The headline is somewhat inaccurate. The world has been shaped by one Atlantic power—the US—and the Atlantic countries of Europe have had to go along. Now their willingness to do so recedes as Russia and China rise and pull together the middle of the world in the Belt and Road Initiative. From M. K. Bhadrakumar at counterpunch.org:
53rd Munich Security Conference 2017 – Public Domain
The annual Munich Security Conference that took place February 14-16 this year turned out to be an iconic event, drawing comparison with the one held in the same Bavarian city on February 10, 2007, where in a prophetic speech Russian President Vladimir Putin had criticized the world order characterized by the United States’ global hegemony and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force—military force—in international relations.”
If Putin’s 2007 Munich speech was prescient about an incoming new Cold War and the surge of tensions in Russia’s relations with the West, 13 years later, at the event this year, we witnessed that the transatlantic ties that evolved through the two world wars in the last century and blossomed into a full-fledged alliance system have reached a crossroads.
Deep cracks have appeared in the transatlantic relationship. In an extraordinary opening address, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, an éminence grise in European diplomacy, accused Washington of rejecting “the very concept of an international community.”
The Rumpelstiltskin analogy may be the best way to explain what the United States is doing to itself. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:
There are several versions of the old German folk tale of Rumpelstiltskin. The story begins with greedy king who is told by a foolish old miller that a young girl (the miller’s daughter) had the ability to spin hay into gold. When the poor girl is locked into a tower with bales of straw, a loom and orders to transform it all into gold under threat of death, a magical imp appears out of thin air and they reach an agreement: He will use his magic to spin the hay into gold on the condition that the girl gives the imp her first born child. The greedy king is pleased with the wealth that appeared from thin air, and the daughter’s neck is saved. Sadly the day eventually arrives for her to give up a child, and the imp in sadistic glee responds to her pleading tears by giving her three chances annul the contract. All she has to do is guess his name. To make a long story short, his name is discovered and Rumpelstiltskin literally tears himself to pieces in a fit of mad rage.
I think this story exemplifies the self-cannibalization of the deep state over the past several years quite nicely.
It appeared for quite some time that the oligarchy managing the world’s financial system and military-intelligence community from above was able to do magic. If they wanted a nation overthrown, or a troublesome elected official killed, a mere snap of the fingers was all it took. Gold from straw? They could do that too! Just look at the mass of $1.5 quadrillion dollars of derivatives claims which appeared as though out of thin air in the mere space of 30 years! Seriously, back in 1990, these fictitious assets (forms of bets on insurance on securitized debts) amounted to little more than $2 trillion and 10 years before that, had barely any existence whatsoever. NOW… they amount to over twenty times the world’s GDP! How was this possible when the real economy (agro-industrial/infrastructure capital which supports real life) was permitted to atrophy during that same space of time? Magic!
Afghanistan is too geopolitically important for Washington to just up and leave. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
Nineteen years after September 11, 2001 and 17 years after launching its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. seems ready to cut a deal with the Taliban in order to freeze out its Eurasian rivals.
The central government in Kabul has in recent years granted a leading role to Moscow and Beijing in efforts to pacify the country by bringing all parties to the negotiating table. A successful outcome would allow Afghanistan to reap the benefits of its geographical position vis-a-vis Sino-Russian infrastructure projects.
The entry into Afghanistan’s dynamics of China’s economic power and Russia’s military weight promises to spark a multipolar revolution in the country and beyond that would spread to neighbors like India, Pakistan and Iran.
Moscow had even initiated historical negotiations with Taliban representatives, culminating in a visit to Moscow. U.S. sources at the time voiced doubts about the success of any peace plan and tensions between the U.S. and Iran were high, with sanctions imposed on Iran and pressure placed on U.S. allies in the region like India to boycott Iranian oil.
Posted in Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, War
Tagged Afghanistan, Belt and Road Initiative, China, Russia, US Interventionism
The US government is doing everything it can to kick the Chinese while they’re down. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:
The New Silk Roads – or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – were launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, first in Central Asia (Nur-Sultan) and then Southeast Asia (Jakarta).
One year later, the Chinese economy overtook the U.S. on a PPP basis. Inexorably, year after year since the start of the millennium, the U.S. share of the global economy shrinks while China’s increases.
China is already the key hub of the global economy and the leading trade partner of nearly 130 nations.
While the U.S. economy is hollowed out, and the casino financing of the U.S. government – repo markets and all – reads as a dystopian nightmare, the civilization-state steps ahead in myriad areas of technological research, not least because of Made in China 2025.
China largely beats the U.S. on patent filings and produces at least 8 times as many STEM graduates a year than the U.S., earning the status of top contributor to global science.
Posted in Business, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Medicine, Trade
Tagged Belt and Road Initiative, biological warfare, Chinese government, Wuhan Coronavirus
“The West” as currently used means the US and its confederated empire. Any country outside the empire is viewed as a challenge. From Diana Johnstone at consortiumnews.com:
The only complaint the U.S. allows is that the United States might not defend us enough, when the greater danger comes from being defended too much, writes Diana Johnstone on the Munich conference.
“The West is winning!” U.S. leaders proclaimed at the high-level Annual Security Conference held in Munich last weekend.
Not everybody was quite so sure.
There was a lot of insecurity displayed at a conference billed as “the West’s family meeting” – enlarged to 70 participating nations, including U.S. -designated “losers”.
Trump’s crude Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made nobody feel particular secure by treating the world as a huge video game which “we are winning”. Thanks to our “values”, he proclaimed, the West is winning against the other players that Washington has forced into its zero-sum game: Russia and China, whose alleged desires for “empire” are being thwarted.
Posted in Collapse, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Military
Tagged China, Europe, NATO, Russia, the West
Two has two very unattractive options in Syria. From Pablo Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Erdogan de facto supports al-Qaeda remnants while facing either humiliating retreat from or total war against Syria
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, neo-Ottoman extraordinaire, is not exactly inclined to commit seppuku, the Japanese act of ritual suicide.
But if not through the perspective of neo-Ottomanism, how to explain the fact he is de facto supporting al-Qaeda remnants in Syria while facing two unsavory options – a humiliating retreat from or total war against the Syrian Arab Army?
Everything about the slowly evolving, messy chessboard in Idlib hinges on highways: the imperative for the government in Damascus to control both the M5 highway between Damascus and Aleppo and the M4 highway between Latakia and Aleppo. Fully reclaiming these two crucial axes will finally turbo-charge the ailing Syrian economy.
Very few players nowadays remember the all-important Sochi memorandum of understanding signed between Russia and Turkey in September 2018.
Posted in Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, War
Tagged Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia, Syria, Turkey
When will the US be thrown into the rubbish bin of empires? From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) and Maddalena (Anouk Aimee) in La Dolce Vita, impossibly cool and chic, are like the Last Woman and the Last Man before the deluge of ‘tawdry cheapness.’
The United States may be destined for a shorter historical existence than the Mongol era established by Genghis Khan
A considerable spectrum of the liberal West takes the American interpretation of what civilization consists of to be something like an immutable law of nature. But what if this interpretation is on the verge of an irreparable breakdown?
Michael Vlahos has argued that the US is not a mere nation-state but a “system leader” – “a civilizational power like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire.” And, we should add, China – which he did not mention. The system leader is “a universalistic identity framework tied to a state. This vantage is helpful because the United States clearly owns this identity framework today.”
Intel stalwart Alastair Crooke, in a searing essay, digs deeper into how this “civilizational vision” was “forcefully unfurled across the globe” as the inevitable, American manifest destiny: not only politically – including all the accouterments of Western individualism and neo-liberalism, but coupled with “the metaphysics of Judeo-Christianity, too”.