The Truth is a Dangerous ThingPolitics / Propaganda Apr 20, 2017 - 10:31 AM GMT
This time in history might be like no other – or at a minimum is on a much bigger scale. There is more access to information, analysis, and expert opinions than ever. Obviously, everyone claims to be telling ‘the truth’. A few psychopathic individuals notwithstanding, nobody sets out in the business of providing information, then says ‘But we’re going to lie like a rug, 24/7, how about them apples?’. Everyone is telling the truth. The odd thing about all this is that the stories that come out of these ‘truth telling’ outfits couldn’t be further apart from each other. That leaves the average person with a distinct problem – it is up to YOU to find the truth. To seek it, to think it, to try to live it.
At the end of the day, the truth is more about perception than anything else. It is amazing how ten different people can look at the same facts and come to 10 different conclusions. Perhaps that is a tribute to our ability to think and cogitate or perhaps it is simply the sum total of our biases and perceptions. This becomes insanely apparent when dealing with politics, and even economics. Since they’ve become inextricably linked, even the study of economics has become poisoned with normalcy bias, perceptions, and dogmatic stubbornness.
We are going to take a look at a couple of examples from economics – politics is a lost cause – and a place where people who seek to analyze have no business dabbling anyway. The good news is that in the case of America, economics does transcend politics because all of the negative (at least we see them that way based on history) trends extend for long periods of time and continue unaffected by changes in the political structure. This will undoubtedly annoy some people because they thought their political idols were just so smart and said all the right things, when in fact they were merely just part of a machine – again, in our opinion.
We also believe that pretty much everyone has made up their minds one way or the other about all this. People fall in to one of several groups. First, there is the group that will naively believe whatever the television/media has to offer, question nothing, and accept whatever the clowns in Washington, their state capitol, or county have to say. The same is true of economics. Then you have the folks at the opposite end of the continuum. They reject virtually all of what they are told by government ‘officials’ and the media. They aren’t buying it.
Then you have a group that knows there is something wrong, but just can’t believe that such wickedness could take place in America. They’ve bought into the Hollywood version of America. We’re the good guys; everyone else is wrong about everything and there’s always a happy ending. This all must be someone else’s fault. These are the dangerous people – again, in our opinion, because it doesn’t take much to get their attention and not too much beyond that to get their finger pointed directly at you.
Finally, there is a tiny slice of America and the world who is still undecided. They’ve heard some parts from the various sides, but they haven’t come to a conclusion yet. These are the people we mostly write for. We try to provide information rather than subliminally telling them how to think. It is difficult and we certainly fail on occasion. We admit that. We also write for the people who understand as we do; to provide them with information and analysis that their busy lives don’t permit them time to gather on their own.
Why is Syria Such a BIG Deal?
With all that said, let’s look at the economics of the situation with regards to Syria. We know that in 2013, Exxon Mobil, headed by now Secy of State Rex Tillerson cut a deal with tiny Qatar to pipeline Qatar’s natural gas to the Mediterranean Sea, thereby putting a crimp on Russia’s monopoly on European gas markets. Nobody likes to lose a good monopoly. US companies are constantly fighting to maintain monopoly status whether it is Microsoft’s landmark battle in the 1990s or Pfizer’s battle to keep its blockbuster drug Lyrica under patent protection for just a little longer. It’s all about monopoly. So let’s keep that in mind before we intellectually string up Putin, Medvedev, and the Russians. We do the same thing here.
Pushing ahead, the deal between Exxon and Qatar was to construct a pipeline. The House of Saud declined (at the time) to have a pipeline running through their country. If they’d agreed, there is an outside chance the pipeline could have avoided Syria, although there would have been some interesting maneuvering required to make that happen. The easiest option was to swing the pipeline through the already US-controlled Iraq and then West through Syria. Unfortunately, the Syrians also declined.
Houston, We Have a Problem
The May 2013 deal between Exxon and Qatar, evidence of which has been scrubbed from Exxon’s corporate website, was followed just a few months later by war drum rhetoric against Assad from the USGovt. Assad’s government is the entity who refused US access to Syria for the pipeline. Everyone following? The Russians, who realized how critical Syria was had already buddied up with Assad and they’d formed an alliance, which actually dates back to the 1950s. America was a little late to the party – at least publicly. Within a few weeks of the rhetoric ramping up, suddenly Assad was accused of attacking his own people with chemical weapons; something he’d never been accused of before. Odd that he waits until the attention of the world is focused on him to pull such a ridiculous stunt. Unfortunately for the military-industrial complex, the issue never got any momentum, the Russians dug in with regards to supporting Assad and his government, and the issue got pushed to the back burner. It was later determined that Assad hadn’t done anything wrong with regards to any chemical weapons attack.
We are sure that Assad is no angel; you can’t be a leader of a country in today’s world without being a psycho/sociopath at some level. Let’s keep that in mind. However, it’s a big leap from being a garden variety egomaniac to a new low by perpetrating a chemical weapons attack on your own people. Thinking people came to this conclusion and the issue was never advanced. We wrote at the time that Russia would never leave Syria due to the strategic nature of their relationship. Assad needs the Russians to protect him and his government from the military-industrial complex and the Russians need Assad’s government to remain in place so they can hold their monopoly. It’s a purely symbiotic relationship. Economics is morphed into geopolitical strategy before our eyes based on the age-old principle of coincidence of wants.
What Happens Now?
Nothing has really changed. There is still a deal in play. The Russians are still in Syria and aren’t going anywhere. The USGovt is trying to move the rhetoric forward again, this time with ANOTHER chemical weapons attack allegedly perpetrated by Assad on his own people. There have already been some rather prominent experts in this particular field who claim that there was no way Assad could have done this; that in fact it isn’t even possible. The military industrial complex responded rapidly; before the dust had settled, and flew 5 dozen Tomahawks into a sovereign nation.
Before anyone pipes up what a dirt bag Assad is, we want to ask you where the military industrial complex is vis a vis the USGoverment while atrocities and human rights violations take place in many countries in Africa, among other places. These are well documented cases by groups such as Doctors without Borders and others. Where are the mighty Tomahawks to crush these tinpot dictators and aggressors? Answer: these countries aren’t strategic, aren’t part of the big plan and therefore don’t matter. America cannot claim the moral high ground on this issue. The ONLY reason we are interested in Syria is because of its strategic value. Let’s not pretend it is about human rights violations.
This, Not That… That, Not This
Last week the focus shifted suddenly to North Korea. Syria has been forgotten. The Tomahawk attack was a joke, lacked the intended effect (unless the intent was to put on a really expensive fireworks show), and again, the issue failed to collect the momentum necessary to achieve critical mass. The saber rattling was intense but it didn’t work. Russia didn’t back down, made some threats of its own and all of a sudden the gears were switched to North Korea. We don’t know of any pipeline deals involving North Korea, but we do know that they don’t have an IMF/World Bank controlled central bank. That was enough to get a bunch of Middle Eastern countries turned into parking lots after George W. Bush made his ‘Axis of Evil’ declaration. The one thing all those countries had in common was the lack of participation in the IMF/Central Banking system. Of those, Iran and North Korea, and Syria are three of the few remaining nations that are not fully given over to the IMF/Central Banking system. Iran has been on the hotlist forever, but again, lack of momentum has kept war at bay.
In 2000, the Project for a New American Century released a whitepaper entitled ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ stating that ‘catalyzing events’ were necessary in order to achieve America’s overseas agenda in any kind of reasonable timeline. These ‘catalyzing events’ were discussed as events that would be similar to Pearl Harbor and would provide instantaneous momentum and justification for swift military action. The white paper in question was called ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’.
Actions in the geopolitical realm ALWAYS come back to economics. Figure out who is going to benefit from any action or proposed action and you are halfway to the truth. Benefit might mean monetarily or in the form of leverage, which can be converted to a monetary benefit later. However, it is often necessary to deceive in order to achieve such ends. This, not that… That, not this. Syria, not North Korea, North Korea, not Syria.
There are many people who look at the Project for a New American Century’s whitepaper as a blueprint for global domination. After all, 10 of the think-tank’s original signees went on to serve in the Bush Administration. We don’t know what their intent was, and stating an opinion would be essentially blind speculation on our part. Whatever PNAC might or might not have been, sometimes even innocuous things provide great windows into the great beyond of geopolitical engineering.
The description of a ‘catastrophic, catalyzing event’ is what gives us great pause. The think-tank realized that there wasn’t enough momentum to propel the US into the battles the think tank believed necessary minus some type of catastrophe. As we close, we point to the many stalled ‘initiatives’ that currently exist. Syria, North Korea, and Iran, just to name a few. It would seem that these initiatives are going nowhere, minus another catastrophic, catalyzing event. This reality might be something for people in all the aforementioned groups above to consider.
Graham Mehl is a pseudonym. He currently works for a hedge fund and is responsible for economic forecasting and modeling. He has a graduate degree with honors from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania among his educational achievements. Prior to his current position, he served as an economic research associate for a G7 central bank.
By Andy Sutton
Andy Sutton is the former Chief Market Strategist for Sutton & Associates. While no longer involved in the investment community, Andy continues to perform his own research and acts as a freelance writer, publishing occasional ‘My Two Cents’ articles. Andy also maintains a blog called ‘Extemporania’ at http://www.andysutton.com/blog.
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