Biding time and sharpening claws

While Washington is absorbed with the financial debacle, a deepening recession and wars in the Middle East, there is a gathering crisis in Taiwan.

Under the Ma Ying-jeou (???) government’s policy of rapid economic, cultural and political integration with China, the nation could be annexed by China within the next few years through the signing of a “peace accord,” internal subversion orchestrated by Beijing, or a Chinese invasion of Taiwan to which the Ma government will acquiesce.

Whether or not Taiwan preserves its democracy and a separate existence from China has real consequences, not just for Taiwanese but also for the Chinese, the Japanese and the Americans.

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Israel Deploys New Missile Tracker Against Hamas

Built by the Malam Missile and Space Factory of IAI, the MC4 uses state-of-the-art technology including GPS and camera sensors to scan areas where rocket launch sites may be suspected.

Once a launch is detected, the MC4 pinpoints the site and projected flight path. It also has the ability to back track launches already in progress.

According to Israeli sources, the MC4 gives the IDF the ability to hit rocket launch sites in a manner that did not exist during the Lebanese war.

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The Wizards of Oil

Russian leaders tell us that it is no banana republic, but notice that we DO need to be reminded of that fact or we might forget.

The article below lumps Russia together with Venezuela and Iran. I’m wondering if Russia has more in common with OPEC countries than the West?

Don’t gloat over the economic problems of Russia. It is these types of problems that are the seeds of war. So the silver lining to the global recession might just turn out to be a lead lining.

From the article:

As prices fall, so do the ambitions of Vladimir, Hugo and Mahmoud.

Spare a moment for a rogue trio of economic victims — Hugo, Vladimir and Mahmoud. Their dreams of world domination and tight grips on power are eroding as the price of oil falls. If there is a silver lining to global recession . . .

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The Clash of Civilizations?

This interesting article was written in 1993 by Samuel P. Huntington.

From the article:

WORLD POLITICS IS entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be — the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase of the evolution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the emergence of the modern international system of the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among princes — emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes. In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, “The wars of kings were over; the ward of peoples had begun.” This nineteenth-century pattern lasted until the end of World War I. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between communism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers, neither of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of ideology.

These conflicts between princes, nation states and ideologies were primarily conflicts within Western civilization, “Western civil wars,” as William Lind has labeled them. This was as true of the Cold War as it was of the world wars and the earlier wars of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its center-piece becomes the interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations. In the politics of civilizations, the people and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history.

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Predicting the Economic Mess in 2008

In 2006 Peter Schiff tells over 1000 mortgage brokers they are about to be out of jobs. Watch how he completely nails the coming real estate/mortgage debacle before anyone else even realized it was coming.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII


Foundations of Crisis

By Doug Casey, Chairman, Casey Research, LLC.

Everybody wants predictions. The following article does a little better than that, in that I wrote it back in November of 1997, outlining several theories of history, and pointing to a logical way of anticipating what will likely happen to the world at large over the next generation.

As you will read, the methodology I relied upon for anticipating the events that are now unfolding — 11 years later — were actually quite accurate, confirming, in my mind at least, that now is a time to be very cautious in your personal and financial affairs.

The article is unaltered in its text from the original, though I have added some current commentary in bold italics

Doug Casey
December 16, 2008

“Don’t know much about the Middle Ages, look at the pictures an’ I turn the pages. Don’ know much about no rise and fall, don’ know much ’bout nothin’ at all” “Wonderful World,” Sam Cooke.

The lyrics quoted above probably describe the average American’s knowledge of history about as well as any academic study. Not only don’t they know anything about it, and think it’s irrelevant, but what they do know is inaccurate and slanted. And they must not think very much about the future either if the amount of consumer debt out there, mostly accumulating at 18% interest, is any indication.

One point of studying history is that it gives you an indication of what’s likely to happen now, if you can find an appropriate analog in the past. This is a tricky business because as you look at factors contributing to a trend, it’s not easy to determine which ones are really important. Making that determination is a judgment call, and everyone’s judgment is colored by his worldview, or Weltanschauung as the Germans would have it.

Let me briefly spell out my Weltanschauung so you can more accurately determine how it compares with your own, and how it may be influencing my interpretation of the future.

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As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

In Moscow, Igor Panarin’s Forecasts Are All the Rage; America ‘Disintegrates’ in 2010

For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument — that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. — very seriously. Now he’s found an eager audience: Russian state media.

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1970s UK ‘defenceless against Soviets’

Documents marked “Top Secret, UK eyes only” which have just been de-classified by the National Archives, show the Labour government of 30 years ago was engulfed in a furious row over the inadequacy of the nation’s defences.

The papers paint a picture of a 1970s Britain that would have been virtually helpless in the face of a Soviet attack.

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How Moscow courts the Muslim world

Since then, Putin and other Russian leaders, including the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, claim that Russia “is, to some extent, a part of the Muslim world.” In an interview with Al Jazeera on Oct. 16, 2003, Putin stressed that, unlike Muslims living in Western Europe, those in Russia were indigenous, and that Islam had been present on Russian territory long before Christianity. So Russia now claims to have a privileged political relationship with the Arab and Muslim world and believes that, as a mostly European state, it has a historic vocation as a mediator between the Western and Muslim worlds.

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Putin’s Authoritarian Steamroll in Russia

Last Monday, the entire upper house of parliament voted to extend the Russian presidential term from four years to six years, a move recommended by President Dmitry Medvedev in his annual November address. But really, you didn’t think the “reform” was meant for Medvedev, did you? Or that anything occurring behind the walls of the Kremlin is intended to extend the reign of this Putin-anointed technocrat?

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