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What will be, will be
January 1, 2015
by: Timothy W. Shire

For all of our lives we have come to accept the brutality of time moving forward, some times faster, sometimes slower, but always it moves in one direction. Our memories, and with the help of evidence, we can explore the past, but what lies ahead is, and forever shall be, the true unknown. Each year I pause just before the new year begins to reflect upon the future, or at least the glimmers of what might be, based on now and in times past, but rarely do we come to a year where predictability seems ponderously difficult.

Not only is 2015 shaping up to be loaded with complex variables, but definitely the events of the coming year will set in motion important consequences. With this in mind, this year’s predictions will and must needs be, written much differently then the predictions posted on this web site in other years.

Two geo-political conflicts began in 2014 yet they barely have begun and yet, they both pose a huge threat to the stability of our everyday life and the safety and security that are so very important to continued prosperity and the lives each of us lead. What has already begun is even of itself, not clearly defined and so it is just raw speculation to offer directions for these colliding confrontational and confusing developments.


The civil war in Syria has wearily seen little movement toward resolution during 2014. The ruling dictator of the country remains firmly in power, supported by Iran and Russia, each for their own reasons. Though the population of Syria is predominantly Sunni, the leader and the ethnic group from which he came, are Shia, an alternative version of Islam, centred in Iran, thus explaining Iran’s involvement in the conflict.

The Sunni version of Islam is rooted in Saudi Arabia and its clerics have preached and advocated strident violent opposition to the Shia and all other people, for that matter, who are not Sunni. Their behaviour has gone well beyond rhetoric, as they have provided huge amounts of money and weapons to assist in the overthrow of the Syrian government.

Meanwhile other Sunni countries in the area have provided similar support and yet the Syrian regime remains in power. The Syrians opposing their government are not all fanatical religious zealots, but a significant number are people who oppose the oppressive nature of their government, specifically, its use of force to remain in power and readiness to resort to torture, not unlike the United States of America. So it is that the opposition to the Syrian government is not unified and frequently engage in open fighting between themselves. This has been the case since the beginning of the rebellion.

The illegal invasion of Iraq, the country immediately to the east of Syrian, by the United States, when then President George W, Bush, declared that the Iraq dictator had amassed weapons of mass destruction and he also stated that Iraq had been involved with the 9 /11 attacks on the United States. Neither of these claims were true. The government of Iraq was a cruel dictatorship suppressing the minorities of the country, but maintaining some kind of cohesive structure. The American invasion and subsequent conquest, did effectively remove the central control of Iraq by its government and the factions within the country immediately began to assert themselves. When the Americans withdrew from Iraq, the government was in the hands of a corrupt leader, who did not have effective control over the Kurdish portion of the country and in the area immediately west of the capital stretching to the Syrian border, the Sunni population, were engaged in violence toward the Shia. Essentially, America left the country ruined and in chaos.

The Sunni, Saudi backed Al Qada was struggling with the continuing war in Afghanistan and its leadership was divided after the execution of the original Arab leader, Osama Ben Laden. A leader from the upper ranks realised an opportunity, with western Iraq in chaos and Syria in civil war, to begin a movement that would take advantage of the Saudi Sunni feaver and thus began a very widely based movement to establish a proper Muslim world situated in Syria and Iraq. This movement and place acquired various names, but for our purposes, let us refer to this as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). With massive economic and weapons support from the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps trained manpower from Turkey, the group has, for all intents and purposes, created a country of sorts, that stretches from the outskirts of Bagdad to the Lebanese border and north to the Turkish border and up to the Iraq area controlled by the Kurds.

This country would not have drawn much attention to itself had it not chosen to do that very thing. It has a remarkable promotional capability on the Internet and with outrageous acts of cruelty, identified themselves as a threat to all of the world. They have, with the help of Saudi trained clerics, fired up young people from the muslim community in countries everywhere, including here in Canada. These young people have gone to Syria and become soldiers in a holy cause.

ISIS has told the world they will have no limits and they will kill all who oppose them where ever they are. Leaders around the world have reacted to the threats and under the leadership of the United States, many countries have contributed soldiers and elements of their airforce to fight this threat. Sixty Canadians were dispatched immediately to train the Kurds so that they might defend themselves, then we sent seven F-18s with support aircraft and crew to join in a bombing campaign. France, UK, Australia, Jordan and some others, have participated with the Americans in air strikes.

This lengthy explanation is actually just a brief description of what the situation now is, but the real question is, what will happen?

In 2015 it is reasonable to assume that the current level of aerial attacks will continue, but these are really only public relations. Without a land force equal to the task, ISIS will continue to flourish and establish itself as a country threatening the security of a wholly unstable part of the world. Every military leader to comment on this has indicated that the struggle with ISIS will be prolonged, no matter what form it takes, and it is a certainty that land forces will be taking up positions by spring. Canada will send off forces to participate in the fight.

Canada’s ongoing need to assure the Americans that we are loyal to every American cause and the fact that Canada at war is positive politically for its government in an election year. A full ground war in Iraq by Canadian forces is about to take shape in the spring of 2015.

The Ukraine

Historically, Russia has always viewed the Crimea as a part of its domain, but oddly enough when the Soviet Union dissolved, Crimea was made a part of the Ukraine with a Russian military presence established in a lease agreement. When the Ukrainian president, who came from the eastern Russian dominated portion of the country, refused to move his country toward closer links with the European Union, the people of the Western Ukraine and the capital Kyiv, took to the streets deposing the president. Russia’s president used this as an excuse to annex Crimea and then launched a low profile war to grab control of the eastern part of the country.

The response from the countries of Europe and North America was primarily verbal, but they followed that up with some sanctions, which have been accumulating problems for Russia and its economy. NATO has strengthened its presence along the Russian border countries and we have four F-18s patrolling the skies of the Baltic Sea.

Now, we discover that there is a direct link between the middle east conflict and the problems in the Ukraine. The
United States in concert with Saudi Arabia have launched an amazing audacious plot to destabilise both Russia and Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry was briefed by the Saudis about their plan back in the spring. In essence, the plan involved taking the floor out of the price of crude oil. The economy of Iran is extremely dependent upon oil exports just as the economy of Russia has been solvent because of oil sales. With speculation that there was a glut of oil on the market due to a supposed slow down in the Chinese economy, speculators caused the price of oil to slip, then the Saudis maintained their level of production, causing the price of crude oil to drop to half of its price only months before. The direct result has been for the Iranian finance minister to proclaim that Iran is basically broke and the Russian rubble has dropped spectacularly in value, even though Russia has raised its prime interest rate to 17%.

In early 2015 the pressure on the Russian government is expected to reach a point where action must be taken to lift the sanctions imposed by the European Union and other countries. The only thing they can do to accomplish this is de-escalate tensions in the Ukraine.

Putin and his regime have been able to maintain their popular status with the population because of the nationalistic and no nonsense stance, that has been taken to face up to NATO. Russia feels threatened by the United States, as it acts through NATO to encircle Russia with a whole range of belligerent weapons systems. Besides launching its limited action upon the Ukraine, Russia has turn up the heat to modernise its military and then act aggressively enough to attempt to gain military respect by what it considers its adversaries. Russians have always viewed their country as expansionist and demand that their leaders take such a forceful attitude.

American hawks are sabre rattling, telling the fearful American public, that a nuclear confrontation is a definite possibility, if their military forces do not show serious aggressive actions toward Russia.

In Canada, the prime minister and the minister of external affairs, have been more than outspoken, pledging support to the Ukraine. The reason for this stance is purely political. The government holds all but a few seats in the prairie provinces where a significant portion of the rural population, its solid conservative supporters, are Ukrainian and the support to Kyiv plays well from Winnipeg to Edmonton.

Now let us review what happened from 1945 until 1993. The Soviet Union and the NATO alliance were armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and a series of bush fire conflicts arose with each potentially capable of triggering an all out nuclear war. But, during all those years from tension to tension, with the military forces of United States and the Soviet Union on a permanent wartime footing, peace broke out.

So it is that in 2015 the likelihood of anything that might lead to a world war is extremely remote. Let’s face it, for a war to take place one, or both sides would have to want to see such a conflict take place. There is no evidence at this time that in the coming year, Russia would take any action that might lead to war. The Americans on the other hand have such a low level of awareness of the world and themselves, that they could easily precipitate actions that would be considered warlike. Their president is almost without power and as we have seen at the end of 2013, the Republicans demonstrate no reasonable level of even the smallest amount of common sense. Yet with all this in play, Putin is far more aware of his role as a world leader and will definitely show inordinate levels of restraint.

As for the oil business, natural consequences should begin to take affect. The consumption of oil world wide in not declining but increasing and with the dramatic drop in price there is no immediate need to implement conservation programmes like those that we saw during the 1970s. Oil consumption will increase, the demand will soon equal the production levels and the price of crude will conclude its descent and just as dramatically rise just about as fast as it went down.

The American economy is slowly recovering and demand for Chinese goods will strengthen throughout the year. The Chinese economy will move back up to that 8% level and they are going to need oil, lots of it.

One of the things that everyone who looks at commodities knows and understands is that a glut is not a way more than is demanded by the market, but if the world needs twelve eggs and there are thirteen available, the price of eggs plumitts. So it is, if there is a demand for thirteen eggs and there are only a dozen for sale, the price of eggs rockets upwards. With commodities like oil, wheat and cumquats, the volumes are much harder to estimate and governments, like the United States, maintain substantial reserves, just in case. Those reserves alone can push the marketplace up or down on a whim.

Climate Change

The third issue facing mankind and reaching a crisis in 2015 is the whole terrifying thing about global warming. Until a few weeks ago the United States of America and China pretty much were in denial. The Canadian government up until 2006 had committed itself to lowering emission levels, but when Stephen Harper came to power, every thing about the environment was almost completely ignored. The prime minister and his cabinet said that without the United States working with Canada, any measures taken by us were pointless. During the years since taking power the federal departments that are involved with governing and administering industrial affects on the environment, have been gutted and their scientists muzzled and prevented from speaking to the press or public about the science for which they are responsible. As a direct consequence, Canada has been condemned world wide, for its lack lustre behaviour with regard to the environment.

The government’s lackadaisical attitude has been directly responsible for the failure of the American State Department to approve the building of the Keystone pipeline to take oil from the North Dakota Brakken fields and Alberta’s tar sands to market. Similarly, Canadians concerned about the failure of the government to even set minimum standards for emissions, has prompted a ground swell against every pipeline project in the country. Without constraint, without effective positive emission standards, opposing pipelines is the only action the public can take to make their voices heard and as a result, the Northern Gateway, the Keystone and the pipeline east are all just talk, instead of positive nation building energy projects, which would be of benefit to all Canadians.

In January the United States Congress and Senate will once again pass legislation demanding approval of the Keystone pipeline. The president is unlikely to lend his support to their votes and will use his veto to prevent the development.

As the year progresses nations around the world will be preparing and attending the Paris conference on global warming. At that conference there will be a lot of flag waving with the United States and China both issuing proclamations declaring their intentions to cut emissions of green house gases. Canada will be once again condemned for its failure to live up to its promises and even more important, its refusal to take action to even hold the line. However, talk is cheap, it makes good copy and can be useful in political campaigns, but alas, it is to late for any action to be taken by humans where ever they are. The consequences of the past hundred years are already in play and irreversible. The ocean temperatures are already to high for the water to stay where it belongs.

It is important for you to understand that it is not the melting of the polar caps and the glaciers that is going to present a serious threat to all sea level populations. When water is heated it expands and that has already happened and there is nothing to reverse the trend. Coastal areas and islands in 2015 are all in serious danger. A minor storm surge off the west coast of British Columbia will cause flooding in Vancouver’s Stanley park. A modest hurricane along the south Florida coast will wash over the everglades and the folks in Miami will need to keep their life jackets handy.

Racial conflict

The second largest economy in the world was created by slave labour. Though slavery officially ended in the United States of America at the end of the civil war, the economic effects of slave labour had already created the wealth that remains in place today. The former slaves have been kept in a subservient underprivileged situation, so that even in the post slavery environment, their labour has brought them wages that keep their majority in poverty. They are definitely living in a land where all are supposed to be treated equally, but far from it, blacks are more likely to go to jail, be unemployed, die young and receive less education than their fellow Americans. The civil rights movements from the fifties and sixties were interesting, but pretty much a waste of time and energy. In the last months of 2014, the inequality has been glaringly illustrated as blacks are murdered by police and grand juries have excused the murders with no real repercussions to those involved, or to the society as a whole.

Canada has a tiny population of people who trace their origins to Africa and our economy is not based on wealth created by slavery, but for us, just as savage a situation is a part of the fabric of this country.

Canada was not empty when the Europeans arrived here and found their way around setting up trading posts and mapping out a future invasion from across the Atlantic. To the south of us, where slavery was the norm, the slaughter of the indigenous people, held no moral issue for the expanding population of the United States. But, in Canada, the British were reluctant to pursue such a course of action and decided instead to, for all intents and purposes, to buy the land from the inhabitants. A series of treaties were struck and agreed to, granting the indigenous people of the day and their descendants, provisions to provide for them as long as the grass shall grow, the sun shines and the rivers flow. No taxes, free education, free health care, food to sustain them, specific rights for their way of life and a token treaty payment to each person for all time.

No matter who or what you are, it is extremely important to understand the terms of a contract and the terms of the treaties were such that they were not contingent upon the whims of the government of the day, or the attitude of the voting majority. Canada has its land and its people have responsibilities for ever, to the original owners and their descendants. I don’t know how else to make this fundamental principle clear to everyone, but apparently, only a fraction of Canadians accept the contract, for governments ever since those treaties were signed, have repeatedly made every attempt to shirk on the deal.

The present government is perhaps one of the worse violators of aboriginal rights since the days of John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister. What are the consequences for our country in 2015? Let this be a warning to everyone. “Idle no more” is just the very glimmer of awakening. There are growing numbers of well educated successful aboriginal people who can communicate and bring their demands before the courts where they rarely ever lose.

Remember the Manitoba teenager who was sexually assaulted, beaten and thrown in the river to die, but pulled herself up onto the shore to then recover in hospital and then appear in person before the assembly of first nations, to demand that action be taken, to do something about the horrific litany of violence toward aboriginal women across this country. Remember her, because she is just one of tens of thousands of young aboriginal people who will no longer tolerate inaction and the failure of Canada and its people to live up to the bargains agreed to in the treaties.

2015 is the year when mere protest marches and road blocks will be replaced by legal action and in many cases, civil disobedience. This is their opportunity, an election year to begin their active pursuit of reclaiming their rights.

South of the border the realisation that racial equality is a pure myth will result in action. Riots and looting will not become common place and though there will still be many advocating the importance of peaceful non-violent demonstrations, but the country that declares that its citizens have the right to bare arms is about to discover what that means. The murder of two New York policemen was a singular act by one troubled man, but the United States of America has a huge number of troubled black people, who really have nothing to lose. It is a simple consequence of white supremacy, the oppressed can and will fight back this is inevitable.

Canadian politics

Let us consider the political events about to unfold in Canada in 2015.

The prime minister and his government have enjoyed the positive effects that come when the people of a country sense a common enemy. The mission to Iraq will continue to give positive light to the government, even though we are being drawn into yet another shooting war. One of the best things that could happen to the government of Canada is another loan wolf jihadist attack like the one on Parliament hill last month. Failing an actual attack, the government will have to make do with threats and fears, to benefit their cause.

The polls, as the year ended, showed the Liberal Party almost even with the Conservatives but were they to remain in that position, a Liberal minority would be the likely outcome and it would be unlikely for there to be a Conservative victory of any kind. But, the election is not slated until October and there is a lot that can happen before then.

The first and most damaging blow to the Conservative government is going to become very clear in the first few weeks of January, when we begin to realise that the balanced budget, promised for the past eight years, is not going to be possible. The time is to short for the low value of the looney to bolster the economy of Ontario and revenue losses from the price of oil have already put the governments ecosystem perhaps as much as 14 billion in the red. The government has presented itself as the champion of managing the economy, even though the government it followed, was running happily year after year with balanced budgets, since they have come to power in 2006 they have failed each and every year, and now in 2015, the promised year, the budget can not be balanced.

The next knife in the back for the government was a stabbing by the prime minister himself as his star senate appointments have slunk in shame from the house with Mr. Duffy being charged with more than thirty crimes. He will begin his trial in April and all eyes will be focused on what he has to say. When he was first accused of scandalous behaviour, he warned that he had the proof that would make it clear he was not guilty, but had acted as an agent for the government, specifically the prime minister. He will keep his promise and the prime minister will deny but the public already knows that he was directly involved in the $90,000 money scheme and “its a done deal.”

There will be campaigns and speeches, but this is the internet age and the election will be won online and it will be won with a Liberal Majority.

Sorry that this year’s predictions have taken such a long time to pronounce, but I am going to end my predictions here with these important issues covered.

No matter what I predict, the future will unfold in due course. A mild winter, a warm spring, wet summer and a our money will be only a few cents below par by this time at the end of 2015, all details for you to discover as the days go by.

May each and everyone who reads this have a truly happy new year.

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