Did Putin Quietly Play the Debt Card Over Syria?

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What motivated the sudden, overnight change of mind by Obama himself seemingly only hours away from a military strike on al Assad and Syria? It appears to have caught his advisors and the military totally by surprise.
I believe both Russia and China covertly played the Treasury debt card in order to protect their client states, Syria and Iran, from the impending US invasion.
It is likely that financial intermediaries or lower level central banking contacts dropped the hint to their American counterparts that China and Russia were likely to begin liquidating Treasury obligations should Washington go ahead with it’s planned military adventure against Syria.
Putin wins again. He gets the credit for stopping the US; Russia, as usual, never fires a shot and Washington retreats.


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Submitted by Ron Holland, The Daily Bell:

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy. They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar. If [in America] there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone. Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities. There should be other reserve currencies.”Vladimir Putin in 2011

While I hate to give such praise to a foreign leader, Putin has undoubtedly run rings around the moribund and bureaucratic incompetence of the Laurel and Hardy-style Obama and Kerry team on Syria. Putin diplomatically has the swiftness and stealth of the South’s Stonewall Jackson and Germany’s Erwin Rommel, probably the two greatest military commanders in world history.

What Really Happened on the Night of Friday, August 30th?

“At one point last week in the charade known as ‘the Syria peace negotiations’, John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, announced solemnly, ‘This is not a game.’ Well, he was wrong there. This certainly is a game: the trouble is that Barack Obama is trying to pretend that it’s chess, while Vladimir Putin plays hard-faced poker.” – Janet Daley

My question is: What motivated the sudden, overnight change of mind by Obama himself seemingly only hours away from a military strike on al Assad and Syria? It appears to have caught his advisors and the military totally by surprise.

Yes, thanks to the Internet Reformation, the administration was not able to manipulate public opinion and the people and Congress were increasingly opposed to the minimal military action, though this has never stopped a Washington attack before. Even the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) efforts came to naught and the US backed down from the attack.

I believe both Russia and China covertly played the Treasury debt card in order to protect their client states, Syria and Iran, from the impending US invasion. An attack would undoubtedly have escalated with troops on the ground, opening the way for a land assault against Iran, the ultimate real target. After all, the gas pipeline for Washington’s Sunni client states that even offering to pay for the military action is far less important than taking Iran down.

But Putin Always Wins

“Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.”Niccolo Machiavelli

If you follow Putin’s career it is apparent that he overcomes difficulties often through strategy rather than direct force. I’ll bet he has Machiavelli’s The Prince in his personal library. Russia, China and Putin had a lot to lose if the US had engaged and been drawn into occupying Syria proper.

    • First, Iran would have been open for land invasion, as northern Iraq is under Kurdish control and the Kurds would have welcomed a US ground attack targeting Tabriz and northern Iran, freeing their brother Kurds there and helping to expand and create ultimately a Kurdistan state.

 

    • Second, this would put the American forces on the border of the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, thus threatening Russian influence in the area.

 

  • Third, unlike the United States with hundreds of bases around the world, Russia has only one base outside the old Soviet republics and sphere of influence and this is a naval base in Tartus, Syria. The loss of this base would result in a tremendous decline of prestige and influence in the Arab world, a region where both Russia and China seek to gain influence to counter the American occupation and control of the oil and gas resources there.

My Scenario

“At this point, China owns approximately 1.275 trillion dollars of our debt, and Russia owns approximately 138 billion dollars of our debt.” – Michael Snyder

Remember, national leaders never threaten other nations or leaders directly because all major political leaders and politicians require plausible deniability if things go wrong. They need the ability to deny blame, knowledge and responsibility for a failure but still have the opportunity to get the job done and when helpful take credit for a success or victory. Giving the responsibility for communication or action to a lower level bureaucracy or individual where instructions are verbal or inaccessible takes care of the problem.

Although I have no proof, I believe it is likely that financial intermediaries or lower level central banking contacts dropped the hint to their American counterparts that China and Russia were likely to begin liquidating Treasury obligations should Washington go ahead with it’s planned military adventure against Syria.

This is best explained in Michael Snyder’s September 6 article at The Economic Collapse, “Who Is Going To Buy Our Debt If This War Causes China, Russia And The Rest Of The World To Turn On Us?”

I would suggest that Putin’s apparent last minute Chemical Weapons “deal” was just a face-saving gift for the Obama Administration in order to provide cover and a reasonable excuse for the sudden change of orders to halt the Syria attack. I’ll also bet that this deal had been worked out long before it was offered to Obama. I will discuss more about Putin’s Debt Card at the upcoming High Alert Investment Conference in October (see highalertconference.com).

Putin wins again. He gets the credit for stopping the US; Russia, as usual, never fires a shot and Washington retreats. You’ll know whether I’m right on Putin playing the debt card if on occasion, with very important questions on global affairs and diplomacy, America begins to slowly retreat – as do all empires when they overreach economically and begin to decline militarily.

I’m sure Putin also reads Sun Tzu and his ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War, so read the two quotes below and tell me what you think.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”

In closing, a word of advice to Obama and the elites of both the Democrat and Republican parties: You play poker with Vladimir Putin at your peril and that of our nation.

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Comments

  1. I think the real reason Obama backed down is that Putin made it clear that Syria in self-defense would use Russian SunBurn missiles on a U.S. aircraft carrier.  Checkmate.  An American carrier would have perhaps 3 sec to respond to a SunBurn missile flying 9ft off the sea at Mach 2.1.  Carrier might be able to defeat one missile, but six missiles from different directions; not a chance.  Global opinion would side with Syria having the right of self-defense.  And even Pres. Obama knows should he lose an aircraft carrier prosecuting a widely unsupported, unconstitutional military excursion his Presidency is over.  

  2. I agree with Ugly dog with yakhont missiles, s300s in place and according to a syrian gentleman’s blog I read daily, russian manned s400s in place, the attack is doomed to literally start WW3 when a ship or 2 gets sunk.
     
    The debt card also underpins the conspiracy theory that china is complicit in rigging gold markets. The issue I have with it, is that the US would have zero leverage PERIOD if they were playing that card on ANYTHING and that isn’t the case.

  3. LOL…THIS IS JUST ANOTHER OPINION PIECE. THEY HAD NO SUPPORT TO ATTACK FROM ANYONE. IF CHINA JUST STARTS DUMPING TREASURY’S IT HURTS THEM AS WELL. OTTER NONSENSE   

  4. “Putin diplomatically has the swiftness and stealth of the South’s Stonewall Jackson and Germany’s Erwin Rommel, probably the two greatest military commanders in world history.”  Don’t forget Nathan Bedford Forrest who always did the mostest with the leastest in the american civil war…..
     
    And as for, “Who is going to buy all our debt?” I didn’t know they still were buying much. I was under the impression we monetized most of it. And dumping our bonds and flooding the world with worthless paper? That would stretch their necks as bad as ours, IMHO…..

  5. A Team to the rescue.

  6. the bulk of China’s US debt held is short term 6 month to 2 year duration. These are cash equivalents. But they hold enough of the 10 yr USTs to play the nuclear option. I believe that China has made so much money from the UST investments over the years, buying these tradable units from the income from huge goods sales to the US that if they sold them, tanked the UST and dollar, considering the loss as sunk costs, they now could consider these as fiscal WMDs, to be used and played at a part of a global currency battle for strategic position and  leverage.  Besides which it, this action might boost the value of their thousands of tons of gold.
    Russia has such huge resources in petro assets that the return on their pipeline vs loss and costs in dumping USTs might be modest at best. China has currently imports 3,340,000 barrels of oil per day spending about $122 billion a year on this vital product. If they can route the pipelines to bring Russian oil to their country versus buying from unfriendly countries or those who do not offer strategic interest and investment in the China way of doing things, then they would take a serious hit on the value of their bonds if that served their long term goals.  USTs? or petroleum from another crony communist nation that has the same thought in mind—reduce and potential remove the US while giving them a large loss of face.

  7. China is playing the debt card already.  They sell bonds every month and buy gold at a huge discount every month.  My theory is that this agreement is one of the reasons we did not taper.  We have agreed to buy China’s bonds a little at a time every month and China has agreed not to dump their bonds if we go along with the game.  I believe that the debt card was played a long time ago.  When China is not able to find gold to purchase each month like they expect, it will be game over.

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