Big Thinkers: Orlov's Book and Current Events - Part 1

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 - 12:47am
The Sky is Falling! Or is it?
Dmitry Orlov’s 2013 book “The Five Stages of Collapse – Survivors’ Toolkit” is required reading. I do not say that lightly. It is a must read; do not delay. It is here:
and there are reviews posted for those inclined. I am not doing a book review. I am trying to pin down a realistic time-line, and the markers of same, in order that we all can prepare accordingly. Nothing I have read to date is as well analyzed, or presented, so for that, I am in awe. But, naturally, I have my own thoughts as to the reality that all five stages of collapse actually occur. So, this is Part I. Part II will be next Wednesday, as it all should make more sense as the Syrian situation unfolds.
From the introduction of the book through the afterward, the book is mesmerizing both in its insightful analysis, and its use of examples. It is full of humor, too. While I quarrel with the constant references to global warming–I am not a believer in that theory at all–the book is simply astonishing for its clear, yet compelling, observations. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Orlov was born in Russia, having moved to the United States as a teenager? Or that Mr. Orlov is an engineer with skills in many fields including high energy physics research, e-commerce and Internet security? Or that Mr. Orlov traveled back and forth to Russia repeatedly to observe the Soviet collapse during the late 80s and mid 90s?
All of these facts cement his credentials for me, and makes this book such a compelling read. I find it extremely important that we examine Mr. Orlov’s prism through which he views the world, because he alone seems to have the unique insight to have synthesized a world view based on personal experience as well as his education and obvious intellect. One can quarrel with his conclusions, but they are based on solid facts and experiences completely foreign to me that is for sure. Hence, I absorbed the book in rapt fascination, and I now look at the world events with a nod to the possibilities that Orlov’s predictions are accurate.
Mr. Orlov was born in Russia during the Cold War era. It is fascinating to think that he then left Russia and moved to the United States, where he then got to play video games, listen to Western pop-culture music and watch Hollywood movies. Certainly he had a taste of hard living in Russia, compared to the easy life in the United States. This had to have played a huge influence upon young Orlov.
Then, as the communist experiment began its death spasms, Mr. Orlov’s family and friends and he himself were there to witness them all to include the collapse. Personally, I remember being in an airport in Alabama at the time watching CNN showing images of the Soviet Union collapse on the video monitor. It was unbelievable, shocking–I was a former soldier, inculcated to hate the evil empire, they were the enemy dammit!; yet, my plane still showed up and left on time and I got to my destination. No one seemed to mind, or notice, and life just went on.
So, it’s not like the collapse of the fiat system in general and perhaps the USA in particular will be any life altering universe changing occurrence, although it will probably feel like that to many who are directly, initially affected. No, what Mr. Orlov writes about is a steady progression of a decaying, deteriorating, behemoth of a system, which announces its deterioration in measurable, meaningful ways. It is no mystery, nor should it be.
Anything which by definition that is unsustainable will come to an end. There is no sane person presently arguing that the current fiat system is sustainable. So, the fiat system will end, and the question then becomes what will it look like when it does start to end? Can the eventual collapse be stopped mid stream, like a magic stick save? How will we know the collapse is upon us? If the collapse is gradual, then how long will it take? What should we expect, at any given point in time, then, along the collapse continuum?
Mr. Orlov provides all the tools to reach conclusions and answers for all of these questions in detail and with examples from history. He adroitly describes an orderly process marked by five discrete stages of collapse, not all of which necessarily must occur, but which stages will occur in progressive fashion should efforts not be made to stave off the final, ruinous, back to the Stone Age collapse.
Those five stages are, in order, (1) Financial Collapse; (2) Commercial Collapse; (3) Political Collapse; (4) Social Collapse, and finally, (5) Cultural Collapse.
Without taking too much time to restate history, we all pretty much know that the financial collapse is occurring as we speak, with the first hint and outward manifestation of financial collapse occurring in 2008 and continuing ever since. Here is what Orlov says about Stage 1, the Financial Collapse: “Faith in business as usual is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out and access to capital is lost.” [p.14].
At this point, I firmly believe that the financial collapse is ongoing just as described, and accelerating. Understand that the process of the ongoing deterioration of the system is a gradual marginal process, and that there is no definitive point in time when there is at one moment a blissful, peaceful feeling that everything is perfectly fine, and then at the next moment there is sudden chaos and anarchy with rioting in the streets and images of roving bands of thugs streaming across our televisions. Instead, the financial collapse will continue its progress marginally, inexorably, step-by-step until such time as there is a commercial collapse. This is a completely different viewpoint I had when I first came to tfmr. I initially felt that collapse was IMMINENT!! Grab the weapons, food, water and gold/silver, time to bug out!
Well, I was dead wrong. Stupidly so. But how could I have been so misguided? Was it gullibility? Madison Avenue marketing? Human nature normalcy bias?
Whatever. Only now, I see things in a different, more analytical light, thanks to Mr. Orlov’s writings. Make no mistake, though. It is crystal clear that the Financial Collapse is ongoing, right now, leading soon enough I believe, though gradually to Stage 2, Commercial Collapse.
Understand that Santa told everyone to get out of the financial system. Cyprus banks initiated the bail-in. The ground work has been laid out. It is all legal and all the details worked out. Plenty has been written about the pending stealing of funds on deposit at banks, retirement accounts, name it. Look at what is happening in Argentina. If those Argentinian bond holders are stiffed, then that supposedly valuable New York paper is not so valuable now, is it? All of this is coming to pass as predicted, and the signs are obvious to anyone who wants to look.
The fiat system is broken. Risk assessment is now based on predicting the words of the Fed bankster in charge, then front run on huge computers to shear the sheep of fractions of pennies. The worlds’ unregulated derivatives dwarf the world GDP. A small hiccup will destroy the entire scheme, overnight. We are there.
This leads us to Stage 2, the Commercial Collapse. Orlov says this: “Faith that the market shall provide is lost. Money is devalued and or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down in widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.” [p.14].
It sure does not look like this Stage yet to me, but it sure seems damn close, too. But, by looking closely, the Syrian situation is telegraphing the proximity of when this Stage will occur. Many, many commentators have weighed in about Syria, and how the whole military situation, the bombing, the invasion, the troops really point in one direction;
The US President, a laughing stock, says at one moment that Syria crossed a red line, but now tries to wiggle out from under his own words, like a hack criminal defense attorney arguing for leniency for his recidivist client. The Syrian distraction is just that, a ruse. The real reason, they say, is resources, namely, gas pipelines to feed the industrialized world in general, and to perpetuate the governing structures of some middle east countries. So does this not seem to point towards the imminent arrival of Stage 2? Soon enough we will know.
Believe what you want to believe, but the next Stage, Commercial Collapse, knowing it is upon us, preparing do deal with it and live through it, is damn important to survival of us regular folks that is for sure. It is also after this Stage that I believe that a concerted effort to become politically active and strive for limited government will have the biggest effects.
So, for now, I leave you with this Part I and invite comments, criticisms, and the like. Try to focus on Orlov’s definitions of the first two Stages.
Next week I will dig into Stages 3-5, and evaluate details as well as strategies for rising up and making a difference for Stage 3. I would not be doing all this analysis if I did not believe that there is a possibility for real reform during Stage 3. So, I am not totally a doomsday believer I once was, but things sure look grim, so don’t let up on the preparation effort that is for sure.

About the Author


Sep 6, 2013 - 2:40pm


I often don't agree with Martin but on this one he's spot one.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:46pm

Sociopath vs psychopath

Most here who use the word sociopath, seem to be implying psychopath instead.

Please get it straight. Socios would have been the SS clerks, guards, and murderers throughout 1930s and WWII years. Psychopaths were the ones like Heydrich and Eichmann who cold-bloodedly planned the butchery. There would have been many, many others, flocking to the new rising power from all over the world, to exploit any action. Goering, Goebels and the chicken farmer were most likely socios, turned to situational psychos. As for mr hilter, who knows?

These days, they all flock to the new terror base: banksterism.

Edit: Cipher, I forgot to say that in the case you mention, the scorpion is most definitely a psychopath, but not a sociopath or situational psychopath.

At the end of WWII, mr hilter was most definitely also a psychopath, though growing insanity might have made him that.....from a good ol, down home sociopath.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:52pm


Thanks for pointing that out and the constructive criticism.


Sep 6, 2013 - 2:55pm


It appears that California Lawyer has presented such a interesting topic that even those in the vault have detoured to his posts. If the content on the free site has quality material then it will have its own character and boom onward. jmo

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:56pm
Sep 6, 2013 - 2:58pm

Has anyone considered....

...that even though the US military would in all probability sustain some significant damage in a war with Russia/Syria/Iran that in the end the US & eventual allies might win in a big albeit bloody way?

Any outcome is possible of course, but looking at it in a military asset way (nukes not included/nor used) it would seem inevitable that a region based conflict is "winnable"....whatever that word comes to define in this instance. We have too many assets and Russia (and China) know it.

What type of world will it become if a war is fought (on any level) and the US wins big or small versus losing it or bowing out weakly? One thing this war event will deal a death blow to any economic or monetary cooperation internationally between the big players or combatants.

I think the US eventually attacks and things spiral from there and stay over there. We might be very close to a bond market event if China, Russia etc stop their UST purchases and become big sellers instead. The effect would be immediate and severe.

I'm of the opinion that the major players personalities involved (Putin, Obama, Netanyahu, Assad, SA king and other ME kings, Hezbollah Nasralleh etc.) exclude the possibility of a negotiated peaceful resolution at this point.

There seems to be a real bloodlust going on that's determined to be satiated.

Try to picture the world if the US wins outright and essentially becomes unrivaled depending on how it plays out. Or picture a bruised and chastened US. The world will be a different place with a different feel to it either way.

Either way, too much is at stake on too many levels to turn back and it doesn't appear to be an option with those egos involved and the logistical preparedness already undertaken. The primary heavy casualty will be the UST/USD and it might happen sooner than later but it's also become inevitable.

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:00pm


Very cool and very funny!

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:02pm

A little more clarity

Some time ago I listened to an interview with a Psychiatrist who had written a book aimed at the general public, and describing psychopaths, and the traits they exhibit. He sounded very credible, and said that they number approx. 1% of humanity. Wish I could remember his name, and the name of his book.

Not long ago I listened to an interview with a woman who claimed to be a sociopath, and had written a book called "Confessions of a Sociopath". Very enlightening indeed! Also, very credible. I think we all have a little of the socio in us, but do not know if there is a degree of sociopathy, or someone just IS one.

I would love to see someone here give an informed view of these human defects(?).

Many people think civilization might stagnate without these deviants to take the "difficult actions" necessary for advancement.

Be Prepared
Sep 6, 2013 - 3:05pm

@RaRa - Turdite Convention

I think your meeting could be the start of eventually holding a Turdite Convention.... wouldn't that be a hoot? My only question.... did you solve the world's problems? With all that brain power and unrestrained critical thinking, I'm sure the world will never be the same... :-) Looks like a great time was had by all! If you ever make it across the pond, I would love to be a part of your U.S. tour.

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:20pm


"6 Turdites met for lunch in London Town"

There's only 5 in the pic. Or is one of them under the table already?

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:21pm

benque re human defects, civilization

Many people think civilization might stagnate without these deviants to take the "difficult actions" necessary for advancement.

One of those economic podcasts I am forever posting had an interesting discussion about road rage, and irrational behaviour like punching someone and getting arrested, because they butted in line. The theory basically was that one was inclined to stay in social bounds and behave according to social norms because there just might be someone in the crowd crazy enough to chase you off the highway because you cut them off.

Quite similar, in that seemingly irrational individual behaviour might have a good outcome for the group. Who mentioned here the other day it being apparently mathematically proven that you should sacrifice yourself for two brothers or eight cousins?

Very interesting.

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:21pm


Wasn't it you taking the picture????

RaRaRasputin Bollocks
Sep 6, 2013 - 3:22pm


Nope - there was one behind the camera :)

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:27pm

Thanks XTY

More pieces of the puzzle cake to digest.

Situational psychopathy was described in the interview I mention, as (for example) the war hero who single handedly attacks a well defended enemy position, throwing all thoughts of stealth, or defense to the wind. Posthumous or otherwise, the seemingly normal person went all "HERO", and was rewarded for those actions.

The road-rage might be sociopathy??? I just don't know, but remain very interested in understanding it all. Wish I had a more leisurely life, to afford time for proper studies of what interests me.

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:37pm

Be Prep

I left after 3 hours and there was still 3 left at the table talking so a great deal was discussed! If I shared with you some of the finer details of the conversation I'm afraid I would have to kill you ;)

If we made it across the pond - you would be first port of call on the US tour :)

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:41pm

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Statesman

Statesman, is my opinion and I wish there where more like Him.

God Bless you Dr. Roberts!


It is clear that the American people overwhelming oppose an attack on Syria. Whether Americans have caught on over the years to Washington’s endless war lies or whether they simply see no point to the wars and no gain to America from 12 years of costly war, I cannot say. At a time when a large percentage of Americans are having difficulty paying their mortgages, car payments, and putting food on the table, Washington’s wars seem an expensive luxury.

It is not only the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria who have suffered. Tens of thousands of America’s young have either been killed, maimed for life, or are suffering permanent post-traumatic stress. Washington’s wars have caused thousands of divorces, alcoholism, drug addiction, and homelessness for veterans who were deceived and had their humanity abused by the criminals that rule in Washington.

For Congress, allegedly the representatives of the American people, not the backstop for the executive branch’s undeclared agenda, to ignore the people’s will and to endorse a war that the American people do not support would be another decisive blow against democracy. If Congress endorses obama’s war, it will prove that American democracy is a hoax.

If the White House were to succeed in using Congress’ OK to a military attack on Syria to convince the British Parliament and NATO to go along, despite the strong opposition of the British and European peoples, Western Democracy would everywhere be discredited. Where is the democracy when a few elites at the top can do whatever they want, commit any crime, despite the majority opposition of citizens?

If Congress endorses obama’s transparent lies, American democracy will never recover. If Congress makes itself the handmaiden of the executive branch, Congress will never again have an independent voice. Congress might as well close down. It will have rendered itself superfluous and powerless.

If European governments endorse obama’s lies, it means the end of the West’s democratic prestige and will strip away the cloak behind which the West has hidden its crimes against humanity. The voice of the West will never again carry any moral authority.

The loss of Western credibility is a huge price to pay in order to rescue a discredited president whom no one believes, not even his supporters. Essentially obama is a cipher whose term of office is complete. The obama regime epitomizes the degeneration of the American state.

Instead of voting on whether to allow obama to attack Syria, Congress should be voting to impeach obama and kerry. Their blatant lies, dictatorial claims, and arrogant inhumanity are powerful arguments for removing them from office.

The lies told by the obama regime are so transparent that it makes one wonder just how stupid the regime thinks the American people are. Little doubt the white house is relying on its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the presstitute media, to undermine Americans’ confidence in their common sense and to make them accept the latest fiction. The tactic is to use the peer pressure of the prostitute media to silence Americans’ conscience.


Sep 6, 2013 - 3:42pm

Who gains? What's it all about?

Submitted by flyinkel on September 5, 2013 - 1:52pm.

Well done flyinkel, for those scratching their heads as to what the point to all this ME meddling is...

In my view,..

Very plausible.

Bengazi briefly


"Remember what happened in Benghazi and our many conversations about what was really going on there, which you printed and the reports have since been proven correct. It was all about arming andtraining anti-Assad fighters, including the instructional use of chemical weapons in Turkey and elsewhere, along the border of Syria. People seem to forget that the Turkish consulate met Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, the CIA logistics center, to show him that the Russians had satellite images of this training activity. Putin was not amused and gave Turkey an ultimatum, which was delivered to the United States at Benghazi.”

“Russia, however, had to do something to expose the operation for what it was. The primary attacking force was Ansar al Sharia, a military arm of Iran, which is a proxy nation state of Russia. Connect the dots. Do people really think Assad used chemical weapons on a retreating rebel force?”

Pawns a-Plenty - Setting the global chessboard

“Look at all of the military assets being moved into that region. I told you last October, and you reported it, that we are engaged in a proxy war against Russia and China. Both countries have a huge stake in Syria, militarily and economically, especially Russia. Oh, and is John McCain out of his [multiple expletives deleted] mind? This designated loser of the 2008 presidential campaign is talking as if any action in Syria is going to happen in a vacuum. As I said before, any action will not be in a vacuum or without a tit-for-tat response,” stated this source.

“Launching cruise missiles into Syria will likely fall not only upon innocent civilians, but on Iranian forces, Russian forces - Russia has over 100,000 ‘military advisors there now, and perhaps even some Chinese assets. What do you think their response will be?” he asked rhetorically. “This is asymmetrical warfare on steroids. The response might not be what everyone expects. In fact, we should be looking for the unexpected, as we are about to be blindsided.”

“Do you think that telegraphing our target list and stating that strikes will be brief and limited is by the incompetence of the Obama regime, or by design? It’s by design,” stated my source, who added that this will provide the opportunity to the Russians and other essential assets to get out of the way. “And therein lies the ‘flash-bang, pyrotechnic display of the magic show I’ve been talking about, that is intended to divert everyone’s attention from what’s really about to happen,” he emphasized.

“This is not a ‘zero sum game’ confined to Syria. Again, this is about setting up the globalist takeover of the world’s economic system, killing off the U.S. dollar to have it replaced by a basket of currencies, or SDRs, and controlling all transactional activity everywhere on the planet under one mechanism. It will be done by using Syria as the trigger, oil as a weapon, and striking at the weakest aspect of American power—the U.S. dollar, which has been the target all along.”

“What better way to accomplish this by blaming the economic ‘collapse’ on the ‘unfortunate and unseen’ consequences of a ‘humanitarian mission’, saving the Syrians from a dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people? It’s all a lie, and we’re being played as fools. This is an international bankers’ war that will result in heavy causalities.”

Consider that until Western/globalist meddling in Syria, the country was a relatively stable and religiously tolerant secular state. Today, the Syrian death toll as a result of this Western-manufactured civil war stands at and estimated 150,000 dead in Syriaalone. Also, over a million Syrians have been displaced and are now refugees. According to a recent assessment made by geopolitical analyst and former Indian diplomat Gajendra Singh, Syria will rapidly fall into a bloodbath that will make 150,000 dead just a small taste of what’s to come when Assad is toppled. Removal of Assad will result in the wholesale slaughter of the diverse religious sects. Responsible estimates from those familiar with the geopolitics of Syria estimate that 20% of a population of twenty-million will be killed - or a total of 4 million people.


click link below


Here’s the global picture. When you see it, it will make sense. This is about reshaping the entire power structure of not just the Middle East, but of the world.”

“Remember that the 2001 attacks against the U.S. was the catalyst for our military operations in Afghanistan, and then ostensibly Iraq under George W. Bush, a so-called ‘conservative republican.’ We could have gone into Afghanistan, cleaned up what we needed to, and come home. Instead, while still in Afghanistan, we went into Iraq after convincing the world they had weapons of mass destruction. Remember that George H. W. Bush, also a ‘conservative republican,’ engaged Iraq in ‘Gulf War I’ in 1990. Essentially, we’ve been in Iraq for the last quarter of a century! Why? Think about that.”

“And, we’ve been in Afghanistan for the last dozen years or so. Why? Oil and opium. It’s an ‘international bankers war.’ [Note that a recent report from ‘The Guerrilla Economist lays this out here, excerpted as follows]: “...[L]arge US military bases are on the very path of the purposed [Caspian Sea oil] pipeline. This as well as that some of the proceeds from the lucrative opium trade will find its way back to US banks which will launder the money in order to help fund Unocal in the purposed pipe building project. Win Win.”

“Oh, and by the way, if you mention Iran’s nuclear ambitions, why did we wait so long to really address this and keep Israel from doing so before any action would require a very protracted military campaign? Keep that in the back of your mind.”

“Now here’s another important part of the magic act. After eight years of George Bush, Americans were weary of war. So, a little known man named Barack Hussein Obama was selected to run against John McCain in 2008. Why Obama and not Hillary? Because the real power players needed a man with Muslim Brotherhood connections to accomplish what was needed in the Middle East. Think back to his Cairo speech. Consider that all of his campaign promises to end the wars were not only broken, but the wars and unrest were expanded by his policies, or the policies of those who put him into power.”

“So we’ve stayed in Afghanistan and in Iraq.” Then comes the Arab Spring, which was planned years in advance. It was not some serendipitously spontaneous movement by oppressed people longing for democracy, but a Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood plan to regain control of what was once the Ottoman Empire, this time on steroids. People must think bigger, outside of the confines of the Middle East.”

“As much as I don’t like the thought of saying this, Putin was correct in asking what sense it makes to destabilize the entire Middle East, especially Syria, a client state of Russia. In the context of regional affairs, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Now, we are going to send cruise missiles into Syria… to hit what? Chemical weapons stockpiles stored in densely populated areas? How is this going to help the Syrians? The refugees fleeing from Syria?”

“I’ve told you, and you have written that we are implementing the Saudi agenda across the Middle East. But who is behind the Saudis? It is the international banking cartel, those ‘too big to jail,’ who are behind the Saudis. It’s their war and they’re funding all sides of the conflict. No matter what, they win. But what do they win?”

“Admittedly it’s difficult if not nearly impossible to tell all the players without a scorecard, and even then, the players will change their uniforms to keep everyone confused. But here’s the important part. Syria is a proxy state for Russia, as is Iran. China has interests in Iran as well. If you look at all of the major powers, they all have interests in the Middle East. So who will we, the U.S. ultimately be fighting when Syria explodes? Russia. And what will be the blowback? That’s important to understand, for it is also the objective.”


“None of what you are seeing is about fighting terrorism, or about helping the people of Syria. It’s about oil, energy and the global economic system. Conflict exists for the globalists to achieve their objective, and their objective is the implementation of a new economic system that will be a basket of currencies, or SDR (Special Drawing Rights). If you don’t know about SDRs, just equate it to the euro, but on a global scale.”

They will usher this in by striking at the United States much like the U.S. took down the old Soviet Union. They will target our economy through oil, cheap oil, from Saudi Arabia. Remember, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil, neck and neck with the Saudis. But, the Saudis’ oil wells have been damaged and their ‘lift costs’ are increasing.”

“So, what we are about to see and experience in a most painful way is the destruction of the U.S. economy, the intentional killing of the U.S. dollar, by having it replaced as the world’s reserve currency, and replaced with a basket of currencies (SDR) that is much easier to control.”

“This is all about the conversion of world’s economic trading mechanism from a U.S. dollar based system to a SDR. The Middle East and Syria is merely the catalyst for is implementation. The ‘flash-bang’ of the magic act. And once this catalytic action is started, we cannot go back. War in the Middle East and particularly Syria is the catalyst


Sep 6, 2013 - 3:45pm
Sep 6, 2013 - 3:49pm

Times have changed

I lived in England for around 20 years and never been to a pub where people did not drink draft and in pint glasses. Hopefully you are not drinking some American piss beer. I should say US piss beer as Canadian beer is commendable.

Sep 6, 2013 - 3:51pm

Plat du Turd .....

6 Turdites met for lunch in London Town recently and we thought you might like to see what a collection of UK Turds looks like ;)

We discussed this book Cali along with many other things. We plan to do it again soon and if any other UK turdites would like to join us please let me know and we'll see if we can muster an even bigger bowlful of Turds next time!

Edited to add: HUGE thanks and multiple hat tips to Pining for the photoshop work on this - you are a genius and a gentleman :))

Sep 6, 2013 - 4:00pm


I was drinking finest English cider, bottled not draught. Everyone else was drinking English beer I can promise you that :))

Sep 6, 2013 - 4:12pm


"Nope - there was one behind the camera :)"

How did he/she manage to do that with a dollar bill glued across the eyes?

Benque - Luckily I wasn't there .

Thorus ¤
Sep 6, 2013 - 4:12pm

>>>XTY: I still don't

>>>XTY: I still don't understand why the bankers would want to crash the US economy. Why is that their goal?<<<


I can think of a few possible responses to this question:

1) Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity. The world blundered into WWI a hundred years ago. Then the world blundered into a widespread depression by erecting barriers to trade in the late 1920s/early 1930s. I see no reason to believe a different group of individuals can't make similar miscalculations today.

2) Some people have noted that the Chinese and Russians both have reason to wish the US ill fortune. They have their own bankers too. If their bankers are somewhat wiser than ours are, there is no reason the Chinese and Russian bankers couldn't, in theory, play their cards better than we do, and enrich themselves by ruining the US.

3) There is a certain point of view that says that US is fundamentally evil and has brought devastation to the world numerous times in numerous places. If someone, or some group, with that view felt they could punish the US while having a golden parachute for themselves and their loved ones - it's conceivable that a ruined economy might in fact be their goal.

I'm not making any statement about the *liklihood* of any these explanations being correct. I'm just saying that the idea that we could end up ruined is not inconceivable - there are indeed scenarios where that might be the outcome.


>>>DPH: Any outcome is possible of course, but looking at it in a military asset way (nukes not included/nor used) it would seem inevitable that a region based conflict is "winnable"....

Try to picture the world if the US wins outright and essentially becomes unrivaled depending on how it plays out.<<<


I fear the idea we can "win" this militarily is not well founded. I'm a retired veteran, had a couple deployments to the Middle East in the early 90's, and have been close to the US DoD in one form or another for a long time. So what I'm about to say is not based on any disrespect for, or lack of knowledge about, the capability of the US military.

But "winning" requires that the other guy capitulate, or that you force your will on him. Our Dear Leader made very clear in Iraq and Afghanistan what his views are WRT implementing the fundamental societal changes required to win a war over a hostile population. We did it to Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 40s. But I'd suggest the last couple decades show that the US citizenry in general, and our current leader in particular, do not have the will to do what is necessary to "win" a no-kidding war in Syria.

Sinking every Russian, Syrian, and Chinese ship in the Mediterranean, and destroying the entire Syrian Air Force, is probably within the ability of the US Armed Forces to achieve, if we really wanted to. But I don't think that's anywhere close to what is required to win a war in Syria. It couldn't be done without losses on our part. And Russia and China would probably not just sit back casually after such an attack.

So, the way I do the calculus, I don't see a way to "win" in Syria without a lot more death and destruction, to include our own, than we are willing to invest.

Best Regards, and have a good weekend.


Sep 6, 2013 - 4:14pm


You come along to the next one and we'll show you how ;)

argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 4:16pm


Not knowing the entire theater picture (disposition of Russian air and naval assets, etc.) my initial response is - IF we get into a full blown shooting war, it is hard for me to see us coming out on the loosing end - militarily. I think there has been way too much talk on this board about sinking US aircraft carriers, etc. We might get bloodied, but we would win a military conflict in the Med.

What the post event fallout would be... HTFDIK?

That said, I do not think there is going to be a war. I can't see the Russians being that stupid, and I hope the same can be said for our government.

I think Obama is hoping Congress does not approve of his request so he can use that as his excuse to back away and save some face.

Sep 6, 2013 - 4:19pm

Thorus - perhaps you misunderstood the nature of my question

I was questioning Mr Fix's logic, where in one post he said the US government were carefully calculating every move, wanting war so they could destroy something, and in the next said there was no rational thought at the highest levels, and it was the bankers at the Fed wanting war, so they could destroy the economy, having already brought about the surrendering of every Western nation's sovereignty. I think that is a fair summary - and it is not consistent. Your suggestions, of foreign bankers, etc., has far more logic. I am of the opinion that it was not a design at all, and they wish the party could continue for ever. Now, seeing the coming disaster, those with the most inside information will position themselves to come out ahead, and we will think they planned it all along. It is an ongoing argument about motive and intended vs unintended consequences. I am in the unintended camp, most of the time.

Thorus George Clooney
Sep 6, 2013 - 4:26pm

Xty - you're right

I misunderstood your question.

My bad.

My own leanings are more toward the not-attributing-to-malice-that-which-can-be-attributed-to-stupidity side of things. But we'll see how it turns out.



Sep 6, 2013 - 4:47pm


Thanks for your comments....I don't see any "win" in it either but there seems to be more going on behind the scene's then meets the eye.

I think in a tit for tat battle with assets in place that Russia can't or wouldn't escalate it further then what they already stand to lose with assets in the region.

If Russia were to start firing missiles from Russia towards US ships or Saudi or Israeli bases then we're talking a whole different ball game and outcome. I don't think they'd go that far over Syria...but you never know.

If the reports of a new gas attack are true it seems a pre-emptive US counter-strike wouldn't be out of the picture. They could claim they have info and locations of Syrian cannon locations and start hitting them. They'll use any pretext at this point if it makes it easier.

Winning might be defined simply as who has bigger and more bullets that they're willing (and seemingly prepared) to fire. If SA is willing to underwrite a war as reported (and also promise to keep oil cheap and flowing) it might prove irresistible to the industrial/military forces at work.

History changing events seem probable while the gears of some core problems grind away between the US, Russia, SA, Iran and smaller regional kingdoms. My original question was what might that future look like based on who wins or who outlasted the others?

It remains to be seen whose willing to lose the most.

Sep 6, 2013 - 5:05pm
Sep 6, 2013 - 5:52pm

US Piss Beer

We export piss beer to other countries. Many people here like it too (b*wiper, c*rs, etc.).

But we keep the good stuff here, quiet and local. Too many craft brews to count, small batches, never to see foreign shores.

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