Month: June, 2017
Drink Up?! Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Louisiana Water System
| June 30, 2017 | 7:48 pm | environmental crisis, Local/State | No comments
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Drink Up?! Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Louisiana Water System

© AP Photo/ Thomas Kienzle
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A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been discovered by health officials in the water system of a Louisiana parish.

The Louisiana state Department of Health found Naegleria Fowleri in a sample taken from a water hydrant in Terrebonne Parish, in the Schriever water system, according to Consolidated Waterworks District No. 1 General Manager Michael Sobert.

He wrote on the parish government Facebook page, “We would caution the public to refrain from allowing water to enter their nasal passages,” but also said “The water is safe to drink.” The amoeba was found in a sample taken from local a fire hydrant.

Two years ago, a sample from the same hydrant tested positive for the amoeba.

Residents have been advised to run hoses, shower and bath taps for five minutes before using them to flush out the pipes, and not to allow children to play with sprinklers or hoses unsupervised. They’ve also been told to continue these and other precautions until testing confirms that the amoeba is no longer present.

He added that officials have changed disinfectants to address the problem, converting to “free chlorine” method for 60 days to remove any remnants of the amoeba.

The amoeba occurs naturally in freshwater and causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which can destroy brain tissue. Early symptoms of PAM can resemble bacterial meningitis.

Louisiana has tested for Naegleria Fowleri since 2015, sampling public waters systems as it gets warmer.

Parish resident Bernadee Pitre told the local CBS affiliate that he’s hesitant to ingest the water even if it has been declared safe. “It’s scary. You don’t hear about them a lot … [I’m] definitely going to be more careful about that,” he said.

Washington and Berlin on a Collision Course
| June 30, 2017 | 7:42 pm | Analysis, Germany, political struggle, Russia | No comments
The German and the US flags fly at the US Airbase in Ramstein, southern Germany, on November 6, 2013

Washington and Berlin on a Collision Course

© AFP 2017/ DANIEL ROLAND
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The Russia sanctions bill that passed the US Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom’s energy capacity to supply gas to Europe.

The 9.5 billion euro pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall; Austria’s OMV; France’s Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom.

In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, “Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America”; “instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests”; and the whole thing heralds a “new and very negative quality in European-American relations”.An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, “the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the EU to buy expensive US gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off.”

A top US intel source, Middle East-based and a dissident to the Beltway consensus, stresses how, “the United States Senate by a nearly unanimous vote have decided to declare war on Russia (sanctions are war) and Germany has threatened retaliation against the United States if it initiates sanctions.

Germany accused the United States of trying to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline of Russia to the EU so that the US can export their liquid natural gas to the EU, making the EU dependent on the United States.”But then, there’s a possible game-changing aftermath; “That would spell the end of NATO if a trade war between the EU and the United States takes place.”

The usual Brexiteer suspects obviously are falling like a ton of bricks over the “Molotov-Ribbentrop 2 pipeline” – another trademark expression of paranoia by Poland.

They are even demonizing Germany for daring to do business with Russia, “undermining the security and economic interests of Eastern and Central Europe” and – yes, roars of laughter are in order — undermining “American emotional backing for NATO.”

So much pent-up “emotion” even leads to a nasty accusation of betrayal; “We know which side Poland is on. Which side is Germany on?”

What’s really unforgivable though is that Nord Stream 2, in practice, buries for good failed state Ukraine’s $2 billion in revenue from pipeline fees.

Nord Stream 2 is opposed by all the usual suspects; Poland; the Baltic states; Washington; but also the Nordic states. The top official argument is that it “harms EU energy security”. That in itself embeds a massive joke, as the EU has been harming itself in interminable “energy security” discussions in Brussels for over a decade.

Lucrative creative destruction, anyone?

Analyst Peter G. Spengler qualifies the US Senate bill as a “declared, but not yet executed act of warfare, an act of (sanctions) war against Germany and Austria directly, possible recipients within the EU indirectly.”

Spengler draws attention to the reminder of the FRG/USSR Agreement on Economic Cooperation of 1978 with a 25 years duration 1978 Agreement of Economic Cooperation between the then Federal Republic of Germany and the USSR, designed to last for 25 years; “This agreement together with all the foregoing treaties between West Germany and the Soviet Union were the basis on which [Helmut] Kohl could build his ‘Haus Europa’ with the Soviet Union/Russia from the summer of 1989 in Bonn onwards.”Crucially, this agreement also included a gas transportation triangle between Moscow, Teheran and Bonn, and was “fiercely but completely clandestinely embattled by the Carter administration, among so many silent wars against the Federal Republic of Germany  in those years.”

And guess who was trying to sabotage the agreement 24/7; recently deceased Polish “Grand Chessboarder” Zbigniew Brzezinski.

So nothing much changed since the late 1970s; Washington demonizing both Tehran and Moscow. The section of the US Senate bill related to Russia is some sort of after thought to yet another hardcore package against Iran, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act (which includes the Russia sanctions.)

It’s not an accident that the US Senate sanctions bill targets energy; this is a sub-product of a fierce energy war. But what is the US Senate really up to? Call it creative (lucrative) destruction.The US Senate is convinced that Nord Stream 2 “would compete with US exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe”. Thus the US government “should prioritize the export of United States energy resources in order to create American jobs, help United States allies and partners, and strengthen United States foreign policy”.

Yet this has absolutely nothing to do with helping “allies and partners”; it’s rather a case of US energy majors getting a little help from their friends/puppets in the Senate. It’s in the public domain how US energy majors donated over $50 million in 2015/2016 to get these people elected.

Watch those Hamburg fireworks

Compared to the US Senate, the role of the European Commission (EC) in the saga remained somewhat murky, until it became clear it will interfere via a “mandate”. This “mandate” will have to be approved by a “reinforced qualified majority” vote by member states, a higher than usual threshold of 72 percent of EU states representing 65 per cent of the population.

Spengler observes how, “the commission’s continued attempts to get a legal foot in the contracts between European companies and Gazprom would be much more detrimental and potentially efficient than even a President’s signing of the Senate (and House) sanctions law.”

So where will this all lead? Arguably towards an extremely messy clash “between the European Commission/Court of Justice and German/Austrian (plus Russian) jurisdiction.”

The Senate bill will have to be backed by a veto-proof majority in the House; that vote won’t happen before the G-20 in Hamburg. Then it would become law – assuming President Trump won’t squash it.

The key, “nuclear” issue is a non-mandatory clause for the US Treasury to sanction those five Western firms involved in Nord Stream 2. If the law is approved, the White House better ignore it. Otherwise Germany, Austria and France will definitely interpret it as a declaration of war.

Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel will definitely be on a collision course at the G-20, with Merkel emphasizing discussions on climate change, refugees and no trade protectionism, much to Trump’s disgust. The Russia sanctions bill just adds to the unholy mess. Expect a lot of fireworks “celebrating” those bilaterals in Hamburg.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Solidarity with the detained members of the Communist Party of Mexico – ¡Luis y Omar libertad!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Solidarity with the detained members of the Communist Party of Mexico – ¡Luis y Omar libertad!

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/solidarity-with-detained-members-of.html
Omar Cota (Left) and Louis Bahena.
According to the Communist Party of Mexico, two members of the Party have been detained by local police at the city of Cuernavaca. On Friday, June 30, workers and people in the town of Alpuyeca, in the state of Morelos, demonstrated against the operation of monopoly groups in the area. The local police forces tried to repress the protest. 
 
In their effort to defend the workers and the demonstrators, two members of the Communist Party of Mexico and the Federation of Young Communists were arrested. 
The comrades who are detained by police are Omar Cota, Political Secretary of the Federación de Jóvenes Comunistas (FJC) and also member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM) and Louis Bahena, members of the Regonal Committee of the PCM in Morelos. 
 
The repression and authoritarianism of the Mexican state against the Communists shall not pass. Omar and Louis must be released immediately!
 
En agresivo y masivo operativo policial han sido detenidos el camarada Omar Cota, Secretario Político del Consejo Central de la FJC y el Camarada Luis Bahena, integrante del CR del PCM en Morelos.
Fueron detenidos en Cuernavaca mientras acompañaban la lucha popular de trabajadores y pobladores de Alpuyeca opuestos a monopolios que explotan, despojan y generan daños ambientales.
 
KKE Europarliament Delegation: Solidarity with the FARC-EP political prisoners in Colombia

Friday, June 30, 2017

KKE Europarliament Delegation: Solidarity with the FARC-EP political prisoners in Colombia

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/kke-europarliament-delegation.html
The Delegation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in the European Parliament issued the following statement:
 
“We express our solidarity with the dozens of FARC-EP fighters and other political prisoners who have launched a hunger strike in Colombia’s prisons for their release.

We denounce the Colombian government which while relying on its Agreements to maintain the status of persecution, repression and terrorism, continues to hold thousands of political prisoners imprisoned despite its commitments.

We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, we declare that we stand firmly on the side of the Colombian workers and people movement against every attempt to exploit the developments and to intensify the attack on the people’s movement, on the democratic and social rights.”

30.06.2017.
House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story
| June 29, 2017 | 8:42 pm | Analysis | No comments
View of Abraj Al bait complex from the roof of the Masjid al-Haram mosque, Mecca

House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story

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Just when geopolitical practitioners were betting on regime change in Qatar – orchestrated by a desperate House of Saud – regime change ended up happening in Riyadh, orchestrated by Warrior Prince, Destroyer of Yemen and Blockader of Qatar, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

Considering the impenetrability of that desert petrodollar family oligarchy impersonating a nation it’s up to a few foreigners granted access to make sense of the latest Arabian Game of Thrones. It also does not help that the “largesse” of Saudi – and Emirati – lobbies in Washington reduces virtually every think tank and hack in sight to abject sycophancy.

A top Middle East source close to the House of Saud, and a de facto dissident of the Beltway consensus, minces no words; “The CIA is very displeased with the firing of [former Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Nayef. Mohammad bin Salman is regarded as sponsoring terrorism. In April 2014 the entire royal families of the UAE and Saudi Arabia were to be ousted by the US over terrorism.  A compromise was worked out that Nayef would take over running the Kingdom to stop it.”

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) presents U.S. President Donald Trump (C) with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Picture taken May 20, 2017
© REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

Before the Riyadh coup, an insistent narrative had been pervading selected Middle East geopolitical circles according to which US intel, “indirectly”, stopped another coup against the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, orchestrated by Mohammad bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with help from Blackwater/Academi’s Eric Prince’s army of mercenaries in the UAE. Zayed, crucially, happens to be MBS’s mentor.Our source clarifies, “the events are connected. Prince is CIA, but he probably stopped any coup attempt on Qatar. The CIA blocked the coup in Qatar and the Saudis reacted by dumping the CIA selected Mohammed bin Nayef, who was to be the next King. The Saudis are scared. The monarchy is in trouble as the CIA can move the army in Saudi Arabia against the king. This was a defensive move by MBS.”

The source adds, “MBS is failing everywhere. Yemen, Syria, Qatar, Iraq, etc. are all failures of MBS. China is also displeased with MBS as he has been stirring up trouble in Xinjiang. Russia cannot be happy that MBS was and is behind the lower oil price. Who are his allies?  He has only one and that is his father, who is hardly competent.” King Salman is virtually incapacitated by dementia.

The source is adamant that, “it is very possible the CIA will move against the monarchy in Saudi Arabia.” That would qualify as the war between President Trump and selected sectors of the US deep state reaching a whole new level.

And to add to the charade, there’s the Jared of Arabia factor. There’s no way any serious inside player would confirm anything about the (aborted) coup in Qatar. But if that coup attempt really happened, and was squashed, Jared Kushner may have had inside information, considering his connections.

According to the source, “Jared Kushner is essentially bankrupt at 666 Fifth Avenue, and needs Saudi financial help. So he is doing everything the Saudis want. 666 Fifth is in such bad financial shape that even his father-in-law cannot bail him out.”

Operation Desert Hubris

This convoluted trail of events does corroborate the famous December 2015 memo by the BND – German intelligence, according to which the House of Saud had adopted “an impulsive policy of intervention”, with then Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince MBS, a “gambler”, bound to cause a lot of trouble.

The BND memo detailed how the House of Saud, in Syria, bankrolled the creation of the Army of Conquest – basically a revamp of Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria — as well as ideological sister outfit Ahrar al-Sham. Translation; the House of Saud aiding, abetting and weaponizing Salafi-jihadi terrorism. And this from a regime that now charges Qatar of doing the same (Doha supported different outfits).

In Yemen, the BND worried that MBS’s war against the Houthis and the Yemeni Army was only profiting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Now MBS’s war – conducted with American and British weapons — has also provoked a horrendous humanitarian catastrophe.How come an arrogant, sloppy, hubristic ignoramus like MBS has come so close to set the whole of Southwest Asia on fire? And not only Southwest Asia; waves of despair are flowing in Western investment circles to the effect that MBS is such a loose cannon his actions will destroy retirement accounts all over the spectrum.

Some essential background is in order. What we have today is the Third Saudi kingdom — founded by Ibn Saud in 1902, keeping the same, previous noxious alliance with troglodyte Wahhabi clerics. Ibn Saud only ruled Najd in the beginning; then, in 1913, he annexed Shi’ite Eastern Arabia (that’s where the oil is), and up to 1926 Hejaz, on the Red Sea coast. A “united” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed only in 1932.

Ibn Saudi died in 1953. Arguably the most influential of his harem of wives was Hassa al-Sudairi. They had 7 sons together. (Demented) King Salman, Nayef and MBS are all Sudairis. MBS is the first of Ibn Saud’s grandsons within striking reach of the throne.

Quite a few other princes are more competent that MBS. Nayef, who spent a long time in the Interior Ministry, was the Saudi counterterrorism czar (thus being a CIA darling). There’s Mitab bin Abdullah, minister of the Saudi Arabian National Guard; notorious Prince Turki, former intel chief, former ambassador to the US, and former best pal of Osama bin Laden; and Khaled bin Faisal, governor of Mecca and former education minister.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits during an allegiance pledging ceremony in Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 21, 2017
© REUTERS/ Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court

MBS is betting everything on his Vision 2030 – which in theory might propel the Saudi economy beyond oil monoculture, but implies a virtually impossible political aggiornamento; after all the House of Saudi Cards is un-reformable. Take the risible list of 13 demands now imposed on Qatar – that’s MBS’s work – including the bellicose virtual  excommunication of Iran and shutting down al-Jazeera.No wonder every major geopolitical player is now gaming war scenarios – although only Germany stated its concerns on the record. Qatar is a NATO observer. Doha is adamant; it won’t fold to the absurd Saudi demands. What next; will MBS – the most dangerous “leader” in geopolitics today – lose face or launch yet another, demented, unwinnable and this time globally-convulsing war?

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria
| June 29, 2017 | 8:38 pm | Analysis, Iraq, Syria | No comments
In this photo taken April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump looks out an Oval Office window at the White House in Washington following an interview with The Associated Press

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria

© AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik
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Here we go again… “US warns Syria over ‘potential’ plan for chemical attack” was the dramatic news headline which greeted me when I checked out the BBC News website first thing Tuesday morning, June 26.

A White House statement said that the US had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.” It added, “The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its 4 April 2017 chemical weapons attack.” The US made it clear that if the devilish plan, which it had “identified” was carried out, it wouldn’t just hold the Syrian government responsible, but those other all-round “baddies” Russia and Iran too.

Where does one start with this hogwash? Does the US really think we’ve got all brains the size of gnats and memories that only go back to remembering what we had for supper last night? Or that we are stupid enough to believe that Assad would use chemical weapons in a war in which he is clearly winning?
Or accept as a “slam dunk” that it was the Assad government which used chemical weapons on Apri 7l- when it has most certainly yet to be proven? And here’s award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest piece of work on that.

If your first reaction on reading the BBC headlines about the US “warning” was a sense of deja vu, you’re not the only one. The world’s number one rogue state routinely comes up with wild, unsubstantiated claims about the dastardly things target states are planning to do, or are doing, or have done, before it launches yet another illegal military assault.

In 2002/3 the White House told us repeatedly that Iraq had WMDs which posed a threat not just to the Middle East but to the entire world.

It was a total fabrication and up to 1 million people lost their lives in the resulting war. Four years earlier, the lurid claims involved Yugoslav forces committing genocide in Kosovo. Again, it was untrue — but the evocation of Nazi-era crimes enabled the US to “sell” to the western public its long-planned imperialistic war against a socialist state which had resisted globalization, as a “progressive” and “humanitarian” venture.

In 2011, we were told Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since the end of the Swinging Sixties, was going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi. It was utter B.S. once more, but the US and its NATO allies got their way and Libya — a country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was transformed into a failed state and playground for Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda.

Now, it’s Syria — (and their allies Iran and Russia too), which is in the line of fire.
Regime change in Damascus has long been an aim of the hawks in the US, but thanks to heroic Syrian resistance and the aid given to the country by its loyal allies, this is one neo-con operation that hasn’t quite gone to plan. Despite the billions of dollars of weaponry that have been supplied to anti-government “rebels” by the US and their regional allies, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party is still in power. Not only that, but, “horror of horrors!”, Syrian government forces are liberating towns and cities from western-backed terrorists.

It’s clear that the only way the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel (where a government minister called for the assassination of Assad in May — and whose forces have carried out several attacks on Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in recent days), will get what they want is an all-out “kick every ass out there,” US-led military assault on Syrian government forces. But for that to happen they need a casus belli — especially as the US-led “coalition” is supposed to be in Syria to be fighting the head-choppers of Daesh.

The timing of this week’s “warning” about a “planned” Syrian government chemical weapons attack is highly revealing. As in the case with previous US attempts to escalate the conflict, it comes as the Syrian Arab Army is celebrating significant advances against Daesh and other terror groups.

Monday, June 26, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), reported how the Syrian army had re-established control over the Al-Dolei’Yat area — on the borders of the Deir ez-Zor province with Homs. It sticks in the craw of the western regime changers — and their media propagandists — to see Syrian forces do well and recapture territory. Just remember the western Establishment’s foaming-at-the-mouth  “outrage” when eastern Aleppo was liberated from al-Qaeda/al-Nusra jihadists in December.

Last night, in Britain, C4 News, which has acted as a cheerleader for Syrian “rebels” since the start of the conflict, referred to the “cocky” Assad. The Syrian President had earlier in the day been visiting disabled soldiers with his family in Hama. C4 News clearly wished he was holed up in a bunker like Saddam and Gaddafi — and awaiting summary “justice” administered by western “rebels” — for daring to defy Washington’s warmongers.

It’s obvious to any objective observer, that Assad — whatever your opinion of him — enjoys widespread support in Syria, and that too makes the west’s regime-changers, who think they, and they alone, should dictate who runs the country, very angry.
Syria’s secular government, which protects Christians and other minorities, and is fighting against the same extremist forces which massacred civilians in terror attacks in Europe, simply cannot be allowed to win. The Syria-Hezbollah-Iran axis has to be broken. For the west’s endless war lobby, the road to Tehran — and Moscow — goes through Damascus. The US “warning” also comes just a few days after the new French President Emmanuel Macron sought to change his country’s hawkish position on Syria to a much more sensible one. Macron said he saw no “legitimate successor” to Assad.

“The real change I’ve made on this question, is that I haven’t said the deposing of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for everything,” Macron told the Guardian. Macron’s comments, that with under his Presidency, there would  “be an end to the kind neoconservatism imported into France over the last 10 years” will have worried the hawks in Washington. But significantly, he also said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a “red line” and would be “met with a response.”

By announcing publicly that they have “identified potential preparations” for another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the US government is making its intentions very clear.

You don’t have to be Hercule Poirot or Lt. Columbo to appreciate that the stage is now set rather conveniently for another “heinous” chemical weapons attack in Syria — carried out by western-sponsored “rebels,” but blamed very quickly on “the evil child-murdering Assad,” in order to give the US and their allies the pretext for waging their long-desired, all-out war with the Syrian government. Well, that certainly appears to be the plan, going on past history.

The good news though is that it can still be thwarted. Russia has come out strongly against the US statement, saying that the White House’s warning to Syria and its allies was “unacceptable.” If a major war is to be averted its essential that the US and its allies in the region understand that any attempt to escalate the conflict in Syria will be met with a powerful military response from the Syrian government and their allies. Note well that for all its bluster, the US still hasn’t attacked North Korea, because it is frightened to do so. It must be made equally frightened about the consequences of an all-out regime change operation in Syria.

The lies used to justify US-led military aggression against target states are, let’s face it, so transparent that a child of five could see right through them. Yet still they carry on telling them. Do they think we’re stupid, or are the regime-changers at the stage of desperation now in Syria that they really don’t care?

Follow @NeilClark66 on Twitter 

America’s Death Throes
| June 29, 2017 | 8:34 pm | Analysis, China, Donald Trump, Russia | No comments
US 100 dollar banknotes and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration in Beijing, China, January 21, 2016.

America’s Death Throes

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Finian Cunningham
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China and Russia have already ditched the US dollar in their vast energy trade. Now China is leveraging Saudi Arabia to also abandon the greenback for oil sales. No wonder, it seems, that US policies are increasingly lashing out.

US global power depends on its presumed economic prowess and military force. With its economy in long-term decline, precipitated by the teetering dollar, the US rulers are relying increasingly on militarism to project power. That tendency is pushing the world to war.The challenge is to somehow steer the American military monster into a safe berth without eliciting a world war.

The US decline is of historic proportions – on par with the demise of other past empires – and it stems from the looming collapse of the petrodollar system, which has given the US unprecedented privileges over the past decades since the Second World War

It is no coincidence that a surge in global tensions over recent years comes at a time when the American economy is staring into an abyss. The key to the survival of the US economy as we know it is the status of the American dollar as the world’s top reserve currency.

The so-called petrodollar system, in which the world’s most traded commodity oil and gas are conducted primarily through American currency, appears to be coming to an end. That decades-old system is being challenged by the rise of China, Russia, India, Iran and others. If the petrodollar and its global privileges are displaced then the United States is facing an economic apocalypse.It should be said that there is nothing illegitimate about challenging this American unipolar dominance. Why should countries be forced to conduct their international trade primarily with the US dollar owing simply to historical circumstances during the 1970s that gave rise to the petrodollar system? That system works, in effect, like a global tax that the US imposes on all other nations because they are compelled to purchase American-printed banknotes.

Perhaps no two other countries have done more to forge a multipolar global order than China and Russia. China is the biggest oil importer and Russia is the world’s biggest fuel exporter. When they announced last year that oil trade would be henceforth conducted in their own national currencies of yuan and rouble that development marked a nail in the dollar’s coffin.Now, only a few weeks ago, China and Saudi Arabia – the world’s second-biggest oil producer – reportedly launched earnest negotiations for future energy fuel trade to be conducted in yuan. Commentators say Saudi Arabia has little choice in the matter, since China has been progressively reducing the kingdom’s market share with other oil exporters, like Russia and Iran. If the Saudis want to maintain exports to the world’s biggest economy, then they will have to do their business in Chinese currency, not the US dollar as they have customarily done.

Randy Martin, an American political analyst, said the long-anticipated decline in the petrodollar is picking up pace.

“The petrodollar is in decline, and consequently the entire financial system that undergirds the western economies,” Martin said. “China and Russia have laid the global economic foundation for the new ‘Silk Road’ and the emergence of a new Eurasian economy that puts the US and its petrodollar on the outside. That leaves the US dollar and its economy in tatters as long as the US insists on trying to maintain its unipolar quest for global economic dominance. To be clear, what China and Russia have successfully done is to unravel the economic foundation of US global hegemony.”

However, that historic demise of US power is fraught with danger. That’s because the shift from an American-dominated unipolar world to a multipolar one will come at huge economic pain to the US. With a debt mountain of $20 trillion and skyrocketing inflation due to the eventual demise of the dollar, American society faces an implosion from poverty, unemployment and social breakdown.

“Consequently, the world is faced with a global superpower in mortal decline, which is now expressing its existential fears with wanton military aggression across the globe. This will result in a grave threat to humanity as the US grapples for its place in a new multipolar global economy,” Martin concluded.

The US political system is fighting for its very survival given the imminent end of its petrodollar hegemony. It is no coincidence that the US ruling elite is resorting to militarism and war as a way to stave off the feared economic turmoil. The frequency of US-led wars across the Middle East region, in particular, is all about maintaining American hegemony through imposing military might.

The proxy war in Syria is a foil for the US to subjugate perceived global rivals, Iran and Russia.

Also relevant is that the Persian Gulf gas-rich emirate of Qatar has led the way among the Arab states for doing more trade with China by replacing the dollar with the yuan. Qatar has also maintained relatively friendly relations with Iran with which it shares an enormous offshore gas field.In the midst of these tumultuous world relations, the US is seeking to militarize the context as much as possible. By stoking and prolonging conflicts, the US stands to gain from military commerce and also by maintaining its sphere of influence over subordinate nations. Primarily, this is in the form of propping up the petrodollar system in the oil-rich Middle East.

As noted, when the petrodollar system collapses through the emergence of a multipolar world then the US economy and indeed its entire society as we know it is staring into an abyss.

“The US response to its looming demise has been the wholesale underwriting of a military-based economy for Saudi Arabia,” analyst Randy Martin observes.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) presents U.S. President Donald Trump (C) with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Picture taken May 20, 2017
© REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

That was marked last month by US President Donald Trump making his first-ever overseas trip to Saudi Arabia to announce a record weapons contract worth up to $350 billion – three times what his predecessor Barack Obama sold to Saudi Arabia during his eight-year presidency.The corollary of American militarism in the Middle East is a surge in tensions and potential for all-out war in Syria with Russia and Iran.

“US meddling in the Middle East is little more than an existential bid to preserve its hegemony there through military force, as its economic dominance through the petrodollar slips away,” added Martin.

The emergence of a multipolar world seems not only inevitable. It is desirable in terms of establishing a more democratic global order. A unipolar world as seen under US hegemony is a formula for tyranny and lawlessness.

The good news is that US hegemony is crumbling. The demise of the petrodollar is the telltale sign of another empire sunsetting. But that transition to a more reasonable and sustainable world order is akin to negotiating a way out of a minefield.

Fortunately, Russia and China may have sufficient military power to deter the desperate, waning American empire from trying to incite catastrophic war. However, death throes are seldom rational events.

 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.