WE INTERRUPT THIS WEEK’S THEME OF SCIENCE SUBJECTS TO WATCH ...

Well, if you're an Italy-watcher, this past week and a half has certainly been entertaining.

And all of it has taken place in the context of Mr. Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Now, as I've said before, I had mixed thoughts about that deal. On the one hand, the regime in Tehran is as nutty as the one in Riyadh, or the current occupant of the premiership in Tel Aviv. But on the other hand, I did have to give Mr. Obama one-half-a-cheer for resisting the pressures he was under to pull the trigger on Iran. While I didn't like the high cost of doing so nor the general terms under which he did so, and did not agree with his lack of any support for the Iranian uprisings against the regime some years ago, at least he resisted the pressure. One would like to think that Mr. Obama may have been motivated in part by some humanitarian feeling to the Iranian people, the vast majority of whom, I suspect, despise the nuts in Tehran running (or is that ruining?) their country. So, similarly, I have mixed and ambivalent thoughts about ending the deal. On the one hand, good riddance to a bad deal; on the other, it's a very bad idea to piss off, in one fell swoop, all the major European powers, and drive Iran further into the hands of China and the always-Byzantine-and-never-to-be-trusted-Russians-and-their-evil-super-genius-criminal-mastermind, Vladimir Putin, and to drive Germany in a similar direction, as Mad Madam Merkel was off to Sochi yet again for private talks with The Evil Criminal Genius Mastermind on what to do about Washington's sanctions regime.

(Hint: It's simple, Angela. Pull up your pants, re-arm, and tell Washington to take a hike. It's been done in the past, but those two times your country wasn't so chummy with Russia.)

Which brings us to Italy, which - thanks to the colossal bungling in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and pretty much everywhere else in Europe except Budapest and Warsaw - is now sitting in the driver's seat. Well, if I may toot my own horn for a moment, I told you so years ago.

So what's going on in Italy? Well, those coalition negotiations have occurred, and a platform has been agreed upon, and it's a veritable minefield for a tiptoeing globaloneyist (these articles courtesy of Mr G.L.R. and Mr. A.F. who passed them along):

It's Now Clear: Five Star Lega Deal is a Commitment to Leave the Eurozone

Five Star And Lega Ask ECB To Cancel €250 Billion In Debt!

If one reads the eight points as summarized in the Zero Hedge article(actually, it's only seven point), one can easily keep a kind of score card of who won't like it, and who will:

  1. Five Star and the League expect the ECB to forgive 250 billion euros in Italian bonds bought via quantitative easing, in order to bring down Italy's debt
  2. The two parties want to re-open European Treaties and to "radically reform" the stability and growth pact. The coalition would also want to reconsider Italy's contribution to the EU budget.
  3. According to @HuffPostItalia, the 5 Star/League draft agreement would include an opt-out mechanism to leave the euro in an "agreed manner" were there to be a "clear popular will" to do so.
  4. The draft document says Italy should stay in Nato, but asks for an immediate withdrawal of sanctions vs Russia, so that Moscow can return to be a "strategic partner" in conflict zones
  5. According to @HuffPostItalia, the 5 Star/League draft document says there would be a "flat tax"... but with several tax rates and deductions
  6. Italy's pension reform would be dismantled: workers would be able to retire when the sum of their retirement age and years of contribution is at least 100.
  7. The draft coalition agreement of a 5 Star/Lega government leaked to @HuffPostItalia calls for a revision of the Dublin regulation on immigration and for compulsory relocation of asylum seekers across the EU

Now, as the Zero Hedge article puts it: "this cannot possibly fly." Now, before we get to the repeated suggestions that all this is "radicalism" - which it is - let's note what the first article states about the problems this poses for the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella:

The only line of defence against the constitutional recklessness of the two parties is President Sergio Mattarella, who left no doubt about his intention to uphold the constitution. But history has shown that this formal power matters little in practice when the radical parties have sufficient majorities - as is quite possibly the case here. While the president has the power to call new elections if the talks fail, he could inadvertently trigger an even more radical counter-reaction if the radical parties were to win more votes at the next elections. We would at this stage consider new elections riskier than allowing the two parties to form a government, especially since their majority in the Senate may not be sufficiently large for some of the more radical proposals.

What's Next?

The comment above, in bold, is precisely what I said days ago.

Mattarella can call for new elections, but he cannot control the outcome.

I strongly suspect that if Mattarella were to force new elections, the results would be even more radical.

Pragmatically speaking, the best approach for Mattarella is to hope this situation dies down.

As we saw in Greece, countless times, the "exiteers" eventually throw in the towel.

Then again, Italy is not Greece. Whereas Greece could not realistically blow the entire Eurozone to smithereens, Italy easily can.(Bold and italicized emphasis here is added)

And that, I suspect, is exactly what is going on here: it's less radicalism, than it is political brinksmanship to drive negotiations. Consider those eight points, and who they piss off, and who are made happy:

Who it Pisses off                                                                                                                    Who is Happy                                      Who is Quietly Happy, but too Smart to Say So

Point 1:                               Pretty much every mandarin of the Eurozone, lots of bankers, Tehran                     Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping                Shinzo Abe, Bibi Netanyahu

Paint 2:                               Angela Merkel, the Juncker guy, Emanuel what's-his-name                                        As above                                                As above

Point 3:                              As Above                                                                                                                                    As above, plus Nigel Farage/UKIP As above

Point 4:                               As above, plus Bibi, the Washington swamp, &c                                                             Vladimir Putin                                     Did I mention Shinzo Abe?

Point 5:                              Everybody ...........................................................................................except............ Vladimir Putin                                      Lots of "common people"

Point 6:                              Everybody running banks and watching the pension crisis                                           Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping                Shinzo's not happy about this one, but isn't saying

Point 7:                              Anti-populists, you know, people who hate national and western culture                  As above                                                Shinzo's really happy about this one, but isn't

saying anything, because Japan's immigration

policy is some of the strictest on the planet.

Now, my humorous review has a serious side, for it's this implied list that I think indicates what is going on, and what's going on  - if I may be somewhat bold and brazen about it - is a revival of full scale Italian Realpolitik the likes of which we haven't seen since, oh, say, the heyday of the Italian city-state republics. In particular, think The Most Serene Republic of Venice here. This is not, in my opinion, about some corny and half-baked western progressivist-press notion of 1930s Italian fascism or revivals of the Mussolini cult.

In other words, I'm going way out on the end of the twig of high octane speculation here. Forget about the hysteria about Italy you might be hearing from the BBC, CNN, Deutschewelle, Agence France or whatever, because this this is not about the hysteria of looming Fascism. Certainly there are Fascist-socialist elements here But so what? There are Fascist-socialist elements in every European country, and in Canada and the USSA. It's rather that list of pissed off, versus pleased, people and interests that tells the real political story: Italy is playing the old Venetian game, and playing it very well (they have a history and culture after all, that is at stake, and that is operating here). The game is that peculiar blend of domestic and financial politics and geopolitics that Venice, Florence, Genoa, Milan, and yes, the Papal States, knew and played very well, sustaining their power and influence in the face of much larger forces, for a very long time.

To put my end-of-the-twig speculation in "country simple" terms: this list is not the random act of the "radicalization of Italian domestic politics" or some such other nonsense on hears from television talking heads or progressivist quackademics.

In my opinion, it's very carefully thought out, because it contains that implicit threat of blowing up the EU. "And that's ok, if we have to do so, because we can always turn to Mr. Putin, and Mr. Xi, and they'd be only too happy to accomodate. It's up to you if we do. (In Joan Rivers voice): Can we talk? (In Don Corleone voice): We have an offer you can't refuse."

You're watching Venice at work, folks. Sit back, and enjoy your popcorn, because this is going to be fun because we haven't seen this sort display of diplomatic brinksmanship and prowess since the War of the League of Cambrai, and the people in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and yes, Washington and London, are probably going to be lapped several times.

After all, they already have been.

A final geopolitical note, as we turn back to consider the rest of Europe: in the ongoing decline from a unipolar world, the power of the European powers grows commensurately, and almost by default. Thus, if the European union is to survive, some mechanism for the expression of those genuine and real national and cultural interests will have to be devised. Thus, if the EU survives, it will not simply be Berlin and Brussels running the show in the future. And that, too, is what the last Italian elections, and this platform, is all about.

See you on the flip side.

 

21 thoughts on “ WE INTERRUPT THIS WEEK’S THEME OF SCIENCE SUBJECTS TO WATCH ...”

  1. Italy: Though most people, due to so much disinformation, still cannot grasp the enormity of the central bank/treasury bill/”public debt” scam underlying the hysterical MMS “financial fear porn”, the actions of the Italian president who has refused (at least up to now – the morning of May 30th) to swear in the new government emerging out of the March 4th elections) are looking more and more like a “coup d’etat in slow motion”. It’s hard to say now if this is a multi-layered strategy, panicky oligarch reaction or a bit of both.
    Well-known people are being banned from social media for “offending the president”.
    It will be truly fascinating (as Dark Journalist would say!) to watch the spectacle of this president, patently working at the behest of the Franco-German bankster complex, appearing at the Republic Day military parade in Rome on June 2nd as the “symbol of national unity”.

  2. Well, not so fast. The string-pulling and strong-arming rachet up, while chess pieces continue to slip and slide across the tilting geofinancial gameboard:
    ‘We are with people, not bankers’: Italian Euroskeptic coalition lashes out at pro-EU interim PM.
    The appointment of a former IMF director as interim PM shows that Italy’s president is “with the bankers,” not the people, the head of Euroskeptic Lega Nord has said, exemplifying the widespread anger over the unprecedented move.

    “They are with the bankers and the powerful ones. We are with the Italian people,” Matteo Salvini, the leader of Lega Nord, wrote on Twitter shortly after President Sergio Mattarella announced his decision to make ex-IMF director Carlo Cottarelli interim prime minister on Monday. The defiant message was accompanied by a photograph showing Mattarella, Cottarelli, former prime minister Matteo Renzi, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Mattarella. Salvini is pictured below, rallying a crowd.
    https://www.rt.com/news/428054-italy-euroskeptic-government-imf-pm/

  3. gosh,
    you’re too patient. seriously? arguing central bank origins and realities? perhaps we need a term for patients that goes beyond that sainthood thang. patients of a saint? patients of a troll handler? ehh. doesn’t have a good enough ring to it.

    anyway, on iran, if memory serves, the shah was the ussa’s boy until he wasn’t. and so were the ayotolla’s who replaced him. just like how many other regimes in how many other countries?

    on top of it all. ____________(insert your deity’s name here) bless kahlypso.

  4. Well.. If we remember that the guy who is right now in charge of Iran, is the guy who met with McFarlane directly and bought US weapons through Isreal and that money was siphoned off to Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who then started producing cocaine to be flown to Menas Airport in the 80’s, I doubt he’d have peaceful intentions to slowly building up a nuclear enrichissement factory.. They had a special friendship group with North Korea to work on missile tech.. Aleiddan something… Aleiddan Baba and the Forty Cruise Missiles..
    Barry didnt support the uprising because he didnt care about regime change. He’d just sold them a nuclear industry..

  5. The barbarians of the north are about to handed their heads. Long overdue their competence has gone on for centuries lets see if the Italians can lead their fellow PIGS out of the clutches of these financial vultures.

  6. I’m sorry, why was the Iran nuclear deal bad, because both Hillary and Trump didn’t like it?

    Also Iran is a nutty theocracy like Saudi Arabia?

    Seems to me that hard core theocracies all assume their way comes from G-d. I’ve read that claim about various forms of government.

    I see Zero Hedge like the good materialists they are is treating workers as cogs to be ground up and discarded. Straight outta the Charles Koch playbook.

  7. The table was a good idea, but it gets jumbled (at least on my computer), so I could not follow. I don’t understand why Italy/Greece borrowed money — agreeing to pay back — and then go back on their commitments. If you can’t afford to import German goods, don’t. Credit junkies have mostly themselves to blame (and of course the ever-present-predatory-businessmen-preying-on-the-poorest. Why should Germany forgive a $250 billion debt? I hope someone can dumb it down for those of us who are not experts in European politics.

    As for “nutty leaders” being only located in the mideast, my answer is “check the mirror” to anyone thinking that way. Iran’s leaders are actually the least nutty of the bunch comprised of Bibi-MBS-Thump if you care to remove your euro-centric glasses, Dr. Farrell, at this time. And while Iranian people despise the mullahs, as long as Iran is being threatened militarily, they know that “ISLAMIST THUGS” are Iran’s most potent weapon against the West, and they are not going to give that up, until Iran gets ICBM & nukes — at which point Iranians won’t need the mullahs or “islamist thugs” to protect the country. Anyone who has looked at Iran’s recent history knows that neither the Shah, nor the “moderate opposition” were tough enough to stand up to a foreign bully. And that is why USraudia has not yet attacked Iran. The US and Israel were undermining the Shah, and the only countries the US trusts in the region are Saudia and IsNot!Real.

    All the nuts are US allies: Saudi, Israel (and Trump who may be a mole). Iranians need nuts (not total nuts, but nutty enough to scare the marines) to survive because they are faced with a nutty empire led by none other than uncle Sam, baby Bibi, and petboy MBS.

    1. I truly don’t understand why Iran is so hated. They have not started a war for hundreds of years.

      Unlike the UK, US and other western leaders, who have destroyed far more countries than can be counted on two hands over the last 100 plus years.

      I would love a good answer to this.

      1. DaphneO, it is because Iran is one of only two countries (left; was five before 9/11) that do not have Rothschild-controlled (privately-owned) Central Banks. (North Korea is too small and isolated to matter.) Even Russia has a Rothschild-controlled Central Bank written into their Constitution since the ‘Chicago Boys’ rape of Russia in the 90s. (China is a mixed bag.)

        Any nation that does not have a Rothschild-controlled (privately-owned) Central Bank is a potential rallying-point. In Star Wars terms, Iran is the Resistance. The Empire will stop at nothing to wipe it out. That Iran has not started any wars in a few hundred years means nothing. It is about Total Financial Control; anything else is smoke and mirrors. Fortunately, the Iranians know this…

        1. goshawks:

          The UK doesn’t have a private controlled (not even the Federal Reserve is owned) central bank.

          1. Lost, there is a big difference between being quasi-nationalized and not being under private control. England has been under Rothschild financial control since Waterloo. To expect the Bank of England to become ‘lily white’ after all those centuries of private dominance is naïve in the extreme…

            In the US, the ‘national’ Dept of the Treasury has been infiltrated by privately-held banks. The revolving-door between the Treasury and Goldman Sachs is well documented. To believe that the Treasury’s decisions are ‘lily white’ after all that intermingling is naïve in the extreme. Same process…

          2. ‘Lost’ on historical facts you are. But don’t take my word for it:
            “When the Federal Reserve Act was passed, the people of the U.S. did not perceive that this country was to supply Financial Power to an International Superstate controlled by International Bankers and International Industrialists acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure.” Congressman Louis T. McFadden 1932

            “The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money,” Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., 1923

            “Every effort has been made by the Federal Reserve Board to conceal its power. But the truth is, the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the government of the United States. It controls everything here; and it controls our foreign relations. It makes or breaks governments at will. No man, and no body of men, is more entrenched in power than the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. These evildoers have robbed this country of more than enough money to pay the national debt. … Faithless government officers who have violated their oaths of office should be impeached and brought to trial.” — Congressman Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, before the House of Representatives, in the midst of the Great Depression, 1932.

            “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning” — Attributed to Henry Ford

            “If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People.” — Thomas Edison

            “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” — Woodrow Wilson 1919

          3. And regarding the UK and Bank Of England…
            “I care not what puppet is placed upon the Throne of England to rule The Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls The British Empire, and I control the British money supply.” – Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild

            “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.” The Rothschild Brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

            “…the wealth of the Rothschilds consists of the bankruptcy of nations.” – Frederick Morton

            “There is but one power in Europe, and that is Rothschild.” Werner Sombart

            “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
            – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, 1815

            “There is something behind the Throne greater than the King himself.”
            – Sir William Pitt (1708-78)

            “… the issue which has swept down the centuries and will have to be fought sooner or later is THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE BANKS.”
            – Lord Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

            “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of a pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this world would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain slaves of the Bankers and pay for the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.” — Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England in the 1920s, the second richest man in Britain.

          4. …and just to pour some salt in that psychic wound, feel the pain:
            “The IRS is not a U.S. government agency. It is an agency of the IMF.”
            Diversified Metal Products v. IRS et al. CV-93-405E-EJE U.S.D.C.D.I, Public Law 94-564, Senate report 94-1148 pg. 5967, Reorganization Plan No. 26, Public Law 102-391. (1996)

            The IMF is an agency of the U.N. Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Ed. p. 816.

            The United States has not had a Treasury since 1921. 41 Stat. Ch. 214 p. 654.

            The U.S. Treasury is now the IMF. Presidential Documents Volume 29 – No. 4 p. 113, 22 U.S.C. 285-288.

      2. DaphneO:

        Having a party to hate helps the US elect frauds like Trump or Reagan.

        Having a party to hate is a method of distraction from solving real, and very solvable, problems within the USA or in the world generally.

        From ancient times: Those Persians have been vilified by the likes of the Romans and the Egyptians.

        1. Thanks to all of you.
          I did know this, but Joseph also has no time for Iran, and I exclude him from all the above and that concerns me. I know who is in charge there, and I presume it’s the radical leaders who are the worry.

          But it seems to me that they are a civilising force in the Middle East. They definitely helped Syria along with Russia and Hezbollah, against the terrorists we helped create.

          1. DaphneO, in my humble opinion, Joseph is treading a fine line. If he brings-up Iran, that will lead quickly right back to Nutty-Yahoo and his financial masters. Then, Joseph will have a put-up or shut-up moment…

            There is no way Joseph does not know the lay of the land. IMHO, he has chosen to ‘nibble around the edges’ and let his audience fill in the gaps. Joseph knows he could be ruined in a heartbeat. He has gone as far as he is willing…

            (Iran definitely has its good and bad sides under an Islamic governance. The religious leaders have been on a war footing ever since the US ‘encouraged’ Saddam Hussein to invade Iran while it was still disorganized. Iran lost around a million of their people in that war. They have not forgotten the threat of the neocons and their handlers…)

  8. Yep, the (deep) Italians are vets on this scene. The Greek politicos were obviously out of their depth, confronting the Evil Squid (tying the last few columns together). Including the Black Nobility and P2-ish aspects, this should be a battle royale. Order-in more popcorn…

    (Seriously, we are looking at ‘folks’ who may be Senior to the Rothschilds. The Most Serene Republic of Venice never lost; they moved part of the Company to Amsterdam and then to London. The Rothschild clan may be in the unusual position of replying, “How high?” when told to jump…)

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