Hurtling Toward World War III

We're not kidding around. This is serious.
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Earlier this year, when United States officials helped push Ukraine billionaires to foment an angry citizenry into a continuing revolution, Peculiar Progressive asked the question “How Do World Wars Ignite?” We noted how history shows a spark from continued friction can lead to massive explosion, and applied this to the U.S, European Union, Russia and China. China, you see, has become closely allied with Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa through BRICS. And Moscow and Beijing are involved in major energy contracts sending oil and planned natural gas from Russia to China.

The international conflict is currently taking place with the U.S.-EU versus Russia on two levels: economic and military.

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On the economic level, the U.S. and EU have been piling sanctions on Russia in an effort to fiscally corner Moscow. But today (Wed., Aug. 6), Russian President Vladimir Putin announced one-year sanctions against the West, including on all U.S. agricultural products. It appears he may also ban fruits and vegetables from the EU.

The Associated Press reported today that Russian agricultural imports in 2013 totaled $1.3 billion from the U.S. and 11.8 billion euros ($15.8 billion) from the EU.

On the military level, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been looking for a way to contain Russia ever since the Soviet Union’s breakup in the 1990s. NATO has used the current Ukraine conflict to again eye moving toward Russia’s borders.

Putin also responded militarily this week, adding 8,000 more troops to the 12,000 already lined along the Ukraine border with Russia.

Now history watchers, ranging from respected U.S. scholars to seasoned economists of Ronald Reagan’s administration, are expressing grave concerns about current political tug-of-wars leading to global war. Again. Unless citizens can force policymakers to stop the insanity. So we continue to urge you to get organized, educated, and active in making your policymakers start taking care of the world instead of destroying it for the greedy benefit of a few.

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We're not kidding around. This is serious.
We’re not kidding around. This is serious.

Foreign relations scholars from Johns Hopkins, New York University, U. of Chicago, and U. of Illinois all spoke out in the last two weeks, critical of the U.S. trying to corner Russia, and concerned about bravado leading to nuclear war.

Dr. Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise in late July called Washington officials “war mongers.”

Veteran Russian history professor Stephen Cohen of NYU expressed grave concerns that the attitude in Washington to try and corner Putin, who won’t be cornered, could lead to nuclear war.

John Mearsheimer, a foreign relations scholar at the University of Chicago, said through his decades of dialogues with Washington officials, he’s never before seen a consistent attitude that the U.S. knows what’s good for the world, and the rest of the world doesn’t. He added that the major nations such as Russia, China and India don’t agree with that attitude, and he believes they’ll defy it. The interviews with Cohen and Mearsheimer can be seen here.

Two important former members of the Reagan administration have also recently expressed great worries about the growing drumbeats from the West. Paul Craig Roberts — former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan and one of the creators of Reaganomics — on July 28 published a column entitled “War is Coming.” He bluntly opened it by saying:

The extraordinary propaganda being conducted against Russia by the US and UK governments and Ministries of Propaganda, a.k.a., the “Western media,” have the purpose of driving the world to war that no one can win. European governments need to rouse themselves from insouciance, because Europe will be the first to be vaporized due to the US missile bases that Europe hosts to guarantee its “security.”

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, and former US Representative, in an early August interview showed concern over a “perfect storm” forming from what he considers U.S. failures in foreign, economic, and fiscal policy.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s banks and corporate oligarchs continue to rake in cash from the growing chaos. This involves weapons sales, led globally by the U.S. and Russia. Big bucks also reign with the U.S. involvement in endless war through invading foreign countries, destroying their governments, culture and infrastructure, then sending in multinational corporations to make billions rebuilding that infrastructure.

Peculiar Progressive gave you a clearer view of the oligarch cash cow in our column “Is War a Racket? An Honored Marine General Says ‘Yes!’ “

What’s pushing this World War button? The economy. When countries’ economies crumble, policymakers look for an enemy outside their borders, and so many nations are in financial trouble, the time for global military conflict is ripe. Policymakers (we dare not call them leaders) look to nationalism to unite their struggling citizens and take the focus off their government officials’ foibles.

The news has run lately with Argentina’s defaulting on international loans. But USAToday carried an article this week revealing that 11 nations are in danger of fiscal defaults. They are, besides Argentina: Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica, and, yep, Ukraine. All of this can foment into, if not involvement in a military war abroad, most likely revolution at home. They’ve already experienced various levels of unrest, ranging from revolution to public protests.

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And we’ll repeat our mantra of concern about the U.S. economy’s shaky position: Americans’ credit card debt is $1 trillion. Add to that an over $1 trillion college-loan debt,  a national debt of $12.5 trillion (held by the public), and national infrastructure needs of $2.3 trillion.

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Will Nerds Prevail?

Of course, the global digital wars have been waging for some time now. The U.S. has been spying on the world—from its own citizens to foreign countries and leaders—through the National Security Agency. China has been working to infiltrate American government networks. And while spying on other countries, the U.S. has also been working with their intelligence agencies to spy yet on other countries.

Peculiar Progressive has wondered for the last couple of years if the digital wars may prove the place where power finally ends in the hands of a few that no oligarchs planned for. We envisioned the computer geniuses of the globe, who quietly work at keeping the world running, finally becoming fed up, coming down from out of the hills, and organizing an electronic shutdown of Earth.

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We’ve seen hints of this in recent years from the rebel computer organization Anonymous, who has broken into government computers around the U.S. and globe to publicly reveal files ranging from finances to personal information of officials. Most recently, it tapped into Israel’s intelligence agency to disrupt it and other networks, a protest against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Also, news came today that a Russian gang hacked over 1 billion passwords. That’s one-seventh of the world population. But, of course, these examples could be just the tip of the iceberg, should the digital geniuses break loose.

If the Nerds of Digital Navigation ever do decide to make their move, they could perhaps begin by shutting down the world’s major electric grids—a long concern of intelligence agencies. They, of course, would also be looking for ways to hack into government emergency power systems, both intelligence and military.

It would make for an awe-inspiring historic experience, wouldn’t it? Seeing the world’s military and spy machines dismantled? Complete peace. For at least a while. No doubt, we’d all be better off.

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