Ok...as promised, I am finally getting around to some "geopolitics", the "wider context" of all this craziness going on, but as always, with the caveat that everyone remembers I'm just a hack from South Dakota who researches and writes exceedingly bizarre books of high strangeness.
Most of you are aware that I, along with many other commentators on international affairs with far more expertise than I (Dr. Paul Craig Roberts for example), have been sounding the alarm about the crazy course of geopolitical suicide that certain factions in Washington seem to be embarked upon. I say "certain factions" because it has always been one of my working assumptions that not everyone in the federal government is ipso facto evil, corrupt, or as colossally stupid as this particular faction seems to be. Indeed, this is the problem, for Washington's heavy handed "unipolarism" (Dr. Craig blames it on the Wolfowitz doctrine, I simply call it crazy counter-intuitive geopolitics) in the long run, is allowed to continue, will ultimately drive traditional allies and friends - the two major European powers, France and Germany, come to mind - away from the USA.
As background to today's high octane speculation, recall that the US government slapped France's major bank, BNP Paribas, with billions of dollars in fines for its role in France's sale of its Mistral class amphibious landing aircraft carriers to Russia, a sale that France politely indicated to Washington that it would honor, in spite of US imposed sanctions on Russia over the latter's intervention in the Crimea, which, you'll recall, was at the Crimea's request. The Crazy Faction's response was, of course, to slap France (and it's largest bank) in the face with fines.
Now Germany's two major banks, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, are in the Crazy Faction's crosshairs, and Zero Hedge's analysis here is, in my opinion, spot on:
Note the opening two paragraphs once again:
"As we reported over the weekend in "By "Punishing" France, The US Just Accelerated The Demise Of The Dollar", following the record $9 billion fine against French BNP, the outcry has been fast and furious, with virtually everyone in the local chain of command, from the CEO of Total to the head of the Bank of France (and ECB member) Christian Noyer, all saying that the US is now clearly abusing the reserve power of the dollar and it is time to move away from a dollar-based reserve currency (how that jives with concurrent French demands for a lower EUR is a different, incomprehensible matter entirely).
"It appears that having pushed France forcefully into the Russia-China Eurasian, and anti-US camp, the US will now do the same with Germany. Because after infuriating the German population by first refusing to return their gold contained (the legend goes) at the New York Fed, and then with scandal after spying scandal, most recently involving the CIA directly soliciting a German double agent, now the time has come to "punish" Germany's largest banks for the same kind of money laundering that BNP was engaged in. As the NYT and Reuters report, the time has come to shift away from the BNP scandal and focus on what will soon be the Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank fallout."
Germany, you'll recall, recently expelled the US CIA station chief in that country over the ongoing NSA spying scandal, and this fact, along with Merkel's recent anti-Russian diatribe, should alert people to what's going on:Merkel's government is saying the Washington-dictated script, but doing quite another, in the old time-honored chancellorial tradition.
But Zero Hedge's final paragraph pretty well sums it up:
"Still, while one can debate the idiocy of US foreign policy, eager to push European allies into the willing hands of Russia and China at the worst possible moment, when regional and civil wars and conflicts are suddenly breaking out across all key geopolitical hotspots, one wonders: in the case of BNP, the "fine" was as a result of French unwillingness to halt the Russian amphibious warship deal despite US demands. So it would be curious just what the US blackmail against German banks is for: one really does wonder just what punishment Angela Merkel deserves behind the scenes in the eyes of John Kerry et clueless al, to punish her and Germany so blatantly for the entire world to see.
"One thing is clear: if the US thinks that Germany will continue to consider America its BFF and make zero contingency plans for when the alliance with the US finally crashes and burns, it will be truly surprised when the Eurasian alliance of Russia and China finally announces its final, all-important, missing link member: the manufacturing and export powerhouse that is Germany itself." (Emphasis added)
I can only add my own "hear hear" to that analysis, but it raises, once again, the significant question. Why, really, is American foreign policy so counter-intuitive? Why, really, are the two most powerful nations in Europe seemingly being deliberated alienated to the ultimate detriment of the tapestry of post-World War Two security arrangements from NATO to ANZAC?
Here's a troubling thought by way of a high octane speculation answer: someone wants the USA geopolitically, economically, and militarily isolated. The USA has tried, and failed, to dictate policy to Russia. It cannot dictate policy to China. It is alienating the two most powerful nations in Europe. But dictate policy to Russia and China and India and Brazil and France and Germany (and presumably soon to be Argentina?)
See you on the flip side...