Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Predictions


While 2012 won’t be a walk in the park, it WILL be the year that I finally get my timing right. For years I’ve been shining light on the fundamental problems, so I’ll skip the boring details. What is new for 2012 is the release of all the pressure safeties, the myriad contraptions that have kept so many lids on for so many years. So here’s a sneak peek at the Mother of All TrainWrecks—

Afghanistan- The Taliban reclaims this bloody mess, village by village. We’re getting out nine years too late and not a minute too soon. There can be no “Nation Building” in a tribal land of no single “Nation,” and so the death of President Karzai is a meaningless sideshow. But as a symbolic act, it freaks out the US media. We'll care...for a nanosecond.

Pakistan- The military finally turns against America’s strong arm-twisting. And as the Military goes, so goes the Nation. There won’t be a coup to unseat President Zardari, not when the Courts are ready to do the work. And so we get booted out of the entire AfPak theatre. The drones will still fly, albeit in fewer numbers and with NO friendly cheerleaders on the ground. Pakistan was ALWAYS the key, wicked tricky, but national leaders ignored the warning of analysts from pre-9/11 days.

India- As Pakistan moves away from UN influence, the Taliban’s Haqqani network steps up anti-India operations from North Waziristan. More bombs in the streets of India, more tension, and the cold war between Muslims and Hindus goes Hot…again. When bullets fly across the India/Pakistan border, let’s hope the nukes all stay on the ground.

China- In case you missed it, their booming economy is a bubble… and it will burst in 2012. Things aren’t helped when all foreign demand comes to a halt. A huge nation of so much unrest could be troubling. While the military could be used to maintain control, there’s a long-shot chance that China’s leaders could unite the country with a push into Siberia… that would be Russia’s Siberia. China has a huge need for land that is actually LIVABLE space for its population.

Russia- I'm clueless. Ask Putin.

North Korea- It’s time for the nation to open up to the West, just like China did. They have too many needs to stay bottled up in Never-NeverLand. It’s a great new place to make Facebook friends.

Iraq- All-Out Civil War. The BIG split is the Shi’a vs. Sunni bloodlust. Iran steps in to back the Shiites, Saudi Arabia steps in to back the Sunnis as THE great rift in the region opens up along the religious divide that crosses all of the meaningless borders created by Europe in the early 1900s. Iraq’s majority Shiites seize most of the country while the Sunnis fight to keep the oil-rich land in the south. American forces were the cork in the bottle… but we’ve always known that (see earlier years). As always, the Kurds are left on their own to fight for an independent state surrounded by enemies. They fight on three fronts against the Shiites, the Turks, and the Syrians. The US might step in to support the only “friends” left in the region. Lord knows we want to protect the dignity of their oil fields.

Iran- This is Ground Zero for the Big Mess. And their leaders hold the key to just HOW BIG the Mess will be. Watch Iran after Israel’s surgical strike on the nuke production facilities. Watch Iran as American warships returning home approach the Strait of Hormuz. If they press a retaliatory attack on all of Israel, Tel Aviv will knock the crap out of Iran’s oil industry. An Iranian attack on the sixth fleet will be a short and furious conversion of Iran’s Navy from a Surface force to a navy of sleepy submarines. Watch-- No matter HOW the dice roll, Americans will thank Iran for $6/gallon gas. And THEN gas gets expensive.

Israel- A pretty bleak scenario. With Egypt's Mubarak out, they’re surrounded by enemies. Iranian-backed militias pop up everywhere. Of course the BIG deciding factor is how Iran responds when the Israeli Air Force delivers their 80-plane attack on the Mullahs' nuclear-weapon sites.

Europe- Utter collapse. Greece and Italy refuse to live the lifestyle demanded by German bankers and so the Euro disintegrates. Ireland, Spain, and Portugal implode under their massive debts. France and Germany may saunter away to create their own currency as turmoil sweeps the continent. Mankind has to hope that there will be no return to the time-tested knee-jerk response of military solutions. The US suffers as banks see their foreign investments go belly-up… all at the same time as the international foundation of the Stock Market crumbles.

America- The nation goes on the hunt for Messiahs and Miracles. The DOW freefalls through 5000 with gold and silver surviving as the only safe haven. Forget real estate as the pent-up sea of 4 million foreclosures adds to the unsold inventory. Shell-shocked Banks MIGHT give you a loan if you really don’t need it. The National crisis finds new fuel in the collapse of Commercial Real Estate— The Big Boys were also part of the buying frenzy of 2006 and now THEIR loans are coming due because of terms that are longer than those for individual homeowners. Empty office towers and padlocked mini-malls dot the landscape.

Hordes of disgruntled and desperate individuals make for an unsafe nation. If you can accept the moral argument for guns, buy a 9mm Glock and learn to use it. If you are not comfortable with weapons, find religion and become a born-again believer. It’s good for the soul.

The ridiculous hyper-extension of unemployment benefits end. And All-American households are suddenly REALLY out of money. And very desperate. I can't tell you how to distinguish the fine line between between Shoplifting and a Food Riot. But the news pundits will make it clear. With expert analysis.

In a NATION gripped by unprecedented CRISES, BOTH political parties need Super-Candidates. The Republicans gather around the shiny constitution-encapsulated bus of Sarah Palin. To soothe a nervous nation, she travels with John Kyl or a super-strong pro-military southerner. If Obama runs, Republicans Rule. If the Dems are smart, Obama will find a sudden "family reason" to step aside so that Hillary takes the helm with her VP selection of General Wesley Clark. And if the showdown comes to those ladies, it’s too close to call.

If the Maya are right about the lights going out on December 21…

...we'll owe them plenty of thanks.

I’ll end with a Benediction from one of my favorite writers, shamelessly stolen word-for-word—

“Don't imagine for a moment that your grandchildren will be zinging across the landscape in electric cars sampling one theme park after another while ‘networking’ with ‘friends’ on cyborg social networks implanted in their brain jellies.” -James Kunstler