Note: I did a 90-minute interview with the Friends of Aquinas channel. I have to say it was a very enjoyable conversation. The Monday Taki post is up. Of course, Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door along with Thursday War Talk.
The Western media has been set to frame the war in Ukraine as a replay of the events in the 1930’s, with a healthy does of American moralizing. Putin is Hitler, of course, and Ukraine is the totally innocent victim. The narrative this time is different, because the “good guys” were ready and they have lured Putin into a trap. Biden made public what has been said privately, which is that Washington is planning regime change for Russia and then will move onto regime change in China.
It is entirely possible that this admission is not the result of a Biden gaffe or a bit of 4-D chess by his handlers. instead, this may be part of a trap laid by China, and to a lesser degree, Russia. Joe Biden admitted what most world leaders have understood since the war in Iraq. That is, the Global American Empire has no respect for the politics of other countries, so if they see those politics as a hindrance, they will try to decapitate the government and install a friendly regime.
Further, the reckless response by Washington to the Russian invasion has caused most of the world to rethink the global financial system. Saudi Arabia is now talking with China about doing business in something other than dollars. India has struck a deal with Russia to do business in rupees. India and Russia are now using China’s alternative to the SWIFT system for bank communications. Suddenly there is a race to build parallel financial structures by most of the world.
The primary beneficiary of this result is China. The reason the world prefers to do business in dollars and use US treasuries as collateral is the system of rules governing global finance are rooted in the dollar as the default currency. Those rules benefit America at the expense of the world, but the trade-off has been a fixed and predictable set of rules, including responsible management of the global currency. That trade-off no longer makes sense thanks to Washington’s actions.
That has been the primary result of the sanctions. Washington broke the basic rules of the system to launch this attack on Russia. Cutting off Moscow has been seen by most of the world as a violation of the basic promise of the system. Cutting of the Russian central bank without consulting the rest of the world is probably going to be viewed as the great mistake of this whole affair. That is supposed to be a punishment agreed upon by the world in only the worst cases.
The question no one is asking is whether China saw this as a potential outcome of the Russian invasion. They seem to have been prepared for it. Similarly, Russia seems to have been prepared for the assault. The ruble declined but stabilized after the Moscow central bank stepped into stabilize it. China was ready to meet with India and Russia to work out a joint response. Even South Africa seems to have been in the loop on what to do if Washington came down hard on Russia.
The fact is, Russia never would have gone into Ukraine without knowing the Chinese would backstop them financially. Russian is a big powerful country, but it is a relatively poor country so it cannot go it alone for too long. It is true that Iran has figured out how to get around the sanctions regime, but Russians have had a taste of the good life and would no doubt tire of the hardships. With China and India bucking the sanctions regime, those hardships are now greatly minimized.
Reports indicate that Washington was telling Beijing that Moscow was plotting the invasion and may have signaled their response. China has plenty of spies embedded in Washington, as well as the big social media companies. People forget that China downloaded the data from the Office of Professional Management. They have lots of close friends in Washington politics. The point being is that China probably had a good idea of what America was planning as a response.
If you look at a map, what you see is that most of the world is not going along with the sanctions regime on Russia. Instead of the West isolating Russia, it looks like it is the rest of the world isolating the West. More important, the cost of the sanctions regime is hitting the West where they feel it, their wallets. Prices are soaring in Western countries for food and fuel. Britain is about to experience the biggest drop in the standard of living since records have been kept.
It very well may be that the reason Russia invaded Ukraine is it was part of a much larger plan to deal with the Global American Empire. Russia saw the chance to reassert her ancient claims in eastern Europe and weaken NATO. China saw the chance to bait Washington into smashing its own financial system. The rest of the world is objectively looking at things and seeing a new multipolar world. They want to be on good terms with all of the new power centers of the future.
It is too soon to know if Washington is being played, but the indications thus far suggest they do not see what is happening. Allegedly, the Biden people did not talk to the Federal Reserve about their sanctions regime. This is why cutting off the Moscow central bank has blown up in their face. That is the sort of error that suggests the decision makers are not thinking things through. They also seem to have fell for the military assessments from the Pentagon.
We will know much more in the coming months, but it is possible that what we are seeing is the result of a clever trap laid out by Beijing and Moscow. The war in Ukraine is just one piece of a larger puzzle. This is a puzzle clear to everyone but Washington, which is still high off the fumes of the 1990’s. They still believe they are at the end of history and leading the world to the promised land. Instead, they may be leading the West into a massive financial disaster.
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