Russia is unlikely to take the bait: It has the real strategic advantage in all areas of engagement with the Ukrainian forces.
There is too much ‘noise’ in the system, and it is obscuring the view.
Davos has always been ‘weird’. But this year, the kookier aspects were so obvious. The WEF is dying on the vine. The ‘vision’ seems ever more fantastical, and the hubris – inherent in the ‘behavioural conditioning’ to make people make the ‘right choices’ – stands naked. The schism between life, as experienced in the round, and the WEF’s bleak prescription, has never been more stark. The gap will only widen as sharply falling living standards focus the great majority on immediacy and family survival.
One may dismiss this happening as a curiosity. But that would be wrong. The Davos vessel may have struck a large credibility iceberg, but it has not yet sunk.
Rather, the fact of Davos sinking into creepy idiosyncrasy is significant – highly significant.
It is significant because it marks a discontinuity in that ‘odd couple’ spectrum of the European climate zealots teaming up with the U.S. and British neocon Russophobes. It was always an oddity that the German Green Party – once anti-war – has become such an avid supporter of war with Russia.
The ‘Green’ wing to the coalition is weakening. But we should expect climate push-back on the Green Transition however, to increase, as living standards continue to collapse at a rate not seen since WW2.
Intuitively, Davos looking weird might seem a good thing. But beware what we wish for – because the fading of the ‘Green’ wing leaves the U.S. hegemony ideologues’ (the neo-cons) freer to push into the void, so vacated.
The origins to the Davos/Reset end to this framework were always ‘shifty’. The concept’s originator was never Team Schwab,but David Rockefeller, Chair of Chase Manhattan Bank, and his protégé (and later Klaus Schwab’s ‘indispensable adviser’), Maurice Strong.
William Engdahl has written how “circles directly tied to David Rockefeller in the 1970s launched a dazzling array of élite organizations and think tanks. These included the neo-Malthusian Club of Rome; the MIT-authored study, ‘Limits to Growth’; and the Trilateral Commission”:
“In 1971 the Club of Rome published a deeply flawed report, Limits to Growth, which predicted an end to civilization, owing to population growth combined with depleting resources. That was 1971. In 1973, Klaus Schwab at his third annual Davos, presented Limits to Growth as his [vision for the future], to the assembled corporate CEOs. In 1974, the Club of Rome’s Turning Point, subsequently argued that ‘Interdependence must translate as a decrease in independence’: Now is the time to draw up a master plan [for] a new global economic system.
It was Maurice Strong, Rockefeller’s protégé, as Chair of the 1972 Earth Day UN Stockholm Conference, [who] promoted an economic strategy of population reduction and lowering of living standards around the world to ‘save the environment’. As Secretary General of the UN Rio Conference, Strong commissioned the report from the Club of Rome which admitted that the CO2 global warming claim was merely an invented ruse to force change: The real enemy is humanity itself – whose behaviour was to be changed. President Clinton’s delegate to Rio, Tim Wirth, admitted the same, stating, “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the ‘right thing’ in terms of economic policy”.
The point here is that the Rockefeller-Davos prescription was always a scam for blowing a new financial bubble to keep the dollar hegemony project afloat. The world however, is moving on from the Davos unitary world governance prescription, to de-centralisation and multi polarity – in pursuit of the renaissance of autonomy, historic values and sovereignty. At the WEF this year, it was obvious: Davos is passé.
The more important effect however, often missed, is the import of ‘the Agenda fail’ on the financial war: The Davos ‘new economic system’ envisaged a tidal wave of spending on renewable tech; on subsidies (like CO2 credits) and on liquifying the transition. It was about incubating a new bubble, based on zero-cost new money (known as MMT).
This is why corporates such as Blackrock and the oligarchs are so excited by Davos. The arrival of high interest rates however, effectively kills the new ‘bubble option’ – precisely at a moment when the western world stands at the cusp of a severe economic contraction.
‘Serendipitously’ – at this moment of Davos decay – a raucous, distracting noise started up: Abrahams M1s and Leopards for Ukraine. German FM, Baerbock declares Germany and the EU family are “at war with Russia”. The noise, as usual, succeeds in obscuring any wider picture.
Yes, point one, we do have mission creep: We won’t send offensive weapons, but then they did. We won’t send long-range weapons M777), but then they did. We won’t send multiple missile launch systems (HIMARS), but then they did. We won’t send tanks, but now they are. No NATO boots on the ground, but they have been there since 2014.
Point two: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to a U.S. Defence Secretary, says that the mood in Washington has notably changed: DC gets it – the U.S. is losing the proxy war. This fact however, Macgregor says, still remains ‘under the radar’ in respect to the main-stream media. The more important point Macgregor makes is that this late ‘awakening’ to reality is not shifting the stance of the neocons hawks, one jot. They want escalation (as do one small faction in Germany – the Greens; as well as a leading faction in Poland and, as usual, the Baltic states).
And Biden has surrounded himself with State Department war-hawks.
Point three: the contrarian ‘reality’ is that the ‘uniformed’ militaries of Europe also ‘get it’: that Ukraine is losing, and now are very worried by the prospect of escalation – and of war engulfing eastern Europe. The tanks have nothing to do with their calculus about the war outcome.
The professionals know the Abrams or Leopards will neither change the course of the war, nor will they arrive before it is too late to alter anything. The European military cadre do not want war with Russia: They know the EU has no ‘surge’ manufacturing capacity to sustain war against Russia beyond a very small window.
Popular opinion, and key strands of élite opinion in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), are becoming hardened in opposition to the war. The concern is that the emphasis on sending exactly German tanks, with their dark symbolism of past bloody battles, is intended to bury any prospect of any future German relationship with Russia – for good.
Further, German military officers worry that a failing Ukrainian military might fall back to the Polish border – and even across it – before the tanks are delivered. The tanks then would be absorbed by the Polish military. There is a thought in these military circles that this might, in fact, be the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.
Germans understandably are very uneasy. A recent report by the Polish edition of German Die Welt – based on discussions with Polish diplomatic sources, including a senior Polish Foreign Ministry official – reported that “every day, Polish politicians say what the representatives of Germany or France usually do not dare to say, and thus formulate one of the goals of the war, that Russia must be unconditionally weakened as far as possible. Our goal is to stop Russia forever. A rotten compromise must not be allowed”. And further, “A truce on Russia’s terms would only lead to a pause in the fighting, which would only last until Russia recovers”, the senior diplomat explained.
So, let us turn this perspective around, and look at it from the other direction. Of course, the Ukraine conflict is a kaleidoscope of moving shapes – yet there are some handholds onto which one can seize, for stability.
The axis of states “at war with Russia” stand at the edge of an economic precipice. Living standards are collapsing at the fastest rate since WW2. Anger, slow to ignite, is now burgeoning. The British and EU political classes have no answers to this crisis. The Ruling Class try to sit tight, and trust that the people will accept all ‘things’: Spiralling prices, jobs priced out by higher energy costs, empty spaces on shop shelves, the energy spikes – and the pockets of system dysfunctionality (i.e., at airports and on transport systems) that confound the smooth running of society. It’s the same for Americans.
The flunkies charged with the management and the running of ‘the system’ are confused. Their (high) self-esteem until now has rested on their articulation of ‘correct views’ and espousing the ‘prescribed causes’ – more than manifesting any particular competence in their work. Now they do not know what to say, or which cause is ‘correct’. Narratives are falling apart; the Twitter revelations have disrupted the former ‘equilibrium’.
The Kiev régime also is at the edge. It is reaching the edge on military morale – and in the supply of able-bodied men. It is financially broke. Reportedly, one of the messages delivered by CIA head, Bill Burns, on his recent visit, warned that Kiev can count on Washington’s financial support until July – but beyond that, funding will be moot.
Colonel Macgregor suggests that the supply of ‘tanks’ were intended to “prolong the suffering” – i.e., more ‘optics’ until (presumably) a scapegoat can be identified that can carry the can for an eventual Ukraine débacle. Who might that be? Well, the rumour mill hints that the Biden Classified Documents saga is a ruse intended to lead to Joe Biden’s departure ahead of the Democratic primaries.
Who knows … But what is evident is that there is a faction in the U.S., that like the Europeans, opposes the Biden Team predisposition towards escalation. The Europeans fear kinetic war in Europe, whereas the American faction more fears the prospect of financial melt-down, should the war widen.
Of course, Moscow too, does not want a wider war – although it must prepare against just such a contingency.
Moscow will also be aware that the continued western military provocations (i.e., drone attacks in Crimea) are eagerly seized on by the hawks hoping to trigger a Russian escalatory step. Indeed, the hawks argue that the absence of such retaliation from Russia is adduced as evidence of weakness – justifying taking a qualitative step further, in subsequent provocations.
Russia however, is unlikely to take the bait: It has the real strategic advantage in all areas of engagement with the Ukrainian forces. Whereas, the West has only the ephemeral optical escalatory advantage.
Team Putin has the latitude to manage any escalatory steps (by way of retaliation) in mini, scattergun fashion, so to avoid giving the Washington warriors their hoped for ‘Pearl Harbour’ peg (as when the U.S. fleet was left tethered and at anchor, as a target intended to entice a Japanese attack).
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.