“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.”
— John Adams
If you only get your news from mainstream Western sources, the beef between Russia and the Ukraine must seem pretty black and white. Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked attack on its heroic neighbor…
The proposed solution is a bit more complicated — the West must do everything it can to support the beleaguered underdog without getting directly involved in the conflict. Sanctions, we’re told, are the best way to punish Russian aggression without harming anyone else.
But it doesn’t take much digging to see flaws in that righteous veneer. You just need a different perspective — which is exactly what this week’s Wiggin Sessions guests provide.
First up, Martin Armstrong, who has built an innovative collection of proprietary models that help identify market patterns in an unbiased, data-driven approach. Together we discuss the true impetus of Putin’s actions… and how it’s creating a “New World Order” that’s different than anyone expected.
Then I talked to Sean Ring of Rude Awakening about the unintended consequences of trying to cut Russia off from the Western world.
Here’s how those conversations played out.
Corruption, Conspiracy and Regime Change
Last week, Biden’s “New World Order” gaffe suggests Biden’s unilateral belief in the West’s superiority. Likewise does Kamala Harris’ speech in Poland prior to the invasion where she suggested Ukraine will soon join NATO. In 2013, Obama said we needed a regime change in Syria. Before him, Bush thought his “shock and awe” strategy would lead to a Western-style vassal state in Iraq. We know how all these conflicts have turned out… that is to say, not good. Hundreds of thousands of dead. Trillions of U.S. dollars spent. Zero political achievements gained. Lester Munson, writing in the New York Sun, attributes “the temptations of righteousness to President Wilson’s ‘crusading moralism’ of a century ago. Of course, Woodrow Wilson’s dream of a ‘global political order that ends the nightmare of warring nation-states’ was specifically rejected by the U.S. Senate in the form of the League of Nations.” Martin presents a much more provocative explanation of Joe Biden’s off-script comment that Putin “cannot remain in power.”
The Long March of the Neocons
A few years back, my family and I toured a few Asian countries, including Vietnam. While visiting one of our writers living in Saigon, er, Ho Chi Minh City, we made a point of visiting its War Remnants Museum. Naturally, it focuses on the Vietnamese side of the conflict. In fact, an earlier version of the museum had been called the Exhibition House for U.S. and Puppet Crimes. It was the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes until 1990. Inside, you’ll find a copy of the speech Ho Chi Minh gave in 1945, declaring independence from France. Perhaps not surprisingly, he cribbed some words from another such declaration written 169 years prior on another continent. Fast-forward to today’s conflict in Ukraine. There is propaganda on both sides. Leading up to the invasion, as we’ve documented several times in these missives, it was next to impossible to pierce the Western narrative of why Putin wanted Ukraine so badly. “We have neocons, just as Russia does, that would love to have war with the United States,” Martin says, offering another provocative answer to the conundrum of war and the lies that go with it.
Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
At the end of our training, they set up live fire exercises. We were given a scenario. Mine was a restaurant being molested by an active shooter. He was apparently entering the restaurant from the kitchen and causing a ruckus. (Thanks, Lisa S.) Before you get too intrigued by the whole affair, the scene was constructed out of plywood walls and life-size photographs of people enjoying their meal, a waiter with some food on a dish… and a bad guy pointing a weapon pointed right at me. I missed the bad guy. To the chagrin of the instructors, I burst into the “restaurant,” adrenaline infused, and… shot all three of the photographs depicting a father, mother and young child enjoying their dinner. To put it politely, they used my violent entrance, Glock a-blazing, as a teaching moment. “When you’re handling live weapons,” the gun instructor said over and over, “you don’t want things to go all cattywampus.” Meaning, you gotta keep your wits about you. You train. You plan. You don’t get all bumfuzzled. They’re motto is, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” Their point is when things get crazy, don’t lose your sh&t. Keep a cool head and act accordingly.
Ask-Socrates forecasted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2013, a year before Putin forcibly annexed the Crimean Peninsula. Click here for details.
What’s China’s Take on War in the Donbas?
If you’re a regular Rude reader, you probably know that Sean was born in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. He barely left his hometown to study finance and landed a banking job on Wall Street. At the age of 24, he went to London for a business trip and fell in love with the city. It was “Candyland for alcoholics,” he once told me, so he convinced his company to transfer him there. While there he continued his corporate education, eventually becoming a teacher himself — helping traders pass high-level exams. That work took him to Singapore… then Hong Kong… and finally the Philippines, where his wife is from. Along the way, he’s become a certified Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst… Financial Risk Manager… Chartered Market Technician… among other qualifications that he says “don’t mean anything.” Like me, he’s just trying to figure out how the world works.
The Russian Pivot — Not the Military One
“Look, the bottom line is this,” Biden said at the White House. “Between ramping up production in the short term and driving down demand in the long term, we can free ourselves from our dependence on imported oil from across the world.” What a quandary. The U.S. needs oil. Europe needs Russian gas. Politically, they can’t say it without destroying the climate change narrative they’ve been ginning up since An Inconvenient Truth ran amok in 2006. Not that it matters; most projections for energy independence scoot to 2030 and beyond. It doesn’t take a lot of math to conclude the president will likely have shed his mortal coil when that year dawns upon us. And with higher gas prices and a recession swirling about the news cycle, the midterms may clarify policy questions all by themselves. With Sean, we focused on a different kind of inconvenient truth.
Sean Ring shows how the Mackinder Map and China’s Belt and Road Initiative will transform the global economy, right here.
After listening to Martin and Sean, the black-and-white version of events seems almost comical — as if the dire economic impact and loss of lives were beside the point. Those aren’t shades of gray lying between the extremes… they’re money and blood, green and red.
Click on the images above to consider alternative perspectives about the war, sanctions and the U.S. economy.
Follow your bliss,
Founder, The Wiggin Sessions
P.S. One of my tennis buddies (recall the TBI) founded and is a managing partner of one of the largest re-insurers in the United States. In between court changes this week, he regaled me with a few ways he helps clients build and fund insurance companies… because the tax strategies one can employ having done so are very advantageous.
Lest that sound like a ho-hum conversation, “Big Mike” is the lead guitarist and singer in an AC/DC cover band called High Voltage. There’s not a lot he does that’s ho-hum… or quiet. I can hear him from several courts away on Tuesdays and Fridays. We’re trying to determine a time for him to rock out on The Wiggin Sessions! Stay tuned.