Tuesday, January 03, 2017

How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money

A lot of the sharper-minded commentators have recently started pointing out a problem with Donald Trump’s plan to “make America great again”: lack of funds. The US is bankrupt: sinking ever-further into unrepayable debt, unable to achieve a rate of economic growth that could ever catch up with its growing debt burden. It is in the midst of a giant financial bubble that is propped up by various scams and rackets, from car loans whose term exceeds the useful lifetime of the car, to retirement fund shortfalls caused by effectively negative interest rates, to educational debt that condemns ever more young people to a lifetime of indentured servitude, to the medical racket which is now eating up over 20% of the economy while delivering some of the worst levels of well-being in the entire developed world… Attempts to fix any of these problems would inevitably run into long-standing, intractable political conflicts and contradictions and go nowhere while also bursting the financial bubble and turning the political realm into one very large and angry poop party. Better not even go there!

And so Trump’s plan to “make America great again” through infrastructure spending, repatriating manufacturing jobs and other great quests will have to wait, possibly forever. All of these things would require taking on even more debt, even as around the world everyone tries to unload US debt as fast as possible, leaving the Federal Reserve as the debt-buyer of last resort. This would have the effect of turning US sovereign debt into a pure Ponzi scheme, and Ponzi schemes don’t go on for too long. But if the requirement to “make America great again” is nonnegotiable, what alternatives are there?

In such circumstances, history often serves as a good guide. What made America great before? Some people might want you to believe that it was hard work, pluck, gumption, honest dealing and innovation, but such preening and self-flattery are most unbecoming. No, what made America great before was Americans going after low-hanging fruit on somebody else’s dime. Let’s look at a few examples.

1. It all started when the US decided to leave the British Empire. This event is often portrayed as a tax revolt by rich landholders, but there is more to it than that: it allowed the former colonies to loot and plunder British holdings by funding and outfitting “privateers”—pirates, that is. This went on for quite some time.

2. Another major boost resulted from the Civil War, which destroyed the agrarian economy of the south and by so doing provided cheap labor and feedstocks to industries in the north. Plenty of people in the south are still in psychological recovery from this event, some 15 decades later. (The idea that this war had something to do with human rights is negated by the following full century of official, overt racism and the ongoing, covert racism in the form of the fake "war on drugs." There are now more black slaves toiling in American prisons than there were slaves in the antebellum south.) It was the first war to be fought on an industrial scale, and a fratricidal war at that. Clearly, Americans are not above turning on their own if there’s a buck or two to be made.

3. Early in the 20th century, World War I provided the US with a rich source of plunder in the form of German reparations. Not only did this fuel the so-called “roaring twenties,” but it also pushed Germany toward embracing fascism in furtherance of the long-term goal of creating a proxy to use against the USSR.

4. When in 1941 this plan came to fruition and Hitler invaded the USSR, the US hoped for a quick Soviet surrender, only joining the fray once it became clear that the Germans would be defeated. In the aftermath of that conflict, the US reaped a gigantic windfall in the form of Jewish money and gold, which fled Europe for the US. It was able to repurpose its wartime industrial production to make civilian products, which had little competition because many industrial centers of production outside of the US had been destroyed during the war.

5. After the USSR collapsed in late 1991, the US sent in consultants who organized a campaign of wholesale looting, with much of the wealth expropriated from the public and shipped overseas. This was the last time the Americans were able to run off with a fantastic amount of other people’s money, giving the US yet another temporary lease on life.

But after that the takings have thinned out. Still, the Americans have kept working at it. They destroyed Iraq, killed Saddam Hussein and ran off with quite a bit of Iraqi gold and treasure. They destroyed Libya, killed Muammar Qaddafy and ran off with Libya’s gold. After organizing the putsch in the Ukraine in 2014, shooting up a crowd using foreign snipers and forcing Viktor Yanukovich into exile, they loaded Ukrainian gold onto a plane under the cover of darkness and took that too. They hoped to do the same in Syria by training and equipping a plucky band of terrorists, but we all know how badly that has turned out for them. But these are all small fry, and the loot from them is too meager to fuel even a temporary, purely notional rekindling of erstwhile American greatness. What’s a poor bankrupt former superpower to do?

What President-elect Trump needs is a shovel-ready project to redirect meaningful amounts of imperial loot toward the homeland—enough to make some number of shiny baubles and fancy gewgaws to hand out to people as symbols of rekindled greatness. The problem is, what is there left to loot? The global debt to GDP ratio is somewhere around 300%, and one bankrupt nation robbing another bankrupt nation does not meaningful booty make. The non-bankrupt nations, which have low debt and plentiful reserves of foreign currency and gold—Russia and China—are not exactly soft targets. Attack Russia, and you end up on your back not remembering what just happened. Attack China, and you get a decade of extremely expensive acupuncture of the extremely painful kind. Iran might seem like a softer target, and Trump did make some belligerent noises in its general direction, but the Persians are very tricky too, and have been perfecting the art of being tricky for close to 26 centuries now. Plus China, Russia and Iran understand this game extremely well and are now all holding hands, daring the US to try anything fresh. Against them, Tump’s team would be as babes in the woods.

And so, by a process of elimination, we arrive at the only obvious choice: the Persian Gulf monarchies, with Saudi Arabia as the big prize. Of course, Saudi Arabia is a US protectorate, and owes its existence to a deal struck in 1945 by King Abdulaziz ibn Saud and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But that’s no problem: the antebellum south was America’s through and through but that didn’t prevent the north from attacking it. All it would take is a dramatic foreign policy change announcement: “Saudi Arabia not good. President Trump very disappointed.”

Why such a policy change? Because it’s very necessary, and time is of the essence. Saudi Arabia still has plentiful financial reserves, but they are quickly dwindling as the country burns through its wealth in an effort to maintain its population of useless eaters in relative comfort. It has plentiful oil reserves (although of gradually decreasing quality and net energy due to high water cuts and other problems) but it is also burning through them faster than would be optimal. You see, Saudi Arabia is a crude oil pusher, but it also is a crude oil addict, and it has gradually been using more and more. This is known as the Export Land Effect: oil-producing countries tend to invest their oil revenues in economic growth, and this drives up energy consumption. Destroying the Saudi economy while preserving its oil industry would liberate quite a lot of oil for export again.

What makes this project shovel-ready is that Saudi Arabia is a very soft target. First of all, it is stocked with imbeciles. People there marry their first cousins all the time, and after a few generations of such inbreeding one’s IQ can be counted on one’s fingers and toes—if one can still count that high. The Saudi educational system doesn’t help either: it’s focused largely on rote learning of the Koran and related texts, with precisely zero emphasis on critical, independent thinking and the sort of strong-minded rebelliousness that makes countries hard to conquer and control. The economy is almost completely dependent on foreign labor, since the Saudis themselves don’t like to work too much, and this pool of foreign labor can be easily spooked and sent packing. Lastly, the Saudis are miserably weak militarily, as has been shown during their ongoing failure to make any headway in Yemen (besides causing a humanitarian crisis). All of their weapons systems are US-made and can be disabled in short order by cutting off the flow of contractors, consultants and spare parts. (Unlike Russian-made stuff, which can operate autonomously for decades and can usually be fixed with a hammer and a screwdriver, American weaponry tends to be high-touch and finicky.)

But what could serve as the rationale for such a drastic change? Well, there has been this item on the American agenda for quite some time now, called “the war on terror.” Bush W. started it, and Obama continued it nolens-volens during his ridiculous caretaker presidency. Trump could of course declare it “a disaster” and abandon it, or he could point out something simple: the actual locus of global terrorism is not in any of the countries attacked to date, but is, in fact, in Saudi Arabia. From there its vicious, totalitarian Wahhabi ideology spreads far and wide, and it has supported and continues to support terrorists in numerous places, including among the Chechens in Russia and the Uyghurs in China, Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS in Syria and Iraq and in numerous other places around the world. Thus, it should be easy to get the Russians and the Chinese on board with the plan to neutralize the Saudis, while the Iranians would not just agree to go along with it but would also do a bit of dancing in the streets.

Beyond ridding the world of Islamic terrorism, neutralizing Saudi Arabia would serve a less practical but even more important purpose: to convert Islam from a totalitarian ideology of social and political domination back into a traditional religious practice. Yes, the Koran has some very funky passages, such as Sura 4:89: “Those who reject Islam must be killed.” Well, the Old Testament of the Bible has some very funky passages too, and you might even read them aloud in a Bible study class, but you know better (I would hope) than to go out preaching in the streets about the virtues of rape, forced circumcision and mass murder just because that’s in the Bible somewhere. Democracy and pluralism demand that civil law take precedence over religious law (which can be allowed very limited scope) and that all law must be based on reason, not faith (no witch burnings; no stoning of adulterers). Islam can be made sociable, and there are examples of how that can be done, but first must come a repudiation of its totalitarian ideology and system of law. A good place to start is in the homeland of that ideology—Saudi Arabia—which has unfairly enjoyed a special dispensation from these basic standards of civilized practice until now.

The first volley could consist of a few simple demands. Saudi Arabia must join the community of civilized nations and guarantee equal rights for women and sexual minorities, freedom of religion for non-Moslems and Atheists, the right of different religious groups to intermarry, a roadmap toward achieving constitutional order, representative democracy and the renunciation of the principle of applying religious doctrine to civil matters. Things can easily escalate from there: a bit of bombing here, a bit of rioting there, and after a while all the guest workers go home, Saudi oil consumption crashes, the oil industry goes back under foreign control and wealth is expropriated and put to work “making America great again.” This last bit may not sit well with everyone, but the overall plan has so many positive features that most people would go along with it anyway. The Europeans especially, groaning under a flood of Islamic migrants, quite a few of them radicalized by Saudi teachings, would welcome a way to defang and socialize Islam, making it into yet another religion whose practitioners avoid using the word “infidel” like a punch in the face and know better than trying to foist their religion’s atavistic dictates on the surrounding largely secular community.

If Trump doesn’t crack open the chocolate egg that is Saudi Arabia and run off with the toy inside, then somebody else will. Saudi Arabia’s days are numbered. For now, it is still rich in money, oil, sand and imbeciles, but it is burning through the first two faster and faster. Just wait a decade or so, and the sand and the imbeciles will be all that’s left. Somebody will try to get to them and snatch what’s left of the prize well before then. It might as well be the Americans: they started this shambolic desert kingdom; they might as well be the ones to put it out of its misery.


Unknown said...

As always, very insightful post. I could not help finding humour in the writings that describe this horror show. After all some good horror movies have funny moments.

Teddy said...

This looting already began 2 years ago with low oil prices, unfortunately a bridge has two ends and US shale industry suffers too.

RML said...

It would seem that the pursuit and capture of (pseudo) unencumbered assets for hypothecation will be the M-O to materialize the "happy days are here again" meme.

Thanks for being here.

forrest said...

We could use the oil to drive ourselves even more rapidly into destroying habitat-for-us via climate-destabilization, whee!

But I don't think you necessarily breed idiots by inbreeding, though you will increase the incidence of whatever genetic glitches you had to begin with. Smugness is the major risk-factor for idiocity; we and the Saudis are probably in a smugness race, with them having far better reason to feel smug -- until we discover that King WhatsThisOne'sNameNow is really Hitler reborn, and commence destablizing.

The Bible gets an unnecessarily bad press from the bloodthirsty zeal of some scholarly priests writing up the legendary Good-Old-Days with fictitious ancient slaughters -- which left the same place inhabited by the same peoples much later in the same anthology.

Also via strong prejudice about kings, who tended to raise armies & hell, the better to enslave early Israelites wanting to be left alone in the hills, out of effective chariot range. When they talked about exterminating "those who sit in ___" they didn't mean the inhabitants -- as English translations have generally assumed. The inhabitants were too busy working their butts off to support their royalty -- but that royalty itself, an interest group notorious for treachery and vengeful feelings, was guaranteed to turn ample resources into trouble. Much like our own rulers, whether Dumpist or Clintonite.

Mark Twain was right; we should have been breeding cats instead of monarchists [or plutocrats]. They look better, are less demanding and behave themselves better.

Anonymous said...

I'm not as interested in the source of the capital that was available a century ago when most of the national infrastructure we enjoy was built through the immediate post war years as in the absence of accumulated capital in the hands of the common citizen. Then, citizens financed the debt issued by the state by buying its bongs with their savings. Now, thanks to a perverse monetary system in which money is loaned into existence, the citizens have no savings, only debt. The same can be said of companies and states.

Also, there indeed are fewer manufacturing jobs in the US, fewer even than federal employees, who produce no wealth whatsoever. But the value of US manufacturing has been increasing regardless. What eliminated those jobs was not the NAFTA, but automation. And it'll increase even more.

Though this election had rather grotesque candidates, elections have been grotesque for decades. Not because of the sociopathic candidates, but because of sociopathic voters, foolishly seeking rent for themselves and being shafted over and over again. And for every jaded generation, there's always a younger generation to cheer the con men running for office.

Unknown said...

Invading Saudi Arabia after initiating the color revolution process would be priceless.
Regardless of the fate of the USA, the Saudis have it coming in spades and it would beautiful to see it happen.

Isabella said...

Interesting thesis - and one which might also get support from the other Arab nations. My son worked in Saudi Arabia - briefly, opening champagne the day he arrived home - but worked for much longer in Oman. He discovered from many Arabian peoples that Saudis are heartily disliked throughout the Arab world. Partly because they are seen as causing hatred for all Arabs and all Muslims, but also because they are seen as hypocrites. The rich leave their country and go and do all the things they flog and kill others in their home country for doing, my son was told.
Perhaps with the rest of the Arab world wanting to bring down the House of Saud and Wahhabism, America would have a huge Ally to do it with.

ivar laegreid said...

right! the US dollar is the main "instrument of robbery". effectively allowing the USA to keep robbing everyone on earth. no real upside in toppling the Saudi royals other than the continuation of the petro dollar :( the USA better be careful, though, that the Saudis don't make new friends and stop exclusively selling oil for US dollars.

Raziel Abulafia said...

But then there will be no one to chair the UN Human Rights Council!

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Provocative and entertaining as always. I do not know enough history to comment on the original premise. I just want to point out a factor you do not mention here: the influence of the Christian Dominionist movement in the USA, well represented in the Trump team. Mike Pence is a reason to pray fervently for the health of Trump if one prefers a secular environment. What complications will this movement cause, especially if the action comes close to so called Holy Lands? Just wondering.

WZ said...

Hi Dimitry,

You mentioned Surah Nisa 4:89. Here is my take on that verse source is http://mafhoomulquran.com/ with additional commentary added by me in brackets:

"You desire to bring them to the right path
(like Putin and Lavrov tried to bring Kerry and Obama to the right path :) but it was fruitless)

but their effort is that they should make you K’afireen
( meaning they in turn want you to follow their plan and the word Kafireen or infidels, its not everyone except Moslems. It is people who do not obey moral laws: wage wars kill women and children or fraud and rob people)

like themselves so that you would be on their level. Do not take any of them for friends until they forsake their homes in the cause of Allah
(cause of Allah meaning become good kind people not someone who believes in Moslem's Allah).

If they turn traitor, seize them and slay them
(bring them to justice or even capital punishment in worst case scenario)

whenever you find them.

Mark again! do not take any of them for friends
(would someone wants to be friend with Al Baghdadi or John Mc Caine types ☺)

and helpers except those who have taken asylum with a people with whom you have an alliance or those who come over to you saying: “We wish to remain neutral.” The fact is that if the latter had sufficient power they would have fought you. Nevertheless, if they come to you professing to be neutral you should accept their offer of peace and should not proceed against them."

Rest, hope your prediction about Arabia comes true soon.

Romandière said...

Looting has been the thread in the history of empires. Centuries of colonialism made Europe rich but it came back as a boomerang and the world wars and atrocities were nothing more than a taste of our own medicine. A taste concentrated in 8 - 9 years and magnified in Auschwitz and C°.
Just like Al Qaeda changed names, the West did too. Colonialism veiled by the norms and values of Christianism lived on in imperialism veiled by our norms and values of the free West and progress. The boomerang is coming back once more as terrorism offers us a taste of our own medicine.

PavewayIV said...

Great article, Dmitry. I have to admit that a scheme to take out the Gulf monarchies would fit my country's (U.S.) bankers' resource-theft pattern perfectly. Not sure they would want to do it directly, however - too obvious. They would do it by proxy like they always do. Iran would fit into that kind of scheme nicely. Yemen might if they were armed up enough and America flipped sides, but that's a stretch.

The U.S. would just have to arrange a few false-flags to get the party started, then sit back and complain loudly while Iran and most of the Saudi/GCC nations go at it, weakening them all (with the U.S. selling all sides plenty of fresh arms and aircraft). After both sides are ready to collapse, the U.S. 'hero' shows up to save the day with some negotiated settlement. At that point, we transport the gold from the Saudi/GCC vaults to ours, and loan them a massive pile of freshly-minted fake money to be used for reconstruction, re-arming themselves and repairing the damaged oil infrastructure (using the usual U.S. contractor cronies).

Israel would have shown up to take out Iran's imaginary nuke facilities 'as a precaution'. Oil would skyrocket past $100/bbl again and the U.S. shale holdings would pay off nicely. I don't think Russia would complain much about $100/bbl oil either and Putin is no fan of the Saudi royals. China - kind of a toss-up. U.S. puppet government(s) would be set up in whatever is left of the Saudi/GCC states to complete the looting. Billions of U.S. government debt is wiped out because it was 'owed' to the bad Saudi/GCC governments which no longer exist. See? Everyone is happy. What could possibly go wrong?

If Trump does oversee a Saudi/GCC vs. Iran war, I would have to guess that it was planned that way from the start - or at least well before Trump was elected. Western MSM will be the ultimate tell - if they start demonizing Saudi Arabia and the GCC (which they never do), then you'll know it's going down soon. The one weakness all psychopaths have is that they are repetitive - they like to stick with what works. I think you describe that pattern pretty well here.

Kristiina said...

Wow, you must be an incarnation of Nabokov, or is it the US soil that somehow affects the russian genes? Whatever it is, it is brilliant, verging on magical. Interesting to see how this goes - today had this in my FB feed: https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/872087866266055/ Women demanding equal rights in...Saudi

alex carter said...

I agree Saudi Arabia would be a pushover. They hire non-Saudis to do, well, everything for them.

A guy I was in a college class with had worked as some sort of contractor for the Saudi navy. This involved being on Saudi ships often, maybe all the time. He told us one day that he was up on the bridge and there was no one around! He looked all over, and everyone had gone to a room below to pray, no one was piloting the ship! It was like, "nothing can happen while we're praying". He said at that point, he might as well have prayed too.

hank said...

Isabella: I can only confirm the findings of your son. After having been doing business for a couple of years in the Gulf countries incl. KSA I found that for most of their Arabian neighbours - meaning common people in UAE and likes - the Saudis are simply bigheads, hypocrites and idiots.

Greetings from Czechia,

Dammerung said...

I'm strangely alright with this. I mean, fuck Saudi Arabia. They're a much more deserving target than Iraq, Libya, or Syria ever were. If some heads are going to get busted no matter what you do, seeing to it that it's the right heads is about all you can accomplish.

Cortes said...

Why not just annex Australia and Canada? I'm sure the local elites would be overjoyed.

Unknown said...

USA is stuck. USA enjoyed the priviledge of US dollar being the world's only reserve currency. aka dollar hegemony. However, in order to supply the world with US dollar, USA must run trade and current account deficit. This economics phenomenon is known as "triffin dilemma". Trump's attempt to bring back jobs and US dollar will kill the status of US dollar as reserve currency. The final demise of US as financial empire is nigh

madrid_68 said...

Great article, Dmitry. I do have a question regarding this statement: "The non-bankrupt nations, which have low debt and plentiful reserves of foreign currency and gold—Russia and China". Isn't China's debt 250% of GDP? Do they have enough currency/gold reserves to realistically bring that down?

Frater D said...

I know what Trump is up to here. Don't get upset when he hires a Mexican company to build his wall because in classic Trump style he plans on stiffing the company that builds it. It's genius, and don't worry, we can win a war against Mexico.

Teddy said...

How come nobody mentions Turkey?

herepog2 said...

The Saudi money has already fled SA and probably whatever gold is left as well after it was looted from Swiss vaults where it was stored with the usual suspects and sent to Asia. That leaves the assets in the ground that have dubious long term prospects what with the need to flood wells with water to raise the oil. Good luck with grabbing and holding SA.

The other source of funds being mooted for repatriation is the capital kept "offshore" by US corporations to avoid US taxes. But that money is already in the US because the entities that hold it are mail box subsidiaries of the same US corporations which subsidiaries keep the deposits in US banks onshore. The whole scam is a legislated tax dodge and has nothing to do with actual liquidity held in such places as Ireland, the Dutch Antilles, etc, etc. Nobody ever talks about the liquidity overflowing from Irish banks, do they?

Joel Kessler said...


queue said...

The undoing of Saudi may well prove to be IS searching a refuge, returning as a boomerang and demanding social justice.

Teddy said...

I think it will be more of "Fake America Great Again" and I see KSA even if taken would prove short term a quagmire worse than Iraq.

Mark said...

Funny in a thought provoking way. The ultimate question is of course, "can we make a buck?"

I suppose there are some at the top who are risk adverse to loosing all the bucks from arms sales to his majesty. (slight bow) After all, who's going to buy all those F-35's?

Just because replacing the oil we get from the king with oil from Russia, Iran, and the Arctic ocean is a possibility, doesn't mean we should do it. We've placed our bets in the list of 7 countries made at Cheney's desk in 2001, and we shall see shortly if they are still running the CIA, or vice versa - I sure don't know.

Since we all have blood that the same shade of red, maybe all these questions are, being real, of secondary importance.

Glenn3021 said...

We are going to have to do something soon to cover all the international financial funny money bubbles soon to burst. Since the Great America days went south with American Peak Oil in the 70's we've been on a roller coaster to Hell with wars in the Middle East. Why should that change? We keep milking that goat the way we always do, the way Europeans and Asian leaders have always done, with the military. The military anywhere is the tool to get fuel which is the luscious physical form of money and power (and survival). When the price of oil goes up, desperation sets in on the U.S. side of the equation especially with bankers and their political swampfellows. Military industrial complex to the rescue. Even when we lose they win which means more funny money. Any which way things go, we have to move before the dollar hegemony game turns ugly. Then we'll be pissed off and on.

Anonymous said...


do this for ALL the GCC countries - not just Saudi.

worked there for years and hated it - went for the cash (sadly now gone).

Re the part on imbeciles and the intermarriage that is 100% correct - I can tell you that from having seen it happen.

Horrible corrupt dump.

world would be a brighter place without the GCC monarchies in it - and the US might have the wherewithal to MAGA after all :)

many thanks!

stevelaudig@gmail.com said...

All I want in this creation is a pretty little wife and a big plantation, way up yonder in the Cherokee Nation..

1776, a war to preserve and extend slavery via genocide and ethnic cleansing [trans appalachian]; 1846, war of the US on Mexico [El Robo], a war to extend slavery via armed robbery; 1860, a war to preserve and extend slavery via secession;

I can recommend "The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America”

C.L. said...

No need to bomb or invade another country. Revalue gold upwards enough and it will extinguish debt so that you can start anew. :-)

Rob Rhodes said...

While I agree that the US looted the places listed I think that they collectively add up to chump change compared to the resources looted within the US; land depopulated first by disease and then the US Cavalry, forests, soil, coal, oil, assorted minerals and water. The profit from the proposed Arabian Job might buy a party for a few months but the other possible benefits, schadenfreudian or otherwise, certainly make it tempting.

Anselmo said...

I have uploaded a translation to the spanish of your post to this direction:


Anonymous said...

Let everyone who advocates war be enrolled in a special regiment of advance guards, for the front of every storm, every attack, to lead them all! (Leo Tolstoy)

DeVaul said...

I always wondered why we never just invaded and took over this tiny, undefended feudal kingdom. Most of its oil goes to Europe, not to the US. We get most of ours from Mexico and Venezuela, but those fields are now drying up too.

After I learned that all of the hijackers on 9/11 except for one were Saudi citizens, I just assumed this was the moment we would seize Saudi Arabia and take their oil fields. Not one American would have objected. Americans would then believe that oil would last forever, Bush would be a hero, and soccer moms would be driving two ton armored half-tracks on somebody else's dime.

Instead, we ended up in the strangest place of all: Afghanistan!

What went wrong? Can you imagine the US declaring war on France after the Maine blew up in a Cuban harbor? I guess someday we will get to read the declassified docs that show us how an obvious set-up went so wildly off course -- assuming there is enough energy left to print them and distribute them to the general public.

Beagle Juice said...

Bomb Saudi Arabia? Sounds great, I can't wait for all the exotic new Saudi restaurants we'll have when the refugees come streaming in.

Whyawannaknow said...


"I always wondered why we never just invaded and took over this tiny, undefended feudal kingdom. Most of its oil goes to Europe, not to the US. We get most of ours from Mexico and Venezuela, but those fields are now drying up too."

No. We get most of our oil from CANADA. As much oil (2015 year in total) from Canada as the next SIX suppliers... which are, in order Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, Iraq, Colombia, Nigeria.


I really like some things about the USA. But watching my fellows shooting from the hip and into their own feet due to generalized historical ignorance and commonly held prejudices formed from OUR OWN infotainment/propaganda/news/shite education system when discussing economics (and how best to deal with their related geopolitical/military thrashing about) is not one of them.

Garbage in, garbage out, as they say down in the computer science department.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Great post again, Dmitri. Love it!

De Vaul, the reason the 9/11 false-flag was used to send troops directly to Afghanistan (as was being planned and prepared well before 11/9/01) was to re-instate the opium poppy trade that the Taliban had closed down, to the considerable loss of US corporations involved in the trade in various ways, particularly in laundering its profits - very much to their own profit, of course. That at least - the re-instating of the poppy agriculture and its trade - seems to have been an isolated success of US militarism - for the time being anyway, until some other powers take over the ever-profitable opium/heroin trade, as US bullying power continues to wane.

DeVaul said...

I was speaking of 2001 and not 2015, but I guess you missed that point when you plugged in the wrong cable down in the "computer science department" and got the hell shocked out of you.

It is true that we import more oil from SA now than in 2001 because the charts show a steady decline in the oilfields of Mexico and Venezuela from 2010 to 2015. I could not find a chart for 2001, but Mexico was one of our main suppliers at that time, if not the main one, and their fields started declining rapidly in that time period up to 2005. The Canadian tar sands projects were not up and running at that time to make any difference and only came into being when oil skyrocketed in price.

Notice the change in rhetoric towards SA since all three of our neighbors can no longer meet our oil needs. Trump is no idiot when it comes to oil, and neither is the CIA.

Computer Science Department... hmmmm

garbage in, garbage out
intelligence in, garbage out
common sense in, garbage out
reading comprehension in, garbage out

Yes, this is what the technosphere must want for us all.

Anonymous said...

"If Trump doesn’t crack open the chocolate egg that is Saudi Arabia and run off with the toy inside, then somebody else will."

Just a side note: not sure Trump would know what a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg is, since they're illegal in the USA. The FDA thinks Americans are too stupid to realize there's a toy inside and might choke on it. Then again, they took the toys out of Cracker Jack last year and replaced them with QR codes. Object lesson: the USA should be aware that the "toy surprises" in other countries might not be there when they go looking for 'em.

While the 20th Century might well be called the American Century, this ain't the 20th Century any more. Welcome to the 21st Century. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Unknown said...

Saudi Arabia is a chocolate egg with a toy inside. Dmitry, you are a foreign policy genius. Israel might take a piece of that lol.