September is national preparedness month. Having had a recent close brush with a tropical system, I think we all have the hurricane drill firmly memorized. So let’s look at a few other things we might want to be prepared for.
Not many Americans spend a lot of time thinking about the German Supreme Court, and they could be forgiven for ignoring it. But on September 12 the court may make a decision that could plunge Europe into chaos and spell the end of the Euro as a currency. Increasingly Germany has become the sole tentpole holding up the rest of Europe, particularly the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain). The PIIGS all owe lots of money and all have anemic economies. Germany for its part makes BMWs, VWs, Mercedes and Audis, and their workers retire at age 70. Greece, for example has workers retiring at 52 and they make … baklava. At stake in the court case is the question of whether it is constitutional for Germany to put money into the European Stability Mechanism. “Mechanism” in this case means “kitty” … a big pot of money that goes to the PIIGS nations, ostensibly as aid but in fact just to service the interest on those countries’ debts (meaning it comes right back to the bondholders) even as the countries sink further into unsustainable debt. It’s a game of musical chairs that enriches bankers, but is funded by the taxpayers of Germany and a handful of other productive northern European nations. There is no question that the music will stop, and when it does stop Europe will be revealed to be a broken down continent dressed in rags. For its part Germany will be obliged to join them on the breadlines as there will no longer be enough customers for her magnificent products.
Although all that pain will be half a world away, Americans need to remember that it was the failure of the Creditanstalt Bank in Austria in May 1931, as well as the failure of the Bank of the United States (which was not the U.S.’s central bank--and in fact was written off as a potential recipient of a bailout because it was only “a Jewish bank”) in early 1931, that led inexorably to the widespread bank runs that characterized 1932, the year when the Great Depression went from short-term inconvenience to long-term catastrophe. The financial world is much more interconnected today than it was back then, and the time frame for the spread of financial contagion is no longer months, it’s milliseconds.
As worrisome as that prospect may be, there are other items in the offing that must be watched. Lately Israel has been quite open about its intention to attack Iran in order to squelch the latter’s supposed nuclear ambitions. For Iran’s part, their Supreme Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei has said that to develop a nuclear weapon would be a sin, although nuclear power is a perfectly reasonable ambition. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, has fanned the flames of controversy on many occasions by giving speeches that prophesy the end of Israel’s regime, which Western press outlets more than happily mistranslate as threats to annihilate her people. For their part, the Israeli people have stated repeatedly in nationwide polls that they do not want to attack Iran and it’s clear they don’t believe what they are being told about a thirty-day war being all that is necessary. In the runup to World War I the rhetoric of nearly every nation involved tried to convince their peoples that the war would be equally brief.
But the threats of chaos in Europe or war in the Middle East are not all we may need to be prepared for. Despite the president’s reported poll numbers, it’s clear that few Americans’ lives have been improved by his tenure and most have been disappointed by the hope and change he claimed he was bringing. That being said, apparatchiks do not relinquish power gladly, and his administration is loaded with them. One of the best methods of clinging to power is to suffer a widely publicized attack. The technique is as old as the hills, and interestingly there is news about such a plan being hatched right here in Florida more than 50 years ago. Recently it came out that our then-Senator, George Smathers was pestering then-candidate John F. Kennedy to launch false-flag attacks on American interests, such as our own troops, to create a casus belli for attacking the revolutionary government that Fidel Castro had formed in Cuba. While the curiously-similar proposals of Operation Northwoods that the Joint Chiefs of Staff would present to President Kennedy two years later are in the history books, their origins with Smathers are just now becoming public. Kennedy rebuffed both proposals, although the one he approved in the meantime proved quite disastrous.
What has come to light with respect to President Obama is that globalists like Robert Shapiro have made well-publicized statements like “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.” While it’s true that Shapiro was speaking of the 2010 midterm elections, what he said then is twice as true now. A terror spectacular committed by al Qaeda in the runup to the election could easily be cast by a willing cadre of press outlets like MSNBC, The New York TImes, CNN and The Washtingon Post as revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the popular sentiment galvanized thereby would serve to sweep Obama back into the Oval Office in a landslide. Americans should remember that the Project for a New American Century’s 2000 report straightforwardly called for a “new Pearl Harbor” and we got one a year later.
Whatever his faults, JFK had the steely nerve to deny the apparatchiks air support when they launched the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion against Cuba. Many believe he paid for it with his life two and a half years later when many of the same men had their revenge. Likewise, President Obama has many around him who are eager to see an incident of one kind or another perpetuate the administration for another four years. They are not necessarily entirely discriminating about what sort of incident that will be, nor will they necessarily stand idly by if one fails to present itself sufficiently ahead of the November election.
At least three shocks are lurking during the next couple of months and perhaps beyond. It’s fitting that September is preparedness month.