A peaceful year in Syria & the birth of new world system سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

A peaceful year in Syria & the birth of new world system

ديسمبر 5, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

It is not a coincidence the synchronical movement between the series of the military and the political tracks whether in the Syrian field, or through the special communications between the leaders of the world and the region about Syria, or during the full preparations in Riyadh and Sochi to achieve what meets the requirements of Geneva in accordance with what has been planned in Vietnam between the Russian and the American Presidents. Now a new stage and a new balance of powers will take place after Boukamal and its liberation, and the connection of the Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese borders, and after the Americans have been notified of the approach of the departure of their troops from Syria after the fall of their pretext, the Kurds knew from the example of the Iraqi Kurdistan that there will be a single political track not an adventure that its results are known. The Turks have been notified about the political track which will end with the responsibility of the Syrian country on all the cities inside its border in addition to the non-legitimacy of any foreign force to remain on its territory.

Syria is as “the Phoenix rising from the ashes” its army is winning with the support of its allies at their forefront the resistance which was defied by the Arab League, Israel, and America. You cannot imagine a new Arab regime that is not affected by the variable that Syria is showing.  During the Saudi regression in prestige, capabilities, military and political failure from Yemen to Qatar versus forthcoming Iraqi rise as a result of the achievement in ending the terrorism and overthrowing the secession, Algeria returns to the field through playing a role of mediation after it got its economic and military recovery, and thus the Syrian-Iraqi-Algerian tripartite forms a new source of attraction in the new Arab system which heads towards Egypt to provoke it in order to form the quadripartite new leadership of the Arab system which its Saudi version has ended with the last statement of the Arab League, which its content is Israeli as was described by Moshe Ya’alon, as if it was translated from Hebrew into Arabic.

It is not a coincidence, after America started recognizing the path followed by Syria to be ready to get out of Afghanistan, knowing that the presence of its troops has been extended for three years once, because its bets on the war on Syria were giving it the hope to change the track of Syria. But it was clear from the first day after China has reached to the Mediterranean across the ground borders which link Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and as long as there is a hope in closing the ground passage in front of China from somewhere on the Syrian-Iraqi borders, or in Syria itself, that the staying in Afghanistan was necessary, but after this hope has been dispersed there is no longer need to remain, because it became an unbearable burden. So in this case it is possible to ask for the full Chinese support in compromising the nuclear file of North Korea, and thus the French movement under European cover to protect the nuclear understanding with Iran will become an American need in order to address the Koreans not to resort to the nuclear weapons as Iran, and to address the Iranians not to resort to the Korean example as long as the agreement is effective. And thus the Lebanese crisis which was broke out by the Saudis for an intention can be employed to serve another intention, this has been revealed by the inclusion of the French President Emanuel Macron, the Head of the occupation government to the list of his contacts which included the Iranian President, the Saudi King, and the Egyptian President, paving the way for linking the crises in order to link the solutions.

The Iranian President Vladimir Putin said in 2016 that a new world system is being born of the Syrian war, as Condoleezza Rice once said that a new middle east is born of the womb of the July war 2006. During these ten years there are a lot of variables that led to the resistance which the war of Rice wanted to crush it and to crush its great leaders in order to pave the way for her new middle east was. The Russian Ambassador in Beirut said that it worth thanking for its role in ending ISIS and the victory on terrorism, so it is the only constant.

2018 will be a peaceful year in Syria and the birth of new world system and a new regional system.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

ناصر قنديل

سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

نوفمبر 22, 2017

– ليست مصادفة تلك الحركة المتزامنة بين مجموعة مسارات عسكرية وسياسية سواء في الميدان السوري أو في الاتصالات الخاصة بسورية بين قادة العالم والمنطقة، أو في التحضيرات القائمة على قدم وساق في الرياض وسوتشي للخروج بما يتناسب مع متطلبات جنيف، وفقاً لما رسم في فييتنام بين الرئيسين الروسي والأميركي، فبعد البوكمال وتحريرها وتواصل الحدود الإيرانية العراقية السورية اللبنانية، مرحلة جديدة وميزان قوى جديد. وما تلقاه الأميركيون عن قرب رحيل قواتهم من سورية بعد سقوط الذريعة، تلقاه الأكراد عن أحادية المسار السياسي لاستيعابهم، بدلاً من مغامرة معلومة النتائج يدفعون ثمنها وأمام أعينهم المثال في كردستان العراق، والأتراك تلقوا بدورهم الرسالة عن مسار سياسي ينتهي بمسؤولية الدولة السورية عن الأمن داخل حدودها، معطوفاً على لا شرعية بقاء أيّ قوة أجنبية على أرضها.

– سورية التي تنهض دولتها كطائر الفينيق من تحت الرماد، وينتصر جيشها بمعونة حلفائه وفي طليعتهم المقاومة التي شيطنتها الجامعة العربية و«إسرائيل وأميركا، هي سورية التي لا يمكن تخيّل نظام عربي جديد لا يتأثر بالمتغيّر الذي تحمله إليه، وسط تراجع سعودي في المهابة والمقدّرات، وغرق في الفشل العسكري والسياسي من اليمن إلى قطر، مقابل صعود عراقي آتٍ من رحم الإنجاز في كسر الإرهاب وإسقاط الانفصال، ومع انشغال الجميع من البار بين العرب بحروبهم، عودة جزائرية لقوة ناعمة قادرة على لعب دور الوسط، وهي بعافيتها الاقتصادية والعسكرية، ليشكل الثلاثي السوري العراقي الجزائري قوة الجذب الجديدة في النظام العربي الجديد، متجهاً نحو مصر لاستنهاضها، وتشكيل رباعي القيادة الجديدة للنظام العربي الذي يلفظ أنفاس نسخته السعودية مع البيان الأخير للجامعة العربية الإسرائيلي المضمون، كما وصفه موشي يعلون، والمترجم من العبرية إلى العربية.

– ليست مصادفة أيضاً أن يبدأ الأميركي مع التسليم بالوجهة التي تسلكها سورية، بالاستعداد للخروج في العام نفسه من أفغانستان، وقد مدّد لوجود قواته فيها ثلاثة أعوام مرّة مرّة، لأنّ رهاناته على الحرب في سورية كانت تمنحه الأمل بتغيير وجهة سورية. والرابط واضح من اليوم الأول، بلوغ الصين للبحر المتوسط عبر الحدود البرية المتصلة من أفغانستان إلى إيران فالعراق فسورية. وما دام الأمل بإغلاق الممرّ البري أمام الصين من مكان ما في الحدود بين سورية والعراق، أو في سورية نفسها، كان البقاء في أفغانستان ضرورياً، ومع تلاشي الأمل، لم يعد لهذا البقاء حاجة، وقد صار عبئاً لا يُحتمل. وفي هذه الحالة فقط يصير ممكناً طلب المعونة الصينية الكاملة في تسوية الملف النووي لكوريا الشمالية، ويصير التحرك الفرنسي بلسان أوروبا لحماية التفاهم النووي مع إيران حاجة أميركا لمخاطبة الكوريين بعدم حاجتهم للسلاح النووي أسوة بإيران، ومخاطبة الإيرانيين بعدم حاجتهم للنموذج الكوري ما دام الاتفاق بخير. وتصير هنا الأزمة اللبنانية التي فجّرها السعوديون لنيّة، فرصة للتوظيف بنيّة أخرى، وربما بنيّات، يكشفها تضمين الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون للائحة اتصالاته التي شملت الرئيس الإيراني والملك السعودي والرئيس المصري، رئيس حكومة الاحتلال، فتحاً لباب ربط الأزمات تمهيداً لربط الحلول، وللمثل القائل الجمل بنيّة والحمل بنيّة والجمال بنيّة ، من دون أن يكون واضحاً مَن هو الجمل ومَن هو الجمال، إذا كان الحمل معلوماً وقد انتقل من السعودية إلى باريس، فالقاهرة في طريق العودة إلى لبنان.

– قال الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين في عام 2016 إن نظاماً عالمياً جديداً يولد من الحرب السورية، كما قالت غونداليسا رايس يوماً إنّ شرقاً أوسط جديداً يولد من رحم حرب تموز 2006. عشر سنوات حملت الكثير من المتغيّرات، كانت المقاومة، التي أرادت حرب رايس سحقها وسحق عظام قادتها لتسهيل المخاض على شرقها الأوسط الجديد، وقال السفير الروسي في بيروت إنها تستحق الشكر على دورها في تصفية دولة داعش والنصر على الإرهاب، هي الثابت الوحيد.

– 2018 سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد ونظام إقليمي جديد!

 

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How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

PHILIP M. GIRALDI | 30.11.2017 | OPINION

How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

While growing up in America during the 1950’s, one would sometimes encounter supermarket tabloid headlines asserting that Adolph Hitler had not died in May 1945 in the ruins of the Reich’s Chancellery. It was claimed that he had somehow escaped and was living under a false identity somewhere in South America, most probably in Argentina. Eventually, as the Fuhrer’s hundredth birthday came and went in 1989, the stories pretty much vanished from sight though the fascination with Hitler as the ultimate manifestation of pure evil persisted.

The transformation of Hitler into something like a historical metaphor means that his name has been evoked a number of times in the past twenty years, attached to Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gaddafi, Vladimir Putin and, most recently, to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. The attribution in the cases of Hussein and Gaddafi was essentially to create popular support for otherwise unjustifiable wars initiated by the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies. Putin, meanwhile, received the sobriquet from an angry Hillary Clinton, who certainly knows a thing or two about both personalizing and overstating a case.

The Hitler designation of the Iranian spiritual leader, which appeared one week ago in a featured profile produced by Tom Friedman of The New York Times, is particularly ironic as it came from the de facto head of state of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whose country has long been regarded as cruel and despotic while also being condemned for its sponsorship of a particularly reactionary form of Islam called wahhabism. Bin Salman described the Iranian leader as “the new Hitler of the Middle East.”

Both Khamenei and bin Salman exercise power without a popular mandate. Khamenei was named to his position in 1989 by a so-called Assembly of Experts, which is a quasi-religious body, and bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince by his father King Salman in June. Both have considerable power over other organs of state, but the comparison largely ends there as Iran does have real elections for an actual parliament with enumerated powers and a president who is also serves as head of government.

Iran is also tolerant of long established religious minorities whereas Saudi Arabia, which is seen by most observers as a theocratic based autocracy that is a personal possession of the House of Saud, is hostile to them. In particular, Riyadh has been actively promoting hatred for Islam’s second largest sect, Shi’ism. The Saudis have also been assisting al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and ISIS, though denying the considerable evidence demonstrating those links, while Iran and its allies have been destroying those terrorists on the battlefield.

Crown Prince bin Salman has been preaching an anti-corruption drive of late, which includes torture of those arrested. Many observers believe it is actually a bid to shake down some billionaires while also diminishing the power exercised by some members of the extended Royal Family. The Prince has also suggested that he will be promoting a “more open and modern” form of Islam, which might reduce some beheadings and amputations as punishment. But the death penalty will still apply for heresy, which includes the Shi’ism practiced by Iran, Iraq, some Syrians and Hezbollah. Nor will it put an end to the current horrific slaughter by disease and starvation of Yemenis being implemented by Riyadh with some help from its friends in Tel Aviv and Washington.

Liberal journalists like Tom Friedman, who have editorially sided with the Saudis and Israelis against Iran, have largely bought into the anticorruption theme. The Times profile accepts at face value bin Salam’s claims to be a reformer who will somehow reshape both Saudi Arabia and Islam. Friedman, a passionate globalist, largely goes along for the ride because it is the kind of language a poorly-informed progressive hopes to hear from someone who walks around wearing a keffiyeh and sandals. It also serves Friedman’s other regular agenda justifying Israeli threats to go to war against its neighbors, starting with Lebanon. Make no mistake, the offerings of war abroad and repression at home being served up by Riyadh and Tel Aviv are not the birth pangs of a New Middle East. That died a long time ago. It is instead a fight over who will dominate the region, the same as it always is.

Putin is My Flunky (satirical essay)

 

Russia, Iran And Turkey Converge On One Point

Sputnik/ Igor Zarembo

Written by Dmitri Evstafiev; Originally appeared at eurasia.expert, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

On November 22, in Sochi, an unusual summit will be held [SF comment: It already took place] – talks between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey. At the centre of attention will be the settlement in Syria, where the three countries come out as guarantors of peace. Along with that, cooperation in the Moscow-Ankara-Tehran triangle can go beyond the Syrian scope. Professor of the NRU “Higher School of Economics” Dmitry Evstafiev assessed the prospects of the “axis” formed between the three countries and the accession of Azerbaijan.

Preparing to Redraw Maps

On the main agenda of the meeting of the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Sochi on November 22 are issues related to the necessity to start the political reconstruction process of Syria and the prevention of its transformation into a platform for the development of Islamic radicalism, however on an internal socio-economic basis. It is possible, if there are no effective political mechanisms created, reflecting the new system of interests and influence, which arose both inside and around Syria.

In addition, the three countries are concerned that in the issues of the Syrian settlement the United States are beginning to take a more and more unconstructive position, which can bring destabilisation. Especially considering that the USA in today’s Syria and Iraq will “lose” almost nothing, and they may not particularly care for the fate of their assets and allies.

It is difficult not to notice, however, that the tripartite summit of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Sochi has become a kind of an “answer” to the APEC summit of Da Nag (Vietnam) and the preceding Sino-American negotiations. Agreements between the United States and China stayed away from the “strategic partnership”, but were clearly marked as “pre-freezing” strategic rivalry between the two countries, which was seen as the epicentre of processes in the Asia-Pacific region over the last few years.

World politics abhors a vacuum, especially if politics are in a transition period. In conditions of stagnation in key economic and political terms, Asia-Pacific region (obviously in the absence of a force majeure by the DPRK) will intensify attempts to change the situation in other regions. At a minimum, approaching the new cycle of showdowns in the Asia Pacific region relations with new opportunities. And at a maximum, protecting oneself from possible economic and political destabilisation.

Neither Russia, Iran or Turkey claim for global leadership, but have the status and capacity substantially greater than what the term “regional power” attributes. Three countries, although Turkey to a lesser extent, were focused on the connecting processes for the formation of a new economic space in South-East Asia. Now comes the time for them to restructure their own relationships in order to approach the new “points of bifurcation” with the best outcome.

The Potential of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran «Axis»

And from this point of view the potential of the “troika” Russia-Iran-Turkey is much more than just cooperative interaction in Syria or even in the Middle East. Speaking of development prospects of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran “axis” it is necessary to note three conditions that makes this geopolitical project not just interesting but also potentially of leadership.

First, the basis of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran “axis”, without a doubt, is the economic interests. Primarily, it is the formation of the logistics corridor “North-South”, which now can be viewed in an operational way. There is sufficient transit and, most importantly, non-transit goods for it.

But beyond the economic factors the “axis” brings together a shared vision of military-political issues and security. Not only in Syria or in general in the Middle East, but also in the broader context of South Asia and partially in Africa, in the Horn of Africa.

As practice shows, political and military components of the coalition are now the most enduring elements of the partnership.

This is due to the deceleration of globalisation and preparation of key governments of the world to the significant redistribution of markets in the calculation of the new industrial revolution and the restructuring of global political institutions. As counter-examples we can cite the fate of the Trans-Atlantic economic partnership and NATO.

Second, challenges of industrial modernisation stand before the partner countries. And in circumstances when former concepts of development, based on the idea of connection to the centre of economic growth in the EU, with variations, they lose their relevance. Over a potential range of industrial goods the countries practically do not compete with each other with the exception of certain areas. But they do not appear crucial against the background and can be harmonised in the development process of foreign markets.

The countries are too different for the “intraspecific” competition to emerge. The industrial modernisation will allow to further “spread” competitive “zones”. The partner countries stand before necessary new industrial modernisation but for each it will be different at the sectorial and technological focus.

It is important as well that the “axis”, for the economic cooperation to be successful, becomes a community with a base population of over 300 million people, which is sufficient for the development and initial commercial implementation of technologically rich projects. The community potentially has good chances for the formation of self-sufficient financial investments and billing cycles, with a high level of resistance to external pressure. Problems with access to financial tools are experienced, at the least, by two of the three countries of the “core”, Russia and Iran, and it seems that in the near future, Turkey will begin to experience it as well.

Third, at the “core” the axis naturally formed its own “semi-periphery” and “periphery” countries, which objectively will be pulled in into the “core’s” economic processes and projects. Moreover, these countries are different as to their status and capabilities and development. This gives the “core” of the “axis” sufficient flexibility to secure economic and political interests at the national level.

Around the “core” partnerships can be built with other countries ranging from Syria (logistically important territories and valuable agricultural space) and ending with Qatar (financial resources and a favourable geographical position), not excluding Egypt, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and several other countries.

With such allies, each participant of the “core” can find its own specific niche interest, both political and economic. This does not mean that there will not be any conflicts. On the contrary, in such strong members of the “core” contradictions are inevitable. However, a compromise will be easier to find amid the multiplicity of opportunities, facilitating economic and political “exchanges”.

Challenges for the New Coalition

The paradox of the relations in the Russia-Iran-Turkey triangle is that separately at the level of bilateral relations, the three countries are doomed to contradictions and the absence of long-term prospects, not to mention a strategic partnership. Any bilateral partnership will trigger a reaction not only from foreign players but also from the inside of the respective states. Indeed, the economic and political interests of partner countries are more than contradictory. This is obvious by looking at the confused and not yet successful cooperation of Russia and Iran, despite the good prospects.

But within the coalition, the objectives directed not against each other but on the “development” of the outer space, these three states may well create a relatively self-contained vector with a minimum of internal contradictions, which, of course, will not be able to completely avoid.

A key issue stands in front of the three “core” countries of the coalition. The answer to it depends on how the “troika” will be able to outgrow the framework of the situational alliance. The talk is about the formation of a new system of relations in the Caspian region. And the key issue will be the resolution, or at least long-term stabilisation, of the Karabakh conflict. Otherwise the level of political risks, limited investment processes in the “core” and around it, in the North-South corridor space, will be too considerable. But most importantly, the partnership system will not be able to include Azerbaijan, which in its potential in the future may become the fourth member of the “core”. The leadership of Azerbaijan clearly has the political will and common sense to do this.

The development of the “troika” partnership with Azerbaijan could significantly change the balance of power and relations not only in the Caspian region but also in the whole post-Soviet space.

And, of course, it must be understood that the potential geo-economic “axis” Moscow-Ankara-Tehran is highly vulnerable to information and political manipulations. This requires in-depth and thoughtful interaction at the expert and information level. Moreover, such manipulations are simply predetermined by the situation not only in Syria, but also in general in the Middle East.

The future of the Moscow-Tehran-Ankara “axis” is largely a matter of development and alignment of interests, not an immediate political institutionalisation. The formation of a new coalition will unlikely to resemble a geopolitical “revolution”. Its success will be judged initially by how and in what form the inclusion of the relative “semi-peripheral” countries will occur.

It is important as well that the new geopolitical and geo-economic “troika”, if its development is successful, will become a project, in many respects, an alternative EEU, at least because of the focus on the real industrialisation, not only the formation of the free regime and participation in logistics projects. For Russia, the economic success in filling the new coalition will be a real step towards not only political, but also a geo-economic multi-direction. This will be for the Eurasian states fundamentally a new challenge.

Dmitri Evstafiev, professor NRU “Higher School of Economics”

Saudi-Israeli Friendship Is Driving the Rest of the Middle East Together

Saudi-Israeli Friendship Is Driving the Rest of the Middle East Together

FEDERICO PIERACCINI | 20.11.2017 | WORLD

Saudi-Israeli Friendship Is Driving the Rest of the Middle East Together

Through its top official, Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), Saudi Arabia continues a wave of internal arrests, having seized nearly $800 billion in assets and bank accounts. A few days later, MBS attempted to demonstrate his authority by summoning Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Saudi Arabia, where he was forced to resign on Saudi state TV. Trump tweeted support for Bin Salman’s accusations against Iran and Hezbollah, and the future Saudi king even obtained Israel’s secret support. Iran, meanwhile, denies any involvement in Lebanon’s domestic affairs or involvement with the ballistic missile launched by Houthi rebels towards Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport a few days ago. Meanwhile, Trump, Putin and Xi met recently and seem to have decided the fate of the region in an exercise of realism and pragmatism.

News that upends the course of events has now become commonplace over the last few months. However, even by Middle East standards, this story is something new. The affair surrounding Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri generated quite a bit of commotion. Hariri had apparently been obliged to announce his resignation on Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel while being detained in Riyadh. His most recent interview seemed to betray some nervousness and fatigue, as one would expect from a person under enormous stress from forced imprisonment. In his televised resignation statement, Hariri specified that he was unable to return to Lebanon due to some sort of a threat to his person and his family by operatives in Lebanon of Iran and Hezbollah. The Lebanese security authorities, however, have stated that they are not aware of any danger faced by Hariri.

In an endless attempt to regain influence in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has once again brought about results directly opposite to those intended. Immediately after receiving confirmation that the resignation had taken place in Saudi Arabia, the entire Lebanese political class demanded that Hariri return home to clarify his position, meet with the president and submit his resignation in person. Saudi actions have served to consolidate a united front of opposition factions and paved the way for the collapse of Saudi influence in the country, leaving a vacuum to be conveniently filled by Iran. Once again, as with Yemen and in Syria, the intentions of the Saudis have dramatically backfired.

This Saudi interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country has stirred up unpredictable scenarios in the Middle East, just at the time that tensions were cooling in Syria.

Hariri’s detention comes from far away and is inextricably linked to what has been happening over the past few months in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed bin Salman, son of King Salman, began his internal purge of the Kingdom’s elite by removing from the line of succession Bin Nayef, a great friend of the US intelligence establishment (Brennan and Clapper). Bin Nayef was a firm partner of the US deep state. Saudi Arabia has for years worked for the CIA, advancing US strategic goals in the region and beyond. Thanks to the cooperation between Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Bin Nayef, and US intelligence agencies, Washington has for years given the impression of fighting against Islamist terrorist while actually weaponizing jihadism since the 1980s by deploying it against rival countries like the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the Iraqi government in 2014, the Syrian state in 2012, and Libya’s Gaddafi in 2011.

MBS has even detained numerous family-related princes, continuing to consolidate power around himself. Even Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, ended up caught in MBS’s net, rightly accused of being one of the most corrupt people in the Kingdom. It is speculated that family members and billionaires are detained at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, with guests and tourists promptly ejected days before the arrests began. Mohammed bin Salman’s actions are not slowing down, even after seizing $800 billion in accounts, properties and assets.

MBS is intensifying his efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, which is a drain on Saudi finances, lifting the naval blockade of the Port of Aden. Not only that, the two main Syrian opposition leaders, Ahmad Jarba and Riyadh Hijab, have been arrested by Riyadh in an effort to demonstrate to Putin the good will of MBS in seeking to resolve the Syrian conflict. Not surprisingly, King Salman, in a frantic search for a solution to the two conflicts that have lashed his reputation as well as the wealth and alliances of the Saudi kingdom, flew to Moscow to seek mediation with Putin, the new master of the Middle East.

MBS has undertaken an anti-corruption campaign for international as well as domestic purposes. At the national level, the collapse of oil prices, coupled with huge military spending, forced the royal family to seek alternatives for the future of the Kingdom in terms of sustainability, earnings and profits. MBS’s Vision 2030 aims to diversify revenue in order to free Saudi Arabia from its dependence on oil. This is a huge ask for a nation that has been thriving for seventy years from an abundance of resources simply found under its ground. This delicate balance of power between the royal family and its subjects is maintained by the subsidies granted to the local population that has allowed the Kingdom to flourish in relative peace, even during the most delicate periods of the Arab Spring in 2011. There is an underlying understanding in Saudi Arabia that so long as the welfare of the population is guaranteed, there should be no threat to the stability of the royal family. It is no wonder that after losing two wars, and with oil prices at their lowest, MBS has started to worry about his future, seeking to purge the elites opposed to him.

The Kingdom’s reality is quickly changing under MBS, the next Saudi king, who is trying to anticipate harder times by consolidating power around himself and correcting his errors brought on by incompetence and his excessive confidence in the Saudi military as well as in American backing. The ballistic missile that hit Riyadh was launched by the Houthis in Yemen after 30 months of indiscriminate bombing by the Saudi air force. This act has shown how vulnerable the Kingdom is to external attack, even at the hand of the poorest Arab country in the world.

In this context, Donald Trump seems to be capitalizing on Saudi weakness, fear, and the need to tighten the anti-Iranian alliance. What the American president wants in return for support of MBS is as simple as it comes: huge investments in the US economy together with the purchase of US arms. MBS obliged a few months ago, investing into the US economy to the tune of more than $380 billion over ten years. Trump’s goal is to create new jobs at home, increase GDP, and boost the economy, crucial elements for his re-election in 2020. Rich allies like Saudi Arabia, finding themselves in a tight fix, are a perfect means of achieving this end.

Another important aspect of MBS’s strategy involves the listing of Aramco on the NYSE together with the switch to selling oil for yuan payments. Both decisions are fundamental to the United States and China, and both bring with them a lot of friction. MBS is at this moment weak and needs all the allies and support he can get. For this reason, a decision on Aramco or the petroyuan would probably create big problems with Beijing and Washington respectively. The reason why MBS is willing to sell a small stock of Aramco relates to his efforts to gin up some money. For this reason, thanks to the raids on the accounts and assets of the people arrested by MBS, Saudi Arabia has raised over $800 billion, certainly a higher figure than any sale of Aramco shares would have brought.

This move allows MBS to postpone a decision on listing Aramco on the NYSE as well as on whether to start accepting yuan for payment of oil. Holding back on the petroyuan and Aramco’s initial public offering is a way of holding off both Beijing and Washington but without at the same time favouring one over the other. Economically, Riyadh cannot choose between selling oil for dollars on the one hand and accepting payment in another currency on the other. It is a nightmare scenario; but some day down the road, the Saudi royals will have to make a choice.

The third party to this situation is Israel in the figure of Netanyahu, Donald Trump’s great friend and supporter right from the beginning of his electoral campaign. Trump’s victory brought positive returns to the investment the Israeli leader had made in him. Ever since Trump won the election, the US has employed harsh words against Iran, turning away from the positive approach adopted by Obama that managed to achieve the Iran nuclear deal framework. Nevertheless, the Israeli prime minister has had to deal with numerous problems at home, with a narrow parliamentary majority and several members of his government under investigation for corruption.

Donald Trump pursued a very aggressive policy against Tehran during the election campaign, then went on to annul the Iran nuclear deal a few weeks ago. The decision is now for Congress to certify, with a difficult mediation between European allies (other than China and Russia), who are opposed to ending the deal, and the Israelis, who can count on the support of many senators thanks to their lobbying efforts. Israel, for its part, sees in Saudi Arabia and MBS the missing link between Saudi Wahhabism and Israeli Zionism. Various private cablegrams leaked to the press have shown how Israeli diplomats around the world were instructed to support Saudi  accusations of Iran interfering in Lebanon’s internal affairs.

The interests of MBS and Netanyahu seem to dovetail quite nicely in Syria and Yemen as well as with regard to Iran and Hezbollah. The two countries have a common destiny by virtue of the fact that neither alone can deal decisively with Hezbollah in Syria or Lebanon, let alone Iran. Rouhani himself has said that Iran fears American strength and power alone, knowing that Saudi Arabia and Israel are incapable of defeating Tehran.

Trump’s approval of the arrests carried out by MBS is based on a number of factors. The first involves the investments in the economy that will be coming America’s way. The other, certainly less known, concerns the subterranean battle that has been occurring between the Western elites for months. Many of Clinton’s top money sources are billionaires arrested by MBS, with stock options in various major banks, insurance companies, publishing groups, and American television groups, all openly anti-Trump. In this sense, the continuation of Trump’s fight with a portion of the elite can be seen with the halting of the merger of AT&T and Time Warner involving CNN.

Trump seems to be accompanying Saudi and Israeli urgings for war with multiple intentions, potentially having a plan for a broader, regional and global agreement between the parties.

At a regional level, Trump first supported the Saudi crusade against Qatar, resolved with Riyadh not getting Qatar to accede to any of its advanced demands. During the crisis, Doha approached Tehran and Moscow, who immediately took advantage of the situation to establish trade relations and commence negotiations with Qatar to tame its terrorist influence in the region, especially in the Syrian conflict. Turkey and Qatar have practically announced a military alliance, cementing a new front that includes China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Qatar, now potentially all on the same side of the barricades, opposed to Saudi dictates and Israel’s efforts to foment war with Iran.

With the US withdrawal from the region, as is increasingly evident from Trump’s reluctance to embark on a Middle East conflict, Israel and Saudi Arabia are increasing their desperate cries against Iran, observing how the gains of the resistance axis have led Tehran to dominate the region with its allies. The visit of King Salman to Russia, and the four meetings between Putin and Netanyahu, give the idea of which capital is in charge in the region. This all represents an epochal change that further isolates Riyadh and Tel Aviv, two countries that represent the heart of chaos and terror.

The Saudi attempt to isolate Qatar has failed miserably, and the continuous effort to paint Iran as the main cause of tension in the region seems to have reached a point of no return, with the latest stunt involving Hariri. Sunnis, Christians and Shiites agree on one point only: that the premier must return home. Riyadh hopes to light the fuse of a new civil war in the region, with Israel hoping to take advantage of the chaos brought about by an attack on Hezbollah. This is not going to happen, and the disappointment of the House of Saud and the Israeli prime minister will not change anything. Without a green light from Washington and a promise from Uncle Sam to intervene alongside his Middle East allies, the Israelis and Saudis are aware that they have neither the means nor strength to attack Iran or Hezbollah.

Trump is playing a dangerous game; but there seems to be some degree of coordination with the other giants on the international scene. The main point is it is impossible for Washington to be an active part in any conflict in the region, or to change the course of events in a meaningful way. The “End of history” ended years ago. US influence is on the decline, and Xi Jinping and Putin have shown great interest in the future of the region. In recent months, the Russian and Iranian militaries, together with the Chinese economic grip on the region, have shown a collective intention to replace years of war, death and chaos with peace, prosperity and wealth.

MBS and Netanyahu are having a hard time dealing with this new environment that will inevitably proclaim Iran the hegemon in the region. Time is running out for Israel and Saudi Arabia, and both countries are faced with enormous internal problems while being unable to change the course of events in the region without the full intervention of their American ally, something practically impossible nowadays.

The new course of the multipolar world, together with Trump’s America First policy, seems to have hit hardest those countries that placed all their bets on the continuing economic and military dominance of the United States in the region. Other countries like Qatar, Lebanon and Turkey have started to understand the historical change that is going on, and have slowly been making the switch, realizing in the process the benefits of a multipolar world order, which is more conducive to mutually beneficial cooperation between countries. The more Saudi Arabia and Israel push for war against Iran, the more they will isolate themselves. This will serve to push their own existence to the brink of extinction.

فالح الفياض وعراق جديد ومنطقة تتغيّر

 

فالح الفياض وعراق جديد ومنطقة تتغيّر

نوفمبر 1, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– دعوة كريمة من رئيس مجلس إدارة قناة «الميادين» الصديق غسان بن جدو لغداء ترحيب بمستشار الأمن الوطني العراقي فالح الفياض، قبيل إطلالته على قناة «الميادين» ليل أمس، أتاحت فرصة قراءة ما بين سطور هذه الشخصية العراقية التي تتولى مهام رئيسية في رسم ومتابعة ملفات العراق الكبرى الداخلية والإقليمية والدولية، ومحاولة التعرّف عما لا يريد أن يقوله ويعرفه الفياض والعراق ينتقل من إنجاز كبير في الحرب على «داعش» إلى إنجاز كبير آخر في إسقاط خطر التقسيم. وقد قال الكثير في حواره مع «الميادين» عن الاتجاهات الرئيسية لمستقبل العراق ومستقبل المنطقة.

– أكد الفياض أنّ العراق يتجه ليكون لاعباً في اللعبة الإقليمية والدولية، ويرفض أن يكون ملعباً لها، وأنّ إنجازات العراق في معركتي إسقاط خطر الإرهاب وخطر التقسيم، كأكبر تحدّيين معاصرين تعيشهما المنطقة، والعالم، تؤهّله لهذا التطلع، ويضع الحركة العراقية نحو الدول الإقليمية الفاعلة، السعودية ومصر وتركيا وإيران، وإدارته لعلاقاته بالدولتين العظميين أميركا وروسيا، ضمن هذا السياق. والعراق هو الوحيد، ربما، القادر على التحدّث مع الجميع بلغة الدعوة للتفكير الهادئ في ما يصيب المنطقة وما يتهدّدها، ويتهدّد العالم من خلالها، وبيده فوق إنجازاته، ثقله السكاني والاقتصادي ومكانته الجغرافية والاستراتيجية، وتنوّعه الديمغرافي الذي يحول دون تطلع أحد لجعله مجرّد مرآة أو صدى أحادي لواحدة من هويات المنطقة ومكوّناتها، أو تحويله لساحة من ساحات الاحتراب بين هذه الهويات والمكوّنات، لأنّ اللعبة في العراق ستحرق الجميع، وما جرى كان كافياً لقول ذلك، من دون أن يتساوى بنظر العراق الجميع، مَن راهن على العبث بمَن راهن على الاستقرار، ومَن لعب مع الإرهاب ومَن حاربه بشراسة، ومَن عاش أوهام التقسيم ومَن قاومه بضراوة، ومَن ساند العراق ومَن تفرّج عليه بأحسن حال، لكن مع الأخذ بالاعتبار أنّ السياسة والأدوار في السياسة لا تصنعها أساليب الانتقام والمساءلة وتصفية الحسابات، بل قياس التحوّلات في المواقف التي تنتجها المتغيّرات في الوقائع، لتلقفها والبناء عليها.

– يثق الفياض أنّ عراقاً جديداً قيد الولادة، بعدما تذوّق طعم انتصارات عظمى أنجزها بدماء أبنائه وحزم مرجعياته وقياداته، وأدرك حجم مكانته بمعنى هذه الإنجازات في معركتي الإرهاب والتقسيم، قياساً بدرجة الخطورة التي كان يمثلها عليه وعلى المنطقة والعالم فشل العراق بالنهوض بأعباء هاتين المعركتين، كما أدرك حجم قدرته على استنهاض قوى إقليمية ودولية تشترك معه في معاركه، أو تسانده، أو أقله تتلقف إنجازاته وتؤسّس عليها. وهنا يميّز العراقيون بين تقدير كلّ مساهمة معهم، خصوصاً ممن بذلوا الدماء، لكنهم يرفضون تصوير الإنجازات كلها كمجرد لعبة إقليمية دولية، نفّذ العراقيون قسطهم منها بقيادة غير عراقية، فيقول الفياض، ليست لدينا عقدة النقص لنتخيّل أنّ الإنجاز غير عراقي، ولا لدينا قلة الوفاء لننكر على الذين وقفوا معنا تضحياتهم.

– العراق الجديد الذي يولد من رحم الإنجازات يولد أيضاً من مخاض التجارب المريرة، والعبر الكثيرة، فقد اختبر الشيعة العراقيون رهان الكثرة العددية، ووصلوا مع ظهور داعش لمراجعة نقدية أسّست لإيلائهم أهمية استثنائية لعلاقتهم بالسنة العراقيين، وقد ترجموا ذلك في السياسة كما في تكوين وبنية الحشد الشعبي وقياداته. وفي المقابل اختبر سنة العراق العصب المذهبي ولعب حافة الهاوية في إثارته احتجاجاً بوجه الشيعة الذين تصدّروا الحكم، واختبروا الفوضى وتعميمها لتعطيل مفاعيل الحكم، وكانت النتيجة ظهور «داعش» وما دفعه سنة العراق من أثمان باهظة. كما اختبر السنة والشيعة معاً، تراكم ملفات التأزّم مع الأكراد، وملفات التنازلات، والنتيجة كانت قسوة تجربة خطر الانفصال، ليتأكدا معاً من حجم تمسّكهما بعراق موحّد من جهة، ومن أهمية الشراكة مع قوى سياسية كردية تتطلّع لعراق موحّد ينصف الأكراد، ولا يسلبهم إنجازاتهم، من جهة أخرى، لكن الأكراد أنفسهم اختبروا أيضاً أوهام الدعم الدولي والإقليمي لمشروع الانفصال، كما اختبروا المبالغة في الخصوصية القومية لتحويلها عصبية عدائية مدمّرة، واكتشفوا حجم المكاسب التي توفرت لهم سابقاً في عراق موحّد والتي ستتوفر في عراق موحّد وقوي ومستقرّ وتشاركي لذلك يقول الفياض، إنّ عراقاً جديداً قيد الولادة، وإنّ الهوية الاستراتيجية للعراق القائمة على الاستقرار في المنطقة والعداء لـ «إسرائيل»، والنابعة من التمسك بالاستقلال الوطني للدول ووحدتها وسيادتها، تكتمل بهوية وطنية جامعة يشعر العراقيون بمكوّناتهم كلها أنها أشدّ صلاحية ليستظلوا بها جميعاً، من دون مغادرة خصوصياتهم، والمنطلقات والتراكمات الثقافية التي ميّزتهم بعضاً عن بعض، لتحويلها مصدراً لنعمة لا سبباً لنقمة.

– العراق الجديد يتزامن مع، ويشارك في آن معاً في، صياغة منطقة تتغيّر، فهو دون سواه على حدود إيران وتركيا وسورية والسعودية معاً، وهو يتلمّس ويقرأ وكثيراً ما يعلم، أنّ زمن التسويات هو الآتي بقوة وبسرعة، وأنّ زمن الحروب يحزم حقائبه، وأنّ الدول العظمى واللاعبين الإقليميين باتوا على إدراك بأنّ اللعبة انتهت، وأنّ أرباح المساهمة في التسويات يقابلها مزيد من خسائر التورّط في الحروب، وأنّ تلك الخسائر تفوق توقعات الأرباح الافتراضية لمواصلة الحروب بالوكالة، والتي كان الإرهاب إحدى أدواتها، سواء بالتبنّي أو بالتغاضي، أو بالتسهيل، أو بوهم اللامبالاة، وأنّ الجميع يحتاج لمخارج مناسبة لبلوغ التسويات، وبحاجة لمن يقترح ويسهم في صناعة المخارج ويقدر على تشكيل منصاتها، بموقعه في السياسة والجغرافيا وبثقله في المعارك التي يناسب الجميع التموضع تحت رايتها، وعنوانها الحرب على الإرهاب. وهذا هو دور العراق فأكراد سورية يستوعبون درس أكراد العراق ومغامرة بعض قادتهم بالانفصال ويحتاجون مَن يفتح لهم الباب الخلفي والأميركيون يعلمون جيداً أين تتجه الأوضاع وأين يجب أن تتجه، ومثلما يحتاجون أدوات التصعيد، يحتاجون وسطاء التمهيد، ويحتاجون للقاء السوريين والأتراك مثلهم والسوريون مهتمّون بسرعة خلاص محنة بلدهم، وهم يقدّرون مَن يسهم في بلورة منصات الحلّ السياسي ويمهّد الطريق لإقلاع قطاره ومثلهم اليمنيون وأكثر ومصر تتوق لاستعادة دورها ومكانتها والسعوديون ليسوا خارج هذا السياق وإيران بحكمتها وعقلانيتها لم تغلق باب اللقاء مع أحد يوماً وروسيا التي باتت متواجدة هنا تعرف السياسة والاقتصاد والأمن وتجيدها جميعاً، ولذلك فالمسألة هي أنّ العراق الذي يدرك جيداً ما لديه وليس لدى سواه، لا يبالغ بحجمه ومكانته، لكنه لا يبخس حق نفسه، ويستقوي بكونه يراهن على الخيارات التي تجلب الخير للجميع، بعدما باتت هذه الخيارات موضع إجماع، والسنة المقبلة ستحمل الكثير من المفاجآت التي لا تعبّر عن حقيقتها التصريحات.

– هذا ما لم يقله فالح الفياض، فهو مستشار أمن وطني، بامتياز…

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ولكن اين هم الساسة الاوروبيون والاميريكيون في شارع السياسة؟؟ السياسيون الأوروبيون تجدهم في شارع السياسة مثل السماسرة وأصحاب المكاتب العقارية .. يبيعونك الأوهام والقصور ويورطونك في صفقات سياسية خاسرة ومغامرات تشتري فيها ابراجا على الورق .. وعندما تخسر الصفقة ينسحبون بأرباحهم ويتركونك محسورا ويقولون لك انها التجارة .. فيها ربح وخسارة .. ولذلك عندما تتعامل مع أي سياسي أوروبي فعليك ان تتذكر أنك أمام سمسار ليس الا ..

أما الساسة الأمريكيون في شارع السياسة فانهم ذلك النوع من “المحامين النصابين” وليس المحامين المحترمين .. المحامون النصابون الذين يعرفون سلفا أن قضيتك خاسرة ومع ذلك يؤكدون لك انهم سيكسبونها لك ويجرجرون خصمك الى المحاكم .. ويقومون برشوة القضاة ورجال الشرطة وتغيير افادات الشهود .. ومع ذلك فالقضية لاتكسب دائما لكنهم وعندما يصدر قرار القاضي النافذ والقطعي بان قضيتهم خاسرة .. يقولون لك سنستأنف الحكم ونطعن فيه .. ويعيدون لك الأمل في أن تكسب القضية الخاسرة .. ولكن ينهون اللقاء بعبارة: اعطنا دفعة على الحساب كي نستأنف الحكم .. وطبعا الزبون المسكين المغفل يصدق الأمل الخادع ويسير من محكمة الى محكمة .. كما سار ياسر عرفات وأنور السادات وسعد الحريري .. وماحدث هو ان ياسر عرفات توفي ولم تتقدم القضية وربما طوي الملف بسبب وفاة صاحب القضية ..

أما أنور السادات فانه أخذ الأرض التي ملك أمه وابيه .. ولكن سيادته على أرضه لم تتجاوز المكان الذي وصل اليه حذاء الجندي المصري على الضفة الشرقية للقناة (المنطقة أ) .. ومافعله المحامي الامريكي أنه لم يغير في الواقع شيئا .. فما حرره المصريون بالدبابات بالعبور هو مايملكونه ملكية كاملة غير منقوصة .. والباقي (المنطقة ب والمنطقة ج) فهي وقف من اوقاف الأمم المتحدة .. أي ملكية مصرية محدودة بدور المدير التنفيذي ربما !!! ..

حسني مبارك متورط في حادث اغتيال سلفه أنور السادات

أما محكمة الحريري فانها تحولت الى مسلسل مكسيكي طويل من طراز السوب اوبرا .. والى مايشبه سلسلة تيرمنيتر لشوارنزنكر .. أو جيمس بوند .. ولكن نكهتها الشرقية تجعلنا نحس أنها احدى مجموعات باب الحارة للمخرج بسام الملا .. حيث يموت أبو عصام ثم لايموت أبو عصام .. وحتى هذه اللحظة لانعرف ماهي نهاية باب الحارة .. الذي ستحل محله سلسلة محكمة الحريري .. محكمة حريري 1 .. ومحكمة حريري 2 ……. ومحكمة حريري 15 .. الخ ..

أحد المحامين الامريكيين النصابين اسمه تيلرسون الذي يعمل في مكتب محاماة معروف أنه من اكبر النصابين الذي تسلم من المحامي النصاب جون كيري الملف السوري الخاسر .. ولكن المحامي النصاب تيلرسون يعلم أن القضية انتهت وخاسرة 100% .. ومع ذلك فانه يقول لموكليه في المعارضة والسعودية:

(سأطعن في الحكم .. وسآخرج الزير من البير .. والأسد من قصر الشعب ..اعتمدوا علينا فالمحامي السابق ومعلمه اوباما حمار وفاشل .. اتركوها علي وسأنهي حكم الأسد .. ولكن هاتوا دفعة على الحساب .. ) ..

في شارع السياسة رجال مهندسون هم مهندسو العصور .. مخلصون أحرار .. يعملون بصمت ويبنون .. يعرفون كل من يمر في الشارع .. ويعرفون الأبنية المتهالكة والتي تحتاج الى ترميم .. ويعرفون من يملك العمارات ومن يستأجرها ومن يستولي عليها بالقوة وبقوة الفساد الدولية .. ويعرفون أين هي الأبنية المخالفة للقانون والمحتلة .. وهم يواصلون هدم الأبنية القديمة .. ويقودون عمالا فقراء ليغيروا خارطة الطرقات التي ملأتها الفوضى الخلاقة ..

شوارع السياسة لايغيرها محامون نصابون .. ولايغيره الرابحون في أوراق اليانصيب .. ولاالسماسرة ولا رواد المقاهي المتقاعدون ولا النواطير والرجال الذين يؤجرون انفسهم واولادهم .. شوارع السياسة يغيرها من يريد ربط البحار وفصل البحار وفصل العصور وربط العصور .. ومن يعرف كل مايدور في شوارع السياسة ولايغرق في أوهامها ومسارحها ..

شارع السياسة الذي بني في القرن العشرين يتهدم وكل الابنية فيه تجرفها بلدوزرات البريكس وجرافات الجيش الروسي والسوري والايراني التي تكنس كل الأنقاض .. وتجرف فيها كل مكاتب السماسرة والمقاهي وتمسح الأبنية المتهالكة والمخالفات .. وهناك أبنية جديدة يوضع الاساس لها .. وعمارات تنهض ..

شارع القرن العشرين الذي كان أميريكيا انتهى عمره .. وانهار .. وبدأ عصر جديد وملامح شارع جديد .. وعصر جديد سيظهر خلال سنوات قليلة .. شارع أميريكا السياسي سينتهي .. ولذلك يمكن أن نقول لمن يقول بأن عصر الأسد انتهى .. بأن حكم أميريكا انتهى ..

استمعوا الى الرئيس الأسد الذي بدأ مع حلفائه هدم شوارع السياسة القديمة عندما فهم السياسة واللاعبين على مسرحها .. ان من يقول هذا الكلام الذي قاله الأسد منذ زمن طويل قبل غزو العراق لايمكن الا أن يكون لديه مشروع بناء شرق أوسط جديد .. يبنيه على حطام الشرق الأوسط الامريكي .. انه أحد المهندسين .. الذين هدموا مابنته أميريكا لبناء جدران السياسة وخطوط الطاقة وانابيبها من الشرق الى البحر المتوسط .. وخوف أميريكا ليس مما هدمه الأسد وحلفاؤه بل مما سيبنيه مع مهندسي القرن العشرين في روسيا والصين وايران .. ان هذا العصر بدأ ولن يتوقف ..

ياسيد تيلرسون يمكن لأميريكا أن تخرج الزير من البير .. ولكن الأصعب من ذلك هو أن تخرج الأسد من قصر الشعب .. والأصعب هو أن تعود أميريكا كما كانت في الشرق .. لأن الأسد وحلفاءه يحضرون لرميها في البير ..

صح النوم ياسيد تيلرسون .. صح النوم أميريكا ..

China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

Global Research, October 28, 2017
Global Research 7 March 2012

First published on GR in March 2012

The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.

China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.

First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.

In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .

In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.

Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.

China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China

The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.

Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].

Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.

China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.

Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.

Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.

By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.

British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest

The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.

What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.

China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution

The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.

In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.

Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.

China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism

Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.

The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.

The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .

China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .

Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?

China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.

Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.

Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.

Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.

In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.

The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.

Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.

China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.

Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.

This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.

China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.

China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].

Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.

There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.

These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.

There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).

Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.

China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.

China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.

China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]

Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].

China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.

In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.

Notes

[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012

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