The Western Narrative on Russia & China, by Jeffrey Sachs

The U.S. government can lie all it wants, but none of the lies will preserve the fading U.S. hegemony. From Jeffrey Sachs at consortiumnews.com:

It’s past time that the U.S. recognized the true sources of security: internal social cohesion and responsible cooperation with the rest of the world, rather than the illusion of hegemony, writes Jeffrey D. Sachs.

Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin and in 2019. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous.  It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressing diplomacy.

The essential narrative of the West is built into U.S. national security strategy. The core U.S. idea is that China and Russia are implacable foes that are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” These countries are, according to the U.S., “determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The irony is that since 1980 the U.S. has been in at least 15 overseas wars of choice (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Serbia, Syria and Yemen just to name a few), while China has been in none, and Russia only in one (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union. The U.S. has military bases in 85 countries, China in three and Russia in one (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union.

President Joe Biden has promoted this narrative, declaring that the greatest challenge of our time is the competition with the autocracies, which “seek to advance their own power, export and expand their influence around the world, and justify their repressive policies and practices as a more efficient way to address today’s challenges.”  U.S. security strategy is not the work of any single U.S. president but of the U.S. security establishment, which is largely autonomous, and operates behind a wall of secrecy.

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