Is your government too big? Find out in today’s Laissez Faire Today with six “red flags” to look out for. Chris Campbell covers everything from one ObamaCare whistleblower to the strange case of our new Ebola czar. Read on…
Is Democracy really all its cracked up to be? Does Hong Kong really need it? That’s the question Chris Campbell ponders today as he observes the protests in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has enjoyed low taxes, free business and trade, and high social freedom without our favored system of governing.
One CIA insider visited our Baltimore HQ yesterday. While here, he leaked 30 potential events to cause the next financial avalanche. Even more, he also gave us several ways everyday Americans can thrive because of these events. Why did he impart so much valuable information? Find out in today’s Laissez Faire Today. Read on…
Instead of letting you choose, the government has found it fit to force one potentially dangerous medication on you and your family. Where is it? In your drinking water. Even more outrageous: While Uncle Sam forces medication down your throat, he also says you have no right to choose your own milk. Chris Campbell has all the details. Read on…
ISIS’ spokesperson is a kid from Calgary who wants to “paint the White House black.” In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris Campbell asks one question none of the “officials” seem to care to ask: Why? Why are foreigners flocking to the Middle East to fight alongside ISIS? Why is Saudi Arabia so keen on getting involved? How far does Obama really want to go? Find out inside. Read on…
If you’ve ever wanted to expose some heinous crime against humanity, here’s your chance. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris Campbell shows you how to make sure the world accesses to your leaks, even if something happens to you. Chris also shares why this is probably a terrible idea. Read on…
America has about 4% of the world’s population, yet houses 25% of the world’s incarcerated. What’s going on here? Chris Campbell digs deep into the industry to figure out the truth. While many blame the private prison industry, the real culprit, says Chris, begins right outside your door. Read on…
When Obama first announced U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, most people have no idea that it was to destroy U.S. military equipment in the hands of ISIS. How did ISIS get U.S. weapons? Chris Campbell blows the story wide open in today’s Laissez Faire Today. Read on…
Every 37 seconds, an American is arrested and criminalized because of one racist and ridiculous law. Join Chris Campbell as he takes you back to when marijuana became illegal… why it’s hurting America… and why you should fight to end the prohibition. And it’s not so you can smoke it. Read on…
Think it’s impossible to escape Obamacare? Think again. Laissez Faire Today reader David F. shares how he did it and how you can do it too. Don’t see another doctor, take another pill, or shop around for better medical insurance until you read his story. Read on…
“While I heartily subscribe to your premise of pursuing one’s dream,” one reader, Donald J., wrote, “there are alternate perspectives worth considering.”[We’re listening… go on.]“Some wiseguy once said that life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something better to come along. Milton put it a little more poetically in one of his […]
“Where were you when it happened?” How many times have we been asked -- and asked -- this question since 2001? Today, Chris Campbell asks us to pose a different question: What can I do today to making Sept. 11 another turning point in my life? And then, of course, taking that first step. Read on…
Want to get rich? Don’t listen to financial “gurus,” says Chris Campbell. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris shares a Zen proverb and shows how understanding it is the only real way to get rich (and live a rich life). Read on…
Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In today’s Laissez Faire Today, you’ll learn about one FREE website that has the potential to not only keep your family safe – but also open your eyes to what’s happening in your own neighborhood. Chris Campbell has all the details. Read on…
Hundreds of pictures of nude celebrities were leaked onto the Internet last week. The mainstream is blaming twenty-something hackers, but according to Chris Campbell, everyone must’ve already forgotten what we learned about the NSA only a year ago. Read on…
The fireflies along the tidal rivers of Malaysia show "feats of synchrony that occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order." Chris Campbell tells you where else this might occur in the world. Also, new technology may revolutionize the agriculture industry and what we think of as a farm.
Jeff Davis is running for Governor in Hawaii and has an interesting campaign strategy. Also, what motivates hackers is revealed and the findings might surprise you. Finally, Ferguson is discussed in a new light. Chris Campbell has more...
The so-called recovery is only built on debt and printed cash declares our own Byron King. In the long term, the only option for the government to continue financing it's operations is to print too many dollars. Money printing has it's limits, however. It's Byron's opinion that at some point, perhaps very soon, the government will have to turn to more desperate measures. Namely, capital controls. In the following featured essay, Byron outlines 4 probably ways the government will take your cash and one play you can buy through your broker to prepare today. Read on...
Americans expatriate because they want to get out of the country. Corporations expatriate for similar reasons. Clem Chambers explains...
Say goodbye to your boring morning commute. New technologies are changing the way people drive their cars. It’s making them safer, more fuel efficient, and could reshape the way America builds its roads and cities. The only thing that could stand in the way...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
The U.S. dollar is the dominant global reserve currency. All markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are affected by the value of the dollar.The value of the dollar, in effect, its “price” is determined by interest rates. When the Federal Reserve manipulates interest rates, it is manipulating, and therefore distorting, every market in […]
When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”There was […]
The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.– Jesse Livermore, How to Trade in StocksThe trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no […]
Let’s head back in time…In 2004, a mere decade ago, the US national debt rang the register at $7.4 trillion. That represents “debt per citizen” of over $25,000. You, me, your neighbor, your 4-yr old grandson, you name it and they’re portion of the U.S. debt is $25k.But flash forward to today and you’ll see […]
John Foust, a Democrat running for the 10th congressional seat in Northern Virginia, is — like Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state Democrats — gung-ho to expand Medicaid. His wife’s position is, shall we say, a bit more nuanced.Foust has slammed his opponent, Republican Del. Barbara Comstock, for her opposition to expansion. He has spoken […]
The midterm election season is upon us, and it’s a tossup whether the Republicans will win the Senate, or if President Obama, seemingly oblivious as conflict flares up around the world, will, through his continuous campaigning, keep Harry Reid in his majority leader seat.The only thing we know for sure is that sociopaths will be […]
Apparently, global markets rallied overnight on hopes that a conflict may be avoided if Syria gives up its chemical weapons. If that’s the case, it’s a rally that will fade later in the week.
That’s because the ongoing Syrian conflict has nothing to do with chemical weapons. It’s all about regime change, which is all about natural gas and pipelines.
But this is not just “another” Middle Eastern conflict. It’s much deeper, subtler, and potentially far more dangerous than preceding conflicts. As we’ll attempt to explain in today’s issue, the situation in Syria is a direct result of the relative decline of U.S. imperial power.
There’s little doubt that the U.S. want to see regime change in Syria. So it was a bit of a masterstroke that yesterday the Russians tried to diffuse the conflict by calling the U.S.’s bluff and playing the chemical weapons card. As reported by the Financial Times:
“Russia launched an unexpected diplomatic initiative to defuse the Syrian crisis on Monday when it called on the Assad regime to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international supervision, suggesting the move could head off a U.S. military strike.
“In a move that took Western diplomats by surprise, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, announced that Moscow has proposed to the Assad regime that it should ‘not only put its chemical weapons storages under international control, but also have them destroyed subsequently.'”
Russia doesn’t want regime change, so it doesn’t want war. And if Russia plays for peace, then it makes it that much harder for the West to justify its belligerent actions.
But yesterday morning, the U.S. hit back, calling Russia’s bluff that called the U.S.’s bluff. That is, President Obama said that he’d call off any attack if Syria relinquished control of its chemical weapons. Or in Obama’s words, “If in fact that happens.”
This is getting almost laughable. So all Syria has to do to avoid a carpet bombing is relinquish control of its chemical weapons. And all the U.S. has to do to effect regime change is to say that Syria won’t give up all its weapons (it’s still hiding some, and we’ve got “proof”).
So let’s see how this diplomatic dance plays out. But in the meantime, all you have to do is understand that Russia wants peace because it doesn’t want its energy interests threatened, and the U.S. wants Assad out because it (and Saudi Arabia) wants to keep its foot on the throat of Iran.
Here’s the basic rundown:
On July 25, Iraq, Iran, and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding to build a pipeline running from the largest natural gas reservoir in the world (controlled by Iran and Qatar) through Iraq into Syria and Lebanon. The plan is to eventually extend the pipeline to Europe. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time:
“The oil ministers of Iraq, Iran and Syria Monday signed a preliminary agreement for a $10 billion natural-gas pipeline deal, the official Iranian News Agency IRNA and other Iranian media reported.
“The document was inked in the Assalouyeh industrial region, located in the southern province of Bushehr by Iranian oil minister Mohammad Aliabadi, Iraq’s oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby, and Syrian counterpart Sufian Alow, the agency said.”
Although bringing Middle Eastern gas into Europe is not in Russia’s best interests, the next best thing for Russia would be to have its hands all over the distribution of the gas. We’d guess that Gazprom, Russia’s state energy giant, would have a fair economic interest in any pipeline built through the region.
But monetizing Iran’s gas reserves and having euros flow in the billions to Iran doesn’t sit well with Saudi Arabia or the U.S. Neither wants a strengthening Persian force to reckon with in the future. Nor are they happy with Russia retaining dominance over the flow of gas into Europe.
In addition to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia having their noses out of joint, Turkey isn’t impressed with the pipeline proposal either. It wants to play the role as the transit nation for Middle Eastern gas to flow to Europe and thus cement its strategic importance in the region.
And as we mentioned yesterday, China is on the Russian side. It wants stability in the region (to ensure its own energy supplies) and sees Assad as a much more stable force than the unknown alternative. Right now the anti-Assad forces are a hodge-podge of extremists/terrorists/medieval psychos with perhaps a few genuine freedom fighters thrown in.
Any new ruling force to assemble from such a group would make Assad look like the Dalai Lama. So bringing down the regime without sending in ground troops would ensure carnage for the poor Syrian people, who are innocently caught up in this global geopolitical chess game.
Not that ground troops would really achieve anything. The massive U.S. military presence in Iraq seems to have bought the U.S. little influence. If we’re interpreting events correctly (and really, who knows when it comes to the Middle East) then it seems strange that the U.S. couldn’t prevent the Iraqis from agreeing to the pipeline before it even got to Syria. Although the pipeline is apparently running through the Shiite (and thus, Iran-friendly) part of Iraq, it just goes to show the lack of overall American influence there.
So much for 10 years of occupation and hundreds of billions of dollars spent. At least the oil boys and contractors got a few concessions out of it.
So where does this leave us?
Well, no war and no regime change would signal that the long-held Saudi/U.S. balance of power in the region is waning. It would also reflect a relative step up in power for Russia and Iran.
The other question you have to ask is why is the U.S. so keen to risk another deeply unpopular war in the region? The answer is that’s what “top dogs” do. When you’re the global superpower, you don’t let anyone threaten that position.
And this is where economics, the stock market and your wealth comes into it.
The U.S. as global superpower is made possible by the dollar being the world’s reserve currency. And supporting the dollar’s role as world’s reserve currency is the fact that global energy transactions take place through the dollar. Energy is what gives the U.S. dollar and America their power.
Russia and Iran have no real intention of maintaining the status quo. Longer term, neither does China. Saudi Arabia long ago decided to support the dollar by selling its oil for depreciating greenbacks, which is why the two are such strong allies.
So what you’re seeing in Syria is not another regional conflict. It’s a fight by the U.S. to maintain its top-dog status. But when dogs get in trouble, they’ll do anything to survive. They’ll even gnaw off their leg if they get it trapped.
So our guess is that the U.S. will continue to pick a fight and go for regime change. It will end up as a three-legged dog as a result, but fight it will. If it doesn’t, perhaps it’s already lame.
Original article posted here.