by A. Joseph Lynch
R&G NEWS ROUND UP
BIDEN DECLARES WAR? Biden's Thursday speech might have been more than a shot across the bow at Donald Trump and the MAGA - America First - movement. His speech was given in front of a blood red back drop (which CNN color-shifted) and flanked by two Marines. He declared Trump and his tens of millions of voters a danger to the republic with undertones reminiscent of a pre-war speech. We fear many dark days are on the horizon as the establishment wings of both parties attempt to snuff out the nationalist-populists of America.
DEATH OF GORBACHEV: Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who brought about the end of the Soviet Union, freed the captive nations of eastern Europe, and made peace with the US and its allies, has died. With Russia at war with Ukraine and in a proxy war with America and its allies, the timing was not the best. While we at AoA fondly look back at his legacy of peacemaking, many in Russia associate him with the dark days of the 1990s. We understand the complex place Gorbachev holds in modern Russian history, yet we were saddened to hear Putin would not be attending his funeral.
DISASTER IN EUROPE - A ROUND UP: As fall and winter approach, things are headed in a dismal direction in Europe. The UK is not only looking at upwards of 20% inflation by next year, but also homes that can't cook after 8 pm, pubs closing at 9, and three-day school weeks among others. While we hear that British PMs can write off increased energy bills, the Hague - Europe's bureaucratic center - wants to be exempt from Russian sanctions. It's no wonder why by June only 38% of Brits support sanctions on Russia even if it means higher inflation at home. Meanwhile Russia has indefinitely shut down Nord Stream 1 - meaning that Germany has no chance of securing enough natural gas for winter - while also slashing natural gas to France. And just as Germany stares over the abyss, the German foreign secretary announced that she would put Ukraine first before Germany no matter what the German voters thought. Business owners across Europe are now posting to social media images of their skyrocketing energy bills. In Poland, homeowners are lining up for days to get their hands on coal. And it's not just energy - Poland is now looking at a food crisis as the cost of fertilizers skyrockets. German companies are even now closing down due to high energy costs. On the military front, "Western" ammo stockpiles are running dangerously low while Russia's vast industrial base churns out enough shells to fire off 50-70,000 artillery rounds each and every day. Even Germany's defense chief warns his allies not to underestimate Russia's military strength. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated the next 5-10 winters would be difficult in Europe while French president, Emmanuel Macron, summed it all up best: "What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval … we are living the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance (emphasis mine)." End of abundance indeed.