By Michael Snyder – End of The American Dream
If the United States and China are supposed to be such “great friends”, why are both sides acting as if war is in our future? Thanks to events in the South China Sea and the blatant theft of the personal information of millions of U.S. government workers, tensions between the United States and China are the highest that they have been in decades. Most Americans typically assume that a real, actual shooting war between the U.S. and China could never possibly happen, but as you will see below the Chinese are actually spending a lot of time and money preparing for precisely such a conflict. In fact, the Chinese are working feverishly to develop new offensive weapons systems that would only be used in such a war. Of course it is extremely unlikely that a military conflict between our two nations will happen in our immediate future, but without a doubt we are moving in that direction. And this is how wars typically happen – things build up over a period of time before they finally reach a breaking point. Just think about what took place between the United States and Japan in the lead up to our war with them. There were years of diplomatic troubles before Japan finally made the decision to launch a “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor. Right now, I believe that we are moving into a similar period of diplomatic trouble with China. Initially, this will likely affect our trade relationship with the Chinese, but ultimately it could be much more than that. The following are 10 signs that the United States and China are moving toward war…
#1 China’s moves in the South China Sea have greatly angered Obama administration officials. Some of the islands that China has grabbed are also claimed by Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines. The United States is bound by treaty to defend the Philippines in any conflict with China, and Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam are all slated to be parties to the new super secret global trade treaty that Obama is currently negotiating. The following comes from Business Insider…
China’s reclamation of more than 2,000 acres of land on disputed islands and atolls in the South China Sea since last year has raised international alarm over its territorial ambitions. Washington took the unusual step last month of publicizing a U.S. military surveillance flight that showed the massive scale of China’s island-building.
China says the islands are its sovereign territory, but Washington argues that the continuation of building work and militarization of the islands could enflame complex territorial disputes with China’s neighbors, with whom the U.S. is seeking to forge closer ties while preserving freedom of navigation in sea lanes crucial for world trade.
#2 In China, there is talk that a war may be necessary to defend China’s interests in the South China Sea. In fact, a newspaper that is a mouthpiece for the Communist Party actually stated that war with the United States “is inevitable” if the U.S. continues to insist that the Chinese must halt activities on those islands…
Coinciding with the publication of the white paper, an editorial in The Global Times – a tabloid newspaper mouthpiece for the ruling Communist Party – issued a warning to the US to halt its protests over the South China Sea.
Last week, China’s foreign ministry revealed it had lodged a complaint with the US over an American spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed archipelago.
The article read: “We do not want a military conflict with the United States, but if it were to come, we have to accept it.”
It added that China should “carefully prepare” for the possibility of war with Washington and that “if the United States’ bottom line is that China is to halt activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”.
Continue reading at End of The American Dream: 12 Signs That The United States And China Are Moving Toward War
By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
Everywhere you read lately (in the alternative news media, the financial blogosphere, and alt-news & preparedness blogs) it seems that there has been an incredible ratcheting up of economic doom in our near future. So many people have a ‘feeling’ (and are vocalizing) that something ‘bad’ is about to happen… anywhere from the next several weeks, to this summer, to September (the Shemitah?). Do you feel it? (seriously, do you? let us know…)
Just look at some of the recent headlines the past few days:
Economy Is Unsustainable – Dramatic Shifts Ahead, “The economy cannot grow exponentially indefinitely in a finite world” (Chris Martenson)
“This is HOW People Will Lose EVERYTHING…” “This is going to be an overnight or over the weekend type of event” (Bill Holter)
“Bank Accounts will be frozen; spontaneous collapse coming,” “The next financial collapse will resemble nothing in history…” (Jim Rickards)
By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog
In addition to all of our wars in the Middle East and the war that has erupted on the streets of America, we are now engaged in a cyber war with North Korea and an economic war with Russia. Without a doubt, the United States has the capability to do a tremendous amount of damage to both of them. But what about the damage that they could potentially do to us? We have a society that is absolutely teeming with soft targets. Our Internet infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, our debt-based economic system is already teetering on the edge of disaster, and government officials freely admit that security at key facilities such as power plants is sorely lacking. And these kinds of bitter conflicts have a way of escalating. The North Koreans and the Russians are both very proud, and neither one is going to back down any time soon. If a foreign power wanted to really make us hurt, it wouldn’t take much imagination at all. There are thousands of ways to do it. So Americans should not just smugly assume that we are untouchable. In a war, it is often those that are overconfident that get hurt the worst.
Last week, Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the nightmarish hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and he promised that the U.S. would respond.
Well, it looks like that response began on Monday. According to Bloomberg, North Korea’s connection to the Internet was totally cut off…
North Korea’s limited access to the Internet has been cut off, according to a network-monitoring company, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp. (6758)’s files.
North Korea, which has four official networks connecting the country to the Internet — all of which route through China — began experiencing intermittent problems yesterday and today went completely dark, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Needless to say, that got the attention of the North Koreans.
On their end, the North Koreans are still denying that they had anything to do with the attack on Sony. And we may never know the actual truth. In reality, Russia could have carried out such an attack. Or it could have been the Chinese. Or it could have even been a false flag cyberattack conducted by a three letter U.S. agency. We just don’t know.
But what we do know is that North Korea is now vowing to take action against “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland“…
“The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans,” a report on state-run KCNA read.
“Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism,” the report said, adding that “fighters for justice” including the “Guardians of Peace” — a group that claimed responsibility for the Sony attack — “are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world.”
So can North Korea back up those bold words?
We shall see.
But without a doubt our Internet infrastructure is very vulnerable. As I have written about previously, our big banks are under Internet attack every single minute of every single day. And in recent months we have seen a whole host of retailers and major corporations get hacked.
This is an emerging threat that should not be underestimated. As a society, we have become extremely dependent on the Internet, and these attacks are constantly becoming more powerful and more sophisticated.
I think that Steve Quayle put it very well during one recent interview…
“Cyberwarfare is increasing dramatically as we speak. There are serious concerns about the ability of the United States’ banking system to whether extremely sophisticated cyberattacks. The Sony breach is just one example of how a detrimental cyberattack can bring one of the world’s most prominent entertainment giants to its knees.”
And we do know that the North Koreans take hacking very seriously.
In fact, it has been reported that North Korea has a small army of hackers that are continually harassing the western world known as “Unit 121″…
Just like in a Bond movie, an army of teenage geniuses tap away at keyboards in fortified complex tucked away from prying eyes in a rogue state, bent on bringing cyber-carnage to their Western enemies on the orders of their leader who is bent on revenge.
But this isn’t the plot line from a film. This is North Korea in 2014. And the cyber-warriors inside have diverted from their usual work of disrupting governments and big business to turn their collective fury on Sony.
The building, the Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, is one of four North Korean universities known to train children, hand-picked for their intelligence from all around the country, and turn them into recruits for an elite group of hackers simply known as Unit 121 or Bureau 121.
Meanwhile, the struggle between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has escalated into a full-blown economic war.
At first, both sides started slapping each other with relatively minor economic sanctions.
But then things started escalating. I think that things really began to get serious for the U.S. when Russia started to make moves against the petrodollar. This is not something that has been reported on much at all by the mainstream media in the United States, but it is a very big deal. If you want to become enemy #1 in the eyes of the U.S. government, just start attacking the petrodollar. So when Russia began cutting the U.S. dollar out of oil and natural gas transactions, that definitely got the attention of some folks in Washington. You can read much more about what Russia has been doing in this regard in this article, this article and this article.
Of course Washington was not just going to sit back and let this happen. The Obama administration has retaliated by going after two of the most important pillars of the Russian economy – oil and the ruble. And without a doubt, a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.
At this point, Russia is facing a full-blown currency crisis, major banks are starting to fail and economists are forecasting a deep recession for next year…
The central bank bailed out its first victim of the collapsing currency, authorities announced a tax on grain exports to protect domestic stocks and a Reuters poll of 11 economists predicted that Russia’s gross domestic product would fall 3.6 percent next year.
Russia has been hit by what Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev recently called a “perfect storm” of plummeting oil prices, sanctions related to its military action in Ukraine, and a flight of investors’ capital — made worse by a lack of structural reforms that means the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenues.
But don’t count out the Russians just yet.
They are a very crafty people, and they are not afraid to fight dirty.
And it is important to keep in mind that the Russian Bear never forgives and it never forgets. Most Americans don’t realize this, but right now anti-American sentiment in Russia is actually higher than it was at the end of the Cold War era. Many Russians believe that this is a new Cold War, and that the United States is the greatest force for evil on the entire planet.
So while many Americans view this current conflict as a temporary foreign policy tussle about Ukraine, many Russians view this as a long-term struggle that is absolutely critical to the future of humanity. If you doubt this, you should check out some of the things that their leading thinkers have been saying.
This conflict between the United States and Russia is not going to end any time soon. And someday down the road, it could evolve into something more than just an economic war. But before that happens, the Russians have a whole host of other ways that they can damage us.
Yes, the United States can hurt Russia.
But Russia can also hurt us.
In the end, this conflict is not going to be good for anyone.
This article first appeared at The Economic Collapse Blog: A Cyber War With North Korea And An Economic War With Russia
About the author:
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.
Read his new book The Beginning of the End
By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse
Russian soldiers and Ukrainian soldiers are now shooting at each other in eastern Ukraine. Could this conflict ultimately lead us down the road to World War 3? This week, a very robust force of “tanks, artillery and infantry” has opened up a “third front” in the Ukrainian civil war in a part of southeastern Ukraine that had not seen much fighting yet. Exhausted Ukrainian forces are suddenly being pushed back rapidly and many outsiders are wondering how the nearly defeated rebels were able to muster such impressive military strength all of a sudden. But it really isn’t much of a mystery. The tanks, artillery and infantry came from inside Russia. In recent days, Ukrainian units have captured ten Russian paratroopers and there have even been funerals for Russian paratroopers that have been killed in action back home in Russia. Even though it has become exceedingly obvious that Russia is now conducting a stealth invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is still choosing to deny it. But if he did publicly admit it, that would be even more dangerous. Barack Obama would be forced into a position of either having to do something about the Russian invasion or look weak in the eyes of the public. And as the Russians have already shown, they are more than willing to match any move that the Obama administration makes.
There has already been much written about who is to blame for all of this, and I am sure that much more will be written about who is to blame in the future. The western world is blaming “Russian aggression” for the mess in Ukraine. In return, the Russians point out that it was westerners that funded and organized the groups that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of Ukraine. To the Russians, the current government of Ukraine is made up of neo-Nazi terrorist usurpers that are attempting to brutally oppress millions of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
So the Russians seem themselves as “the good guys” in this conflict and so does the western world. But that is how most wars start. Both sides usually feel morally justified at the start of a conflict.
In the final analysis, however, is it really going to matter very much who was “right” and who was “wrong” if the end result is World War 3?
If the rebels in eastern Ukraine had been able to defeat the Kiev government forces on their own, Putin probably would have been content to let them do that. But instead, they had been pushed back to two major cities and seemed on the verge of defeat.
But now it is the Ukrainian forces that are experiencing “panic and wholesale retreat”…
Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.
The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
How is this happening?
It is the Russians of course.
In fact, if you talk to Ukrainian soldiers, they are very clear on who they are fighting now…
“I tell you they are Russians, but this is what proof I have,” said Sgt. Aleksei Panko, holding up his thumb and index finger to form a zero. Sergeant Panko estimated about 60 armored vehicles crossed near Novoazovsk. “This is what happened: they crossed the border, took up positions and started shooting.”
The Ukrainian Vinnytsia brigade met the cross-border advance over the six miles of countryside separating Novoazovsk from the Russian border, but later retreated to the western edge of town along the Rostov-Mariupol highway, where soldiers were collapsed in exhaustion on the roadside. “This is now a war with Russia,” Sergeant Panko said.
And as I mentioned above, Ukrainian forces have even captured ten Russian paratroopers. Rather than denying who they are, the Russian government is claiming that they wandered into Ukraine by mistake…
Ten Russian soldiers were detained in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, that country’s Security Service said Tuesday, as tensions simmered over the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.
The Russian soldiers were captured with documents and weapons on them, the Security Service said.
Moscow has repeatedly denied claims by Kiev that it has sent troops and weapons over the border into Ukraine, where the Ukrainian military is fighting pro-Russian rebels.
Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and “most likely crossed by accident” at an unmarked point.
The denials that Russian forces are actively operating inside eastern Ukraine have become so absurd that even some in the Russian press are openly questioning them. For example, just check out this excerpt from a USA Today article that was posted on Wednesday…
Vedomosti, a liberal business daily, published an editorial Wednesday on events in Ukraine under the headline, “Are We Fighting?”
It noted the recent capture of the Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory and reports of “mysterious funerals” of Russian soldiers, some of whom are officially counted dying during training exercises.
“The number of questions that hang in the air of the dead and detained Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine has reached a critical number. Does Russia fight in Ukraine and, if so, on what grounds? If not, then who is in those freshly dug graves or giving testimony at SBU (Russian Security service) interrogations?”
A Bloomberg editorial contained some more details about the “mystery funerals” that have been taking place inside Russia…
One such burial, of two soldiers, took place in the village of Vybuty near Pskov in northwestern Russia, where an airborne division is based. Efforts to conceal the deaths produced a fiasco. Though the wife of one paratrooper had reported his death on the Vkontakte social network, when a reporter, Ilya Vasyunin of the Russian Planet website, called the wife’s phone number, a woman who answered stated that the paratrooper was alive and well. Two reporters, from Russian Planet and TV Dozhd, who visited the cemetery where the two fresh graves had been seen were immediately attacked by men in black tracksuits. Local journalists, however, succeeded in photographing the graves. According to the independent TV Dozhd, the soldiers’ names and wreaths have been removed from the graves.
There are other reports of paratrooper funerals, which are hard to conceal. Soldiers have grieving families who do not necessarily share the authorities’ desire for deception. In any case, Ukrainian troops have captured some Russian paratroopers. For the first time since the conflict began in March, they were able to record interviews with them.
Sadly, most Americans are not paying much attention to this conflict.
Most Americans are not really going to care much about a war on the other side of the planet that does not directly involve us.
But they should care.
Because things are about to escalate to a level that we rarely saw even during the darkest moments of the Cold War. Relations between the United States and Russia are spiraling downhill, and that could end up having a huge impact on all of our lives.
For example, in my previous article entitled “Russia Is Doing It – Russia Is Actually Abandoning The Dollar“, I discussed how this tug of war over Ukraine was causing Russia to think about moving away from the petrodollar. Well, it turns out that now the Russians are actually taking concrete steps toward abandoning the petrodollar for good…
The Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.
The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports.
Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.
That is huge news, but you probably haven’t heard a thing about it on the big mainstream news networks.
Meanwhile, one thing that you probably have heard about is how “Russian hackers” attacked JPMorgan Chase earlier this month…
Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.
The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.
As relations between the United States and Russia continue to decline precipitously, both sides will be looking for ways to hurt one another.
And that won’t be good for any of us.
So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.
But ultimately, this current conflict could end up taking us to a destination that the Cold War never did.
World War 3 will probably not happen next week, next month or even next year, but right now we are on a road which could eventually lead to the unthinkable.
Let us pray that our politicians are able to find the exit ramp at some point.
This article first appeared at The Economic Collapse: The Road To World War 3: Russia And Ukraine Are Now Engaged In A Shooting War
About the author:
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.
Read his new book The Beginning of the End
By Michael Snyder
With a straight face, Barack Obama has been repeatedly telling us that the world is “more stable” and “less violent” than ever. In fact, he believes that this is the best time in history to be alive because of how peaceful and stable everything is. And of course Obama is more than happy to take credit for his role in bringing all of this “stability” about. Just this week, his press secretary told the media that this administration has “substantially improved” the “tranquility of the global community”. Apparently these guys don’t think that we will notice all of the violence, war and terrorism constantly raging all around us. It would be wonderful if the planet actually was becoming a more peaceful place, but instead the exact opposite is happening. The world is becoming increasingly unstable, and if we aren’t really careful we could see World War III break out before too long. But if you listen to Obama, he makes it sound like we are living in an emerging global utopia. The following is an excerpt from remarks that he made during a White House event in June…
[T]he truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to be — if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.
You can watch video of him making those remarks below…
And as I mentioned above, a similar statement was made by White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday…
“I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the, uh, you know, the – the tranquility of the global community.”
In addition, posted below is video of Obama declaring that the world is “more stable” than it was five years previously during a speech to the United Nations last year…
It would be great if all of this stuff was actually true. But I think that at this point not even Obama believes half the things that are coming out of his mouth. He has told dozens of major lies while he has been in the White House, and the following are 14 reasons why Obama is lying when he claims that the world is “more stable” and “less violent” than ever…
#1 The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has brought Ukraine and Russia even closer to the brink of war. The government in Kiev is blaming Russia and Russia is blaming the government in Kiev. But Barack Obama does not seem too concerned about it. During a speech on Thursday, he spent a mere 40 seconds addressing the downing of the plane before he began a 16 minute speech in which he told numerous jokes.
#2 If it wasn’t for revolutionary Ukrainian groups funded by George Soros and the U.S. government (among others), the Ukrainian government may never have been violently overthrown and there might not have been a civil war in Ukraine at all.
#3 Relations between the United States and Russia are the worst that they have been since the end of the Cold War, and the economic sanctions that Obama just slapped on Russia are not going to help matters any.
#4 Israel has just launched a major ground offensive in Gaza, and many fear that a full-blown regional war in the Middle East could erupt at any moment.
#5 The civil war in Syria has been raging for several years now. Thanks to the United States and Saudi Arabia, those seeking to bring down the Syrian government are very well armed.
#6 The civil war in Iraq continues to get even worse. ISIS has already captured vast stretches of Iraqi territory and they are using American weapons to do it.
#7 The Kurds claim that ISIS is now using chemical weapons against them. If this is true, it is really, really troubling news.
#8 The Iraqi government has told the United Nations that ISIS was able to steal 88 pounds of uranium from Mosul University. Some experts are concerned that they may be able to use this material to create a dirty bomb (or worse).
#9 Barack Obama told us that we were “liberating” Libya, but instead we just transformed it into a war-torn wasteland that is constantly being fought over by warring militia groups. Just this week, one of those militia groups launched a devastating attack on the main airport in Tripoli. And the horrible fighting in Libya has spilled over into other nearby countries in North Africa such as Mali.
#10 Relations between the United States and Germany are at the lowest point that they have been since the end of World War II. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was so furious when one U.S. spy was discovered recently that she expelled the top U.S. intelligence official from the country. But Germany is far from alone. The truth is that most of the rest of the world is sick and tired of our “Big Brother” behavior.
#11 Islamic terror group Boko Haram continues to cause havoc all over Nigeria. The following is from a news report about an incident that happened earlier this week…
Suspected members of the deadly Boko Haram Islamic sect on Monday attacked Dille village in Borno State, killed 45 people and torched several houses and shops and forced many people to flee into nearby hills for safety. The terrorists, it was gathered, came in a convoy of over 20 vehicles and motorcycles. According to one of the villagers, Njimtiku Papka, who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri on the phone, the terrorists on arriving the village started shooting indiscriminately at everyone in sight.
#12 The ongoing civil war in the Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes.
#13 There is horrible fighting going on inside Somalia right now…
A fierce and violent conflict erupted on the outskirts of Qoryoley district in Lower Shabelle between joint African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops and Somali National Army soldiers (SNA) against Al-Shabaab. The terrorist insurgents attacked an SNA and AMISOM military sitting in the town just outside Qoryoley when the battle initiated. Locals have reported to Shabelle that the fight also affected towns in the district like Maanyo Mudug, Farhanle and Abdi Ali.
#14 Things are not even stable in North America. Horrific gang violence and warring between drug cartels in Central America and Mexico has been one of the factors that has caused millions of illegal immigrants to come pouring toward the United States. Today, Honduras has the highest murder rate on the entire planet, and the Mexican drug war has claimed more than 120,000 lives since 2006.
Of course this is just a partial list. The truth is that there are dozens of other conflicts that are happening all over the globe right now that could be added to this list.
So what would you add to this list?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
This article first appeared at The Economic Collapse: 14 Reasons Obama Is Lying When He Claims The World Is ‘More Stable’ And ‘Less Violent’ Than Ever