On the eve of destruction

I think the world is at the beginning of a major crisis and turning point – something like the eve of the Great Depression or of World War One.  Future generations will look back on our generation and wonder how we could have been so blind as not to have seen the trap we are jumping into.

The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines means the destruction of European economies.

The European countries are already in crisis.  Whole industries are being devastated by the direct and indirect effects of the cutoff of cheap oil and gas from Russia.

The destruction of the pipelines means this cutoff will be permanent. Cheap energy was the foundation of the European economic miracle. This is gone indefinitely, unless the Russians can be persuaded to repair the pipelines – the pipelines they supposedly destroyed themselves.

From what I read, I understand there is a window of only a few months for this to take place. After that damage from sea water will be irreversible.

The economic crisis is not confined to Europe.  It is spreading throughout the world.  Failures of key energy-intensive businesses in Europe will cascade to businesses that depend on them as suppliers or customers.  It will be a domino effect similar to the economic crash of 1929-1933.

The destruction of The Nord Stream pipelines takes the NATO-Russia conflict to a new level.

Nuclear warfare, chemical warfare, cyber warfare have all been off limits because there is basically no defense against them, and no nation’s leaders want to be the ones to initiate it.

Attacks on pipelines and undersea cables fall into this category.  A taboo has been broken.  There is no reason to believe that Russia is the culprit.  Why would the Russians destroy an asset they spent years and billions of dollars to build and which is their main means of leverage over Europe?  And Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he blames the USA. 

What happens if there is retaliation?  What, for example, would happen to the world’s financial markets if fiber optics communications between North America and Europe were broken?  We can only hope Putin does not choose to follow that path.

Russia and the USA are committed to a fight to the finish in Ukraine.

Back in late March and early April, Russia and Ukraine were conducting secret peace talks.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. General Mark Milley reportedly flew to Kiev to tell Volodomor Zelensky that NATO’s goal is to fight on until Russia is defeated.

Zelensky had no choice.  Ukraine is not a sovereign nation.  It couldn’t survive without not only military support from the USA and NATO allies, but also economic support from the International Monetary Fund and other international agencies controlled by the USA.

Vladimir Putin defines the war as a clash of civilizations – a clash between Russia, representing Eastern Christianity, and the secular, imperialistic West.  In his speech of annexation of Russian-occupied Ukraine to the Russian Federation, Putin denounced the USA for its history of slavery and conquest, and also its support of the new gender ideology.

War hawks on both sides see no possibility of peace.  The political survivals of Zelensky, Putin and Biden, and probably the personal survivals of Zelensky and Putin, depend on victory for their side.

This means that either side, when it seems that all is lost, is likely to try to change the game by raising the stakes.

The USA can’t afford unlimited support for Ukraine.

Over-the-top spending in the Vietnam era destroyed the USA’s balance of trade and the strength of the U.S. dollar.  It was the end of the gold standard and the beginning of the financialization of the U.S. economy.

The U.S. commitment to Ukraine is another financial sinkhole.  The U.S. is not only spending money virtually without limit.  It is depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the USA’s own arsenal of weapons.  Domestic needs go unmet.  At some point this will have to end.

∞∞∞

I hesitate to write this because of the embarrassment if I am proved wrong.  But I would prefer to be proved wrong and suffer the embarrassment than to be proved right and see my loved ones suffer the consequences of what I think is going to happen.

We have an economic war and an energy crisis hitting an already fragile world economy.  We have the world’s two greatest nuclear powers facing off in a land war in Europe that both sides are committed to win at all costs.

I don’t see how either of these things can end well, and, right now, I don’t see any way out.  Nothing I have read gives reason to think otherwise.  

I don’t blame you if you find what I write hard to accept.   Most people I know don’t believe it.   I find it hard to believe it myself.  But the facts are clear.  I must try to have the courage to believe what I know.

LINKS

Full text of Vladimir Putin’s accession speech on Sept. 30, 2022.

Excerpts from Putin’s accession speech on Sept 30.

Vladimir Putin speaks at the accession ceremony by Gilbert Doctorow.

We are, literally, on the eve of destruction by Scott Ritter.  About the danger of nuclear war.

The Euro Without Germany by Michael Hudson.  About the downfall of Germany

Who profits from pipeline terror? by Pepe Escobar.

Energy Crisis: How Bad Will the German Recession Be? by the staff of Der Spiegel.  How the economic dominoes will fall.

What Else Might Russia Do? by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism.

More Fallout From The Nord Stream Pipeline Attacks by Conor Gallagher for Naked Capitalism.

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2 Responses to “On the eve of destruction”

  1. Gerry Dunphy Says:

    I unfortunately believe you could well be right, but hope there may be another outcome through circumstances not currently appreciated.
    G. Dunphy
    Florianópolis Brasil

    Liked by 1 person

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