Indian foreign minister sticks it to Europe

EAM S Jaishankar on why Europe’s perspective of world’s problems is flawed.

“Europe has to grow out of mindset that its problems are world’s problems, but world’s problems aren’t Europe’s problems. Today linkages being made between China and India and what’s happening in Ukraine. China and India happened way before Ukraine”

Europe has to grow out of mindset that its problems are world’s problems: Jaishankar.

… Rejecting suggestions that India is a “fence-sitter” on global issues, Jaishankar said on Friday he does not necessarily believe that India has to choose between the two axes represented by the US-Europe and China-Russia. “Look, they are not exclusionary but we are a democracy. We are a market economy. We are a pluralistic society. We have laws and contracts, we have positions on international law and I think that should give you a fair part of the answer.”

“Europe is beginning to look more like Panama and Liberia”

Wait, what? Hear me now, and believe me later, or as ‘Naked Capitalism‘ writes:

“The Western sanctions war with Russia will not change the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia will prevail but what the settlement looks like is very much an open question. However, one thing that is more obvious is that the economies of most European countries, and the euro, will suffer. Michael Hudson argues that they are not collateral damage but intended targets.

Hudson points out that Europe has no prospect of getting adequate LNG from the US until at least 2024 due to the need to increase capacity at ports. Reader PlutoniumKun has described how an even bigger constraint is tankers. Only South Korea builds LNG carrying ships and they are already have a full book of orders. A recent OilPrice article pointed out that US frackers will also have difficulty in ramping up production, due to shortages of key inputs like fracking sand, equipment, cement, and even steel tubing.

Europe seems to be operating under the fond hope that the sanctions will so damage Russia that it will have to relent before the winter cold kicks in. But this ignores the fact that there’s no evidence that Russia is going through any real hardship yet, and its ability to manage around shortages of important Europe-supplied products like car and aerospace parts has yet to be tested.”

Michael Hudson’s latest post shows, from the start, a good year ago and even prior to that by Trump, Germany’s stupid energy policy with banking on relatively cheap Russian gas and its Nord Stream 2 project to turbo-charge its export industry was a thorn in the eye of the US. Here is the full post of M. Hudson.

The Dollar Devours the Euro

It is now clear that today’s escalation of the New Cold War was planned over a year ago. America’s plan to block Nord Stream 2 was really part of its strategy to block Western Europe (“NATO”) from seeking prosperity by mutual trade and investment with China and Russia.

As President Biden and U.S. national-security reports announced, China was seen as the major enemy. This despite China’s helpful role in enabling corporate America to drive down labor’s wage rates by de-industrializing the U.S. economy in favor of Chinese industrialization, China’s growth was recognized as posing the Ultimate Terror: prosperity through socialism. Socialist industrialization always has been perceived to be the great enemy of the rentier economy that has taken over most nations in the century since World War I ended, and especially since the 1980s. The result today is a clash of economic systems – socialist industrialization vs. neoliberal finance capitalism.

That makes the New Cold War against China an implicit opening act of what threatens to be a long-drawn-out World War III. The U.S. strategy is to pry away China’s most likely economic allies, especially Russia, Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia. The question was, where to start the carve-up and isolation.

Russia was seen as presenting the greatest opportunity to begin isolating, both from China and from the NATO Eurozone. A sequence of increasingly severe – and hopefully fatal – sanctions against Russia was drawn up to block NATO from trading with it. All that was needed to ignite the geopolitical earthquake as a casus belli.

That was arranged easily enough. The escalating New Cold War could have been launched in the Near East – over resistance to America’s grabbing of Iraqi oil fields, or against Iran and countries helping it survive economically, or in East Africa. Plans for coups, color revolutions and regime change have been drawn up for all these areas, and America’s African army has been built up especially fast over the past year or two. But Ukraine has been subjected to a U.S.-backed civil war for eight years, since the 2014 Maidan coup, and offered the chance for the greatest first victory in this confrontation against China, Russia and their allies.

So the Russian-speaking Donetsk and Luhansk regions were shelled with increasing intensity, and when Russia still refrained from responding, plans reportedly were drawn up for a great showdown to commence in late February – beginning with a blitzkrieg Western Ukrainian attack organized by U.S. advisors and armed by NATO.

Russia’s preemptive defense of the two Eastern Ukrainian provinces and its subsequent military destruction of the Ukrainian army, navy and air force over the past two months has been used as the excuse to start imposing the U.S.-designed sanctions program that we are seeing unfolding today. Western Europe has dutifully gone along whole-hog. Instead of buying Russian gas, oil and food grains, it will buy these from the United States, along with sharply increased arms imports.

The prospective fall in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate

It therefore is appropriate to look at how this is likely to affect Western Europe’s balance of payments and hence the euro’s exchange rate against the dollar.

European trade and investment prior to the War to Impose Sanctions had promised a rising mutual prosperity between Germany, France and other NATO countries vis-à-vis Russia and China. Russia was providing abundant energy at a competitive price, and this energy was to make a quantum leap with Nord Stream 2. Europe was to earn the foreign exchange to pay for this rising import trade by a combination of exporting more industrial manufactures to Russia and capital investment in developing the Russian economy, e.g. by German auto companies and financial investment. This bilateral trade and investment is now stopped – and will remain stopped for many, many years, given NATO’s confiscation of Russia’s foreign reserves kept in euros and British sterling, and Europe’s Russophobia being fanned by U.S. propaganda media.

In its place, NATO countries will purchase U.S. LNG – but they will need to spend billions of dollars building sufficient port capacity, which may take until perhaps 2024. (Good luck until then.) The energy shortage will sharply raise the world price of gas and oil. NATO countries also will step up their purchases of arms from the U.S. military-industrial complex. The near-panic buying will also raise the price for arms. And food prices also will rise as a result of the desperate grain shortfalls resulting from a cessation of imports from Russia and Ukraine on the one hand, and the shortage of ammonia fertilizer made from gas.

All three of these trade dynamics will strengthen the dollar vis-à-vis the euro. The question is, how will Europe balance its international payments with the United States? What does it have to export that the U.S. economy will accept as its own protectionist interests gain influence, now that global free trade is dying quickly?

The answer is, not much. So what will Europe do?

I could make a modest proposal. Now that Europe has pretty much ceased to be a politically independent state, it is beginning to look more like Panama and Liberia – “flag of convenience” offshore banking centers that are not real “states” because they don’t issue their own currency, but use the U.S. dollar. Since the eurozone has been created with monetary handcuffs limiting its ability to create money to spend into the economy beyond the limit of 3 percent of GDP, why not simply throw in the financial towel and adopt the U.S. dollar, like Ecuador, Somalia and the Turks and Caicos Islands? That would give foreign investors security against currency depreciation in their rising trade with Europe and its export financing.

For Europe, the alternative is that the dollar-cost of its foreign debt taken on to finance its widening trade deficit with the United States for oil, arms and food will explode. The cost in euros will be even greater as the currency falls against the dollar. Interest rates will rise, slowing investment and making Europe even more dependent on imports. The eurozone will turn into an economic dead zone.

For the United States, this is Dollar Hegemony on steroids – at least vis-à-vis Europe. The continent would become a somewhat larger version of Puerto Rico.

The dollar vis-à-vis Global South currencies

The full-blown version is the New Cold War turning into the opening salvo of World War III triggered by the “Ukraine War”, that’s likely to last at least a decade, perhaps two, as the U.S. extends the fight between neoliberalism and socialism to encompass a worldwide conflict. Apart from the U.S. economic conquest of Europe, its strategists are seeking to lock in African, South American and Asian countries along similar lines to what has been planned for Europe.

The sharp rise in energy and food prices will hit food-deficit and oil-deficit economies hard – at the same time that their foreign dollar-denominated debts to bondholders and banks are falling due and the dollar’s exchange rate is rising against their own currency. Many African and Latin American countries – especially North Africa – face a choice between going hungry, cutting back their gasoline and electricity use, or borrowing the dollars to cover their dependency on U.S.-shaped trade.

There has been talk of IMF issues of new SDRs to finance the rising trade and payments deficits. But such credit always comes with strings attached. The IMF has its own policy of sanctioning countries that do not obey U.S. policy. The first U.S. demand will be that these countries boycott Russia, China and their emerging trade and currency self-help alliance. “Why should we give you SDRs or extend new dollar loans to you, if you are simply going to spend these in Russia, China and other countries that we have declared to be enemies,” the U.S. officials will ask.

At least, this is the plan. I would not be surprised to see some African country become the “next Ukraine,” with U.S. proxy troops (there are still plenty of Wahabi advocates and mercenaries) fighting against the armies and populations of countries seeking to feed themselves with grain from Russian farms, and power their economies with oil or gas from Russian wells – not to speak of participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative that was, after all, the trigger to America’s launching of its new war for global neoliberal hegemony.

The world economy is being enflamed, and the United States has prepared for a military response and weaponization of its own oil and agricultural export trade, arms trade and demands for countries to choose which side of the New Iron Curtain they wish to join.

But what is in this for Europe? Greek labor unions already are demonstrating against the sanctions being imposed. And in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has just won an election on what is basically an anti-EU and anti-U.S. worldview, starting with paying for Russian gas in roubles. How many other countries will break ranks – and how long will it take?

What is in this for the Global South countries being squeezed – not merely as “collateral damage” to the deep shortages and soaring prices for energy and food, but as the very objective of U.S. strategy as it inaugurates the great splitting of the world economy in two? India has already told U.S. diplomats that its economy is naturally connected with those of Russia and China.

From the U.S. vantage point, all that needs to be answered is, “What’s in it for the local politicians and client oligarchies that we reward for delivering their countries?”

That is what makes the looming World War III a veritable war of economic systems. What side will countries choose: their own economic interest and social cohesion, or the U.S. diplomacy put in the hands of their political leaders? When combined with U.S. meddling along the lines of the $5 billion that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland bragged of having invested in Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties eight years ago to initiate the fighting erupting in today’s war, there is a lot to consider.

In the face of all this political meddling and media propaganda, how long will it take the rest of the world to realize that there’s a global war on as it expands into World War III? The real problem is that by the time it understands what is going on, the global fracture will already have enabled Russia, China and Eurasia to create a real non-neoliberal New World Order that does not need NATO countries, having lost trust and hope for mutual economic gains. The military battlefield will be littered with economic corpses.

An American in an “Attempt at objectivity”

This is no lefty, no commie. He’s Filthie and he tries to explain Russia, Putin, Ukraine and in doing that a lot of fucked up politicians. Filthie is pretty good. Decide for yourself.

An Attempt At Objectivity

“I wonder if this isn’t just a case of acclimation? Think about it – for the last 40 years, we in the west have elected a steady stream of ridiculous fops, carnies, perverts, and shysters for our leaders. Turdo. Macron. Biden. Merkel et al. Even the retards are beginning to see it and lose patience with them. Could it be that we are so used to these cretins posing as our leaders… that we no longer recognize a warrior when we see one?

It’s a recurring theme I see going on with the disconnected normies, the self proclaimed experts, and the other Globohomo zombies… is this idea the Putin is a mad man, a megalomaniac, and a murderous socialist zealot. Where have I heard this kind of codswallop before? The chant used to be “Orange Man Bad!!!”. Now it’s “Russia Man Bad!!!”. The same message coming from the same tools that brought America a cooked election and a fake pandemic. Gah – I’ll leave Aesop and the foot-loops to their stories and narratives…. but now I am genuinely interested now. Who is Vlad Putin? What makes him tick?

Hmmmmm. Born in 1952. Grew up with the Cold War. Graduated from law school and went to work for the KGB in 1975 or so. Welp… he isn’t an idiot, that’s for sure. He rose in rank and retired from the KGB as a lieutenant colonel. So, we can safely say he’s no nut job either. He was the Russian answer to James Bond, really. 

Got started in politics, and was brought in to turn Russia around. When the old Soviet Union collapsed, many former east bloc countries fell into anarchy and chaos and turned into war zones run by competing gangsters and war lords vying for control. People complained when Vlad seized extraordinary powers for himself, and used them to eliminate his rivals. What folks don’t get is the fact that any number of Vlad’s rivals were just as bad – and many were far worse – than he was. They would have used the exact same tactics too. That is the way Russians roll. It’s also why, when their politics go sideways…tens of millions of innocent people end up dead. In Russian terms, Vlad is a saint. And turn Russia around he did! When he first came to power the population of Russia dropped as people flooded west to more freedom loving countries. As he slowly reversed the economic depression, people started having families again and the population of Russia started to rise. Russians have no use for the morally and intellectually bankrupt. Putin began finding such people in his govt – and ruthlessly rooted them out. Our leaders today would have probably been sent to the gulag decades ago if Putin were in charge.

In 2015 turmoil and disorder erupted in the Ukraine. The US – over the objections of Putin and his country, overthrew a legally elected leader installed a puppet Ukrainian govt headed by Zelensky. Almost at once Zelensky started poking and taunting the bear. The Ukraine competes with Russia as a gas and oil supplier. Under Zelensky, the Ukraine started extorting billions of dollars a year from Russia by playing fast and loose with trade agreements and ignoring others altogether. 

The US didn’t listen to the Russian complaints because the Ukraine bought off the Bidens, the Kerrys, the Clintons, and the Romneys. There are undoubtedly others. So… no, General Aesop. Putin didn’t just wake up one day and decide to invade the Ukraine. He tried to talk to you about it, and you didn’t listen to him.The Ukrainians under Zelensky went on to the kill 14,000 civilians in the former Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The first thing Zelensky did was make the use of the Russian language illegal even in areas where Russian was the dominant language. Putin isn’t asking for anything unreasonable either. NATO has been crowding his borders with tanks, troops, and ordnance for over a decade now – this despite their promises that they wouldn’t do that. He wants your troops off his borders, he wants an end to the corruption and blatant theft of the finks in the Ukraine, and he wants a mutually enforced neutrality for the Ukraine. You could have thrown him a bone at any time during the last decade… but you pissed in his face and called him names instead. Now you and the mean girls are trying to cancel him on Facebook and Twitter!

Biden and faggots like you have been tormenting and taunting the shit out of that Russian Bear, and if you keep fucking with him…you’re going to find out. As we speak, Russia is slowly pounding the Ukraine into rubble. All you need to do is start TALKING to the guy to make it stop. Ball’s in your court, morons.

Putin is not a nice guy. He is a warrior – unlike certain gay male nurses in California that pretend to know it all. Putin does not like killing but will do it if that is what he needs to do in order to safeguard his country. Politics that come from bumper stickers and one liner memes aren’t going to cut it.

It’s said that people get the govt they want and deserve. Perhaps we have ours… and the Ukes are getting theirs? Time will tell I suppose.”

Blatantly without mercy ripped from Filthie.

Wittgenstein prescient

Wittgenstein in 1930

“This book is written for those who are in sympathy with the spirit in which it is written. This is not, I believe, the spirit of the main current of European and American civilization. The spirit of this civilization makes itself manifest in the industry, architecture and music of our time, in its fascism and socialism, and it is alien and uncongenial to the author. This is not a value judgment. It is not, it is true, as though he accepted what nowadays passes for architecture as architecture or did not approach what it called modern music with the greatest suspicion(though without understanding its language), but still, the disappearance of the arts does not justify judging disparagingly of the human beings who make up this civilization. For in times like these, genuine strong characters simply leave the arts aside and turn to other things and somehow the worth of the individual man finds expression. Not, to be sure, in the way it would at a time of high culture. A culture is like a big organization which assigns each of its members a place where he can work in the spirit of the whole; and it is perfectly fair for his power to be measured by the contribution he succeeds in making to the whole enterprise. In an age without culture on the other hand forces become fragmented and the power of an individual man is used up in overcoming apposing forces and frictional resistances; it does not show in the distance he travels but perhaps only in the heat he generates in overcoming friction. But energy is still energy and even if the spectacle which our age affords is not the formation of a great cultural work, with the best men contributing to the same great end, so much as the unimpressive spectacle of a crowd whose best members work for purely private ends, still we must not forget that the spectacle is not what matters. I realize then that the disappearance of a culture does not signify the disappearance of human value, but simply of certain means of expressing this value, yet the fact remains that I have no sympathy for the current of European civilization and do not understand its goals, if it has any.”

“Fortress Europe is an illusion.”

This is from Takimag and we love their stuff.

“So declares the Financial Times in the closing line of its Saturday editorial: “Europe Cannot Ignore Syrian Migrant Crisis.”

The FT undertakes to instruct the Old Continent on what its duty is and what its future holds: “The EU will face flows of migrants and asylum seekers across the Mediterranean for decades to come.””

That is a clear and concise statement and prediction. Based on history. The question and the article’s title 

Is this how Europe ends?

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Spain, Britain, France and Portugal, and then Belgium, Italy, Germany and America, all believing in the superiority of their civilization, went out into the world to create empires to uplift and rule what Rudyard Kipling derisively called “the lesser breeds without the law.”

After two world wars, the rulers of these empires embraced a liberalism that now proclaimed the equality of all peoples, races, creeds, cultures and civilizations. This egalitarian ideology mandated the dismantling of empires and colonies as the reactionary relics of a benighted time.

Now the peoples of the new nations, dissatisfied with what their liberated lands and rulers have produced, have decided to come to Europe to enjoy in the West what they cannot replicate at home. And liberalism, the ideology of Western suicide, dictates to Europe that it take them in — for decades to come.

The colonizers of yesterday are becoming the colonized of tomorrow. Is this how the West ends?

Read in full here.