Category Archives: Eurasian Axis

The Art of Being a Spectacularly Misguided Oracle, by Pepe Escobar

Being a neocon means never having to say you’re sorry or that you were wrong. From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:

If you doubt anyone could match Zbigniew Brzezinski’s failure to understand Eurasia, consider Robert Kagan

The late Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski for some time dispensed wisdom as an oracle of US foreign policy, side by side with the perennial Henry Kissinger – who, in vast swathes of the Global South, is regarded as nothing but a war criminal.

Brzezinski never achieved the same notoriety. At best he claimed bragging rights for giving the USSR its own Vietnam in Afghanistan – by facilitating the internationalization of Jihad Inc., with all its dire, subsequent consequences.

Over the years, it was always amusing to follow the heights Dr. Zbig would reach with his Russophobia. But then, slowly but surely, he was forced to revise his great expectations. And finally he must have been truly horrified that his perennial Mackinder-style geopolitical fears came to pass – beyond the wildest nightmares.

Not only Washington had prevented the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia, but the competitor is now configured as a strategic partnership between Russia and China.

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Robert Kagan Diagnosed America’s Biggest Problem: Americans Who Don’t Want To Run the World, by Doug Bandow

What do you do when you’re a committed imperialist but most of your country is not? From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

“All great powers” want to rule the world, declared Robert Kagan, propagandist for America as imperial power, democratic hegemon, aggressive unipower, and perpetual war machine. However, they typically fail. Wrote Kagan in a new Foreign Affairs article: “Much of the drama of the past century resulted from great powers whose aspirations exceeded their capacity.”

The U.S. has a different problem, he contended. The American people. Rather than realize their unique calling to sacrifice themselves and obey their betters when instructed to patrol the globe, they continued to look inward.

They failed to realize that their destiny is to impose order upon independent and subservient, judge innocent and guilty, wage war upon great and small, and, yes, kill anyone who and destroy anything which gets in the way of fulfilling this sacred duty. Instead of focusing on the wishes of Washington, D.C., the world’s imperial city, and rising to the greatness expected of them by supporting the aggrandizements of a globally dominant America, they focused on the local and personal – their careers and educations, their communities and towns, their clubs and associations, and their families and friends.

Yes, he admitted, “they have met the challenges of Nazism and Japanese imperialism, Soviet communism, and radical Islamist terrorism.” However, they saw these efforts as “exceptional responses to exceptional circumstances. They do not see themselves as the primary defender of a certain kind of world order; they have never embraced that ‘indispensable’ role.”

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Why Russia Is Driving the West Crazy, by Pepe Escobar

Russia is less and less inclined to dance to the Western tune as it turns from Europe towards Asia. From Pepe Escobar at Asia Times via lewrockwell.com:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided he had had enough:

We are getting used to the fact that the European Union are trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions and we proceed from the assumption at this stage that the European Union is an unreliable partner.

Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, on an official visit to Moscow, had to take it on the chin.

Lavrov, always the perfect gentleman, added, “I hope that the strategic review that will take place soon will focus on the key interests of the European Union and that these talks will help to make our contacts more constructive.”

He was referring to the EU heads of state and government’s summit at the European Council next month, where they will discuss Russia. Lavrov harbors no illusions the “unreliable partners” will behave like adults.

Yet something immensely intriguing can be found in Lavrov’s opening remarks in his meeting with Borrell: “The main problem we all face is the lack of normalcy in relations between Russia and the European Union – the two largest players in the Eurasian space. It is an unhealthy situation, which does not benefit anyone.”

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XI and Putin Make the Case for Win-Win vs. Zero-Sum, by Pepe Escobar

Xi and Putin offer much of the world a better option than what passes for US foreign relations—do as we say or else. From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:

So the Davos Agenda has come and gone.

That was the virtual Great Reset preview, hosted by Kissinger acolyte cum World Economic Forum (WEF) oracle Herr Klaus Schwab.

Still, corporate/political so-called “leaders” will continue to wax lyrical about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or its mild spin-offs such as Build Back Better, the favorite slogan of the new White House tenants.

The WEF co-sponsors – from the UN and the IMF to BlackRock, Blackstone and the Carlyle Group – will continue to expand their synchronicity with Lynn Forester de Rothschild and her corporate-heavy Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican – pop Pope Francis at the helm.

And yes, they they accept Visa.

Predictably, the two really crucial events at Davos received minimal or non-existent coverage across the wobbly West: the speeches by President Xi and President Putin.

We have already highlighted Xi’s essentials. Aside from arguing a powerful case for multilateralism as the only possible road map to deal with global challenges, Xi stressed nothing substantial may be achieved if the inequality gap between North and South is not reduced.

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Xi Reads Multilateral Riot Act to Virtual Davos, by Pepe Escobar

China’s Xi sees the world embracing multilateral solutions without unipower domination (that would be the US). From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:

Xi shows the contrast between Asia’s relative serenity and the chaos engulfing the West’s top power centers

The virtual Davos Agenda is finally on, from Monday to Friday this week, promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

No, this is not The Great Reset. At least not yet. The Agenda is the  aperitivo towards the Great Reset apotheosis at the WEF’s Special Annual Meeting, which will take place this coming spring in Singapore.  

The Agenda’s theme for 2021 is “A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust.” 

Oops. Davos, we got a problem: trust is always earned, never built.   

Trust, anyway, in Davos speak, must always lead towards – what else – the Great Reset, introduced here in a Tik Tok-ready clip crammed with catchy slogans such as “a new dashboard for the new economy” or “right people, right place, right time”.

The message clincher is “tune in, turn on, get involved”, borrowing shamelessly from 1960s Timothy Leary (but ditching “drop out”).   

It obviously escaped the clip’s producers that their P.R. opus indirectly admits to rigged elections and blanket censorship on social media.     

The Agenda’s P.R. blitz must have a hard time dismissing the predominant perception this is all about Davos Man – and Woman – losing their sleep over global wealth inequality while enthusiastically applauded by a bunch of glitterati sociopaths.    

Onwards with the sessions.   

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Empire with a Human Face, by Patrick Lawrence

Not much will change in the US’s crumbling empire with Biden as president. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

The Biden people are unlikely to speak of a new cold war with China, but they appear likely to wage one all dressed up as a sophisticated trans–Pacific strategy.

Those boneheaded Trump people explained their hostile, xenophobic, fated-to-fail policy toward China by telling  the rest of Asia that America stood for “a free and open Indo–Pacific.”

No, no and no, say the big shots President-elect Joe Biden has named to shape and execute his foreign policy. Instead, they mean to tell Asians to line up behind their hostile, xenophobic, fated-to-fail policy toward China in the name of “a secure and prosperous Indo–Pacific.”

Way different.

It is simply remarkable to watch as the party that howled in response to everything the Trump regime attempted on the foreign-policy side adopts one Trump-era strategy after another more or less intact but for the cosmetics.

The sin of those egregious hawks who commandeered the outgoing regime was to conduct the business of empire imperially. This new crew offers what we had better recognize now as nothing more than empire with a human face.

Of all the Biden regime’s failures in the making one can already see in prospect that none will be greater than its insistence that the U.S. must continue to treat China as a predatory competitor and strategic adversary.

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RCEP Hops On The New Silk Roads, by Pepe Escobar

Spearheaded by the Chinese and Russian governments, new economic alliances are forming across Eurasia. From Pepe Escobar at The Asia Times via zerohedge.com:

Ho Chi Minh, in his eternal abode, will be savoring it with a heavenly smirk. Vietnam was the – virtual – host as the 10 Asean nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit..

RCEP, eight years in the making, binds together 30% of the global economy and 2.2 billion people. It’s the first auspicious landmark of the Raging Twenties, which started with an assassination (of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani) followed by a global pandemic and now ominous intimations of a dodgy Great Reset.

RCEP seals East Asia as the undisputed prime hub of geoeconomics. The Asian Century in fact was already in the making way back in the 1990s. Among those Asians as well as Western expats who identified it, in 1997 I published my book 21st: The Asian Century (excerpts here.)

RCEP may force the West to do some homework, and understand that the main story here is not that RCEP “excludes the US” or that it’s “designed by China”. RCEP is an East Asia-wide agreement, initiated by Asean, and debated among equals since 2012, including Japan, which for all practical purposes positions itself as part of the industrialized Global North. It’s the first-ever trade deal that unites Asian powerhouses China, Japan and South Korea.

By now it’s clear, at last in vast swathes of East Asia, that RCEP’s 20 chapters will reduce tariffs across the board; simplify customs, with at least 65% of service sectors fully open, with increased foreign shareholding limits; solidify supply chains by privileging common rules of origin; and codify new e-commerce regulations.

When it comes to the nitty gritty, companies will be saving and be able to export anywhere within the 15-nation spectrum without bothering with extra, separate requirements from each nation. That’s what an integrated market is all about.

When RCEP meets BRI

The same scratched CD will be playing non-stop on how RCEP facilitates China’s “geopolitical ambitions”. That’s not the point. The point is RCEP evolved as a natural companion to China’s role as the main trade partner of virtually every East Asian player.

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Washington’s Campaign Against China Could Lead to War, by Brian Cloughley

Mike Pompeo certainly talks like a man looking for a fight. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

When prominent U.S. personalities such as Secretary of State Pompeo speak critically and scornfully about leaders and other prominent figures of countries with whose policies they disagree, they ignore or even welcome the fact that such attacks are heard not only by the persons at whom they are aimed. The citizens of the country concerned are unlikely to disregard such criticism, and even if they may agree with some of it — perhaps all of it — on a purely practical or individual basis, they do not accept the premise that their countries are in the wrong because some foreign representative sounds off against their leaders.

There is a campaign of denigration being waged by Washington against Beijing, and Secretary Pompeo is brandishing the sharpest sword. His speech of July 23 at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum was a definitive indication of how the United States stands in regard to the People’s Republic of China, and its very title made it clear that Washington has no intention of engaging in reasoned dialogue that could lead to rapprochement with the Chinese government. Pompeo’s discourse on ‘Communist China and the Free World’s Future’ was a venomous diatribe aimed at persuading the world community to combine against the PRC.

Pompeo is nostalgic for the good old days of the Cold War, and warned that “If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world. General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannise inside and outside of China forever, unless we allow it. Now, this isn’t about containment. Don’t buy that. It’s about a complex new challenge that we’ve never faced before.”

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More Fallout from Iran/China Deal: India Loses Farzad-B, by Tom Luongo

India is caught in the middle between the US and the Eurasian axis of China, Russia, and Iran. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

he carnage for following President Trump’s lead on ending the JCPOA continues for India.

From SputnikNews last week comes this note about the Farzad-B oil and gas field and Iran.

Close on the heels of breaking the Chabahar-Zahedan rail project agreement, Iran appears set to deny India’s state-run ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), exploration and production rights for the key Farzad B gas field.

The granting  of rights to OVL was already delayed with New Delhi moving slowly on the issue, but came to a complete standstill after the 2018 imposition of US sanctions on Tehran.

Now that threat looks to be a reality.

Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency quoted India’s External Affairs Ministry (EAM) as saying on Thursday Tehran would develop the Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf region “on its own” and might engage India “appropriately at a later stage”.

Translation: “Stop stalling for Trump’s sake and make good on your promises or the project goes to China.”

Because that’s where this leads in light of the announced mega-deal between Iran and China worth a reported $400 billion.

I wrote last week I thought India has lost its way on the New Silk Road. Losing the contract to build the railway it pushed for to bypass Pakistan and assert independence from China’s OBOR plans should have been a clear enough signal.

But apparently it wasn’t.

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The India-China, Himalayan Puzzle, by Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar knows a very important of the world that most Americans know little about—Eurasia. From Escobar at consortiumnews.com:

The Indo-China border is a strategic chessboard and it’s gotten way more complex. 

Valley near Kangan, Kashmir. (Kashmir Pictures, Flickr)

It was straight from an Orientalist romantic thriller set in the Himalayas: soldiers fighting each other with stones and iron bars in the dead of night on a mountain ridge over 4,000 meters high, some plunging to their deaths into a nearly frozen river and dying of hypothermia.

In November 1996, China and India had agreed not to use guns along their 3,800 km-long border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which sports an occasional tendency to derail into a Line Out of Control.

Yet this was not just another Himalayan scuffle. Of course there were echoes of the 1962 Sino-Indian war – which started pretty much the same way, leading Beijing to defeat New Delhi on the battlefield. But now the strategic chessboard is way more complex, part of the evolving 21st Century New Great Game.

Indian army marching in 1962 war, during which Indian Air Force was not used. (Indian Defence Review)

The situation had to be defused. Top military commanders from China and India finally met face to face this past weekend. And on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed they “agreed to take necessary measures to promote a cooling of the situation.”

The Indian Army concurred: “There was mutual consensus to disengage (…) from all frictions areas in Eastern Ladakh.”

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