My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

 

by Don Hank

 

Recently, Paul Craig Roberts wrote an article criticizing Putin for thinking he can partner with the US. Roberts thinks this is naive, and indeed it would be naive if Putin really thought that way. But he doesn’t (I make it a point to read all of Putin’s speeches and interviews in the original Russian, much of which is not reported in the West, which picks and chooses the items that, out of context, make Putin look worse. In fact, Putin is a gifted statesman and has crafted a winning strategy that most Westerners, and even many Russian analysts, fail to grasp).

Almost any Western analyst is going to fail when writing about Russia because Western thinking is not applicable to Russia or China and few can grasp Eurasian thinking unless they have lived in Asia, studied the cultures and can read the languages.

Westerners have been conditioned for years into believing that the world needs, and will always have, a hegemon who can simply punish countries that “misbehave” and straighten them out at its whim. It doesn’t have to be polite or apply time-tested standards of fairness, because the hegemon defines fairness as it goes. Thus the Western way that the US has modeled for the world is to simply boss other nations around in the crudest and rudest way — as Victoria Nuland did when she was interacting with some top level Russian diplomats, sneering that they had “lost” (referring to the Cold War), implying they must now come to heel and obey their masters. Putin, by contrast, is modeling a mature and professional approach that has a universal appeal.

Eurasians no longer believe in the hegemon fairy tale. They are busy reinventing mutual respect and sovereignty of nations and are in turn garnering the respect of the rest of the world. This fact is crucial to interpreting the actions of China and Russia. Heavy handed Western writers have been trying for years to drive a wedge between Russia and China by suggesting that one or the other will eventually try to gain the upper hand and become king of the world. Yet the harder these propagandists try, the closer they drive the two countries together — to the extent that they are nearly inseparable at this point. And by that I mean economically/financially as well as militarily. The US government still believes in the cave man approach but the Eurasians have discovered that treating people with respect garners respect for them. Why would they abandon this approach as long as it works?

So why does Putin keep trying to negotiate politely with the evil Washington government as though he were dealing with peers, and why does he not use his enormous military power in Ukraine as Roberts (and, BTW, a lot of Russians) thinks he should?

Simply put, he is buying time, getting his last ducks in a row. (Note that each of Putin’s speeches gets a little bit stronger as he and his Eurasian partners gain strength).

Although Roberts was once assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy, oddly, he does not enter into economics and finance in his analysis, and yet, for Putin, the long term strategy is all about economics and finance.

Here is why I say Putin is buying time.

Russia and China are working feverishly to accomplish at least 2 goals behind the scenes:

1–Establish the RMB as the new world reserve currency.

2–set up a parallel SWIFT-like system of international money transfers, initially between the BRICS countries but later the world. See this, for example.

Why must the Eurasians do this?

Because even if they are superior to the US militarily, they need to become financially independent to prevent a lot of useless bloodshed. The US uses the dollar as a weapon, punishing its perceived enemies by freezing accounts, preventing transfers, imposing economic sanctions, seizing bank accounts (incl those of non-Americans living abroad) and generally seeking to paralyze them financially. Examples include the US-imposed record fine of $8 billion against French bank BNP Paribas in retaliation for that bank’s having made a dollar-denominated transfer to Iran (which was not illegal in France; the US’s rationale: since the transaction was denominated in dollars, it was illegal because the US is the legal owner of all dollars, the world reserve currency under the Bretton Woods agreement); and, on a smaller scale, seizure of foreigners’ cash, as with the IRS’s seizure of $8000 from the bank account of a Venezuelan man residing in Panama who had once lived in the US (not reported in the media. My banker told me the story).

The Eurasians, witnessing the results of this financial bullying, have made amazing strides in a very short time in achieving the 2 goals mentioned above, as I reported here and here.

As for the plan to make the RMB the fall-back reserve currency, that project is well underway, as shown in my translation and analysis here.

But one crucial step remains and that is to create and test the new Eurasian cash transfer system designed to bypass the US-controlled SWIFT system. Before this is accomplished, Russia and its Eurasian partners are still vulnerable to one last Western ace in the hole, and that is the freezing of money transfers anywhere in the world, as outlined here.

Reports on the target date for the new interbank transfer system differ widely but I think we can assume, based on Putin’s mild mannered behavior, that this is not yet accomplished.

Now just imagine if Putin had long ago played the military card in Ukraine and simply defeated the Ukrainian army that bombs its own citizens. Would US allies have rushed to join the Eurasian bank AIIB? They may have thought better of it knowing that Eurasia includes Russia. But Russia played the nice guy, bided its time, and these countries saw the AIIB as an opportunity to get out from under the obsolescent World Bank and IMF. The only main US allies who have not yet joined are Canada and Japan, and even that could change.

Putin plays a long game, a strategy virtually unknown in the West and not well understood even by the best American minds.

But not to fear: we will see it in action (non-military to be sure) soon enough.

So should we be worried?

Once the last piece in the Eurasian strategy is in place, I think we will see that Putin was not kidding when he talked about mutual respect. While the US has consistently sought to lord it over its trading partners, both militarily and economically, and has actually sought to bankrupt them via World Bank loans (see the book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins), the Eurasians focus on garnering and keeping the trust of all their partners. Unlike US elites, they are keenly aware of a key fact: The only way to get rich and stay rich is to trade with partners in ways that benefit both parties so that even poor partners become richer, boosting sales and loan transactions. And the best way to expand trade is to treat existing partners fairly and with respect. Making even one partner poor or showing a lack of respect undermines the trust that the rest have invested in you.

Now why didn’t we think of that?

 

America in full suicide mode

America in full suicide mode

Before Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked for almost $1 trillion to bail out rich bankers, and then got both parties to cow down to his demand, I would have thought the following article by John Wallace might be an exaggeration. But not any more. It is a missing piece in the puzzle.

It is your patriotic duty to read John Wallace’s article “The Council on Foreign Relations and Tack’s Tackle Shop,” but accompany it with Cliff Kincaid’s article “Wall Street and the rise of Obama.”

BTW, there is a rumor that Henry Paulson is not done with you yet. He may be wanting another $800 billion of your money. You don’t mind, do you? The first bailout was a bargain at only $17,000 per person (some estimates are higher). Bailouts! Get em while they’re hot!

Why do I now firmly believe in the world banker-CFR conspiracy that once seemed too outlandish even for a work of fiction?

Because, as Wallace’s article shows, these richies and world-governance fanatics have been working feverishly in both parties and having their way with them, openly and obviously, for many years for the purpose of destroying our country. A while back I wrote a column for Laigle’s Forum alerting that Mike Huckabee, the darling of the evangelical right, had chosen Richard Haass, President of the CFR, as his potential secretary of state. Haass had written an article saying that we need to “rethink sovereignty.” That fits the picture very nicely. The bankers and social engineers who control us need a central government to finish the job of killing your patriotism (England is only a few years ahead of us: people are getting arrested for flying the Union Jack in Muslim neighborhoods). It is very uncomfortable for them to have to deal with so many splintered governments. Sovereignty is just in the way and must be shipped off like an old parent to a nursing home. They have gotten their wish in Europe. The whole turkey is on the table there, ready to carve. But they need the NAU and the Amero. Clues abound: The secretive three way conference Bush attended a few years ago, the Mexican truck highway, open borders, amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens, and the elephant in the room: complete silence on immigration by the media and the presidential campaign (McCain was one of the amnesty deal makers last time around). And now, the bailout, the totally useless bailout that can’t budge the stock market. And finally, the absence of any new policy on banking, even though the old policy of putting social justice ahead of good banking practice was suicidal. Oh, and I almost forgot: America elected as its president one of the chief actors in enforcing the banking policy that destroyed the banks, throwing the blame on the free market that gave us the banks in the first place.

Did any of you notice that yesterday on CNN, when a desperate-looking Henry Paulsen was presenting his idea to bail out Citigroup on the pretext that credit was hard to obtain, one of the sponsors was a credit company offering low-interest credit to the viewers? At that very moment, my junk mail box was full of offers for cheap credit and low-interest credit cards, and my wife and I get a ton of junk mail every week offering us low-interest or zero-interest credit. My bank admitted they will give me all the credit I want because I pay back my loans. So what credit crisis?

Can anyone guess what the government is really talking about when they warn of a credit pinch? Why, it is really easy to figure that one out if you consider the socialist Zeitgeist: they mean that if you don’t bail out the banks, they will no longer be able to lend money to those poor unfortunate people who want to buy things they can’t afford and who, until just recently, couldn’t get credit because they were a bad credit risk, spent money like a drunken sailor, reneged on their debts and will continue to renege on their debts until the American tax payer turns blue and gasps his last. Irresponsible people need shiny Christmas presents too, and if they don’t get them this year, why, Christmas may just become extinct. Shysters in Washington, the media, and the “Christian” Left (which now means mainstream evangelicalism) have conned you into believing that banks must serve, first and foremost, a “social purpose,” and then do sound banking if there is any time left for it. But good banking practice and safety are off the table now, just as border safety and immigration enforcement have been off the table for years. We are staring down the barrel of a deadly Revolution in the form of a tectonic plate shift that has taken us far out into the ocean and most of us still think we are in America. Friends, look behind you and wave goodbye. That vanishing dot on the horizon was your country!

The banks now are hell-bent on lending to the irresponsible much in the way an evil perverted fool would offer booze to a recovering alcoholic. And the pubic bought into the notion of bailing out everyone but the tax payer. We hardworking, longsuffering, decent responsible people – the few who are left – are now forced at gunpoint to sacrifice our happiness, our safety and our future, and that of our children, for a bunch of lazy, spoiled-rotten free loaders with an entitlement mentality on steroids.

Friends, America is in suicide mode and no one is paying attention. I fear the worst.

PS: Articles like this never get done writing themselves. I just was alerted to the below-linked article where Lord Sterling says that the Rockefellers are benefitting from the bank crisis. If anyone has any information on this — whether it is true, how they benefitted, etc — I would appreciate your posting it in the comments section appearing under this article. Thanks!

http://www.ukcolumn.org/2008/11/20/cash-for-honours/

Donald Hank

 

THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS AND TACK’S TACKLE SHOP

by John Wallace

When I was growing up in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan, I remember when I was about 12 or 13 years old I had my first contact with discovering what a “front” was for another business. It was called Tack’s Tackle Shop. When it first opened, it looked like just another business. The guy in the store, Tack, was selling fishing rods, live bait and an array of fishing equipment. It didn’t take long before the kids in the neighborhood figured out that perhaps there was something else going on. The live bait in the window wasn’t alive anymore and local hoods and gangster type people seemed to be going in and out, particularly in the evenings and none of them looked like fishermen. It wasn’t long before the place was raided by the NYCPD and my friends and I all watched from across the street on Sherman Avenue as “Tack” came out in handcuffs along with a bunch of other men. We were later told that Tack’s Tackle Shop had actually been a front for an illegal gambling operation.

A “front group” can be any entity that is set up to appear to be a legitimate independent organization, like Tack’s Tackle Shop, when it is actually controlled from behind the scenes by another organization or group of individuals. These front groups are often legitimate businesses, social or political organizations, professional groups, advocacy groups, research organizations, etc. Organized crime has used legitimate front organizations for many decades to launder their income from various illegal activities. Pharmaceutical companies have used front organizations to advocate for the drugs they manufacture. International terrorist organizations have their front groups here in the United States and as the evidence clearly shows, so do the international bankers.

After researching the formation and activities of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) it appears that it may be a very sophisticated version of “Tack’s Tackle Shop.” The CFR was specifically set up to carry out the goals and objectives of international bankers so that the public positions taken by the CFR would appear to be independent positions that could not be directly connected to the international bankers who personally control and fund the CFR. Continue reading