International Forecaster Weekly

The 2010s: The Decade in Review

...the decade ahead promises to be even more chaotic, violent, transformative and—if we do not participate in the building up of meaningful alternatives—destructive decade in living memory...

James Corbett | December 21, 2019

It's December of 2019, so you know what that means: We've arrived at that special time when newsletter writers start penning their "Decade in Review" articles and pedants vainly contend that "aKtUAlLy, the new decade doesn't start until 2021!"

So let's ignore the pedants and get to that moment you've all been waiting for: The moment when I reveal my choice for the story of the decade.

The 2010s were obviously a rollercoaster of a ride, including everything from wars and riots to false flag terror events and geopolitical upheaval (and even the occasional good news story!). But you may be surprised that I believe that the 2010s will go down in the books as "The Decade That America Lost Its Hegemon."

This will be especially surprising if you watched New World Next Year 2020 and saw that I picked the USSA unilaterally re-asserting its Monroe Doctrine dominance over the entire Western hemisphere as my choice for the news story of 2019. After all, doesn't a story like that simply prove that America continues to see itself as the unchallenged (and unchallengeable) unitary world superpower?

No, not necessarily. In fact, I would say, echoing Ryan Christian in a recent edition of The Last American Vagabond, "They [Uncle Sam & co.] are losing their influence, but that's why they're wielding what they have left."

Don't believe me? Let's roll up our sleeves and take a look at some of the lowlights of the last 10 years, shall we?

Libya: Mission Accomplished?

Libya marks the last clear-cut victory for the Old World Order. From the beginning, everyone with their head screwed on straight was calling the 2011 campaign to drop humanitarian love bombs on Libya for what it was: a naked money and resource grab and an attempt to re-closet some old skeletons. And (spoiler alert!) documents later proved we in the reality-based community were right.

In the end, The assassination of Gaddafi marked the last time the NATO mobsters were able to exert their will on the global stage uncontested. In the infamous words of Hillary Clinton: "We came. We saw. He died."

But even though Libya was a "Mission Accomplished" for Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy and the other psychopaths-in-chief, in some ways it gave rise to the problems that are now threatening to crumble the Old World Order.

Of the many interesting (and largely unexplored) aspects of the Libya invasion, one of the most important was the fact that Libya represented the opening salvo in a hidden (and still escalating) proxy war in Africa between Washington and Beijing. As I noted at the time, some of the first targets of the Libyan campaign were Chinese business interests in the oil rich Eastern parts of the country, a fact that was not lost on China (or Russia, for that matter). Never again would China and Russia rubber stamp the UN resolutions that would be used to steamroll over a country that they were invested in.

Which brings us naturally to . . .

Syria: Mission Unaccomplished

The campaign to topple the Syrian government seemed to be cast in the Libyan campaign mold. In fact, I was warning that Syria was in danger of becoming Libya 2.0 before Gaddafi had even been killed.

A years-long covert campaign to overthrow the Syrian government? Check.

A tyrant worse than Hitler (and suicidal madman) who was "brutally suppressing his own people" while they engaged in "peaceful demonstrations"? Check.

An "international coalition" willing to train, fund, arm and equip the "moderate rebels" who were trying to overthrow the Syrian government? Check.

In fact, all the dominos were in place, the red line was drawn, the false flags were flown and everything was set for another US-led NATO love bombing.

. . . But something happened. Or, more to the point, something didn't happen. The green light wasn't given, the all-out assault didn't start. Even the creation of a new al-CIAda army, dubbed I-CIA-SIS was not enough to justify the lusted-after invasion.

Incredibly, here we are about to close out the decade and Assad is still in power.

Syria has been wracked by years of struggle against the foreign terrorist insurgency, but the death blow has not been delivered. And now the Iranian bogeymen—who was always the ostensible target of the Syrian operation—wields even more power than they did at the start of the decade. Russian anti-missile systems now provide a powerful shield against NATO and Israeli military aggression.

There is something to be said for the idea that destabilization itself was the goal in Syria all along, but even so, not even the agents of chaos expected that the Syrian government would still be standing by now. And yet they are.

So what went wrong for the agents of the Old World Order?

R2P Fizzles

You might recall that the doctrine of "R2P" or "Responsibility to Protect" was one of the ways that the "international community" (i.e. Uncle Sam and friends) tried to sell the Libyan invasion to the erstwhile "anti-war" supporters of the Obama regime. In a nutshell: We can't just sit back and let [Insert Target's Name Here] slaughter his people like this!

This doctrine of intervention-at-all-costs relies heavily on the idea that this new international norm will be enforced at the barrel of a gun by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). As long as the UNSC is willing to rubber-stamp resolutions calling for [Insert Target's Name Here] to stop doing [Insert Trumped-up Charges Here] or else then the warmongers can use the R2P fig leaf to mask their true intentions.

But here the US and its allies have been thwarted. Russia and China, being members of the aforementioned UNSC, learned their lesson from Libya and voted down resolutions that were clearly aimed at toppling the Assad government. The principle that they cited in their dissenting vote was not "Responsibility to Protect" but "respect for sovereignty and non-intervention into State affairs," which obviously goes against the underlying premise of R2P. As Russian representative Vitaly Churkin noted at the time, China and Russia's veto of the anti-Assad resolution "was not a question of the acceptability of wording; it was a conflict of political approaches."

It's hard to appreciate just how important the undermining of this R2P idea has been in shaping the course of the 2010s. If it had been successful, there is no doubt it would have been applied time and time again throughout the decade. It may have been used to justify boots on the ground in support of the (heavily manipulated) Arab Spring movement, or to justify a NATO intervention in Ukraine. Who knows, it may have even been used to justify US military support for the Hong Kong protesters, a convenient kick off for a war with China.

As it is, R2P has been largely relegated to the dustbin of history, a footnote in the textbooks on international relations. Now we're left with the ridiculous spectacle of the US State Department coming up with its own ad hoc parody of the idea, pledging to support "legitimate" governments from protesters in allied countries and help protesters topple "illegitimate" governments when and where it wants. Thankfully, no one takes this unilateral US-only "Responsibility to Protect (our interests)," and it is easily recognized for what it is: A cynical re-assertion of the American Empire's claim to hemispheric hegemony.

ISIS Crisis Flops

The decade ended with one political puppet-in-chief announcing the retirement of the Osama bin Laden character and ended with another puppet-in-chief announcing the retirement of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi character. In between, there were no end of false flag events, from bombings and knifings to shootings and truck attacks. But in all this false flag chaos, one event in particular stands out: The creation of I-CIA-SIS, a new, improved al-CIAda 2.0 for the Millennials and Gen Zers who are too young to remember to be afraid of the 9/11 bogeymen.

From its inception, the alphabet soupers' ISIS gambit reeked of desperation. A ragtag band of fighters supposedly rose up out of the sands of the desert to overthrow the Iraqi army, captured a convenient cache of weapons and a bank, setting off on a convoy across the desert that could be seen by everyone . . . but seemingly not stopped by anyone.

Were we really expected to swallow this cockamamie story?

The special forces agents caught dressing up as ISIS fighters?

The state-of-the-art ISIS media productions?

The time that ISIS got mad at 9/11 truthers (exactly as The Onion parodied years in advance).

Well, we probably weren't expected to believe it, but as long as there were enough Joe Sixpacks and Jane Soccermoms willing to go along with it, then the strategy of tension could be maintained and the globalists could go on with their false flag business as usual.

But here we are in 2019 and no one is talking ISIS anymore. They're still trotted out every now and then to try to scare the public, but it's a half-assed effort at best these days. Besides, the public is too busy squabbling about impeachment shenanigans to bother noticing what's happening in Syria and Iraq now anyway. Even resurrecting Baghdadi's corpse to make a dramatic announcement that he had been killed (again) hardly registered as a blip on the news radar.

Yes, the propagandists and social planners hardly got any mileage out of their ISIS vehicle before it crashed and burned in the sands of the desert.

The Death of the Dollar

You might have heard me say it before, and I'm sure I'll continue talking about it in the coming years: the US dollar is dying the death of a thousand paper cuts. But historians of a future era are likely to note the 2010s as the decade that the dollar began the decline that led to it being dethroned as the world reserve currency.

True, as we sit here in 2019 those useless Federal Reserve Notes are still the world reserve currency, and they are still the settlement method of choice for the majority of international trade, but that is changing.

It has been remarkable to document the rise of the yuan over the past 10 years. From the People Bank of China's then-outlandish idea in 2009 to replace the US dollar as a world reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to the rise of the yuan as an international currency to its inclusion in the SDR basket to the creation of the Shanghai Gold Exchange and the birth of the Petroyuan in 2018, the plan for a China-led New World Order has unfolded with remarkable rapidity these past 10 years.

As I've also been at pains to stress, though, the yuan is not going to be the currency that replaces the dollar as the world reserve currency. No, what the banksters have in mind for the future of finance is (as you might expect) much more diabolical.

In the meantime, the dollar remains in its seat as the king of the currencies . . . but its days are numbered and its enemies are becoming more brazen in openly attacking it.

So what's next?

This is only the partialest of partial lists of the decades lowlights from Uncle Sam's perspective. I could talk more about the failure in Ukraine, the nuclearization of North Korea, the loss of soft power projection, and many other tales of woe from the American Empire's perspective.

But we have to avoid the temptation to dance around Darth Vader's funeral pyre prematurely. As I have pointed out numerous times, the birth of the New World Order can't come without the death of the Old World Order, and just because Globalization 1.0 has started to flop doesn't mean we're safe from the ravages of Globalization 2.0.

In fact, the decade ahead promises to be even more chaotic, violent, transformative and—if we do not participate in the building up of meaningful alternatives—destructive decade in living memory . . . and perhaps in all of human history.

But that story—the story of what awaits us in the 2020s—can wait until after the New Year.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!