Why Ukraine is always winning the war

October 25, 2022

by Ramin Mazaheri

In the United States media editorial policy has not wavered on one subject this year: Ukraine is always winning the war.

From the first week, when the Ukrainian air force and navy were smashed, to last week’s smashing of the electrical grid – this is what “victory” looks like in the Ukrainian language, apparently. The Russians can electorally incorporate territory after territory, but to suggest that Ukrainian victory hasn’t already arrived is verboten in American public spaces.

What is the point of reading American coverage of the unrest in Ukraine when it’s so very absurd?

The point is: to learn what America is thinking, of course. If it’s deluded then – like it or not – that’s the story, and the story always writes itself in honest journalism.

I was talking with a Polish cab driver whom I found extremely intelligent, and not only because he has an Iranian brother-in-law and thus knew and respected Iranian culture. This longtime immigrant cabbie was very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian, which is his right and not unexpected, and he was a typical Pole in that he was ardently pro-American. However, he volunteered to me that he found Americans to be the most effectively propagandised people in the world – he said they, invariably, merely mouthed whatever they heard on TV news.

It is one thing to dismiss the criticism of your enemies, but the criticisms of your friends merit some refection.

I have also personally found the same iron-jawed retention of dogma: Americans tell me that only in very recent weeks have they heard anyone even suggest the idea that the war isn’t going well for Ukrainians. I agree, as I have yet to hear such a remark (outside of interviews of political analysts for my work at PressTV), and I have gotten many strange stares when I brought up the idea – in my personal life – for discussion.

It is happy news for Americans to talk about, after all: “Hey, did you hear? The Ukrainians are winning the war! Still!” However, it is my role in the US to be a wet blanket whenever discussions turn political, I lament.

When the subject of Ukraine comes up I start with the fact that I have lived in France for over the past decade and – because France is usually at the heart of European diplomacy – I have been reporting on the Ukraine unrest since 2014. At the mention of the idea that Ukraine existed before February 2022 a glaze goes over their eyes.

Similarly, someone recently congratulated me on the Iranian revolution. What a pleasant thing to hear, thank you! Unfortunately, this person was referring to the current anti-hijab law unrest and not 1979. Just as Ukraine is winning the war, so this person was convinced that these protests have effectuated a (counter-) revolution. When it comes to Iran the American “this information cannot be allowed to even momentarily penetrate my mind” eye-glaze starts sooner – it arrives at the very first contrary word I utter.

I bring up Iran to show the pattern: Ukraine has always been winning, is winning currently and will win in the future because the US always wins every war it embarks upon.

After all, the US was always winning the war in Afghanistan. The only internal disagreement ever allowed was regarding their total retreat in August 2020 – was it poorly planned, or not? If the former, then the total US victory was disgracefully (though merely slightly) tarnished by the total US retreat.

The US was always winning the war in Iraq, as well. Shock and awe prevailed from start to finish, with the finish being a total shock at how few positives the US-led war created for either the Iraqis or the Americans. The indisputable fact of the American victory, however: totally awesome, of course.

The Balkanised disaster which is Libya? Another victory. Assad still standing in Syria? Still a victory, though don’t ask for explanations. Cold wars in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Nicaragua and any other revolutionary country? Victory is so close the US media can see it, they insist.

These foolish political mis-notions cannot be blamed on the average American: all these places are so far away and so far removed from the totally precarious daily rat race/shooting gallery which is American life, and the information they can find is so incredibly one-sided.

Negligence can constitute a crime, indeed, but we must learn that here there is not actual malice: I was not shocked to do a report on a top foreign policy poll which showed that 79% of Americans want peace with Iran. This is even the foreign policy issue which earned the most unanimity, excepting only one: by one percentage point more, Americans want more legislative control over the executive branch’s ability to wage war – i.e., they want more peace.

The crime committed by the average American is neither malice nor negligence but the fault of naiveté – their expectation that a media dominated by private and not public ownership will ever consistently produce journalism which benefits the people and not the rich owners. Call it Western Liberal Democracy or the American Way or neoliberalism: history shows that it has always failed, is failing and will only fail for the 99%.

The US media and politicians know which levers to pull to produce naiveté: note how it’s always the “Ukrainian people” against “Putin” – there are no Russian people. Putin, of course, is not an actual person either – he’s a monster.

Which side could a busy soccer mom possibly be expected to take, especially when trying to have pleasant chit-chat with other busy soccer moms? Why, the only American thing to do is to buy that $25 pro-Ukraine scented candle and display it proudly for others to envy….

In the United States Ukraine will always be winning the war, no matter what actually happens in the war. When their destructive loss is indisputable, that will be unimportant – the US will certainly be in the middle of winning a new war.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.

US economic decline and global instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS

September 01, 2022

Source

by Phillyguy

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s preeminent military and economic power. All of the pillars supporting US power are now threatened by decades of neoliberal economic policies, spending vast sums of taxpayer money propping up financial markets, the military and attainment of economic/military parity by the Russia-China-Iran axis. In this essay, I link the continuing economic and social decline in the US/EU (collectively referred to as the ‘west) to an increasingly reckless US foreign policy, the role corporate media serves in promoting these policies to the American/EU public and the rise of Russia, China and other countries in the global south.

Introduction

This is a continuation or my previous article, linking US economic decline and global instability [1]. Briefly, the US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time, US global power has rested on: 1) unrivaled military and economic power, 2) control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and 3) maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Following the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the US had the world’s largest economy and was the major ‘growth engine’ for western capitalism for the next 3 decades. In the mid-1970s, this began to change as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a direct consequence of spending large amounts of taxpayer money on wars on the Korean Peninsula (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1955-1975) and increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe, primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) and Asia- Japan, South Korea (Korean and Vietnam wars) and more recently China. Starting in the early 1980s, the US financial elite began pressuring policy makers to pursue neoliberal economic policies, including multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, financial deregulation, austerity, attacks on the poor and labor and outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on Dec 26, 1991. This was viewed by the US ruling elite as the removal of the major rival to US global power and would allow unrestrained actions of the American military to invade and occupy countries which are rich in natural resources and/or occupy geo-strategic locations and expand NATO into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border. Since 1991, US/NATO have been involved in conflicts in Yugoslavia, Persian Gulf/Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine [2].

Role of Corporate Media

First Amendment of the US constitution-

‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem.

In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush” [3]. While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billion [4] [5]. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, major broadcasters, the paper of record (NYT), Wall St. Journal (WSJ), Washington Post, etc. are little more than a sounding board for the US ruling elite and thus, function primarily as the ‘ministry of propaganda’ for large financial interests. Any reporter, military analyst, aka ‘TV General’, etc. who ‘steps out of line’, such as telling the truth about the military debacle facing Ukraine will either be severely reprimanded or find themselves out of a job. Some examples-

1) CBS recently ran a documentary claiming that only 30% of ‘military aid’ sent to Ukraine actually arrived. The video was removed following complaints from the Ukrainian government. [6] [7].

2) David Sanger (Harvard graduate) is chief Washington correspondent for the NYT and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) [8], whose members include corporate executives, bankers, and other representatives of the ruling elite.

3) David Ignatius (Harvard graduate) is a foreign affairs columnist for the WaPo and has close ties to the intelligence community- CIA and Pentagon.

Sanger and Ignatius serve as pundits for US global power, promoting the use of military force to promote American interests.

When you do not toe the corporate line…………

4) Gary Webb was a journalist working for the San Jose Mercury News. In 1996, Webb published a series of articles, “Dark Alliance”, describing how Nicaraguan Contra rebels, working closely with the CIA, supplied crack cocaine to the Black community in Los Angeles and used proceeds from these sales to purchase weapons to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front. Following publication of the Dark Alliance series, corporate media became hysterical, denouncing Webb, effectively ruining his career; he committed suicide in 2004 [9]

5) Julian Assange- In 2010, Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, published a series of leaks obtained from Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following publication of these leaks, the American government began a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks. In 2010, Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. To avoid extradition, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2019, Assange was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy and transferred to Belmarsh, a Category-A men’s prison in London. Up to this point, Julian Assange had not been formally charged. However, on May 23, 2019, the United States government charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and is currently awaiting potential extradition to the US [10].

The US has been almost continuously involved in overt and covert military conflicts since 1940 and as a result, war and associated violence has been normalized and institutionalized by corporate media to the point, where these policies are readily accepted by a relatively docile and ignorant American public. When foreign governments deemed hostile to US corporate interests limit press ‘freedom’, they are immediately labeled as repressive/terrorist regimes and potential candidates for direct attack and ‘regime’ change by the US State Department. Apparently, what is ‘good for the goose’ is ‘not good for the gander’. As pointed out above, any journalist that threatens the American empire risks losing their job, imprisonment and/or death.

Accelerating Decline of late-stage American Capitalism

Multiple factors have contributed to the decline of American economic power. These include economic policies, spending astronomical amounts of taxpayer money on the military and war, social instability and rise of China-Russia-Iran axis.

Economic policies

Since the mid-1970s, US policy makers have pursued neoliberal economic policies- financial deregulation, austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on labor and job-outsourcing, which has resulted in the massive growth of the FIRE sector of the economy composed of finance, insurance, and real estate. These polices precipitated the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2007-2008, the largest financial shock since the Great Depression. Rather than resolve the severe structural problems confronting American capitalism which created this crisis, the FED used the Treasury as a de facto taxpayer-supported ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to prop up equity markets, bonds, over-priced real estate and [still] insolvent banks. To put this in perspective, since 2009, the FED has injected over $40 trillion into financial markets, increasing the wealth of the financial elite, the proverbial ‘1%’. Not surprisingly, over the last 5 years, US government deficits have increased circa $2 trillion annually, currently exceeding $30 trillion (Fig. 1); this figure does not include municipal, corporate or consumer debt. This begs the obvious question of how long can the FED continue this orgy or money printing and debt? Note- for comprehensive background information on the FED’s financial activities, see Wall Street on Parade [11].

Military Spending and War

Since its inception, the US has been built on theft and violence, justified by ‘Christian’ religion and ‘White man’s burden’. The first permanent British settlement in North America was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A decade later, African slaves were introduced by Dutch slave traders. Over the next 250 years, the US government would continue stealing land and displace/murder circa 90% of the indigenous population. In the mid-19th century, the US had the world’s leading economy, largely built on cotton produced by Black slaves [12]. Fast forward 150 years, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940. 911 was a godsend for the military- US taxpayers have spent circa $21 trillion ($7.2 trillion going to military contractors) on post-911 militarization [13] [14]. The military appropriation for 2023 exceeds $760 billion. Despite this taxpayer largess, the Pentagon has not ‘won’ a war since 1945, was forced out of Afghanistan after spending $2 trillion, and confronts looming strategic debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine. This has vividly shown the rest of the world the limits of American military power. Unfortunately, after expending so much financial and human capital, the Pentagon appears incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. This was clearly seen following Joe Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan in 2021 and the push-back he received from corporate media and people in Congress.

Political Chaos and Social Instability

We frequently hear that US society has progressed to the point, where the country appears to be increasingly ungovernable. Indeed, American society is plagued by economic inequality, racism and ubiquitous violence. The American working class has watched their standard of living plummet- a result of decades of neoliberal economic policies, including job outsourcing, austerity, stagnant income growth and since the Covid 19 pandemic, high inflation, reflected by increasing costs for rent, transportation, energy, groceries, medical care and other necessities. To put this in perspective, 60% of Americans do not have $500 in savings and thus are one expensive car repair, medical emergency or job loss away from financial ruin. At the same time the wealth of American billionaires has increased circa $1 trillion during the Covid19 pandemic. Not surprisingly in 2016, Donald Trump skillfully exploited the justifiable anger and frustration of working people, stating that he would ‘Make American Great Again’, blaming American economic problems on immigrants from Mexico and Latin America and China’s economic rise.

Rise of BRICS/SCO and US/NATO debacle in Ukraine

We are seeing the continued rise in the global power and influence of Russia, China and allied nations, on multiple fronts, including organizational, economic and militarily. The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are expanding. Original BRICS members included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran and Argentina have applied for admission, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey and Egypt are applying for entry next year. SCO is the largest regional economic institution in the world, covering 60% of Eurasia with a population > 3.2 billion and combined GDP of member states circa 25% of global total. Trade between BRICS and SCO member states is increasingly being carried out using local currencies.

The Mir payment system operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [15] is a direct competitor to Visa and Mastercard and now accepted throughout the Russian Federation and in 13 countries including India, Turkey and South Korea and will soon be used in Iran. BRICS nations are developing a global currency for international trade that will directly compete with the dollar [16]. Russia is developing a new international trading platform for precious metals: the Moscow World Standard (MWS) [17]. The Russian Finance Ministry believes this new independent international structure will ‘normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry” and serve as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA; https://www.lbma.org.uk), [18] which for years has been accused of systematically manipulating the price of precious metals markets to depress prices [19]. Collectively, these policies have been designed to significantly reduce the dependence of economies in Russia, China, India and other countries in the Global South on the US/EU and eliminate dependence on the US dollar and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system [20] for international trade. No doubt this is being done in close collaboration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) whose goal is to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth [21] [22]. This trajectory has been accelerated following enactment of US/EU sanctions on Russia, Iran and China.

Over the last decade, the military power of Russia, China and Iran has greatly strengthened. The Russian military is a global leader in air-defense systems and hypersonic weapons, which are impermeable to any air-defense systems currently deployed by the US/NATO [23]. Over the last 25 years, China has modernized its military, focusing on People’s Liberation Navy and Army Air Force [24] [25]. China has developed a robust missile arsenal including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) [26]. The Pentagon now considers China a ‘formidable military force’ and a ‘major challenge’ to the US Navy in the Western Pacific. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also developed a formidable defensive military capability, which has positioned Iran as a major power broker in the region. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’ [27]. Iran has repeatedly warned the US/NATO that it can target US military bases in the region, including Al Udeid base in Qatar, the largest US base in the Middle East. We are seeing increased assertiveness from the Russia-China-Iran axis in Syria, Ukraine and Western Pacific. This was clearly articulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, declaring an end of “the era of the unipolar world” [28]. The Pentagon is being increasingly challenged by the Russia-China-Iran axis in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Pacific.

Ukraine- another US/NATO debacle

For background and historical information covering Ukraine and her relationship with Russia, see [29]. Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia and occupies a strategic location in Eastern Europe, sharing a circa 2300 km (1227 mi) border with Russia [30] (Fig. 2). As of 2021, Ukraine had the second largest military (circa 200,000 military personnel), after the Russian Armed Forces, in Europe and has the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world [31]. Historically, the predominantly Russian speaking population in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has maintained close ties with Russia.

In February 2014, the US- instigated Maidan coup took place, replacing the democratically-elected President Victor Yanukovych with a Russia-phobic and far-right politician/economist/lawyer, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian government was soon dominated by an alliance of far-right/fascistic organizations including the Right Sector and Svoboda and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. This was predictable, as these groups were the most virulently anti-Russian factions in Ukraine [32] and are still very active in the government and military [33] [34]. Soon after the coup took place, the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics declared their independence, initiating the war in the Donbas. Over the next 8 years, the US/NATO would train circa 100,000 Ukrainian troops and channel $ billions in military aid [35], which was used to equip Ukrainian army and fortify positions adjacent to the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics [30] (Fig. 3). This buildup was accompanied by increased shelling of residential areas in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian military [36] [37], setting up a potential invasion of this region [38]. In response to the escalating attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics as sovereign states on Feb 21, 2022, just prior to the Russian invasion on Feb 24, 2022, describing this campaign as a Special Military Operation (SMO) [39]. For an excellent overview of why Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine, see [40].

Going up against a well-trained, well equipped and an entrenched Ukrainian army, Russian forces have managed to take control of circa 20% (~47,000 square miles) of southern Ukraine and are incrementally removing Ukrainian forces from this region [38] (Fig. 3). Significantly, this territory contains prime agricultural and resource-rich land. It appears that Russia is planning on annexing littoral territory extending from the Donetsk/Luhansk region to Odesa [41]. Once this happen, any future Ukrainian state will not only be land-locked and lack direct access to the Black Sea, it will also lose valuable land as well. Military analyst Andrei Martyanov [42] has pointed out the ‘combined West doesn’t have material and technological means of fighting Russia in Eastern Europe without losing catastrophically. Western weapons turned out to be nothing more than commercial items not designed to fight the modern war, plus–no Western economy, including the United States has the capability to produce them in needed quantities anyway.’

The collective west has responded to the Russian invasion by blocking the opening of the Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline, which would directly supply Russian natural gas to Germany, imposed sanctions on Russian energy exports and disconnected Russian banks from the SWIFT system. To the dismay of the US/NATO, these actions have led to large increases in EU energy costs while strengthening the Russian economy [43]. Indeed, the paper of record (NYT) published a recent OpEd bemoaning the fact that despite western sanctions, Russia is making more money than ever on energy exports to China, India and other countries [44]. Despite nonstop condemnation from the US and EU of Russia’s SMO in Ukraine, many nations have not criticized the war [45]; only 1/3 of UN members supported a new anti-Russia resolution this August [46]. Thus, dwindling international support for Ukraine, coupled with success of the Russian SMO indicates that the country will not exist in its current form.

Concluding Remarks

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has been ongoing since the mid-1970s, but has been accelerated by the GFC, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and Russian SMO in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the ruling elite and their representatives in Washington have responded by shifting the costs of this decline onto the public, who have watched their living standard plummet, homelessness increase [47], imposed reactionary legislation such as the criminalization of pregnancy by the US Supreme Court, ratcheted up state violence against working people and people of color, while engaging in an astronomically expensive and reckless foreign policy. It appears the ruling elite view the Russia-China-Iran axis as an intolerable obstacle to US global power, reflected in the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is a de facto proxy war between the US and Russia. US-imposed sanctions on Russian energy have driven global energy prices higher; natural gas prices in the EU are 14-fold higher than the 10-year average. As a result, the UK/EU are at risk of not having sufficient quantities of natural gas for the winter, while EU industry will not be competitive with their rivals in Asia, who are being supplied with cheaper Russian energy. This is going to lead to increasing unemployment and social instability in the Eurozone.

The continued presence of US troops in Iraq and Syria is a desperate attempt to maintain control over Middle East energy reserves. The continued recklessness of this occupation can be seen from the constant Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian-allied forces by Israel/US, increasing the chances of a war with Iran, which can rapidly escalate, potentially incinerating the entire Persian Gulf region. It appears the US is abandoning the ‘one-China’ policy’ that has guided relations between the two countries for nearly 5 decades and is preparing to recognize Taiwan as an ‘independent’ state, a redline for the Peoples Republic of China. No doubt, this was one motivation for sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from ‘’liberal’ San Francisco, with a net worth exceeding $100 million, to visit Taiwan. The Pentagon is actively encouraging Japan, which is little more than a US stooge/vassal and still occupied by circa 50K US troops, to join in this effort [48]. This begs the obvious question- did Japan learn anything from their defeat in WWII? As Glen Ford has pointed out, hegemons do not have ‘allies’ they only have subordinates [49].

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has progressed to the point where the very survival of the American empire is now contingent upon endless money printing to prop up financial markets and the military. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt has created gigantic bubbles in every asset class- ‘everything bubble’, increasing inflation and threatening to derail the dollar’s role as world reserve currency and viability of western capitalism. Considering the weak state of US/EU economies, what economic incentives does the US have to encourage countries in the Indo-Pacific to reduce trade with China? Obviously, this is a nonstarter [50]. The ruling oligarchy are well aware of US economic decline and in desperation, are attempting to directly confront the Russia-China-Iran axis, which has attained economic and military parity (superiority?) with US/NATO. Perilous times ahead.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present- Wars From 1675 to the Present Day By Martin Kelly Nov 4, 2020; https://www.thoughtco.com/american-involvement-wars-colonial-times-present-4059761

3. Ukraine’s Growing Dependency on Terrorism w/Mark Sleboda The New Atlas Aug 25, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgiRKbTYbZQ&t=1997s

4. The Big 6 Media Companies By Adam Levy Jun 10, 2022; https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/communication/media-stocks/big-6/

5. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic

6. Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines. By Adam Yamaguchi and Alex Pena CBS News Aug 7, 2022; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-military-aid-weapons-front-lines/

7. CBS censors its own report on Ukraine weapons corruption Multipolarista Aug 14, 2022; https://soundcloud.com/multipolarista/cbs-ukraine-weapons-corruption

8. Council on Foreign Relations; https://www.cfr.org/

9. How Gary Webb Linked the CIA to the Crack Epidemic — and Paid the Ultimate Price by Marco Margaritoff Feb 18, 2022; https://allthatsinteresting.com/gary-webb

10. Julian Assange, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Seth_Rich

11. Wall Street on Parade Pam Martens and Russ Martens; https://wallstreetonparade.com/

12. Half Has Never Been Told by Edward E. Baptist 2016 (Book)

13. State of Insecurity- The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11 by Lindsay Koshgarian, Ashik Siddique and Lorah Steichen Institute for Policy Studies; Link: https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

14. Costs of war; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

15. The exponential rise of Russia’s Mir payment system by James King The Banker

July 20, 2021; https://www.thebanker.com/Transactions-Technology/FX-Payments/The-exponential-rise-of-Russia-s-Mir-payment-system?ct=true

16. Russia and China are brewing up a challenge to dollar dominance by creating a new reserve currency by George Glover Markets Indiser Jun 24, 2022; https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/dollar-dominance-russia-china-rouble-yuan-brics-reserve-currency-imf-2022-6

17. Precious Metals: Russia Proposes New Standard to Compete with LBMA Goldbroker Aug 17, 2022; https://goldbroker.com/news/precious-metals-russia-proposes-new-standard-to-compete-with-lbma-2826

18. London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); https://www.lbma.org.uk

19. Rigged Gold Price Distorts Perception of Economic Reality by Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler Sept 22, 2014; https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/22/rigged-gold-price-distorts-perception-economic-reality-paul-craig-roberts-dave-kranzler/

20. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system; https://www.swift.com/

21. China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the global trade, investment and finance landscape 2018;

22. Belt and Road Initiative; https://www.beltroad-initiative.com/belt-and-road/

23. Trends in Russia’s Armed Forces- An Overview of Budgets and Capabilities by Keith Crane, Olga Oliker and Brian Nichiporuk Rand Corporation 2019; https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2573.html

24. China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service Mar 8, 2022; https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

25. An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard Rand https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

26. China is building more than 100 new missile silos in its western desert, analysts say

Image without a caption By Joby Warrick Washington Post June 30, 2021; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/china-nuclear-missile-silos/2021/06/30/0fa8debc-d9c2-11eb-bb9e-70fda8c37057_story.html

27. Missile Defense Project, “Missiles of Iran,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran

28. President Putin’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Speech, June 17, 2022. Defense Info; https://defense.info/global-dynamics/2022/06/president-putins-st-petersburg-international-economic-forum-speech-june-17-2022

29. Ray McGovern: Historical Context for Conflicts in Ukraine Consortium News Jul 10, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLzsQA3UGY

30. Map Explainer: Key Facts About Ukraine By Bruno Venditti, Graphics/Design: Nick Routley Feb 23, 2022; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-explainer-ukraine/

31. Welcome to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation in Europe by Oliver Bullough The Guardian Feb 6, 2015; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

32. How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine by Eric Zuesse Modern Diplomacy June 4, 2018; https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/04/how-and-why-the-u-s-government-perpetrated-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine/

33. Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are on the March in Ukraine- Five years after the Maidan uprising, anti-Semitism and fascist-inflected ultranationalism are rampant.

By Lev Golinkin The Nation Feb 22, 2019;

34. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies Fair Observer Mar 11, 2022; https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/medea-benjamin-nicolas-js-davies-ukraine-war-russia-ukranian-neo-nazi-fascists-azov-battalion-89292/

35. Ukraine- World Socialist Website; https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/country/ukraine

36. Ukrainian Army terror bombings By Laurent Brayard Jun 6, 2022; https://mronline.org/2022/06/06/ukrainian-army-terror-bombings/

37. Donbass Update: Ukraine Continues to Shell Residential Areas Telesur Feb 24, 2022; https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Donbass-Update-Ukraine-Continues-to-Shell-Residential-Areas-20220224-0004.html

38. Important — A Message for Americans Gonzalo Lira June 18, 2022; https://www.strategic-culture.org/video/2022/06/20/2022-06-18-important-a-message-for-americans/

39. Putin Announces Start to ‘Military Operation’ Against Ukraine by Anton Troianovski and Neil MacFarquhar NYT Feb. 23, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/ukraine-russia-invasion.html

40. Why Russia Invaded Ukraine by Eric Zuesse The Duran Sept 1, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-russia-invaded-ukraine/

41. All the way to Odessa by Pepe Escobar The Unz Review Aug 26, 2022; https://www.unz.com/pescobar/all-the-way-to-odessa/

42. Reminiscence of the Future (Andrei Martyanov); http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

43. Europe’s Markets and Energy Security Disrupted by Russia Sanctions by Kenneth Rapoza Forbes Aug 23, 2022; https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2022/08/23/europes-markets-and-energy-security-disrupted-by-russia-sanctions/?sh=6d2312b45097

44. Russia Is Making Heaps of Money from Oil, but There is a Way to Stop That

July 29, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/29/opinion/russia-oil-sanctions-biden.html

45. Why have many nations not condemned the war in Ukraine? by Bernd Debusmann News Decoder Apr 4, 2022; https://news-decoder.com/why-have-many-nations-not-condemned-the-war-in-ukraine/

46. Only one in three UN members back new anti-Russia resolution- International support for Ukraine has dropped dramatically since March RT Aug 26, 2022; https://www.rt.com/russia/561627-un-ukraine-resolution-support/

47. Census Bureau: 3.8 million renters will likely be evicted in the next two months — why the rental crisis keeps getting worse by Brian J. O’Connor Yahoo Sun, Aug 28, 2022; https://www.yahoo.com/video/census-bureau-3-8-million-100000978.html

48. U.S. presses Japan to cancel Constitution’s peace-clause. China and Japan must thus finally agree now, to avoid a war by Eric Zuesse The Duran Aug 25, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-a-deal-is-needed-now-between-china-and-japan/

49. Glen Ford’s Ukrainian Crystal Ball Black Agenda Report Jul 27, 2022; https://www.blackagendareport.com/glen-fords-ukrainian-crystal-ball

50. A New World Order is Looming and the West Doesn’t Like it by James ONeill Aug 24, 2022; https://journal-neo.org/2022/08/24/a-new-world-order-is-looming-and-the-west-doesn-t-like-it/

3 Figures

Figure 1: Total US Public Debt

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Figure 3. Military situation in Ukraine Aug 31, 2022

Figure 1. Total US public debt. Note that debt in Q1 2020 was $ 23.2 trillion while in Q2 2022 was $ 30.5 trillion, an increase of $7 trillion.

FRED Graph

Source: Total Public Debt; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEBTN

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Ukraine Map

Source: US Department of Defense

Figure 3. Military Situation in Ukraine for Aug 31, 2022. Areas in Red are controlled by the allied forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Militia and Russian military.

Source: Ukraine interactive map; https://liveuamap.com

Lavrov gets it right by comparing European Union and NATO to Hitler’s old Axis

June 28, 2022

Source

By Guilherme Wilbert

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for a war against Russia. The statement was given in Baku in Azerbaijan during an interview.

“They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely,” the Minister rightly declared, because that is what has been happening anyway. But first let’s go to the archetypes of the entities mentioned.

The European Union, in its initial design, may have come up with good proposals for the integration of Europeans, with some Balkan countries, for example, applying to be part of the economic and diplomatic bloc, but it so happens that few people pay attention to history, especially during World War II.

Hitler wanted a union of the European countries, what he called a “Pan-European Union”, a form of closer integration between countries that would naturally be against the Soviet Union and communism in general. No wonder Hitler set up puppet governments in some European countries such as Denmark, for example, which was under the tutelage of Nazi Germany during the period August 1943 until May 1945, after the success of Operation Weserübung.

As for NATO for example, it is seen as a super aggressive military alliance that causes barbarism in various parts of the world, especially in the former Yugoslavia, which had its territory balkanized after an intervention in the country in 1999 where some war crimes were committed because those bombs would hit civilian buildings, such as the famous bombing of Serbian TV, which was not a legitimate military target, but turned out to be a Yugoslav “propaganda broadcast” (obviously) at the time.

So it didn’t take much effort on the part of some “non-aligned diplomats” (which is the case of Lavrov) to understand that the European Union and NATO act together to stand up to the former Soviet Union, now Russia.  NATO even characterized the country as an “enemy” several times, emphasized by Vladimir Putin in his speeches.

It’s not as if they left options for today’s Russia, unfortunately

After NATO’s expansions into Eastern European countries, even after a verbal agreement made between Soviet and American diplomats at the time that they would not move “an inch east” in the early 2000s, the opposite was seen and this was stated several times before the start of Operation Z, and was characterized in various ways by Kremlin spokespersons that Ukraine’s entry into NATO was a criminal act. And it was.

And like any criminal act, the police power, even if governed by a country’s Armed Forces, needed to come into effect because after the NATO vs. Russia diplomatic rounds no documentary agreement of truth properly bound by international law was reached. And to make matters worse, Zelensky would state on 02/19/2022 in a speech at the European Security Conference in Munich (just 5 days before the start of Operation Z) that he would no longer ratify the Budapest Memorandum, which is a treaty that denuclearizes Ukraine since 1994.

This would sound an alarm throughout Russia because its door to Europe would be with nuclear missiles possibly aimed at Moscow with orders coming from Washington for provocation after the fall of Putin’s allied government of Yanukovych.

With that said, Lavrov’s comparison of Hitler’s Axis with the current European Union and NATO is once again correct, because the current prejudice against Russians was seen against Jews in Nazi Germany, the attempt at various provocations such as the recent case of the Lithuanian blockade of Kaliningrad (Russian exclave) was seen when Hitler spoke of “vital space” putting countries neighboring Germany on invasion alert, and many more are the parallels.

This is a lost war and Ukraine needs to recognize this or else hardly a resident of Kiev will be able to enjoy the good beaches of the Black Sea.

References: https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/06/24/7354408/

The west’s Plan B: Secure the realm

Having failed in preserving the unipolar order, the west will resort to Plan B – reviving a bipolar world based on the ‘civilized’ west and the ‘barbarian’ rest.

June 27 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Fadi Lama

Plan A: Global Hegemony

By the late 1990s, it was clear that a China-led Asia would be the dominant economic, technological and military power of the 21st century.

The late Polish-American diplomat and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski spelled out in 1997 that the way to control Asian growth, and China’s in particular, was to control global energy reserves.

The attacks on 11 September 2001 provided the “catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” to set military intervention plans in motion. As noted by US General Wesley Clark, “in addition to Afghanistan, we’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.”

Energy reserves of these countries – in addition to those already controlled by the west – would result in western control over 60 percent of global gas reserves and 70 percent of global oil reserves.

However, the west’s direct military intervention wars failed, and subsequent proxy wars using assorted Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists failed as well.

Rise of the ‘RIC’

In the two decades since Brzezinski laid out his strategy and the west immersed itself in failed wars, the Eurasian sovereignist core of Russia, Iran, and China (RIC) were heavily focused on national development in all arenas, including the economic, technological and military fields, and physical and social infrastructure development.

By 2018, it was clear that plans for western control of global energy reserves had failed and that the RIC had overtaken the west in many, if not most, of the aforementioned sectors.

As a result, the RIC were able to project power, protecting sovereign nations from western interventionism in West AsiaCentral AsiaSouth America and Africa. In Iran’s case this also involved a direct military response against US forces, following the assassination of the late General Qassem Soleimani. Making matters worse, the gap between the west and the RIC is widening, with little chance for the former to catch up.

The impossibility of sustaining western global hegemony had become evident amid continuous erosion of western power and global influence, which coincide with a commensurate expansion of RIC global influence, both of which necessitated an alternative strategy: a Plan B, as it were.

Plan B: Securing the realm

In view of the irreversible widening of this gap, and the growing global influence of the RIC, the only feasible strategy for the west would be to ‘terminate the competition’ by splitting the world into two regions, one in which the west has ironclad control, where western “rules” reign, and is divorced from the RIC-influenced region.

The current geostrategy of the west is the imposition of an Iron Curtain with the inclusion of as many resource rich nations as possible. Only by realizing the west’s actual geostrategic objective is it possible to understand the reason behind its apparently self-defeating actions, specifically:

  • Imposition of draconian sanctions on Russia that hurt the west far more than Russia.
  • Increasing tensions with China and Iran whilst engaged in a proxy war with Russia.

While the world is fixated on the conflict in Ukraine, the geostrategic objective of the west is being steadily advanced.

Sanctions: the catalyst of crises and coercion

The widely accepted explanation is that the west imposed draconian sanctions with the expectation that it would turn the ruble into “rubble,” create a run on banks, crash the Russian economy, weaken President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power, and pave the way for a more amenable president to replace him.

None of these expectations materialized. On the contrary, the ruble strengthened against the dollar and the euro, and the Russian economy is faring better than most western economies, which are witnessing record inflation and recessionary indicators. To add insult to injury, Putin’s popularity has soared while those of his western counterparts are hitting record lows.

The west’s after-the-fact explanation that sanctions, and their repercussions, were not well thought out, do not hold water.

Often overlooked though, has been the devastating impact of these sanctions on the Global South. US economist Michael Hudson argues that the Ukraine war is merely a catalyst to impose sanctions that would result in global food and energy crises – allowing the US to coerce the Global South to be “with us or against us.”

Indeed the impact of these crises are compounded by the earlier detrimental impact of Covid lockdowns. Food, energy and economic crises are further exasperated by the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates which directly impact the debt servicing ability of Global South countries, placing them on the edge of bankruptcy and at the mercy of the western-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund — the instruments for effectively locking these nations within the western realm.

Thus, despite the very negative impact of sanctions on western countries, these nevertheless fit perfectly with the strategic objective of locking in as many Global South countries within the western sphere of influence.

Tensions with China and Iran:

Driving a wedge between Eurasian powers has been an axiom of western geostrategy, as expressed eloquently by Brzezinski: “The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are:

  • to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals,
  • to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and
  • to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

In this regard, raising tensions with Beijing and Tehran, while the west is involved in a proxy war with Russia, appears contradictory.

However it starts to make more rational sense when contextualizing the strategy as one aiming to establish an “Iron Curtain” that separates the world into two: one is the western Realm, and the other is Brzezinski’s ‘Barbaria,’ at the core of which are the RIC.

Two worlds

The western realm will continue on its path of neoliberalism. Yet due to significantly smaller populations and resources under its control, it will be significantly impoverished compared to present, necessitating imposition of police states for which Covid-19 lockdowns provide a glimpse into the socio-political future of these states.

Global South countries under the western realm will continue down a path of increased poverty, requiring management by dictatorial governments. Political turbulence is expected as a result of deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.

‘Barbaria,’ as reflected in the very diverse political and economic models of the RIC, will have a variety of development models, reflecting the civilizational diversity within this realm and the mutually beneficial cooperation which currently exists between the RICs, and between the RIC and others.

What about the Global South?

Facing the perfect storm of food, energy, inflation and debt servicing crises, many Global South countries will be in a very weak position and may be readily coerced into joining the western realm. This will be facilitated by the fact that their economic, and consequently, political elites, have their interests aligned with the western financial construct – and will thus wholeheartedly embrace joining the west.

The inability of west to provide effective solutions to these crises, coupled with their colonial past, will make joining Barbaria more attractive. This can be further influenced by the RIC providing support during this crisis period.

Russia has already offered to assist in the provision of food to Afghanistan and African countries, while Iran notably provided gasoline to Venezuela during its fuel crisis. Meanwhile, China has a successful track record of infrastructure development in Global South countries and is spearheading the world’s most ambitious connectivity project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As Russian economist and Minister of Integration for the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) Sergey Glazyev already hinted when describing the emerging alternative global financial network: “Countries of the Global South can be full participants of the new system regardless of their accumulated debts in dollars, euro, pound, and yen. Even if they were to default on their obligations in those currencies, this would have no bearing on their credit rating in the new financial system.”

How many Global South nations can the western realm realistically expect to hold onto when Barbaria offers a clean slate, with zero debt?

Where does this leave West Asia?

The Axis of Resistance will be further aligned with Barbaria; however, political elites in Iraq and Lebanon favor the western realm. Thus, a politically turbulent period is expected in such countries. Due to the inability of west to offer economic solutions, coupled with the clout of local Resistance parties in these countries, the end game for Iraq and Lebanon is ultimately to join Barbaria, along with the de-facto government of Yemen.

Oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf are creations of the west and therefore belong in the western realm. However due to events of the past two decades, this may not necessarily be where they all line up.  The west’s debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have convinced the sheikhdoms that the west has lost its military edge, and is no longer able to offer long term protection.

Furthermore, unlike the west, Barbaria has a track record of not directly meddling in the internal affairs of nations, a factor of significance for the sheikhdoms. Recent diplomatic tensions with the west have been evidenced by Saudi and UAE leaders rejecting the oil production demands of the US administration – an unprecedented development. If offered convincing protection by Barbaria, oil sheikhdoms may decide to join it.

End of an Era

Retrenchment of the west marks the end of a long era of western expansionism and oppression. Some date this era back six centuries to the start of European colonization in the fifteenth century. Others date it even further back to the Great Schism and the subsequent Crusades.

The latter are supported by a statement attributed to British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby on entering Jerusalem in 1917:  “only now have the crusades ended,” and the fact that church bells chimed worldwide in celebration of the occupation of Jerusalem.

During this era, hundreds of millions all over the globe were massacred, civilizations were wiped out, billions suffered and still suffer. To state that we are living in epochal times is a gross understatement.

Naturally the end of such an era cannot happen peacefully; the wars of the past 30 years are witness to this.

The regression of western initiated wars from direct military intervention (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq) to wars by proxy (Syria, Iraq, Ukraine) augurs well, as it reflects the realization by the west that it is no match militarily to the RIC. Had there been any lingering doubts, the war in Ukraine has put them to rest. Thus it can be concluded that the worst is over.

Internal instability in some Global South countries will exist in the near future; a consequence of the struggle between diverging interests of populations and neoliberal ruling elites. Decline and impoverishment of the west vs. the rise of RIC will favour the resolving these struggles in favour of the peoples and alignment with RIC.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

NATO vs Russia: what happens next

In Davos and beyond, NATO’s upbeat narrative plays like a broken record, while on the ground, Russia is stacking up wins that could sink the Atlantic order.

By Pepe Escobar

May 24 2022

Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war.

This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down.

Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees.

US risk agencies have downgraded Kiev to the dumpster of non-reimbursing-loan entities, so large American investment funds are ditching Ukraine, leaving the European Union (EU) and its member-states as the country’s only option.

Few of those countries, apart from Russophobic entities such as Poland, can justify to their own populations sending huge sums of direct aid to a failed state. So it will fall to the Brussels-based EU machine to do just enough to maintain Ukraine in an economic coma – independent from any input from member-states and institutions.

These EU ‘loans’ – mostly in the form of weapons shipments – can always be reimbursed by Kiev’s wheat exports. This is already happening on a small scale via the port of Constanta in Romania, where Ukrainian wheat arrives in barges over the Danube and is loaded into dozens of cargo ships everyday. Or, via convoys of trucks rolling with the weapons-for-wheat racket. However, Ukrainian wheat will keep feeding the wealthy west, not impoverished Ukrainians.

Moreover, expect NATO this summer to come up with another monster psyop to defend its divine (not legal) right to enter the Black Sea with warships to escort Ukrainian vessels transporting wheat. Pro-NATO media will spin it as the west being ‘saved’ from the global food crisis – which happens to be directly caused by serial, hysterical packages of western sanctions.

Poland goes for soft annexation

NATO is indeed massively ramping up its ‘support’ to Ukraine via the western border with Poland. That’s in synch with Washington’s two overarching targets: First, a ‘long war,’ insurgency-style, just like Afghanistan in the 1980s, with jihadis replaced by mercenaries and neo-Nazis.  Second, the sanctions instrumentalized to “weaken” Russia, militarily and economically.

Other targets remain unchanged, but are subordinate to the Top Two: make sure that the Democrats are re-elected in the mid-terms (that’s not going to happen); irrigate the industrial-military complex with funds that are recycled back as kickbacks (already happening); and keep the hegemony of the US dollar by all means (tricky: the multipolar world is getting its act together).

A key target being met with astonishing ease is the destruction of the German – and consequently the EU’s – economy, with a great deal of the surviving companies to be eventually sold off to American interests.

Take, for instance, BMW board member Milan Nedeljkovic telling Reuters that “our industry accounts for about 37 percent of natural gas consumption in Germany” which will sink without Russian gas supplies.

Washington’s plan is to keep the new ‘long war’ going at a not-too-incandescent level – think Syria during the 2010s – fueled by rows of mercenaries, and featuring periodic NATO escalations by anyone from Poland and the Baltic midgets to Germany.

Last week, that pitiful Eurocrat posing as High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, gave away the game when previewing the upcoming meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Borrell admitted that “the conflict will be long” and “the priority of the EU member states” in Ukraine “consists in the supply of heavy weapons.”

Then Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Zelensky in Kiev. The slew of agreements the two signed indicate that Warsaw intends to profit handsomely from the war to enhance its politico-military, economic, and cultural influence in western Ukraine. Polish nationals will be allowed to be elected to Ukrainian government bodies and even aim to become constitutional judges.

In practice, that means Kiev is all but transferring management of the Ukrainian failed state to Poland. Warsaw won’t even have to send troops. Call it a soft annexation.

The steamroller on the move

As it stands, the situation on the battlefield can be examined in this map. Intercepted communications from the Ukrainian command reveal their aim to build a layered defense from Poltava through Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhia, Krivoy Rog, and Nikolaev – which happens to be a shield for the already fortified Odessa. None of that guarantees success against the incoming Russian onslaught.

It’s always important to remember that Operation Z started on February 24 with around 150,000 or so fighters – and definitely not Russia’s elite forces. And yet they liberated Mariupol and destroyed the elite neo-Nazi Azov batallion in a matter of only fifty days, cleaning up a city of 400,000 people with minimal casualties.

While fighting a real war on the ground – not those indiscriminate US bombings from the air – in a huge country against a large army, facing multiple technical, financial and logistical challenges, the Russians also managed to liberate Kherson, Zaporizhia and virtually the whole area of the ‘baby twins,’ the popular republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russia’s ground forces commander, General Aleksandr Dvornikov, has turbo-charged missile, artillery and air strikes to a pace five times faster than during the first phase of Operation Z, while the Ukrainians, overall, are low or very low on fuel, ammo for artillery, trained specialists, drones, and radars.

What American armchair and TV generals simply cannot comprehend is that in Russia’s view of this war – which military expert Andrei Martyanov defines as a “combined arms and police operation” – the two top targets are the destruction of all military assets of the enemy while preserving the life of its own soldiers.

So while losing tanks is not a big deal for Moscow, losing lives is. And that accounts for those massive Russian bombings; each military target must be conclusively destroyed. Precision strikes are crucial.

There is a raging debate among Russian military experts on why the Ministry of Defense does not go for a fast strategic victory. They could have reduced Ukraine to rubble – American style – in no time. That’s not going to happen. The Russians prefer to advance slowly and surely, in a sort of steamroller pattern. They only advance after sappers have fully surveilled the terrain; after all there are mines everywhere.

The overall pattern is unmistakable, whatever the NATO spin barrage. Ukrainian losses are becoming exponential – as many as 1,500 killed or wounded each day, everyday. If there are 50,000 Ukrainians in the several Donbass cauldrons, they will be gone by the end of June.

Ukraine must have lost as many as 20,000 soldiers in and around Mariupol alone. That’s a massive military defeat, largely surpassing Debaltsevo in 2015 and previously Ilovaisk in 2014. The losses near Izyum may be even higher than in Mariupol. And now come the losses in the Severodonetsk corner.

We’re talking here about the best Ukrainian forces. It doesn’t even matter that only 70 percent of Western weapons sent by NATO ever make it to the battlefield: the major problem is that the best soldiers are going…going…gone, and won’t be replaced. Azov neo-Nazis, the 24th Brigade, the 36th Brigade, various Air Assault brigades – they all suffered losses of 60+ percent or have been completely demolished.

So the key question, as several Russian military experts have stressed, is not when Kiev will ‘lose’ as a point of no return; it is how many soldiers Moscow is prepared to lose to get to this point.

The entire Ukrainian defense is based on artillery. So the key battles ahead involve long-range artillery. There will be problems, because the US is about to deliver M270 MLRS systems with precision-guided ammunition, capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 70 kilometers or more.

Russia, though, has a counterpunch: the Hermes Small Operational-Tactical Complex, using high precision munitions, possibility of laser guidance, and a range of more than 100 kilometers. And they can work in conjunction with the already mass-produced Pantsir air defense systems.

The sinking ship

Ukraine, within its current borders, is already a thing of the past. Georgy Muradov, permanent representative of Crimea to the President of Russia and Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government, is adamant: “Ukraine in the form in which it was, I think, will no longer remain. This is already the former Ukraine.”

The Sea of ​​Azov has now become a “sea of ​​joint use” by Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), as confirmed by Muradov.

Mariupol will be restored. Russia has had plenty of experience in this business in both Grozny and Crimea. The Russia-Crimea land corridor is on. Four hospitals among five in Mariupol have already reopened and public transportation is back, as well as three gas stations.

The imminent loss of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk will ring serious alarm bells in Washington and Brussels, because that will represent the beginning of the end of the current regime in Kiev. And that, for all practical purposes – and beyond all the lofty rhetoric of “the west stands with you” – means heavy players won’t be exactly encouraged to bet on a sinking ship.

On the sanctions front, Moscow knows exactly what to expect, as detailed by Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov: “Russia proceeds from the fact that sanctions against it are a rather long-term trend, and from the fact that the pivot to Asia, the acceleration of reorientation to eastern markets, to Asian markets is a strategic direction for Russia. We will make every effort to integrate into value chains precisely together with Asian countries, together with Arab countries, together with South America.”

On efforts to “intimidate Russia,” players would be wise to listen to the hypersonic sound of 50 Sarmat state-of-the-art missiles ready for combat this autumn, as explained by Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin.

This week’s meetings in Davos brings to light another alignment forming in the world’s overarching unipolar vs. multipolar battle. Russia, the baby twins, Chechnya and allies such as Belarus are now pitted against ‘Davos leaders’ – in other words, the combined western elite, with a few exceptions like Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Zelensky will be fine. He’s protected by British and American special forces. The family is reportedly living in an $8 million mansion in Israel. He owns a $34 million villa in Miami Beach, and another in Tuscany. Average Ukrainians were lied to, robbed, and in many cases, murdered, by the Kiev gang he presides over – oligarchs, security service (SBU) fanatics, neo-Nazis. And those Ukrainians that remain (10 million have already fled) will continue to be treated as expendable.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir “the new Hitler” Putin is in absolutely no hurry to end this larger than life drama that is ruining and rotting the already decaying west to its core. Why should he? He tried everything, since 2007, on the “why can’t we get along” front. Putin was totally rejected. So now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the Decline of the West.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

دبلوماسي أميركي سابق: كذبنا على الأوكرانيين

 الإثنين 23 أيار 2022

البناء

أقر السفير الأميركي السابق لدى موسكو مايكل ماكفول، أمس، بأنّ الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين الذين وعدوا كييف بالانضمام إلى حلف “الناتو” على مدى السنوات الماضية “كانوا يكذبون عليها».

ورداً على سؤال حول كذب واشنطن على المسؤولين في كييف بشأن آفاق انضمام أوكرانيا إلى حلف “الناتو”، أجاب ماكفول: “نعم، نعم، هذا هو العالم الواقعي».

في المقابل، علقت المتحدثة الرسمية باسم وزارة الخارجية الروسية ماريا زاخاروفا على تصريحات السفير الأميركي بالقول: “كما تقول الحكاية الشعبية “على خطى فرقة بريمن”.. وهنا سقط البنطال الأنيق عن الحمار ورأى الجميع ذيله العادي”.

يذكر أنّ الرئيس الأوكراني، فلاديمير زيلنسكي، قال في آذار/مارس الماضي، بأنّ على «أوكرانيا التصالح مع فكرة مفادها أنها لن تكون جزءاً من حلف شمال الأطلسي».

وأضاف زيلنسكي: «لقد سمعنا طوال أعوام، بشأن الأبواب المفتوحة المفترضة، لكننا سمعنا أيضاً أنه لا يمكننا الانضمام إليه. هذا صحيح، ونحن في حاجة إلى الاعتراف بذلك».

وفي سياق متصل، رأت عضو الكونغرس السابقة تولسي غابارد أن عدم وجود أهداف أميركية واضحة في أوكرانيا قد يؤدي إلى تكرار السيناريو الذي واجهته بلادها في العراق أو أفغانستان.

وأوضحت غابارد، في تصريح لقناة “فوكس نيوز”، أن “إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن فشلت في تحديد المهام في هذا الصراع”، مشيرة إلى أنه “يمكننا أن ننظر إلى أفغانستان والعراق، وهو مثال حديث جداً لما يحدث عندما لا تكون لديك مهمة محددة”.

وتابعت غابارد أن «المواطنين الأميركيين قد شعروا بالفعل بآثار العقوبات، المتمثلة في ارتفاع أسعار السلع الأساسية»، في إشارة إلى العقوبات الغربية، التي قادتها الولايات المتحدة ضد موسكو.

ولفتت إلى أنّ “الشعب الأميركي له الحق في معرفة كم تكلفه أوكرانيا، وما الذي سيحصل عليه نتيجة اهتمام واشنطن بدول ما بعد الاتحاد السوفياتي”.

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واشنطن تسابق الوقت مع زوال أسباب القوة

الخميس 3 شباط 2022

 ناصر قنديل
المصدر البناء

يقدم الخبراء الماليون في وكالة بلومبرغ المتخصصة بالشؤون المالية، في دراسة حول العملات الرقمية، صورة للوضع في الأسواق المالية للأعوام التي تفصلنا عن عام 2030 قوامه، المزيد من الذوبان لكتلة الاعتماد على الدولار في المدخرات لحساب العملات الرقمية التي يتزايد اللجوء إليها، وفقاً لما تفرضه الاقتصادات الافتراضية التي تتوسع بصورة متوالية هندسية، ولا مصلحة أميركية بالحدّ منها منعا للتضخم لأنها تستوعب الفوائض النقدية من الأسواق، ولا قدرة على الحد منها لأنها فعل سوق صرف ولا تعبر بالمصارف المركزية بل لا تعبر عموماً بالمصارف التجارية ولها منصاتها الخاصة غير الخاضعة للرقابة وغير الممكن إخضاعها للرقابة، ويعتقد خبراء بلومبرغ أن ذلك سيتزامن مع نزوح شركات عالمية كبرى الى العملات الرقمية بحثاً عن ملاقاة روح العصر الرقمي، من جهة، وسيفعل ذلك بعض آخر تهرباً من الملاحقات القانونية من جهة مقابلة، فكل الأسواق المالية التي تشوبها مشاكل قانونية وتحتاج إلى درجات من التوثيق والتدقيق، سواء في التجارات غير المشروعة أو في المشتبه بتورطها بنوع من أنواع غسيل الأموال، ستنزح الى الملاذ الآمن للعملة الرقمية. ومع هذه وتلك ستبدأ الدول التي تراكم فوائض مالية بحجز البعض من احتياطاتها بالعملات الرقمية من باب تعدد أنواع العملة كعنصر للأمان، ويعتقد الخبراء أن مجموع هذه المصادر سيعني تراجعاً في الاعتماد على الدولار بنسبة لا تقلّ عن 30%.

بالتوازي يتحدث خبراء المصرف الفيدرالي الأميركي، في دراسة عن مخاطر الصعود الصيني وتحدياته، عن تراجع بنسبة مشابهة بين 25 و30% في الاعتماد العالمي على الدولار، بسبب الإفراط الأميركي في استخدام سياسة العقوبات، من جهة، وصعود الاقتصاد الصيني من جهة مقابلة، وسعي الصين لتشكيل تكتل مصرفي ومالي مع روسيا ودول عديدة تتذمر من السطوة الأميركية على الأسواق. ويعتقد هؤلاء الخبراء ان على واشنطن أن تسارع الخطى للتهيؤ للمرحلة الجديدة بالسعي لتنشيط اقتصاد حقيقي يستطيع منع التأثير التضخمي لتراجع الطلب العالمي على الدولار، ويشبه هؤلاء الخبراء وضع الدولار اليوم بوضع الذهب قبل نصف قرن، عندما بدأ الانتقال العالمي من الذهب الى الدولار، والعالم بقوة العولمة التي قادتها واشنطن يدخل العصر الرقمي، الذي تشكل العملات الرقمية أحد مخرجاته، وهذا مسار لا يمكن وقفه، وهو من ارتدادات وتداعيات التطور الذي نادت به أميركا وقادته على مستوى العالم، في إدراك أن سقوط المركزية سيدخل كل مجال بما في ذلك المجالات التي توفر وضعية التفوق للأميركيين، هو العبرة التي يجب أخذها، ليس في مجال العملة فقط، بل في مجالات عديدة، والتيقن من أن أميركا التي كان لها الفضل في قيادة هذا المسار الجديد عالمياً جاء وقتها لتدفع ثمنه، والاستعداد لتقبل نهاية عهدها الذهبي، والتساؤل عما إذا كانت قد احسنت استخدامه تهيؤا لمراحل اشد قسوة وصعوبة.

في المجال العسكري يتحدث الخبراء العسكريون الأميركيون، في ورش عمل أقيمت خصيصاً تحت عنوان خطر الطائرات المسيرة تحدي القرن الحادي والعشرين، عن تراجع قدرة التدخل العسكري الأميركي بسبب عدم القدرة على الدخول في منافسة الخصوم على تحمل بذل الدماء، وهو ما يفسر به هؤلاء الخبراء خسارة واشنطن لحربيها على العراق وأفغانستان. وهذا التطور من نتاجات العولمة وعوالم الثقافة والقيم التي رافقتها، ومثله دخول الخصخصة على الخدمات العسكرية والأكلاف الهائلة التي باتت تترتب على أي عمل عسكري. وهو أمر يجب أخذه بالحساب عند تقدير الأعباء والعائدات، فأحد أسباب الانسحاب من أفغانستان كان كلفة الحرب يومياً بما يزيد عن ثلاثمئة مليون دولار، بينما كلفة الخصوم لا تقارب نصف هذا الرقم في الشهر، ويتوقف الخبراء أمام عولمة التقنيات وتطور الميكرو تكنولوجيا، وتداخل استخدامات الأنترنت مع الأنشطة العسكرية، ويضربون مثالاً على دور الطائرات المسيرة في إرباك كل الخطط الأميركية العسكرية التي يتولى تنفيذها حلفاء واشنطن سواء في دول الخليج او في “إسرائيل”، ويقولون إن منتجات عابرة للقارات بأحجام لا يلتقطها الرادار المتطور، تحمل المتفجرات، تمثلها الطائرات المسيرة بكلفة لا تزيد عن بضعة آلاف الدولارات للطائرة الواحدة، تشكل سلاح الحرب المقبلة ومواجهة الطائرة التي تكلف بضعة آلاف من الدولارات ستحتاج الى ما يزيد عن عشرة ملايين دولار لضمان اسقاط كل طائرة في الأجواء، وفي حرب قد تتعرّض لها “إسرائيل”، يتوقع خلالها اشتراك مئة الف طائرة من هذا النوع، سيكون ممكناً إسقاط نصفها اذا تم رصد مبلغ تريليون دولار، لكن النصف الباقي سيصل الى أهدافه ويخلّف وراءه الدمار الشامل في المؤسسات والمرافق الحيوية.

الخبراء الاستراتيجيون الأميركيون متفقون على التشخيص والتقييم لعناصر المشهد ومنقسمون بين من يقول ان الفترة الفاصلة عن عام 2030 هي آخر فرصة لأميركا لخوض آخر حروبها والاستثمار على أشد واقسى العقوبات المالية والمصرفية، لفرض أفضل التسويات، وبين من يقول إن الوقت ينفد من بين أيدي واشنطن وإن الاستعداد لملاقاة مرحلة ما بعد القدرة على خوض الحروب والتحكم بالأسواق، يحتاج إلى أكثر من الوقت المتبقي حتى عام 2030، ولذلك يجب البدء الآن والبداية هي المسارعة للخروج من زمن الحروب والعقوبات بأفضل ما هو متاح اليوم، لأن ما هو ممكن اليوم قد يصبح مستحيلاً غداً.

Tuesday morning headlines (a little change of tone or not?)

January 25, 2022

A few more links here, and amongst the many similar to yesterday’s, I decided to single out some possibly different ones:

NATO member will withdraw troops in event of war with Russia – president

Russia may not be poised to invade Ukraine – Pentagon

Germany has ‘betrayed’ Ukraine – Kiev mayor

No threat of immediate Russian attack on Ukraine – EU

Oleksiy Danilov informed about the results of the NSDC meeting

Zelensky to Ukrainians: Everything under control, no reason to panic

Ukraine urges calm, saying Russian invasion not imminent

Of course, this selection is very one-sided, there are many more headlines every bit as bad the ones yesterday, so let’s not make too much of this.

Also, please remember that in 08.08.08 Saakashvili made a speech promising peace to South Ossetia just HOURS before the Georgian forces attacked!

But what this does show, is that there is a “narrative chaos“.

Actually, this is just the tip of a much bigger iceberg.  The fact is that Russia’s ultimatum has created chaos in the so-called “united West” pitting some part of the deep state elites against others.  That, by itself, is already a very good outcome.

Another good outcome is the laughable idea to send a few thousands US troops to “defend Europe” within five days.  Why is is laughable:

  • a few thousand troops make no difference
  • bringing them to the EU is not enough, you then have to prepare them and deploy them for combat; that would take much longer.
  • If a Ukie attack is limited to the LDNR, it will take about 24 hours to stop it.  It would take Russia less than a week to destroy the Ukie military.  By the time the first US jarheads land in Germany or Poland, it will all be over.
  • Finally, what does adding several thousands solider from a military which has never fought in defense of its homeland and never won a war since WWII do to “deter Russia” anyway?

Next, I strictly personal opinion about Russian forces in Cuba/Nicarague/Venezuela/etc.

As Andrei Martyanov recently commented, western military moves are all about PR.  Russian military moves are all about war.  From a PR prospective, deploying Russian missiles in Cuba or Venezuela might look like a good idea, but from a military point of view?

Does anybody remember that the USSR had several brigades defending the Soviet missiles in Cuba?  Why, because Cuba is as close to the USA as Estonia is to Russia, and that means that deploying forces right across the US border puts that force at a huge risk of US preemptive attack.

Next, while Cuba is the most stable of them all, it is a fact that thanks to decades of subversion, attacks, sabotage, coup attempts and the like, countries like Nicaragua or Venezuela are inherently unstable (again, by no fault of their own).  Placing weapons like, say, the Iskander complexes there would not only expose them to attack, but even possibly to capture.  Some will say that Russia can send forces there to defend them.  In theory – yes.  But in practice?

Such a deployment would be both risky and very very expensive.  Also, what if the US decides not to invade Cuba/Venezuela/Nicaragua but to blockade it.  Does the Russian military have the means to breach a blockade many thousands of miles away from Russia?  Nope, she does not.  Neither her Navy nor her Aerospace forces have the means to engage in a struggle for naval/air superiority against the USA in the Caribbean.

It would be much safer, quicker and cheaper to use her submarines and long range aviation to threaten both US coasts, the one in the Atlantic and the one in the Pacific with cruise and ballistic missiles, including hypersonic ones.  I won’t even mention the Poseidon underwater drones which could completely wipe out both US coasts.

Interestingly, the RAND corporation is posting articles which strongly suggest that the US and the West are deluding themselves about how war between Banderastan and Russia would look.  Check these out:

U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine: A Silver Bullet?

Ukraine Needs Help Surviving Airstrikes, Not Just Killing Tanks

Okay, RAND is RAND, so they will never challenge the official narrative about Russia as the evil aggressor, but this shows, yet again, that there is some very serious disagreements inside the US ruling elites.

I will conclude today with 4 photos under the heading “one image is worth 1000 words”:

This is the Russian minister of defense:

These are Russian soliders

This is the Ukie minister of defense:

This is, according the The Times, the soldiers civilians which will deter/defeat the Russians

Reach your own conclusions 🙂

Andrei

PS: if you understand Russian, here is some good info on the woman created above.

الزيارة المؤامرة… ١٧ أيّار جديد!

الثلاثاء 25 كانون ثاني 2022

محمد صادق الحسينيّ

 أكثر من مؤشر في الإقليم يشي بأنّ واشنطن لم تتعلم دروس انكساراتها على أكثر من صعيد وأكثر من ساحة في إقليمنا العربي والإسلامي ولا تزال تأمل زعزعة الاستقرار في أقطارنا من خلال إشاعة منظومة الفتن والحروب الداخلية المتنقلة وتستثمر المجموعات الإرهابيّة لهذا الغرض، كما تمنع تعافي أقطارنا وتدفع مكوناتها الاجتماعية إلى التقاتل في ما بينها او تعطل الحياة السياسية العامة فيها.

وآخر مثال حيّ على هذه السياسة دفع الحريري الابن للخروج هو وتياره السياسي بأمر همايوني أميركي ـ سعودي من الانتخابات والحياة السياسية اللبنانية!

 من جانب آخر، وعلى الرغم من مواصلة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية محاولاتها لإجراء اتصالات سريّة، مع بعض أطراف حلف المقاومة، بعيداً عن المفاوضات النووية الجارية في فيينا، إلا انّ واشنطن تواصل أيضاً عداءها لهذا الحلف وتستمرّ في تصعيد العدوان، بشكل غير مسبوق، على بعض أطرافه مثل اليمن، والتآمر وتوجيه التهديدات لأطراف أخرى لهذا الحلف، سواءٌ في إيران او العراق او سورية او فلسطين او لبنان.

لذلك لا بدّ من الربط، بين حلقات المؤامرة الأميركية الصهيونية السعودية الخليجية، ليس فقط ضدّ حلف المقاومة وانما ضد الأمتين العربية والإسلامية. فما قيام الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بإصدار الأوامر الى آل سعود وآل نهيان…

أ ـ بتصعيد القصف الجوي الإجرامي الوحشي على الشعب اليمني الأعزل المسالم، في محاولة لكسر معنويات هذا الشعب وثنيه عن الصمود ومواصلة معركة تحرير اليمن، من الاحتلال السعودي الإماراتي «الإسرائيلي» (جزيرة ميون وجزيرة سوقطرى).

ب ـ ومسرحية هجوم عناصر من فلول داعش على سجن تديره الوحدات العسكرية الكردية، العميلة لواشنطن وتل أبيب، وتهريب مئات من عناصر داعش، بغطاء جويّ أميركي، وبغضّ النظر عما يجري في محيط منطقة السجن من تبادل (مسرحيّ) لإطلاق النار.

ج ـ وقيام القوات الأميركية، المنتشرة في منطقة الحسكة السورية المحتلة، حيث يوجد السجن، او بالأحرى معسكر الاحتياط لعناصر داعش، نقول قيام القوات الأميركية المنتشرة هناك بإخلاء «الهاربين» من السجن ونقلهم جواً، بواسطة مروحيّات الجيش الأميركي، الى قضاء سنجار وقضاء البعاج في العراق، تمهيداً لقيامهم بسلسلة هجمات إجرامية، ضد المدنيين وضد القوات المسلحة العراقية، في قاطع سنجار / تلعفر، وقاطع البعاج / الشرقاط.

د ـ أو إصدار الأوامر، لوزير خارجية الكويت، من واشنطن وتل أبيب، بعد التحشيد المتواصل، ضدّ حلف المقاومة بشكل عام، وحزب الله بشكل خاص، بحمل قنبلة تفجير لبنان من الداخل وليس مبادرة «لحلّ الخلافات» مع لبنان، كما زعموا.

وبعيداً عن التنميقات الدبلوماسية والأغلفة المزيفة، التي يتمّ من خلالها توصيف أهداف زيارة هذا الوزير الى لبنان، وبالعودة الى ما صرّح به هو نفسه، في مؤتمر صحافي في العاصمة اللبنانية، بيروت، عندما قال إنه يحمل «مبادرة لحلّ الخلافات مع لبنان» بتكليف من دول الخليج مجتمعة ومن الجامعة العربية والولايات المتحدة وفرنسا، نقول إنه بعيداً عن ذلك فإنّ أهداف الزيارة مختلفةً تماماً عما هو معلن. والتي يمكن تلخيص أهمّها في النقاط التالية:

أولاً: الضغط على الحكومة اللبنانية لإعادة فتح موضوع سلاح حزب الله، وذلك من خلال العودة الى قرار مجلس الامن رقم ١٥٥٩، الصادر بتاريخ ٢/٨/٢٠٠٤، والذي يدعو في فقرته الثالثة، الى تفكيك جميع الميليشيات، اللبنانية وغير اللبنانية وتجريدها من السلاح.

وهذا هو الطلب الأول، الذي تقدّم به هذا الوزير الكويتي، الى كلّ من رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس الحكومة ورئيس مجلس النواب في لبنان.

وهنا يجب التذكير بأنّ مجزرة الطيونة، والتفجير الذي نفذه عملاء الموساد في مخيم البرج الشمالي قبل أسابيع، ما هي إلا حلقات في التحضير للوصول، عبر الازمة التي افتعلتها السعودية مع لبنان، الى إعادة طرح هذا الموضوع بقوة.

ثانياً: ولعلّ من الضروري، في هذا المقام، التذكير بالردّ اللبناني الرسمي، على قرار مجلس الأمن رقم ١٥٥٩، والذي نشر في حينه على الصفحة الرسمية للجيش اللبناني، وجاء في فقرته الثانية (باللغة الانجليزية) انّ المقاومة (في لبنان) ليست ميليشيا وهي قوة تدافع عن لبنان وحرّرت أجزاءً كبيرة من أرضه، وانّ الحفاظ عليها هو مصلحة استراتيجية لبنانية.

وتابعت رسالة الردّ اللبنانية قائلةً: اما بالنسبة للفلسطينيين في لبنان فهم يعيشون في مخيمات تديرها الأونروا، ويطوّقها الجيش اللبناني ولا يسمح بنقل الأسلحة الى خارجها، وهم يطالبون بحق العودة الى وطنهم، حسب قرار الأمم المتحدة رقم ١٩٤.

 ثالثاً: أما الطلب الثاني، الذي قدّمه هذا الوزير، للجهات اللبنانية المعنية، فقد كان أقرب الى التهديد منه الى الطلب. اذ انه أبلغ المعنيين بانّ استخراج النفط والغاز اللبناني، من المياه الإقليمية اللبنانية، مرتبط بتنفيذ طلب «معالجة» موضوع سلاح حزب الله.

رابعاً: إنّ الموافقة على إعادة إعمار ميناء بيروت مرتبطة بشرط «معالجة» موضوع سلاح حزب الله، بالإضافة الى شرط تلزيم الميناء لشركة «دولية» يتمّ إنشاؤها لهذا الغرض.

وهذا يعني انّ عمليات إعادة الإعمار، ومن ثم إدارة الميناء سوف تسلم لشركة ستضمّ، الى جانب الشركات الأميركية والفرنسية، شركة موانئ دبي وشركة ZIM «الإسرائيلية» للنقل البحري، ومقرها حيفا والتي تأسست سنة ١٩٤٥.

خامساً: لكن ما يغيب عن بال هذا الوزير هو انّ سلاح حزب الله ليس سلعة للتبادل التجاري او لعقد الصفقات، بل إنّ هذا السلاح، هو جزء من السلاح الاستراتيجي لحلف المقاومة برمّته، كما انّ هذا السلاح قد انتصر على الجيش «الإسرائيلي» مرتين في لبنان، ويردع هذا الجيش عن الاعتداء على لبنان، وهو بالتالي ذخر استراتيجي لبناني. وهو ما ورد في الردّ الذي أشرنا اليه أعلاه.

من هنا فإن لا أحد في لبنان يستطيع، او لديه الاستعداد، للتحدث في هذا الموضوع، بعد أن عجزت واشنطن وتل ابيب عن تحقيق هذه الأهداف. بالإضافة الى انّ سلاح حزب الله لم يعد شأناً لبنانياً خالصاً وإنما هو شأن اقليمي ودولي، بعد أن أصبح حزب الله قوة اقليمية فاعلةً، على كلّ الاصعدة. وخاصةً على صعيد الوقوف في وجه مشاريع توطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (والسوريين ايضاً) في لبنان، وتهديد وجود الدولة اللبنانية، من خلال إنهاء خصوصيتها وإخضاعها للهيمنة الصهيو ـ أميركية الكاملة.

سادساً: ولكل هذه الأسباب نقول لهذا الوزير إنّ بضاعته المعروضة على لبنان فاسدةً ولن تجد من يشتريها، وان ظروف اتفاقية ١٧ أيار اللبنانية الاسرائيلية قد ولّت الى غير رجعة.

ولبنان «الإسرائيلي» في العام ١٩٨٣ لن يعود إلا اذا تحقق حلم ابليس في الجنة!

ولبنان ٢٠٢٢ قوة عظمى لن يتنازل عنه أهله الشرفاء بالتأكيد.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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The Myth of Apolitical China: Why the West Refuses to Accept China’s Superpower Status

It behooves us all to abandon the notion that China is only interested in business and nothing else.

December 23, 2021

BY RAMZY BAROUD


A
n article by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times last July is a prime example of western intelligentsia’s limited understanding of China’s unhindered rise as a superpower. “Becoming a superpower is a complicated business. It poses a series of connected questions about capabilities, intentions and will,” Rachman wrote.

To help us understand what this claim precisely means, the FT writer uses an analogy. “To use a sporting analogy, you can be an extremely gifted tennis player and genuinely want to be world champion, but still be unwilling to make the sacrifices to turn the dream into reality.”

At least, in Rachman’s thinking, China is capable of being a political actor, though it remains incapable of vying for the superpower status, as it supposedly lacks ‘the will’ to make the required ‘sacrifices’.

Although I visited Beijing only once, a few years ago, I, or even any casual visitor to the Chinese capital, could attest to the powerful collective economic engine that fuels not only China but much of the world economy. While Chinese officials do not outright profess that their ultimate aim is to make their country a superpower – for, frankly, rarely are superpowers aware of the mechanisms that lead to such status – the Chinese leadership fully fathoms the nature of the challenge at hand.

Read: Taiwan amidst the Emerging China – US Cold War

Take Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech in October 2019, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. “Over the past 70 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people, with great courage and relentless exploration, have successfully opened the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Along this path, we have ushered in a new era,” he said. Note Xi’s constant references to ideology, nationalism, forward-thinking and insistence on China’s central position in this ‘new era’. Xi was elevated to the status of Mao Zedong – as a ‘core leader’ in 2019 and ‘helmsman’ in 2021 – precisely due to his role in transitioning China in terms of power, politics and global prestige.

The sooner we acknowledge that China is an influential political entity that operates according to a clear and decisive political strategy, the more meaningful our understanding of the geopolitical transformation in Asia, and the rest of the world, will be.

Indeed, the sooner we acknowledge that China is an influential political entity that operates according to a clear and decisive political strategy, the more meaningful our understanding of the geopolitical transformation in Asia, and the rest of the world, will be.

Since the rise of Britain as a colonial power, thus the advent of a new world order, determined almost exclusively by western powers, the global center of power, starting in the 18th century, had shifted away from Asia and the Middle East.

Later on, starting in the mid-twentieth century, the main competition that colonial western powers had been forced to contend with came from the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact, and their international allies, mainly Europe’s former colonies in the Southern hemisphere.

Read: The Gang’s All Here: New Western Imperialism in the South China Sea

The collapse of the Soviet Union, starting in 1989, ushered in the return of western control, this time led by the United States as the world’s only hegemon and neocolonial master.

It quickly became obvious, however, that the post-Soviet global paradigm was unsustainable, as Europe’s economic influence was rapidly shrinking and Washington’s desperate attempt at policing the world was failing due, in part, to its own miscalculations but also to the stiff resistance it faced in its new colonial domains, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC) participate in a protest in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, December 11, 2021. Members of the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC) are holding a protest in opposition to the AUKUS military agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, the development of nuclear submarines and war on China. Photo by Steven Saphore. Anadolu Images.

The cost of war, aside from its incalculable massive destruction and human toll – according to a very modest estimate, almost one million people were killed in U.S. military adventures since 2001 – has also come at a great cost to the already weakening U.S. economy. Brown University’s Costs of War Project, published in September 2021, has calculated that the U.S. has spent up to $5.8 trillion in its failed military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. The same report has also estimated that an additional $2.2 trillion will be spent over the next 20 years in health care and disability coverage for veterans.

The U.S. involvement in long wars with undefined objectives opened up unprecedented geopolitical spaces that Washington and its western allies have dominated over the course of decades. For example, the U.S. had near-total geopolitical control over much of South America starting with the introduction of the Monroe Doctrine, in 1823. The same assertion can be made about Africa which, despite the formal end of colonialism in the long-exploited continent, continued to revolve around the same western colonial powers of yesteryears. However, a noticeable shift in the West’s geostrategic influence in these regions began taking place in the last three decades.

Russia has speedily offered itself as a military and strategic ally and alternative to the U.S. in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

While the West was fighting essentially futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the intentionally ill-defined ‘war on terror’, regional and international political actors moved in to fill the gaps created by American and western absence from their various regions of influence. Russia has speedily offered itself as a military and strategic ally and alternative to the U.S. in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South America – in Syria, Libya and Venezuela respectively – as China moved in to fulfill a much larger economic role, branding itself as a fair partner, especially if compared to western powers.

It was not until the gradual U.S. retreat from Iraq in 2011 that Washington announced its ‘Pivot to Asia’, a new military and political stratagem aimed at offsetting the Chinese influence in the Asian Pacific region. Much of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s first term in office was dedicated to America’s political strategic realignments in the Asia Pacific.

Read: Jens Stoltenberg on the Rise of China: Is NATO Pivoting to the Indo-Pacific?

“The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay,” Obama declared in a speech to the Australian parliament in November 2011. “As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority.”

However, the American geopolitical shift may have arrived belatedly. For one, the repercussions of America’s military undertakings in Central Asia and the Middle East – as time has clearly demonstrated – were far too severe and costly to be simply canceled out by a declaration of a new strategy. Two, China had, by then, built a complex network of alliances in Asia and around the world, allowing it to cement real bonds with many nations, especially those concerned or fed up with the West’s obsession with military superiority and interventions.

According to a report published in October by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, over the last twelve years, China has been Africa’s largest trading partner. “China has created 25 economic and trade cooperation zones in 16 African countries,” the report reads, “and has continued to invest heavily across the continent throughout the COVID19 pandemic,” according to a government report about Chinese–African economic and trade ties.

Read: Will AUKUS Be Able to Encircle China?

In contrast, according to data published by Statista Research Department in August 2021, “after a peak in 2014, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa from the United States dropped to 47.5 billion U.S. dollars (from 69.03) in 2020.”

Here is precisely where many analysts go wrong, arguing, as Rachman did, that “China’s economic weight, as the world’s largest trading power and manufacturer, gives it significant political leverage internationally. […] But Beijing’s economic power is not always politically decisive”.

This limited thinking is based on the assumption that, to be ‘political’ is to follow the same blueprint used by the U.S. and its western partners in their approach to foreign policy, diplomacy and occasional wars. China’s take on politics, however, has always been quite different. According to Beijing’s thinking, China does not need to invade countries to earn the designation of a political actor.

Instead, China is simply tapping into its own historical trajectory of utilizing economic influence in its quest for greatness, and arguably, empire. The fact that the Road and Belt Initiative – a long-term strategy aimed at connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks – is a modern interpretation of the Silk Road, which was a network of ancient trade routes which linked China to the Mediterranean region, is enough to tell us about the nature of the Chinese model.

Read: US-Indonesia Maritime Collaboration in the South China Sea: Harbinger of an Expanded Quad-Plus?

That in mind, China has also taken many steps that are unmistakably ‘political’ even from the selective definition of western intelligentsia. One of the many treaties that China has initiated, co-founded or joined is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which, as of September, included Iran as well. The Shanghai Pact is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance that was established in 2001 and has served to counterbalance western, U.S.-led transnational organizations.

China’s so-called ‘wolf diplomacy’ is one of Beijing’s most trusted tactics through which clear and repeated messages are sent to Washington and its allies, that the rising East Asian nation will not be kowtowed or intimidated.

Until the last decade, Beijing had resorted to economic cooperation as the most productive way of facilitating its arrival to the global stage as a potential or a fledgling superpower. However, one may argue that, not until Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’, Donald Trump’s trade war, and Joe Biden’s incessant threats to China over Taiwan, did Beijing begin accelerating the political dimension of its strategy.

China’s so-called ‘wolf diplomacy’ is one of Beijing’s most trusted tactics through which clear and repeated messages are sent to Washington and its allies, that the rising East Asian nation will not be kowtowed or intimidated. The “wolf warrior diplomacy” describes a more assertive and even confrontational style employed by Chinese diplomats to defend China’s national interests.

According to the common western understanding, China, or any other country for that matter, that dares operate outside the dictates of western agenda, is a threat or a potential threat. However, even when China’s economic fortunes were rising, following Deng Xiaoping’s successful economic reforms campaign in 1978, the country was not seen as a ‘threat’ per se, as Beijing’s economic rise fueled Asia and, by extension, the global economy, eventually even mitigating the Great Recession of 2008, which itself resulted from the collapse of U.S. and European markets. China only became a threat when it dared define its geopolitical objectives in the Asia Pacific region, starting in the South and East China Seas.


N
ot only is China very much a political actor but one would contend that presently, it is the most important political actor in the world, as it gradually but surely challenges American and western dominance on various fronts – military in Asia, economically and politically elsewhere. China’s influence can also be observed beyond Asia and Africa, in Europe itself, as even Washington’s own allies are openly divided in their approach to the brewing U.S.-China cold war and America’s insistence on repelling the encroaching Chinese danger.

“A situation to join all together against China, this is a scenario of the highest possible conflictuality. This one, for me, is counter-productive,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a discussion broadcast by Washington-based think tank, the Atlantic Council, in February.

It behooves us all to abandon the notion that China is only interested in business and nothing else. This stifling thinking regarding China helps perpetuate the notion that the U.S. has used its global dominance to achieve other noble objectives, for example, ‘restoring’ democracy and defending human rights. Not only are the degradation of China and the elevation of the U.S. essentially racist, but also entirely untrue.

(Romana Rubeo, an Italy-based journalist and editor, contributed to this article.)

The Tripartite World Order and the Hybrid World War

NOVEMBER 14, 2021

The Tripartite World Order and the Hybrid World War

by Dmitry Orlov, posted by permission of the author

General Mark Milley, America’s highest-ranking military officer, has recently gone public with a revelation of his: the world is no longer unilateral (with the US as the unquestioned world hegemon) or bilateral (as it was with the US and the SU symmetrically balancing each other out in an intimate tango of mutual assured destruction). It is now tripartite, with three major powers—the US, Russia and China—entering a “tripolar war.” That is the exact term he is reported to have used at the Aspen Security Forum on November 3, 2021.

This seems strange, since neither Russia nor China is eager to attack the US while the US is in no condition to attack either of them. The US has just got defeated in a two-decade conflict against a fourth-rate adversary (Afghanistan, that is) in the most humiliating way possible, abandoning $80 billion of war materiel and forsaking thousands of its faithful servants in a hasty withdrawal that amounted to a rout. It is about to suffer a similar fate in Syria and Iraq. Its navy just got humiliated in a minor skirmish with the Iranians over an oil tanker. Clearly, the US is in no shape to attack anyone.

So what could Milley possibly mean? He may not sound smart, but he is the most powerful man at the Pentagon. Of course, Milley-Vanilley could just be lip-sinking to some stupid music coming out of the White House (which is currently stocked with some choice imbeciles). This would make sense, since throughout his career Milley carefully avoided anything that smacked of actual military action and therefore carried within it the possibility of defeat, instead choosing to concentrate on such things as producing a report on the impact of climate change on the U.S. military.

Here is Milley captured during one of his prouder moments, standing next to Russia’s General Valery Gerasimov, who saw combat—and victory—as commander during the Second Chechen War. Gerasimov then authored Russia’s hybrid war doctrine (the Gerasimov Doctrine), which allows strategic and political objectives to be achieved through nonmilitary means but with military support and military-style secrecy, discipline, coordination and control. In comparison, our General Milley is something of a cardboard cutout general, with a string that makes his lower jaw move up and down leading to some place within the Washington swamp of political think tanks and defense industry lobbyists.

The Gerasimov Doctrine bears an uncanny resemblance to the Chinese doctrine of unlimited war, indicating that Russia and China have harmonized in their defensive strategies. These doctrines are designed to amplify China’s and Russia’s natural advantages while placing the US at a maximum disadvantage. It is not immediately clear whether Milley is capable of understanding such matters; quite the opposite, it is likely that his job security and career path critically depended on his inability to understand anything above his pay grade. Nevertheless, since he happens to be the mouthpiece for the whole ungodly mess, we need to at least try to take his words at face value and try to think of what his “tripolar war” could possibly mean.

The Russian hybrid war doctrine and the Chinese unlimited war doctrine both give an advantage to countries with strict, centralized control structures (China and Russia, that is) while severely disadvantaging the US, which has a diffuse and internally conflicted power elite split up between two parties and among lots of competing government agencies and private entities with lots of opportunities for both internal and external espionage, infiltration and media leaks.

Russia’s advantages are in advanced weapons against which the US has no countermeasures, such as hypersonic missiles and radio warfare systems, and in a huge and only partially explored resource base, of energy resources especially. China’s advantage is in a huge and highly disciplined workforce that produces a vast array of products which the US must continuously import to prevent its entire economy from shutting down because of supply chain disruptions. On the other hand, both China and Russia find themselves at a disadvantage in facing the large and well-oiled machine the US has developed for its habitual meddling in the affairs of other nations and the undermining of their natural sovereignty. An array of mechanisms, from cultural exports to ad campaigns associated with popular brands to social media initiatives designed to corrupt the minds of the young, exists in order to exert US influence on other nations.

The Chinese and the Russian responses to this threat are almost diametrically different: whereas China builds firewalls and uses strict social controls to contain the threat, Russia’s strategy is to allow the foreign infection to run wild and to let their nation’s innate immune system create antibodies against it and neutralize it. Russia draws its red lines at outright bought-and-paid-for enemy propaganda, inciting armed rebellion, advocacy of terrorism, propaganda of sexual perversion among children, etc. In this way, Russia can not just compensate for this disadvantage but turn it to its own advantage: while the West is becoming increasingly undemocratic and authoritarian with its endless political correctness, social biodiversity requirements and the pursuit of better living through non-reproductive mating, hormone therapy and genital mutilation, Russia remains a free land with a wholesomely conservative social outlook that is quite attractive to people all over the world and is becoming increasingly attractive to many people in the West as they become painfully aware of the wages of sin.

Why concentrate on hybrid/unlimited war instead of an outright nuclear or conventional military conflict between the US and China and/or Russia? That is because both conventional and nuclear military conflict between any of these three nations is an insane, suicidal choice, while those in charge of defining military strategy are specifically not selected for their suicidal tendencies. Neither Russia nor China is known for their wars of aggression, and while the US is extremely well known for its homicidal, violent tendencies (having carried out 32 bombing campaigns on 24 countries since World War II), it is fundamentally a bully, only picking on weak countries that pose no threat. Based on publicly available information, both Russia and China are now quite far ahead of the US in weapons development, to a point where any possible direct US attack on either of them would be self-disarming at best and suicidal at worst.

In the best case scenario, the US launches an attack which is successfully repelled: bombers and rockets shot down, ships sunk, US military bases and port facilities destroyed, possibly US command and control centers also destroyed, as quite pointedly promised by Putin. The US then lays prostrate and at the mercy of its opponents. If its cooperation still leaves something to be desired, some combination of deplorables, despicables, imponderables and indecipherables will be organized just enough to make a bloody mess of what’s left of US government structures and power elites, which will then be replaced with an international peacekeeping force (as an optimistic case) or just left to persist in durable disorder, misery and international isolation.

The worst case scenario is the tired old mutual assured destruction, nuclear winter and end of life on Earth, but it is unlikely for a number of reasons. First, of the US nuclear deterrent triad only the submarine component remains viable, and even it is quite tired. None of the Minuteman missiles has been successfully tested in a long time, and these are ballistic missiles which, once the boost phase is over, follow a perfectly predictable inertial trajectory, making them easy targets for Russia’s new air defense systems. Of the Minutemen that manage to get out of their silos and launch in the general direction of Russia or China, it is unknown how many of their nuclear payloads would actually detonate since these are all quite old and haven’t been tested in a long time either. The US no longer has the ability to make new nuclear charges, having lost the recipe for making the high explosive needed to make them detonate. But that may be a moot point, since at this point no ICBM is likely to be able to penetrate Russian air defenses. As far as Chinese air defenses, it is notable that Russia and China have integrated their early warning systems and China now has four divisions of Russian S-400 Triumph air defense systems and is planning to add more.

Turning to the airborne part of the US nuclear triad, its mainstay is still the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the youngest of which is almost 60 years old. It cruises at 260 knots at an altitude of 34000 feet and is the opposite of stealthy, making it easy to shoot down at a stand-off distance of several hundred kilometers. Since this makes it perfectly useless for dropping bombs, all that remains is cruise missiles, which fly at a positively poky 0.65 Mach, again making them easy targets for modern air defenses. There are also some newer stealth bombers—very few and, it has turned out, not too stealthy, putting them essentially in the same category as the Stratofortress, and the cruise missiles they can launch are also those same old subsonic ones.

Lastly, there are the strategic nuclear submarines, which are the only part of the US nuclear triad that is still viable. They remain effective as a deterrent, and they do have the ability to get up close to launch a sneak attack with a good chance that at least a few of the missiles will get through the air defenses, but they can’t possibly hope to get around the inevitability of retaliation which will cause unacceptable, fatal damage to the continental US. This makes them useless as an offensive weapon.

Add to this Russia’s updated nuclear doctrine, according to which any attack against Russian sovereign territory or Russian sovereign interests, whether conventional or nuclear, would open the door to a nuclear retaliation, launched upon warning, and Putin’s solemn promise to counterattack not just against the locations from which a strike is launched but against the centers of decision-making. Considering that Russian missiles are hypersonic and will reach their targets before those of the US reach theirs, and that Russia has the means to shoot down US missiles while the US is unable to shoot down Russian ones, if the US were to launch an attack, those who launched it would be dead before they could find out whether their attack succeeded in causing any damage at all or whether they had just suicided themselves for nothing. All of this adds up to an inevitable conclusion: under no circumstances will the US attack either Russia or China, using either conventional or nuclear weapons.

There are experts who are of the opinion that a world war could spontaneously erupt at any moment without anyone wishing it to do so, just as the world slid into World War I due to a confluence of unhappy accidents. But there is a big difference: the military and civilian leaderships of the warring sides in World War I did not have hypersonic missiles pointed directly at their heads. They thought that the war would be fought far away from their palaces, headquarters and stately mansions. They were, in some cases, quite wrong, but that was their thought originally: why not test our industrial prowess while sacrificing the lives of several million useless peasants?

Now the situation is quite different: any substantial provocation is an automatic self-destruct trigger and all sides know this. Of course, there will be minor provocations such as the US Navy steaming around in the Taiwan Strait or the Black Sea close to the shores of Crimea, but then they do have to earn their keep somehow. In turn, the Russians and the Chinese will periodically up the ante a little bit by shooing them away with a harshly worded radio message or a few shots fired across their bows. But both sides know just how careful they have to be because any serious error will require immediate deescalation and may entail major loss of face. And that, as the saying goes, would be worse than a crime: it would be a mistake.

The provocations of which the US is still capable are likely to grow more and more feeble over time. The US has lost the arms race against both Russia and China and is unlikely to ever catch up. On the other hand, neither Russia nor China is the least bit likely to attack the US. There is no reason to do so, given that they can get what they want—a gradual fading out of US influence—without resorting to large-scale military action. Maintaining a strong defensive posture while projecting power within their expanding spheres of interest would be quite enough for either of them. Thus, all that’s left for the US is hybrid warfare: financial warfare in the form of sanctions, aggressive dollar-printing and large-scale legalized money laundering, informational warfare played out on the internet, medical warfare using novel pathogens, drugs and vaccines, cultural warfare in the form of promoting and defending conflicting systems of values and so on, with military activities limited to the use of proxies, fomenting putsches and civil wars, actions of private military companies and so on.

If Milley is pinning his hopes on being able to provoke a conflict between China and Russia, he is likely to be disappointed. These two very large neighboring countries are synergistic. China has tremendous productive capacity for producing all manner of finished goods but has limited natural resources, is insular and has limited capacity for interacting with the rest of the world except through trade and commerce. Russia, on the other hand, has virtually limitless natural resources but, with a smaller though highly educated population spread out across a vast and somewhat inhospitable terrain, is forced to concentrate its efforts on certain strategically important sectors such as energy and food exports, high-tech weapons systems, nuclear energy, vaccines and energy-intensive products such as fertilizers, plastics and metals where their access to cheap energy provides them with a competitive advantage.

One of Russia’s major strengths is a culturally ingrained ability to understand people from other cultures and to maintain cordial relations even across great cultural divides and enemy lines. Russia has a unique ability to offer stability and security, both through careful diplomacy and by offering advanced defensive weapons systems. The Chinese have been aggressively buying into economies around the world, investing in major infrastructure projects to further their trade, but are sometimes found lacking in diplomatic finesse and in their understanding of local sensibilities, alienating their partners by directly demanding a controlling share in their investments. The Russians, on the other hand, understand that you have to at least kiss a girl before offering to pay her college tuition.

Such finesse tends to be interpreted as weakness by certain Westerners who, over the course of many centuries of fratricidal warfare and genocidal colonialism, have been conditioned to only respect brute force and to understand relationships only in terms of dominance or submission. With the sudden departure of the US from the world stage, many smaller European nations are now actively looking for a new master to lord over them. Both the Chinese and the Russians are likely to leave them disappointed; while Chinese commerce and Russian security (including energy security) will be on offer, they will be on their own and forced to earn their own keep and their oaths of fealty will fall on deaf ears. The Eastern Europeans especially might find it impossible to ingratiate themselves back into the Russian world; the Russians have had their fill of them and their duplicitousness. Their other option will be to go to work for the Chinese.

Russia and China complement each other and are more likely to work with each other rather than against each other in their dealings with each other and with the rest of the world. This is certainly not the case with the US, vis-à-vis either China or Russia. During the 1990s and the naughts, while China was rapidly transforming into the world’s manufacturing hub while Russia was recovering from the setback it had been dealt by the Soviet collapse, the US was able to position itself as the world’s indispensable consuming nation, redirecting a lion’s share of the world’s resources and manufactured products to feed its appetites in exchange for printed dollars (continuously expropriating the world’s savings while exporting inflation) and using the threat of military action against anyone who would challenge this arrangement. But now the situation is different: most of China’s trade is now not with the US but with the rest of the world, Russia is fully recovered and developing slowly but surely, the share of the US in the world’s economy has shrunk, the appetite for printed dollars in the form of US government debt has declined greatly, and as to its former full-spectrum military dominance, see above.

And yet General Milley wishes to fight a tripolar war against two poles that won’t fight each other and aren’t spoiling for a fight with the US either; they just want the US to pack up, go home and no longer darken the horizons around Eurasia. As I took pains to explain above, the US is in no position to challenge either or both of them in an all-out military conflict, or to risk engaging them in a way that runs a major risk of provoking one. What can a giant, sprawling, lavishly funded, corrupt and dysfunctional bureaucracy do under such circumstances in order to justify its existence? The answer is, I believe, obvious: engage in petty mischief, a.k.a. hybrid warfare, but in doing so it finds itself, as I have already explained, at a disadvantage.

The list of petty mischief is long and makes for tedious reading. The best that can be done with it is to make comedy with it. Take, for instance, the imbroglio, worthy of Boccaccio’s Decameron, of Tikhanovskaya the cutlet fairy and phantom president of Belarus, who recently joined the club of bogus replacement leaders, alongside Juan Random Guaidó, phantom president of Venezuela, having failed to seize power from deeply entrenched Byelorussian president Lukashenko, and who is now cooling her heels in neighboring Lithuania. Having recognized the abject failure of Tikhanovskaya’s power grab, the Petty Mischef Department attempted to organize a scandal around a Byelorussian sprinter during the Tokyo Olympics, whose name is… Timanovskaya! You see, they thought that nobody would notice the single-character substitution. The ploy failed, and Timanovskaya is now cooling her heels in neighboring Poland.

There have been other, much larger-scale attempts at petty mischief, similarly ham-handed and similarly spectacular in their failure.

1. There was the attempt to force the entire world to submit to a relentless inoculation campaign (in the works since 2009) in the course of which an interplay between genetically engineered pathogens and genetically engineered vaccines against them would be used to make fabulous profits for Big Pharma while simultaneously selectively genociding the population of certain unfriendly or otherwise undesirable countries. End result: China has largely fought off the pathogen and has produced its own vaccine while Russia has produced several vaccines, the most popular of which has been proven safe and effective and has been turned into a major profit center by being exported to 71 countries and earning Russia more export revenue than arms exports.

Meanwhile, not only are Western vaccines proving less than 50% effective (much less than that for Johnson & Johnson) but thousands of people are actually dropping dead or becoming severely ill from them. Most alarmingly, young, freshly vaccinated athletes are dropping dead from heart attacks right in the middle of a game—dozens of them! The only possible response to this by the authorities—the only one they are capable of—is to double down, requiring everyone to get vaccinated again and again. The marketing strategy of “if our product makes you sick, we’ll give you more of it” is hardly ever effective and, in due course, it is producing open rebellion in many places, shutting down entire industries and generally playing havoc with societies and economies. Mission accomplished!

2. There is an ongoing attempt to force countries around the world to pay a carbon tax for their carbon emissions while those nations that engage in the cargo cult of building solar and wind generation capacity are exempted from it. Lots of expensive climate models kept supercomputers humming and international climate conferences were convened, at which people could wring their hands and wallow in maudlin self-pity over the ever-looming imaginary climate catastrophe. But then came a major complication: both Russia and China managed to turn the situation to their advantage. In the case of China, the case is simple: what allows China to manufacture and export products which the rest of the world loves to import is its use of coal and just a temporary reduction in the use of coal was sufficient to demonstrate that any such constraints would hurt the US through supply chain disruptions more than they would hurt China.

In the case of Russia, the situation is even simpler: from the point of view of carbon dioxide emissions, Russia is the greenest country on earth, deriving the largest share of its electricity from carbon-free nuclear and hydro and low-carbon natural gas. It also has 20% of the world’s forests which, in case of global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, would spread rapidly north across the tundra toward the Arctic circle, soaking up prodigious amounts of carbon dioxide. Thus, the US, and the rest of the West with it, have negotiated themselves into a cul de sac of their own creation, being forced to cause damage to their economies by pursuing misguided decarbonization policies which nobody would have asked them to pursue otherwise. Again, mission accomplished!

3. Yet another attempt at petty mischief is in the area of human rights and democracy. The notion of individual human rights was rather successfully deployed against the USSR, warping the minds of several generations of Russian intelligentsia into being ashamed of their own country (and almost completely unaware of much ghastlier crimes against humanity carried out by the collective West). The Chinese, on the other hand, were barely swayed from their traditional (be it Confucian or Communist) perspective that balances privileges against responsibilities and leaves very little room for such frivolous notions as individual universal rights. But in recent decades the Russians have managed to claw their way back to a more balanced understanding of their own history and a greater awareness of the multiple atrocities perpetuated by those who would criticize them. The rank hypocrisy of those who would use such tactics has also become glaringly obvious through such outrages as the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange and the exile of Edward Snowden.

The story of Maria Butina, a spectacular individual who is now a member of the Russian parliament, has also made an impression. She was falsely accused of being a foreign agent based on the now discredited Steele Dossier which Hillary Clinton’s camp had concocted in order to slander Donald Trump. Butina was imprisoned for 18 months, spending much of that time in solitary confinement (a treatment that equates to torture). She was forced to plead guilty to a bogus charge before a kangaroo court judge before being released and allowed to return to Russia. She described her ordeal in a best-selling book and anybody who has read it has absorbed, along the way, an important message: there is simply no such thing as the American justice system. A major reason why Butina had been singled out for such treatment had to do with her last name, which differs by just one character from Putin’s: there’s that single-character substitution again! With a name so similar to that of that horrible dictator Putin, of course she’d be found guilty! I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a certain dim-witted miscreant ensconced in the bowels of the CIA or the State Department who comes up with these harebrained ideas by actually scanning documents for similar-sounding names.

As far as democracy, the concept is valuable but applies differently to each nation, based on its unique values and traditions, but the image of it served up in the US, where about half the electorate feels that they were cheated during the last presidential election, or the EU, which is lorded over by unelected pompous nobodies at the European Commission, or the way it was misapplied in Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations invaded and destroyed by the West, has done much to discredit the concept. Joe Biden, who is now working on convening a virtual assemblage of nations he deems democratic, making a list and checking it twice, making sure to exclude anyone he doesn’t deem sufficiently democratic, is too senile to grasp the simple fact that he has lost any right to appeal to the concept of democracy given the way he got elected and what he’s done to Afghanistan.

The image I will leave you with is of a transport plane piloted by the demented Joe Biden and co-piloted by that giggling twit Kamala Harris, with some number of leaders from supposedly democratic nations (who have failed to absorb the lesson of Afghanistan) clinging to its landing gear, and with General Millie-Vanillie sitting in the cargo hold cleaning his gun, getting ready to fight World War III against both Russia and China.

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

 September 2, 2021

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

By Staff, Agencies

The US so-called war on terror has taken almost one million lives across the globe and cost the country $8 trillion, over the past two decades, says a new report.

A report issued by Costs of War Project at Brown University, at end of the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, estimated 897,000 to 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of war, whether by bombs, bullets or fire, in some 80 countries.

“The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful… and the war continues in over 80 countries,” said co-director of Costs of War, Catherine Lutz on Wednesday.

The death toll, includes US military members, allied fighters, opposition fighters, civilians, journalists and humanitarian aid workers, the report said.

The figure, however, does not include the many indirect deaths the war has caused by way of disease, displacement and loss of access to food or clean drinking water.

“The deaths we tallied are likely a vast undercount of the true toll these wars have taken on human life,” said Neta Crawford, another co-founder of the project.

The project also revealed that the wars have cost the US an estimated $8 trillion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.

Of the $8 trillion, $2.3 trillion is attributed to the Afghanistan/Pakistan war zone.

“The Pentagon and the US military have now absorbed the great majority of the federal discretionary budget, and most people don’t know that,” said Lutz.

“Our task, now and in future years, is to educate the public on the ways in which we fund those wars and the scale of that funding,” she added.

Another researcher of the project, Stephanie Savell said, “Twenty years from now, we’ll still be reckoning with the high societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US forces are gone.”

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades
Source: Costs of War Project – Brown University

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is now ended with the return of the group to power.

On August 31, the picture of US Army general Chris Donahue appeared on the news as the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan. US media outlets had headlines indicating that the US war in Afghanistan was finally over.

US President Joe Biden also addressed the nation, and defended his decision to withdraw, saying, “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit” and “It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.”

For the first time in 20 years now, there is no US military presence in Afghanistan, but observers say no troops on the ground does not mean that the US war in the country is over.

They said the withdrawal simply means that one method of waging war in Afghanistan is no longer occurring.

THE RETURN OF THE TALIBAN 20 YEARS LATER

Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar leaves after signing an agreement with the United States during a ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha on February 29, 2020.
TALIBAN CO-FOUNDER MULLAH ABDUL GHANI BARADAR LEAVES AFTER SIGNING AN AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES DURING A CEREMONY IN THE QATARI CAPITAL DOHA ON FEBRUARY 29, 2020. (AFP PHOTO)

August 18, 2021

By Vijay Prashad,

Peoples Dispatch.

Vijay Prashad explains the Taliban’s defeat of the US-backed government in Afghanistan following the US troop withdrawal.

On August 15, the Taliban arrived in Kabul. The Taliban’s leadership entered the presidential palace, which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had vacated when he fled into exile abroad hours before. The country’s borders shut down and Kabul’s main international airport lay silent, except for the cries of those Afghans who had worked for the US and NATO; they knew that their lives would now be at serious risk. The Taliban’s leadership, meanwhile, tried to reassure the public of a “peaceful transition” by saying in several statements that they would not seek retribution, but would go after corruption and lawlessness.

The Taliban’s Entry in Kabul Is a Defeat for the United States

In recent years, the United States has failed to accomplish any of the objectives of its wars. The US entered Afghanistan with horrendous bombing and a lawless campaign of extraordinary rendition in October 2001 with the objective of ejecting the Taliban from the country; now, 20 years later, the Taliban is back. In 2003, two years after the US unleashed a war in Afghanistan, it opened an illegal war against Iraq, which ultimately resulted in an unconditional withdrawal of the United States in 2011 after the refusal by the Iraqi parliament to allow US troops extralegal protections. As the US withdrew from Iraq, it opened a terrible war against Libya in 2011, which resulted in the creation of chaos in the region.

Not one of these wars—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya—resulted in the creation of a pro-US government. Each of these wars created needless suffering for the civilian populations. Millions of people had their lives disrupted, while hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in these senseless wars. What faith in humanity can now be expected from a young person in Jalalabad or in Sirte? Will they now turn inward, fearing that any possibility of change has been seized from them by the barbaric wars inflicted upon them and other residents of their countries?

There is no question that the United States continues to have the world’s largest military and that by using its base structure and its aerial and naval power, the US can strike any country at any time. But what is the point of bombing a country if that violence attains no political ends? The US used its advanced drones to assassinate the Taliban leaders, but for each leader that it killed, another half a dozen have emerged. Besides, the men in charge of the Taliban now—including the co-founder of the Taliban and head of its political commission, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar—were there from the start; it would never have been possible to decapitate the entire Taliban leadership. More than $2 trillion has been spent by the United States on a war that it knew could not be won.

Corruption Was the Trojan Horse

In early statements, Mullah Baradar said that his government will focus its attention on the endemic corruption in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, stories spread across Kabul about ministers of Ashraf Ghani’s government attempting to leave the country in cars filled with dollar bills, which was supposed to be the money that was provided by the US to Afghanistan for aid and infrastructure. The drain of wealth from the aid given to the country has been significant. In a 2016 report by the US government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) relating to the “Lessons Learned from the US Experience with Corruption in Afghanistan,” the investigators write, “Corruption significantly undermined the US mission in Afghanistan by damaging the legitimacy of the Afghan government, strengthening popular support for the insurgency, and channeling material resources to insurgent groups.” SIGAR created a “gallery of greed,” which listed US contractors who siphoned aid money and pocketed it through fraud. More than $2 trillion has been spent on the US occupation of Afghanistan, but it went neither to provide relief nor to build the country’s infrastructure. The money fattened the rich in the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Corruption at the very top of the government depleted morale below. The US pinned its hopes on the training of 300,000 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA), spending $88 billion on this pursuit. In 2019, a purge of “ghost soldiers” in the rolls—soldiers who did not exist—led to the loss of 42,000 troops; it is likely that the number might have been higher. Morale in the ANA has plunged over the past few years, with defections from the army to other forces escalating. Defense of the provincial capitals was also weak, with Kabul falling to the Taliban almost without a fight.

To this end, the recently appointed defense minister to the Ghani government, General Bismillah Mohammadi, commented on Twitter about the governments that have been in power in Afghanistan since late 2001, “They tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland. Damn the rich man [Ghani] and his people.” This captures the popular mood in Afghanistan right now.

Afghanistan and Its Neighbors

Hours after taking power, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office, Dr. M. Naeem, said that all embassies will be protected, while another spokesperson for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that all former government officials did not need to fear for their lives. These are reassuring messages for now.

It has also been reassuring that the Taliban has said that it is not averse to a government of national unity, although there should be no doubt that such a government would be a rubber stamp for the Taliban’s own political agenda. So far, the Taliban has not articulated a plan for Afghanistan, which is something that the country has needed for at least a generation.

On July 28, Taliban leader Mullah Baradar met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China. The outlines of the discussion have not been fully revealed, but what is known is that the Chinese extracted a promise from the Taliban not to allow attacks on China from Afghanistan and not to allow attacks on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure in Central Asia. In return, China would continue its BRI investments in the region, including in Pakistan, which is a key Taliban supporter.

Whether or not the Taliban will be able to control extremist groups is not clear, but what is abundantly clear—in the absence of any credible Afghan opposition to the Taliban—is that the regional powers will have to exert their influence on Kabul to ameliorate the harsh program of the Taliban and its history of support for extremist groups. For instance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (set up in 2001) revived in 2017 its Afghanistan Contact Group, which held a meeting in Dushanbe in July 2021, and called for a national unity government.

At that meeting, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar laid out a three-point plan, which achieved near consensus among the fractious neighbors:

“1. An independent, neutral, unified, peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation.

“2. Ceasing violence and terrorist attacks against civilians and state representatives, settle conflict through political dialogue, and respect interests of all ethnic groups, and

“3. Ensure that neighbors are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism.”

That’s the most that can be expected at this moment. The plan promises peace, which is a great advance from what the people of Afghanistan have experienced over the past decades. But what kind of peace? This “peace” does not include the rights of women and children to a world of possibilities. During 20 years of the US occupation, that “peace” was not in evidence either. This peace has no real political power behind it, but there are social movements beneath the surface that might emerge to put such a definition of “peace” on the table. Hope lies there.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.

US Mission in Afghanistan Was Never Nation Building, Says Biden

August 17, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Following the great amount of criticism he was subjected to, Biden makes a speech from the White House in which he said ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.

United States President Joe Biden
Joe Biden addresses rumors

As the situation in Afghanistan escalates following the Taliban takeover, in addition to the harsh criticism he is being subjected to over the way his Administration handled the Afghan crisis, Joe Biden makes a speech from the White House.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified centralized democracy,” Biden said. He noted that the only vital US interest in Afghanistan today is “preventing terrorist attacks on American homeland.”

“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals; get those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001,” he added.

The American President expressed his belief that what is currently happening in Afghanistan, “Could just as easily happened 5 years ago or 15 years in the future,” saying he had to make a choice to either follow through on former President Donald Trump’s agreement with the Taliban or to go back to fighting with them.

The Democrat said this situation unfolded faster than the administration anticipated, however asserting that he doesn’t “regret [his] decision to end America’s war fighting in Afghanistan.”

Biden stated that his administration made it clear to the Taliban that upon any attack on US personnel or disruption of their operation, “The US presence will be swift and the response will be swift and forceful.”

Additionally, Biden declared that his country gave the Afghan forces everything they needed and every chance to determine their own future; however, as he said, they had no will to fight for their future.

The US President followed up by saying if Afghanistan could not resist the Taliban now, “There is no change that one more year, five more years, or twenty more years of US military boots on the ground would have made any difference.”

“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he added.

President “assured” that the United States would continue supporting the people of Afghanistan through their diplomacy, international influence, and humanitarian aid.

The 46th United States President clarified that he made several propositions to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regarding a political settlement with the Taliban, advising him to take the diplomatic path. However, as Biden declared, those propositions and advice were “flatly refused” by President Ghani.

Biden accused Russia and China of having interest in a destabilized Afghanistan, saying, “China and Russia, would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely.”

US President Biden interrupted Monday his holiday at Camp David and returned to the White House following the fall of Kabul that took the world by surprise.

Previously, in his latest statement on the developments in Afghanistan, Biden said he has no regrets. “I do not regret my decision,” he asserted when asked if the Biden administration’s withdrawal plans have changed, taking the Taliban’s latest offenses and advances into account.

Earlier today, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby stated that the Afghan government had collapsed due to a lack of leadership.

In reference to the Doha Agreement signed in February of 2020, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price accused former President Donald Trump and his administration of striking a deal with the Taliban that was not in the US’s best interests.

President Joe Biden is facing harsh criticism from his opponents, who believe he mismanaged the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, prompting the US to rush to evacuate its embassy and citizens, blaming Biden for underestimating fears of the Afghan government collapsing quickly last month.  

Amos Yaldin, the former head of the IOF Military Intelligence Directorate, touched on the scenes of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. He said the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, especially as it was depicted, was insulting.

The Israeli media, commenting on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, said: “With the United States withdrawing its last nationals, it is, in reality, fleeing from Afghanistan, and it is not a withdrawal as the current administration is trying to portray it.”

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council urged an immediate end to hostilities and human rights violations in Afghanistan, as well as the formation of a new government through negotiations that is unified, inclusive, and represents all parties, as well as ensuring full and equal participation of women.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, urged the international community to work together to eliminate the terrorist danger in Afghanistan, particularly after the Taliban took control of Kabul.

During the 20-year US occupation of Afghanistan, the US has lost around 2500 soldiers and spent more than two trillion dollars.

Earlier, the Taliban announced capturing most of the provinces following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s departure from Afghanistan toward Tajikistan after resigning.

After capturing the Afghan Presidential palace and Ashraf Ghani’s resignation, a Taliban official says the movement will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kabul.

The Kabul Assembly committee stated today that the Taliban Forces will be in charge of security and stability in the city.

The Axis of Resistance’s Road from Tehran to Beirut is Open and Secure

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/12101423/Unknown-2-3.jpeg


Elijah J. Magnier

From the Levant to the Persian Gulf, a land route is now open, and the Axis of Resistance controls those borders crossings.
Photo credit: The Cradle

Many wars have been waged in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine to defeat the “Axis of Resistance” or to at least deplete its logistics and supply lines. In all wars, tons of ammunition, bombs, and missiles are expended on both sides, often exhausting supplies. Each belligerent, therefore, needs to replenish its arsenal for the next confrontation, or at the very minimum, to demonstrate to the enemy its growing military capabilities, preparedness, and access to vital supplies. Most of the time, this is a valuable deterrent strategy used to avoid wars. However, because the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and the subsequent US occupation of Iraq and eastern Syria failed to achieve the desired US-Israeli objectives, the goal shifted heavily toward obstructing their supply lines: to cut off the Axis of Resistance road.

The aim was to stop Resistance Axis members (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iraqi resistance groups) from re-arming themselves, and to prevent their access to weapons upgrades in advance of the next military confrontation. There began a race between the US-Israeli alliance and the Resistance Axis to control the accessibility of the vital Tehran-Beirut landline. This objective was reached first by the Resistance Axis, who liberated the Albu Kamal-al Qaem crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border and placed it firmly under their control. Ever since, this crossing has also become a hub for critical commercial and consumer supplies whose flow the US has tried to halt by imposing harsh sanctions on Iran and Syria to prevent Iraq from providing any support. Rather, the US tried, but failed.

This significant American defeat, however, was not blared from rooftops, either by the US or by its adversaries. It is sufficient for the Resistance Axis that anything and everything they wish to transport via Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, reaches its destination, unhindered.

Traveling from the Syrian town of Qusayr, on Lebanon’s border, to Palmyra (Tadmur) is safe despite the dozens of checkpoints along the road. The Syrian Army controls the area and prevents anyone from traveling between provinces without valid documentation. Many Syrians from these provinces fled to secure areas to escape ISIS rule, and have since been trickling back to inspect their abandoned homes and resettle. Syria’s Badiyah has also become relatively safe following months of indiscriminate attacks by ISIS remnants against travelers. According to security officers, most of the ISIS militants were inhabitants of the area and its surroundings, and fled when ISIS was defeated by Syrian allied forces in 2017 and 2018.

Since then, special security brigades have been deployed from Palmyra to Deir Ezzor, while others continue to patrol the Syrian steppe to hunt down ISIS militants. However, it is still unsafe to travel through the Badiyah, and the main road used is via Sukhnah, Kabajeb, Asholah, and Deir Ezzor. From Deir Ezzor to the Iraqi border, the route via al Mayadeen, al Salehiya, and Albu Kamal is safe and well protected.

When the decision was made to clear the road and eliminate ISIS in the cities east of the Euphrates River, the Syrian Army and its allies attempted to free the al-Tanf border region with Iraq. US jets intervened, attacked the brigades, causing more than 50 casualties to prevent the defeat of ISIS targets. The Resistance Axis’ joint military operating room understood that the US plan was to cut off Syria from its neighbors, since its borders with Jordan were already closed.

Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Brigade – later, assassinated by US drones near Baghdad airport in 2020 – personally took part in the assault on al Mayadeen and Albu Kamal, even before the liberation of Deir Ezzor. Soleimani wanted to reach and control the Syrian-Iraqi borders before the Americans, fearing the US establishment of a “no man’s land” to prevent free passage between Iraq and Syria.

Syrian Druze General Issam Zahreddine – later, killed by a mine after defeating ISIS in Deir Ezzor – was fighting alongside Hezbollah’s al-Radwan Special Forces, and managed to prevent an ISIS takeover of Deir Ezzor airport and part of the city, notwithstanding intervening US airstrikes that unsuccessfully aimed to enable the ISIS airport breach and killed and wounded over 200 Syrian officers. When the decision was taken to liberate the entire province, Suleimani was not very concerned about the city because Russian-supported Syrian Special Forces (Tiger Brigade) were already crushing ISIS positions there.

Suleimani coordinated his efforts with the Iraqi resistance, hunting down ISIS along the borders between Syria and Iraq’s al Qaem, in order to corner and eliminate the terrorist group on both sides. Following fierce battles, Albu Kamal and al Qaem were liberated – becoming the only border crossing to fall into the hands of the Syrian Army and its allies. Syria was no longer isolated from its surrounding neighbors. The road between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut was open, and for the first time since the era of Saddam Hussein, in the hands of the Resistance Axis. A sea route is insufficient to transport all the needs of the Axis. This is why it was vital to open the land route at all costs. The US and Israel were aware of the plan but were in no position to stop it.

Driving from Deir Ezzor to Albu Kamal, the Euphrates River offers the sight of rare birds who migrate to this area now that it is no longer heavily frequented. The many abandoned and shell-pocked houses along the route remind passerbys of the ferocity of the battles. Syrian Army checkpoints are strict about preventing visits from anyone who doesn’t live in the province. The Americans control the other side of the river, and the oil and gas wells can be seen from afar with the naked eye.

In the main, ISIS militants were inhabitants of this area too, with foreign jihadists representing only a tiny percentage of the fighters. This is another reason why it is not safe to travel by night. With nightfall, it becomes clear that electricity has not been restored. The sound of only a few private generators can be heard from time to time. During the daytime hours, however, the generator count spikes, as farmers switch them on to pump water for their fields. The area is rich in its agriculture, and despite the US occupation of Syria’s strategic foodbelt province of Hasaka, provides enough wheat to be distributed to provinces beyond Deir Ezzor.

At the gate of Albu Kamal, a large billboard welcomes visitors with the name of the city, a portrait of President Bashar al Assad, and the Syrian national flag. Though incomparable with the old souk markets of Damascus or Aleppo, the local vegetable and fruit market still flourishes and bustles during the day.

Houses are one or two floors high, many with shops underneath. Several private villas adorn the border city. It is impossible to miss a large portrait of Iran’s Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani and Iraq’s PMU Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandes, both assassinated by the US in Baghdad in January 2020. The two men contributed to the liberation of Iraq and Syria from ISIS, indeed, mainly Albu Kamal city. Soleimani used one of the private villas as his headquarters when in town, and left a hand-written note to the owner asking him forgiveness for using his house, and leaving his phone number to be contacted in case of need.

Eight kilometers separate Albu Kamal from Al Qaem on the Iraqi borders. The road is crowded with trucks crossing mainly from Iraq, and a few from Syria. Iraq established a border position to allow the flow of goods to Syria, though essentially follows the guidelines of the severe EU-US embargo on Damascus. Not far from the main road controlled by both the Syrian and the Iraqi customs authorities, there is another road where trucks transit between Iran-Iraq into Syria and Lebanon. These trucks are sealed so they won’t be opened on the road, and are verified by the Syrian authorities before they cross into Lebanon. After many years in the making, and dangerous challenges along the way, the Axis of the Resistance has managed to secure its logistic supply route.

Israeli and US forces have targeted the area dozens of times. Warehouses, military bases, and large isolated shops were destroyed last year by Israeli jets, but without managing to slow down the flow of supplies, or the replenishing of goods and structures destroyed by the enemy’s air force. Israel also bombed thousands of cars, trucks, and refrigerators stocked by Iranian donors for the province’s inhabitants to distribute. Iran is earning the loyalty and hearts of the local population by offering another behavior, contrasting starkly with what ISIS made these inhabitants endure through fear and punishment.

It is no secret that the people of Albu Kamal notice the withdrawal of many of the forces stationed in the city. There is no longer a need for a considerable power to be permanently based in Albu Kamal. The Axis of Resistance supply line is still secure. Iran has opened several pathways: Tikrit-Haditha-al Qaem, Baghdad-Ramadi-al Qaem, and Diwaniyeh-Hilla-Fallujah-al Qaem. This means, despite more than a thousand Israeli attacks, neither the commercial exchange between Syria and Iraq-Iran nor the Resistance Axis’ supply line has never once stopped since ISIS’s defeat.

The American military presence at al Tanf border between Iraq and Syria serves no US national interest and represents no danger to Washington, yet it persists to placate a desperate Israel (despite its constant bombing of Syria) that fears being left alone to face the Axis of Resistance. The US is indeed acting only to serve Israeli interests by keeping hundreds of its servicemen occupying and inciting Levant conflict zones.

How long can Israel hang on to this American security blanket? Take note of the sudden US mass exit in Afghanistan. Two decades and a trillion dollars wore Washington down, achieving nothing of the initial objectives it set in 2001. America’s global political and economic clout has shrunk considerably since then. There is reason to believe the same scenario will happen sooner or later in Syria.

Israeli air bombing has never stopped the Axis of Resistance from arming itself and being prepared for Tel Aviv when it decides to wage the next war. Hezbollah managed to stockpile hundreds of precision missiles under the searching eyes of the Israelis without them being able to alter the outcome. The Axis of Resistance has won the battle and cleared its path: the road from Tehran to Beirut is open and secure.

Was the Tanker Attack an Israeli False Flag?

AUGUST 10, 202121

An incident that could lead to a much bigger war

PHILIP GIRALDI 

Source: The Unz Review

In the United States we now live under a government that largely operates in secret, headed by an executive that ignores the constitutional separation of powers and backed by a legislature that is more interested in social engineering than in benefitting the American people. The US, together with its best friend and faux ally Israel, has become the ultimate rogue nation, asserting its right to attack anyone at any time who refuses to recognize Washington’s leadership. America is a country in decline, its influence having been eroded by a string of foreign policy and military disasters starting with Vietnam and more recently including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. As a result, respect for the United States has plummeted most particularly over the past twenty years since the War on Terror was declared and the country has become a debtor nation as it prints money to sustain a pointless policy of global hegemony which no one else either desires or respects.

It has been argued in some circles that the hopelessly ignorant Donald Trump and the dementia plagued Joe Biden have done one positive thing, and that has been to keep us out of an actual shooting war with anyone able to retaliate in kind, which means in practice Russia and possibly China. Even if that were so, one might question a clumsy foreign policy devoid of any genuine national interest that is a train wreck waiting to happen. It has no off switch and has pushed America’s two principal rivals into becoming willy-nilly de facto enemies, something which neither Moscow nor Beijing wished to see develop.

Contrary to the claims that Trump and Biden are war-shy, both men have in fact committed war crimes by carrying out attacks on targets in both Syria and Iraq, to include the assassination of senior Iranian general Qasim Soleimani in January 2020. Though it was claimed at the time that the attacks were retaliatory, evidence supporting that view was either non-existent or deliberately fabricated.

Part of the problem for Washington is that the US had inextricably tied itself to worthless so-called allies in the Middle East, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. The real danger is not that Joe Biden or Kamala Harris will do something really stupid but rather that Riyadh or Jerusalem will get involved in something over their heads and demand, as “allies,” that they be bailed out by Uncle Sam. Biden will be unable to resist, particularly if it is the Israel Lobby that is doing the pushing.

Perhaps one of the more interesting news plus analysis articles along those lines that I have read in a while appeared last week in the Business Insider, written by one Mitchell Plitnick, who is described as president of ReThinking Foreign Policy. The article bears the headline “Russia and Israel may be on a collision course in Syria” and it argues that Russia’s commitment to Syria and Israel’s interest in actively deterring Iran and its proxies are irreconcilable, with the US ending up in an extremely difficult position which could easily lead to its involvement in what could become a new shooting war. The White House would have to tread very carefully as it would likely want to avoid sending the wrong signals either to Moscow or Jerusalem, but that realization may be beyond the thinking of the warhawks on the National Security Council.

To place the Plitnick article in its current context of rumors of wars, one might cite yet another piece in Business Insider about the July 30th explosive drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the northern Indian Ocean, which killed two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian. The bombing was immediately attributed to Iran by both Israel and Washington, though the only proof presented was that the fragments of the drone appeared to demonstrate that it was Iranian made, which means little as the device is available to and used by various players throughout the Middle East and in central Asia.

The tanker in question was the MT Mercer Street, sailing under a Liberian flag but Japanese-owned and managed by Zodiac Maritime, an international ship management company headquartered in London and owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. It was empty, sailing to pick up a cargo, and had a mixed international crew. Inevitably, initial media reporting depended on analysis by the US and Israel, which saw the attack as a warning or retaliatory strike executed or ordered by the newly elected government currently assuming control in Tehran.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who could not possibly have known who carried out the attack, was not shy about expressing his “authoritative” viewpoint, asserting that “We are confident that Iran conducted this attack. We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) also all too quickly pointed to Iran, stating that “The use of Iranian designed and produced one way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region. They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”

Tehran denied that it had carried out the attack but the Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not accepting that and threatened to attack Iran, saying predictably that “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now… Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.” Gantz also confirmed that “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes…”

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also made the same demand, saying Israel could “…act alone. They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over. We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.” If the level of verbal vituperation coming out of Israel is anything to go by, an attack on Iran would appear to be imminent.

After the attack on the MT Mercer Street, there soon followed the panicked account the panicked account of an alleged hijacking of a second tanker by personnel initially reported to be wearing “Iranian military uniforms.” The “…hijacking incident in international waters in the Gulf of Oman” ended peacefully however. The US State Department subsequently reported that “We can confirm that personnel have left the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess… We believe that these personnel were Iranian, but we’re not in a position to confirm this at this time.”

So, the United States government does not actually know who did what to whom but is evidently willing to indict Iran and look the other way if Israel should choose to start a war. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan is right to compare the drone attack on the Mercer Street to the alleged Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, which was deliberately distorted by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration and used to justify rapid escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Buchanan observes that it is by no means clear that Iran was behind the Mercer Street attack and there are a number of good reasons to doubt it, including Iranian hopes to have sanctions against its economy lifted which will require best behavior. Also, Iran would have known that it would be blamed for such an incident in any event, so why should it risk going to war with Israel and the US, a war that it knows it cannot win?

Buchanan observes that whoever attacked the tanker wants war and also to derail any negotiations to de-sanction Iran, but he stops short of suggesting who that might be. The answer is of course Israel, engaging in a false flag operation employing an Iranian produced drone. And I would add to Buchanan’s comments that there is in any event a terrible stink of hypocrisy over the threat of war to avenge the tanker incident. Israel has attacked Iranian ships in the past and has been regularly bombing Syria in often successful attempts to kill Iranians who are, by the way, in the country at the invitation of its legitimate government. Zionist Joe Biden has yet to condemn those war crimes, nor has the suddenly aroused Tony Blinken. And Joe, who surely knows that neither Syria nor Iran threatens the United States, also continues to keep American troops in Syria, occupying a large part of the country, which directly confront the Kremlin’s forces. Israel wants a war that will inevitably involve the United States and maybe also Russia to some degree as collateral damage. Will it get that or will Biden have the courage to say “No!”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

In Between Taliban and COVID

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Taliban Covid.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Does it take a genius to gather that the colossal failure of the USA’s war in Afghanistan is identical to the disastrous ‘war against COVID’? It’s certainly clear that it is pretty much the same people who devised the fatal strategies that led to a grandiose defeat in these two unnecessary conflicts. We deal with people who adhere to the concept of war of destruction. These are people who do not seek peace, harmony or reconciliation neither with nature nor with other segments of humanity.   

Our pandemic ‘strategists’ believed that it was within their powers to wipe SARS CoV 2 from the face of the earth. They were similarly convinced that the Taliban could be eradicated. They were, obviously, catastrophically wrong.

But the progressives and the so-called Left also have an unforgivable part in these catastrophic tales. The Left weren’t responsible for the ‘strategies’ or the grand planning. They weren’t really participants in the neoconservative think tanks, they weren’t involved in Pfizer’s promise to fix the human genome. They weren’t advising Netanyahu, Trump or Johnson’s in 2020 as they weren’t amongst Bush’s advisers back in 2001. But they were the first to support the Ziocon ‘War Against Terror,’ mostly in the name of ‘moral interventionism.’ Similarly, they have been amongst the most enthusiastic supporters of the current experiment in mass human population.

One doesn’t need to scratch the surface to notice that that the Jewish State also had a central role in these two humongous blunders. The neocon think tanks that pushed America to Afghanistan were of course made of ardent Jewish Zionists.  Back in 2003 Ari Shavit wrote in Haaretz “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.” The people who volunteered themselves as the guinea pigs in Pfizer’s COVID experiment where of course the Israelis. Netanyahu’s Israel didn’t attempt to “live with COVID,” it instead treated the virus as a contemporary Amalek, an anti-Semitic plague that must be eradicated: the Mossad together with the IDF joined forces in the war against Covid. When it seemed as if number of COVID cases were going down, Israel was fast to declare a victory in the war against the virus. 

 

But the reality is embarrassing. In Afghanistan the Taliban is stronger than ever. America left the country it promised to ‘liberate’ with its tail between its legs. In the fight against COVID, America is equally defeated.  In the USA, a CDC study found vaccinated people made up 74% of cases in a beach town outbreak in Massachusetts. And In Israel, Delta has made a spectacularly successful aliya. The vaccinated are now overrepresented amongst Delta cases and equally represented amongst critical cases.  A few days ago an Israeli hospital director admitted that 90% of his patients are vaccinated. “The vaccine is waning in front of our eyes,” he said.

The modernist 19th century military theorist Carl von Clausewitz defined war as “the continuation of politics by other means.” But in the global Zionised universe in which we live, politics is merely the continuation of war. Keeping the world in a conflict is the current global mantra as people are submissive when fearful. This philosophy has sustained Zionism for decades. It kept the Jewish people united for two millennia but it came with a price. Jewish history isn’t exactly a story of tranquility.    

It shouldn’t really be me who reminds my fellow peace loving brothers and sisters that loving one’s neighbor may as well mean seeking peace and harmony with the universe as a whole (viruses included).

Denote

Iranian analyst on Tehran’s efforts in post-US Afghanistan & role of Taliban

July 28, 2021

Iranian analyst on Tehran’s efforts in post-US Afghanistan & role of Taliban

http://middleeastobserver.net/iranian-analyst-on-irans-efforts-in-afghanistan-role-of-taliban/

Description:
In a political talk show appearance on RT Arabic earlier this month, Iranian political analyst Amir al-Moussawi commented on Iran’s stance towards the US army’s withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan, and concerns surrounding the potential threat posed by the Taliban towards Kabul and the wider region.

Al-Moussawi is the director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Tehran.

Source: RT Arabic (YouTube) Date: July 9, 2021

(Please help MEO keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a sustainable monthly amount https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript:

Host:

Mr. Amir, regarding the plans being prepared by Iran, regardless of its deterrence capabilities against any threat, and you pointed out that the Fatemiyoun are present as a force that can oppose any threat. But what about Iran’s ability to protect Afghanistan from falling into a whirlpool of chaos? Can Iran use its cultural or religious common ground with Afghanistan, or other common ground, to prevent it from entering the tunnel of a civil war?

Amir Al-Moussawi, Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies:

I believe that the American project will fail in Afghanistan. They’re after strife, they’re looking to damage Iranian, Russian and Chinese national security, even India, and maybe Pakistan as well. This is why you have good communication today between these parties. Yesterday, the Indian Foreign Minister arrived in Tehran to conduct important negotiations; I believe there is good communication between Mr. Zarif and Mr. Lavrov, the same goes with the Pakistanis and the Chinese as well.

I believe that there is a strong, resilient front in the region today, regionally speaking. As for the domestic scene, I don’t believe that the Taliban are as strong as they used to be. The Afghan people felt a type of freedom after the fall of the Taliban, and cannot withstand a stringent rule as that of the Taliban’s in the country (once again). There are also very strong forces, as you’ve said, in western Afghanistan.

So the Taliban must come to an agreement and form a national unity government, and Iran will push matters in that direction and encourage different parties to come to an understanding. Because I believe that no one will accept, regionally speaking at the very least…the US may be out to constantly create strife in the region because it has criminal objectives against China, against Iran, against Russia. I believe that the region is now in agreement, and the situation inside Afghanistan will not allow the Taliban to spread further.

Every side will accept its own share, its own reality, and a national unity government will be formed. This is what was agreed upon in Tehran. Iranian diplomacy will encourage this, and I believe that the government of President Rouhani will hand this matter over to Sayyed Raisi, who has formed an important and special committee tasked with Afghan affairs.

Of course we know very well that General Qa’ani, the leader of (IRGC’s) Quds Force, was specialized in Afghan matters during the days of Hajj Qassem, and so he is also present, and is helping bring together different sides in Afghanistan, not to mention the regional support (that exists).

I believe that everything will be under control, and will not devolve into a civil war, because things aren’t as the Americans see them, and even the Taliban can’t expand beyond their size.

American plans something but ends up differently

American plans something but ends up differently

April 23, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

“I flew to Afghanistan, to the Kunar Valley — a rugged, mountainous region on the border with Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country and that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government.” President Joe Biden explained in his remarks in the White House on 14 April 2021, where he announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan starting from 1 May 2021 and completes on 11 September 2021.

The US invaded Afghanistan to fight against the tribal system of Afghanistan and create a modern democratic government based on American vision. The US, with the help of its allies, and full military might, after spending Trillion Dollars, killing millions of human beings (from either side), devastating the whole country completely, is concluded that the Afghan war is unwinnable and the American must leave Afghanistan. Today in war-torn Afghanistan, there is no electricity because all dams & powerhouses were bombed. No infrastructure, all damaged in the ruthless bombing, no education, no health care, scarcity of food, medicine, fuel, etc. Homes were damaged, crops were destroyed, businesses were damaged—– one of the heaviest bombing and explosive used in the history of humankind. The poor Afghans are living a miserable life, all due to prolonged imposed war.

The US used state of the art, latest, advanced, most lethal weapons, modern war tactics, well-trained troops, and all possible technologies to win this war but failed adversely. The Allies, who were very much proactive in the early days of the war but calmed down gradually and today are not so supportive of the US on the Afghan war.

The number of Nato forces peaked at about 140,000 in 2011 but decreased in subsequent years as Nato countries wound down combat operations, handing over control to local security forces. Countries with troops still in Afghanistan include the US, Georgia, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Italy, the UK, and Australia. The US and allies created an Afghan Army of around 300,000 on the most modern lines and trained & equipped with the Western latest weapons. Yet failed to gain control over Afghanistan. Yet more than 70% of Afghanistan is under Taliban control.

Although the Afghan war has destroyed Afghanistan severely, it at the same time has also cost heavily to the US itself too. Not only Trillion dollars cost of the war, but thousands of servicemen’s lives, and substantial mental disturbance to servicemen involved in the Afghan war. Yet, the most prominent impact has been visible that instead of fighting the tribal system in Afghanistan, America itself has turned into a tribal society. The recent number of shootings and killings are increased sharply, depicting the visible change in the American society – tribal society – where might is right – gun culture. The exponential growth of crimes is undesired at all. Although President Trump created hate in American society and supported white-supremacist, the roots of hatred have existed for a long time, he was just a catalyst. It might take decades to normalize the situation in America.

Afghanistan is an old civilization and one of the oldest countries, which foreign invaders in history never defeated. Afghans have their own tradition of bravery. They might fight internally but are united against any intruders. Their tribal society is strong enough to resolve their issue, and any interference from outside or imposed system may not succeed. It took two decades for to American understand the nature of Afghan society and the solution to their problems. It is never too late; even if the American troop’s exit from Afghan, there might be a vacuum for the time being, and danger of bloodshed moves around. Ultimately, it is the Afghans only who have to resolve their issues. An Afghan let, Afghan-owned solution can be sustainable only.

The Americans should focus on how to help Afghanistan in reconstruction after the troops’ withdrawal. It might require several trillion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan. The US and allies who destroyed Afghanistan have the moral obligations to help Afghanistan generously.

However, the UN may also proactively pursue the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the withdrawal. After the world wars, an agreement like German and Japanese (Potsdam Agreement) agreements needed to be reached between Afghanistan and America, including allies, for war compensation. China and Russia may become guarantors of such an agreement for implementation.

However, Afghans are not the sons of lessor God and deserve equal treatment and access to a quality life. After spending four decades in war, at least they deserve a peaceful and prosperous life. It needs enormous funding, and only those who are responsible for this destruction are supposed to help them appropriately.

It is not the first time which happened with America, where it plans some things and ends up in entirely opposite. I recalled my days in China in the early 1980s, when American and European entrepreneurs were entering China to occupy the vast niche market of China. That was the era of China opening to the outside world and introducing economic reforms. China facilitated market access, and American & European businessmen and investors flooded the Chinese market with foreign products. Those were the days when China was facing a shortage of everything like food, consumer products and etc. A quota system was introduced to buy items of daily life. They made huge profits in the early days, but gradually, they shifted their industry to China to avail themselves of China’s cheap raw material and cheap labor cost. It was in the best interest of foreign companies to manufacture in China to cut down the cost and maximize their profit. But sooner, they became the market of China.

Against their original plan to occupy the Chinese market, they became a market for Chinese products. The worst phenomenon was visible in the early days of the Pandemic when America was dependant on China on essential items like Masks, Sanitizers, Ventilators, Testing kits, and toilet papers, etc. China has become the manufacturing factory for the world, and no other country can compete with China in daily consumer products.

China has emerged as the second-largest economy in the world and the biggest trading partner with most of the nations. China shares one-third of the global economy and supplies almost 70% of consumer products to the whole world. China has become a global power already.

The American experience in Vietnam War, Somaliya War, Syrian War, and Middle-East wars is not much different. In Seven Decades, hardly any war Which Americans can claim a total victory. However, during the World wars, the US was a winner.

Trust, next couple of decades, the US must focus on its domestic issues and re-evaluate its mistakes in the perspective of changed geopolitics. Stop meddling in other nations and countries, stop thinking to change the world order as per the wishes of America. Let others live the life as they desire and live your own life according to your own wishes. Let peace, stability, and prosperity boom around the world, avoid imposing wars on other nations. Respect humanity and respect human lives.


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

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