Monday, February 8, 2016

Torpedoes Ahead

The movie, The Hunt for Red October, ends with an epic battle between the Soviet ballistic missile submarine, Red October, and a Soviet attack submarine, the Konovalov. An attempt to torpedo the Red October is foiled when the Red October turns toward the attack and harmlessly collides with the torpedoes: they have proximity safeties that prevent them from detonating too close to the Konovalov. Frustrated and angry, the captain of the Konovalov orders the proximity safeties on his torpedoes deactivated and launches another salvo. Yet in another turnabout, the Red October draws the torpedoes around, where they collide and detonate against the Konovalov. Just before the explosion, the executive officer of the Konovalov snarls at his captain: "You arrogant ass! You've killed us!"

Soon the ruling elites will be snarling the same at each other.

The Middle-East is being swallowed up in spreading war between Sunni and Shiite factions that is being compared to the 30 Years War, and, it is predicted, take generations to work out. (I don't believe this is true: Iran seeks nuclear weapons so that the conflict will be resolved over a much shorter time frame). This conflict will likely suck one or more of the major powers into it before it is over.

The major drivers of this war are Saudi Arabia and Iran. The primary focus of the current war is Syria.The last several days have seen Syrian troops accompanied by their Iranian and Lebanese allies surround the city of Aleppo under the cover of Russian air strikes. (Russia is allegedly encouraging the Kurds to take territory in order to antagonize Turkey). Aleppo has been held by Syrian rebels--i.e., the opposition troops backed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Turkey--for years. These same rebels now say that they risk defeat unless they are provided with assistance--assistance that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States seem willing to provide ... if the U.S. will permit it. It is not clear what the Administration will do, although the groundwork is being laid to abandon Saudi Arabia (something that Europe may support now that Iran is willing to denominate its oil sales in Euros). But, as Richard Fernandez points out: "If Aleppo falls, and its defenders and inhabitants massacred, it will prove that Obama cannot protect anyone."

There is probably strong pressure on the Russian coalition to achieve victory quickly. Shrinking oil revenues are cutting into the coalition members' financial wherewithal to carry out operations. "Recent Arab media reports confirmed Hezbollah militants have been complaining of their pay being slashed in half, and Assad’s militias complaining about smaller government handouts." Similarly, though, there is a question of how long Saudi Arabia can survive the precipitous decline in oil prices.

And then there is Libya: a failed state because of Hillary Clinton wanted a foreign policy victory to pad her resume, and Obama was too busy partying in Brazil to care. Now the mess has gotten too big to ignore, and the Administration is looking at possible military intervention.

What makes these foreign policy catastrophes so dangerous is that the Syrian, and the Libyans, and the Iraqis and the Afghans, etc., don't want to merely stew in their own countries, but are leaving in droves. Europe is split, with many believing that there is a moral obligation to take in the refugees, and others sensing the danger posed by an alien population. On top of a stagnant economy, the issue is beginning to tear the European Union apart, and a growing number of Europeans are resorting to self-help to deal with the refugee crises.

We can see the torpedoes in the water.

Where is this leading? I would be surprised if there were not those in the intelligence or military communities encouraging the conflict. Arab civilization is circling the drain, and it would be tempting to help it along. There must also be those who believe they can influence the outcome. But it is spinning out of control. I don't believe that the globalists believed that the refugee issue would rile up the European populace. I also don't believe that the globalists (or Saudi Arabia) could foresee what appears to be a long-term disruption of oil markets due to fracking.

The result of this Middle-Eastern conflict will be the permanent crippling of the Middle-Eastern oil markets, probably to be replaced by oil from North America and Russia. It very likely will also result in a severe weakening, if not outright disintegration, of the European Union. It was not a good time for Iran to pick the Euro over the Dollar.

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