I had fully intended to blog more this week about some technological developments and some interesting stories from the world of archaeology, but the press of current affairs these past few days and weeks has made it difficult to do so. The news of the Vatican hiring the same auditing/accounting firm as audits the Bank of International settlements, the Chinese announcing their decision no longer to stockpile "foreign currency" (meaning US dollars), even the sudden announcement of a "deal" with Iran...
...Indeed, let's spend a minute or two on the deal with Iran. While many may be tempted to view this as a victory for the President or his policy, I would personally be more inclined to view it as a victory for Mr. Putin, and yet another major defeat for the US imperialists that were wanting an intervention in Syria and subsequently in Iran. Syria did not work out because, for once, the American people were not going to dance to the tune of radical Islam, Saudi Arabia, or Tel Aviv. Mr. Putin cagily played his cards directly to that audience. Thus, if anything, the recent Iranian deal must be seen as the inevitable aftermath of the diplomatic defeat in Syria. It is the clearest signal of declining American strength, both militarily and, more importantly, diplomatically. In some respects, one might view the Iranian nuclear deal as the first diplomatic test of strength between the USA and the BRICS alliance, and, lacking any real support from the European powers (the UK, France, Germany, Italy), it was not a contest the USA was going to win on its own. After all, Russia, China, and India have all signed major bilateral trading arrangements with Iran. The Iranian deal also shows just how isolated the Riyadh-Tel Aviv relationship has become, and how dangerously its capital has eroded along with American diplomatic strength. (Now, with that in mind, wait for tomorrow's blog... there's a shocking development).
But there is another highly important sign that the post-Soviet Amero-European unipolar expansion may be in the process of gradually being rolled back. For some time I have been warning people to watch the tap dance of Germany very carefully, especially vis-a-vis its relations to Russia. Now, there is yet another major indicator that the Western alliance may be beginning to fray at the edges, and in this case, a very important edge:
Now there are a few paragraphs to take note of here:
"Ukraine had been due to sign a wide-ranging trade and cooperation agreement with the EU on November 29 which would have tugged it westwards and away from Russia's sphere of influence. Brussels said the deal would have boosted investment in the cash-strapped country of 46 million people.
"Earlier, EU officials said President Viktor Yanukovich had cited fears of losing massive trade with Russia when he told an EU envoy this week that he could not agree terms."
"Moscow meanwhile had threatened retaliation for Kiev's moves west, raising fears it could cut energy supplies in new "gas wars".
"Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov issued the order on suspending the EU process. Talks would be revived with Russia, other members of a Moscow-led customs union and the former Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States."
This says it all:Russia is playing its energy card - a very powerful card - to keep the Ukraine firmly within the economic orbit of Moscow, and that orbit will only tighten in coming years. The "European" dream of firmly entrenching the Ukraine in the European alliance was more of an Anglo-American dream of encircling Russia, and given the cultural and religious ties of the Ukraine to Russia, an impractical if not insane one. But that "energy" card is also going to be the means by which Russia can leverage even greater influence within Europe, and particularly energy-starved eastern and central Europe.
In short, the Iran deal, and the Ukraine's shift toward Moscow once again, are the overt rumblings of much deeper geopolitical and financial realignments taking place. Now, it remains to watch how Europe responds. Here it will be crucial to watch Paris, and Berlin. Why just those two? Because both are the two major powers of Europe. One is a known thermonuclear power, and the other could become one in very short order if it wanted to, and if it isn't already(and it's building a lot of "that sort" of equipment for the other one anyway). One does not have American or any other foreign military bases on its soil, and the other one does. If they both start singing the same tune vis-a-vis Russia and the USA, so goes Europe.
See you on the flip side.