Below is our translation of an article by Maksim But (pronounced boot) from rueconomics.ru with an introduction and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
The Russian author points out what US political analysts have known for years. When US presidents see their re-election chances in jeopardy, they generally turn to war to save their presidency. According to the author GW Bush consciously chose to kill up to an estimated one million people just so he could get re-elected.
That number struck me as being on the high side, but one study actually concluded that as many as 1.2 million people died as a result of that war. The following quote is from Wikepedia:
“Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll conducted August 12–19, 2007, estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths due to the Iraq War. The range given was 946,000 to 1,120,000 deaths. A nationally representative sample of approximately 2,000 Iraqi adults answered whether any members of their household (living under their roof) were killed due to the Iraq War. 22% of the respondents had lost one or more household members. ORB reported that "48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance.”
Other estimates are lower, but given the number of people reported as missing in that time frame, the author may well be correct. Add to that the number who died as a result of the destroyed infrastructure and the sanctions. The sanctions on oil sales lasted a full 7 years after the war and were hardly justified since Saddam was long gone. Specifically, until 2010, these sanctions prevented the Iraqis from freely selling their oil, preventing them from rebuilding, and from receiving adequate health care and sufficient food. This was particularly critical because the US had destroyed their water supply and sewerage system.
But all this hardship was worth it in Bush’s mind because it got him re-elected.
But as author But points out, Trump, facing uncertain re-election chances, does not have the luxury of starting a war because that would cost additional funds on top of the emergency funds from the latest round of quantitative easing – which may not be the last in view of the real possibility of a second wave of COVID, expected this fall.
Wrecked economy throws the US into a political tailspin
June 11, 2020
It’s not for nothing that the Fed sharply downgraded the forecast for the US GDP - the situation in America is catastrophic both economically and politically. Konstantin Blokhin, an expert in American Area Studies at the Centre for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke about the development and prospects [of the US] to FBA "Economika Segodnya."
Analysts at the US Federal Reserve System (Fed) have sharply downgraded the outlook for the US economy. Thus, according to the updated data, the GDP will decrease by 6.5% this year and and unemployment will involve almost 10% of the population by the end of the year. To date, as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said, his official rate of 13.5% is seriously underestimated and actually is up to 17%. And the decline in US GDP in the second quarter of 2020, in his opinion, will be a record for the entire history of the country.
"The coronavirus pandemic entails enormous difficulties and extreme uncertainty about the future. There is exceptional uncertainty about the scale of the economic downturn. The rate of decline in GDP will depend on the further spread of the coronavirus. A prolonged health crisis will affect future economic development," Powell concluded following a two-day Fed meeting.
“Powell’s conclusions cannot be called politicized or exaggerated – the economic situation in the United States is most accurately characterized by the word “catastrophic,” Blokhin notes. “It couldn’t be worse.” Now experts are saying that the situation is quite comparable to that during the Great Depression of 1928-1933 and back up their findings with specific statistics.
There are as many as 42 million people of working age in the country – an unprecedented figure. This phenomenon is really new – brought about by the epidemic of coronavirus. However, it significantly aggravated the existing negative trends. Thus, the middle class is declining quantitatively, with 13% of the population living below the poverty line. The national debt has exceeded $26 trillion. Further, more than 70% of citizens do not trust the government considering it virtually corrupt – this has not happened for 60 years."
The economy puts pressure on politics
The Federal Reserve in its findings indicated that it sees signals indicating stabilization of the American economy, and expects that it will begin to recover starting in the second half of 2020 [But this depends on how long the pandemic lasts]. In 2021, according to Powell, GDP can recover up to 5%; that is, after a record failure it will still remain in the negative range. In 2022, growth is expected to reach 3.5%, of which 1.5% will be outside the negative range. Thus, even in the long run, growth will be minimal.
In April, it became known that more than 40% of Americans lost their jobs or faced wage cuts due to the economic crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the same month, analysts predicted that US GDP in the second quarter of 2020 would fall by 25% in annual terms, which would be the worst recession in the country's history. The White House for the first time did not begin this summer to publish its annual forecast for the development of the American economy. [Meanwhile, the IMF forecasts 1.2% growth for China in 2020, despite the trade war, which was supposed to stunt China’s economy but boost the US]
"The coronavirus highlighted the problems already existing in the US economy and exacerbated them, so the States are going through one of the most difficult periods in its history. The economy inevitably affected politics. President Donald Trump came to power on promises of an economic miracle and prosperity for the country, and now COVID-19 has undermined all his four-year achievements. In particular, for re-election, Trump planned to ensure an economic growth of 4% in 2020. [Note, however, that part of Trump’s “achievement” was in the field of military spending, which, while boosting GDP, did not bring in real revenues except in terms of military exports, which were promoted by threatening potential customers of Russia, not through fair trade practices]
The presidential election is already in November, and Trump saw a platform for victory literally knocked out from under his feet. Stability is no more, and neither is growth. And even the racial protests that are now taking place in a number of cities in the country can be considered harmless pampering in comparison with the effect that COVID-19 had on the president’s re-election plans. The most remarkable thing is that the United States cannot even use a proven means today, ie, unleashing a war to change the situation, Blokhin notes.
No chance of military spending
The United States has historically habitually unleashed wars around the world in response to internal [US] crises. Thus, it was always possible to solve several problems. First of all, to support the image of America as an omnipotent and invincible power, unaccountable under international laws. [And amazingly, the grassroots, while generally considering themselves a “Christian” nation, never rose up in significant numbers to protest this ungodly practice of taking countless human lives simply to support a political system that had all the earmarks of paganism – human sacrifice for its own sake, unsupported by anything Jesus had ever taught them, and in fact, completely contrary to all His teachings! How did this get started and how did it perpetuate itself generation after generation? Many of today’s “Christians” claim Trump was anointed by God. Whose God? Isn’t this the very embodiment of idolatry?]. In addition, colossal cash injections into the military sector created a huge state order, creating thousands of jobs and solving a whole set of economic problems at the same time. [The author is obviously being sarcastic. Government spending on goods and services counts as part of GDP but this does not solve economic problems, just creates more debt. Thus, the GDP reported by the government is vastly overrepresented. How can government spending be considered income?]
Thus, after the shock of September 11, the public needed a clear-cut victory, and in the [UN] Security Council, US secretary of State Colin Powell announced the presence of chemical weapons in Iraq – and a million people were killed. In the 75 years after World War II, the United States fought in at least three dozen countries, not counting the secret CIA operations, coups, and civil wars backed by Washington. Each time, the attention of Americans was shifted from internal problems to external problems, and US businesses received resources from the defeated country. [But how could normal otherwise intelligent, decent and moral people think that killing people that had never harmed an American could possibly be an acceptable solution to their economic ills? Why did Americans’ minds turn to mush every time one of their sleazy psychopathic “leaders” concocted a cock-and-bull story about a supposed enemy? Why did they continue to be suckered even after the story about the WMDs in Iraq was debunked? Even if you aren’t a believer, how is it possible for so many to avoid the suspicion that only Satanists could create such senseless havoc and harm so many innocents? Could anyone familiar with the scriptures not automatically connect all this mischief to 2 Thessalonians 2:11?]
“Trump’s problem right now is that he can’t even take advantage of the proven technique and start a new war – for him it would be comparable to political hara-kiri. The US population would accuse him of inciting conflict and risking American citizens, which would finish off the ratings of the head of state. This is a political nosedive for Trump.
“And it’s not clear with whom the States would be able to quickly launch a small victorious war. Venezuela would turn into their Latin American Vietnam [But this author knows that this is not the reason Trump couldn’t invade Venezuela. It was the 2 nuclear-capable Tupolevs and the unknown number of Russian “advisors” that changed his mind!]. Iran has shown its military power and determination to defend itself. North Korea has nuclear weapons, which crosses the "red enemy" off the list of potential victims. And starting a war with China or Russia is crazy. So Trump can only try to mobilize his electorate with promises and act as new problems come up,” concludes Konstantin Blokhin.
Author: Maxim But