance system” which is suddenly the most important thing ever.

Interestingly, none of the newly minted China hawks have shown any interest in alternatives to another pointless cold war. America could use economic tools to put pressure on the Chinese. There is no way the Chinese can continue to operate without trade with the US. It is a two-way street, of course, but America outsourced its manufacturing base to China so a handful of men could get richer, not because we lacked domestic resources to make our own stuff.

More important, the American empire controls the very basis of the global economy, which is the money supply. China and Russia can make a show out of trading with one another in their own currencies, but the rest of the world is never abandoning the dollar as the reserve currency. Every wealthy Chinaman has reserves of dollars stashed away in Western banks. As a result, America can put an enormous amount of pressure on the ChiComs without a single carrier leaving port.

Of course, no one seems to be interested in the absurdity of having a tense military stand-off with China yet simultaneously conducting massive amounts of business with her at the same time. Imagine if in the Cold War American business was outsourcing critical supply chains to Russia. How about in the last great war, key industries were sold off to the Germans? That is what is being proposed, in effect, with this stand-off with the Chinese over Taiwan.

Then you have the fact that the people rolling out this new campaign to create an enemy for the regime are the same people who told us that Saddam was the new Hitler and a threat to the world. They told us they were bringing democracy to Afghanistan, and they have been telling us Syria uses chemical weapons on its people. They are the same people who said Islam was a threat to the West then massively increased the number of Muslims settling in the West.

It should not take too much cynicism to think that maybe the people who have lied before are possibly lying now. After all, they lied about the nuclear program in Iraq in the face of technological reality. Building a bomb is very hard, requires massive resources and lots of smart people. Iraq had none of those things. Similarly, the West has been working with hypersonic gliders for generations. So far, they have proven to be expensive toys without much military use.

The fact is the threat from China is not really from China but from the pirates that run the economy who like doing business with China. The threat is the Western scientist who are willing to take Chinese money to perform forbidden research. It is the American tech companies willing to sellout the country for the opportunity to make money helping the Chinese communists. China is a symptom of a much graver problem, one that exists in the ruling class of the American empire.

There is money to be made in the next hoax, so everyone with the dream of living in the clouds will be happy to jump on it. Conservatives will be allowed to pretend they matter again, so they love this idea. The military industrial project will get new batches of cash to buy new toys. The think tanks around DC will get cash to write papers that no one will ever read. Meanwhile the middle-class will continue to shrink, and millions of barbarians will keep pouring over the border.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Peak Israel, Peak Empire

There is an old expression about the Bolshevik revolution that says it was made by Jewish brains, Latvian bayonets, and Russian stupidity. There is a lot of truth to it, as the ethnic makeup of the revolution was not very Russian. One way to look at the revolution is as a revolt of subject people against their old masters. This was made possible by the cupidity and stupidity of the Russian elites. A very similar thing is happening in the American empire, just at a slower pace.

This formulation can also apply to the Middle East. For a long time now, the history of the region has been shaped by a combination of Israeli strategy, Saudi Arabian oil, and American force. It is reasonable to say that America would have no presence in the region if not for Israel. The creation of the Jewish state in 1948 set the region on fire, drawing in the Americans and Russian. Oil and gas, of course, is what made the region vital in the long battle between the two empires.

Since the Cold War ended, the primary reason for US involvement has been Israeli intrigue and Saudi oil production. The first crusade in Iraq was about protecting the oil and gas interests. The second crusade was about changing the balance of power in the region to meet Israel security needs. The crusade in Afghanistan was mostly about containing Iran, despite the rhetoric. Look at a map and it is easy to see that it would be a useful launching pad for air strikes against the Iranians.

The collapse of Afghanistan is getting a lot attention, but it is part of a larger collapse of the regional order. Israel, for example, has undergone a political revolution of sorts with the end of the Netanyahu regime. The new prime minister is the product of the neo-liberal order, rather than the fight for independence. He got rich selling software in America and his parents were left-wing fanatics from San Francisco. He is a man of the global managerial class rather than the local elite.

On the Saudi side of things, the walls continue to close in as their stranglehold on the oil and gas market collapses. New technology has opened up vast reserves in North America, so the need for Saudi oil has declined. Iran’s Caspian Sea natural gas deposit will put her on even footing with the Saudis. That leg of the triumvirate driving regional politics is no longer the gatekeeper of the world’s energy supply. Soon, they will be just another gas station selling a commodity on the world market.

Taken together, the old combination of Israeli strategy, Saudi Arabian oil and American force is about to unravel. America still has troops staged in Syria and Iraq, but the writing is on the wall there too. It also means Israel as the primary mover and shaker in the region is coming to an end. Without American firepower and the Saudi control of energy politics, Israeli is just another country in the region. Throw in the Russian-Iranian partnership and the Middle East is going to look very different.

This is one reason the neoconservatives have been trying to restart the Cold War with the Russians. Given the their involvement in the Middle East, a new contest with them would draw America back into the region. It was also why Israel talked Trump into dumping the Iran deal. Normalization of relations between Europe and Iran makes war with Iran impossible. If that is not an option, then there is little point in America maintaining a military presence in the region.

What we may be seeing is peak Israel. For generations, Israel has occupied the center of American politics. During the Cold War, the three “I’s” of politics were Israel, Indiana, and Ireland. After the Cold War it was Israel, India, and Investment Banking. It is fair to say that what passes for conservatism in America is just low-tax Zionism. The collapse of American involvement in the region means there is little reason to make Israel the focal point of American politics.

This is no small thing. The Republicans are celebrating the bad fortune of Biden and the Democrats over Afghanistan, but this is very bad for them. During the Cold War, the left-side of the American ruling elite was allowed a free hand in domestic affairs and the right-side ran foreign affairs. The end of the Soviet empire left the right-side without a reason to exist, so we got the crusades against Islam for the last 30 years. Suddenly, the only reason to vote Republican has gone away.

It is not all roses for the left-side either. Without the distraction of endless war, the focus will be on domestic issues. All of those people who were titillated by the prospect of “glassing” various countries can now focus their energy on the people trying to turn their sons into girls. America has been at war with someone for close to a century now and this has allowed the Left to remake the country. It also allowed them to underwrite their schemes with the proceeds of empire.

For seventy years, Israel has played an enormous role in the politics of the American empire, but that seems to be coming to an end. It may be that Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem was the top of Israeli influence. The fading of the American empire, particularly in the Middle East, means the influence of Israel on the world must fade with it. It also means the Israelis will have to seek new partners in their endless game of neighborhood politics. America is no longer useful.


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