The Russo-American War of 2017

  • Readers fret about President Clinton and war with Russia — as well they should
  • Stockman on an “unhinged” war party thirsting to repeat its Iraq blunders
  • The Hillary Clinton platform plank that means certain war with Russia
  • Small business’ biggest worries going into the election
  • How to spend $112,000 on Google without really trying
  • Earnings season off to a rocky start… the one thing Trump still has going for him… third-party disappointment… and more!

“I sure hope David Stockman is using ‘ashes’ as a metaphor,” a reader writes after yesterday’s episode of The 5 — “and not as the result of Hillary’s warmongering with Russia.”
David believes Mrs. Clinton has the election won now. The looming economic collapse will occur on her watch. “The chance is at hand,” he said yesterday, “for the ashes of economic and political failure to burn America’s own Leviathan down to size.”
Added a reader from Australia, “You Americans seem hellbent on having a nuclear war.” In what we hope is an exercise in dark humor, she added, “As a Platinum Reserve member, I want a refund, because you’re not going to be around for much longer.”
Let’s tease out these concerns today — especially since David also said yesterday we face “fiscal bankruptcy, war with Russia and a thundering collapse of the Fed’s giant financial bubble.” [Emphasis ours.]
“What is at stake here,” Mrs. Clinton said Sunday night, “is the ambitions and aggressiveness of Russia.
“Russia has decided it is all in in Syria, and they’ve also decided who they want to see become president of the United States, too, and it’s not me. I stood up to Russia; I’ve taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president.”
Can the implicit threat of military confrontation with Russia be much clearer?
“The Washington War Party is coming unhinged and appears to be leaving no stone unturned when it comes to provoking Putin’s Russia and numerous others,” David writes behind the paywall at his revamped Contra Corner website.
It’s not just Mrs. Clinton. It’s America’s entire “opinion elite.” And the loudest voices are the same ones who 14 years ago were so insistent that Washington had to act and stop Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.
Sen. John McCain? Check. Fred Hiatt, editorial-page editor of The Washington Post? Check. The oafish New York Times columnist Tom Friedman? Check, baby!
It’s like the band’s getting back together…
Because the opinion elite aren’t like you or me, they have a rather different reaction to this iconic image that emerged in August from the Syrian city of Aleppo…

Five-year-old Omran Daqneesh: Poster child, literally, for the Syria war…

Now… An everyday American who doesn’t follow events in the Middle East too closely might react by saying, “My God, this is horrible! Someone needs to do something so there’s an immediate cease-fire!”
In contrast, America’s opinion elites have seized on this image to say, “My God, this is horrible! We need to ramp up this war even more — and goad Putin, to boot!” (Hat tip to our acquaintance and podcast host Scott Horton for the insight.)
“What is happening in Aleppo,” says David “is a raging sectarian civil war and a proxy battleground for the regional political maneuvers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. They are none of America’s business and haven’t been since the so-called Arab Spring uprising spread to Syria in 2011…
“Literally billions in aid, weapons, munitions, training and logistics have flowed into Syria from all directions on the outside. And all of it was either financed by American taxpayers or by regional powers which have been armed and greenlighted by Washington.”
Indeed. “There are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told,” adds the veteran journalist Robert Parry.
“One, U.S. regional ‘allies’ have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including al-Qaida terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011, and two, the claim about ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels is a fraud; the ‘moderates’ have served essentially as a PR cutout for the U.S. and its ‘allies’ to supply al-Qaida and its allies with sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.”
Exactly. America’s vaunted “allies” in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are sending money and arms to fanatics nearly as awful as ISIS. Every time Washington touts one group or another as “moderate,” it goes and does something like beheading a 12-year-old boy — as happened in August.
But you don’t hear about these facts because they don’t square with the elite narrative that the carnage in Syria rests only on the shoulders of President Bashar al-Assad — with Vladimir Putin pulling his strings behind the scenes.
“Is it any wonder that Syria has become hell on Earth?David goes on.
“Or that what remains of eastern Aleppo is crawling with jihadist radicals aligned with al-Nusra Front? Or that they have attempted to use the 200,000 or so remaining civilians as human shields?
“The whole thing is madness. Yet at this very moment, Washington is risking a military clash with Russia owing to the breakdown of the truce in Aleppo and a renewed campaign to establish a no-fly zone in the immediate area.
“Really? The U.S. Air Force is going to shoot down Russian bombers to protect civilians in a small part of what is left of Aleppo who are being used as human shields by affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida?”
A “no-fly zone” as touted by Mrs. Clinton and the punditocracy would mean war with Russia.
That’s not us saying it. It’s the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford. Speaking before Congress last month, he said, “Right now, Senator, for us to control all of the airspace in Syria it would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia. That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make.”
But a no-fly zone in Syria is the centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy platform.
As we said yesterday, the next four years will be… ummm… interesting. In the geopolitical realm, the economic realm and the financial realm.
And David Stockman can be your guide through it all. Right now you can take a 30-day trial of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and get a free copy of his new book Trumped!: A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… and How to Bring It Back. You’ll also get instant access to a model portfolio to steer you through the next four years.
You can’t get any of that through Amazon, which will sell his book starting on Friday for $18. You can get yours for just a $4.95 shipping charge. David’s exclusive invitation is here at this link.
To the markets, where nothing is catching a bid today other than the U.S. dollar.
The major U.S. stock indexes are all down about 1%, the Dow at 18,160. The 10-year Treasury is at 1.75%. Gold is little moved at $1,256. But the dollar index is pushing seven-month highs at 97.5.
Earnings season began with a thud this morning; Alcoa, the big aluminum maker, missed expectations. As the week goes on, we’ll get reports from the railroad CSX and several of the biggest banks.
Small-business owners are turning gloomier as the weather turns, or as Election Day approaches.
The monthly optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business has slid from 94.4 to 94.1 — confounding the “expert consensus” that figured the number would increase.
On the plus side, there was a sharp increase in the number of business owners who expect business to pick up in the next six months. But — and it’s a big but — they’re not following through with plans to increase inventories. Survey respondents also say they’re still having a hard time filling certain positions.
“The bottom line is that small-business owners are deeply uncertain about the future, and that is affecting their decisions,” says NFIB president Juanita Duggan.
There’s been a shift in the always-illuminating “single most important problem” portion of the survey. Taxes are now clearly in the lead, cited by 22% of survey respondents. Regulations and “quality of labor” — see above about problems filling certain positions — are now tied at 17%. That’s followed by poor sales at 13%.
From the youngsters-who-don’t-grasp-the-concept department… the story of a 12-year-old in Spain who ran up a $112,000 bill on Google.
José Javier plays trumpet for a band called Los Salerosos. He wanted to give the band a little more visibility. So he hopped onto Google AdWords. Whoops, where he should’ve gone was Google Sense.
“Javier apparently didn’t realize that AdWords charges the account holder each time someone clicks on their advertisement,” says an account at Fortune. “AdSense, the platform he intended to use, allows people to make money from their advertisements.”
Google spells out the terms — and the difference between the two — as clearly as possible on the site. But in any event, the company is following its “Don’t be evil” mantra and opting not to pursue payment. “We have looked into this case and we haven’t received any money from the user,” says Google. “We are canceling the outstanding AdWords balance.”
“Stop the Trump bashing,” begins today’s mailbag.
[YES! We hoped we’d get an email like this after someone else accused us the other day of being in the tank for Trump. We have a reputation to uphold as an equal-opportunity offender.]
“I don’t watch the debates. I have to ask myself one question: If I were to go into business with anyone, would it be Trump or Clinton? Answer: Trump, because at least I could sleep at night not worrying about Clinton trying to steal my business.
“We have enough establishment Republicans casting stones. So stop it. I hope David Stockman is wrong [about Hillary winning].”
The 5: You have read about the legions of small-business owners Trump has stiffed over the years, right? Hard to imagine they’ve all done shoddy work, as he claims…
“I have to disagree with David Stockman that the campaign is over,” writes another.
“It fails to take into account the primary reason people are lining up behind Trump: He isn’t Hillary Clinton. I daresay he could spend the entirety of the last debate strangling baby kittens with piano wire and he wouldn’t drop even a full percentage point among his support. People are sick of the status quo, and he offers the only real alternative.
“That said, at this point, I hope Hillary wins the election, for the other reason Stockman brings up. I agree we are on the razor’s edge of the financial cliff, about to take the big plunge, and since we have eight years of Obama to thank for all the boneheaded maneuvers that were made to keep him looking good (at the cost of actually doing something that might have helped pull us back toward solvency), it is only fitting his party ride it all the way down to the bottom.
“Then, and only then, will we be able to rebuild something worth having, and without the input from all the morons on both sides of the aisle who helped put us in this position to begin with.
“Love you guys, as always. Hope you’ll be here to help chronicle our Phoenix-like rise from the ashes.”
The 5: That’s our plan, at least.
“To me,” writes a third, “the most disappointing aspect of this presidential election cycle is not the ‘choice’ between Clinton and Trump but rather the lack of a substantial Libertarian candidate.
“The Libertarian Party really had a shot this year of crafting a dramatic choice in lieu of the Republicans and Democrats. The electorate is begging for a rational alternative to the status quo. But what did they get? Gary Johnson. His lack of just about everything is an embarrassment to libertarian thought.
“If libertarian ideas are ever to really take hold, we will have to heed Voltaire’s advice about not letting the perfect get in the way of the good. With the right candidate, the Libertarians might have captured 20% or more of the vote. This would have put our ideas in play for every election moving forward. Frankly, they wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The 5: Hmmm…

Description: ItsAllOver.png

To his credit, Johnson offended all the right people a few days ago when he drew parallels between the Syrian/Russian bombing of Aleppo and the American bombing of Afghan hospitals. (Yes, Washington is still at war over there.) The New York Times had a field day with the hoary old “moral equivalence” thing, forgetting that Ron Paul gained his following after refusing to apologize to Rudy Giuliani about “blowback” from U.S. foreign policy.
Heh… No one in the media cared about Johnson until the polling figures started to show he was pulling as much support from Clinton as from the Republicans. Lately, there’s been a torrent of articles trying to shame people out of voting third party, lest they bear responsibility for a Trump presidency. But that’s a story for another day…
Best regards,
Dave Gonigam
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. Jim Rogers has seen the future of America… and it’s shocking.
According to his analysis, we are about to witness the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression… and perhaps ever.
How can he be so certain? In this exclusive Wall Street Daily interview, Rogers explains everything with just nine stunning images… and nine words from the Bible’s Book of Joshua.
For details (including how to prepare), please go here now.

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam has been managing editor of The 5 Min. Forecast since September 2010. Before joining the research and writing team at Agora Financial in 2007, he worked for 20 years as an Emmy award-winning television news producer.

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