By Sam Faddis | AND Magazine | May 17, 2022
Joe Biden’s catastrophic decisions are not just causing hardship here in the United States, they are wrecking the world economy. His war on fossil fuels, his sanctions on Russia, and the resulting ripple effects combined with out-of-control spending have created runaway inflation and crippled world food supplies. Here in the United States, we are seeing the initial effects. Elsewhere, those effects have already become catastrophic.
Food prices worldwide have exploded. Widespread protests have erupted in Iran. Stores have been looted. In at least one case mobs have attacked a base of the Basij, the dreaded internal security arm of the Islamic regime.
In Sri Lanka, starving citizens have taken the violence to an entirely different level. They are hunting down politicians, beating them in the streets, and burning their houses to the ground. In response, the government has issued “shoot on sight” orders to the police and military.
Wittgenstein on Twitter: “Sri Lanka is in real chaos. Hungry residents are literally preying on wealthy residents and officials, burning their homes and cars. The police open fire to kill. More than 200 people have already been killed. pic.twitter.com/SBdXTsXpnE / Twitter”
Sri Lanka is in real chaos. Hungry residents are literally preying on wealthy residents and officials, burning their homes and cars. The police open fire to kill. More than 200 people have already been killed. pic.twitter.com/SBdXTsXpnE
🥀_Imposter_🕸️ on Twitter: “In Sri Lanka, Anger over the cost of living the public threw politicians’ cars into the waters.🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/5TLTxPTAzd / Twitter”
In Sri Lanka, Anger over the cost of living the public threw politicians’ cars into the waters.🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/5TLTxPTAzd
zerohedge on Twitter: “Food Riots In Sri Lanka Turn Deadly As Protesters Beat Up Police, Burn Down Politicians’ Houses https://t.co/SDZBh0WGaK / Twitter”
Food Riots In Sri Lanka Turn Deadly As Protesters Beat Up Police, Burn Down Politicians’ Houses https://t.co/SDZBh0WGaK
It is not just food that is in short supply in Sri Lanka. Fuel is increasingly difficult to obtain. On Monday the Prime Minister announced the nation had exactly one day’s worth of gasoline left. Daily cuts in power are expected to increase to as much as 15 hours a day. One man is quoted as saying many people are only able to obtain one meal a day.
Al Jazeera English on Twitter: “Sri Lanka’s new PM warns the country has run out of petrol stock and desperately needs to secure $75m to pay for essential imports.Read more: https://t.co/SFT6hDHPwE pic.twitter.com/Hgy3MYH2AX / Twitter”
Sri Lanka’s new PM warns the country has run out of petrol stock and desperately needs to secure $75m to pay for essential imports.Read more: https://t.co/SFT6hDHPwE pic.twitter.com/Hgy3MYH2AX
The military had to rescue the country’s outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in an operation on Tuesday only hours after he resigned. Mobs surrounding Rajapaksa’s home were threatening to breach his compound’s walls and attack Rajapaksa himself.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s newly installed prime minister, has warned the nation that the next few months “will be the most difficult of our lives.” During a nationally televised address Monday, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka needed $75 million within days to buy essential supplies of fuel and medicine, but admitted the treasury was effectively empty.
India is so terrified of the possibility of food shortages there that it has halted the export of all wheat. India is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat. Buyers worldwide had been banking on India to help make up the shortfall in production worldwide. Those hopes have now been dashed.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, India has sold wheat to South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. India has started selling wheat to new customers in Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti. As recently as last week, India was planning on sending trade delegations to nine countries – Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria, and Lebanon – to seek opportunities to sell more Indian wheat. All of that is now off the table.
This is just the beginning. The full impact will be felt in a few months at harvest time. Huge areas of farmland that are usually under cultivation are not being planted due to the war in Ukraine and the fertilizer shortage. That means yields this Fall will be dramatically below normal. By then we will have burned through the reserves we have worldwide. That is when the real starving will begin.
RadioGenova on Twitter: “After Sri Lanka, there are also strong protests in Iran over the increase in the cost of food. The people of the world are hungry and very angry with the political class. Coming soon to Europe. pic.twitter.com/0uQLINBxaV / Twitter”
After Sri Lanka, there are also strong protests in Iran over the increase in the cost of food. The people of the world are hungry and very angry with the political class. Coming soon to Europe. pic.twitter.com/0uQLINBxaV
Food riots are already being reported in Africa as prices for food and fuel have skyrocketed. Well over a month ago Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that skyrocketing global food prices as a result of the war in Ukraine could trigger food riots in Africa. Speaking to the Guardian Okonjo-Iweala said, “I think we should be very worried. The impact on food prices and hunger this year and next could be substantial. Food and energy are the two biggest items in the consumption baskets of poor people all over the world. It is poor countries and poor people within poor countries that will suffer the most.”
Okonjo-Iweala said 35 African countries were dependent on food imported from the Black Sea region, adding that Russia and Ukraine were responsible for 24% of global supplies of wheat. These are precisely the nations that were counting on Indian wheat to help them survive.
What is coming will not be uncomfortable or difficult. It will be deadly. Killing pipelines, embargoing Russian wheat and oil, encouraging the broadening of the war in Ukraine, depriving the world of Russian fertilizer while simultaneously preventing the U.S. industrial sector from making up the shortfall in production – all of these things are catastrophic for the world economy. Either through grotesque incompetence or willful malfeasance, Biden has taken a wrecking ball to the world economy and the consequences are already being felt worldwide.
The Starving Time
We were told that Joe Biden in the White House meant a return to normal. CNN assured us an adult was now in charge and celebrated Donald Trump’s departure. That rhetoric has largely died away amidst the wreckage of the Biden administration, and yet the full scope of the disaster that is unfolding continues to be deliberately hidden from us.
What this White House should be doing is ramping up fossil fuel production, working with industry to turbocharge domestic fertilizer manufacture, and dramatically expanding U.S. wheat production to compensate for shortfalls abroad. It ought also to be stepping in to mediate and bring the war in Ukraine to a conclusion, end the suffering of the people there and get farmland back under cultivation.
The White House is doing none of those things. It is killing our fossil fuel industry and pouring jet fuel on the fire burning in Ukraine. It is doing everything it can think of to make the problem worse.
We will all pay the price. The day is fast coming when “eat the rich” will be much more than just a saying.