The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Major turbulence seems to be the name of the game in 2016. Yet the current turbulence may be interpreted as the calm before the next, devastating geopolitical/financial storm. Let’s review the current state of play via the dilemmas afflicting the House of Saud, the EU and BRICS members Russia, Brazil and China.
Not many people are familiar with the Baltic Dry Index. Yet the Index is key to track commodity demand. Two months ago, it was trading to all-time lows. Since then, it has increased over 130%. Precious metals prices have all moved higher in virtually all currencies. Why is this important? Because it tells us that faith in fiat currencies – the US dollar especially — is sharply declining.
What’s left for the House of Saud is to play for time. High up in Riyadh the feeling is that relations with Washington won’t improve while Obama is president; the next president — whether Hillary or The Donald – will be a much better deal. So Plan A for now is to keep posing as essential to Washington in the “war on terra”; that means King Salman falling back on Mohammed bin Nayef, the Crown Prince, way more adept at it than the Warrior Prince, the conductor of the disastrous war on Yemen.
Andrew Bacevich’s America’s War for the Greater Middle East examines how Washington ruled that “military preponderance” across the Middle East should be the strategic objective in a war against the USSR — that was when Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski reigned as geopolitical supremo. This was always supposed to be an endless war – now encompassing the “Greater Middle East” the neocons are so fond of.
Russia, Brazil and Hybrid War
Russia's largest commodity exchange is actively courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goals are crystal clear; to disconnect the price-setting mechanism from the Brent oil benchmark and, crucially, to move away from the petrodollar. That also happens to be a key condition imposed by Beijing to the House of Saud for continuing to buy their oil.
It’s easy to forget that it was only 20 years ago that Moscow wanted to join the West as Christians, and was treated like trash. Russia was perceived in the Beltway to be weak under Yeltsin, who let in looters who ate up Russia as locusts, collapsing Russia’s GDP by 40% as they drew out natural resources, absconding with at least a trillion US dollars.
Now Exceptionalistan keeps updating every trick in the book to destroy or at least undermine Russia with Maidan in Ukraine, an oil price war, attacks on the ruble, Syrian pipelines. Hybrid, unconventional warfare rules – and these will only get nastier. The BRICS as a whole are under siege. The Brazilian color revolution, set up as a soft regime change process, is just the first stage in a new, sophisticated Hybrid War strategy bound to be studied in academia for decades.
I’m a mess without my China fix
Sophisticated Hybrid War-derived techniques may have been deployed full blast against Russia and Brazil. But against China, everything fizzles.
Exceptionalistan’s spin is that China is not as economically secure as it seems. So global public opinion is bombarded by the usual litany of “convulsions in its financial markets”, “investor risk aversion”, “volatility”, or an inevitable crash.
Beijing is advancing on all fronts; spreading influence/commercial deals all across Eurasia, which the New Silk Roads will shape into a mass emporium; modernizing its military; buying strategic foreign assets; building up global trust in the yuan as a stable reserve currency; allowing Chinese elites to diversify their enormous wealth by buying foreign assets, from vineyards in Bordeaux to the odd football giant, such as AC Milan.
No wonder the astonishing spread of Chinese economic power has left assorted Exceptionalists – from neocons to neoliberalcons — totally deranged. Washington has absolutely nothing to offer to nations across Asia, Africa and Latin America – to the whole Global South for that matter. They have all seen how Beijing is not in the market demanding Mob-style compound interest on sovereign debt; “support” for neo-imperial moves by NATO or the UN; one more extra-territorial hub for the US Empire of Bases; or total domination of their central banks.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160429/1038822230/saudi-arabia-oil-prices-russia.html#ixzz47UVwG7DP
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