Opening Pandora's Box
By Doug McIntosh

Well, the world has gotten itself into quite the mess hasn't it? Global crisis doesn't quite do justice to the current situation. In my old Army parlance, we are in the midst of what we used to call a cluster#$%^&^. FUBAR to the max and then some. It doesn't really matter how we opened Pandora's box, we must now deal with the aftermath. Pandora was a figure in Greek mythology who had a box which, when opened, unleashed chaos and anarchy upon those who were foolish enough to open it. As to where the current global situation will end, I have no idea. It's all on the table though. Everything from a North Korean first strike, economic collapse, a regional war in the Middle East involving Turkey, Syria, Iraq, the coalition, Iran and Israel is no longer an academic doomer fantasy. Assuming Iraq uses the weapons of mass destruction we know they have, since the western democracies gave them to him, modern life as we know it will end. Assuming Iraq was able to buy nukes and weaponized biological agents from the collapsing Soviet Union, we will be faced with the worst of both worlds. If he has them, and uses them, we will face a military disaster unique in our American history. And if he doesn't, we will suffer a political disaster also unique in our American history. As things stand now, we are involved in a snake pit of religious and nationalist passion exploding across the Arab world.
I must confess that I have a very ambivalent attitude to the war in Iraq. On a personal level, my niece is the tip of the spear. She is assigned to the 3rd to the 7th, 3rd Infantry division. This is the army unit in linear descent to Custer's 7th cavalry from the little bighorn. Her job is to fly a Kiowa recon helicopter thirty feet above the ground at 100 miles per hour searching out all those Iraq tanks that were supposed to surrender. Unfortunately, rumors of an Iraq collapse have been greatly exaggerated. It seems the command structure believed their own propaganda and the results have been savage fire fights instead of flowers. We are now involved in a fight to the death with a ruthless and vicious enemy. We are now reliving the allied advance into Germany in 1945, complete with true believer SS troops executing surrendering soldiers, murdering civilians, using car bombs and other methods of asymmetrical warfare. We will win eventually, but it will be a much more savage fight than our leadership thought. There is nothing like actually being in the military to give some perspective to leaders who are eager to deploy it.
The political aspects of this war are heading south rather rapidly. I would say the political aftermath is going to be very bad, assuming we avoid a general regional war. WW3 will start the second weapons of mass destruction are used. The current global reality will not long survive their use in my opinion. The psychological, economic and political aftermath of their use will simply end the illusions the people of the world have labored under. We are in uncharted territory here. I have spent the last week or so watching antiwar protesters unleash chaos upon the streets of Portland. Squads of riot police are a common site in the downtown area now. We are on the edge of social anarchy and there is a sense of unreality to it all. Life as we know it tries to continue, but it's struggling. Aside from everything else we now have a potential global flu epidemic wreaking havoc. I never thought I would live to see such days unfold on the earth; yet, I have the feeling we haven't seen anything yet.
Although economics seems almost irrelevant, even here we see the effects. The Japanese government has openly stated they will do whatever it takes, in other words manipulate, the NIKKEI 225 to keep it from collapsing the banking system. Wall Streets 800 point "rally" must be viewed through the prism of official manipulation. No one should be under the impression we have anything resembling a free market anymore. The markets will not be allowed to collapse. Of course, the economic reality means such a collapse is inevitable. The so called plunge protection team may postpone, delay and slow the collapse, but they cannot change the fundamental economic reality. Official market manipulation will only make the inevitable collapse more vicious and long lasting. Sometimes when you have a case of nausea the best thing to do is vomit until your stomach is empty. That's not going to happen. We will continue to ignore the vast mountain of individual and corporate debt, the massive trade deficit, the 7 trillion dollar government deficit, the collapsing job market, the declining retail sales, the declining consumer confidence: we will ignore it all until they finally slap us in the face with a two by four. The Iraq war is simply speeding the process along is all.
If you understand asymmetrical warfare, you will see the economy is a prime target. It isn't like the terrorists haven't explained to us repeatedly they are going to destroy our economy and then watch the Imperial war machine collapse. The military is the tank and the economy is the fuel. Dry up the fuel supply; the tank will stop. It's really that simple. The recent free fall in the US fiat dollar must be viewed in the context of a military campaign to do just that. Lost in all the war coverage were the facts about Mexico, among many others, selling dollar reserves. If you want to take a cheap, but effective, shot at the United States all you have to do is dump some dollars. The fiat dollar has consistently been worth less than the utterly worthless EURO the last few weeks. Assuming a free market, which I do not, precious metal prices should be exploding by now. To me, the fact they are not, leads a reasonable person to conclude the markets are manipulated. It's obvious to anyone with eyesight the economic system is being manipulated by the elite to prevent the collapse of the debt based financial Ponzi scheme. All it took was for one log to be out of place and the Texas A;M bonfire pyramid came crashing down. I can't tell you which economic log will cause our debt soaked system to come crashing down. What I can tell you is it is long overdue and the global economic system is under a level of stress that is truly stunning. I am amazed it has lasted this long, even with Mr. Magoo in full market manipulation mode. I have to admit a feeling of grudging admiration. He is a con man, but what a con he has pulled off!
The other American economic indicators have been all negative since the first of the year. Whatever economic criteria you use, job loss, unemployment, individual bankruptcies, corporate and bond defaults, state and city spending collapse, or the exploding federal debt, the result is the same. The impact of exploding energy prices is roaring throughout the general economy depressing retail sales and consumer spending. Price inflation is well entrenched now in the general economy. The only reason we haven't seen explosive price increases is there is no consumer demand. The gutting of the American industrial base is now virtually complete. Even the call center jobs are being shipped overseas to India, where the employees are trained to sound like they live in Iowa. It is now beginning to dawn on the general American public they have no hope of getting a decent job. And the politics of people with no hope are always extremist and violent. In large sections of the United States the system doesn't really exist, much less function. And yet, the mainstream media won't admit to any of this. The monsoon is pouring down and people are still arguing about whether there will be a flood. Some people won't see what is happening until they hear the roar of water crashing towards them. So be it.
We are in a historic time in the American Republic. The last time this happened we called it the Great Depression and ended up in WW2. This time we have the war first. Be patient though. The economic collapse will follow soon on its heels. Nigeria has now shut down its oil wells in the delta due to rioting. Venezuela is still in chaos. Iraq is no longer producing. We now have $2 a gallon gasoline for the foreseeable future. The talking heads tell us the only thing holding up the wavering US economy is blind spending by a heavily indebted consumer. We now see Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, with hundreds of billions in sub par mortgages are reeling like a drunk. All that is left is a bankrupt consumer using home equity loans. The actual value of the homes is a fantasy as recent declines in home prices are beginning to show. The last two legs sustaining the economic illusion are now being hammered by high energy prices, endless war, a savage job market and political anarchy on our streets. So, all you optimists out there in TV land. Once the American consumer stops spending, which is now happening, and stops being able to use home equity loans, what's left? I say the abyss, but then I'm a doomer. I prefer to say I'm a student of history, a realist and a shrewd judge of human character. The time of death is now upon the planet Earth I call home. If the four horsemen haven't been released, at least they are pawing the ground at the starting gate. The days ahead will not be pleasant to be sure. We may survive them or we may not. At least it's going to be interesting.



This Site Served by TheHostPros