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13 February 2016

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Babak Makkinejad

When did he become a Shia?

MRW

Correction: the guy is stupid, cynic, not crazy. Uneducated, hasn’t done his homework, has zero understanding of how our monetary system works, peddles myths as fact.

What is it going to take for you to understand that the US issues its own currency, and what that means?

The federal government DOES NOT need taxes to pay its expenses, or purchase goods and services to provision itself. The federal government CANNOT go broke unless a majority of idiots in Congress vote to default. The federal government DOES NOT borrow US dollars from other countries (where do you think those other countries get USD? counterfeit ‘em?).

Here is the US Government’s treasury checkbook for the end of Fiscal Year 2015. It’s two pages. Look at 'TABLE III-A - Public Debt Transactions' on page 2.

In 2015, the US federal government:
— issued $60.7 trillion in USD (in various forms)
— redeemed $60.4 trillion.
https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=a&fname=15093000.pdf

That left $326.5 billion in “Net Change in Public Debt Outstanding.” See that?

This difference is the amount the federal government allowed the non-federal government sector to keep in its bank accounts for the year. “Public Debt Outstanding” is another term for the National Debt. It is the national equity. It’s every USD in every US dollar bank account both domestic and foreign to the penny. Nothing that has to be paid back, contrary to all who think otherwise, and get it wrong. (Including Trump.) If we paid back the National Debt—return the dollars to their Creator—no one would have a penny in their pocket. Everyone would be broke.

Now scroll down to “TABLE IV - Federal Tax Deposits.” See that?

The US federal government took in $2.8 trillion in taxes in 2015. That’s it, pal. $2.8 trillion.

How in god’s name do you think $2.8 trillion pays for even basic federal government operations, electricity, salaries, and maintenance in DC, each of the 50 states, and overseas, much less programs for the people like Social Security and Medicare. It doesn’t.

The dead giveaway is this guy horking Peter Schiff, the goldbug who proclaims that gold is going to $5,000/oz but Schiff will sell it to you for $1200-1500/oz. Let the lunacy of *that* sink in for a moment.

JoelB

Let me get this straight. The Saudis will send their crack soldiers into Syria. The same KSA that had to hire mercs from Colombia to help defeat a vastly under-powered Houthi rebel force in Yemen? And they want to take on SAA, on their turf, backed up by Russian air power and Spetnaz commandos? Okay, got it [making Trump-esque condescending expression].

Kooshy

Gen. Ali

Proxy wars are politicly inexpensive instruments of power projection, but undeclared, non-mandated invasion of a sovereign charter member of UN has a big political price tag. For this reason IMO, US/NATO will hesitate to overtly support any such move by thier clientele states. The political price US will have to pay on such support will be similar to what US has had to continuely pay in support of anti Israel resolutions.

Nuff Sed

There is no question that the New Secular Order (aka the Borg) will escalate the situation in Syria to beyond the simple arming of proxies. It seems the US will invade the country, together with their Wahhabistani goons and probably the Turks. The question is: do Russia and Iran have the will to do anything about it, and if so, what the various possible scenarios will look like. Nuff Sed.

LeaNder

Dr. Brenner:"it looks like the Defense Ministry's warning two days ago was more than a move to preempt a merely abstract possibility."

Anyone? Russia issued a warning to Turkey, or a general warning that it should not something silly again? What did I miss? Or is it the American Defense Ministry?

The only thing I found is from TASS three days ago:
http://tass.ru/en/politics/855905

Very superficial cursory look: strictly this is in tune, with what feels like Russian propaganda operations over here. Of course we do not know who instigates "concerned factions" with a Russian background.

*******

Unicorns/Aleppo: I didn't really look into it closely, "moderate rebels" it's a way too complex scenario for my taste.

WAPO mentions two groups, both supposedly supported by the US:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Division_%28Syrian_rebel_group%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Front_of_the_Free_Syrian_Army

One of them leads us to Aleppo:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah_Halab

The presence of Turkmen, indicates that Turkey may not be so fond of Russian activities there.

LeaNder

Thanks, for the hint:

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hojjat

Will

yep, but the congress raids the social security trust fund and then complains that the benefits have to be cut b/c social security is broke. but largely after reading Krugman and having read "Animal Spirits," i largely agree. the problem is not the debt but liquidity traps.

linda

I have been wondering for the past couple of years if US actions are not reinforcing an independent Kurdish state in Syria and Iraq and if anyone has thought this through. So many implications that it is even hard to express them all.

Babak Makkinejad

The war in Syria has not been a proxy war since Iran and Hezbollah joined it; 4 years ago. It is much less so now that the Russian Federation has also entered the war.

This war reminds me of the Spanish Civil War with the Jihadists being the analogues of the Leftist Dreamers of the Spanish Republic and SAR being counter part of the "Law & Order" Loyalists.

The Republic attracted leftist fighters from abroad and was supported by USSR and the Loyalists had Italians fighting with them and for them.

The interesting question is if the analogy is complete with a world war to follow the cessation of hostilities in Syria within a few years.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;
Some think we might have a SHTF scenario soon:
https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/885

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-12/hidden-agenda-behind-saudi-arabia%E2%80%99s-market-share-strategy

Ishmael Zechariah

Old Microbiologist

The real problem with fiat currencies are they are faith based and valueless otherwise. If everyone with depsosits wanted cash at the same time it would collapse the system. This partially happened when the drug cartels liquidated their dollar assets from US banks which created a liquidity crisis. It is a large part of the reason the banksters want to eliminate cash altogether.

The part that always amazes me is they print money at any whim, especially for weapons and war, but no one seems to ever consider asking why not go into debt for healthcare, retirement, education, railroads, etc.? Why pay taxes at all?

Chris Chuba

PJ, are you engaging in a rhetorical question?

Obviously all of our 600+ air strikes in Ramadi were able to only hit the 200 to 400 ISIS fighters without damaging the city in any other manner whatsoever. No bakeries were harmed in the making of this movie. Any resemblance to the surface of the Moon was completely coincidental or caused by Russian dumb bombs that accidentally hit Ramadi while trying to bomb some other location.

The Beaver

As if on cue, the israelis have their bête noire:
"As long as Iran is in Syria, the country will not return to what it was, and it will certainly find it difficult to become stable as a country that is divided into enclaves, because the Sunni forces there will not allow this," Yaalon said in an earlier statement.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-israel-idUSKCN0VN0C2

Nothing on Russia since they are signing a free trade deal but Iran, why not?

They forgot that's what their Zionists friends in DC and Manhattan hav ebeen preaching for Iraq since 1998.

Do they have their goal to take the "Syrian Druzistan"? Who has been helping the "rebels" in that part of Syria?
What did they discuss with the Haschemite King?

Surprisingly no one in Munich sees ISIS as the real S.O.Bs in that whole affair

Tyler

Scalia is dead and now this stuff. The world is teetering on the brink of a Westphalian reorganization in the West.

Also funny you use brackets to indicate irony. The new thing on the Alt Right is to use ((((echoes)))) to indicate Zionism.

jr786

With all the talk of Nato's preoccupation with Russian expansionism it would be surprising if they were not panicked by the reality of a Russian blue water fleet in the Mediterranean. I always reckoned Lattakia the prize in this game; conceding it to Russia without a fight seems unlikely. I imagine the Turks will intervene at some point and engage the Russians, at our behest.

turcopolier

tyler

Different brackets. pl

Swami Bhut Jolokia

Saudi Arabia will no doubt leverage the skills and experience gained in their successful campaign in Yemen.

LoL.

Babak Makkinejad

If I understand things correctly, per MRW's earlier postings, there is no Social Security Trust Fund.

Babak Makkinejad

That would be MRW's Fiscal Policy prescription.

US fiat currency is in demand by foreigners - so are Pound Sterling, and Swiss Francs.

That distinguishes these currencies from other fiat currencies such as Yen or Rials.

SmoothieX12

I am not up on all of the military state of the art but I recall hearing that since artillery has a predictable ballistic trajectory that there is a way to use that to calculate the origin of the shooter and to accurately send a missile back to the sender.
-------------------------------------

Counter-battery operations are a very peculiar part of combat. Today, specially designed radar are used to deliver (calculate) instant firing solution against the battery whose salvo is detected by radar.

Margaret Steinfels

Good questions from the PYD on Turkey shelling of the Menagh air base:

"Speaking to Reuters, PYD leader Saleh Muslim said on Sunday Turkey had no right to intervene in Syria's internal affairs, adding that an air base shelled by the Turkish army on Saturday had been in the hands of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front until forces allied to the PYD captured it last week.

"Do they want the Nusra Front to stay there, or for the regime to come and occupy it?" Muslim said by telephone. When asked about Davutoğlu's demand that the PYD withdraw from areas north of Aleppo, Muslim said he rejects that demand. He pointed out that the air base was captured by the PYD-allied Syria Democratic Forces, which includes Arabs and Turkmens alongside the YPG militia. Müslim said if Turkey intervened in Syria they would find the entire Syrian people confronting them."

http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-strikes-pyd-mulls-ground-offensive-alarming-us-russia_412295.html

Bill Herschel

This post purports to contain a statement by a Russian officer in the Baghdad command center. If it is bonafide (and I find it very hard to believe it isn't), it is a remarkable statement.

It can be summed up, "We don't like Jihadists," and following on from that one is entitled to fill in, "This is Chechnya III".

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US, etc., etc. The Russians are aware of them and have some ideas of what they are doing or won't do, but they don't care. They are taking care of business and will continue to do so.

Business? Security Council Resolution passed unanimously 2254. Simple.

https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/the-gates-of-hell-will-be-open-in-the-coming-months-in-syria/

SmoothieX12

a Russian blue water fleet in the Mediterranean.
--------------------------------------------------------

Russia does not have Blue Water Fleet in its original understanding, which is US-made--that is Russian Navy can not "project power" as it is envisioned by US Navy. Russia simply does not have means nor real necessity to do that. Russian Navy CAN "project power" by means of launching long range cruise missiles of Kalibr variety from its submarines (both nuclear and SSK)and latest surface ships but it still remains primarily Sea Denial force. That means its main task is to prevent any kind of operations against Russia from the sea. As of now, Russia has very limited force in Med.

Bill Herschel

The original text of what I have just posted in these comments is in Arabic.

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