Tune in to Foster’s take on the power plays and hot spots across the world from Syria to South Korea to the South China Sea — from our last ThriveTogether event.
Read a transcript of the audio (to translate the transcript, choose your language at the top of this page)
Foster: I think you probably noticed already that an in-depth discussion of finance and markets and statism can’t help but include at least the risk of, if not the fact of, war, so let’s look at a few of the hot spots now and unpack at least my sense of some of what’s going on that you may not get in the mainstream.
Recently, I think there was a very dangerous situation that you may know of in Korea where South Korea (which is an ally of the U.S.) and the U.S. were doing military exercises on sea and on land very close to North Korea. North Korea considered that to be very threatening. At the same time, there were loudspeakers set up on the border within South Korea playing anti-North Korea propaganda across the wall or fence (or whatever they have there). Of course, it was obnoxious to the people in North Korea and very threatening to Kim Jong-un, who is the Premier over there. Because of all of this, Kim Jong-un started issuing threats and, basically, he said that if the speakers aren’t turned off and the exercises near us are not stopped, they would have to start launching attacks with what he called “our latest weapons, which the world has never seen”. We still don’t know what those are and don’t know if they’re real, but I’m really glad that we didn’t have to find out at this point because they do have nuclear weapons.
What happened was there was a 43-hour dialogue amongst leaders from the North and the South that ended up in a ceasefire. Kim got his wishes, so the sabre rattling (at least for now) has stopped. He made a point of saying that that ceasefire was not a result of the talk, but of the South and the U.S. getting very clear that the increasing military might of North Korea would be used if they continued to be threatened and that’s what resolved the dispute. Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un used this whole scenario to get agreement from his people — not that he needs it, but it’s convenient — to increase his military budget and to develop even more weapons to go with a million-man standing army.
Then, nearby there, in the South China Sea, there’s all sorts of sabre rattling going on there and ships threatening each other and planes flying over. What mostly this comes down to is that the South China Sea is one of the seven top choke points for freighters carrying oil to countries around the world. The U.S., I think, currently controls something like five of them. The South China Sea is open right now. They’ve got free access, but they’re very afraid China will shut it down and China’s very afraid the U.S. will, in an emergency situation, take it over to cut off the flow of oil from various countries to China. That is still going on. When we were in China, most of the headlines were about the military threats going on from one country to another in the South China Sea. It’s backed off a little bit out of the headlines, but it’s still a very real hot point.
I’ll just mention briefly — it wasn’t on the list — but the other choke point that’s under dispute now is in the Gulf of Aden, in the Strait of Bab El Mandeb. More than 10% of the world’s seaborne petroleum passes through this choke point and the U.S. has basically controlled it through dominating the government of President Hadi in Yemen. Well, there’s been a coup recently that has taken Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi out of power and replaced him with someone the U.S. apparently does not have control over, so the U.S. is partnering with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, and others against Iran (who is supporting the rebels) and, of course, the rebels themselves. So, that again is a huge hot point, which goes back to the economics of keeping sea lanes open for free transactions in oil and the statists who would like to take over all that in order to control oil in order to control people.
Let’s look for a minute at Ukraine. Once again, Ukraine is mostly about statists wanting to have weapons in place — the U.S. wanting to have NATO weapons placed on the borders as close as possible to Russia. And, of course, Russia doesn’t want to have that so Russia has been willing to call bluffs in Crimea and continuing now in Ukraine. Many of you probably have heard the recording — this surveillance thing kind of goes both ways sometimes — someone got ahold of a recording of Victoria Nuland of the U.S. pushing for the installation of Petro Poroshenko, who is now the head of Ukraine. Basically, the U.S. put him in in an overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych and all of this is to suppress the Ukrainian population so they can hopefully control the oil supplies between Russia, Crimea, and other states over to Europe. And Russia is standing its ground. If Russia was putting in missiles on the border with Mexico and Canada, I think we’d have a much clearer feeling of what Russia is going through in relation to this. This is part of the attempt to antagonize Russia to keep their economy weak and disempower not only Russia, but the BRICS alliance itself. Obviously, the shooting down of jets…I’m not going to go into the various false flags that are going on…Almost always, these things are not what they are reported to be and they are attempts to make the enemy look bad to justify either sanctions, collapsing their economy, or starting war.
Let’s look finally at Syria for a moment. It’s obviously really a hot one. I mentioned that Syria is one of the seven countries the U.S. had planned to disrupt and take over. I think the key element here is for people to understand that there was a memo in 2012 to the White House that was willfully ignored. In the report of a former Defense Intelligence Agency chief named Michael Flynn, he claims that this was willfully ignored and goes on to say that ISIS is, in fact, a U.S. manufactured military asset like Al-Qaeda, which was originally created by the U.S. through the CIA in order to fight Russia in Afghanistan. This is a similar situation where ISIS is actually created, funded, and weaponized by the U.S. (and now there’s evidence by the UK, also) that’s meant to distract a gullible American population and whose inherent violence can be directed to realize U.S. foreign policy goals of destabilization, not only of the Middle East, but of North Africa and now through the whole refugee crisis and so forth in South Eastern Europe as well. All of this to not only control the banking system, take the gold, and take over the resources, but to also open a doorway for NATO to enter all these regions in force as they’re trying to do in Ukraine.
One interesting note — this is not critical, but I found it really interesting — I saw this a couple days ago that Bill Gates, Syngenta, Monsanto, and others (the ones that are pushing GMOs on the rest of the world), they created this doomsday seed vault. It’s the largest organic seed vault in the world, under the ice and permafrost in Norway, and it’s saved for a major nuclear catastrophe or something like that, supposedly. That seed vault was just opened for the first time a few days ago to get certain drought resistant seeds to be taken into Syria to try to help with the food crisis there.
We could talk, if people are interested, about the refugee crisis in Europe too, but I think there has been so much coverage of that that I don’t want to take more time right now. I want to find out what your opinions are and what you want to talk about specifically.
- North Korea issues military threat as tensions with South Korea rise — CNN
- N Korea threatens to ‘invade US’ unless S Korean military exercises aren’t halted — RT
- 43-hour negotiations an endurance test for elderly delegates — The Hankyoreh
South China Sea & Oil Trade
- A Map of Conflicts in the South and East China Seas — Foreign Affairs
- 18 Maps That Explain Maritime Security in Asia — Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative
- The keys that lock up the energy world — EnerGeoPolitics
- These 8 narrow chokepoints are critical to the world’s oil trade — Business Insider
- Ukraine’s gas transportation network — The Moscow News
- Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call — BBC News
- Victoria Nuland saying 'f**k the EU' in tapped phone call — Daily Mail
- US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was 'a willful Washington decision' — RT
- Patriot Missiles Near Syrian Border To Be Under NATO Command — Antiwar literary and philosophical selections