The US sees a huge challenge to its power coming from Russia, China, and Iran and it’s going to do everything it can to stop it. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Iranian seamen salute the Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry while moored at Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman during Iran-Russia-China joint naval drills. The photo was provided by the Iranian Army office on December 27, 2019. Photo: AFP / HO / Iranian Army office
Coming decade could see the US take on Russia, China and Iran over the New Silk Road connection
The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani.
Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.
Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.
The Deep State and crucial sectors of the US ruling class are absolutely terrified that China is already outpacing the “indispensable nation” economically and that Russia has outpaced it militarily. The Pentagon officially designates the three Eurasian nodes as “threats.”
Hybrid War techniques – carrying inbuilt 24/7 demonization – will proliferate with the aim of containing China’s “threat,” Russian “aggression” and Iran’s “sponsorship of terrorism.” The myth of the “free market” will continue to drown under the imposition of a barrage of illegal sanctions, euphemistically defined as new trade “rules.”
Chinese money is proving more attractive in the Middle East than US bullets and bombs. From Simon Watkins at oilprice.com:
Following the political and popular backlash in Iran over details of its plans to make the Islamic Republic effectively a client state through various multi-layered oil and gas deals, China has switched its attention for the moment to Iran’s close ally and neighbour, Iraq. Like Iran, Iraq has enormous and still relatively underdeveloped oil and gas reserves, it is an irreplaceable geographical stepping stone in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ programme, and it is in need of major ongoing funding. China already has leverage over Iraq as the leading oil company (Rosneft) of its close geopolitical ally, Russia, already has effective control over the oil and gas infrastructure of the north Iraq semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, and Chinese companies operate on a number of fields in south Iraq. Last week saw key developments in China’s cornerstone project of making Iraq into a client state.
The first of these developments was the announcement from Iraq’s Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries. As highlighted by OilPrice.com, the broad framework of this arrangement was agreed last September during a visit by Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Beijing, with the purpose of expanding China’s then US$20 billion of investment in Iraq in addition to the US$30 billion or so in annual trade between the two countries. According to last week’s statement, Chinese firms Zhenhua Oil and Sinochem were the importers of the Iraqi barrels involved, and OilPrice.com understands that all trade financing surrounding these exports – and many of those to come – have been done by the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation.
Posted in Business, Energy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Trade
Tagged Belt and Road Initiative, China, Iraq, Oil, Trade
The assassination of Qassem Soleimani is probably the end of the US empire, Southwest Asia branch. From Pepe Escobar at consortiumnews.com:
Iraq is the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.
It does not matter where the green light for the U.S. targeted assassination in Baghdad of Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Hashd al-Shaabi second-in-command Abu Madhi al-Muhandis came from.
This is an act of war. Unilateral, unprovoked and illegal.
President Donald Trump may have issued the order. The U.S. Deep State may have ordered him to issue the order. Or the usual suspects may have ordered them all.
According to my best Southwest Asia intel sources, “Israel gave the U.S. the coordinates for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani as they wanted to avoid the repercussions of taking the assassination upon themselves.”
It does not matter that Trump and the Deep State are at war.
One of the very few geopolitical obsessions that unite them is non-stop confrontation with Iran – qualified by the Pentagon as one of five top threats against the U.S., almost at the level of Russia and China.
And there cannot be a more startling provocation against Iran — in a long list of sanctions and provocations — than what just happened in Baghdad. Iraq is now the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.
Posted in Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Iran, Iraq, President Trump, Qassam Solemaini assassination, Russia
In competition with Asia, the West has a weak hand. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
I’ve never been much of a gambler. On the rare occasions I’ve played poker, I almost always came out ahead, but I almost never bluffed and, probably more important, I always played with amateurs like myself, never with players who really knew what they were doing.
Of course, the business of governance is far more important than a friendly poker game between friends. All the more reason why, when political leaders are making their assessments as to the national future, they should make sure they have a winning hand, prior to betting heavily.
Every day, we’re reminded that the Asian powerhouse is moving ahead at a pace that’s unheard of in the West. It’s almost as though the clocks stopped in the West ten years ago, but Asia kept on advancing in every way.
This is clear to anyone who has had feet on the ground in Asia in recent years. Yet, every day in the Western media, the illusion is presented that the West is still running the show, and Asia is a lesser player.
Posted in Business, Culture, Economics, Economy, Education, Eurasian Axis, Geopolitics, Governments, Labor, Law, Politics
Tagged Asia, China, Japan, South Korea
The US’s Johnny-come-lately effort in Eurasia won’t put a dent in the Belt and Road Initiative. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:
US-Australia-Japan alternative to Belt and Road helps explain why the US sent a junior delegation to Thailand and why India opted out of RCEP
China’s President Xi Jinping waves during the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 5. Photo: AFP/Hector Retamal
Chinese President Xi Jinping six years ago launched New Silk Roads, now better known as the Belt and Road Initiative, the largest, most ambitious, pan-Eurasian infrastructure project of the 21st century.
Under the Trump administration, Belt and Road has been utterly demonized 24/7: a toxic cocktail of fear and doubt, with Beijing blamed for everything from plunging poor nations into a “debt trap” to evil designs of world domination.
Now finally comes what might be described as the institutional American response to Belt and Road: the Blue Dot Network.
Blue Dot is described, officially, as promoting global, multi-stakeholder “sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”
It is a joint project of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Now compare it with what just happened this same week at the inauguration of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
Who’s betrayed their country?
A dictionary definition of asset is: a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality. The word has been much in the news lately. Usually coupled with “Russian,” it’s a favorite smear of establishment stalwarts like Hillary Clinton and establishment media like The New York Times. It’s been directed against President Trump, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and others who question the US’s interventionist foreign and military policies.
By implication, anyone who is an asset of a foreign country places the interests of that foreign country ahead of their own country’s. The term is especially odious when appended to a country commonly considered an enemy. Examining US foreign and military policy the last several decades, an unasked question is: to whom or what has that policy been “useful or valuable”? Establishment attacks on Trump and Gabbard serve to clarify who has actually been assets for unfriendly governments, and it’s not Trump or Gabbard.
At the end of WWII, the US was at the apex of its power and no nation could directly challenge it. After the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949, the two countries settled into the Cold War stalemate that lasted until the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. Actual use of nuclear weapons was considered potentially catastrophic, to be avoided by either side except to counter a nuclear strike—either preemptively or after the fact—by the other side. They were not considered a battlefield weapon, although there were elements of the American military command, and probably the Soviet command as well, that at various times advanced consideration of battlefield use.
Posted in Crime, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged American empire, China, Iran, Russia
Syria represents a huge loss for the Deep State and a huge victory for the Eurasian axis. From Pepe Escobar at consortiumnews.com:
Following the Damascus-Kurdish alliance, Syria may become the biggest defeat for the Central Intelligence Agency since Vietnam, says Pepe Escobar
What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way:
“It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.
Yet that hardly begins to tell the whole story.
Allow me to briefly sketch in broad historical strokes how we got here.
It began with an intuition I felt last month at the tri-border point of Lebanon, Syria and Occupied Palestine; followed by a subsequent series of conversations in Beirut with first-class Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Russian, French and Italian analysts; all resting on my travels in Syria since the 1990s; with a mix of selected bibliography in French available at Antoine’s in Beirut thrown in.
Posted in Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged France, Great Britain, Russia, Syria, Syrian War, Vladimir Putin