What a weekend. Unidentified flying objects. The Super Bowl.
And December’s inflation reading, previously reported as going down, was adjusted; now it’s up. From Yahoo! Finance:
‘New seasonal adjustments released by the BLS on Friday also switched December’s initial reading of a 0.1% monthly drop in headline inflation to an increase of 0.1% in the year’s final month.’
But all the weekend’s noise was drowned out by the news from the week before.
Let’s begin with the blockbuster, Seymour Hersh: ‘How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline’:
‘The New York Times called it a “mystery,” but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now.’
A real coup
It’s not every day that the US commits an act of war — against two of the most powerful nations in the world. It’s not every day that the US attacks its own allies, either.
In this case, blowing up the Baltic pipeline was directed, not only against Russia, but against Germany too. Germany got its energy from Russia. It’s what fuelled the German economy. Germany is also a US ally…and a member of NATO.
The report from Seymour Hersh, a renowned investigative reporter, came out early last week. Hersh is no stranger to controversy. He won a Pulitzer Prize for blowing the whistle on the Mai Lai massacre. He also reported the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In both cases, the feds denied it.
Later, Hersh was proven correct. Where this story will go — revealing an illegal, unconstitutional act of war by a sitting US president, clearly cause for impeachment — we don’t know. Probably nowhere. By Friday, there was still no mention of it from the mainstream press, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor The Wall Street Journal.
But what a bold move! What audacity! How proud of themselves the elite foreign policy ‘experts’ must have been. Victoria Nuland, Anthony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, and the ‘Big Man,’ Joe Biden; pulled off a real coup, so to speak. With one swing of the sabre, they cut Germany off from Russia…making it dependent on US sources of fuel, and they cut Russia off from its export revenue, effectively hobbling and humiliating them both.
Lest we forget
It must have been like the rush of pride felt when George W Bush invaded Iraq. Jack Wheeler called Bush a ‘geo-political genius’ because he had planted a US-style democracy right in the heart of the Muslim world. Jack must have imagined that the grimy coffee shops of Baghdad would all become Starbucks, with budding entrepreneurs working on their laptop computers…and housewives (wearing shorts and t-shirts) taking money out of ATMs and going to malls to have their nails done.
The thought of it made all the think-tank war fighters giddy with joy.
Pity the way it turned out.
And then, there were the ‘experts’ on the Wehrmacht staff. By invading Russia, they said, Hitler could seize much-needed resources for Germany…and deny them to its Bolshevik rival in the East.
Shame how that worked out too.
And don’t forget Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign. He thought he could capture the key supply line from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and thus be able to menace Britain’s possessions in India. What a stroke of genius that was too…until Horatio Nelson’s fleet intervened, cutting the French off from their own supplies…and their line of retreat.
Napoleon was famous for his audacity…and for losing armies. He misplaced them…putting them in harm’s way while attempting a bold move. Spain, Egypt, Russia…he lost them all. Finally, he lost France.
Here, we’re only interested in politics and foreign policy as a source of entertainment…or insofar as it affects the economy. Watching Congress in action is a little like going to an insane asylum and gawking at the half-wits and nutjobs. It may be amusing; but it is a sick pleasure. They are, for the most part, morons; but it’s not their fault.
Necessary but not sufficient
Sadly, stupidity isn’t enough to make a good member of Congress. It also requires a preternatural ability to lie…and it helps to be blind.
As a member of the elite, there are two things you’re never supposed to see…or discuss. Those are the things that are likely to do the most damage — war and inflation.
The US Constitution clearly gives the people’s representatives the exclusive authority in both matters. Congress is supposed to control the money. Yet, the Fed brought about the worst inflation in 40 years — with nary a word about it in Congress. As for blowing up the Nord Stream Pipeline, a clear act of war, the peoples’ elected representatives, such as they are, were never consulted, never debated it, knew nothing about it…and don’t want to know anything about it.
So the bold move was undertaken by the White House on its own say-so alone…
The great English writer, GK Chesterton, once wrote up a clever report on ‘Twenty Ways of Killing a Wife’. One was hung. Another decapitated. And so forth. It was no doubt great fun for him…a real triumph of the imagination. But God forbid he actually put it into practice. By treating it as an intellectual exercise, rather than a business plan, he was able to enjoy the challenge, while still retaining the affections and services of his good wife, Frances. Had he tried to carry out the plans, on the other hand, he would have had the trouble of disposing of 20 corpses…and almost certainly ended his days in prison.
Alas, our ‘foreign policy’ jefes put into practice…in real life…something that should have remained a James Bond fantasy. They blew up the pipeline. And now the US will have to answer, in one way or another, sooner or later, for a remarkably obtuse act of aggression against two nations that had done it no harm.
And what would we say if our internet connections mysteriously failed? Suppose an ‘accident’ suddenly crippled the power grid? Imagine the banking system…and all the nation’s ATMs…going dark?
Is all the world’s infrastructure now at risk?
For The Daily Reckoning Australia