Jun 252019

Caravaggio Conversion on the way to Damascus 1600-01


Something’s been nagging me for the past few days, and I’m not sure I’ve figured out why yet. It started when Donald Trump first called off the alleged planned strikes on targets in Iran because they would have cost 150 lives, and then the next day said the US would do sanctions instead. As they did on Monday, even directly targeting Trump’s equal, the “Supreme Leader Khameini”.

When Trump announced the sanctions, I thought: wait a minute, by presenting this the way you did, you effectively turned economic sanctions into a military tool: we chose not to do bombs but sanctions. Sounds the same as not doing a naval invasion but going for air attacks instead. The kind of decisions that were made in Vietnam a thousand times.

However, Vietnam was all out war (well, invasion is a better term). Which shamed the US, killed and maimed the sweet Lord only knows how many promising young Americans as well as millions of Vietnamese, and ended in humiliating defeat. But the US is not in an all out war in Iran, at least not yet. And if they would ever try to be, the outcome would be Vietnam squared.

Still, that’s not really my point here. It’s simply about the use of having the world reserve currency as a military weapon instead of an economic one. And I think that is highly significant. As well as an enormous threat to the US. The issue at hand is overreach.

While you could still argue that economic sanctions on North Korea, Venezuela and Russia are just that, economic and/or political ones, the way Trump phrased it, comparing sanctions one on one with military strikes, no longer leaves that opening when it comes to Iran. The new Iran sanctions are a preliminary act of war. Simply because of how he presented them. He explicitly stated that he swapped one for the other.


There are quite a few people who have been harping on the demise of the USD as reserve currency for a long time, and I always think: look, nobody wants the yuan, let alone the ruble. There’s no trade being executed in these currencies. So taking over from the USD is a pipe dream.

But that may very well change, and perhaps very fast too, if the US uses the dollar not as an economic weapon (and there are plenty issues with that already), but as a military one. That would potentially hugely speed up any efforts to move away from the buck in international trade.

For the simple reason that it becomes unreliable. Traders hate that, they can’t have that. A reserve currency must be neutral -to a point-. The world of trade doesn’t want the yuan because Beijing controls it and can therefore change conditions and values overnight. But if and when the US uses the USD as a military tool, it essentially risks doing exactly the same: it deneutralizes the USD.

Using the USD as an economic weapon is ugly, but something global trade can deal with. A military weapon, though, is something else altogether. And I see no sign that Trump understands this. The thing is, using your currency, which also happens to be the world reserve currency, as a military tool, means you’ve become a threat to everyone, the entire globe, overnight.

And people don’t want to live that way. Not Iran, not Russia, not China, not Europe, no-one. It’s one thing to use the USD for sanctions. But it’s a real different thing to use it as just a military alternative to “bombing a country into obliteration”.


What Trump did comes awfully close to signing the death warrant for the USD as the global reserve currency. And it’s really only because he and his people weren’t paying attention. He could have phrased the entire thing differently, and it would have been business as usual, a business that Moscow and Beijing are actively trying to undermine, but they could have waited a bit longer reacting.

Now, however, their plans have to be sped up. They’re going to be buying a lot of gold, as they’ve already been doing, they’ll try to do their mutual business in their own currencies backed by this gold, and they’ll speed up alternatives-to-USD plans with other countries in their neighborhood. Because they have no choice anymore.

I see Tyler Durden reporting that the US threatens to throw a Chinese state-owned bank out of the SWIFT system, and I think: great idea. Why not force China to quit the reserve currency system, the petrodollar, outright?! Why not force it to hasten the Asian/Russian alternative trade model into existence? What a great and lovely idea.

The US should today make friends. It should preserve the reserve currency status of the USD for as long as it can, by convincing allies and foes alike that it will protect its neutrality in global trade. But Trump and his people are doing the exact opposite, they’re playing all-on-red.

The US no longer has the economic, political or military might to dictate to the entire world any terms it wants to. Those days are long gone. That ended in Vietnam. Trump’s living in the last century, while Bolton and Pompeo, they live in their own time and world.


But yeah, sure, perhaps this is what the dying days of an empire MUST look like. Maybe there’s a model to follow and there’s no escape, maybe it’s all written in the stars. Like Rome and Greece and Genghis Khan. Maybe things simply just have to play out. Still, looking at that Trump statement about the new Iran sanctions that started me off, it doesn’t feel all that smart.





Home Forums The Dying Days Of An Empire

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    Caravaggio Conversion on the way to Damascus 1600-01   Something’s been nagging me for the past few days, and I’m not sure I’ve figured out why y
    [See the full post at: The Dying Days Of An Empire]


    Disruptor fatigue?


    In the 1970s/80s the US turned a blind eye to South Africa’s apartheid regime while the South Africans fought a 12 year long US proxy war in Angola (probably over oil rights). When Russian Foxbat Migs joined the fray, South Africa chickened out of the war and the US suddenly had a ‘Damascus moment’ and went from tacitly supporting the South Africans to crushing their economy. Within 6 years the Apartheid regime was over. Weaponisation of the US$ has been going on for decades.

    John Day

    Is the horse stomping on that guy’s balls?
    What is going on in that weird painting?

    John Day

    So, the US cyberattack on Iran failed, and all those defensive systems lit up Thursday morning, before the attack, and it had to be canceled. I like that a whole lot.

    The Iranian air defenses did not light up where they were expected to by the US/NATO, the tracking systems lit up in Syria, which was not a location the US was prepared to attack (Russian cover? Not mentioned.)

    Putin and Xi will talk to President Donald on Thursday and Friday, peer-to-peer. They are not going to put up with any more dictating to Venezuela and Iran, but they will be nice and polite and flattering. Is he agreement-capable? Does it matter, now?


    Weaponisation of the US$ has been going on for decades.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    V. Arnold

    Is the horse stomping on that guy’s balls?
    What is going on in that weird painting?

    No, not that I can see; but the rest? I don’t know either.
    Conversions could often be brutal and deadly though…
    Caravaggio was reputed to be a violent person and his art work seemed to bear that out…

    John Day

    “Conversions could often be brutal and deadly though…”

    I used to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit pretty quickly, when I was going to high school in Japan.
    I read the stuff about Saul of Tarsus getting knocked down by a blob of divine light, but I always felt odd about the account, and odd about a lot of other miracles, too.

    V. Arnold

    I used to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit pretty quickly, when I was going to high school in Japan.
    I read the stuff about Saul of Tarsus getting knocked down by a blob of divine light, but I always felt odd about the account, and odd about a lot of other miracles, too.

    LOL; once upon a time, long, long ago, I seem to recall the U.S. was going metric in the 80’s.
    Nary a peep since…
    One nice thing about living in Asia; they’re metric; no conversions (violent or otherwise).

    Interesting; miracles have become like hero’s; there’s one around every corner…


    Why do you suppose that so many of the major actions by the United States appear as though they are deliberately intended to destabilize and to ultimately collapse the entire human industrial society?

    And by the way, the seemingly universal habit of talking about a President of the United States as if the person is anything more than a hood ornament and somehow is in possession of some decision making authority drives me completely crazy. I find it to be patently absurd, illogical, and completely incredible. Perfectly intelligent and educated people do it all over the world – WTF?

    Dr. D

    Absolutely. He’s just a guy. One guy can’t be everywhere and do everything, so he is by definition a team, a power block.

    “What Trump did comes awfully close to signing the death warrant for the USD as the global reserve currency. And it’s really only because he and his people weren’t paying attention.”

    He said he would do this coming in. He said he understood this during the campaign. He says exactly where the U.S. needs to go according to his team, that is, the U.S., America First, NOT world interests and domination for Exxon/Raytheon. When you stop world domination, you MUST retreat to your borders, which his faction of Military/Intel put him in for vs the OTHER military intel in of CIA/Google (but I repeat myself) and for some weird reason the DNC. So that means industrializing and stopping imports, tariffs, and KILLING THE USD RESERVE CURRENCY that makes the present system exist.

    It’s literally impossible he and his team don’t know this, and that’s BESIDES that after 40 years, compound interest must mathematically kill it, and Bush/CIA/WorldManiac™ team openly tried to re-set the system by taking over the world using the denial and control of oil in 2001. Obama attempted to extend the clock by invading, splitting Russia’s attention and starting WWIII in Bzrezinsky’s Ukraine, getting enough gold to hold the Reserve currency together for a few more years. Yet although every letter agency, President, advisor, Fed Bank, economist, and even dummies like me know this, he doesn’t? He and his team must be the only people on planet earth who don’t, then, ’cause all actions of everybody else, every nation, army, service, market, and investor says they do.

    “All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been … a dangerous journey,” Trump said. “We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world!”

    This is literally signing the death warrant of the USD, or coming as close to it as can be done. This is him advertising not only the FACT that the Petrodollar is dead, not only that he’s in favor of it, but even the TIMING of when, which is soon. If not, 500 billionaires would call him on the phone 5 minutes later and explain to him exactly what he didn’t know. Just like they would have the last 50 times he said the same thing, but not as strongly. HE KNOWS. We all know. Everybody knows. They’re just not going to tell you. Partially because the people have intentionally been made too stupid to understand and so pig-headed they wouldn’t believe the truth if you tied them to a chair and made them watch the raw footage, but partially because it doesn’t matter to line cooks at Taco Bell, it only matters to diplomats and traders.

    Everybody wanted the U.S. out. Everybody wanted the U.S. to stop being an empire. Everybody said it was inevitable, marked by each of many military and financial points. Yet when it happens, nobody knows nothin’ and it’s all some kind of weird accident that was prepared for 20 years, was an open insider coup, an ongoing battle on the front page of the NY Times, and have had more white papers written on it than anyone could read in a lifetime.

    The other half is: Yes, each “accident” by Trump, who is constrained by his internal own civil war and therefore is doing exactly what the Deep State wants him to at every point it will utterly destroy the USD reserve currency, destroy CIA credibility, destroy the sense of their power and ability, and if China and Russia won’t move, by GOD we’ll f’ing MAKE them get out of the SWIFT system, MAKE them create a parallel financial structure, and MAKE them get out of the USD, OR ELSE. The Deep State, being composed of mouth-breathing idiots like Bolton, approve and cheer these USD$ attacks that will destroy the Deep State warmongers (but I repeat myself). Where that aligns, Trump — or rather his team — says, “Really? You’re totally right! Let’s do that thing! You know, the thing where you guys lose to some random Guido, get bounced out of Syria, strengthen Russia’s internal market, break your PPT treaties, force people to start to fight for their sovereignty, force Europe to stand up for themselves for a change, and get the planet off the USD before it fails and they blame us.” On other, non-USD, non-ending affairs, you notice he’s still fighting the Deep State and getting slandered daily.

    Since the shoot out, Iran and the U.S. seem to be on the same page now. Iran is calling Trump a Dotard and Trump is calling them Rocketman, as we’ve seen already beta tested in NoKo. This keeps the idiots in the media busy attacking shadows so they can focus on hammering out real treaties. Why? Because if they weren’t slinging the hottest rhetoric they could find, He-who-cannot-be-named would blow up a few more ships and a couple more Boeings at 300 civilians per. So long as they two LOOK like they’re on path for WWIII, the Deep State, Raytheon, CNN, and Rachael Maddow are atwitter with a joy barely contained, and can leave all us non-psychopaths alone for an hour. Blessed relief.

    Bitcoin up another $1,000 a day. It’s one of the few markets (mostly) not rigged. Gold that Russia/China are buying will only go up in the re-set to a Gold Trade Standard at the end of the USD reserve, because that re-pricing IS the monetary re-set. Coming soon to a planet near you.


    So please, Dr D, please clarify for me: In the US civil-war-at-the-top, who currently has the upper hand: the isolationist/nationalists, who want to pass the big-enchilada-baton to anybody who will take it, or their subset who want to do so towards a more stable, “fairer” multi-polar world, or the Zio-globalist financier-corporatists, who want a permanent and uniform human-Gods/subhuman social order for the planet?

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