The maturity of the features of a new regional system under the leadership of Russia نضوج معالم نظام إقليمي جديد بقيادة روسية

The maturity of the features of a new regional system under the leadership of Russia

يونيو 4, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

نضوج معالم نظام إقليمي جديد بقيادة روسية

Until the year 1970, the era of Gamal Abdul Nasser has enabled the conducting of the Middle East with a regional system that based on Moscow and Washington’s management of the contradictions and the understandings of two opposite allies. One is led by Abdul Nasser and the other is led by Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Ankara, and Tehran at the days of Shah. But with the departure of Abdul Nasser Moscow got out practically from the region despite the presence of the strength of the Soviet Union and its distinctive relationship with each of Baghdad and Damascus, so that paved the way for the emergence of a regional system in the Middle East led by Washington and dominated by the Saudi-Israeli bilateral, where the official opposition is in Syria and the force that is beyond the system is represented by Iran, while Ankara and Egypt took aside. This system has succeeded in remaining till the year 2000, but  the collapse of the Soviet Union did not prolong its duration, in the year 2000 the liberation of the Southern of Lebanon formed a geostrategic shift in the Middle East where the status of the Israeli force fell dramatically, so as a result the region entered in two decades of chaos, during them Washington did what it could to restore  this system which based on the Saudi-Israeli bilateral, the wars, the chaos, and the disorder prevailed in a hope of the emergence of a  new system that restores the stability according to the rules that secure the US vital interests in this most sensitive and most important region in the world.

After the war in Afghanistan, the war on Iraq, the war of July 2006 on Lebanon and its resistance, and the wars of Gaza Russia emerged as a new aspiring force with the arrival of the President Vladimir Putin in the year 2000, Iran started to recover from the consequences of the wars and the sanctions and be present as a regional force. Syria rose as a sponsor of the resistance with the decline of the peace agreements with Israel which Camp David formed its first outcomes. While Turkey along with Recep Erdogan and his party has raised since the year 2000 through an Islamist project that belongs to NATO and based on the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, it anticipates to play an imperial role by employing this organization in meeting the US need to reproduce new regional system for its favor, which Ankara anticipates to  lead it and to secure the interests of its parties either those who are in the bank of Washington or Moscow and Tehran with which it kept good relationships.

The last ten years formed a test that ended with a great failure of the Arab Spring along with the new Ottoman system; the steadfastness of Syria was the millstone in changing the directions. As a result, it seemed clear that despite the scream and the noise there is no longer what can be employed to change the balances. The signs of the disintegration in Washington alliance were shown through the emergence of Turkey from one bank to another through taking the responsibility of the full partner in Astana system which is run by Russia and sponsored by Turkey and Iran. The conflict has turned to the Gulf through the open Saudi-Qatari confrontation. Washington seemed unable to have a valid way to cooperate with Tehran and to have a clear formula to absorb and to restore the relationship with Turkey, so it condemned itself with failure in leading any new regional system which must inherit the wars which reached to their final stages.

Moscow succeeded in having control on the Turkish-Iranian relationship, it fixed the language of interests in it strongly, it succeeded through this language of interest to grant Turkey a national security issue entitled the prevention of the emergence of Kurdish entity on its borders, while it granted Iran an issue of recognition of it as a crucial player in the Middle East, and in keeping the stability in it, as well as in solving its unsolved issues. Therefore, the understanding on its nuclear program has formed the first fruits of this equation. Moscow put its rules to deal with the other crucial players in the Middle East map, it made the issue of security after the recovery of Syria and the growing force of Hezbollah and Iran the first concern of Israel which no one has the ability to dispel it comparing with Russia which has the ability to discuss its requirements and to control its issues, even by applying harsh conditions on Israel, while Washington does not have but to provide money, weapons, and reassurances that do not affect the major considerations of the wars. Russia headed toward Egypt while it has the actual support for it to resolve the situation in Libya despite it is being in confrontation with Turkey which Moscow is keen on a relationship with it, while Washington is standing on the NATO bank which supports the government of Firas Al-Sarraj which is supported by Turkey and which is fought by Egypt, it supports the army led by Khalifa Hafter. Saudi Arabia was the only party in the equation which Moscow tries to attract it toward the engagement.

Apparently it seemed that Riyadh summits and its transactions with the US President Donald Trump will alienate Riyadh away from Moscow, in fact it seemed that what Trump has to present to Saudi Arabia is just the words, the coverage of profits from inside the Royal family as inaugurating the Crown Crown Prince or opening fire against Qatar, while the cost of this relationship on Saudi Arabia in the light of the aggravated economy, deficit in budgets and reserved reserves makes the financial concern the first Saudi interest especially in the stability of the oil market where Riyadh and Moscow are the largest producers of oil in the world, so without the understanding with Moscow the oil price will not improve and thus the incomes of Riyadh.

During these few days Moscow was ensuring Astana system with an Iranian-Turkish partnership, it makes an understanding with France the most important European country in the Middle East, it tries to have major understandings with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, having the concerns of both of them and the solution, moreover, it has a similar key to the Israeli concerns as it has to Turkey under the title that more manipulation with the Syrian geography through employing Al Nusra front and others will legitimize the opposite positioning in this geography. As the Kurds according to Turkey, this will make this geography a source of more concern through the approach of Hezbollah to the Southern borders of Syria, so the investment on forming the central Syrian country whatever are the disagreements is the guarantee of the stability needed by everyone.

Before a month of the summit of the two Presidents Putin and Trump Russia is arranging its issues for a project of new regional system for a new Middle East, while Washington is bearing the burdens of its feared allies and its threatened interests, so charging Russia to manage the stability is the closest way to keep the interests and to reassure the allies.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

نضوج معالم نظام إقليمي جديد بقيادة روسية

مايو 31, 2017

نضوج معالم نظام إقليمي جديد بقيادة روسيةناصر قنديل

– حتى العام 1970 كانت حقبة جمال عبد الناصر قد أتاحت إدارة الشرق الأوسط بنظام إقليمي قوامه إدارة موسكو وواشنطن لتناقضات وتفاهمات حلفين متقابلين. واحد يقوده عبد الناصر، والثاني تتوزّع قيادته بين تل أبيب والرياض وأنقرة وطهران أيام الشاه. ومع رحيل عبد الناصر خرجت موسكو عملياً من المنطقة، رغم بقاء قوة الاتحاد السوفياتي وعلاقاته المميّزة بكلّ من بغداد ودمشق، ليسود في الشرق الأوسط نظام إقليمي تديره واشنطن وتهيمن عليه ثنائية سعودية «إسرائيلية»، وتشكّل المعارضة الرسمية فيه سورية، والقوة الخارجة عن النظام تتمثّل بإيران، وتصطفّ أنقرة ومصر فيه على الهامش. وقد نجح هذا النظام بالبقاء حتى العام 2000، ولم يُسعفه انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في إطالة أمده، ففي العام 2000 شكّل تحرير جنوب لبنان تحوّلاً جيواستراتيجياً في الشرق الأوسط سقطت معه مكانة القوة «الإسرائيلية» بصورة مدوّية، ودخلت المنطقة في عقدين من الفوضى بذلت خلالهما واشنطن كلّ ما تستطيع لترميم هذا النظام القائم على الثنائية السعودية «الإسرائيلية»، وسادت الحروب والفوضى واللانظام أملاً باستيلاد نظام جديد يُعيد الاستقرار، وفقاً لقواعد تحفظ المصالح الحيوية الأميركية في هذه المنطقة الأشدّ حساسية وأهمية في العالم.

– كانت الحرب في أفغانستان وبعدها الحرب على العراق وبعدهما حرب تموز 2006 على لبنان ومقاومته وحروب غزة. وصعدت روسيا كقوة جديدة طامحة مع وصول الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين عام 2000، وبدأت إيران تتعافى من أضرار الحروب والعقوبات، وتحضر كقوة إقليمية، وصعدت سورية كراعٍ للمقاومة مع تهاوي اتفاقيات السلام مع «إسرائيل» التي شكّل «كامب ديفيد» أول ثمارها، وفي المقابل صعدت تركيا مع رجب أردوغان وحزبه منذ العام 2000 بمشروع إسلامي منضوٍ في حلف الناتو يستند لتنظيم الإخوان المسلمين ويتطلّع للعب دور إمبراطوري عبر توظيفهم في تلبية الحاجة الأميركية لإعادة إنتاج نظام إقليمي جديد لحساب أميركا، تطمح أنقرة لقيادته وتأمين مصالح فرقائه سواء الواقفون في ضفة واشنطن، أو مقابلها، وخصوصاً موسكو وطهران اللتين حافظت معهما على علاقات طيبة.

– شكلت السنوات العشر الأخيرة فرصة اختبار انتهت بفشل ذريع للربيع العربي ومعه لمنظومة العثمانية الجديدة. وكان صمود سورية هو حجر الرحى في تغيير اتجاهات الريح. وفي الحصيلة بات واضحاً أنه رغم كلّ الصراخ والضجيج، لم يعد ثمة ما يمكن للزجّ به من مقدرات لتغيير ما رست عليه التوازنات، وبانت علامات التفكك في حلف واشنطن بخروج تركيا من ضفة إلى ضفة بتوليها دور الشريك الكامل في منظومة أستانة التي تديرها روسيا وترعاها تركيا وإيران. وانتقل الصراع مع تركيا إلى الخليج بالمواجهة المفتوحة السعودية القطرية، وبدت واشنطن العاجزة عن امتلاك لغة صالحة للتعاون مع طهران، وصيغة واضحة لاستيعاب وترميم العلاقة بتركيا، تحكم على نفسها بالفشل بقيادة أيّ نظام إقليمي جديد، لا بدّ أن يرث الحروب التي بلغت مراحلها النهائية.

– نجحت موسكو بإمساك العلاقة التركية الإيرانية من الوسط وثبتت لغة المصالح فيها بقوة. ونجحت في المقابل بلغة المصالح أن تضع لتركيا قضية أمن قومي اسمها منع ولادة كيان كردي على حدودها عنواناً لما تريده من هذا النظام الإقليمي، بينما وضعت لإيران قضية الاعتراف بها لاعباً حاسماً في الشرق الأوسط وحفظ الاستقرار فيه وحلّ قضاياه العالقة، وقد شكّل التفاهم على ملفها النووي أولى ثمار هذه المعادلة، ووضعت قواعدها للتعامل مع اللاعبين الحاسمين الآخرين في خريطة الشرق الأوسط، فجعلت قضية الأمن بعد تعافي سورية وتنامي قوة حزب الله وإيران هاجس «إسرائيل» الأول الذي لا يملك أحد القدرة على تبديده مثلما تملك روسيا القدرة على مناقشة مقتضياته والإمساك بخيوطه، ولو بدفتر شروط قاسٍ على «إسرائيل»، بينما لا تملك واشنطن إلا تقديم مال وسلاح وتطمينات لا تغيّر كلها في الحسابات الكبرى للحروب. وتوجّهت صوب مصر وهي تملك منحها الدعم الفعلي لحسم الوضع في ليبيا، رغم كونه بالمواجهة مع تركيا التي تحرص موسكو على العلاقة معها، بينما واشنطن واقفة على ضفة موقف الأطلسي وراء حكومة فايز السراج التي تدعمها تركيا وتقاتلها مصر وتدعم الجيش بقيادة خليفة حفتر. وكانت السعودية الركن الوحيد في المعادلة الذي تسعى موسكو لجذبه نحو الانخراط.

– في الظاهر بدا أنّ قمم الرياض وصفقاتها مع الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ستبعدان الرياض عن موسكو، وفي الواقع بدا أنّ ما يملكه ترامب ليقدّمه للسعودية لا يتعدّى الكلام، وتغطية أرباح من داخل البيت كتنصيب ولي ولي العهد مكان والده أو فتح النار على قطر، بينما كلفة هذه العلاقة على السعودية في ظلّ اقتصاد مأزوم وعجز يتضخم في الموازنات، واحتياطات محجوزة، تجعل الهاجس المالي أول الاهتمامات السعودية، ومفتاحه في استقرار السوق النفطية التي تتقاسم الرياض وموسكو فيها لقب أكبر منتجَيْن للنفط في العالم، ومن دون التفاهم مع موسكو لن يتحسّن سعر النفط ولن تتحسّن مداخيل الرياض.

– خلال أيام متسارعة كانت موسكو تثبت نظام أستانة بشراكة إيرانية تركية، وتتفاهم مع فرنسا الدولة الأوروبية الأهمّ في الشرق الأوسط، وتمدّ جسور التوصل لتفاهمات كبرى مع مصر والسعودية، ممسكة بهواجس كلّ منهما وبيدها المفتاح، ملوّحة بمفتاح مشابه للهواجس «الإسرائيلية» سبق ولوّحت به لتركيا، تحت عنوان أنّ المزيد من التلاعب بالجغرافيا السورية، عبر توظيف جبهة النصرة وسواها، سيمنح المشروعية لتموضع مقابل في هذه الجغرافيا. وكما الأكراد في حالة تركيا، سيجعل هذه الجغرافيا مصدراً للمزيد من القلق باقتراب حزب الله من الحدود الجنوبية لسورية، وبالتالي فإنّ الاستثمار في قيامة الدولة السورية المركزية مهما كانت الخلافات معها يبقى ضماناً للاستقرار الذي يحتاجه الجميع.

– تبدو روسيا قبل شهر من قمة الرئيسين بوتين وترامب ترتّب أوراقها لمشروع نظام إقليمي جديد، لشرق أوسط جديد، بينما واشنطن تحمل أعباء حلفائها الخائفين ومصالحها المهدّدة، ويبدو تفويض روسيا بإدارة الاستقرار أقرب الطرق لحفظ المصالح وطمأنة الحلفاء.

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Trump and the bubbles from a sunken (old) world

June 02, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review 

First, a confession: I really don’t know how the corporate media has covered the Trump trip to NATO and the G7 summit. Frankly, I don’t really care – it’s been a long while already since I stopped listening to these imperial shills. There is a risk in completely ignoring them, and that risk is the risk to say “white” when everybody else says “black”. This is a small risk – and, after all, who cares? – but today I will take it again and give you my own take on Trump’s trip to Europe: I think that it was an immense success. But not necessarily for Trump as much as it was an immense success for the enemies of the Empire, like myself. Here is my own rendition on what I think has taken place.

First, Trump was consistently rude. I cannot judge if this lack of manners is the real Trump or whether Trump was tying to send an unspoken message. For whatever this is worth, I know of only one person who had personal and private dealing with the Trump family, including The Donald Himself, and according to him, Trump is an impeccably courteous person. Whatever may be the case, whether this was nature or no so subtle “messaging”, Trump truly outdid himself. He unceremoniously pushed aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro, who richly deserves being treated with utter contempt. Then he blocked out Angela Merkel during the official photo taking. He made the G7 wait for over an hour, he refused to walk to another photo op by foot. He didn’t even bother putting on his translation headset when others were speaking and, crime of crimes, he told the NATO members states to pay more money while not saying a single word about Article 5. It is hard to gauge what the rest of the assembled politicians really thought (prostitutes are good at hiding and repressing their own feelings), but Merkel clearly was angry and frustrated. Apparently, everybody hated Trump, with the sole possible exception of Marcon (but he is a high-end prostitute). As much as Obama was a charmer, Trump seems to relish the role of ruffian. But most importantly, Trump treated the EU/NATO gang with the contempt they deserve and that, frankly, I find most refreshing. Why?

The ugly truth about NATO: Eurosissies and Eurodummies

What is NATO? Originally, NATO was supposed to be a military alliance to oppose the Soviet armed forces and, later, the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Now that these two have disappeared, NATO has no real mission. What NATO still has is a huge bureaucracy. There is a lot of money to be made through NATO: salaries, contracts, investments, etc. Heck – these guys just built themselves gigantic and brand new headquarters, probably to “deter the Russian aggression”, right? NATO is also a huge bureaucratic lift which can pull people up to the real centers of power, including financial power. Furthermore, NATO is also a gang of people who use NATO to advance their petty career or political agenda. At best, NATO is a gigantic fig leaf covering the obscenity of western imperialism.

What NATO is not is a militarily useful alliance. Oh yes, sure, the Americans can use NATO to force the Europeans to use US military hardware, that is true, but should a war break out, especially a *real* war against Russia, the Americans would push all these Eurosissies out of the way and do 90%+ of the fighting. Most NATO armies are a joke anyway, but even those who are marginally better fully depend on the USA for all the force multipliers (intelligence, logistics, transportation, communications, navigation, etc.).

And then there is the “New Europe”: the crazies in Poland or the Baltics who are making an immense effort in trying to get the Old Europeans (who made the huge mistake to accept them into NATO) on a collision course with Russia. From a pragmatic point of view, NATO member states should have never EVER incorporated the “New Europeans” into their alliance. The same goes for the EU, of course. But in their illusions of grandeur and their petty revanchism they decided that *real* Europe needed to be joined at the hip with “New Europe” and now they are paying the price for this strategic mistake of colossal proportions. Of course, the Americans are bastards for encouraging the Eurodummies in their delusional dreams, but now that the deed is done, the Americans are doing the rational and pragmatic thing: they are letting the Eurodummies deal with their own mistakes. This is best shown by Trump’s new policy about the Ukraine: he simply does not care.

Oh sure, he will say something about the Minsk Agreement, maybe mention Crimea, he might even say something about a Russian threat. But then he turns away and walks. And the Eurodummies are not discovering something which they should have suspected all along: the Ukraine is *their* problem now, the Americans don’t care because they have nothing to lose and nothing to win either, and so besides empty words they will offer nothing. Much worse is the fact that it appears that it will be the Europeans who will end up paying most of the costs of rebuilding the Ukraine when the current Nazi regime is finally removed (but that is a topic for a future article).

There is karmic justice at work here: all the Eurodummies will now have to deal with the fallout from the total collapse of the Ukraine, but the first ones to pay will be the Poles who tried so hard to draw NATO and the real Europe into their revanchist agenda. Besides, is it not simply justice for the Poles who for years have been ranting about a Russian threat and who for years have been supporting nationalist and even neo-Nazi movements in the Ukraine to now be faced with a deluge of problems (social, political, economic, etc.) coming from “their” Ukrainians will the Russians will be looking at this mess from the east, protected by the two Novorussian republics and formidable National and Border guards. As most Russians will, I wish the Europeans “bien du plaisir” with the upcoming waves of Ukrainian refugees and the “European values” they will bring with them.

[Sidebar: will Russia fare any better with her refugees? Absolutely! Why? Because the Eurodummies are not just Eurodummies, but also Eurosissies. When faced with a refugee-generated crimewave all they can do is roll over and go into deep denial. In Russia any such crimewave will be met with all the force and even violence of the state. Take a look at these guys:

Russian National Guardsmen

and imagine how they would react to the kind of events which have taken place in “Old Europe” recently. Try raping their women!]

The sad truth is that NATO and the EU are do not deserve to be treated with any respect at all. Trump’s condescension is fully deserved. Worse, the Americans don’t even have to pretend to take the Europeans seriously because, for the past decade, the latter have sheepishly obeyed the most ridiculous and even self-defeating orders from the Americans.

Truly, Victoria Nuland’s famous words about the EU were expressing something of an American consensus about the Old Continent.

The G7: “bubbles from a sunken world”

Bubbles from a sunken world” is not an expression I coined. It was the Russian author Ivan Solonevich who wrote that about the kind of exiled Russian aristocrats who still thought that they would one day recover all their properties seized by the Soviets in Russia. Still, this expression also applies to the G7 leaders who meet with a great deal of gravitas and pretend like they really matter. In truth, they don’t. There used to be a time when the G7 really was huge, but now with China and India missing at the table and with Russia expelled, the G7 has become just a kaffeeklatsch for ugly rich people, an occasion to reminisce about the good old days when Europe still mattered.

In reality, of course, and just like with the EU or NATO, the G7 is an anachronistic leftover of a long gone past. G7 countries are simply not the place where the real action is nowadays. But even worse than that is the fact that the leaders of the G7 suffer from the same form of senile dementia as the EU or NATO leaders which is unsurprising since they are more or less the same people: they have nothing original or new to say, nothing important for sure. They have no vision at all, very little legitimacy and even less credibility. Yes, sure, in France Macron did win, but only because the French establishment engaged in a massive propaganda campaign combined aimed at beating Marine LePen. But if you consider that only about 20% of the French voted for Macron in the first round and that he achieved that rather pitiful score even though he had the full support of the French establishment then you realize how unpopular that establishment really is with the French. While the Rothschild propaganda machine tried to present Macron like some kind of de Gaulle, most French people did see him for what he was: a hollow puppet in the hands of the transnational plutocracy. And yet, of all the leaders of the G7, Macron is undeniably the most dynamic one, not only due to his young age, but simply because he does not come across as some kind of fossil from a distant past.

We are told that the G7 is composed of the seven major advanced economies on the planet (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), but the only real power in that list is the USA. Next, it would be Germany, but Merkel’s immigration policies have resulted in a EU-wide disaster and she is very much an embattled leader. She is also a prime culprit of the Ukrainian fiasco. Next in line would be the UK, but the UK has just left the EU and May is presiding over a process which she herself opposes, as do the British elites. Which leaves us with Japan, Italy and Canada. Japan’s past economic power is being overshadowed by China’s immense economy while in political terms the Japanese are voiceless US subcontractors. Italy should not even be part of the G7, at least not in political and economic terms, because Italy is much closer to her Mediterranean neighbors such as Spain and Greece and therefore looked down with contempt by the “northerners”, especially Germany. Which leaves Canada, arguably the most irrelevant and subservient country of them all (when is the last time Canada had anything of relevance to say about anything? Exactly). The bottom line is this: in economic terms the G7 has pretty much been replaced by the G20 while in political terms the G7 is an empty shell. Trump fully realizes that and that is why he does not even try to be polite with them.

Trump and the Eurodwarves

Obama was a born used car salesman: he could be charming and polite with anybody and everybody. Trump has never had any need to act in such a way and, in the case of the Europeans, he does not even feel like trying.

Trump’s contempt for European leaders is definitely undiplomatic and shows a basic lack of education, but it still is a contempt the European leaders richly deserve. Furthermore, while it is true that the AngloZionist Empire is sinking, the European part is sinking much faster than the American one. Which is unsurprising since the USA is truly a very unique country.

The American Sonderfall

As I was writing this article have been listening to the press conference of Donald Trump in the Rose Garden explaining to the world that the USA would now withdraw from the Paris Agreement. I don’t want to discuss the merits of this agreements or the reasons behind Trump’s decision, but I will stress that this places the USA in direct opposition to 195 other countries who signed this treaty expecting the USA to abide by its terms. 195 countries really means just about the entire planet. And yet Trump feels confident that he can afford taking a separate path and the rest of the world will have to shut up.

Trump is right. The USA is a “special case”.

There is absolutely nothing the rest of the planet can do to prevent the United States from withdrawing from this or any other agreement. The best proof of that fact can be found in the more or less official US position that it does not need a UN Security Council to impose sanctions on another nation, threaten it with military aggression or even go to war against it. Right now, the USA have attacked Syria several times already and there are US forces deployed inside Syria and nobody seems to care, which is kind of ironic considering how many lawyers there are in the USA and, even more so, in Congress. Yet everybody sheepishly accepts that the US is, for some reason, above the law, that laws are for “others”, not for the “indispensable nation” with a “duty” and a “special responsibility” to “lead the world” (sorry, I indulge, but I just love this kind of imperialistic language!).

In politics, power is not absolute, but relative. Sure, the US military is basically dysfunctional and doesn’t seem to be capable of frightening anybody on the US list of “enemies”, but compared to Europe the USA is a powerhouse. As for the Europeans, they are depending on the Americans for pretty much everything that matters. Trump understands all that and he seem to have more respect for Kim Jong-un than for Angela Merkel. I can’t blame him as this is also how I feel.

The many sweet ironies of it all

The traditional British foreign policy has always been to fosters wars in Europe to prevent any kind of continental unity. As for the US, its main objective has always been to keep “keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. And now we see the Brits leaving the EU and the Americans pulling out well, maybe not out of Europe per se, but out of most of Europe’s problems. So why are the Anglos pulling out? Is that not a clear sign that Europe is sinking?

One of the favorite slogans of the Ukronazis is “Україна – це Європа” (The Ukraine is Europe). Alas, as I wrote in a past article, it is Europe which “became” (like) the Ukraine: poor, corrupt, lead by hypocritical ideologues totally detached from reality and, most importantly, totally fixated on imaginary threats. The only difference between the EU leaders and their Ukronazi counterparts is that while the latter have declared that they are already fighting a Russian invasion, the former are only preparing to counter it. That’s it. Other than that, I see no difference, at least none that matters. Oh, I almost forgot the Americans: they don’t fight the Russians (yet?), but they are “defending” their country from the onslaught of Russian hackers and pro-Russian moles in the entourage of Donald Trump. Brilliant.

In this world got mad, only the Russians are patiently trying to convince their western partners to return to some semblance of sanity. But, frankly, I don’t think that they are very hopeful. They see how the so-called “West” is falling apart, how the ruling elites of the West appear to be hell-bent on self-destruction and they wonder: why are our “western partners” so determined to bring about their own demise and why are they blaming us for what they are doing to themselves? They also often laugh at the quasi magic powers the paranoid crazies in the West seem to ascribe to Russia. One senior US official, James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, even thinks that Russians are “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique” to subvert democracy (I can’t decide if he sounds more like a Nazi racist or a clown… probably a mix of both). As I said, the Russians are mostly laughing at it all, but just to make darn sure things don’t turn ugly, they are also re-creating their famous “Shock Armies” (including at least one Tank Army) and doubling the size of the Russian Airborne Forces bringing them to 72’000 soldiers and generally preparing for World War 3.

But for the time being, war is far less likely than it would have been the case with Hillary. What we see is Trump making “America great again” by stepping on its allies in Europe and by contemptuously disregarding the rest of humanity. That kind of arrogant megalomania is not a pretty sight for sure – but way better than WWIII. And “better than WWIII” is all we can hope for in the foreseeable future.

The Saker

Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Once in a while, think tanks such as the Brookings Institute are able to deal with highly strategic and current issues. Often, the conferences held by such organizations are based on false pretences and copious banality, the sole intention being to undermine and downplay the efforts of strategic opponents of the US. Recently, the Brookings Institute’s International Strategy and Strategy Project held a lecture on May 9, 2017 where it invited Bobo Lo, an analyst at Lowy Institute for International Policy, to speak. The topic of the subject, extremely interesting to the author and mentioned in the past, is the strategic partnership between China and Russia.

The main assumption Bobo Lo starts with to define relations between Moscow and Beijing is that the two countries base their collaboration on convenience and a convergence of interests rather than on an alliance. He goes on to say that the major frictions in the relationship concern the fate that Putin and Xi hold for Europe, in particular for the European Union, in addition to differences of opinions surrounding the Chinese role in the Pacific. In the first case, Lo states that Russia wants to end the European project while China hopes for a strong and prosperous Europe. With regard to the situation in the Pacific, according to this report, Moscow wants a balance of power between powers without hegemonic domination being transferred from Washington to Beijing.

The only merit in Lo’s analysis is his identification of the United States as the major cause of the strategic proximity between Moscow and Beijing, certainly a hypothesis that is little questioned by US policy makers. Lo believes Washington’s obsession with China-Russia cooperation is counterproductive, though he also believes that the United States doesn’t actually possess capabilities to sabotage or delimit the many areas of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.

What is missing in Lo’s analysis are two essential factors governing how Moscow and Beijing have structured their relationship. China and Russia have different tasks in ushering in their world order, namely, by preserving global stability through military and economic means. Their overall relationship of mutual cooperation goes beyond the region of Eurasia and focuses on the whole process of a sustainable globalization as well as on how to create an environment where everyone can prosper in a viable and sustainable way. Doing this entails a departure from the current belligerent and chaotic unipolar world order.

Moscow and Beijing: Security and Economy

Beijing has been the world’s economic engine for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down, at least not too much. Moscow, contrary to western media propaganda, has returned to play a role not only on a regional scale but as a global power. Both of these paths of military and economic growth for China and Russia have set things on a collision course with the United States, the current global superpower that tends to dominate international relations with economic, political and military bullying thanks to a complicit media and corrupt politicians.

In the case of Beijing, the process of globalization has immensely enhanced the country, allowing the Asian giant to become the world’s factory, enabling Western countries to outsource to low-cost labor. In this process of economic growth, Beijing has over the years gone from being a simple paradise for low-cost outsourcing for private companies to being a global leader in investment and long-term projects. The dividends of years of wealth accumulation at the expense of Western nations has allowed Beijing to be more than just a strategic partner for other nations. China drives the process of globalization, as recently pointed out by Xi Jinping in Davos in a historic speech. China’s transition from a harmless partner of the West to regional power with enormous foreign economic investments place the country on a collision course with Washington. Inevitably, Beijing will become the Asian hegemon, something US policymakers have always guaranteed will not be tolerated.

The danger Washington sees is that of China emerging as a regional superpower that will call the shots in the Pacific, the most important region of the planet. The United States has many vested interests in the region and undeniably sees its future as the leader of the world order in jeopardy. Obama’s pivot to Asia was precisely for the purposes of containing China and limiting its economic power so as to attenuate Beijing’s ambitions.

Unsurprisingly, Washington’s concerns with Moscow relate to its resurgence in military capabilities. Russia is able to oppose certain objectives of the United States (see Ukraine or Syria) by military means. The possibility of the Kremlin limiting American influence in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia in general is cause for concern for American policy makers, who continue to fail to contain Russia and limit Moscow’s spheres of influence.

In this context, the strategic division of labor between Russia and China comes into play to ensure the stability of the Eurasian region as a whole; in Asia, in the Middle East and in Europe. To succeed in this task, Moscow has mainly assumed the military burden, shared with other friendly nations belonging to the affected areas. In the Middle East, for example, Tehran’s partnership with Moscow is viewed positively by Beijing, given its intention to stabilize the region and to eradicate the problem of terrorism, something about which nations like China and Russia are particularly concerned.

The influence of Islamist extremists in the Caucasian regions in Russia or in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China are something that both Putin and Xi are aware can be exploited by opposing Western countries. In North Africa, Egypt has signed several contracts for the purchase of military vehicles from Moscow, as well as having bought the two Mistral ships from France, thereby relying on military supplies from Moscow. It is therefore not surprising that Moscow and Egypt cooperated with the situation in Libya and in North Africa in general.

In Southeast Asia, Moscow seeks to coordinate efforts to reach an agreement between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) of New Delhi and Islamabad (Tehran will be next), with the blessing of Beijing as the protagonist of the 2017 SCO meeting, is a keystone achievement and the right prism through which to observe the evolution of the region. Moscow is essentially acting as a mediator between the parties and is also able to engage with India in spite of the dominating presence of China. The ultimate goal of Moscow and Beijing is to eradicate the terrorist phenomenon in the Asian region with a view to what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East with Iran and Egypt.

Heading to a Multipolar World Order

The turning point in relations between Moscow and Beijing concerns the ability to engage third countries in military or economic ways, depending on these countries’ needs and objectives. Clearly in the military field it is Moscow that is leading, with arms sold to current and future partners and security cooperation (such as with ex-Soviet Central-Asian republics or in the Donbass) and targeted interventions if needed, as in Syria. Beijing, on the other hand, acts in a different way, focusing on the economic arena, in particular with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at its center.

Initiatives such as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Maritime Silk Road have the same strategic aim of the Russian military initiative, namely, ensuring the independence of the region from a geo-economic perspective, reaching win-win arrangements for all partners involved. Naturally, the win-win agreement does not mean that China wins and then wins again; rather, a series of bilateral concessions can come to satisfy all actors involved. An important example in this regard that explains the Sino-Russian partnership concerns the integration of the Eurasian Union with the Chinese Silk Road. The Russian concerns over the predominant status of the Chinese colossus in Central Asia have been assuaged by a number of solutions, such as the support of the OBOR infrastructure program to that of the Eurasian Union. Beijing is not interested in replacing Moscow’s leading role the post-Soviet nations in Central Asia but rather with providing significant energy and economic development to particularly underdeveloped nations that are in need of important economic investment, something only Beijing is able to guarantee.

The linking of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with the One Belt One Road initiative guarantees Moscow a primary role in the transit of goods from east to west, thereby becoming the connecting point between China and Europe while expanding the role and function of the EEU. All participants in these initiatives have a unique opportunity to expand their economic condition through this whole range of connections. Beijing guarantees the money for troubled countries, and Moscow the security. The SCO will play a major role in reducing and preventing terrorist influence in the region, a prerequisite for the success of any projects. Also, the AIIB, and to some extent the BRICS Development Bank, will also have to step in and offer alternative economic guarantees to countries potentially involved in these projects, in order to free them from the existing international financial institutions.

One Belt One Road, and all the related projects, represent a unique occasion whereby all relevant players share common goals and benefits from such transformative geo-economic relationships. This security-economy relationship between Moscow and Beijing is  the heart of the evolution of the current world order, from the unipolar to the multipolar world. The US cannot oppose China on the economic front and Russia on the military front. It all comes down to how much China and Russia can continue to provide and guarantee economic and security umbrellas for the rest of the world.

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

The Lessons of History

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

Lavrov interview on Trump, Putin, Syria, ISIS, Ukraine, NATO

(Russian with English subtitles) ~ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Mir Interstate Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. (Thanks Russia Insider, Credit to Russian MFA)

From Syria to Korea: The Rush to Crush Multipolarism

April 30, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – A recent, unilateral, unjustified military strike on Syria by US cruise missiles, coupled with the deployment of a US naval fleet to the Korean Peninsula as well as terrorist attacks carried out by terrorist fronts worldwide associated with US-backed opposition groups signifies a worldwide push-back from Wall Street and Washington amid its crumbling “international order.”

Like all hegemons before it, Wall Street and Washington have found themselves expending more time and resources maintaining their current geopolitical order than on either further expansion or domestic development. What has developed is a vicious cycle of aggression, conflict, and retrenchment. Throughout the process, there is the expenditure of irreplaceable political capital.

For example, while US policymakers rightly noted their “international order” built by and for Wall Street and Washington would suffer immensely had their attempts to overthrow the Libyan government in 2011 been reversed, their “success” was equally damaging. Before an increasingly capable world of alternative systems, blocs and an emerging multipolar order, the destruction of Libya and its current status as a failed state along with the protracted nature of the US campaign to topple the government was more a sign of growing weakness than a warning of American strength.

Struggling in Syria 

The subsequent conflict in Syria only reinforced suspicions of serious and growing American weakness. The conflict has dragged on for 6 years, and US attempts at regime change have been met by direct Russian military intervention along with a significant role played by another obstacle to US regional and global hegemony, Iran.

Such a scenario, 20-30 years ago, would have been unimaginable.

The recent missile strikes in Syria, then, were not a masterstroke of strategic strength and brilliance, but rather an act of desperation amid a crumbling policy within its crumbling “international order.”

Analysts and policymakers the world over should not, however, get the impression that a retreating America poses no threat. On the contrary, the US in its current state of wounded pride, retracting influence and waning power is more dangerous than ever.

As the window closes on any possibility of a US-maintained order in the Middle East, attempts to permanently damage whatever remains and whoever presides over it becomes more tempting than ever.

While the US poses as “fighting” terrorist organizations like the “Islamic State” and other Al Qaeda affiliates, it has all but openly armed, funded, trained and supported these groups, including with, now, direct military intervention. Indeed, the military targets the US hit recently with its cruise missiles were engaged on the front lines against both the Islamic State and US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, the al-Nusrah Front.

Continued support for these terrorist groups either directly or through America’s regional allies (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others), along with the persistent threat of unilateral military action in direct defiance of the very international law Washington claims its own “international order” is built upon, may be a grievous threat for years to come.

Along the peripheries of this conflict include Egypt who has also just recently experienced terrorist attacks aimed at dividing the nation along sectarian lines and undermining Cairo’s ability to administer its own nation let alone participate in any meaningful way in any emerging alternative regional order.

Proxy War on the Korean Peninsula 

North Korea poses little threat to the United States. Any first strike carried out by North Korea against either the US or South Korea would result in the immediate and absolute destruction of the isolated nation. Despite this reality, the United States has purposefully and disingenuously built it up into a national, even global security threat that conveniently requires an ever increasing military build-up both on the Korean Peninsula itself, as well as across the rest of East Asia.

However, the Korean Peninsula is just one of several fronts amid the actual target of US ambitions, China and the ruling political order in Beijing.

In addition to the Korean Peninsula, the US is concentrating sociopolitical, economic and even covert terrorist pressure as far west as Afghanistan, Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province, all throughout Southeast Asia and even within Chinese territory, particularly in Hong Kong.

The elimination of North Korea as one of the remaining buffer zones between America’s presence in the Pacific and Beijing has been a stated US geopolitical objective for decades (including during the Korean War). With the target actually being Beijing itself, efforts to solve the “Korean problem” without recognizing and dismantling America’s unwarranted presence in the region will lead only to further conflict, not only in East Asia but all along China’s peripheries.

Not Trump’s Policy, Not Because of His Ego 

American and European media sources have attempted to assign responsibility for America’s recent aggression both in Syria and its posturing upon the Korean Peninsula to US President Donald Trump’s own personal motivations and politics. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The precise agenda of regime change in Syria stretches back decades, and plans to launch cruise missiles into Syria once it became apparent swift Libyan-style regime change was not possible was articulated across the entirety of the US foreign policy establishment as early as 2013.

Bloomberg, in a 2013 article titled, “Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Likely in U.S. Strikes on Syria,” would exclaim:

Tomahawk cruise missiles are likely to be launched at night against hundreds of Syrian targets, including some of President Bashar al-Assad’s elite military units, if the U.S. and allies launch a military strike in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons.

Careless readers could easily mistaken the Bloomberg article from years ago for a current headline.

Likewise, US efforts to topple the government of North Korea stretch back for years. US-based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), would publish a 2009, 60-page report titled, “Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea,” in which scenarios for the full-scale invasion, occupation and subjugation of North Korea were laid out.

Today, President Trump is merely the latest politician to rubber stamp the most recent iterations of these policies, laid out publicly and repeatedly for years by policy think tanks representing the collective interests and ambitions of some of the West’s largest corporations and financial institutions.

Conversations regarding the so-called “deep state” have revolved around talk of various bureaucracies and career administrators within the US government, however, more accurately, all of these, along with elected representatives, fall under a singular and truly gargantuan deep state, one emanating from Wall Street, not offices in Washington.

Thus, regardless of various popular narratives circulating across the Western press, US policy now is merely the continuation of a singular agenda pursuing global hegemony. As competing centers of power around the globe emerge and increasingly resist the United States, attempts to sweep these centers of power away increase in both number and desperation.

Genuinely responsible leadership in the United States or Europe would recognize the shifting balance of power and seek to maintain equity between nations. Instead, ruling circles of power in the West are attempting to unrealistically reassert hegemony at the risk of triggering catastrophic and destructive war. By doing so, they, at best, are only delaying the inevitable. And by doing so, they illustrate their inability to function as reasonable and constructive partners in the new, multipolar world order that is emerging, ensuring that they are the ones ultimately swept away.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Trump – From Coward to Hero – MOAB, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer

April 23, 2017

by Peter Koenig

Trump, within a span of a week, has made a U-turn; from a coward to hero. So the MSM; his aggressive violence, his murderous killing spree in Syria, Yemen and threatening North Korea with a nuclear ‘take-out’ – turns Trump from a pussie to a macho. Overnight, so to speak, Trump has become the darling of the presstitute Zionist-MSM. That tells you who is controlling the ‘brainstream’ of the masses. Just look at the 24 April 2017 edition of the US Inquirer – “Trump Declaring War on Dictators”, depicting photographs of Presidents Putin, Assad, and Kim Jong Un, with the caption “Dead Men Walking”. What this paper says – if the term ‘paper’ even applies to this piece of junk – is the opinion of a large segment of the US population – and the west in general, led by the puppets of Europe.

After attacking Syria for a false flag Sarin gas attack on mainly women and children, instigated by CIA and carried out by Erdogan’s forces, helped by the Saudis; pretending sending the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the shores of North Korea – and taking over from the Saudis, the most vicious war against helpless Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, women and children, soon exceeding Obama’s murders – and plunging this poverty struck country into further misery and famine – Trump has finally ascended to the level corporate Zion-America and their corrupt media requires a US president to command the world. Bravo!

Actually, with all the hoopla of the new warrior Trump, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding his turn-around politics in Syria, and especially with the aircraft flotilla sailing towards North Korea. According to the NYT, the Navy released photographs of the Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia to take part in a joint Navy exercise with Australia, thousands of miles away from the Korean peninsula. Trump then corrected himself saying the vessel would arrive in North Korea by this weekend, whereas the Pentagon speculated it would reach its destination more likely towards the end of April. And a few days ago, the White House reported sending two more carriers and flotillas to North Korean waters? – What is actually going on in the waters off the Korean peninsula?

Not least as Trump’s heroic bravura, he inaugurated the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) – the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb, by dropping it – an 11,000-ton bomb equivalent of TNT – on Afghanistan’s villages – killing dozens of innocent people. Even within his first 100 days in office, Trump has joined the club of murderers, assassins and war criminals of his predecessors. Just to see whether MOAB behaves as expected, busting bunkers and other underground structures, causing earthquake like explosions up to 200 m below the surface, capable of destroying bunkers and nuclear reactors. Its reported to be the most devastating bomb, other than a nuclear bomb. The most vicious and devastating test since the nuclear Hiroshima blast.

The MOAB is mainly thought for nuclear reactors. Afghanistan, already a wasteland, complements of the horrid west, was not chosen by accident for the test. Afghanistan, in addition to the transit still planned of the infamous and highly disputed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, also possesses uncountable riches of rare earths and minerals – worth billions and especially needed for the ever-growing war industrial complex – which already today uses up more than half of the extractive industry’s output, worldwide.

Imagine – first devastation of mother earth by plundering her unrenewable resources; then doubling up with destruction and merciless killing and maiming of countries, cities, cultures and entire populations. All for dominance, power and – greed. And Trump goes along with all of that – at least for now, as he needs the support of Zion-Neocons to survive.

Yes, Trump, after just 100 days in office has proven that he is up to the task that his masters have carved out for him. He had a choice of sticking to his campaign promises of seeking peace not war, of not interfering in other countries’ businesses – and risking being impeached or even killed – there are precedents of neutralizing inconvenient politicians, including in the history of the United States, as we know – by the deep establishment. Well, The Donald chose to live and bask in the sun of his success. Who wants to blame him?  But turning from an eccentric billionaire macho bully to an outright mass murderer, makes him a first-degree mass murderer. If there was an independent Nuremberg style court on this globe, their fate would be sealed.

Justice in our western world is nothing but a pipedream. And unless, We, the People, stop believing in the fakeness of the UN System, of international institutions, including the International Court of Justice – once designed as balancing organisms, as peace and justice seeking institutions – we are actually contributing to the fraud played out in front of our eyes.

Now let’s face it. Would Washington and its masters be stupid enough to risk a nuclear war over North Korea, or Syria for that matter? – I doubt it. Not even Trump would be stupid enough to risk destroying the world as we know it, with no known outcomes, other than probable and likely total or close to total destruction. That’s not good business. That’s not good for profits. On the other hand, keeping wars and conflicts as vicious and chaotic as possible and as long as possible, that’s good business, bringing high profits for the war industry and its sub-contractor, the extractive industry.

Mr. Trump, you are businessman. Your sable-rattling scares people. Scared people do not invest. But you know such things. Do you? – So, you can’t really believe that you will scare Presidents Putin and Jinping onto their knees? – They are much stronger than you, intellectually, spiritually and your war-mongering armada displayed around the globe. And you and your masters know it. But hope more deception-propaganda may help postpone your faltering empire’s demise.

Talking to Americans of all walks, talks and believes – the Inquirer, mentioned above, may at least partially reflect the opinion of a large a segment of people. Though, one thing is crystal clear and unites pretty much all US citizens I talked to – whether they voted for The Donald or not – none of them wants war. They are all scared of another war; they want peace, work and a livelihood that allows them to feed their families.

President Trump take note. They elected you. Most of them are sick and tired seeing their tax dollars being spent on wars and endless conflicts around the globe – while at home they are suffering unemployment at rates way above the official labor statistics – around 22% – a rate similar to those of Spain and Greece. They all may like the MSM hammered and brainwashed slogan of “America First” and “Making America Great Again” – but they do not see the connection to wars. None of those that I talked to think that the Inquirer’s ‘dictators’ – Messrs. Assad, Kim Jong Un and Putin are a threat to US national security.

President Trump wake up! Your co-citizens are waking up. They want an America of Peace, not of bombs and blood. They want the America your promised them – of friendly relations with other nations, including Russia, of non-interference in foreign lands, of a reduction of the more than 1,000 US military bases around the globe – and they want you to bring back outsourced jobs to their Homeland. The want a strong America, as in a solid economy, not one based on wars and destruction.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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