Many recent events make me moderately worried about the political future of the world and the global peace.
First, Obama and his comrades "celebrate" the deal with Iran. "Only" 500 if not 1,500 centrifuges should keep on running at one center (Natanz), other centers (Fordow) should be turned into nuclear physics research facilities, and so on. Just like Obama celebrates, people on the streets of Persia celebrate, too.
On the other hand, Israel is deeply worried. The deal is an existential threat for Israel, the Israeli cabinet unanimously opposes it, and I tend to agree. Israel at least demands that the final deal will include Iran's recognition of Israel's right to exist. I doubt they will get even this seemingly modest thing. (Update: Wow, Kerry's office instantly rejected the task to defend Israel's right to exist. I thought that it would only be the Iranians who would be the problem.)
Despite the continuing "Israel and U.S. are great ally" talk, it seems pretty clear to me that the Obama administration has much more friendly relationships with the mullahs than with the Israeli authorities. I think it is a very disturbing fact. As someone said, Obama's folks find the Iranian nuclear enrichment kosher but Israel's construction of apartments is not kosher!
Is that how allies behave?
In these conditions, Israel must be thinking about the military option again – and its plans to bomb the Persian nuclear facilities. It's tough because Israel would enjoy a minimum degree of international support – I hope that it would at least include the current Czech president. However, it may be the right and perhaps necessary thing to do.
By the way, Vice-President Biden recently said that the American Jews can't count with him if they were in trouble because he will happily sacrifice them if it brings him a political profit, and they must rely on Israel if they need safety. Those statements are stunning for an incumbent vice-president.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, a rich oil-producing country, has launched air strikes and other destructive attacks against Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries. The Saudis don't like that the Houthis – who are Shiites, unlike the Saudis who are Sunnis – got more powerful in Yemen. I would normally tend to agree with the Saudis but what they're doing in Yemen seems rather barbaric to me.
Greece and April 9th
Greece may very well be 6 days from the default. Many institutions now confirm that the Greece's financial shortage could mean default on Thursday, April 9th. How does the Greek government react? Has it started to save the money?
Not at all. Instead, the Marxists hired 4,500 extra redundant health workers and abolished a EUR 5 fee to enter the hospital etc. They probably don't have enough finances for an International Monetary Fund repayment on April 9th; plus the welfare and public wages payments etc. on April 14th.
As some of these individuals have boasted, they are a left-wing government so they will choose not to pay their debt but to spread the stolen money among their equally parasitic voters. Exactly, this is the kind of behavior that deserves to be called left-wing, and that's why you should better beat or shoot a person who is left-wing or depends on left-wing politicians over "lending" him or her or them some money. You won't get it back; they are thieves, they are scum that has to be kicked into every day and kept near the sewerage system, otherwise every country may get devastated like Greece did.
Warren Buffett added one of the sane voices here. Once Greece exits the Eurozone, it will be good news for the Eurozone and the Euro because it will become more clear that violations of rules have consequences. It will reduce the moral hazard that has surpassed almost all conceivable limits. The Eurozone will lose its weakest links that was incompatible with a strengthening currency. So when traders get rational, the Euro should actually strengthen.
If and when Greece fails to pay the money to the International Monetary Fund on April 9th (and maybe they will avoid this outcome by getting some money in Moscow on Wednesday), it won't immediately mean default. IMF allows a one-month-long grace period. Only sometime in early May, the Greek failure to pay would officially get to the IMF bureaucrats who could recognize it as a default. In the whole IMF history, no country calling itself "civilized" has ever defaulted to the IMF. Indeed, Greece is the worst client in the IMF's history.
This schedule seems rather clear, smooth, and problem-free for the rest of the world.
If you are Greek or if you have relatives in Greece, please make sure that you move all your money out of the country before Thursday. The Syriza government already plans to nationalize all the banks and introduce its own "parallel" currency. I think that the safety of the deposits' value wouldn't be a top priority of the left-wing leaders if they really conquered all the banks.
These developments make me think about all the nontrivial changes after the fall of communism, in 1989 and early 1990s, that Czechoslovakia had to undergo in order to become a proper capitalist country. Convertibility of the currency, privatization of companies... and later the banks, liquidation of subsidies almost everywhere, and so on. Greece is clearly going to move exactly in the opposite direction, towards communism. They will probably use a parallel currency that won't be convertible for Greeks and the banks will be government-controlled, not to mention hundred of other features of communism, most of which already hold in Greece.
Russia's nuclear defense
The Russian leaders have announced their determination to react assertively, and most likely with nuclear weapons, if someone tried to steal Crimea away from Russia; or if someone tried to distribute permanent hostile military units in the Baltic states.
NATO troops can't be stationed in the Baltic states according to the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act which is still valid. Well, in 1997, Russia was a political dwarf that "behaved" but it's still true that the treaty was never revoked.
I would love to believe that the leaders of the U.S. in particular will be sensitive about these existential red lines delineated by Russia. But when I observe the Obama administration's support for the Iranian centrifuges, the Saudi destruction of a poor neighboring country, and the continuing insane, Nazi-style Russophobic propaganda in the U.S. and much of the West, my optimism largely evaporates.
A quasi-global nuclear war has become more likely than it was in the 1980s.