minority Report
Looking forward into the New Year, here are a few predictions and some emerging trends to be on the look out for in 2016.

In last year's Predictions and Trends for 2015, we told readers to expect some major tectonic shifts in the geopolitical arena. That happened alright, and in the coming 12 months we can expect some of those new realities to solidify, while others continue to take shape.

The good, the bad, and the ugly - here's what to look for ahead in 2016...

Positive Trends...

Geopolitical Realignment - 2015 saw one of the most significant geopolitical realignments of the last 40 years. Russia's arrival on the scene in Syria signaled a departure from a unipolar, 'New American Century' where Washington dictated the pace and facts on the ground in all major overseas conflicts. In addition to this, the gradual disintegration of Washington's half-baked plan to impose international sanctions against Russia has re-opened a door between European nations and Russia - much to chagrin of rogue central planners in Washington like Victoria Nuland and John McCain.

Syria Remains - What the nation of Syria has endured over the last few years is nothing short of incredible. For four years, the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Israel and a bevy of other "allies" have been flooding the country with illegal weapons, illicit cash, jihadist terrorist fighters, narcotics, as well as bombing the country in violation of every international law on the books (and costing western taxpayers billions of dollars per year) - in an all-out effort to destabilize the country and collapse its government in Damascus, and to redraw its borders in a Neocolonial move to reshape the Middle East. After all that, the tough resolve of the Syrian people and its government have managed to repel this violent conflict driven by foreign interests - and despite propaganda coming out of the US to the contrary - any sectarian divisions that may have existed before in Syria, have been replaced by a movement towards national solidarity, bringing the people together closer than ever - in full support of President Assad. It seems like the people of the Middle East are rapidly wising-up to age-old false flag games and other methods of foreign manipulation.

Cuba and Iran - In 2015, Cuba returned into the fold of politics and economics, as it began interfacing with Washington. Overall, this is a positive thing, so long as Sheldon Adelson and Donald Trump aren't allowed to buy-up Havana harbor and build a strip of mega casinos there. With the advent of the international Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran is now threatening to re-enter to global marketplace - which ultimately means more economic opportunity, not only for Iran, but for all of its trading partners too. More trade and cultural exchange also means there's a great opportunity for peace and stability in the Middle East and central Asia. Many in the US Republican Party do not want to see this happen and are backed an Israeli Lobby throwing money at them in order to keep tensions high. 2016 could be another diplomatic break-out year for Iran.

Oil Price - For the second straight year running, we are seeing a drop in oil prices and this translates to savings at the pump with many US states now enjoying prices below $2.00 per gallon. It's also good for small to medium size businesses and translates into lower food prices (lower cost of transportation). It also means that Fracking shale industry is no longer viable economically - which is good news if you are a fan of clean ground water. The Saudis have spent around $100 billion of foreign reserves to keep shale and other low-cost oil producers out of business. Their decision in 2014 not to cut production has driven prices well below $50 a barrel. However, this is not good news for countries who are overly dependent on oil to support their entire economy. One such country currently in trouble financially is Saudi Arabia, who are now in debt and have no cash reserves left - for the first time in their history. This also exposes the Saudi royal family additional risk of domestic and social instability at home. Will too much debt cause petrol kingdom to lose its ability to project power internationally? Not necessarily, just look at the US who are $17 trillion in the hole, and still bullying the world. Russia is also dependent on healthy oil and gas prices in order to remain strong, and there are some pundits who believe that OPEC's choice to keep prices down is a form of 'economic warfare' in a US-led effort to bankrupt Russia. Time will tell who the winners and losers are, but one thing is certain in 2016 - someone is going to feel the pinch somewhere.

Hemp - 2015 may have been the Year of Pot, when legalized cannabis and medical marijuana gained mainstream acceptance in a number of states in the US, but 2016 looks set to be the year of hemp. Even though modern society is mostly ignorant to the many key uses of industrial hemp - for food, protein supplements, medicine, beauty and cosmetics, bio-fuel, textiles, plastics, utilities items and building material - many will soon come to realize that our forefathers were heavily invested in hemp products, and that hemp holds the key to solving a number of hot issues on both the right and the left, namely issues of economy, long-term sustainability, nutrition, health and better alternatives to dodgy GMO technology. California is one of the first states to pass legislation to legalize industrial hemp. Be warned however, GMO imperialists like Monsanto seek to patent the cannabis plant and thus monopolize the industry (this is what is behind George Soros pouring millions into legalization campaigns globally), so there are still many epic battles to be fought on the road to cannabis freedom.
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© Barjesh War
Not so positive...

Stock Market Crash - In the last months of 2015, every pundit and wealth website seemed to be predicting some kind of major stock market crash in 2016. Many have the date pinned to the fist week of February. Some say this is simply inevitable after a seemingly endless 'bull market', in other words, what goes up, must come down. In fact, the markets did take a dip right before the new year's end, so maybe that slide is already underway. Considering all that happened in 2015 - the Greek debt crisis, oil prices crashing, and the Chinese currency devaluation - it could've beena lot worse. But what would really push that trend over the edge is a good old fashion crisis. If the market does tank and millions of middle class savers are wiped out - expect the Moguls to move in to buy up everything on the cheap. That's right: a re-consolidation of wealth and power, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. During the election cycle of 2008, Wall Street engineered a financial crash which helped sweep Barack Obama into power, but more importantly, it worked to re-consolidate wealth and power in the US and beyond. Such a convolution would then lead nicely into a re-boot of the Occupy Movement, and will also aid whichever presidential candidate is best positioned to capitalize on a perceived 'economic crisis' (which could very well be Donald Trump).

War on Cash - One of the progressive trends of the last decade has been a gradual transition towards a 'cashless society', where all good and services will be bought and sold by an electronic debit and credit system. Today, we are closer than ever to this becoming a reality. In the US, top banks like Chase have already begun restricting the use of cash. What next? Will the government want to tax cash, and eventually move to prohibit the private storage of cash altogether? As Zero Hedge states, "We keep being bombarded by moves to restrict the use of cash and demands to ban it altogether. These demands seem to mainly revolve around two arguments: one is that 'only criminals need cash', which is on a par with the absurd assertion that we should all be fine with Stasi-like ubiquitous government surveillance 'if we have nothing to hide'." In this climate of fear and staged "ISIS" attacks, expect "terror" to be the main rally cry to ban the mainstream use of cash once and for all.

#Hashtag Hell/ Emoji Hell - More memes. 2015 was the year of the hashtag. Some say that it is human evolution; a brave new world where all of man's experiences and philosophical insights can be reduced down to 142 characters or less. There were the predictable terror memes like #JeSuisCharlie, #SanBernardinoStrong, #PrayForParis, and even #JeSuisChien (translated: I am a dog), there was also trending favorites like #BlackLivesMatter,#IStandWithAhmed and #LoveWins. Can it get any worse? You bet it can. If Twitter manages tointegrate Emoji icons into its system, the hashtag hell will quickly become Emoji Hell. Is there any escape from this vapid, reductionist Silicon Valley digital reality? At what point can we jump off this cultural Titanic?

Gun Control - This is not so much a prediction as it is a reality now. Already, on New Year's Eve, US President Barack Obama, desperate to cement his own 'legacy' in his final year in office, announced he will be bypassing the democratic process and enact his own federal decrees on 'Gun Control' in America by passing a series of "bold executive actions" to limit the sale and procurement of fire arms. For 2nd Amendment advocates and Republicans, this means war (in political terms), and will be a major hot-button issue all year in the US media, and will ultimately end up in the Supreme Court. Thanks to Obama's 'bold' move, in 2016 the real winners will be gun and ammo manufacturers and retailers - who will rake-in record sales and profits this year. If we didn't know any better, we'd think that Obama owned shares in the firearms industry. The other dangerous byproduct of this issue is that we can expect many more staged 'mass shooting' events which the media and the White House will use to further ram home their anti-gun agenda, which really isn't about guns at all - but is really about the federalization and 'fusion' of every law enforcement and emergency response agency in the country, aka more federal control. Once again... problem, reaction, solution.

Early False Flag - NOTE: This is one prediction we definitely DO NOT want to see happen this year. In the first week of 2015, we saw a spectacular event in the Charlie Hebdo Attack. This event set the pace for the coming 12 months. What was more amazing was how many other staged terror events and geopolitical outcomes were tethered in some way to Charlie Hebdo. It was if this early event set the tone and pace for the coming year. It provided a much-needed continuity to many of the mainstream's popular narratives related to terrorism, Syria, Islamophobia, war, as well as ramping-up a government police state in Europe and North America. For the architects of war and chaos - this proved to be an incredibly successful formula. Let's hope and pray that they do not use it again.

sultan turkey
Turkey Goes Rogue - In the last months of 2015, the world got a glimpse of just how deep the nation of Turkey is in terms of fomenting geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East, and beyond. Since 2010, NATO member Turkey has hosted terrorist training camps, as well as facilitated the free flow of terrorist fighters, weapons, cash, as well as a lucrative black market ISIS oil trade - all of which exposes how Turkey is a prime mover in fueling the progress of the so-called 'Islamic State'. See 21WIRE's comprehensive report on the illicit ISIS Oil Trade for more shocking revelations on Turkey's activities there. Now at odds with Russia, we learned that Turkey is now involved in facilitating the movement of jihadist terrorists between their country and the Ukraine, and allowingISIS to buy weapons in the Ukraine. In 2016, Turkey may become to world's premier 'bad actor' internationally. This will certainly lead to a NATO crisis, which will lead to...

A New EU Army - As the world grows tired of the cold war dinosaur known as NATO, and as crisis points like the Paris Attacks and the engineered 'Migrant Crisis' push European politics further into the abyss, a new 'solution' is already waiting in the wings. In 2016, we will see the final pieces being put into position for the creation of a new federalized European Army, complete with all the federalized accompaniments like a militarized external EU Border Force, an EU CIA, an EU FBI and an EU NSA - mostly in the name of 'fighting terror' and protecting against attacks on 'soft targets'. In terms of freedoms and openness in society, this is not a positive trend.

Crimea - The west have not given up on the Crimea and the architects of instability are currently deploying both US-backed Ukrainian NeoNazi paramilitary fighters and Jihadis from Chechnya - into the Crimea to try and start a sub-regional conflict there. If they poke too hard, this one could get ugly very quickly. Washington is playing with fire here.

Precrime - As man becomes lazy and thinks less, reliance on expensive computer models and artificial intelligence has become the new buzz practice in law enforcement and 'fighting terror'. Keystone cops around the globe are so enamored with this Orwellian level of gadgetry, that the concept of 'pre-crime' as illustrated in Philip K. Dick's sci-fi classic The Minority Report is now beginning to gain mainstream acceptance. This technology is based on the insane premise that a computer will be able to predict if someone is about to commit a crime or "may become radicalized", based on their data profile and other creative computer modeling exercises. Believe it or not, western governments have already unleashed this crack-pot Victorian technology in towns and schools to monitor suspect children from a young age.

active shooter
Active Shooter Nation - In a bid to "Make America Ready", government buildings, schools, colleges, airports, military bases, libraries, hospitals, shopping malls and bingo halls - are all staging multi-agency, "Active Shooter Drills". America is fast turning into the world leader in staging these contrived, 'hyper-real' productions. The only problem is, as these events play-out in real life and on TV, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between an actual drill and a staged 'mass shooting' or 'domestic terror' event. The important thing to note is that behind every "drill"... is an endless stream of dollars. This is part of the new predator 'security' economy in the US. While other businesses are struggling to make ends meet, the security industry seems to be a real growth area. The problem is that too many agencies and private contractors all want a piece of this plastic apple pie, and are all-too-willing to submerse themselves in this bizarre, and highly disturbing new Amerika. When will it end?

Hostage Crisis - It's been a while since the establishment has engineered a high-profile hostage crisis. One of the last major events in this class of crisis event happened in 1979 with the Iranian Hostage Crisis, where 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days. It just happened to take place during a US presidential election cycle, with president Jimmy Carter (D) running for reelection against challenger Ronald Reagan (R). The crisis, including a horrific failed rescue attempt, was used against Carter in the media. According to reports at the time Reagan campaign operatives had managed to do a backdoor deal with the elements of the new Iranian regime to 'hold-off' releasing the hostages until after the election. In the end, Reagan won and took credit for that 'victory'. It's been a while since Washington has had a good 'hostage crisis' and in an election year, it could help to divide voters and perhaps benefit a candidate as it did with Reagan. Let's hope that this year's 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil goes off without a hitch, unlike the 1972 Olympics in Munich which featured a made-for-TV Israeli-Palestinian hostage crisis and massacre (many researchers still content that it was a deliberately staged event). As mainstream news ratings continue to plummet, it seems the only thing CNN, FOX, MSNBC and others can do to guarantee a healthy income is to produce a long protracted crisis, where viewers will stay glued to their TV for days, if not weeks on end. In this way, a hostage crisis is a real winner. And then Michael Bay can make a Hollywood blockbuster about it.

Multidimensional False Flag Terror - As the public becomes increasing fatigued from fake ISIS videos and obvious one-dimensional terrorist incidents (like the fake Chattanooga production), the architects of chaos and false flag terror are looking for bigger and better ways to sustain news coverage and keep the public afraid and completely dependent on the state to feel "safe and secure", while at the same time advancing a domestic and global military, economic and social agenda. Last year, staged terror events like Hebdo, Garland and Copenhagen - had multiple dimensions in that they managed to join a 'fear of the Muslim' together with the illusive concept of 'free speech' in the west. Later, the San Bernardino Shooting took things to another level altogether - by fueling left-wing fear of 'guns' and served the White House's liberal anti-gun agenda and justified an increasing militarization (and federalization) of America's police and 'law enforcement' agencies. For the right-wing it fueled a building anti-Islamic wave and called for more US "boots on the ground" in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan (and everywhere else) and prompted calls to "shut US borders", further diluting the immigration debate. On top of this, San Bernardino allowed the FBI and the media to demonize social media - prompting calls to allow full access at any time to anyone's social media accounts - all because of 'suspicion' that the alleged shooters were "radicalized" on the internet. That's 5 or 6 major issues spun into one 'terror' event, leaving the media (not 21WIRE) and the public (not 21WIRE readers) nearly paralyzed in trying to analyze the maelstrom. This is the false flag formula of the future.

eco terrorist
Environmental Terror - Bringing together the sum of all fears for the liberal left-wing and fueling the hysteria of the right-wing is a powerful combination. Nothing could achieve this hyper-politicized marriage of fear and insanity in the west - than some bizarre jihadi-environmentalevent. As the Paris Attacks in November just happened to coincide with the UN's COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, and how this led a number of high-profile western political leaders to utter the idiotic idea that "climate change is causing jihadi terrorism and ISIS," we can see how easily the mentalists in media and politics would have a technocratic orgy should such a 'event horizon' ever occur. This is one scenario we definitely do not want to see happen, except in the movies.

New War Theatre - As the world gets tired of the west's failure to collapse Syria, and an already established public fatigue about Iraq and Afghanistan, western war planners will be on the lookout for a new theatre of operations for the public to become fixated on. Some prime candidates here could be Pakistan and Somalia. Script writers already introduced Pakistan as a terror hot bed with the San Bernardino Shooting with the bogus claim that one of the THREE gunmen was a 5'2″, 120 lb Pakistani mail-order bride named Tafsheen Malik. Also, with Saudi's rampage in Yemen still receiving ZERO media coverage in the US and Europe, look for western intelligence agencies to re-heat the old al Shaabab terrorist narrative in Somalia - creating a virtual geopolitical crisis across the Gulf of Aden from neighboring Yemen.

Israel Status Quo - As every year passes, one wonders if this will be the year that Israel gets smart, ends apartheid, and stops repressing, stealing land and killing the native Palestinian population. Sadly, there are no signs that the Israelis have found religion, and more indication that they are continuing down a road to nowhere, and will continue to be ostracized by the international community for presiding over the longest running, illegal pogrom in the modern world. You just can't teach an old dog new tricks. Kosher bull terrier Bibi Netanyahu looks set to head the world second biggest protection racket again this year. Expect Israel to kick, scream, threaten and blackmail everyone possible again this year when Palestine moves closer and closer into the family of nations.

Occupy Redux - During the election cycle of 2008, Wall Street engineered a financial crash which helped sweep Barack Obama into power. This helped to spur-on the Occupy Movement (ironically, funded by a Wall Street billionaire). In 2011, the Democratic Party used the Occupy Movement to register millions of young voters which helped Obama win in 2012. The 1% vs. the 99%, in an epic battle guaranteed to lead nowhere (as it did in 2011). The rest is just one big mess of muesli, falafel, portable toilets, groups of students playing "repeat after me", the smell of weed and suspiciously underfed white people with dreadlocks camping out in city squares nationwide. It's a proven formula and one that Democrats will most likely use again. Will it be in 2016?

hillary donald
US Election - Who will win the US presidency? We don't know, but we will this time next year. More importantly, will it really matter in reversing many of the negative trends identified above? All we know for certain is that all the US presidential candidates will continue to spout more insane rhetoric - on the left it's calls for "redistribution of wealth", "job creation" and "free healthcare", and on the right it will be "tougher national security" and "close down the border" etc. Honestly, most of us don't care who wins, we just can't wait until it's over.

Obama Golfing - In his last year in office, you can be certain that Barack Obama will take every opportunity swing his clubs on the US taxpayer dime. Expect to see him golfing a lot this coming year.

Return of Jihadi John? - Contrary to popular belief, the US did not kill ISIS actor Jihadi John in a drone strike this past fall (if not, then show us the evidence). Like all US drones strikes, there is no forensic evidence to ever back-up any of their illustrious claim of killing 'high profile' targets. So this means there's a chance the Tom Clancy Unit in Langley will be resurrecting the popular YouTube mascot in 2016. That would be a real show-stopper, wouldn't it? Watch this space...

We could go on and on here, but we'll stop there... for now. Be sure to stay tuned to 21WIRE and our weekly radio show, SUNDAY WIRE, this year for all the best analysis on big breaking news stories and events.