Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 4:34 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

It appears the ante has just been upped.

Dave

Russia’s New Rules Of Engagement In Syria
December 15, 2018

Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media

Syria will adopt a new rule of engagement with Israel now that Russia has taken a tougher and clearer stance on the conflict between Israel and the “Axis of the Resistance”. Henceforth, Damascus will be responding to any Israeli strike. If it damages a specific military target it will reply with a strike against a similar objective in Israel. Decision makers in Damascus said, “Syria will not hesitate to hit an Israeli airport if Damascus airport is targeted and hit by Israel. This will be with the consent of the Russian military based in the Levant.”

This Syrian political decision is based on the clear position taken by Russia in Syria following the downing of its aircraft on September 18 this year. In 2015 when the Russian military landed in Syria, it informed the parties concerned (i.e. Syria, Iran and Israel) that it had no intention to interfere in the conflict between them and Hezbollah and that it would not stand in the way of Tel Aviv’s planes bombing Hezbollah military convoys on their way to Lebanon or Iranian military warehouses not allocated to the war in Syria.

More…

 

Jim,

As long as Bolton and Pompeo are in charge, war is on the cards.

Dave

US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia
December 15, 2018

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

US forces in Syria, via ABC News

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000.

More…

 

Jim,

We talked about this. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

Dave

What are the Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia? “70% Chance of Combat”
December 13, 2018

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

George Szamuely: Several weeks ago, when we first talked about this, I said 60 percent. Now I’d say, maybe 70 percent. The problem is that Trump seems determined to be the anti-Obama. Obama, in Trump’s telling, “allowed” Russia to take Crimea and to “invade” Ukraine. Therefore, it will be up to Trump to reverse this. Just as he, Trump, reversed Obama’s policy on Iran by walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. So expect ever-increasing US involvement in Ukraine.

More…

 

Bill,

This is some footage of the Yellow vests in France. All should see as the MSM is not covering it.

Dave

What You’re Not Being Told About The Yellow Vest’s in Paris
December 11, 2018

More…

 

This speaks to the Wall and the Dems.

Jim

This should matter…

JB

Macron accused of treason by French generals for signing UN Migration Pact
December 14, 2018

General Antoine Martinez has written the letter signed by ten other generals, an admiral and colonel, and also includes former French Minister of Defense Charles Millon.

They’ve given strong warning that Macron’s signing the U.N. Global Migration Pact strips France of even more sovereignty providing an additional reason for “an already battered people” to “revolt”.

The highly decorated military co-signees assert that the beleaguered Macron is “guilty of a denial of democracy or treason against the nation” for signing the migration pact without putting it to the people.

More…

 

Who will stand up for the grandmas? Courtesy of JB.

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something about pictures and thousand(s) of words?

Bill

 

From our good friend Yra Harris.

Bill

Notes From Underground: Markets Are Rounding Third and Sliding Into Home
December 16, 2018

As we head into the final two weeks of the year, the global equity markets are “sliding into home.” Equities sold off again on Friday as the Chinese tariff saga is failing to provide support to the market. Weekend news conveyed the idea that the market was reacting to this week’s FED meeting and the very high probability of another increase in the central bank’s target range. This is a stretch because investors have been aware of the FED‘s limitations under its own “forward guidance,” trapped into a rate hike for fear of spooking the market if no increase was decided.

It is a great failure of the FED‘s forward guidance policy that calling off a rate hike WOULD DO MORE HARM TO MARKETS THAN AN INCREASE IN THE FED FUNDS RATE. (I call it the ultimate prisoner’s dilemma for the game theorists populating the FED‘s research centers.) The most important outcome with the FOMC statement will be if the central bank sends dovish signals by acknowledging the global slowdown. That has been the reason that all other central banks have left rates unchanged (SNB, ECB, BOJ, RBNZ, RBA, BOC). The only bank that has raised rates is the Russian central bank (which they did on Friday).

The FED says very little about global conditions, which is incongruous being that the DOLLAR is the world’s reserve currency. Whatever path the FED takes has far greater impact upon the global financial system and yet the U.S. central bank remains very restrained in commenting on global economic conditions. If Chairman Powell is searching for grounds to lessen the possibility of future rate hikes, the STRONG HEADWINDS FROM A SLOWDOWN OF GLOBAL GROWTH provides the perfect rationale.

More…

Jim,

Canada appears to have made a major miscalculation.

Dave

China Press Warns To “Prepare For Escalation Of Conflict With Canada”
December 16, 2018

Days after revealing that businessman Michael Spavor – who became the second Canadian citizen detained in China since Beijing warned it would retaliate against Canada for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver earlier this month – had been arrested for “threatening national security”, the Communist Party made clear that this is only the beginning, and that Canada should expect “further escalation” as Beijing has no intentions of backing down – and every intention of sending a message to US allies that they should stay out of the still-simmering dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Via an editorial in the Global Times, an English-language Chinese media company considered to be a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, China accused Canada and other US allies of forming “a collective encirclement and suppression of Chinese high-tech enterprise Huawei” – likely a reference to the US’s campaign to convince its allies to avoid Huawei equipment, citing its vulnerability to Chinese spies, as well as Canada’s cooperation in Meng’s detention – the editorial “suggested” that China should leverage its economic heft to deter US allies from taking actions contrary to China’s interest.

By calling on its allies, the US has gradually formed a collective encirclement and suppression of Chinese high-tech enterprise Huawei. It is a wicked precedent.

More…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government granting a monopoly to a central bank has failed.

“Regulation” of this monopoly has failed. There are tens of thousands of financial regulations.

Creating currency out-of-thin-air has failed. The currency has become worth so little that people cannot keep up with their bills.

Central Planning of the economy has failed. We should have learned from the Soviets.

It’s well past the time for sound money, that is totally divorced from government, free markets, and voluntary economic interactions.

Or must we continue to believe in unicorns and suffer even more economic pain?

JB