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Fight of the Century

Monday, February 20, 2017 11:28
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by Doug Casey, International Man:

In March 1933, the Enabling Act was passed by the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament. Its purpose was to provide Chancellor Adolf Hitler with the ability to bypass the Reichstag. It allowed him (amongst other measures) emergency powers to legally wage pre-emptive war without any further parliamentary or presidential approval, or even discussion.

In January 2017, H.J. Res 10 was introduced to the US House of Representatives. Its intent was simple and straightforward:

This joint resolution authorizes the President to use the U.S. Armed Forces as necessary in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Introduced by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), the bill seeks to give the president unilateral authority to legally wage pre-emptive war without any further Congressional approval, or even discussion.

So, is it possible that the US is following a similar path to that of 1930’s Germany? Well, let’s look a bit closer and see.

During his campaign, Mister Trump was very vocal with regard to his sentiments toward Iran and, since his inauguration, has famously put Iran “on notice.”

He has the full support of his chief advisers on this issue. His national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and his defence secretary, Gen. James Mattis, have both recently accused Iran of being the world’s leading “state sponsor of terrorism.” New head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, also favours invading Iran.

On the other side of the fence, Ayatollah Khamenei has behaved with traditional Iranian braggadocio, saying of Mister Trump,

We actually thank this new president… What we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the US ruling establishment, he revealed during the election campaign and after the elections.

With each side goading the other, both sides seem to be as eager to “get into the ring” as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were in 1971’s “Fight of the Century.”

So, will the match take place? Well, it appears that the sabre-rattling has become more serious of late and, unless one side chooses to back down, war could occur early in the Trump presidency. Ironically, for Mister Trump, this could be a good thing, as the US has never been more divided with regard to its support of its president. However, in times of war, party rhetoric dies down considerably and nations rally round their leader.

I have previously described Mister Trump with the medical term “productive narcissist,” as he is a textbook example. Were I an American citizen, any criticism of Mister Trump would likely label me a liberal, which I am not. But, at the present time, Americans are so divided that they are expected by their peers to be “pro-Trump” or “anti-Trump,” with little allowance for objective observation.

If my psychological assessment is correct, Mister Trump could be predicted to not only pursue conflict with Iran, but revel in it. Certainly, the conflict would result in his becoming the most focused-on man on earth. An EU breakup, collapsing economies, failing currencies, and bank confiscations would all take a back seat to the main event: the fight of the century, as Mister Trump and the Ayatollah step into the ring.

Unfortunately, war, as attractive as it often is to political leaders, tends not to work out as well as expected. It tends to be more prolonged and more devastating than any leader ever anticipates.

First, each protagonist tends to underestimate the ability of the other to wage war successfully. Second, he tends not to take into account whom his opposite number can count on for support. This is especially significant with regard to the upcoming contest, as both Russia and China have declared their support for Iran. It’s unlikely that the US, even if it were to gain the support of the EU, could take on both these nuclear powers. In addition, the EU may well be on the verge of collapse. Individual European countries have sought to increase their trade with the Russians even as the US has sought to implement sanctions against them.

Further, as I have often stated, “Any country that is considering waging war against another country should first consider that the loser is almost always the country that runs out of money first.”

The US is at present more greatly in debt than ever before in its history and can ill afford to dive into a war that is almost certain to become a world war.

The last time the world was this close to a world war was in 1962, when US President John Kennedy wrestled with the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that time, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff advised an all-out attack. Mister Kennedy, thankfully, took a backward step and appealed to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to do the same. Mister Khrushchev agreed, and the world was saved from nuclear war by two men who had the sense to calm down and back off.

So, some fifty-odd years later, will we be so fortunate? The US President appears to approach aggression with gusto. A lover of challenges, he appears quite willing to put on the gloves and to do so soon.

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