Fall of the U.S. Empire and the Breakup of the Geopolitical Matrix
by David Galland: A
Word on Corrections
Report Interview with Richard Maybury
going on in the world today, we thought it a good time to catch
up with the views of longtime friend Richard Maybury, a low-key
but highly respected author, lecturer and analyst. In addition to
his work consulting with businesses and high net worth individuals
on strategic planning, Richard is the editor of the U.S.
& World Early Warning Report, a monthly service that
helps readers see the world as it is, versus how the media and the
officialdom would like you to see it. Richard is widely regarded
as one of the finest free-market writers in America today. His articles
have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today,
and other major publications.
Youve been steadily warning your readers for years about the
coming chaos in what you call Chaostan, yet another
forecast of yours that is coming true today. Before we get to current
events, could you define Chaostan for readers who arent familiar
Maybury: In Central Asia, the word "stan" means "land
of." Therefore Kazakhstan is the land of the Kazakhs, Kurdistan
is the land of the Kurds, and so forth. I coined the word Chaostan
in 1992, the land of chaos, to refer to the area from the Arctic
Ocean to the Indian Ocean and Poland to the Pacific, plus North
why I call this area Chaostan, you have to first understand the
two fundamental laws that make civilization possible. The first
being You should do all you have agreed to do, which
is the basis of contract law. The other is Do not encroach
on other persons or their property, which is the basis of
tort law and some criminal law.
Where you find
these laws most widely obeyed, especially by government, you find
the most peace and prosperity and economic advancement, especially
peace. In areas where they are less obeyed, you find chaos.
The area that
I refer to as Chaostan never developed legal systems based on those
two laws, at least not legal systems that the governments feel obligated
to follow. I should point out those two fundamental laws provide
the foundation for the old British common law, which was the basis
of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution essentially
the legal documents that make America what it is or, rather, what
So that's the
essential thing, that Chaostan is the primary area that never developed
rational legal systems, or at least not rational legal systems that
governments are required to obey. As a result, throughout history
they have suffered, and will continue to suffer, political, economic
and social upheaval
Which brings us to the present, with a real flare-up going on in
Chaostan. As Doug Casey has often said, "The thing that gets
you is the thing you dont see coming." Other than you
and Doug, no one else Im aware of anticipated the current
trouble in places like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. One day, things
are quiet, the next we've got all sorts of major oil-producing countries
countries that people believed would never really change
up for grabs. What are your general thoughts on the situation?
Since youve read Early Warning Report for so many years, you
know that there is nothing going on today that surprises me or my
readers. That's the direction I thought Chaostan would go. I'm just
surprised that it took as long to get to this point as it did. In
that regard, I have often used a quote from Doug
"Just because something is inevitable doesnt make it
That too, but I was thinking of this quote to the effect of, "The
nasty things that you think are coming always take longer to arrive
than you think they will, but once they get here, they make up for
their tardiness by being worse than you thought theyd be."
I think that's
a fantastic observation, and it sure does apply here. I've always
been convinced that this mess was going to happen, but will confess
to being amazed that it is all happening at the same time, and that
it's occurring in such a short period of time.
What do you attribute the upheaval to?
There are two big things going on: One is the fall of the U.S. Empire,
and that is leading to the second, which is the breakup of the geopolitical
matrix. In the case of the latter, I am referring to the many relationships
the governments of the world have with each other and with their
of relationships and political structures are called countries,
most of which have existed for a long time, but that's breaking
up now, in part because, in most cases, the borders between these
countries were drawn a long time ago by people who knew nothing
about the local populations.
While the breakup
is starting in North Africa, I think it's going to spread across
most or all of Chaostan. And it will have effects even in North
America and South America. While it's almost impossible to predict
exactly how, its my view the world that we grew up in is going
away, and it will be replaced by some new political matrix.
will only be exacerbated by the fact that the U.S. Empire that we
grew up with is crumbling very fast. As the U.S. Empire collapses,
all sorts of relationships will die, leading to yet more chaos.
You can see this with Obama calling up Mubarak and ordering him
to resign, so I think chaos is the only word that fits.
As far as I
know, nothing on this scale has ever happened before in world history,
and for people who dont understand it and are not paying close
attention, it's going to be hell. But for those who do understand
it, it's going to be one of the biggest money-making opportunities
in all of world history.
know what to say other than just look out.
We'll get back to the money-making opportunities momentarily. First,
however, a bit more on the crumbling U.S. Empire, an assessment
we agree with. The administration was clearly caught flat-footed
by what happened in Egypt. First it supported Mubaraks regime
and then, as you noted, it flipped and Obama demanded he go. It
seems like right now the U.S. government really doesnt even
know whom it should be talking to, let alone supporting, in these
This is no
small matter seeing that for decades much of U.S. foreign policy
has been directed at ensuring a steady supply of oil by creating
relationships in the Middle East, including setting up and supporting
various despots. With these relationships now at risk, the U.S.
government has to be seriously concerned that it will see a steep
degradation of its influence in the Middle East. Would you agree?
Yes, I think U.S. government influence in the area is probably almost
completely gone. The only real influence they have is within, let's
say, a hundred miles of any given aircraft carrier. I dont
think Washington is taken seriously by anybody anymore, except for
its military power.
fact is, and you saw this in the Bush administration as well as
in the Obama administration, it's clear to everybody that they dont
know what theyre doing. They have absolutely no understanding
of the things that theyre meddling in.
watching a television interview with Condoleezza Rice right after
9/11, when she said "Nobody in the White House knew where Afghanistan
was." And that after the Twin Towers came down, they all gathered
in the Oval Office and had somebody bring in a globe so that they
could all find out where Afghanistan was.
Of course the region really only matters to the U.S. because of
its oil, and I think right now something like half of Libya's production
is off line. Do you see the situation region-wide affecting supplies
on a sustained basis?
Let me push back a bit on your comment that "The only reason
it's important to the U.S. is because of the oil." I would
modify that a little bit by saying, "The only reason the region
is important to you and me is because of the oil."
But to the
U.S. government, the region is a place they have exerted their power,
and that is what drives the U.S. government a lust for power.
You have a whole lot of people who spend their adult lives trying
to acquire power, and once they get it, they want to use it on somebody,
and one of the groups of people that they have used it on are those
in the Mideast.
founders understood that. Its why they created the Constitution
as they did, as an attempt to limit the use of power, but the Constitution
stops at the border. So U.S. politicians, almost right from the
beginning, have gone outside the country to exert their power because
it's a whole lot easier to do it in other countries than it is to
do it in this country, and we have to keep that in mind.
While the oil
is definitely a big factor, more of an excuse, for the U.S. governments
involvement over there, it's the exercise of power that they draw
satisfaction from and that's the reason they have meddled in these
countries for so many decades.
Now as far
as what's going to happen with the oil, my guess is that there will
be more uprisings, and Washington will try to establish new relationships
with whatever regimes rise up out of that. In the end, as you know,
fundamentally whoever owns the oil can't do anything with it except
sell it, and so they will sell it and we will buy it.
Might the Chinese, for example, move in there and take these opportunities
to redirect more oil in their direction?
Sure, but youve got to pay for the cost of the extraction,
and there will be all sorts of governments, probably already are,
sending agents in there to try to steer things in directions favorable
to them, and they will try to use whatever oil they get control
of as a weapon against their enemies.
I'm not talking
about anything that hasnt, in essence, been going on for centuries.
That's how governments behave. I have no idea how it's going to
shake out in the end, other than to say that ultimately whoever
owns the stuff is going to sell it to somebody. They may not sell
it directly to the United States or to U.S. oil companies, but theyll
sell it somewhere in the world, and that will increase the general
world supply, and the U.S. will then buy oil from somebody.
I think that
a whole lot of politics will be tangled up in these transactions,
but I guess maybe the main factor to keep in mind is how much of
the oil infrastructure is going to be destroyed while these governments
are maneuvering against each other over there. While its too
early to say, if a lot of that infrastructure isn't destroyed, I'll
be very surprised.
With the U.S.'s long relationship with Israel and support for all
sorts of despots in the region, is the guy on the streets in the
Middle East anti-American at this point?
I've heard of a few incidents here and there, but the impression
I get is that people around the world generally like the individual
American, because we are a personality they have never run into
In most countries,
if you tell an insulting joke about the government, everybody looks
over their shoulders to find out if somebody overheard. An American
never looks over his shoulder when he tells a political joke, and
they find that fascinating. We speak with confidence and openly
and about subjects that they will never talk about in public. So
theyre captivated with our personalities as individuals, but
they really hate and fear our government, just like many Americans
that point, just think about the sick feeling you get in your gut
when you go to your mailbox and find a letter with a return address
for the IRS. Now imagine what it's like being, let's say an Iranian,
and looking out your kitchen window and seeing an American guided
missile cruiser sitting out there in the water.
I remember when I lived in Chile being shocked to see U.S. soldiers
jogging in double lines up the roads. This was a regular sight.
It doesnt take much imagination to figure out how people in
the U.S. would react if Iraqi troops were a regular sight in their
Back to the
question of oil, the big players in the region are Iraq, Iran and
Saudi Arabia. Do you think Saudi Arabia, in particular, will be
in play before this is over?
They already are in play in the sense that theyre trying to
steer events in directions that are favorable to them. Maybe we
should explain to the readers where Saudi Arabia came from. This
is not a natural country. It is a country created by the government
of Britain. Britain went into Arabia and picked the Saudi tribe
as the one that ought to run the place as a surrogate of the British
government. They supported the Saudi tribe so the Saudi tribe could
conquer the other tribes, and that's essentially what Saudi Arabia
It's as if
someone went into Texas and picked the Jones family to run Texas
and renamed the place Jones Texas. That's what Saudi Arabia is,
and the other tribes dont enjoy being dominated by the Saudi
tribe, so there is inherent tension in that country all the time.
The way the Saudi tribe tries to avoid violence is by buying off
the population. They just keep pumping money into the population
in an attempt to keep them fat, dumb and happy, but the population
is getting tired of the whole scam, and that ancient hatred of the
Saudi tribe is always there, just under the surface. There is a
horrible resentment in the population.
When the ocean
of oil is poured into the mix, yielding unimaginable riches for
the Saudi rulers, its a nitro and glycerin combination that
people have been writing about for decades. I'm one of them. I'm
amazed Saudi Arabia is still there. I thought it would have blown
up a long time ago, but it could be the uprisings spreading all
across the Islamic world now that light the fuse on their overthrow.
is the big prize, and this means a lot of people want it and theyll
be likely to fight over it and where it is going to go, I
dont know. This may be the greatest level of uncertainty since
World War II.
It would be logical that the U.S. military-industrial complex is
going to use all this instability as an excuse to rationalize continuing
with the huge levels of military spending, which is a big problem
in terms of reducing the deficit. Do you see the U.S. military remaining
as big as it is, or is there a change coming as the empire continues
to dwindle down?
I think there will be some token cuts to the military, but I can't
see anything serious because all you need to do to get the American
people to support a larger military is to just scare them a little
bit. And that's easy to do in this present situation it is
very easy to do.
So I would
tend to think that all youve got to do is announce that we
need more aircraft carrier battle groups, because the oil supply
is threatened, and the typical American on the street is going to
say fine, build more aircraft carriers.
A point here
to keep in mind is that, yes, the U.S. has by far the largest military
force in the world, but Washington has taken unto itself the largest
military obligation in the world namely the responsibility
of policing the whole planet. There is no other country that thinks
it has the obligation to police the earth, so in terms of fire power
versus territory that is being controlled, Washington is actually
very weak and its enemies know this.
Recently the U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates told cadets at West
Point that we may never fight another large ground war. Do you believe
that? I mean, if Saudi Arabia gets really unstable, do you think
we are going to put boots on the ground there?
Yes, definitely. This idea that you can fight a war without the
use of ground forces is ridiculous. It shows a lack of understanding
of what government is. A government is an organization that has
control over a given piece of territory, and to control it youve
got to have infantry standing on the ground. The phrase "boots
on the ground" is a very good one for that.
The place has
to be occupied by soldiers with rifles, and if you dont have
the ability to do that, then you can't control the place. You can
just bomb the heck out of it, but eventually youve got to
put troops on the ground.
Yet in his speech to the cadets, Gates said that wars like Afghanistan
are not likely and in fact he would advise against it. I have a
copy of the article here, and I quote; "In my opinion, any
future defense secretary that advises the president to again send
a big American land army into Asia or into the middle of Africa
should have his head examined."
What he's saying is absolutely true, that you should not get involved
in foreign wars, but I think it's a naïve idea to assume that
they won't do it, because after all it's a government. It wants
to use its power. It's going to use its power on somebody, and it
will get into more wars, because the people who run the government
are power seekers and they want to use their power. Until there
is an amendment to the Constitution that says the U.S. government
can't meddle in other countries, we're going to have wars in other
Speaking of foreign entanglements, Israel has got to be watching
all this stuff with great concern.
Yes, if I were the Israelis, I'd be pretty scared, and certainly
they are also working secretly to try to steer events in directions
favorable to them. I dont know what to say about it other
than the old phrase, "The situation is fluid."
It sure is
fluid, no doubt.
Returning just for a moment to your contention that governments
need to exercise power. Is this just a psychological aberration
amongst power seekers, or is there more to it than that?
I regard it as a mental illness. People such as you and me and our
readers are generally wealth seekers. We want to live a prosperous,
comfortable life and we seek wealth in order to do that. By contrast,
people who rise to the top in government are power seekers. They
get their satisfaction from forcing other people to do what they
want. They are essentially bullies.
a little proof here. Practically every piece of legislation enacted
in the last 100 years has involved the use of force on persons who
have not harmed anyone. Anybody who wants that privilege has to
have something wrong with them, so I think it's a given that when
you're dealing with a high-level politician or a high-level bureaucrat,
you're dealing with somebody who likes to push other people around,
and that's the fundamental factor that the American founders were
looking at when they created the Constitution. They understood that
political power corrupts the morals and the judgment.
A moment ago, you mentioned that one way the government can get
people to go along with its schemes is to scare them, and history
supports that this isnt a new tactic. Yet, a lot of Americans
look at 9/11 as proof that Muslim extremists are after us and we
have to defend ourselves, and see that as sufficient rationale for
the U.S. military to take action in the Middle East. Even from our
readers, we hear things like "Kill them all and let God sort
them out." How would you respond to that?
I know a lot of people that seem to need somebody to hate, and when
the government gives them somebody to hate, theyre grateful.
I've known a lot of people like that. They enjoy despising whole
classes of people, painting them all with the same brush, even the
Yet people would argue that the U.S. government did not give us
the Arabs to hate. They blew up the World Trade Center. There is
clear evidence that in fact somebody does hate us, and so we should
hate them back.
Yes, well, as Ron Paul has pointed out, and I think this is a direct
quote from Ron, "They didnt come over here until we went
And we've been over there an awfully long time at this point.
That's right. You can go back 200 years, if you want, which I do.
The original war between the U.S. and Muslims was the Barbary Wars
back in the early 1800s, and that was essentially an extension of
the Crusades. The Europeans were fighting the Muslims, and the Europeans
hoodwinked the American politicians into joining the war on their
When you hear
the Marine Corps hymn "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores
of Tripoli," to the shores of Tripoli refers to the Barbary
Wars in which the U.S. came into the Crusades against the Muslims
on the side of the Europeans.
So you can
go back 200 years when the Europeans manipulated us into this thing,
or you can count the modern onset as being in the 1940s when Roosevelt
made an agreement to support the Saudis. There has never been a
case where an Islamic government sent armies into the United States,
but the U.S. has done it in the Mideast numerous times.
Speaking of being manipulated, it is always remarkable to me how
the British were up to their necks in Israel, as were the French
in Vietnam, and presto chango, theyre out of the picture,
replaced by the Americans. How we ended up as Israel's number one
benefactor is amazing, just as it is amazing to me that we ended
up losing 50,000 men in Vietnam after the French left. It makes
no sense to me, but I guess its to be expected once you start
getting drawn into foreign adventures.
What else are
you following for your readers? What sort of themes are you getting
In terms of economics, we've been writing about the decline of the
dollar for years now. But actually, as of the March issue, I'm making
a turn and going back to a much deeper geopolitical orientation,
because I think what's going on in the Islamic world now is going
to be at least as dominant as the fall of the Soviet Empire was
back in the 1990s.
has made an interesting point. He said that it won't be very long
and we will all be looking back and referring to life before Tunisia
and life after Tunisia, and I think that is true. The Tunisia uprising
will be viewed akin to the attack on Pearl Harbor or the assassination
of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 where life was totally different after
that incident happened. I think we're in that situation now.
And I take it for granted that you think oil is going a lot higher.
Yes, not that it isnt going to have corrections along the
way, but I've been predicting for a long time we are going to see
oil at $300 a barrel. I dont know when, but I'm sure it's
And gold is a core holding at this point?
Absolutely, gold and silver. I think they still have a long way
to go, which is to say the dollar still has a long way to fall.
Any other quick investment ideas that you would share?
I still like Fidelity Select Defense and Aerospace Fund. The symbol
is FSDAX. I think the military industries are going to be selling
a lot of weapons, and so why not invest in it?
is based on what I regard as the two carved-in-granite long-term
economic trends; one of them being the decline of the dollar and
the other one being war. I think those are locked in, and so I recommend
people buy investments that do well during wartime or during periods
of currency debasement, which we have. Those two trends war
and currency debasement are essentially what Early Warning
Reports whole strategy is at this point. Buy whatever
does well during war and currency debasement.
A final question. Do you see the government pulling out of Afghanistan
more or less on schedule?
I doubt it, but given how fluid the situation is, who knows? Gates'
comment was very revealing. It is amazing he would admit in public
that it was a stupid thing to go into Afghanistan. If U.S. officials
can divert the public's attention enough with what's going on in
North Africa, maybe they can pull it off maybe they can cut
and run, and let the Afghan government fall without the American
public noticing the lives that were wasted propping it up.
The one thing
I can tell you for sure is that if you want to keep track of what's
really going on in the world, you have to watch the aircraft carriers.
The U.S. has 10 aircraft carriers the big super-carriers
and they are always an indication of what Washington is really
So when you read that a carrier is being moved into a certain area,
then that's a tip-off that somethings about to go on?
Yes. The position of carriers is a tip-off. Google Positions
of U.S. Aircraft Carriers. Secondarily, Washington uses amphibious
warfare ships as substitutes for the big carriers, so you want to
keep an eye on those as well.
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May 13, 2011
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