Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Global Decline; A US Choice

China's banking system is a mess. And it is not reassuring to foreign observers that China's super-rich are exiting the country in record numbers.

If China continues to scale down its importation of commodities, a large part of the support for inflated oil prices will be removed. Should that happen, the main thing holding up oil prices would be continued fears over a war between Iran and Israel.

But it is more likely that Israel will wait and see what is likely to happen in Syria, before it pulls the trigger on an all-out attack against Iran's nuclear bomb-making facilities. Much of the Arab and Muslim worlds appear to be self-destructing, and no one knows how things will look if the dust finally settles.

Iran is being held together by bubble gum and baling wire, with a bit of duct tape around the edges for appearance' sake. Without the support of Russia and China, the main axis of Islamic terror -- Syria and Iran -- would collapse. Should that happen, dismantling Saudi support for global Islamic terrorism should be relatively easy, using modern tools of information warfare.

But the relationship between Russia and China is beginning to show signs of strain, as China increasingly eyes the resource riches of Eastern Siberia -- while the population of Russia shrinks and Russia's military decays.

Things could go very badly wrong if the leaders of China and Russia react irrationally to the changes in fortune which seem to be approaching for both nations.

Someone needs to tell Putin that Russia is not Stalinist USSR any longer. And someone needs to tell China's leaders that the current state of politico-economic limbo is unsustainable.

Europe is heading into recession. Unless Germany retreats from its insane Energiewende policy, Europe is headed into catastrophe.

And finally, the US faces a choice in November between a chic stasis and a staid dynamism. If the US makes the dynamic choice, the rest of the world is likely to fall in line. If the US chooses stasis, the resulting power vacuum will likely lead to dire global consequences, as already bad choices grow worse.

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