LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK AND JOE QUINN
Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out - until now.
The Russian economy in general and the Ruble especially are both under direct attack, not only by official sanctions, but also by speculative operations. The price of oil is collapsing probably under a combination of objective reasons (the world recession) and deliberate US operations, yet Putin is not changing economic course in a fundamental way and he is even complimenting the Central Bank for its activities. Does that not remind you of something?And it seems that it's not just the Russian currency that is being hit.
Personally, this reminds me of what happened during the last months of Anatolii Serdiukov when the Russian military was hit by one scandal after another, yet Putin continued to praise Serduikov and his work. Eventually, of course, Serdiukov was sacked and replaced by the truly outstanding Shoigu, but it took a lot of time and efforts to finally get him sacked (and even today Serdiukov has still not been sentenced by any court for his numerous criminal activities).
Does that mean that Putin is hesitant, weak or confused?
I don't think so. I think that this shows that one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks for Putin is to get rid of the saboteurs in the top echelons of power. The same Mikhail Khazin has recently declared that only now did the "Eurasian Sovereignist" group's power roughly match the one of the pro-US "Atlantic Integrationists" (though he did not quite use these expressions which are mine).
Hopefully Putin is setting up a Serdiukov-like sacking of Nabiulina, but this is not sure at all. The pressure is mounting for him to take dramatic action and to finally begin to de-couple the Russian economy from the western economic orthodoxy known as the Washington Concensus, but there is also a lot of resistance.
This is right now by far the biggest threat to Russia and Putin: the 5th column of saboteurs in the top echelons of power, especially the government. As long as these people will remain in power Russia will continue to remain weak and fragile and very susceptible to western economic warfare.
Most worryingly, Russia's problems are starting to spread. Ukraine has been in deep trouble all year and it is now teetering on the edge of collapse; its hard currency reserves dipped below $10bn earlier this month, or about 1.3 months' of import cover. The hryvna is down by some 40% since the start of the year and the only thing holding it up now is the promise of more international bailout money in the new year.See also: Economic warfare: The U.S. Empire of "Frack" versus Russia
Kazakhstan devalued the tenge in February by 18%, but all the wiggle room it created has now been used up. Fears of another devaluation are mounting fast, as Kazakhstan's economy remains closely tied to Russia's as well as being a major oil exporter.
The falling currencies are no longer just hitting countries that are tied to Russia and the contagion is spreading out, leading some to start talking about a repeat of 1998 when oil prices fell to $10. Last week the Turkish lira sank to its lowest levels against the dollar for a year, despite the fact it is one of the big winners from falling oil prices, as it is heavily dependent on oil and gas imports. Likewise, China, another major energy importer. has watched its currency fall by 26% since May, and 7% since the end of October alone.
Collapsing currencies around the world, coupled with the "death spiral" of selling in the oil markets, is sparking worries that we are coming to the point where things could spin out of control - and not just for Russia.
"In a pathocracy, all leadership positions, (down to village headman and community cooperative managers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party) must be filled by individuals with corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule."
Andrew M. Lobaczewski, author of Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes)
"[I]f the individual is no longer to be sovereign, if the police can pick him up whenever they do not like the cut of his jib, if they can 'seize' and 'search' him in their discretion, we enter a new regime." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting in Terry v. Ohio (1968)
A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.
A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.
Since at least the end of the Second World War, the US has been directly and indirectly fostering, aiding, funding and training fighting militias and groups in different regions of the world to further its own interests. However, the irony of this policy is that in most of the cases, the US ended up fighting, in the name of establishing peace, these very forces of destruction. History is replete with such examples. As the 'sole' super power of the world, it has actually been fighting the war of its own survival, that is, to continue to survive as the 'sole' super power. As such, not only does it 'invent' enemies, but also reasons to fight them. Let's have a look at some of these 'invented' wars.