The speed at which the US elites continue their descent into madness is nothing short of astonishing. Their arrogance, which had been par for the course for some time, is now matched by a level of stupidity that truly takes the breath away. Here’s the latest:
Earlier this year a person named Steven Mnuchin was somehow given the job of US Treasury Secretary. I say somehow, because as a former banker at Goldman Sachs and then manager of the George Soros hedge fund, SFM Capital Management, he appeared to be an unlikely choice for a President who had been elected largely on the basis of promising a completely different America than the Goldman Sachs / George Soros Swamp. But then as careful observers have noticed, Mr Trump the President long ago forgot the promises made by Mr Trump the candidate, and has instead transmogrified into the creature now known as Donald J Swamp.
Anyway, as US Treasury Secretary, Mr Mnuchin was asked in an interview earlier this week to comment on the recent unanimous decision of the UN Security Council to adopt new sanctions on North Korea – a decision that was only reached after a number of concessions were offered to China and Russia. Here’s how he began:
“We worked very closely with the U.N. I’m very pleased with the resolution that was just passed. This is some of the strongest items. We now have more tools in our toolbox, and we will continue to use them and put additional sanctions on North Korea until they stop this behaviour.”
But then CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin put this to him:
“We haven’t been able to move the needle on China, which seems to be the real mover on this, in terms of being able to apply the real pressure. What do you think the issue is? What is the problem?”
To which Mr Mnuchin responded:
“I think we have absolutely moved the needle on China. I think what they agreed to yesterday was historic. I’d also say I put sanctions on a major Chinese bank. That’s the first time that’s ever been done. And if China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system. And that’s quite meaningful.”
Hmm? So you’re going to cut lil’ ole China off from the dollar system? Anything else? Apparently so, as he went on:
“I made it clear that the President was strongly considering and we sent a message that anybody that wanted to trade with North Korea, we would consider them not trading with us. We can put on economic sanctions to stop people trading.”
If there was an Arrogance Richter-Scale, this would register about 9.5. Having just sat down with the Chinese to work on a resolution that they could comfortably back, what does the US do next? Continue to work with them as partners to solve the problem on the Korean Peninsula? Nah! They go down the “Let’s threaten them with economic Armageddon” route.
My understanding of Chinese statecraft is very limited, but I have heard that they don’t tend to take kindly to being threatened. In fact, I understand that they take rather a dim view of this sort of thing and are unlikely to be either cowed or impressed.
But aside from the obvious arrogance, the really startling thing about Mr Mnuchin’s statements is that they are mind-bogglingly dumb. More than dumb. Dumbly dumb.
So there he is threatening China with being cut off from the dollar system. Doesn’t he know? Hasn’t he heard? The Chinese have been working quietly and determinedly for the last few years to pull themselves out of the US dollar system. Doesn’t he know that both Russia and China have been developing their own alternatives to the SWIFT payment system in preparation for the day when they extract themselves from the dollar hegemon? Hasn’t he heard that the governments of both countries have been stockpiling gold like it’s going out of fashion to prepare their countries for this eventuality? Didn’t he hear President Putin say at the recent BRICS summit:
“We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”
And most crucially of all, didn’t he hear that the Chinese are shortly to launch a “crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold”, thus circumventing the need to trade oil in dollars?
If he doesn’t know any of this, then it just goes to show that the lights really are out in Washington DC, and what we have is swamp full of creatures so bloated on their own incessant propaganda, that they are literally incapable of hearing anything that doesn’t correspond to it. Like the kid that sits there with his hands over his hears yelling, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening. I can’t hear you.”
On the other hand, if he does know all about it, then whilst his mouth was uttering his ludicrous nonsense, he should have done the following: put his middle and index fingers together like a child imitating a gun, point them downwards, shout “BANG”, before hopping up and down and grabbing the “injured” foot. Because in cutting China off from the dollar system, what would the US end up achieving? Why the end of the global dollar system!
And so the Chinese, who are determined to pull themselves out of the dollar system, have now been threatened with expulsion from the system they are trying to escape. It’s a bit like a prison officer finding a prisoner digging a tunnel, and threatening him with freedom if he doesn’t stop trying to get out.
But what of the other part of the threat? The one where the mighty USA threatens to stop trading with lil’ ole China? A couple of weeks ago, President Swamp made the very same threat in one of his Twitterblabs. This is what he said:
“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”
When I saw that, my immediate thought was something like, “Oh boy, his handlers let him off his leash this morning, didn’t they? And now they’re going to have to take him aside and explain to him that since the US does $650billion worth of trade with China every year, threatening them with ceasing trade is perhaps not one of his very brightest ideas.” But now we find that it wasn’t just a slip of the Tweet. Mr Mnuchin’s remarks appear to confirm that President Swamp’s bright idea is actual US policy. Of course it could just be an idle threat. But what kind of people are these that think they can threaten the nation with world’s second biggest economy with cutting all trade?
The lights are out in Washington DC and the swamp creatures are Comfortably Dumb. That the world’s most powerful nation is run by some of the world’s most ignorant people is surely not something that’s sustainable in the long run.