The world has become an increasingly dangerous arena where war games play out, with Hollywood-like drama, and where entire populations are either actors (playing a vital role), extras (expendable and easily replaced) or, last but not least (and interchangeable with extras), the majority of the planet – the audience. Without exception, we all play a role.
Whoever said the world is a stage was not kidding. Most people stand quietly watching in the audience (trying not to become extras) until the stage expands (or contracts) and the focus shifts to include or exclude them, whatever the plot calls for.
But what most people see as the main events are usually sensationalized domino effects of carefully coordinated prior acts that were well hidden and set into motion months, if not years, before.
Take for example today’s free-fall of the Russian Ruble.
“An emergency midnight meeting of the central bank. A 6.5 percentage point increase in interest rates. A rouble in free fall. Reports of Muscovites taking their money out of cash machines. This is what a currency crisis looks like.”
But what’s really going on? The Guardian tells us a little, but not the whole thing.
“The west knows all about the vulnerability of Russia’s economy, its creaking factories and its over-reliance on the energy sector. When the introduction of sanctions over Russia’s support for the separatists in Ukraine failed to bring Vladimir Putin to heel, the US and Saudi Arabia decided to hurt Russia by driving down oil prices. Both countries will face some collateral damage as a result – and this could be considerable in the case of the US shale sector – but both were prepared to take the risk on the grounds that Russia would suffer much more pain. This has proved to be true.”
The truth is that the crisis the US is drumming up is designed to cripple several economies at once, of which Russia is just one. Moreover, Russia is not as helpless as the Guardian and others want to make it appear. Russia could impose its own capital controls, among other real economic measures, that could send the whole world’s paper wealth into a tailspin.
The US government knows this but doesn’t care about the tens of millions of extras whose life savings (and livelihoods) will be wiped out in this game of thrones. Instead, behind the scenes, Congress has quietly and steadily increased the pressure, creating the economic conditions for a perfect storm in Russia (and the world) and the legal framework to bring Ukraine fully into the fold of hegemony.
Legislation brought before Congress under “unanimous consent” is not read by most members simply because copies of the bill are generally not available. During the closing sessions of Congress I would often camp out in the House chamber, near the clerk’s desk, prepared to say “I object” when something of consequence appeared out of the blue. Dec. 11, 2014, is one of the few times I regret not being in Congress to have the ability to oversee the process.
The Russia Sanctions bill that passed “unanimously,” with no scheduled debate, at 10:23:55 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2014, includes:
1. Sanctions of Russia’s energy industry, including Rosoboronexport and Gazprom.
2. Sanctions of Russia’s defense industry, with respect to arms sales to Syria.
3. Broad sanctions on Russians’ banking and investments.
4. Provisions for privatization of Ukrainian infrastructure, electricity, oil, gas and renewables, with the help of the World Bank and USAID.
5. Fifty million dollars to assist in a corporate takeover of Ukraine’s oil and gas sectors.
…among other whoppers, which you can read for yourself in a bill that will no doubt cause a ripple of consequences throughout the world, mostly for the extras and the audience, while the actors move on to bigger and better roles on the world stage.
One thing is sure, the US government and its cohorts around the globe are not leaving world hegemony to chance. They are working tirelessly, day and night, on stage and behind it to keep all state and non-state contenders at bay. Russia and the rest of the world is finding out the hard way that this is one game they have no choice but to play.