August 2015

Iran August 2015

OPINION
American traitor, Israeli hero
The Pollard case shows that the interests of Israel and America are often sharply at odds.
By ANDREW J. BACEVICH
July 30th, 2015

On all matters touching on security, Israel plays hardball. It does not view itself as beholden to the United States or bound by American concerns, a reality that Israeli governments regularly affirm in word and deed. That seriousness ought to command respect. It should also elicit an equally serious American response. That response should take the form of a candid acknowledgment that where U.S. and Israeli security interests diverge, the United States need not be bound by Israeli concerns.

Why Israel is suddenly owning up to its terrorism
By calling Friday’s arson attack a terrorist act, the Israelis are hoping to avoid the full force of international law.
02 Aug 2015

Aim of the attack

The aim of the settler attack on Palestinians in the village of Duma was to embarrass the pro-settlement Israeli government even though it had simultaneously approved the building, “immediately”, of 804 new Jewish settlements in Beit Eli and in Jerusalem.

The settlers’ heinous attack, which probably came from the nearby Maleh Efraim settlement, is said to be part of a continuous wave of attacks on Palestinians by settlers that carry the name “price tag” – which refers to the price for Israeli government attempts to restrict Jewish settlement activities.

The perpetrators, who scrawled Hebrew graffiti meaning “revenge” and a Jewish Star of David, were protesting an event that happened in another settlement – namely the government destruction of a house built by Israeli settlers on private Palestinian lands near the settlement of Beit Eli.

The horrible death of the child and his family seems to have rattled Netanyahu who responded by calling the killing a “terrorist” act which supposedly set it apart from the what the UN has documented as 2,100 acts of violence against Palestinians, their religious institutions, their homes, and other Palestinian-owned properties, committed by Jewish settlers since 2006.

This attack has been defined as “terrorism” simply because Israel is petrified of the possibility that this incident could open up a “Pandora’s box” of questions regarding the legitimacy of the settlement enterprise and policy in its entirety.

Russia August 2015

Just Listen to What Western Officials Are Saying About Russia
by Conn Hallinan, August 01, 2015

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former head of NATO, similarly inveighed about impending regional conflict. “Putin wants to restore Russia to its former position as a great power,” Rasmussen insisted. “There is a high probability that he will intervene in the Baltics” as he has in Ukraine.

It’s not just defense secretaries and generals employing language that conjures up the ghosts of the past. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a “Munich” analogy in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a common New York Times description of Russia is “revanchist.” These two terms take the Ukraine crisis back to 1938, when fascist Germany menaced the world.

This entry was posted by JR.

19 thoughts on “August 2015

  1. yup, he’s got my vote. as far as i know, he hasn’t murdered anyone, yet, so that’s a plus over some of the front runners.

  2. the donald could be the next andrew jackson. at least as popular, anyway. in fact, someday he might have his face on the twenty.

  3. a pretty solid response from nicole foss, now back at TAE:

    Samsara,

    I was not at all arguing that anything in the US/UK model is superior. Both are hollowed out centres about to implode. Hegemonic power is set to shift east as the old centre falls, but not easily or quickly. The interregnem is going to be awful. China is the empire in the ascendency, but they have greatly over-reached themselves. Yes what they built is real, as opposed to the ‘products’ of financial engineering, but they still built far too much far too badly for the majority of it ever to end up of use to anyone. I’m not suggesting everything they built was useful or poor quality, but that enough of it was to make a big difference going forward. Bubble infrastructure is always badly built for quick profit.

    China is basically in a similar position to the US at the beginning of the 1930s. The US was also the empire in the ascendancy which over-reached itself. In the case of China, however, the boom was turbo-charged with fossil fuels, so the over-reach is much larger, meaning the bust will also be larger. And of course that bust will drag everyone else down with it. Many of the rest were teetering on the brink already, sitting on ‘service economies’ that consist of taking in each others’ laundry. They were sustained by wealth sucked in from abroad through globalization, but that is about to be cut off, and in the process the extent of the previous catabolism in those economies will be fully revealed. The UK, in particular, has nothing at all to fall back on. It’s future is nothing short of terrifying.

    China’s path towards claiming hegemonic power may be derailed by the extreme destruction wrought during the bubble years as a result of access to huge amounts of energy to mis-use. Soil and water have been horribly damaged for instance – so badly so that the carrying capacity of China has been drastically reduced. There is no way that land mass will be supporting 1.3 billion people in the future. That probably means migration and global colonization on a much greater scale than we have seen so far, since that is what empires in the ascendancy do. The question is to what extent does remaining carrying capacity get destroyed on the way down, as that will be a major determinant of migratory pressure.

    I wrote about some of these issues surrounding the transfer of hegemonic power many years ago, back at The Oil Drum, in an essay called Entropy and Empire (http://canada.theoildrum.com/node/2381).

    Please do not think I am in any way blaming things on China. The global bubble is systemic, with effects all over the world. China’s role has been to suck in commodities and over-build productive capacity in response to an artificial stimulation of demand, itself derived from ‘financial innovation’ both outside and inside of China. The boom required both a consumption boom and a production boom, just as a credit bubble requires both predatory lenders and willing victims.

    Addressing your other points:

    – “The $USD is the King and will remain so forever and ever.”

    No, it is going to experience a temporary spike on a flight to safety. Later it will go the way of all fiat currencies, but in the short term it will be a good bet. Cash, not just USD, will be king during the deleveraging. Cash on hand, of whatever kind one uses in one’s own country, will be necessary in a cash-only economy, which will be the case in a deflationary crash, as in Cyprus and Greece.

    – “Nothing has changed since 2008 (the Lehman’s Day)”

    We doubled down on our bad bets since then. The systemic risk is now much larger.

    – “China is crashing – again, but this time for reals…”

    Yes, this time we are going to see China crash, and the impact will be felt globally, just as the Wall Street Crash of 1929 sparked off contagion.

    – “There have been no major geopolitical changes; alliances formed, alternative currencies traded, partnerships sealed, etc., and none ever will, The End…”

    Entities operating at larger scale will find themselves beyond the trust horizon in a substantial contraction, and therefore beyond effective organizational scale. The geopolitical consequences of this will be felt for a long time, as those larger entities attempt to cling to power through the loss of all political legitimacy. Eventually they will no longer have the resources to project power at a distance and will wither and die, leaving a more multipolar future where effective organizational scale is far smaller and there are therefore far more competing polities. We have covered many aspect of this at TAE before. We like dissecting geopolitics…

    – “No one can challenge U.S. military strength and currency superiority – although they’ve never really met a credible threat, The End…”

    The US military is well into the period of declining marginal return to complexity. Its power rests on the ability to maintain that complexity, which will only be possible for an uncertain period of time. Martin Van Creveld’s work on the transformation of warfare is very valuable in assessing the nature of military power. Currency superiority, addressed above, is also strictly temporary.

    “What was it – about 2/3 of this article focused on how bad China is going to crash…? And it missed to mention the underlying problems:

    – Fractional Reserve system
    – Naked shorting
    – Insider trading
    – Front running
    – Bankster dollar printing
    – PM price suppressing”

    All of those aspects are components of the monetary supernova addressed in the article. I was not writing about the details in this piece, as that was not my focus here, but I have covered them in many other articles. As it was, this piece was very long. If I were writing a book, I could cover a far greater range of relevant factors.

  4. curious that she has moved to NZ but she adimits that China will long-term colonize surrounding areas as the remaining 21st century superpower. that would incllude an underpopulated, relatively defenseless, and resource rich country like NZ.

  5. lots ‘o blather. many things can happen as global industrialism unravels…i’d say.

  6. so, i forced myself to read the entire archdruid essay today. i kinda forget what it was about. but i know that it wasn’t worth the effort.

  7. that’s close to my end-o-life dream. i’m hoping to drop into a lava lake. can use a helicopter to get there, but all the while i’ll be worrying that the damn thaing will crash. i’ll probably be too weak to make the climb, so will need one, unfortunately. if already dead, please drop remains into lava lake. mahalo.

  8. back in the day on CFN, i used to take greer’s long-winded posts and condense his message into a few sentences. i’m too busy to do that now.

  9. “Salmon are crucial to their coastal ecosystem like perhaps few other species on the planet. A significant portion of the nitrogen in West Coast forests has been traced back to salmon, which can travel hundreds of miles upstream to lay their eggs. The largest trees on Earth simply wouldn’t exist without salmon.

    But their situation is precarious. This year, officials in California are bringing salmon downstream in convoys of trucks, because river levels are too low and the temperatures too warm for them to have a reasonable chance of surviving. One species, the winter-run Chinook salmon, is at a particularly increased risk of decline in the next few years, should the warm water persist offshore.

    “You talk to fishermen, and they all say: ‘We’ve never seen anything like this before,’ ” says Peterson. “So when you have no experience with something like this, it gets like, ‘What the hell’s going on?’ ”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-point-of-no-return-climate-change-nightmares-are-already-here-20150805

    imagine that, humans trucking the salmon back and forth because the rivers are too low and water’s too warm. talk about desperate measures. guess that will end when the economy goes tits up.

  10. in-ter-esting, that guy makes his own fire fall. note he could not have done it without fossil fuels.

    he was probably a disgruntled park service employee.

    back in time (and now we’re talking 1950s) young doom used to watch the fire fall at yosemite park. in the summer the rangers would make a big fire in the late PM. by about 8 PM (just after sunset) they had a big pile of cinder ash, that they would push off the cliff, to the entertainment of park visitors.

    like this guy, they only did it for a short while. guess it was too much trouble, non-PC for “smokey” to portray a pyro scene, too popular for a park increasingly overwhelmed by tourists, ran out of bark, etc.

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