Politics and Literature in a Dystopian Age. The Iron Heel, We, and Collected Essays of George Orwell

Politics and Literature in a Dystopian Age. The Iron Heel, We, and Collected Essays of George Orwell

February 20, 2021

by Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

1. Jack London and the Iron Heelhttps://thesaker.is/politics-and-literature-in-a-dystopian-age-the-iron-heel-we-and-collected-essays-of-george-orwell/

The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel by the American writer Jack London, first published in 1908.

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It is considered to be one of the earliest examples of modern dystopian fiction. It was the fourth of London’s earlier output which included, People of the Abyss (which was in fact journalism rather than literature) and the two novels, Call of the Wild, and White Fang. London was a difficult author to place given his very eclectic political and social philosophy; this was best epitomized in his own estimation as: ‘I am a white man and then a Socialist.’ But perhaps aptly described by Orwell as being a ‘doubtfully reliable Socialist’.

Be that as it may London was an avowed opponent of the capitalist system as he knew it, and how it functioned in the United States. In his book London imagines a proletarian revolution breaking out in the USA. Unfortunately, the revolution was crushed by the ruthless ruling class who staged a counter-revolution. There then followed a long period during which the newly established order was ruled over by a small group of tyrants known as the Oligarchs (Does this sound familiar? FL). The Oligarchs were served by an internal Praetorian Guard known as the Mercenaries. An underground struggle against the dictatorship was precisely the kind of eventuality which London could imagine. He foresaw the now familiar methods of totalitarian regimes which have become commonplace in our own time. For example, the way in which suspected enemies of the regime were made to simply disappear. Hardly novel in our own age.

One of the main themes of the book, however, was London’s incisive view that capitalism was not necessarily going to collapse due to its ‘internal contradictions’ – this being the rather crude orthodox and determinist Marxist view. This was and still is an unfortunate theoretical hiatus that the left continually fails to appreciate – namely, that the ruling class is not just an economic force, it is also a political/ideological force. This implies that the possessive class would be able to form itself into some vast corporation and even to evolve into a form of perverted socialism or State Capitalism. This view of London’s was also to gain some traction in the work of the American social/political theorist, James Burnham, and his theory of The Managerial Revolution. Like many of the radicals of the post WW2 period Burnham was a Trotskyist activist, and like many of the same persuasion duly abandoned Marxism for the following reasons. His seminal work The Managerial Revolution (1941), theorized about the future of world capitalism based upon its development in the interwar period. Burnham weighed three possibilities: (1) that capitalism was a permanent form of social and economic organization and would continue indefinitely; (2) that it was temporary and destined by its nature to collapse and be replaced by socialism; (3) that it was currently being transformed into some non-socialist future form of society. Since capitalism had a more or less definite beginning in the 14th century, it could not be regarded as an immutable and permanent form. George Orwell was impressed (not in a good way) by this work and wrote a review of the book. But I digress.

Returning to Jack London, however, perhaps the key passage in the book is London’s penetrating insight into the mentality of the Oligarchs. It reads:

‘’They, as a class (writes the imaginary author of the book) believed that they alone maintained civilization. It was their belief that, if they ever weakened, the great beast would engulf them and everything of beauty and joy and wonder and good in its cavernous and slime-dripping maw. Without them, anarchy would reign, and humanity would drop backward into the primitive night out of which it had so painfully emerged … In short, they alone, by their unremitting toil and self-sacrifice, stood between a weak humanity and the all devouring beast: and they believed it, passionately believed it.

‘’I (London) cannot lay too much stress on this high ethical righteousness of the whole Oligarch class. This has been the strength of the whole Iron Heel, and too many of the comrades have been slow or loath to realize it. Many of them have ascribed the strength of the Iron Heel to a system of reward and punishment. This is a mistake. Heaven and Hell may be the prime factors of zeal in the religion of a fanatic; but for the great majority of the religious, heaven and hell are incidental to right and wrong. Love of the right, desire for the right, unhappiness than anything less than the right – in short, right conduct is the prime factor of religion. And so with the Oligarchy – the great driving force of the Oligarchs is the belief that they are doing right.’’

In this connexion I seem to recall that, Lloyd Blankfein who was an American investment banker at Goldman Sachs and who served as senior chairman seemed to articulate the same sentiments, i.e. that he was doing ‘God’s Work.’ And of course there was Hillary Clinton pouring her scorn on the basket of deplorables.

For these and many similar passages it can be seen that London’s understanding of the nature of the ruling class – that is the characteristics that a ruling class must have if it is to survive as a ruling class – went very deep. London understood in a way that the left could not was that the capitalist is a cynical scoundrel, without honour or courage and intent in filling his own pockets. Yes, he is all of these things … but more. He is part of a politically and ideologically organized force of true believers which presents a formidable barrier to the would-be revolutionists who tend to underestimate their trickery. The resolve and belief of the ruling elite is, to use an American expression, their ‘manifest destiny’, and was their right to rule both at home and abroad, by force if necessary. He also knew instinctively that the American Businessmen would fight when their possessions were menaced because in their place, he would have thought so himself.

This is where London’s core beliefs exhibited a strain of brutality and an unconquerable preference for the strong man against the weak man. He was an adventurer and man of action as few writers had even been, all of which made him something of a political maverick. Nonetheless much of his time was spent working and lecturing for the Socialist movement, and when he was already a successful and famous man, he would explore the worst effects of poverty in East London (the city) and compile a book: The People of the Abyss – published in 1902. London died at the relatively young age of 41 in 1916.

2. Yevgeny Zamyatin – We

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Yevgeny Zamyatin, who died in Paris in 1937, was a Russian novelist and critic who published a number of books both before and after the Revolution. ‘We’ -was written in about 1923, and though it is not about Russia and has no direct connection with contemporary politics, it is a fantasy dealing with the twenty-sixth century and it was refused publication on the ground that it was ideologically undesirable. The book is not particularly Russian, for once you remove the Russian language, and perhaps one or two minor characters the babushkas who act as guardians of the Ancient House and D503’s building, what is left is a sort of generalised human society. Part of Zamyatin’s point, surely, is that his nightmare states lacks the warm smell and taste of long human habitation and lack any of the recognisable attributes of nationhood. OneState, as it is called is not to be blamed on the Americans or the Bolsheviks or the Industrial Lords of Manchester or Liverpool. It is a fate toward which a thoughtless humanity is hurtling.

We are in the twenty-sixth century, in Zamyatin’s vision of it, the inhabitants of Utopia have so completely lost their individuality as to be known only by numbers. They live in glass houses (this was written before television was invented), which enables the political police, known as the “Guardians”, to supervise them more easily. They all wear identical uniforms, and a human being is commonly referred to either as “a number” or “a unif” (uniform). They live on synthetic food, and their usual recreation is to march in fours while the anthem of the Single State is played through loudspeakers. At stated intervals they are allowed for one hour (known as “the sex hour”) to lower the curtains round their glass apartments. There is, of course, no marriage, though sex life does not appear to be completely promiscuous. For purposes of love-making everyone has a sort of ration book of pink tickets, and the partner with whom he spends one of his allotted sex hours signs the counterfoil. The Single State is ruled over by a personage known as The Benefactor, who is annually re-elected by the entire population, the vote being always unanimous. The guiding principle of the State is that happiness and freedom are incompatible. In the Garden of Eden man was happy, but in his folly, he demanded freedom and was driven out into the wilderness. Now the Single State has restored his happiness by removing his freedom.

But in spite of the vigilance of the Guardians the small and fragile of many of the ancient instincts still survive. The chief character in the story is D503 who is a gifted engineer, but like most of his contemporaries cuts a poor conventional creature who thinks and talks as he is told. However in a moment of madness he falls in love (a criminal act) with a certain I-330 female. During their clandestine romance it emerges that I-330 is a member of an underground resistance movement and succeeds for a while in leading him into rebellion. Come the insurrectionary moment it appears that the enemies of the Benefactor a more numerous than was thought. Characteristics of this subversive movement, apart from overthrowing OneState, were the diabolical practises of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.

After D-503s rather weak-willed attempt at defiance he makes amends and is ultimately saved from the consequences of his own folly. For their part, the authorities announce that they have discovered the cause of the disturbances: it became known that human beings were suffering from a disease called ‘imagination’.

This came as a bolt from the blue for D503; to think that he might be suffering from an ‘imagination’. He resolved to talking to a colleague about the condition.

‘’Have you heard about the new operation they have supposed to have developed?’’ Said a colleague.

Yes, I know, but why to you bring that up … because if I were you, I’d go and see about having the operation done.’’

Worse was to follow. D503 was feeling rather unwell and was persuaded to take himself to the Medical Bureau. He was quizzed as to why he had come by the less than welcoming medical staff.

‘’What’s the matter?’’ Why are you standing there?’’

Turned upside down like an idiot, hanging by my feet and burning with shame, D503 said nothing.

S said: ‘’Follow me.’’

I went obediently, swinging useless arms that belonged to someone else. I couldn’t raise my eyes. The whole time I was walking in a wide world turned on its head … We stopped. There were steps in front of me. One step more, and I see figures in white coats, doctors, and the huge silence … There were two of them. One shortish with legs like mileposts, used his eyes as though they were horns to toss the patients. The other was extremely thin. Had lips like scissors and a nose like a blade.

‘’You’re really in bad shape, said scissor nose. It looks like you are developing a soul.’’

A soul? That strange, ancient, long-forgotten word. We sometimes used expressions like ‘soul-mate’, ‘body and soul,’ ‘soul-destroying’, and so on, but soul …

‘’That’s dangerous … extremely dangerous,’’ I murmured.

‘’Incurable,’’ the scissors snapped.

This little tete-a-tete gave rise to a tantrum in milepost.

‘’What’s been going on? A soul? Did you say, a soul? What the Hell! Next thing you know we’ll have cholera again. I told you so … We should operate on all of them, on the imagination. Extirpate the imagination. Surgery’s the only answer … nothing but surgery …’’

(In passing we might add that this is all very suggestive of the Corona pandemic and mass inoculation of the population as part of the Great Reset, transhumanism and so forth. FL)

D503 duly underwent his corrective surgery like a model citizen after which it was easy for him to do what he has known all along that he ought to do – that is to betray his confederates to the police. Additionally and with complete equanimity he watches his ex-lover I-330 tortured by means of compressed air under a glass bell. I-330 along with the captured subversives were, to use the usual Stalinist vernacular, duly ‘liquidated’. In this ideal state death by execution, torture, freedom of speech and assembly, and abject barbarism were common-practice.

The death Machine of the Benefactor is an updated version of the French guillotine. In Zamyatin’s Utopia executions are frequent. They are staged publicly, in the presence of the Benefactor. There are the usual triumphal odes recited by the official poets and before a selected audience consisting of everybody who is anybody. The guillotine-Mark6 of course, is not the old crude instrument, but the latest version of a much-improved model. This instrument functions to literally liquidate its victim, reducing him/her in an instant to a puff of smoke and a pool of clear water. The execution is in fact, nothing less than a human sacrifice, and the scene of pomp and circumstance describing it is given deliberately the colour of the sinister slave civilizations of the ancient world. It is the intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism – human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself, the worship of a leader who is credited with divine attributes that makes Zamyatin’s book ahead of its time and a future world as described into a real possibility.

Such is nature of all totalitarian systems; the quest of perfecting an ideal society consistently fails simply because human nature is imperfect. This much may be true, but it does not follow that human imperfection is rigidly fixed and – mirabile dictu – human nature can be changed and that should be the objective. In the words of Martin Luther King: ‘’One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

3. The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, Volumes 1 to 4 covering the period 1920-1950.

Note: I have left out Orwell’s novels and much of his journalism since these are well known, and decided to concentrate on his writings as contained in the 4 volumes put together from 1920 to 1950

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Eric Blair aka George Orwell (1) was born in Bengal in British India in 1903. His father was a minor customs official in the Indian Civil Service. When Orwell was four years old, his family returned to England, where they settled at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, a village near London, England. Having won a scholarship he was educated at what was possibly the most prestigious boys school in the UK – Eton. It was customary for boys from Eton to ascend to the highest positions in the British colonial and business class. This was not Orwell’s choice, however. After leaving Eton he joined the Indian Imperial Police and spent the years 1922-27 as a sub-divisional officer in Burma. The five years of isolation in Burma must have been decisive for his approach to writing; at a formative age he was removed from the world of intellectual discussion and the literary reviews with the quick succession of opinions and ideas and given instead action and responsibility and the solitude in which to meditate on the justice to which his work made him a party. It was during this period that Orwell produced two of his early essays, namely ‘A Hanging’ and ‘Shooting an Elephant.’

1. A HANGING: 1931

‘’It was in Burma … A sodden morning of the Rains (Monsoon). A sickly light like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail-yard. We were waiting outside of the condemned cells, a row of sheds with double bars, like small animal cages … in some of them brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars with blankets draped around them. These were condemned men waiting to be hanged within the next week or two.’’

Thus the scene was set for the brutal reality of British imperial rule in India.

‘’One prisoner was brought out of his cell. He was a Hindu, a puny wisp of a man, with a shaven head and vague liquid eyes.’’

Orwell and the other warders wanted to get this sordid little business over as soon as possible. They set out for the gallows. It was about 40 yards away. Orwell noted during the last walk of the prisoner:

‘’I watched the bare brown back marching in front of me. He walked clumsily with his bound arms but quite steadily, with that bobbing gait of the Indian who never straightens his knees … And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path.’’

The enormity of what he was bound to do began to dawn on Orwell. Taking a man’s life is a profoundly serious business even if he is only – in pure racist terms – a coolie. In such a situation simply being there, in the middle of all this, one is emotionally temporarily suspended. It’s not really happening, it is happening somewhere else, not here for God’s sake!

‘’It is curious but until that moment I had never realized what it is to destroy a healthy conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness of cutting a life short when it is in full-tide … He and me were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone – one mind less, one world less.’’

After the grisly denouement had been completed a sense of relaxation overtook the hanging party.

‘’The jail Superintendent reached out with his stick and poked the bare body; it oscillated slightly …The moody look had gone out of his face quite suddenly. He glanced at his wrist-watch. ‘‘Eight minutes past eight. Well, that’s all for this morning, Thank God.’’

In fact the whole mood of the hanging party had changed. Several people laughed. At what no-one seemed certain. Assistant Superintendent Francis who was walking by the Superintendent was making a joke of the whole proceedings.

‘’You will scarcely credit, sir, that it took six wardens to dislodge him, three pulling at each leg. We reasoned with him. ’My dear fellow’ he said ’think of all the pain and trouble you are causing to us!’ But no, he would not listen! Ach! he was very troublesome.’’

Job job, job done, to use an English expression. Everyone was now very relaxed after this nauseating little episode.

‘’I found that I was laughing quite loudly. Everyone was laughing. Even the Superintendent in a tolerant way. ‘You’d better all come out and have a drink,’ he said quite genially. ‘I’ve got a bottle of whisky in the car. We could do with it … We all drank together … We all began laughing again … had a drink together, native, and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away.’’

2. SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT – 1936

In this second essay Shooting an Elephant he describes how one morning he was called out to deal with an elephant that had run amok and killed a man. He sends for a rifle to defend himself, but when he eventually catches up with the animal, its attack of must is over and it is quietly pulling up tufts of grass and eating them. Orwell knows that the elephant is much too valuable to be shot out of hand – it is like an expensive capital good – and is anyway by now harmless. But the situation is now beginning to get out of hand. A crowd had gathered.

‘’At that moment I glanced at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a large distance either side. I looked at a sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes – faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me but with my magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realised that I would have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me, and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me there with my rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man’s dominion in the East. Here it was that I, the white man, with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leader of the piece; but in reality, I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys. He becomes a hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For the condition of his rule he must spend his life in trying to ‘impress’ the ‘natives’. And so in every crisis he has got to do what the natives expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.’’

It is generally agreed that both ‘A Hanging’ and ‘Shooting and Elephant’ are among the best essays that Orwell ever wrote, and they certainly provide the most classic examples of his method of progressing from the individual experience to the general conclusion. What is distinctive is his ability to record on the page the progress of a creative intelligence, producing ideas, not from the ideas of others, but from the experience of life itself.

3. MARRAKECH – 1939

‘’As the corpse went by the flies left the restaurant table in a cloud and rushed after it, but they came back a few minutes later.’’

Orwell had been exposed to third world poverty during his time in India, but this was of a different order. He had been advised by his doctor to leave the murk and fog of an English winter due to a bronchial condition and opt for sunnier climes in the searing heat of north Africa but along with the sunshine came the overpowering abject poverty.

‘’The little crowd of mourners – all men and boys, no women – threaded their way across the market-place between the piles of pomegranates and the taxis and the camels, wailing a short chant, over and over again … When the friends got to the burial-ground, they hacked an oblong hole about two feet deep, dumped the body in it and flung into it a little of the dried-up lumpy earth which is like broken brick. No gravestone, no identifying mark of any kind. The burial-ground is merely a huge mound of hummocky earth, like a derelict building lot. After a month or two no-one can be even certain where his own relatives are buried.’’

How quite different this was to Surrey and Hampshire or even the poverty of Jack London’s East End – People of the Abyss. The poverty was simply breath-taking, and Orwell did not hold back from offending the sensibilities of his readers.

‘’When you walk through a town like this – two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom twenty thousand own literally nothing except the rags they stand up in – when you see how the people live, and still more how easily they die, it is always difficult to believe that you are walking among human beings … Do they even have names? Or are they a kind of undifferentiated brown stuff, about is individual as bees or coral insects. They rise out of the earth, they sweat and starve for a few years, and then they sink back into the nameless mounds of the graveyards and nobody notices they are gone.’’

In an interesting passage Orwell described what happened to him when he wandered into the Jewish ghetto in the city.

‘’When you go through the Jewish quarters you gather some idea of what the medieval ghettoes were probably like … I was just passing the coppersmiths booths when somebody noticed that I was lighting a cigarette. Instantly, from the dark holes all around, there was a frenzied rush of Jews, many of them old Grandfathers with flowing grey beards, all clamouring for a cigarette. Even a blind man somewhere at the back of one of the booths heard a rumour of cigarettes and came crawling out, groping the air with his hand. In less than a minute I had used up the whole packet. None of these people, I suppose, works less than twelve hours a day, and every one of them looks upon a cigarette as a more or less impossible luxury.’’

For anyone from the relative affluence of the developed world this would be a painful reading experience. Unfortunately, this is the real world – the global South – in which most people have to eke out a living. A little further on his travels Orwell came across a military column marching southward.

‘’As the storks flew northward the Negroes were marching southward. A long and dusty column of infantry, screw-gun batteries, and then more infantry, four or five thousand men in all winding up the road with a clumping of boots and a clatter of iron wheels … But there is one thought which every white man … thinks when he sees a black army marching past. How much longer can we go on kidding these people? How long before they turn their guns in the other direction?’’

Another author puts the situation more succinctly:

‘’The countries of the global South and the majority of their populations are victims of the capitalist/imperialist systems, whereas those of the North benefit from it. Both know this perfectly well, even though they very often either surrender to it (as in the South) or laud themselves for having it (in the North). A radical transformation of the system is not on the agenda of the North, whereas the South remains a region of tempests of repeated and potentially revolutionary revolts. Consequently the initiatives of the people of the South have, and will be, decisive in the transformation of the world – as is demonstrated by the history of the twentieth century.’’ (2)

NOT COUNTING ‘NIGGERS’ (SIC!) (3)

Clarence Streit was an American journalist who played a prominent role in the Atlanticist and world federalist movements and published a book (Union Now) which suggests that democratic nations starting with fifteen which he names, should voluntarily form themselves into a union, not a league nor an alliance, but a union similar to the United States, with a common government, common currency and complete internal free-trade. In the fullness of time other states could be admitted to the union ‘if and when they proved themselves worthy.’

Orwell comments:

‘’It is worth noticing at the outset that this scheme is not so visionary as it sounds. What is there about it that smells? For it does smell of course … Mr Streit has lumped together the huge British and French empires – in essence nothing but mechanisms for exploiting cheap coloured labour – under the heading of democracies. Here and there in the book, though not often, there are references to the ‘dependencies’ of the democratic states. ‘Dependencies’ means subject races. It is explained that they are going to go on being dependencies, that their resources are going to be pooled among the states of the Union, and that their coloured inhabitants will lack the right to vote in Union affairs … India for example is not yet ready for self-government and the status quo must continue.’’

This neatly coincides with the idea of earlier Fabians such as the playwright George Bernard Shaw who enunciated the view that ‘Good government is better than self-government’ (see Fabianism and the Empire) and even worse was the racist/eugenicist, H.G.Wells. He had written in 1902 that …’’those swarms of black and brown, and dirty white, and yellow who do not come into the new needs of efficiency were self-evidently otiose. The World is a World and not a charitable institution and I take it that they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the World, as I see it, is that they will have to go.’’ (4)

How our latter day social and cultural engineers – Klaus Schwab for one – would fervently endorse those sentiments.

Orwell comments:

‘’Mr Streit is letting cats out of bags, but all phrases like ‘’Peace Bloc’’, ‘’Peace Front’’, etcetera contain some such implications; all imply a tightening up of the existing structure. The unspoken clause is always ‘not counting niggers’. For how can we take a ‘firm stand’ against Hitler if we are simultaneously weakening ourselves at home. In other words how can we fight Fascism’ except by bolstering up a far vaster injustice.

For of course it is vaster. What we always forget is that the overwhelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain but in Asia or Africa. It is not in Hitler’s power, for example, to make a penny an hour the normal industrial wage. It is perfectly normal in India, and we are at great pains to keep it so. One gets some idea of the real relationship between India and Britain when one reflects upon the annual per capita income in Britain is something over £80, and in India about £7. It is quite common for an Indian coolies leg to be thinner than an average Englishman’s arm. And there is nothing racial in this for well-fed members of the same races or of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system we all live on and which we denounce when we see that there is no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a good ‘anti-fascist’ to lie about it and keep it in being.’’

So ended the early period and development of Orwell’s undoubted literary talent and political insights together with his ideological convictions. He has been regarded as a towering figure, almost a patron saint of the left; and unlike many armchair revolutionaries, he was prepared to get down and dirty during his time serving in the POUM (Pardido Obrero Unificacion Marxista – Workers Party of Marxist Unity) militia during his time in Spain, where he nearly died of a neck-wound. He was also to experience extreme poverty in England and France during the great depression. Unfortunately, these combined events had a very deleterious effect on his health, and he died after suffering a lifelong battle against TB common among his earlier and famous contemporaries D.H.Lawrence and Anton Chekov.

However, there was an episode late in his life that caused some controversy on the left, this was his association with the Information Research Department (IRD). This was a secret Cold War propaganda department of the British Foreign Office, created to publish anti-communist propaganda, provide support and information to anti-communist politicians, academics, and writers, and to use weaponized disinformation and “fake news” to attack socialists and anti-colonial movements. Soon after its creation, the IRD broke away from focusing solely on Soviet matters and began to publish pro-colonial propaganda intended to suppress pro-independence revolutions in Asia, Africa, Ireland, and the Middle East. The IRD was heavily involved in the publishing of books, newspapers, leaflets, journals, and even created publishing houses to act as propaganda fronts, most notably Ampersand Limited. Operating for 29 years, the IRD was notable for being the longest-running covert government propaganda department in British history, the largest branch of the Foreign Office, and the first major anglophone propaganda offensive against the USSR since the end of World War II.

The IRD is most notable for being the government department to which George Orwell submitted his list of suspected communists (Orwell’s list), including many notable people such as Charlie ChaplinPaul Robeson, and Michael Redgrave. With the help of Orwell’s widow Sonia Orwell and his former publisher Fredric Warburg, the IRD gained the foreign rights to much of Orwell’s work and spent years distributing Animal Farm onto every continent, translating Orwell’s works into 20 different languages, funding the creation of an Animal Farm carton and working with the CIA to create the feature-length Animal Farm animated movie, the first of its kind in British history. Many historians have noted how Orwell’s literary reputation can largely be credited to joint propaganda operations between the IRD and CIA. The IRD heavily marketed Animal Farm for audiences in the middle east to sway Arab nationalism and independence activists from seeking Soviet aid, as it was believed by IRD agents that a story featuring pigs as the villains would appeal highly towards Muslim audiences. The IRD funded the activities of many authors including  Arthur KoestlerBertrand Russell, and Robert Conquest.

I suppose that the fact that this was a time of red scares and anti-communist witch-hunts that did much to poison the political atmosphere in the west. Even the putatively great humanist philosopher, Bertrand Russell advocated using the Atomic Bomb to destroy the Soviet Union in 1948. Readers should make up their own mind as to Orwell’s ‘conversion’ shortly before he died. But the idea of working with the CIA, and MI5 still rankles.

NOTES

(1) Eric Blair changed his name adopting George (After England’s patron saint Saint George) and ‘Orwell’ from the River Orwell in Suffolk

(2) Samir Amin – The Capitalist-Socialist Conflict & The North-South Conflict. – p.26 – From Capitalism to Civilization.

(3) The use of the pejorative term ‘niggers’ is somewhat unfortunate, but it should be read in the context of the essay and the meaning which is intended by Orwell.

(4) Anticipations – H.G.Wells – London 1918 – p.317

STRATCOM Chief: Nuclear War with Russia, China a REAL POSSIBILITY!

STRATCOM Chief: Nuclear War with Russia, China a REAL POSSIBILITY!

By Staff, Agencies

The head of US Strategic Command Charles Richard warned that a nuclear war with Russia or China is “a real possibility”.

In the February issue of the US Naval Institute’s monthly magazine, the STRATCOM chief and Vice Admiral Richard pointed to what he called “destabilizing” behaviors of America’s rivals. He also claims the Pentagon is not “stuck in the Cold War.”

STRATCOM, which oversees the US nuclear arsenal, views the probability of nuclear war as low. But with Russia and China advancing their capabilities and continuing to “exert themselves globally,” Richard said STRATCOM must understand what it’s facing.

The top American general underscored that “In the absence of change, we are on the path, once again, to prepare for the conflict we prefer instead of one we are likely to face. If that sort of talk seems reminiscent of the Cold War, that’s because it probably is.”

However, Richard claimed the US military has focused on counter-terrorism for two decades while ignoring “the nuclear dimension”. “I bristle when I hear the ‘Department of Defense’ accused of being stuck in the Cold War,” he said. “The department is well past the Cold War.”

So what has the Pentagon been up to? According to Richard, US forces have been completely immersed in fighting terrorism, to the extent that Russia and China have used that to “aggressively” challenge “international norms and global peace using instruments of power and threats of force in ways not seen since the height of the Cold War.” He cited alleged instances of “cyberattacks and threats in space” in particular.

Richard even claimed that the rival powers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to advance their agendas. “We must actively compete to hold their aggression in check,” he said, adding that failing to do so will further embolden Russia and China and lead allies to think the US is unable or unwilling to “lead.”

Such saber-rattling has escalated in recent years, especially between Washington and Moscow. Russia tweaked its nuclear doctrine in 2018 to allow for use of such weapons in response to a nuclear attack or to a conventional attack that threatens the nation’s existence. A Pentagon official said in 2019 that the US would retain its right to carry out a nuclear first strike in response to a conventional attack, noting that allies wouldn’t otherwise believe they are protected.

Likewise, the STRATCOM chief cited Russia’s modernization of its nuclear forces, which he estimated to be about 70 percent complete, as a concern. Noting that Moscow has built “new and novel” systems, such as hypersonic glide missiles, he claimed that it has ignored “international norms” through such actions as an anti-satellite test last year.

Richard added that China also is making “technological leaps” and, like Russia, has harassed US and allied aircraft and forces operating in international airspace and waters. Saying the Chinese nuclear arsenal could double, triple or quadruple in the next decade, he suggested “the US must take action today to position itself for the future.”

In conclusion, Richard cautioned that the US military must shift its stance from assuming that nuclear war won’t happen to working to meet and deter the real possibility of such a conflict – or else “risk suffering embarrassment – or perhaps worse – at the hands of our adversaries.”

The renewed talk of a possible nuclear war comes days after Moscow and Washington agreed to prolong the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, thought to have been doomed to expire by the Donald Trump administration.

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Xi reads the Multilateral Riot Act at Davos

Xi reads the Multilateral Riot Act at Davos

January 26, 2021

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Onwards with the sessions.

Here’s your new social contract

On day one, a “Leadership Panel” examined

How to restore growth, advising the public and private sectors on how to build a “new economic agenda”. Sleep-inducing platitudes were the norm.

WEF’s Agenda sessions cannot possibly address the iron imperative: the implosion of the old economic order under a Green camouflage, conducted by self-appointed, sub-Platonic sages which belong to the world’s wealthiest, will only benefit this 0.0001%.

The Great Reset is not an organic grassroots movement coordinated and benefitting the over 99%. It will lead, inevitably, to techno-feudalism, as I previously argued. Herr Schwab, the Oracle of Ravensburg and Davos supremo, insists in his writings “you will own nothing”.

A WEF graph – Top Ten Most Likely Fall Out for the World – should in fact be interpreted as The Great Reset’s ultimate targets. This is not a warning: it’s the road map ahead.

A session on advancing the new social contract neatly merged with a discussion about “stakeholder capitalism”. That’s a clever P.R. advertisement – what else – for Herr Schwab’s new book: Stakeholder Capitalism, which advances a “more sustainable, resilient and inclusive” global economy and argues for – what else – a “clearly defined social contract” which will allow “governments, business and individuals to produce the most optimal outcomes.”

So here’s how it works. You don’t earn trust: you rebuild it (italics mine). This trust metastasizes into the social contract – which is absolutely necessary for The Great Reset. Selling this new social contract is a matter of rebranding turbo-capitalism globally as “stakeholder capitalism”, or capitalism with a human face.

Not a peep about the Great Reset as a mechanism of unbridled expansion of mega-corporate power, hermetically securing/serving the 0.0001%, which are not, and will never be, suffering The Great Depression.

Stripped to the bone, that’s also one of the key themes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: consolidating, crushing and shepherding the working class masses into the unstable gig economy, commanded by “emotionally intelligent” leaders.

The Who nailed it half a century ago: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

A realpolitik stunner

It’s still unclear what China, Russia and Iran – the real Three Sovereigns in this Brave New World, and the key nodes of progressive Eurasia integration – will counter-propose when faced with the Great Reset.

Into this toxic mix steps in none other than President Xi Jinping, the leader of the global superpower in the making. Instead of Reset platitudes, his Davos Agenda address was quite a realpolitik stunner.

Xi stressed, “to build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruptions or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation (…) We cannot tackle common challenges in a divided world, and confrontation will lead us to a dead end.”

Xi might be interpreted as aligning with Herr Schwab. Not really. Xi stressed solutions to our current plight must be multilateral; but the key is how to implement them geopolitically.

It’s unclear how the new dispensation in the US – humanitarian imperialists, Dem oligarchs, Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Media – will react to Xi’s call: “The misguided approach of antagonism and confrontation, be it in the form of a Cold War, hot war, trade war or tech war, would eventually hurt all countries’ interests (…) “Difference in itself is no cause for alarm. What is alarming are arrogance, prejudice and hatred.”

Xi emphasized a straight to the point definition of multilateralism as

“having international affairs addressed through consultation and the future of the world decided by everyone working together (…) To beggar thy neighbor, to go it alone, and to slip into arrogant isolation will always fail.”

What Xi has made it crystal clear, once again, is the acute contrast between relative Asian serenity and stability and the volcanic chaos engulfing the West’s top power centers. How this intertwines – in realpolitik terms – with Her Schwab’s Brave New World will be a work in progress. For the moment, Xi has just read the Multilateral Riot Act at Davos. The whole Global South is paying attention.

The Plan for Cold War II

Source

NIT

12.01.2021 

Author: Phil Butler

It’s a new year. It’s a time for a change. We need to look at geopolitics differently. That is if we are ever going to have peace and prosperity that is sustainable, and for all. This is why I have decided to take a new approach to political analysis.Today, we must shine the course light of reality on the shadowy agencies of propaganda and manipulation. My first subject will be the Ford Foundation.

Before I get into the reasons for this supposedly altruistic organization’s skullduggery, I should point the reader to a former Ford Foundation beneficiary named Arthur Cyr, and is the report “On Russia’s Putin, Biden must be sharper than his predecessors”. Cyr is a Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) Senior Fellow and a key executive with the aforementioned foundation.

The Ford Foundation is supposed to be on a mission of advancing human welfare. The endowment created by Edsel Ford, of Ford Motor Company fame, now has more than $13 billion in assets and makes grants for over half a billion dollars every year. The foundation supposedly strives for things like world peace, but in reality, the charade of maintaining diversity in higher education, the subterfuge of furthering the arts, it’s about control, lasting control of the “system” of democracy in the west. Digging into the shady history of the foundation immediately brings to light people like Horace Rowan Gaither, who besides being an investment banker, was also the administrator of the Ford Foundation, and one of the founders of Rand Corporation.

Some readers will be familiar with the Gaither Report, which influenced US policy toward Russia like no other. Gaither’s committee’s recommendations to then-President Dwight Eisenhower shaped the arms race and the Cold War that bled both countries dry by feeding the military-industrial complex. Without going into an in-depth history lesson, it was the Gaither Report that ended up being the operational guidebook for the Kennedy/Johnson administration in 1960. The Strategic Air Command (SAC), America’s strategic missile command, and conventional warfare priorities were reshaped in line with what Gaither and his colleagues proposed. Key committee people were brought into JFK’s inner circle, and they would later advise LBJ on carrying out Vietnam and the Cold War. This is all outlined in “The Gaither Committee, Eisenhower, and the Cold War”, by David L. Snead.

Gaither and men like Bernard Brodie, Henry Kissinger, Robert Osgood, Paul Nitze, and William Kaufman made sure that the United States developed a military that was capable of conducting what would later be termed “limited wars”, and President Eisenhower left office announcing the danger of the so-called “military-industrial complex” to the American people. The general who commanded all allied forces in World War II, called out the warmongers in public, just before Kennedy took office. And the Ford Foundation was a key partner in this “deep state” network. Later, when Kennedy balked at escalating Vietnam, and when relations with the Soviet Union warmed up after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the “network” turned on the new president. JFK was assassinated, LBJ immediately escalated Vietnam, and a generation of Americans died while the coffers of corporations filled with gold.

No one can say whether or not Ford Foundation actors had any part in the Kennedy assassination, but the record of the foundation is stained with blood from a dozen wars. It should be no surprise, that much of what went on in the Gaither Committee remains classified. What we do know is that the committee was packed with generals and those vested in a huge military buildup aimed at real or imagined enemies of America. One time US Steel CEO Benjamine Fairless was on the committee, and so were Edward Ryerson (Inland Steel), and Robert Lovett (Sec. Defense who directed the Korean War). I’ll spare the reader the full list of warmongers who designed US military strategies from World War II until the present. It’s only important that I show the meaningful contributions to world peace that the Ford Foundation has made these last 84 years. Today, the Ford Foundation supports scholars at universities like Johns Hopkins, where the foundation’s president Darren Walker gave the commencement speech for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in 2017. I mention this speech because of the darkly poetic symbolism it represents.

Paul H. Nitze was a key member of the Gaither Committee and the architect of Cold War policy development for several presidential administrations. The scholar Ernest R. May once said that Nitze’s notorious NSC 68 “provided the blueprint for the militarization of the Cold War from 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s.” The NSC 68, for those unfamiliar, was initiated during the Truman administration and rejected any notion that alternative policies of friendly détente and containment of the Soviet Union. Both Lovett and Nitze were instrumental in creating these policies. The policies of unceasing war, untolled death and destruction, and hundreds of trillions wasted on militarism can all be traced directly or indirectly to our idealistic, wonderful, philanthropic Ford Foundation. The industrialists, the legendary figures that shaped the current world order, they are all tied to the current insanity and Russophobia aimed at the figurehead of Russia. From Forrestal in World War II to Ford, Rockefeller, the SALT treaties, to the survival of civilization as these people view it, the titanium threads that bind these people and their ideas enslave us all. Terms like “monumental” are overused, but in the case of the Ford Foundation, the word is appropriate.

I am not the first researcher to accuse the Ford Foundation of international skullduggery. Activist Arundhati Roy connected the foundation, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, with supporting imperialist efforts by the US government during the Cold War, as well. More recently, Ford Foundation’s president was caught reaching out to the notorious Hillary Clinton friend John Podesta who worked for Chief of Staff for Obama, for trying to coerce India’s Narendra Modi into backing off on accusations the foundation was interfering in Indian politics. But coercion like this is nothing compared with how Ford Foundation and other such institutions have altered the fabric of America and the world. It’s fair to say these NGOs have been the instrument by which the liberal world order has manipulated everything from education to human rights, health, and welfare to warfare. If monumental is a word for Ford Foundation, a synonym is “catastrophic” if we ever hoped for peace and prosperity in our time. And Vladimir Putin is the villain for dragging his country out from underneath all this?

If you were looking for the reason society in the west seems to be breaking down, don’t look at COVID-19 or vaccines. Look at how the Ford Foundation and other fat-cat organizations are helping to deconstruct the world to rebuild it in the image of the liberal elites. Don’t look at Donald Trump as a crazy conservative big mouth, look at the outgoing president as a means to an end. Look at what is happening without rose-colored glasses, and with the full knowledge that multibillion-dollar organizations cannot be philanthropic. Read “The Billions of Dollars That Made Things Worse”, and then consider. Should the new president be sharper than the old ones? No, it’s not necessary. All Joe Biden has to do is listen to the Ford Foundation and its backroom elites, and Cold War II can go on as planned.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

أمريكا والصين، هل من حرب باردة جديدة؟

أمريكا_والصين_هل_من_حرب_باردة_جديدة_مركز_دراسات_الوحدة_العربية
أمريكا والصين: هل من حرب باردة جديدة؟

نُشر هذا المقال في العدد 501 من مجلة المستقبل العربي التابع لمركز دراسات الوحدة العربية، وأعيد نشره هنا.

بقلم عمرو علان

لا يتوقف المحللون الإستراتيجيون والسياسيون الغربيون، سيما الأمريكيون منهم، عن الحديث في هذه الأيام عن “حرب باردة ثانية” بين الصين والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، فهل فعلا بات العالم على أبواب “حرب باردة ثانية”؟ وكيف وصلنا إلى هذه النقطة؟ إن الإجابة عن هذه الأسئلة الأساسية تقتضي بالضرورة العمل على استرجاع تسلسل الأحداث على النحو الآتي:

بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفيتي وانهيار جدار برلين، أعلنت الدول الغربية بقيادة أمريكا نصرها النهائي على كل منافسيها في العالم وإلى الأبد، حيث بدأ المنظرون الأمريكيون يتحدثون عن نهاية التاريخ، وكان أكثر من تبنى هذا الطرح “المحافظون الجدد”، إذ قال أحد أبرز منظريهم وليام كريستال “William Kristol” إن القرن العشرين كان قرن أمريكا، لكن القرن الواحد والعشرين سيكون القرن الأمريكي،1 ومن جهة أخرى عكف السياسيون الأمريكيون على رسم الخطط لإدامة هذا النصر التاريخي والتفوق على باقي دول العالم، فاختلقوا “الحرب على الإرهاب” كستار لها؛ لتقوم بنقلة إستراتيجية على مستوى رقعة العالم تمثلت بغزو منطقة وسط وغرب آسيا (أفغانستان وإيران والبلاد العربية وتركيا) ومن ثم السيطرة عليها، بهدف إخضاع دول المنطقة الأوراسية للهيمنة الأمريكية الكاملة، حيث تعد منطقة أوراسيا خزان العالم من الموارد الطبيعية

والمواد الأولية، وتشكل في الوقت ذاته كتلة بشرية كبرى، وإن من شأن السيطرة عليها تأمين التحكم بمصادر الطاقة العالمية، والسيطرة على عقدة خطوط نقلها بالإضافة إلى السيطرة على خطوط نقل البضائع سواء عبر البر أو عبر الممرات المائية الإستراتيجية، وبهذا تستطيع أمريكا التحكم باقتصادات دول العالم كاملة، وبمدى النمو الاقتصادي لهذه الدول بما في ذلك الصين وروسيا، لا سيما أن أمريكا تتحكم بقنوات النقد العالمي وشبكة اتصالات العالم عبر سيطرتها على “الإنترنت”. وكان من المهم أيضا من وجهة النظر الأمريكية القضاء على باقي البُؤر المقاوِمة للهيمنة الأمريكية المتبقية في العالم التي صنفها جورج بوش الابن على أنها دول (محور الشر)، بما يخدم أيضا أمن الكيان الصهيوني؛ حيث لم يكن اللوبي الصهيوني بعيدا عن هذه المخططات، فكانت حربا أفغانستان والعراق لتحقيق هذين الهدفين الإستراتيجيين: السيطرة على غرب آسيا أولا، والقضاء على دول (محور الشر) بحسب الوصف الأمريكي ثانيا. وبناء على تجربة “حلف شمال الأطلسي” في حرب كوسوفو في تسعينيات القرن الماضي، اعتقد الأمريكي أنه يمكنه حسم حروب منطقة غرب آسيا سريعا، معتمدين في ذلك على سلاح الجو دون أن تطأ أقدام جنوده الأرض، وظهر وقتها الحديث عن نظرية “حجارة الدومينو”، وهنا تجدر الإشارة إلى أنه بالإضافة إلى ركون أمريكا لفكرة حسم حروب منطقة غرب آسيا بسرعة مما يؤمن لها التحكم بمستقبل الصين الاقتصادي، ركنت أيضا إلى تقدير آخر خاطئ مفاده أن مصير الصين سيكون مثل مصير باقي دول المعسكر الاشتراكي بعد أن تفكك ذاك المعسكر، وأن الشيوعية قد انتهت في الصين وإنها على طريق التحول إلى الرأسمالية، ولذلك أهملت أمريكا إستراتيجية “احتواء الصين”،2 وقد أثبتت النتائج خطأ كل هذه التقديرات التي لم تتنبه إلى قوة النظام السياسي الصيني بقيادة الحزب الشيوعي الصيني في الحفاظ على الدولة ووحدة الصين.

غرقت أمريكا في وحل منطقة غرب آسيا سيما في منطقتنا العربية، إذ وجِهَت بمقاومة شديدة من حركات مقاومة شعبية مدعومة من الدول الرافضة للهيمنة الأمريكية التي كانت أمريكا قد جاءت لتُجْهِز عليها أو تروضها، ونتيجة لذلك فشل الهدف الإستراتيجي الرامي إلى بسط النفوذ الأمريكي على المنطقة

وخلق “شرق أوسط جديد”، وعوضا عن ذلك دخلت أمريكا في حروب مكلفة لا تنتهي بحسب وصف دونالد ترامب، وكانت الصين في غمرة انشغال أمريكا بمغامراتها الشرق أوسطية تبني اقتصادها بشكل هادئ ومستمر، وتطوِّر في بنيتها التحتية وقدراتها التصنيعية، وتنمي قطاعات التطوير التقني والابتكار العلمي، واستمر هذا الوضع إلى عهد إدارة الرئيس الأمريكي براك أوباما الذي انتبه إلى الخطأ الإستراتيجي الذي وقعت فيه أمريكا في طريقة تعاملها مع الصعود الصيني، عندها بدأت ظهور مؤشرات على سياسة أمريكية خارجية تُركز أكثر على الصين، بما أُطلِق عليها الاتجاه نحو شرق آسيا “Asia to East Pivot”.

تعد الورقة البحثية التي قدمتها وزيرة الخارجية الأمريكية هلاري كلينتون في تشرين ثاني 2011 حول السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية اتجاه آسيا، بداية المؤشرات على التحول في الإستراتيجية الأمريكية، تلك الورقة التي دعت فيها إلى زيادة الاستثمار الدبلوماسي والاقتصادي والإستراتيجي في منطقة آسيا والمحيط الهادي،3 وفي نفس الشهر أعلن الرئيس براك أوباما عن التوصل إلى اتفاقيات للتجارة الحرة مع ثماني دول أخرى في قمة منتدى التعاون الاقتصادي لدول آسيا والمحيط الهادي “APEC”، وقد قرأت الصين في هذا المستجد محاولة أمريكية لكبح نموها الاقتصادي والسياسي لا سيما أن الرئيس براك أوباما أعلن في وقت لاحق نشر 2500 جندي من قوات “المارينز” في أستراليا، مما استدعى الصين توجيه انتقادات لهذه الخطوة، واستمر منذ ذلك الوقت تصاعد وتيرة الضغوط الأمريكية اتجاه الصين وتعاظم الشد والجذب، ومع وصول إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب لسدة الحكم، اتخذت اللغة العدوانية والسياسة الصدامية الأمريكية اتجاه الصين مستوى غير مسبوق، فاعتبرت الإدارة الأمريكية أن الصين تشكل خطرا أكبر على أمنها القومي من ذلك الذي يشكله “الإرهاب الدولي” كما جاء على لسان وزير الخارجية الأمريكي مايك بومبيو، وكان خطاب نائب الرئيس الأمريكي مايك بنس في تشرين أول 2018 أمام مؤسسة هَدْسِنْ “Hudson Institute” بأن الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ستجعل من المنافسة عبر الضرائب أولوية في التعامل مع الصين عوضا عن التعاون كي تواجه ما أسماه العدوانية الاقتصادية الصينية، وربما يلخِّص لنا قول ستيف بانن “Steve Bannon” أحد مستشاري دونالد ترامب السابقين المدى الذي وصل إليه التوجه العدواني

الأمريكي نحو الصين إذ قال: هذان نظامان غير متجانسين، أحدهما سيفوز والآخر سيخسر.4 ومنذ ذلك الحين والمحافل الأمريكية بالإضافة إلى شخصيات بارزة كالمؤرخ وُلْتَر رَسِلْ ميد “Walter Russell Mead” لا ينفكون عن الحديث عن “حرب باردة” مع الصين،5 أما بالنسبة “لكوفيد-19” فقد كان فقط عاملا مسَرعا لما كان قائما بالأصل، إذن لأي مدى يمكن أن تصل هذه “الحرب الباردة” المفترضة؟ وما هي مكامن قوة الصين في مواجهتها؟

يبدو من خطوات الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لغاية يومنا هذا أنها تسعى للضغط على الصين في ثلاثة مستويات: أولا الضغط على دول العالم والدول الحليفة للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية كي تقلل الاعتماد على المنتوجات الصينية، أما المستوى الثاني فيتمثل في تخفيف التداخل بين الاقتصادين الأمريكي والصيني من خلال فرض الضرائب على الواردات الصينية للأسواق الأمريكية، ومن خلال محاولة تنويع مصادر “سلاسل توريد” الصناعات الأمريكية ونقلها إلى دول غير الصين أما الثالث فيتمثل في الضغط العسكري في بحر الصين الجنوبي ومحاولة تحجيم النفوذ الصيني العسكري في منطقة الملاحة البحرية الإستراتيجية تلك.

ويظهر من طبيعة هذه الخطوات أن مدى فعاليتها يتوقف على وجود إستراتيجية مواجهة واضحة، بالإضافة إلى وجود تحالف متفاهم وتحت ظل قيادة جاذبة، وكانت الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية قد برعت في تأمين هكذا تحالف في “الحرب الباردة” ضد الاتحاد السوفيتي، بينما نجد في ظل إدارة دونالد ترامب اليوم، وبسبب إجراءاتها المنفرة للحليف قبل العدو، فرصة ضعيفة لقيام هكذا تحالف، وفي هذا الشأن نصت ورقة رسمية حديثة عنيت بشرح أسس الإستراتيجية الأمريكية الجديدة لمواجهة الصين على أن الهدف الأول للسياسة الأمريكية هو تقوية التحالفات والشراكات،6 وفي هذا الصدد يعَلِق كيشور ماهبوباني “Kishore Mahbubani”، الممثل الدائم لسينغافورا في الأمم المتحدة السابق والزميل في مؤسسة الأبحاث الآسيوية “Asia Research Institute”، بالقول: إن دونالد ترامب قد حضّر لهذه المعركة بطريقة فوضوية،

المشكلة الأساسية أن الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية قررت البدء في منازلة الصين – الحضارة الأقدم على وجه الأرض – دون صياغة إستراتيجية مفصلة حول الكيفية التي ستدير فيها هذه المنازلة أولا؛ إن هذا لأمر صادم فعلا.7 وتخْلُص مايرا راب هوبر “Mira Rapp-Hooper” في كتابها دروع الجمهورية إلى أن دونالد ترامب يُقطِّع أوصال تحالفات الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية مع حلفائها نتيجة ابتزازه الدائم لهم مقابل الحماية، وإنه يُنَفر الحلفاء بتقاربه مع الخصوم أحيانا، وإن من شأن هذه التصرفات أن تَهدم أصل فكرة وجود تهديدات مشتركة بين الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وحلفائها معا.8 فهل يتغير هذا الوضع بعد الانتخابات الأمريكية القادمة إن نجح الديمقراطيون؟ وفي المقابل، إن نجح ترامب، فهل سيُغير من عقليته المادية؟ وهل يُعدِّل في طريقة تعامله مع حلفاء الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية بعد أن يكون قد تخلص من هاجس الفوز بدورة رئاسية جديدة؟

عموما، حتى في حال نجاح أمريكا بتشكيل حلف لمواجهة الصين بعد الانتخابات، فإن هذه المواجهة لن تكون بمثابة نزهة، فالصين أحسنت استغلال العقود الماضية، وانشغال أمريكا عنها بحروب غرب آسيا، فكبر اقتصاد الصين وتخطى اقتصاد اليابان ليصبح ثاني أكبر اقتصاد حول العالم بعد الأمريكي، والأسرع نموا بناتج قومي يصل إلى 14.14 ترليون دولار في العام 2019 بحسب “Nasdaq”. ويقول رئيس الوزراء السينغافوري لي سيان لون “Lee Hsien Loong”: إن دول شرق آسيا ترى في أمريكا قوة موجودة في المنطقة ولها مصالحها، ولكن الصين هي حقيقة موجودة في الجوار، وإن دول شرق آسيا لا ترغب في أن تُخير بين الاثنتين،9 ويضيف كيشور ماهبوباني “Kishore Mahbubani”: بأن الطلب الأمريكي من كوريا واليابان تقليص التداخل بين اقتصاديهما وبين الاقتصاد الصيني هو بمثابة انتحار اقتصادي.

ومن جهتها تتخوف أوروبا، الحليف الأقرب للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، من الضغوط الأمريكية عليها لتقليص التداخل مع الاقتصاد الصيني، فبرغم اعتبار

أوروبا رسميا الصين “منافسا منهجيا”،10 وسعي دول الاتحاد الأوروبي إلى تنويع “سلاسل التوريد” من الصين، فإن مسؤول السياسة الخارجية في الاتحاد الأوروبي جوسيب بوريل “Josep Borrell” يقول: إن أوروبا لا ترغب بأن تُستدرج إلى حرب دونالد ترامب الشاملة على الصين، وأن أوروبا تملك سياستها الخاصة في هذا الخصوص، كيف لا؟ وعدة استطلاعات رأي ألمانية أظهرت مؤخرا اعتبار الألمانيين دونالد ترامب خطرأ أكبر على السلم الدولي من نظيره الصيني شي جِنْ بِنْغ، هذا لا يعود مستغربا إذا عرفنا مثلا أن صادرات ألمانيا إلى الصين بلغت 96 مليار يورو في العام 2019، وأن شركة الاتصالات الألمانية وصفت إجبارها على التخلي عن المعدات الصينية التي تستخدمها بسيناريو “هرمجدون”، وأن ذلك سيستغرق خمسة سنوات وسيكلف مليارات اليوروهات بحسب الشركة.11

وأكتفي بالإشارة إلى أن 14 دولة من أصل 20 من دول أمريكا اللاتينية قد انضمت مؤخرا إلى مبادرة الصين “الحزام والطريق”، وبحسب تعبير أحد الصحفيين الغربيين: إن أمريكا اللاتينية تتحول سريعا من “الحديقة الخلفية” للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لتصير “الحديقة الأمامية” للصين.

وكي لا أطيل الحديث أيضا، أكتفي باستعارة ما قاله المؤرخ نايل فيرغسون ” Niall Ferguson” أمام جمعية هنري جاكسون ” the Henry Jackson Society”: حيث قال أنه عند التحدث عن التمويل في أفريقيا فإننا لا نجد إلا لاعبا وحيدا هناك وهو الصين.

أما على المستوى الدولي، فقد تجاوز حجم إقراضات الصين مؤخرا مجموع القروض التي قدمها البنك الدولي ونادي باريس مجتمعين بحسب إحصائيات مؤسسة كيل للاقتصاد العالمي “the Kiel Institute for the World Economy”.

تضع كل هذه الإشارات علامات استفهام على مدى قدرة نجاح أمريكا في الضغط على دول العالم لعزل الصين تجاريا سواء أكان ذلك في ظل قيام تحالف أمريكي أو بدونه، ويتضح هذا أكثر إذا أخذنا ربيبة أمريكا الكيان الصهيوني،

وحليف دونالد ترامب الأول بنيامين نتنياهو مثالا، فما يزال الكيان الصهيوني يتردد في فسخ العقود التي أبرمها مع شركة “هواوي” برغم الضغوط الحقيقية الأمريكية بهذا الاتجاه.

لكن يبقى لدى أمريكا ورقتا ضغط قويتان ضد الصين، تتمثل الأولى في فرض المزيد من الضرائب على البضائع الصينية والسعي لتقليص “سلاسل توريد” الصناعات الأمريكية من الصين، وهذا بلا ريب سيكون له الأثر السلبي على الاقتصاد الصيني، لكن في المقابل سيكون لهذا السعي انعكاسات سلبية على الاقتصاد الأمريكي ذاته، كما أنه يوجد أمام هذا التوجه عقبات عملية جدية أيضا، كيف لا والصين صارت بمثابة مصنع العالم بإجماع الخبراء تقريبا، فمثلا تستحوذ الصين على حوالي 80% من صادرات الدواء والمواد الأولية لصناعة العقاقير الدوائية إلى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية،12 بل يذهب البعض إلى أن واردات المضادات الحيوية الأمريكية من الصين تصل إلى 97%،13 وفي رواية يُتندر بها في هذا السياق ما يُروى على لسان السفير الصيني في إيران أنه قال: إن الصين لو أوقفت صادرات الأحذية لأمريكا فإن الأمريكيين سيضطرون للمشي حفاة بعد أسابيع!14 وفي نفس هذا السياق أيضا، كانت أمريكا قد فرضت حظرا على بيع الشرائح الإلكترونية الأمريكية لشركة ز.ت.ي. الصينية “ZTE Corporation” في نيسان من عام 2018 فيما بات يعرف “بالحرب التقنية”، لكن كانت النتيجة أن زادت مشتريات كل من تايوان وفيتنام وتايلاند وأندونيسيا من الصين بنسبة %50 تقريبا في نيسان من عام 2020 مقارنة بنيسان 2019 بهدف تقليص الاعتماد على “سلاسل التوريد” الأمريكية بسبب الحظر الأمريكي، وأيضا سجلت اليابان وكوريا زيادة بنسبة عشرين بالمئة من وارداتها الصينية لنفس الهدف،15 ويلخص الأستاذ الجامعي كين مواك الأمر في مقاله بعنوان لماذا لا تستطيع الحرب التجارية ردع نهوض الصين؟ بالقول: “خلاصة القول، لا تستطيع الولايات المتحدة وقف نهوض الصين. وبالعكس من ذلك، يبدو أن المواقف المناهضة للصين قد عززت العملاق الآسيوي أكثر من ذلك، حيث تدفقت مبالغ ضخمة على

تصنيع الابتكار وتطوير الأسلحة وإنتاجها”.16 فإذن من يكون الخاسر الأكبر من أي حرب اقتصادية أمريكية على الصين؟ الصين أم أمريكا؟

أما الورقة الثانية فتتمثل بسيطرة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية على قنوات المال في العالم، وتحكّمها بعملة التجارة العالمية الدولار، مما يشكل مشكلة إستراتيجية لكل من الصين وباقي الدول الأخرى الساعية للتخلص من الهيمنة الأمريكية على حد سواء، سيما في ظل المبالغة الأمريكية في الآونة الأخيرة في استخدام سلاح العقوبات ضد خصومها، فلم يبقَ في جعبتها سلاح آخر فعلي قابل للاستخدام يكون أقل تكلفة على أمريكا، لكن رُبّ ضارة نافعة، فلكل فعل رد فعل، حيث أدت هذه المبالغة الأمريكية إلى استفزاز الدول الكبرى الأخرى كروسيا والصين، وباقي الدول الأخرى الساعية للتخلص من السطوة الأمريكية بإيجاد نظام مالي موازي للتبادل التجاري العالمي لتخطي تلك العقوبات الاقتصادية الأمريكية، وكان من ذلك اتفاقية الاستثمار والتبادل التجاري بالعملات المحلية التي وقعتها دول منظمة شانغهاي للتعاون ” Shanghai Cooperation Organisation” في آذار من هذا العام،17 بالإضافة للاتفاقيات السابقة بين الصين وروسيا للتبادل التجاري بالعملات المحلية، وبين الصين ودول أخرى على نفس المنوال، ويضاف إلى هذه الخطوات أيضا نظامي التحويلات البنكية الصيني “CIPS ” والروسي “SPFS ” اللذان تم تأسيسهما لتخطي نظام “SWIFT ” الأمريكي مما يؤمن لتلك الدول القدرة على تفادي العقوبات المالية الأمريكية،18 وتعد كل هذه الخطوات خطوات جذرية من شأنها إيجاد نظام مالي عالمي موازي للنظام الحاكم حاليا، إذا ما تابعها القيمون عليها بجدية وكُتب لها النجاح.

وفي الحقيقة يمكن بقدر ما إضافة ورقة ثالثة إلى الورقتين الآنافتي الذكر، تتمثل في قضية الإيغور وإمكانية توظيف أمريكا لهذه القضية في الضغط على الصين سياسيا أمام المحافل الدولية، وضمن حملات التشويه الإعلامية الممنهجة للصين مستغلةً الديباجة القديمة الجديدة التي تسميها أمريكا والغرب عموما قضايا

حقوق الإنسان، وبدرجة أخطر يمكن لأمريكا توظيف هذه الورقة عبر دعم الحركات الانفصالية المتطرفة الموجودة في ذلك الإقليم الصيني؛ تمويلا وتسليحا بهدف إثارة القلاقل الأمنية في الداخل الصيني سيما أن أمريكا كانت قد برعت في استعمال هكذا اساليب أمنية ضد خصومها في الماضي. لكن بخصوص قدرة أمريكا والغرب عموما على التوظيف السياسي لورقة الإيغور، يمكن الاستدلال بوجهة التصويت الذي حصل في تموز 2019 في مجلس حقوق الإنسان في الأمم المتحدة، حيث كان قد سقط مشروع قرار لإدانة الصين على خلفية قضية الإيغور الذي كان مدعوما من 22 دولة غربية، بينما وقَّعت أكثر من 50 دولة رسالة مضادة تتهم فيها الدول الغربية بتسييس قضايا حقوق الإنسان وتثني فيها على إنجازات الصين في ذلك المضمار.

وأخيرا يبقى المستوى الأخطر، وهو الصدام العسكري المباشر بين العملاقين النوويين، سيما في ظل تحرشات البحرية الأمريكية المستمرة بالبحرية الصينية في بحر الصين الجنوبي، أو بسبب التجاذب الحاد بين كِلا القطبين حول تايوان بما يمثله تموضع هذه الدولة من أهمية إستراتيجية لهما, وتنقسم آراء الإستراتيجيين حول إمكانية حصول هكذا صدام مباشر بين متوقِّع أو مستبعِد،19 أما السياسيون الأمريكيون وبالتأكيد نظراؤهم الصينيون فيقولون أن هذا الخيار غير موضوع على الطاولة، ، فحتى لو تفوقت أمريكا على الصين عسكريا في بعض النواحي التكتيكية، يبقى التوازن العسكري الإستراتيجي بين القوتين النوويتين هو الحاكم، وعلى الأرجح أن ينسحب على قواعد هذا المستوى من الصراع ما هو قائم بين روسيا وأمريكا حاليا، ففي ظل عدم وجود تفوق إستراتيجي حاسم لأحد القوى النووية على الآخر يظل الردع النووي المتبادل هو سيد الموقف، فهل ستلجأ أمريكا إلى حرب يمكن لها أن تصل إلى صدام نووي من أجل المحافظة على هيمنتها؟

يُجمِع الحزبان الجمهوري والديموقراطي الأمريكيان على العداء لجمهورية الصين الشعبية، وعلى محاولة الضغط عليها سياسيا واقتصاديا، لكن الصين تدخل هذا المعترك متسلحة بنظام سياسي مميز يجمع بين اللينينية والرأسمالية، ويرتكز على التراث الصيني الضارب في التاريخ، إذ نجح هذا النظام في تفادي الأخطاء التي وقع فيها الاتحاد السوفيتي سابقا، والصين هي مساحة جغرافية ضخمة وكتلة

سكانية مهولة، ولدى شعبها روح وطنية عالية وقدرة كبيرة على الإبداع، وتملك اقتصادا ضخما وصاعدا يتداخل مع اقتصادات معظم دول العالم؛ معطوفا عليه شبكة تحالفات قوية مع دول عظمى كروسيا ودول صاعدة كإيران، ورؤية إستراتيجية مستقبلية تتمثل في مشروع “الحزام والطريق”، يضاف لكل هذا قوة عسكرية ونووية معتبرة، ويقول فرانسيس فوكوياما “Francis Fukuyama”: إن أول حضارة إنسانية أقامت دولة حديثة كانت الحضارة الصينية.20

بينما نرى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية خارجة من إخفاقات إستراتيجية في حروبها في غرب آسيا، ونظام اقتصادي باتت قدرته على الاستمرار موضع تساؤلات، وفوضى داخلية بعد أدائها الهزلي في مواجهة العامل المسرّع “كوفيد-19″، وتراجع على الساحة الدولية بات لا يشكك في حقيقته أحد، فهل مع كل هذا يظل الحديث عن “حرب باردة” جديدة واقعيا؟ وهل فعلا يصح المقارنة بين الوضع الحالي بما كان عليه الحال فترة “الحرب الباردة” مع الإتحاد السوفيتي؟ ولعله فعلا يصح في الأحاديث عن حرب جديدة باردة مع الصين مقولة الشخصية الشيكسبيرية بانكيو “Banquo”: إنها قصة يحكيها أحمق، ملآة بالصخب والغضب، تشير إلى لا شيء.

وأخيرا، يبدو أن الصين مدركة لكل هذه الوقائع، لذلك كانت خطوتها يوم 30 حزيران 2020 بإضافة قانون الأمن القومي إلى القانون الأساسي الحاكم لوضعية هونك كونغ الخاصة،21 تلك الخطوة التي تأخرت 23 سنة تفاديا للصدام مع الولايات المتحدة ، والتي من شأنها وقف التدخلات الخارجية في إقليم هونك كونغ، تدخلات من قبيل منع التمويل الأجنبي للمنظمات الطلابية المعارِضة والمرتبطة بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، وجاءت هذه الخطوة كي تنزع من يد الأمريكي ورقة أخرى كانت لتكون شوكة في الخاصرة الصينية، ولكي تعلن وبشكل عملي عن تراجع الهيمنة الأمريكية في العالم، وعن محدودية الأوراق الأمريكية في مواجهة نمو الصين.

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF
Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.Peter is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020) Peter

November 17, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) work hand in glove – smoothly. Not only are they regularly lending huge sums of money to horror regimes around the world, but they blackmail poor nations into accepting draconian conditions imposed by the west.

In other words, the WB and the IMF are guilty of the most atrocious human rights abuses.

You couldn’t tell, when you read above the entrance of the World Bank the noble phrase, “Our Dream is World Free of Poverty”.

To this hypocrisy I can only add, ”…And we make sure it will just remain a dream.” This says both, the lie and the criminal nature of the two International Financial Institutions, created under the Charter of the United Nations, but instigated by the United States.

The front of these institutions is brilliant. What meets the eye, are investments in social infrastructure, in schools, health systems, basic needs like drinking water, sanitation – even environmental protection – over all “Poverty Alleviation”, i.e. A World Free of Poverty. But how fake this is today and was already in the 1970’s and 1980’s is astounding. Gradually people are opening their eyes to an abject reality, of exploitation and coercion and outright blackmail. And that, under the auspices of the United Nations. What does it tell you about the UN system? In what hands are the UN? – The world organization was created in San Francisco, California, on 24 October 1945, just after WWII, by 51 nations, committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN replaced the League of Nations which was part of the Peace Agreement after WWI, the Treaty of Versailles. It became effective on 10 January 1920, was headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, with the purpose of disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries, through negotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. In hindsight it is easy to see that the entire UN system was set up as a hypocritical farce, making people believe that their mighty leaders only wanted peace. These might leaders were all westerners; the same that less than 20 years after the creation of the noble League of Nations, started World War II.

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This little introduction provides the context for what was eventually to become the UN-backed outgrowth for global theft, for impoverishing nations, around the world, for exploitation of people, for human rights abuses and for shoveling huge amounts of assets from the bottom, from the people, to the oligarchy, the ever-smaller corporate elite – the so-called Bretton Woods Institutions.

In July 1944 more than 700 delegates of 44 Allied Nations (allied with the winners of WWII) met at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after WWII. Let’s be sure, this conference was carried out under the auspices of the United States, the self-declared winner of WWII, and from now on forward the master over the financial order of the world – which was not immediately visible, an agenda hidden in plain sight.

The IMF was officially created to ‘regulate’ the wester, so-called convertible currencies, those that subscribed to apply the rules of the new gold standard, i.e. US$ 35 / Troy Ounce (about 31.1 grams). Note that the gold standard, although applicable equally to 44 allied nations was linked to the price of gold nominated in US dollars, not based on a basket of the value of the 44 national currencies. This already was enough reason to question the future system. And how it will play out. But nobody questioned the arrangement. Hard to believe though that of all these national economists, none dared question the treacherous nature of the gold-standard set-up.

The World Bank, or the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), was officially set up to administer the Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of war-destroyed Europe. The Marshall Plan was a donation by the United Stated and was named for U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, who proposed it in 1947. The plan gave $13.2 billion in foreign aid to European countries that had been devastated physically and economically by World War II. It was to be implemented from 1948 to 1952 which of course was much too short a time, and stretched into the early 1960s. In today’s terms the Marshall plan would be worth about 10 time more, or some US$ 135 billion.

The Marshall Plan was and still is a Revolving Fund, paid back by the countries in question, so that it could be relent. The Marshall Plan money was lent out multiple times and was therefore very effective. The European counterpart to the World Bank-administered Marshall Fund was a newly to be created bank set up under the German Ministry of Finance, The German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW – German acronym for Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau”).

KfW, as the World Bank’s European counterpart still exists and dedicates itself mostly to development projects in the Global South, often in cooperation with the World Bank. Today there is still a special Department within KfW that deals exclusively with Marshall Plan Fund money. These funds are used for lending to poor southern regions in Europe, and also to prop up Eastern European economies, and they were used especially to integrate former East-Germany into today’s “Grand Germany”.

Two elements of the Marshall Plan are particularly striking and noteworthy. First, the reconstruction plan created a bind, a dependence between the US and Europe, the very Europe that was largely destroyed by the western allied forces, while basically WWII was largely won by the Soviet Union, the huge sacrifices of the USSR – with an estimated 25 to 30 million deaths. So, the Marshall Plan was also designed as a shield against communist Russia, i.e. the USSR.

While officially the Soviet Union was an ally of the western powers, US, UK, and France, in reality the communist USSR was an arch-enemy of the west, especially the United States. With the Marshall Plan money, the US bought Europe’s alliance, a dependence that has not ended to this day. The ensuing Cold War against the Soviet Union – also all based on flagrant lies, was direct testimony for another western propaganda farce – which to this day, most Europeans haven’t grasped yet.

Second, The US imposition of a US-dollar based reconstruction fund, was not only creating a European dollar dependence, but was also laying the ground work for a singular currency, eventually to invade Europe – what we know today, has become the Euro. The Euro is nothing but the foster child of the dollar, as it was created under the same image as the US-dollar – it is a fiat currency, backed by nothing. The United Europe, or now called the European Union – was never really a union. It was never a European idea, but put forward by US Secret Services in disguise of a few treacherous European honchos. And every attempt to create a United Europe, a European Federation, with a European Constitution, similar to the United States, was bitterly sabotaged by the US, mostly through the US mole in the EU, namely the UK.

The US didn’t want a strong Europe, both economically and possibly over time also militarily (pop. EU 450 million, vs US pop. 330 million; 2019 EU GDP US$ 20.3 trillion equivalent, vs US GDP US$ 21.4 trillion. Most economists would agree that a common currency for a loose group of countries has no future, is not sustainable. In comes the European Central Bank (ECB), also a creation inspired by the FED. The ECB has really no Central Bank function. It is rater a watch dog. Because each EU member country has still her own Central Bank, though with a drastically reduced sovereignty.

Out of the currently 27 EU members only 19 are part of the Euro-zone. Those countries not part of the Eurozone, i.e. Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden – and more, have preserved their sovereign financial policy and do not depend on the ECB. This means, had Greece opted out of the Eurozone when they were hit with the 2008 / 2009 manufactured “crisis”, Greece would now be well on her way to full recovery. They would not have been subject to the whims and dictate of the IMF, the infamous troika, European Commission (EC), ECB and IMF, but could have chosen to arrange their debt internally, as most debt was internal debt, no need to borrow from abroad.

In a 2015 bailout referendum, the Greek population voted overwhelmingly against the bailout, meaning against the new gigantic debt. However, the then Greek President Tsipras, went ahead as if the referendum had never taken place and approved the huge bailout despite almost 70% of the popular vote against it.

This is a clear indication of fraud, that no fair play was going on. Tsipras and / or his families may have been coerced to accept the bailout – or else. We may never know, the true reason why Tsipras sold his people, the wellbeing of the Greek people to the oligarchs behind the IMF and World Bank – and put them into abject misery, with the highest unemployment in Europe, rampant poverty and skyrocketing suicide rates.

Greece may serve as an example on how other EU countries may fare if they don’t “behave” – meaning adhere to the unwritten golden rules of obedience to the international money masters.

This is scary.

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And now, in these times of covid, it is relatively easy. Poor countries, particularly in the Global South, already indebted by the plandemic, are increasing their foreign debt in order to provide their populations with basic needs. Or so they make you believe. Much of the debt accumulated by developing countries is domestic or internal debt, like the debt of the Global North. It doesn’t really need foreign lending institutions to wipe out local debt. Or have you seen one of the rich Global North countries borrowing from the IMF or the World Bank to master their debt? – Hardly.

So why would the Global South fall for it? Part corruption, part coercion, and partly direct blackmail. – Yes, blackmail, one of the international biggest crimes imaginable, being committed by the foremost international UN-chartered financial institutions, the WB and the IMF.

For example, the whole world is wondering how come that an invisible enemy, a corona virus hit all 193 UN member countries at once, so that Dr. Tedros, Director General of WHO, declares on 11 March a pandemic – no reason whatsoever since there were only 4,617 cases globally – but the planned result was a total worldwide lockdown on 16 March 2020. No exceptions. There were some countries who didn’t take it so seriously, like Brazil, Sweden, Belarus, some African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania – developed their own rules and realized that wearing masks did more harm than good, and social distancing would destroy the social fabric of their cultures and future generations.

But the satanic deep dark state didn’t want anything to do with “independent” countries. They all had to follow the dictate from way above, from the Gates, Rockefellers, Soroses, et al elite, soon to be reinforced by Klaus Schwab, serving as the chief henchman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Suddenly, you see in Brazil, a drastic surge in new “cases”, no questions asked, massive testing, no matter that the infamous PCR tests are worthless according to most serious scientists (only sold and corrupted scientists, those paid by the national authorities, would still insist on the RT-PCR tests). Bolsonaro gets sick with the virus and the death count increases exponentially – as the Brazilian economy falls apart.

Coincidence?

In comes the World Bank and / or the IMF, offering massive help mostly debt relief, either as grant or as low interest loans. But with massive strings attached: you must follow the rules laid out by WHO, you must follow the rules on testing on vaccination, mandatary vaccination – if you conform to these and other country-specific rules, like letting western corporations tap your natural resources – you may receive, WB and IMF assistance.

Already in May 2020 the World Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 had already reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population with lending of US$ 160 billion-plus. This means, by today, 6 months later and in the midst of the “Second Wave” the number of countries and the number of loans or “relief’ grants must have increased exponentially, having reached close to the 193 UN member countries. Which explains how all, literally all countries, even the most objecting African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania, among the poorest of the poor, have succumbed to the coercion or blackmail of the infamous Bretton Woods Institutions.

These institutions have no quarrels in generating dollars, as the dollar is fiat money, not backed by any economy – but can be produced literally from hot air and lent to poor countries, either as debt or as grant. These countries, henceforth and for pressure of the international financial institutions will forever become dependent on the western masters of salvation. Covid-19 is the perfect tool for the financial markets to shovel assets from the bottom to the top.

In order to maximize the concentration of the riches on top, maybe one or two or even three new covid waves may be necessary. That’s all planned, The WEF has already foreseen the coming scenarios, by its tyrannical book “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. It’s all laid out. And our western intellectuals read it, analyze it, criticize it, but we do not shred it apart – we let it stand, and watch how the word moves in the Reset direction. And the plan is dutifully executed by the World Bank and the IMF – all under the guise of doing good for the world.

What’s different from the World Bank and IMF’s role before the covid plandemic? – Nothing. Just the cause for exploitation, indebtment, enslavement. When covid came along it became easy. Before then and up to the end of 2019, developing countries, mostly rich in natural resources of the kind the west covets, oil, gold, copper and other minerals, such as rare earths, would be approached by the WB, the IMF or both.

They could receive debt relief, so-called structural adjustment loans, no matter whether or not they really needed such debt. Today these loans come in all forms, shapes and colors, literally like color-revolutions, for instance, often as budget support operations – I simply call then blank checks – nobody controls what’s happening with the money. However, the countries have to restructure their economies, rationalizing their public services, privatizing water, education, health services, electricity, highways, railroads – and granting foreign concessions for the exploitation of natural resources.

Most of this fraud – fraud on “robbing” national resources, passes unseen by the public at large, but countries become increasingly dependent on the western paymasters – peoples’ and institutional sovereignty is gone. There is always a corrupter and a corruptee. Unfortunately, they are still omni-present in the Global South. Often, for a chunk of money, the countries are forced to vote with the US for or against certain UN resolutions which are of interest to the US. Here we go – the corrupt system of the UN.

And of course, when the two Bretton Woods organizations were created in 1944, the voting system decided is not one country, one vote as in theory it is in the UN, but the US has an absolute veto right in both organizations. Their voting rights are calculated in function of their capital contribution which derives from a complex formula, based on GDP and other economic indicators. In both institutions the US voting right and also veto right is about 17%. Both institutions have 189 member countries.
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Covid has laid bare, if it wasn’t already before, how these “official” international, UN-chartered Bretton Woods financial institutions are fully integrated in the UN system – in which most of the countries still trust, maybe for lack of anything better.

Question, however: What is better, a hypocritical corrupt system that provides the “appearance”, or the abolition of a dystopian system and the courage to create a new one, under new democratic circumstances and with sovereign rights by each participating country?

Nuking Itself… How Russophobia Led the U.S. to Bomb its Own Citizens

Finian Cunningham October 26, 2020

Generations of countless Americans have been contaminated and sickened by the first-ever atomic bomb test. The Trinity explosion on July 16, 1945, was carried out in the New Mexico desert. Three weeks later, two A-bombs were dropped on Japan, killing up to 200,000 people.

But the number of American victims caused by radiation fallout from the Trinity test is reckoned to be also imponderably high. The American government conducted the explosion in secret, unbeknownst to the population of New Mexico. That was in spite of warnings from Manhattan Project scientists of a high risk to public health from the extreme radiation. Without a warning to the public and because of a cover-up about the event, countless Americans were exposed to carcinogenic radiation.

In a recent interview with Karl Grossman, New Mexican resident Tina Cordova tells how her community has been campaigning for decades to find out the truth behind the Trinity test and to seek reparations from the federal government. Incredibly, there has never been a federal investigation into establishing the human health impact from that atomic test explosion. But Cordova and her community estimate that the number is huge. She is the fourth generation in her family to have suffered from cancer. Countless others tell of high numbers of infant mortality over the decades and other morbidities that stretch across the entire state of New Mexico.

A combination of factors conspired to wreak a heavy toll on the people of New Mexico. It is one of the poorest states in the U.S., with large numbers of native Americans and Latinos. In selecting the test site for the A-bomb, there was a tacit racism among planners in Washington who viewed the area and its population as expendable. By not warning the people of the explosion, local populations were given no chance to take protective measures such as evacuation or avoiding consumption of contaminated water and food produced from the soil. The people were deceived into continuing their livelihoods as normal following the explosion, drinking contaminated water and breathing radioactive air. The New York Times was instrumental in the cover-up, issuing reports that the explosion was due to a conventional munitions incident. It was only after the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 an 9 that the people of New Mexico realized what had really happened at the Trinity site. Even then they were kept in the dark by Washington stonewalling about the event for decades to come.

Still another factor that maximized the damage on public health was the rush by the American government to weaponize the A-bomb technology. As Karl Grossman points out, the rationale behind the Manhattan Project was said to be to preempt Nazi Germany. But by July 1945, Nazi Germany was defeated and imperial Japan was on its knees. The inescapable implication is that President Harry Truman and the Pentagon wanted to display the new awesome weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union in what would be a chilling demarcation of the postwar globe according to American power.

Truman eagerly awaited the news of the Trinity test while attending the Potsdam allies’ conference in Germany along with Britain’s Winston Churchill and the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin. On receiving news of the successful explosion, Truman immediately adopted a more strident attitude towards Stalin. In that moment, a new Cold War was born.

Thus, it was Russophobia among the American ruling class that rushed the Trinity A-bomb explosion, even though that event would lead to generations of American citizens stricken with fatal diseases from the fallout. In a very real and frightening way, the U.S. rulers took a decision to “nuke” their own people such was their obsession with confronting the Soviet Union.

Subsequent U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s was conducted in remote areas of Nevada and in the Pacific Ocean. Those tests also took a deadly toll on the environment and local populations on Pacific islands.

But the recklessness and callous conditions of the New Mexico test is unparalleled in the toxic exposure it imposed on unsuspecting populations.

The stone-cold willingness to, in effect, bomb its own citizens by the federal government is a shuddering testimony as to the nefarious lengths the planners in Washington were prepared to go in their obsessive Russophobia.

When we survey the relentless fixation today in Washington and the U.S. political class with blaming Russia for all sorts of alleged malign intent, one can easily discern that this endemic Russophobia among America’s rulers has not waned.

The barbarity of what happened in New Mexico 75 years ago is alive and well. If it can be inflicted without apology on American citizens, then what does that say about the danger to the rest of the world?

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SUNNIS AND SHIITES AGREE IN LEBANON

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Source

BY GABRIEL ROCKHILL

“The U.S. has established itself as the mortal enemy of all people’s government, all scientific-socialist mobilization of consciousness everywhere on the globe, all anti-imperialist activity on earth.”

– George Jackson

One of the founding myths of the contemporary Western European and American world is that fascism was defeated in WWII by liberal democracies, and particularly by the United States. With the subsequent Nuremburg trials and the patient construction of a liberal world order, a bulwark was erected—in fits and starts, and with the constant threat of regression—against fascism and its evil twin in the East. American culture industries have rehearsed this narrative ad nauseum, brewing it into a saccharine ideological Kool-Aid and piping it into every household, shack and street corner with a TV or smartphone, tirelessly juxtaposing the supreme evil of Nazism to the freedom and prosperity of liberal democracy.

The material record suggests, however, that this narrative is actually based on a false antagonism, and that a paradigm shift is necessary in order to understand the history of actually existing liberalism and fascism. The latter, as we shall see, far from being eradicated at the end of WWII, was actually repurposed, or rather redeployed, to serve its primary historical function: to destroy godless communism and its threat to the capitalist civilizing mission. Since the colonial projects of Hitler and Mussolini had become so brazen and erratic, as they shifted from playing more or less by the liberal rules of the game to openly breaking them and then running amok, it was understood that the best way to construct the fascist international was to do so under liberal cover, meaning through clandestine operations that maintained a liberal façade. While this probably sounds like hyperbole to those whose understanding of history has been formatted by bourgeois social science, which focuses almost exclusively on visible government and the aforementioned liberal cover, the history of the invisible government of the national security apparatus suggests that fascism, far from being defeated in WWII, was successfully internationalized.

The Architects of the Fascist International

When the United States entered WWII, the future head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, bemoaned that his country was fighting the wrong enemy. The Nazis, as he explained, were pro-capitalist Aryan Christians, whereas the true enemy was godless communism and its resolute anti-capitalism. After all, the U.S. had, only some 20 years prior, been part of a massive military intervention in the U.S.S.R., when fourteen capitalist countries sought—in the words of Winston Churchill—to “strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib.” Dulles understood, like many of his colleagues in the U.S. government, that what would later become known as the Cold War was actually the old war, as Michael Parenti has convincingly argued: the one they had been fighting against communism since its inception.

Towards the end of WWII, General Karl Wolff, formerly Himmler’s right-hand man, went to see Allen Dulles in Zurich, where he was working for the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor organization to the CIA. Wolff knew that the war was lost, and he wanted to avoid being brought to justice. Dulles, for his part, wanted the Nazis in Italy under Wolff’s command to lay down their arms against the allies and help the Americans in their fight against communism. Wolff, who was the highest-ranking SS officer to survive the war, offered Dulles the promise of developing, with his Nazi team, an intelligence network against Stalin. It was agreed that the general who had played a central role in overseeing the Nazi’s genocidal machine, and who expressed his “special joy” when he secured freight trains to send 5,000 Jews a day to Treblinka, would be protected by the future director of the CIA, who helped him avoid the Nuremberg trials.

Wolff was very far from being the only senior Nazi official protected and rehabilitated by the OSS-CIA. The case of Reinhard Gehlen is particularly telling. This general in the Third Reich had been in charge of Fremde Heere Ost, the Nazi intelligence service directed against the Soviets. After the war, he was recruited by the OSS-CIA and met with all of the major architects of the postwar National Security State: Allen Dulles, William Donovan, Frank Wisner, President Truman. He was then appointed to head the first German intelligence service after the war, and he proceeded to employ many of his Nazi collaborators. The Gehlen Organization, as it was known, would become the nucleus of the German intelligence service. It is unclear how many war criminals this decorated Nazi hired, but Eric Lichtblau estimates that some four thousand Nazi agents were integrated into the network overseen by the American spy agency. With an annual funding of half a million dollars from the CIA in the early years after the war, Gehlen and his strong men were able to act with impunity. Yvonnick Denoël explained this turnaround with remarkable clarity: “It is hard to understand that, as early as 1945, the army and the US intelligence services recruited without qualms former Nazi criminals. The equation was, however, very simple at the time: the United States had just defeated the Nazis with the help of the Soviets. They henceforth planned to defeat the Soviets with the help of former Nazis.”

The situation was similar in Italy because Dulles’ agreement with Wolff was part of a larger undertaking, called Operation Sunrise, which mobilized Nazis and fascists to end the Second World War in Italy (and begin the Third World War across the globe). Dulles worked hand in hand with the Agency’s future chief counterintelligence officer, James Angleton, who was then stationed by the OSS in Italy. These two men, who would become two of the most powerful political actors of the twentieth century, showed what they were capable of in this close collaboration between the American intelligence services, the Nazis and the fascists. Angleton, on his end, recruited fascists to end the war in Italy so as to minimize the power of the communists. Valerio Borghese was one of his key contacts because this hardline fascist in Mussolini’s regime was ready to serve the Americans in the anti-communist struggle, and he became one of the international figureheads for postwar fascism. Angleton had directly saved him from the hands of the communists, and the man known as the Black Prince was given the opportunity to continue the war against the radical Left under a new boss: the CIA.

Once the war was over, Senior U.S. intelligence officials, including Dulles, Wisner and Carmel Offie, “worked to ensure that denazification only had a limited scope,” according to Frédéric Charpier: “Generals, senior officials, policemen, industrialists, lawyers, economists, diplomats, scholars and real war criminals were spared and put back in their positions.” The man in charge of the Marshall Plan in Germany, for instance, was a former adviser to Hermann Göring, the commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force). Dulles drafted a list of high functionaries of the Nazi state to be protected and passed off as opponents to Hitler. The OSS-CIA proceeded to rebuild the administrative states in Germany and Italy with their anti-communist allies.

Eric Lichtblau estimates that more than 10,000 Nazis were able to immigrate to the United States in the post-war period (at least 700 official members of the Nazi party had been allowed into the U.S. in the 1930s, while Jewish refugees were being turned away). In addition to a few hundred German spies and thousands of SS personnel, Operation Paperclip, which began in May 1945, brought at least 1,600 Nazi scientists to the U.S. with their families. This undertaking was aimed at recovering the great minds of the Nazi war machine and putting their research on rockets, aviation, biological and chemical weapons, and so forth, in the service of the American empire. The Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was set up specifically to recruit Nazis and find them positions in research centers, the government, the army, the intelligence services or universities (at least 14 universities participated, including Cornell, Yale and MIT).

Although the program officially excluded ardent Nazis, at least at the beginning, in actual fact it allowed for the immigration of chemists from IG Farben (which had supplied the deadly gases used in mass exterminations), scientists who had used slaves in concentration camps to make weapons, and doctors who had participated in hideous experiments on Jews, Roma, communists, homosexuals and other prisoners of war. These scientists, who were described by an official in the State Department opposed to Paperclip as “Hitler’s angels of death,” were received with open arms in the land of the free. They were given comfortable accommodations, a laboratory with assistants and the promise of citizenship if their work bore fruit. They went on to conduct research that has been used in the manufacturing of ballistic missiles, sarin gas cluster bombs, and the weaponization of the bubonic plague.

The CIA also collaborated with MI6 to set up secret anti-communist armies in every country in Western Europe. On the pretext of a potential invasion by the Red Army, the idea was to train and equip networks of illegal stay-behind soldiers, who would remain behind enemy lines if the Russians moved westward. They would thus be activated in the newly occupied territory and charged with missions of exfiltration, espionage, sabotage, propaganda, subversion and combat. The two agencies worked with NATO and the intelligence services of many Western European countries to build this vast sub-rosa organization, establish numerous weapons and ammunition caches, and equip their soldiers of the shadows with everything they needed. To do this, they recruited Nazis, fascists, collaborationists and other anti-communist members of the extreme Right. The numbers vary according to the country, but they are estimated between a few dozen and several hundred, or even a few thousand, per country. According to a report from the television program Retour aux sources, there were 50 stay-behind network units in Norway, 150 in Germany, more than 600 in Italy and 3,000 in France.

These trained militants would later be mobilized to commit or coordinate terrorist attacks against the civilian population, which were then blamed on the communists in order to justify ‘law and order’ crackdowns. According to the official numbers in Italy, where this strategy of tension was particularly intense, there were 14,591 politically motivated acts of violence between 1969 and 1987, which killed 491 people and injured 1,181. Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a member of the far-right group Ordine Nuovo and the perpetrator of the bombing near Peteano in 1972, explained that the fascist “Avanguardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuovo, were being mobilized into the battle as part of an anti-Communist strategy originating not with organizations deviant from the institutions of power, but from the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state’s relations within the Atlantic Alliance.” An Italian parliamentary commission that undertook an investigation of the stay-behind armies in Italy, reached the following conclusion in 2000: “Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.”

The U.S. National Security State was also involved in overseeing ratlines that exfiltrated fascists from Europe and allowed them to resettle in safe havens around the world, in exchange for doing its dirty work. The case of Klaus Barbie is but one among thousands, but it speaks volumes regarding the internal functioning of this process. Known in France as ‘the butcher of Lyon,’ he was head of the Gestapo office there for two years, including the time when Himmler gave the order to deport at least 22,000 Jews from France. This specialist in ‘enhanced interrogation tactics,’ known for torturing to death the coordinator of the French Resistance, Jean Moulin, organized the first roundup of the General Union of Jews in France in February 1943 and the massacre of 41 Jewish refugee children in Izieu in April 1944. Before arriving in Lyon, he had led savage death squads, which had killed more than a million people on the Eastern Front according to Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. But after the war, the man whom these same authors describe as third on the most-wanted list of SS criminals was working for the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) of the U.S. Army. He was hired to help build the stay-behind armies by recruiting other Nazis, and to spy on French intelligence services in the French and American controlled regions in Germany.

When France learned what was happening and demanded Barbie’s extradition, John McCloy, the U.S. High Commissioner of Germany, refused by claiming that the allegations were based on hearsay. Nevertheless, it ultimately proved too expensive, symbolically, to keep a butcher like Barbie in Europe, so he was sent to Latin America in 1951, where he was able to continue his illustrious career. Settling in Bolivia, he worked for the security forces of the military dictatorship of General René Barrientos and for the Ministry of the Interior and the counter-insurgency wing of the Bolivian Army under the dictatorship of Hugo Banzer, before actively participating in the Cocaine Coup in 1980 and becoming the director of security forces under General Meza. Throughout his career, he maintained close relationships with his saviors in the U.S. National Security State, playing a central role in Operation Condor, the counter-insurgency project that brought together Latin American dictatorships, with the support of the United States, to violently crush any attempt at egalitarian uprisings from below. He also helped develop the drug empire in Bolivia, including organizing gangs of narco-mercenaries whom he named Los novios de la muerte, whose uniforms resembled those of the SS. He traveled freely in the 1960s and 1970s, visiting the U.S. at least seven times, and he most likely played a role in the manhunt organized by the Agency to kill Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

The same basic pattern of integrating fascists into the global war against communism is readily identifiable in Japan, whose system of government prior to and during the war has been described by Herbert P. Bix as “Emperor-system fascism.” Tessa Morris-Suzuki has convincingly demonstrated the continuity of intelligence services by detailing how the U.S. National Security State oversaw and managed the KATO organization. This private intelligence network, very much like the Gehlen organization, was stocked with former leading members of the military and intelligence services, including the Imperial Army’s Chief of Intelligence (Arisue Seizō), who shared with his American handler (Charles Willoughby) a deep admiration for Mussolini. The U.S. occupation forces also cultivated tight relationships with senior officials in Japan’s wartime civilian intelligence community (most notably Ogata Taketora). This remarkable continuity between prewar and postwar Japan has led Morris-Suzuki and other scholars to map Japanese history in terms of a transwar regime, meaning one that continued from before to after the war. This concept also allows us to make sense of what was happening above ground in the realm of the visible government. For the sake of concision, suffice it to cite the remarkable case of the man known as the “Devil of Shōwa” for his brutal rule of Manchukuo (the Japanese colony in Northeast China): Nobusuke Kishi. A great admirer of Nazi Germany, Kishi was appointed Minister of Munitions by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo in 1941, in order to prepare Japan for a total war against the U.S., and he was the one who signed the official declaration of war against America. After serving a brief prison term as a war criminal in the postwar era, he was rehabilitated by the CIA, along with his cell mate, the kingpin of organized crime Yoshio Kodama. Kishi, with the support and generous financial backing of his handlers, took over the Liberal Party, made it into a rightwing club of former leaders of imperial Japan, and rose to become Prime Minister. “The [CIA] money flowed for at least fifteen years, under four American presidents,” writes Tim Wiener, “and it helped consolidate one-party rule in Japan for the rest of the cold war.”

U.S. national security services have also established a global educational network to train pro-capitalist combatants—sometimes under the leadership of experienced Nazis and fascists—in the tried-and-true techniques of repression, torture and destabilization, as well as propaganda and psychological warfare. The famous School of the Americas was established in 1946 with the explicit goal of training a new generation of anti-communist warriors worldwide. According to some, this school has the distinction of having educated the greatest number of dictators in world history. Whatever the case may be, it is part of a much larger institutional network. It is worth mentioning, for example, the educational contributions of the Public Safety Program: “For about twenty-five years,” writes former CIA officer John Stockwell, “the CIA, […] trained and organized police and paramilitary officers from around the world in techniques of population control, repression, and torture. Schools were set up in the United States, Panama, and Asia, from which tens of thousands graduated. In some cases, former Nazi officers from Hitler’s Third Reich were used as instructors.”

Fascism Goes Global under Liberal Cover

The American imperium has thus played a central role in the construction of a fascist international by protecting right-wing militants and enlisting them in the Third World War against ‘communism,’ an elastic label extended to any political orientation that entered into conflict with the interests of the capitalist ruling class. This international expansion of fascist modes of governance has led to a proliferation of concentration camps, terrorist and torture campaigns, dirty wars, dictatorial regimes, vigilante groups and organized crime networks around the world. The examples could be enumerated ad nauseum, but I will curtail them in the interests of space and simply invoke the testimony of Victor Marchetti, who was a senior CIA official from 1955 to 1969: “We were supporting every half-assed dictator, military junta, oligarchy that existed in the Third World, as long as they promised to somehow maintain the status quo, which would of course be beneficial to U.S. geopolitical interests, military interests, big business interests, and other special interests.”

The record of U.S. foreign policy since WWII is probably the best measure of its unique contribution to the internationalization of fascism. Under the banner of democracy and freedom, the United States has, according to William Blum:

+ Endeavored to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments.

+ Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

+ Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

+ Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

+ Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.

The Association for Responsible Dissent, composed of 14 former CIA officers, calculated that their agency was responsible for killing a minimum of 6 million people in 3,000 major operations and 10,000 minor operations between 1947 and 1987. These are direct murders, so the numbers do not account for premature deaths under the fascist-backed capitalist world system due to mass incarceration, torture, malnutrition, lack of drinkable water, exploitation, oppression, social degradation, ecological illness or curable disease (in 2017, according to the U.N., 6.3 million children and young adolescents died from avoidable causes linked to the socio-economic and ecological inequalities of the Capitalocene, which amounts to one child dying every 5 seconds).

To establish itself as the global military hegemon and international guard dog of capitalism, the U.S. government and National Security State have relied on the help of the significant number of Nazis and fascists it integrated into its global network of repression, including the 1,600 Nazis brought into the U.S. through Operation Paperclip, the 4,000 or so integrated into the Gehlen organization, the tens or even hundreds of thousands that were reintegrated into the ‘postwar’—or rather transwar—regimes in fascist countries, the large number who were given free passage to Empire’s backyard—Latin America—and elsewhere, as well as the thousands or tens of thousands integrated into NATO’s secret stay-behind armies. This global network of seasoned anti-communist assassins has also been used to train armies of terrorists around the world to participate in dirty wars, coups d’état, destabilization efforts, sabotage, and terror campaigns.

All of this has been done under the cover of a liberal democracy, and with the assistance of its powerful culture industries. The true legacy of WWII, far from being that of a liberal world order that had defeated fascism, is that of a veritable fascist international developed under liberal cover in order to try and destroy those who had actually fought and won the war against fascism: the communists.

Gabriel Rockhill is a Franco-American philosopher, cultural critic and activist. He the founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop and Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. His books include Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (2017), Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (2016), Radical History & the Politics of Art (2014) and Logique de l’histoire (2010). In addition to his scholarly work, he has been actively engaged in extra-academic activities in the art and activist worlds, as well as a regular contributor to public intellectual debate. Follow on twitter: @GabrielRockhill

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The limits of Chinese power

October 08, 2020

The limits of Chinese power

By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Everything about US-China hinges on the result of the upcoming US presidential election.

Trump 2.0 essentially would turbo-charge its bet on decoupling, aiming to squeeze “malign” China on a multiple Hybrid War front, undermine the Chinese trade surplus, co-opt large swathes of Asia, while always insisting on characterizing China as evil incarnate.

Team Biden, even as it professes no desire to fall into the trap of a new Cold War, according to the Dem official platform, would be only slightly less confrontational, ostensibly “saving” the “rules-based order” while keeping Trump-enacted sanctions.

Very few Chinese analysts are better positioned to survey the geopolitical and geoeconomic chessboard than Lanxin Xiang: expert on relations between China, US and Europe, professor of History and International Relations at the IHEID in Geneva and director of the Center for One Belt, One Road Studies in Shanghai.

Xiang got his PhD at SAIS at Johns Hopkins, and is as well respected in the US as in China. During a recent webinar he laid out the lineaments of an analysis the West ignores at its own peril.

Xiang has been focusing on the Trump administration’s push to “redefine an external target”: a process he brands, “risky, dangerous, and highly ideological”. Not because of Trump – who is “not interested in ideological issues” – but due to the fact that the “China policy was hijacked by the real Cold Warriors”. The objective: “regime change. But that was not Trump’s original plan.”

Xiang blasts the rationale behind these Cold Warriors: “We made a huge mistake in the past 40 years”. That is, he insists, “absurd – reading back into History, and denying the entire history of US-China relations since Nixon.” And Xiang fears the “lack of overall strategy. That creates enormous strategic uncertainty – and leads to miscalculations.”

Compounding the problem, “China is not really sure what the US wants to do.” Because it goes way beyond containment – which Xiang defines as a “very well thought of strategy by George Kennan, the father of the Cold War.” Xiang only detects a pattern of “Western civilization versus a non-Caucasian culture. That language is very dangerous. It’s a direct rehash of Samuel Huntington, and shows very little room for compromise.”

In a nutshell, that’s the “American way of stumbling into a Cold War.”

An October Surprise?

All of the above directly connects with Xiang’s great concern about a possible October Surprise: “It could probably be over Taiwan. Or a limited engagement in the South China Sea.” He stresses, “Chinese military people are terribly worried. October Surprise as a military engagement is not unthinkable, because Trump may want to re-establish a war presidency.”

For Xiang, “if Biden wins, the danger of a Cold War turning Hot War will be reduced dramatically.” He is very much aware of shifts in the bipartisan consensus in Washington: “Historically, Republicans don’t care about human rights and ideology. Chinese always preferred to deal with Republicans. They can’t deal with Democrats – human rights, values issues. Now the situation is reversed.”

Xiang, incidentally, “invited a top Biden adviser to Beijing. Very pragmatic. Not too ideological.” But in case of a possible Trump 2.0 administration, everything could change: “My hunch is he will be totally relaxed, may even reverse China policy 180 degrees. I would not be surprised. He would turn back to being Xi Jinping’s best friend.”

As it stands, the problem is “a chief diplomat that behaves as a chief propagandist, taking advantage of an erratic president.”

And that’s why Xiang never rules out even an invasion of Taiwan by Chinese troops. He games the scenario of a Taiwanese government announcing, “We are independent” coupled with a visit by the Secretary of State: “That would provoke a limited military action, and could turn into an escalation. Think about Sarajevo. That worries me. If Taiwan declares independence, Chinese invade in less than 24 hours. “

How Beijing miscalculates

Unlike most Chinese scholars, Xiang is refreshingly frank about Beijing’s own shortcomings: “Several things should have been better controlled. Like abandoning Deng Xiaoping’s original advice that China should bide its time and keep a low profile. Deng, in his last will, had set a timeline for that, at least 50 years.”

The problem is “the speed of China’s economic development led to hot headed, and premature, calculations. And a not well thought of strategy. ‘Wolf warrior’ diplomacy is an extremely assertive posture – and language. China began to upset the US – and even the Europeans. That was a geostrategic miscalculation.”

And that brings us to what Xiang characterizes as “the overextension of Chinese power: geopolitical and geoconomic.” He’s fond of quoting Paul Kennedy: “Any great superpower, if overstretched, becomes vulnerable.”

Xiang goes as far as stating that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – whose concept he enthusiastically praises – may be overstretched: “They thought it was a purely economic project. But with such wide global reach?”

So is BRI a case of overstretching or a source of destabilization? Xiang notes how, “Chinese are never really interested in other countries’ domestic policies. Not interested in exporting a model. Chinese have no real model. A model has to be mature – with a structure. Unless you’re talking about export of traditional Chinese culture.”

The problem, once again, is that China thought it was possible to “sneak into geographical areas that the US never paid too much attention to, Africa, Central Asia, without necessarily provoking a geopolitical setback. But that is naiveté.”

Xiang is fond of reminding Western analysts that, “the infrastructure investment model was invented by Europeans. Railways. The Trans-Siberian. Canals, like in Panama. Behind these projects there was always a colonial competition. We pursue similar projects – minus colonialism.”

Still, “Chinese planners buried their head in the sand. They never use that word – geopolitics.” Thus his constant jokes with Chinese policy makers: “You may not like geopolitics, but geopolitics likes you.”

Ask Confucius

The crucial aspect of the “post-pandemic situation”, according to Xiang, is to forget about “that wolf warrior stuff. China may be able to re-start the economy before anyone else. Develop a really working vaccine. China should not politicize it. It should show a universal value about it, pursue multilateralism to help the world, and improve its image.”

On domestic politics, Xiang is adamant that “during the last decade the atmosphere at home, on minority issues, freedom of speech, has been tightening to the extent that it does not help China’s image as a global power.”

Compare it, for instance, with “unfavorable views of China” in a survey of nations in the industrialized West that includes only two Asians: Japan and South Korea.

And that brings us to Xiang’s The Quest for Legitimacy in Chinese Politics – arguably the most important contemporary study by a Chinese scholar capable of explaining and bridging the East-West political divide.

This book is such a major breakthrough that its main conceptual analyses will be the subject of a follow-up column.

Xiang’s main thesis is that “legitimacy in Chinese tradition political philosophy is a dynamic question. To transplant Western political values to the Chinese system does not work.”

Yet even as the Chinese concept of legitimacy is dynamic, Xiang stresses, “the Chinese government is facing a legitimacy crisis.” He refers to the anti-corruption campaign of the past four years: “Widespread official corruption, that is a side-effect of economic development, bringing out the bad side of the system. Credit to Xi Jinping, who understood that if we allow this to continue, the CCP will lose all legitimacy.”

Xiang stresses how, in China, “legitimacy is based on the concept of morality – since Confucius. The communists can’t escape the logic.

Nobody before Xi dared to tackle corruption. He had the guts to root it out, arrested hundreds of corrupt generals. Some even attempted two or three coups d’état.”

At the same time, Xiang is adamantly against the “tightening of the atmosphere” in China in terms of freedom of speech. He mentions the example of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew, an “enlightened authoritarian system”. The problem is” China has no rule of law. There are a lot of legal aspects though. Singapore is a little city-state. Like Hong Kong. They just took over the British legal system. It’s working very well for that size.”

And that brings Xiang to quote Aristotle: “Democracy can never work in bigger countries. In city-states, it does.” And armed with Aristotle, we step into Hong Kong: “Hong Kong had rule of law – but never a democracy. The government was directly appointed by London. That’s how Hong Kong actually worked – as an economic dynamo. Neoliberal economists consider Hong Kong as a model. It’s a unique political arrangement. Tycoon politics. No democracy – even as the colonial government did not rule like an authoritarian figure. Market economy was unleashed. Hong Kong was ruled by the Jockey Club, HSBC, Jardine Matheson, with the colonial government as coordinator. They never cared about people in the bottom.”

Xiang notes how, “the richest man in Hong Kong only pays 15% of income tax. China wanted to keep that pattern, with a colonial government appointed by Beijing. Still tycoon politics. But now there’s a new generation. People born after the handover – who know nothing about the colonial history. Chinese elite ruling since 1997 did not pay attention to the grassroots and neglected younger generation sentiment. For a whole year the Chinese didn’t do anything. Law and order collapsed. This is the reason why mainland Chinese decided to step in. That’s what the new security law is all about.”

And what about that other favorite “malign” actor across the Beltway – Russia? “Putin would love to have a Trump win. The Chinese as well, up to three months ago. The Cold War was a great strategic triangle. After Nixon went to China, the US sat in the middle manipulating Moscow and Beijing. Now everything has changed.”

75th session of the UN General Assembly : President of Russia Vladimir Putin

75th session of the UN General Assembly : President of Russia Vladimir Putin

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/64074

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

This year, the international community celebrates two, without exaggeration, historic anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and establishment of the United Nations.

The importance of these two forever interlinked events cannot be overemphasized. In 1945, Nazism was defeated, the ideology of aggression and hatred was crushed, and the experience and spirit of alliance, as well as the awareness of the huge price that had been paid for peace and our common Victory, helped construct the post-war world order. It was built on the ultimate foundation of the UN Charter that remains the main source of international law to this day.

I am convinced that this anniversary makes it incumbent upon all of us to recall the timeless principles of inter-State communication enshrined in the UN Charter and formulated by the founding fathers of our universal Organization in the clearest and most unambiguous terms. These principles include the equality of sovereign States, non-interference with their domestic affairs, the right of peoples to determine their own future, non-use of force or the threat of force, and political settlement of disputes.

Looking back at the past decades, one can say that despite all difficulties of the Cold War period, major geopolitical shifts and all the intricacies of today’s global politics, the UN has been ably fulfilling its mission of protecting peace, promoting sustainable development of the peoples and continents and providing assistance in mitigating local crises.

This enormous potential and expertise of the UN is relevant and serves as a solid basis for moving ahead. After all, just like any other international organization or regional entity, the UN should not grow stiff, but evolve in accordance with the dynamics of the 21st century and consistently adapt to the realia of the modern world that is indeed becoming more complicated, multipolar and multidimensional.

The current changes certainly have an effect on the principal UN body, the Security Council, as well as on the debate concerning the approaches to its reform. Our logic is that the Security Council should be more inclusive of the interests of all countries, as well as the diversity of their positions, base its work on the principle of the broadest possible consensus among States and, at the same time, continue to serve as the cornerstone of global governance, which cannot be achieved unless the permanent members of the Security Council retain their veto power.

Such a right pertaining to the five nuclear powers, the victors of the Second World War, remains indicative of the actual military and political balance to this day. Most importantly, it is an essential and unique instrument that helps prevent unilateral actions that may result in a direct military confrontation between major States, and provides an opportunity to seek compromise or at least avoid solutions that would be completely unacceptable to others and act within the framework of international law, rather than a vague, gray area of arbitrariness and illegitimacy.

As diplomatic practice shows, this instrument actually works, unlike the infamous pre-war League of Nations with its endless discussions, declarations without mechanisms for real action and with States and peoples in need not having the right to assistance and protection.

Forgetting the lessons of history is short-sighted and extremely irresponsible, just like the politicized attempts to arbitrarily interpret the causes, course and outcomes of the Second World War and twist the decisions of the conferences of the Allies and the Nuremberg Tribunal that are based on speculation instead of facts.

It is not just vile and offending the memory of the fighters against Nazism. It is a direct and devastating blow to the very foundation of the post-war world order, which is particularly dangerous in view of the global stability facing serious challenges, the arms control system breaking down, regional conflicts continuing unabated, and threats posed by terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking intensifying.

We are also experiencing a whole new challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. This disease has directly affected millions of people and claimed the most important thing: the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Quarantines, border closures, numerous serious troubles to citizens of almost all States constitute the present-day realia. It has been especially difficult for elderly people who, due to the necessary restrictions, have not been able to hug their loved ones, children and grandchildren for weeks or even months.

Experts are yet to fully assess the scale of the social and economic shock caused by the pandemic and all its long-term consequences. However, it is already evident that it will take a really, really long time to restore the global economy. Furthermore, even the proven anti-crisis measures will not always work. We will need new innovative solutions.

The only way to elaborate such solutions is to work together, which is the most important task for both the UN and G20 States, as well as other leading inter-State organizations and integration associations that are also going through tough times due to the pandemic impact and need fundamentally new horizons and scope of development.

This very idea of a qualitative integrative growth, the ”integration of integrations“, is the one behind Russia’s initiative to form a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving all Asian and European countries without exception. It is purely pragmatic and increasingly relevant.

Besides, I would like to draw attention once again to Russia’s proposal to create so-called ”green corridors“ free from trade wars and sanctions, primarily for essential goods, food, medicine and personal protective equipment needed to fight the pandemic.

In general, freeing the world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be of great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment. According to experts, total or partial reduction in global employment in the second quarter of this year equals to the loss of 400 million jobs, and we have to do our utmost to prevent this unemployment from growing long-term and ensure that people return to work and can support their families instead of finding themselves imprisoned by poverty with no prospects in life.

This is indeed a most acute global social problem, so the politics has a mission now to pave the way for trade, joint projects and fair competition, rather than tie the hands of business and discourage business initiative.

The pandemic has also pinpointed a series of ethical, technological and humanitarian matters. For instance, advanced digital technologies helped quickly reorganize education, trade and services, as well as set up distant learning and online courses for people of different ages. Artificial intelligence has assisted doctors in making more accurate and timely diagnoses and finding the best treatment.

However, just like any other innovation, digital technologies tend to spread uncontrollably and, just like conventional weapons, can fall into the hands of various radicals and extremists not only in the regional conflict zones, but also in quite prosperous countries, thus engendering enormous risks.

In this regard, matters related to cybersecurity and the use of advanced digital technology also deserve a most serious deliberation within the UN. It is important to hear and appreciate the concerns of people over the protection of their rights, such as the right to privacy, property and security, in the new era.

We must learn to use new technologies for the benefit of humankind, seek for a right balance between encouraging the development of artificial intelligence and justifiable restrictions to limit it, and work together towards a consensus in the field of regulation that would avert potential threats in terms of both military and technological security, as well as traditions, law, and morals of human communication.

I would like to point out that during the pandemic, doctors, volunteers and citizens of various countries have been showing us examples of mutual assistance and support, and such solidarity defies borders. Many countries have also been helping each other selflessly and open-heartedly. However, there have been cases showing the deficit of humanity and, if you will, kindness in the relations at the official inter-State level.

We believe that the UN prestige could strengthen and enhance the role of the humanitarian or human component in multilateral and bilateral relations, namely in people-to-people and youth exchanges, cultural ties, social and educational programs, as well as cooperation in sports, science, technology, environment and health protection.

As to healthcare, just like in economy, we now need to remove, as many as possible, obstacles to partner relations. Our country has been actively contributing to global and regional counter-COVID-19 efforts, providing assistance to most affected states both bilaterally and within multilateral formats.

In doing so, we first of all take into account the central coordinating role of the World Health Organization, which is part of the UN system. We believe it essential to qualitatively strengthen the WHO capability. This work has already begun, and Russia is genuinely motivated to engage in it.

Building on the scientific, industrial and clinical experience of its doctors Russia has promptly developed a range of test systems and medicines to detect and treat the coronavirus, as well as registered the world’s first vaccine, “Sputnik-V.”

I would like to reiterate that we are completely open to partner relations and willing to cooperate. In this context, we are proposing to hold an online high-level conference shortly for countries interested in cooperation in the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines.

We are ready to share experience and continue cooperating with all States and international entities, including in supplying the Russian vaccine which has proved reliable, safe, and effective, to other countries. Russia is sure that all capacities of the global pharmaceutical industry need to be employed so as to provide a free access to vaccination for the population of all states in the foreseeable future.

A dangerous virus can affect anyone. The coronavirus has struck the staff of the United Nations, its headquarters and regional structures just like everyone else. Russia is ready to provide the UN with all the necessary qualified assistance; in particular, we are offering to provide our vaccine, free of charge, for the voluntary vaccination of the staff of the UN and its offices. We have received requests from our UN colleagues in this respect, and we will respond to those.

There are other critical items on today’s agenda. The issues of both environmental protection and climate change should remain the focus of joint efforts.

The specialized multilateral UN conventions, treaties and protocols have proved fully relevant. We are calling on all states to comply with them in good faith, particularly in working to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Dear colleagues! I would like to underline again, that Russia will make every effort to contribute to peaceful political and diplomatic resolution of regional crises and conflicts, as well as to ensuring strategic stability.

For all the disputes and differences, at times misunderstanding and even distrust on the part of some colleagues, we will consistently advance constructive, uniting initiatives, first of all in arms control and strengthening the treaty regimes existing in this area. This includes the prohibition of chemical, biological and toxin weapons.

The issue of primary importance that should and must be promptly dealt with is, of course, the extension of the Russia-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which will expire shortly, i.e. in February 2021. We are engaged in negotiations with our US partners on the matter.

We also expect that mutual restraint would be exercised with regard to deploying new missile systems. I would like to add that as early as last year, Russia declared a moratorium on deploying ground-launched medium and short-range missiles in Europe and other regions as long as the United States of America refrains from such actions. Unfortunately, we have not received any reaction to our proposal from either our US partners or their allies.

I believe that such reciprocal steps on specific issues would provide a sound basis for launching a serious, profound dialogue on the entire range of factors affecting strategic stability. It would aim at achieving comprehensive arrangements, shaping a solid foundation for the international security architecture that would build on prior experience in this field and in line with both the existing and future politico-military and technological realia.

In particular, Russia is putting forward an initiative to sign a binding agreement between all the leading space powers that would provide for the prohibition of the placement of weapons in outer space, threat or use of force against outer space objects.

We are well aware of the fact that security issues as well as other problems discussed by this jubilee UN General Assembly call for consolidated efforts on the basis of values that unite us, our shared memory of the lessons of history, and the spirit of alliance which guided the anti-Hitler coalition participants who found it possible to raise above differences and ideological preferences for the sake of Victory and peace for all nations on the Earth.

In the current challenging environment, it is important for all countries to show political will, wisdom and foresight. The permanent members of the UN Security Council – those powers that, for 75 years now, have been bearing particular responsibility for international peace and security, the preservation of the foundations of international law – should take the lead here.

Fully realizing this responsibility, Russia has suggested convening a G5 summit. It would aim at reaffirming the key principles of behavior in international affairs, elaborating ways to effectively address today’s most burning issues. It is encouraging that our partners have supported the initiative. We expect to hold such summit – in person – as soon as epidemiological situation makes it possible.

I would like to reiterate that in an interrelated, interdependent world, amid the whirlpool of international developments, we need to work together drawing on the principles and norms of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. This is the only way for us to carry out the paramount mission of our Organization and provide a decent life for the present and future generations.

I wish all the peoples of our planet peace and well-being.

Thank you.

AVERTING BARBAROSSA II: THE LIANA SPACE RADIOELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

Averting Barbarossa II: The Liana Space Radioelectronic Surveillance System
Video

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

At the end of the Cold War, the level of international tension has considerably declined for at least a decade, thanks to widespread multilateral disarmament bolstered by a variety of arms control regimes for conventional and nuclear armaments. That decade also saw the rapid deterioration of Russia’s early warning and surveillance systems as satellites launched during the Soviet era exhausted their service lives and crashed into the atmosphere without being replaced. At first, this was either not seen as an urgent priority by Russian decisionmakers or, if it was, there were more urgent priorities for scarce defense funding in an era of a prolonged economic crisis.

Fast-forwarding a decade, we find ourselves in a radically different situation. There is no more “end of history” optimism in the air, nor is there a sense of durable US hegemony either that seemed so permanent in the 1990s. Unfortunately, history tells us that such shifts in the global balance of power are fraught with danger, as the fading hegemon has an incentive to resort to extreme, reckless measures to preserve that hegemony. What makes the current situation unprecedented is this being the first hegemonic transition of the nuclear age. In the past, nuclear deterrence existed only in the context of relatively stable bipolar and then unipolar systems. Does nuclear deterrence mutually assured destruction still work under conditions of a multipolar system experiencing a hegemonic transition?

International relations theory has no answer to that question, but the US national security establishment appears to think that it doesn’t, particularly in an era of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, drone and missile swarms, hypersonic delivery vehicles, and possibly even directed energy weapons. Crash US programs in developing all of the above, far beyond anything that might be termed reasonable defensive sufficiency under conditions of the US spending far more on defense than anyone else in the world, do raise the possibility of long-term plans to prevail in the new round of great power competition through not only covert action and “hybrid warfare”, but also, if an opportunity arises, through good old fashioned strategic first strike which need no longer be delivered using nuclear weapons.

The point of Cold War-era nuclear arms treaties was not to limit the number of nuclear warheads for its own sake. Rather, it was to deprive the two superpowers of their ability to launch a disarming and decapitating strike which, given technologies of the era, could only be launched using nuclear weapons.  That is still the case today, but may not be by 2030 should the US complete its planned rearmament with a large array of land-, air-, and sea-based long-range stealthy and hypersonic weapons. Even the US Army, with its plans for “1,000-mile cannon” is once again getting into the game of strategic strike, to speak nothing of land-based hypersonic missiles. And strategic strike using non-nuclear warheads is a novel scenario in which the old “mutually assured destruction” calculations may not apply. Combined with the explosive growth of US anti-ballistic missile programs, if the rest of the world stands still, by 2030 US decision makers might find themselves tempted to launch such a strategic strike against even a major nuclear weapons state like Russia or China, to say nothing of mid-level powers like Iran or North Korea, particularly if they have no nuclear deterrent to begin with.

Except the rest of the world is not about to stand still, and the Liana space surveillance system is an important component of the Russian response to US initiatives. The imminent era of post-nuclear strategic strike demands strategic defense and stability cannot be provided solely by anti-ballistic early warning systems. They would simply provide warning of an attack once it was underway, and in view of the possibility that large numbers of hypersonic missiles could be launched very close to Russia’s borders from the territory of NATO member-states following a rapid and covert deployment, as well as submarines and stealthy bombers, that warning might come too late to make an effective response possible. To make matters worse still, US drive to destroy the Open Skies Treaty that is supposed to prevent precisely that kind of a covert preparation for a first strike, is also indicative of what the long-term US plans are.

Liana is therefore intended to provide that kind of strategic early warning, as well as operational target designation, in the event of an attempted surprise first strike. The satellite constellation is to consist of two types of satellites. The first, Pion-NKS, is a 6.5 ton satellite intended for a 67-degree, 500km orbit, with service life of more than three years. It’s development is nearly complete at the Arsenal Design Bureau. It is a high-resolution radar reconnaissance satellite, capable of positively identifying “car-sized” objects on the Earth’s surface. The second component of the Liana will be Lotos-S, a six-ton satellite operating on a 67-degree, 900km apogee orbit, and performing passive detection, identification, and location of electronic emitters, including radio communications. It was developed by the Arsenal Design Bureau, in collaboration with several other scientific research institutions. Both types of satellites are expected to be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, using the proven and reliable Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicles. The complete Liana configuration is to consist of two Pion-NKS and two Lotos-S satellites, and open-source information sources suggest the two satellite types have a fair amount of component commonality in order to allow them not only to complement one another, but to perform each other’s primary missions though in a degraded form. So far there have been three Lotos-S launches from Plesetsk, with the first 2009 one being a failure, and the 2015 and 2018 one a success. No Pion-NKS launches have been scheduled yet, but the satellite’s advanced stage of development suggests they will occur in the coming years.

Technological advances mean that once complete, Liana will serve as a replacement for both the Legenda naval surveillance and target designation satellite network, and the Tselina radioelectronic reconnaissance one, thus providing Russian decisionmakers with the ability to monitor troop deployments and electronic activity that would inevitably precede a strategic first strike. Liana will also no doubt prove itself useful in non-Doomsday scenarios as well. The Syria experience revealed the need for reliable detection and target designation of NATO cruise-missile launch assets, including aircraft, submarines, and surface vessels. Liana’s capabilities mean both the assets themselves, other than submarines, and their communications can be monitored to reveal preparations for a strike and provide targeting information as well. It is not clear Russia would have been able to accurately strike at US warships launching cruise missiles at Syria had they been directed against Russian bases. The absence of radar surveillance satellites was a painful gap in Russia’s capabilities at that time, one that will be filled in the coming years.

The Quiet Imperialism

The Quiet Imperialism

September 05, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

Many if not most Americans have always been in denial about the imperial ambitions and practices of US foreign policy. There are honourable exceptions – Noam Chomsky, Tulsi Gabbard come immediately to mind. But on the whole the direction of US geopolitical strategy has been guided and implemented by a small cabal of geopolitical fanatics; these are ensconced in various state and non-state organizations such as the media and various think-tanks and have had a wholly negative effect on US foreign policy, both in practise and theory. The US’s global adventurism has been regarded by the US public, insofar that it concerns itself with such matters, as being conceived in good faith and benign in intent. Unfortunately, the facts don’t conform to the popular trust that American citizens put in their government, particularly the Deep State, National Security Agencies, the political elites, and the Military Industrial Complex, not to mention the mainstream media.

This popular narrative of America qua global good-guy was very beautifully illustrated in a novel by the British author Graham Greene. The novel The Quiet American was set against the background of the first Indo-China war, with one of the central characters, Alden Pyle, an ostensibly idealistic young American Aid worker, who presented himself as a proto third-way reformist opposed both to the excesses of French colonialism on the one hand, and Chinese Communism on the other. But in fact he was nothing of the sort, and his baleful motives are soon uncovered by the cynical, world-weary British journalist, Thomas Fowler. As it turned out Pyle had been working for the CIA all along. The novel itself has been made into two motion pictures. Both are well worth watching and instructive. The novel was of course an allegory on what was happening and what has always been happening in geopolitical national rivalries and machtpolitik.

Thus US imperialism is the theory and practise which dare not speak its name. In the third world, however, and increasingly in the developed world, the facts are plain to see for all but the ideologically purblind. The US, particularly since the neo-conservative ascendancy, is a rampaging imperial juggernaut, with a blatant empire-building agenda. The US imperial project was from 1945 onwards held in check by social democratic obstacles in western Europe, the existence of the Soviet and East Asian Communist bloc and national anti-colonialist movements in the south. But with the collapse of communism, the ongoing enervation and retreat of social democracy, and the stalling of the anti-colonial struggle in the south, the rapacious beast of American imperialism was off the leash.

Moreover, the US has made it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate the reconstitution of any economic or military power capable of challenging its global domination. (see The Wolfowitz Doctrine.) To this end it has arrogated to itself the right to wage ‘preventive wars’ against those who may sometime in the future threaten its global ambitions. The global system has been unipolar but now its dominance is being challenged by new adversaries, particularly Russia, China, and perhaps Iran and the Americans are determined to contain what they regard as a strategic challenge.

This project is assuredly not lacking in ambition. It aims at extending the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ to the whole planet; the establishment of a sort of US global suzerainty. This would be difficult for the US to accomplish alone – it therefore has to form alliances and spheres of influence with other (subaltern) partners in the developed world. Roughly speaking the geopolitical configuration for America’s global project is as follows.

The phase of the (present) global development of capitalism is characterised by the emergence of a collective imperialism. The entirety of the Americas, Europe west of the Polish frontier and Japan, to which we should add Australia and New Zealand, defines the area of this collective imperialism. It ‘’manages’’ the economic dimension of capitalist globalization and the political military dimension through NATO, whose responsibilities have been redefined so that in effect it can substitute itself for the United Nations.

This requires some skilful diplomatic balancing between the US and its junior partners – particularly within the EU, where conflict between certain European states and the US is always a possibility. This is clearly evident in the spat between Germany and the US with the contretemps over Nordstream-2 and the stationing of US troops in Germany. To this end the mobilization of various euro-quisling elites – the UK, Poland, and according to Donald Rumsfeld the ‘new’ (Eastern) Europe – are vital for America’s policy of divide and rule in this area. Moreover the globalization agenda (the economic prong in the US global offensive) has become the received wisdom in the EU. As for the Euro it has become a satellite currency of the dollar, although it is in fact a stronger currency since it is based upon a euro economy which runs persistent trade surpluses with the United States (as does most everybody else).

Thus the EU – with the possible exception of France – has tended to meekly follow in the wake of the US hegemon ensnared in an Atlanticist doctrine for which the raison d’etre – if there ever was one – definitively ended with the cold war. And the world pays a heavy price for this.

According to Samir Amin:

‘‘The US economy lives as a parasite off its partners in the global system, with virtually no national savings of its own. The world produces while North America consumes … The fact is that the bulk of the American deficit (on Federal and Current Account) is covered by capital inputs from Europe and Japan, China and the South, rich oil-producing and comprador classes from all regions in the Third World – to which should be added the debt service levy that is imposed on nearly every country in the periphery of the global system. The American superpower depends day to day on the flow of capital that sustains the parasitism of its economy and society.’’ (1)

This was written by Amin back in 2006, but the US’s drive has not really altered that much in the interim. If anything it has become even more bellicose in pursuit of its quest for world hegemony. However, today, we not only have a clash of interests with the Germans and the US over the above issues. And despite the nominally peaceful intentions between the US and its allies (vassals) eventually the rising nations find that pursuing their own interests hits the barriers of the prevailing international order. And the further the old powers try to sustain their outdated settlement, the more the ascending powers – both within Europe and without – are frustrated. The entire post-war system itself becomes a source of international tension.

NATO exemplifies this. Established as we saw in a different era to coordinate western military power since the Cold War 1, after the end of that war NATO has turned into a disruptive force. Pursuing an ‘open-ended and ill-conceived eastern expansion’ the EU has rekindled inter-state tensions instead of assuaging them. (2) This illustrates a broader trend; that conflicting attitudes to the entrenched institutional structures generate dissension triggered by outdated economic and strategic pressures. National differences are expressed and often inflamed through opposing or supporting the existing and outdated systems and rules.

It could be said that NATO is a locus classicus of a dysfunctional bureaucracy. It exists ‘in order to solve the problems which it created.’ Or as Schumpeter first noticed, that ‘’ … in Egypt a class of professional soldiers formed during the war against the Hyskos persisted even when those wars were over along with its warlike instincts and interests … ‘‘ He noted with a pithy summary of his viewpoint that ‘’Created by wars that required it, the machine now created the wars which were required.’’ NATO anyone!?

With regard to International Political Economy, It is not generally understood that the US with its chronic federal and trade deficits is actually on the brink of technical bankruptcy, particularly when long term commitments on Medicaid, Medicare and Pensions, and Social Security payments are factored into the calculations. According to research carried out by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve, Fed liabilities come to a staggering $70 trillion – this is roughly 5 times the size of the US GDP. However these figures are now out of date. Given the fact that sovereign (or government) debt currently stands at $24 trillion which in terms of DEBT-to-GDP ratio of 107% is bad enough. Then comes private DEBT-to-GDP which stands at 220% minus unfunded future liabilities. (See below).

Figure 1. Sovereign debt to GDP 107%

Figure 2. Private debt to GDP 220%

The TOTAL DEBT i.e. municipal, household, financial, corporate, cars and student fees/debts AND, unfunded future liabilities, social security, Medicare, and pensions, are pushing on to a figure of total debt of 2000% in the not too distant future. This according to a CNBC report by Jeff Cox, September 09, 2019. This whole process has more or less been on track since the demise of the Bretton Woods system in 1971. The date was significant since this was when the US defaulted on its gold IOUs handing its trading partners paper dollars, or near dollars such as US Treasuries (Bonds) which it insisted were as good as gold. As a result the holders of this US government paper have been subsidizing the US and its economy ever since. The ability to palm off its trading partners with green paper meant that the US has been able to buy stuff from the western world without actually paying for any of it. It gets better. The US has been able to buy foreign made goods with monies loaned to them by foreign governments! The ultimate free lunch! See below. Only one way up apparently! Bear in mind also that the figures shown only go up to 2014. It’s odds on that the debt has grown further in the ensuing time span.

Against this backdrop the foreign policy of the US becomes clear. Its purpose is loot pure and simple. The south must continue to be plundered for cheap inputs and raw materials and in order to do this comprador elites must be promoted who are friendly to US interests. Economic development of course cannot take place in this context as there will be an outflow of capital from South to North. Markets must be opened up to the rapacious incursions of US and other western capitals. Possible rivals – Russia, China – must be regarded as long-term enemies and will be divided and marginalised or possibly in 1970s geopolitical jargon ‘Finlandised’. And uppity allies in Europe – like France – must be slapped down and brought to heel.

Whether the Americans can pull this off is a moot point. It rather depends on whether and how the rest of the world will continue to take the green paper from the Fed/US-Treasury (they are now conjoint BTW similar to a pantomime horse).

When other countries and other private lenders borrow, in this instance from the US, they must consider the economic and financial strength and resilience of that economy. Let’s put ourselves into the position of a creditor. As follows.

  • US sovereign debt is greater than national GDP and is only going to get worse. That puts the US economy in what historically has been the danger zone for ruinous trouble of one kind or another: economic stagnation, default, or runaway inflation. As we have seen however it’s the TOTAL DEBT. Which makes the situation dramatically worse.
  • Manufacturing industry has been hollowed out by a strong dollar policy which makes US export costs rise leading to deindustrialisation.
  • The Economy has been left with little capacity for recovering from shocks – both internal and external. Despite the unprecedented money printing and deficit spending evoked by past – 2008 – and presently – 2020 – even greater and further shocks will arise which will only be comparable to the 1930s.
  • Zero or negative interest rates, courtesy of the Fed, which have resulted in a bonanza for corporations to juice up their stock-market capitalisation. Essentially by stealing money off of savers.
  • Investment markets can’t go anywhere without creating bubbles that eventually burst. 1. Dot.com bubble, 2000, 2. Property bubble, 2008, 3. Everything bubble 2020.

This seems to be the story of the 20/21 centuries with each crisis being bigger and deeper as the one before. Does this look like the picture of a healthy super-power? Or is it the picture of a vulnerable giant close to its historical inflexion point? I know where I would put my money.

But given the tsunami of dollar bills flooding the markets an engineered inflation or a Volcker style 20% hike in interest rates seems likely; my own view is that there will be an engineered inflation; in fact, it’s happening already. This means any persons, corporations or states holding US$s or dollar denominated assets, e.g. Treasury Bills is going to take a big hit.

Of course this US offensive, both political and economic, has and will continue to be met with stiff resistance. Most of this has been spontaneous and centered around the crisis in the Middle East, South East Asia, with the growing opposition to the reputedly Promethean gifts of globalisation.

Samir Amin identifies 4 aspects of a political programme which would give organizational coherence to this opposition. ‘’(i) A campaign against all American ‘preventive’ wars and for the closure of all foreign US bases, (ii) A campaign of right to access to the land, which is of crucial importance to the world’s 3 billion peasants, (iii) A campaign for the regulation of industrial outsourcing, and (iv) A cancellation of third world external debts.(v)’’ (3)

One could of course add more to this – capital controls, global minimum wage and labour standards … and so forth. This would only be a beginning, however. Amin himself looks forward to the reconstitution of the UN as a forum where the third world and smaller countries could find legitimate voice, as opposed to the dominant – i.e., US controlled – institutions of the present – the IMF, WTO, WORLD BANK, and NATO which are frankly little more than instruments of US/EU/NATO Triad collective imperialism.

Get ready for a long period of Sturm Und Drang.

(1) Beyond US Hegemony – Samir Amin – 2006

(2) Stephen Walt – 2018

(3) Amin Op.cit. 2006

China Newsbrief & Sitrep

China Newsbrief & Sitrep

August 12, 2020

By Godfree Roberts from his newsletter

This week we focus mainly on China’s development and business.

We still see signs of an unrestricted and type of unformed war on China that is described by many names, examples cold war or, hybrid war.  The main characteristic of this war is where nothing that disrupts the enemy is off limits.

Despite an unprecedented downturn in US-China relations during a pandemic, US businesses are not leaving the China market. This was a major finding of an annual survey of members released today by the US-China Business Council (USCBC), a trade group representing more than 200 businesses, many of them global brands with decades of China experience.  

https://www.uschina.org/media/press/pandemic-and-politics-aside-us-china-trade-ties-continue

Extracts from Here Comes China

Excellent overview – How Did China Succeed? | Joseph E. Stiglitz  on China’s Economic System

Although Stiglitz is a world banker, he holds different views from the trademark, neoliberal Washington consensus, specifically an economic ideology holding that while people should own the value they produce themselves, economic value derived from land (including all natural resources and natural opportunities) should belong equally to all members of society.  His wide overview here on the growth of China makes sense and is easy listening.

China’s central bank has taken the lead in digital currencies. What does it mean for businesses?  by Jemma Xu and Dan Prud’homme

Outside  China, digital currencies are fraught with incredible risk. In this void, China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payments offers the public confidence unobtainable by private digital currencies. DCEP is itself a stablecoin, but one backed 1:1 by the PBoC with fiat Chinese yuan/renminbi. Its system follows a “two layer” approach. First, and critically, because it is a sovereign digital currency, the PBoC is the only issuing party. Second, to expeditiously diffuse the currency, the central bank issues DCEP to select retail banks and non-financial institutions (e.g., Alibaba, Tencent, and Union Pay) in China with strong pre-existing mobile payment networks, who then merely distribute the currency to the general public. Businesses across China will be required by law to accept DCEP as payment.

Besides the regulatory legitimacy, many factors position DCEP to become the world’s most widely used digital currency:

  • the Chinese state’s track record of rapid institutional innovation;
  • Chinese public support of institutional experimentation;
  • Chinese firms’ strong competitiveness in digital ecosystems and
  • capabilities to quickly adapt to changing technological paradigms and institutions;
  • a massive Chinese population who quickly adopts new digital technologies, and
  • lead the world in adopting mobile payment applications.

Although central banks in several other countries have also been studying digital currencies, none have taken the lead to actually develop and rollout a CBDC at the scale occurring in China. DCEP will be used for purchases in all sectors across the country. To start, as of mid-2020, DCEP has been piloted in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiong’an – potentially reaching over 42 million people, more than Canada’s entire population. Elsewhere in China, DCEP is already in the process of being piloted in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, with foreign multinationals such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway already signing up to participate. Further, DCEP trials are already being conducted around China to reimburse public sector employees’ travel costs. Yet other pilot initiatives, such as a commitment to use DCEP at venues for large-scale upcoming events in Beijing, are in place.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government recently proposed the creation of a regional digital currency backed by the Chinese RMB/yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won, and Hong Kong dollar – with DCEP at the centre. And China’s multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers a network to extend DCEP in countries around the globe.

Businesses should prepare for DCEP’s rollout in two main ways. First, they must ensure that they have appropriate infrastructure in place to accommodate DCEP, such as digital wallets. Contracts with third-party financial custodians can also be helpful. On the upside, to facilitate swift legal compliance with DCEP – considering that its acceptance is being required by law in China – the Chinese authorities may integrate DCEP with popular existing digital wallets already widely used by many businesses in China, namely Alipay and Wechat Pay.

Second, businesses may need to explore interoperability options when conducting cross-border trade. Such action may be needed in the longer term if DCEP leads to an alternative international payments system vis-à-vis the current US-led system, which is a probable prospect.
Meanwhile, firms who timely prepare for China’s DCEP rollout can seize several significant opportunities. First, as previously alluded to, the expansion of DCEP will facilitate the internationalisation of the yuan/renminbi. In doing so, the Chinese currency will provide a strong alternative institution to rival the current USD-dominated international payments system.

Third, by facilitating direct transactions between digital wallets, DCEP will eliminate sizeable banking clearing and settlements costs. In other words, ‘payment is settlement’ with no need for separate clearing and settlement processes.

Fourth, DCEP will offer firms new ways of raising capital and secondary trading via the issuance of digital securities and disintermediated trading on exchanges. Digital securities are regulated financial instruments such as equities or bonds where the transaction and shareholder details are recorded on the blockchain ledger. As a stable currency, DCEP will be used to reduce or eliminate the clearing and settlement processes associated with trading digital securities on secondary exchanges. In turn, this will provide firms and investors easier access to digital financial instruments.

Fifth, DCEP’s development will catalyse fintech innovation, giving rise to hybrid products that draw on both traditional markets and digital currencies. Greater numbers of innovative structured products are appearing in the digital currencies market, where the underlying asset is a native digital currency, such as Bitcoin, but the payoffs are based on traditional structured products. DCEP will serve as a reliable alternative underlying-asset in the future, stimulating the creation of more hybrid financial products.
Fifth, and not least, aggregate demand may rise as a result of DCEP’s rollout. DCEP adoption will allow governments to rapidly deploy “helicopter money” to the public without requiring bank accounts. This will empower the previously unbanked to form a new group of consumers.[MORE]

Debt – People criticizing China’s debt see only the debit side of the ledger. If they look at the credit side, they would see offsetting assets. One of those assets is the $20 billion Three Gorges Dam, which generates 100 billion KWh which it sells for US$0.084/KwH, bringing in $8.4 billion every year. Three Gorges tours earn another $3 billion, and flood mitigation and irrigation enhancement save another $3 billion, as the current flooding demonstrates. That’s valuable debt!

China pledged to invest $5.8 billion in the construction of the Moscow-Kazan High Speed Railway. The railway will be extended to China through Kazakhstan. The total cost of the Moscow-Kazan high speed railroad project is $21.4 billion. [MORE]

The Caspian Sea is becoming an alternative to the Suez for shipping between Europe and China, and a great deal of activity is taking place there. Four major Belt & Road routes and one significant Indian route make up the five East-West intersections that the Caspian is shortly to provide, with the potential for a sixth should plans to create a canal between the Caspian and Black Seas come to fruition. [Download Chris Devonshire-Ellis’ Report]

The Port of Beirut poses the biggest geostrategic threat to American power projection because China’s Silk Road is fast creeping towards the docks at Beirut Port. The US, having recently forced Israel to cancel its Haifa rail contract with China, has dampened the Chinese advance in the eastern Mediterranean, and what remains now in the path of the US is the Beirut Port. The US must either invade it to block the Chinese geostrategic mission creep, or else destroy it.[MORE]


See everyone next week for the regular Here Comes China newsletter.  It is a pleasure to work with Godfree and to collate the main points for The Saker Blog.

amarynth

Free word | The US-China Conflict كلمة حرة | الصراع الأميركي الصيني

EU SITREP: U.S. Defense Sec’y. Tells EU: “Deter Peace,” Confront Russia & China

EU SITREP: U.S. Defense Sec’y. Tells EU: “Deter Peace,” Confront Russia & China

August 10, 2020

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Europeans, in statements on July 29th and August 9th,

“I’ve said that very publicly, I’ve said that very privately to my counterparts as well, about the importance of NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe.’”

“We are moving many troops further east, closer to Russia’s border, to deter them.”

The U.S. Department of Defense’s website, when it issued the transcript of Esper’s statement “so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe,” added in brackets, “[editor’s note. Secretary Esper intended to say ‘avoid conflict in Europe’]”; however, that does not appear to reflect Esper’s statement, for the following reasons:

1. The assertion “so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe” was so inflammatory as to demand a ‘correction’ regardless of whether that statement was consistent with everything else that he has been saying, and it is consistent with everything else that he has been saying.

2. Esper’s 4,800-word speech on that occasion did not use the word “conflict” even once. It is not a word that he typically uses. By contrast, against that zero frequency for “conflict,” he used there “deter” 21 times. He used “peace” three times. Each of those was in a hostile context: First, “One of our primary missions is to prevent another great power war, and to maintain great power peace. The National Defense Strategy, the NDS, guides our efforts to adapt the force, and the EUCOM plan optimizes our force posture in Europe as we seek to deter malign actors there.” Second, “These efforts all increase our opportunity to generate greater peace in Europe and enhance the U.S.’s effectiveness in great power competition.” Third, “And I’ve said that very publicly, I’ve said that very privately to my counterparts as well, about the importance of NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe.”

He used the phrase “great power competition” five times: First, “Today, we want to update you on the status of our U.S. European Command review, which was accelerated with the president’s decision in early June to reduce our footprint in Germany, and our plans to reposition our forces in Europe to be better-situated for great power competition.” Second, “As we’ve entered a new era of great power competition, we are now at another one of those inflection points in NATO’s history.” Third, “One of our primary missions is to prevent another great power war, and to maintain great power peace.” (“Great power peace” did not mean “peace” in any broader sense but only that the U.S. does not want to become a battlefield in World War III — that’s for Europe, etc., not for the U.S., to serve as the war-fields; it would be like happened during WW II. This was a very careful usage of words.)  Fourth, “We focus on actions inside and outside our area of responsibility, and vigilance with respect to great power competition is an absolute imperative.” (That reaffirms Esper’s focus on “great power competition.” Europe’s nations are vassal-states. They are expendable. The way that Barack Obama said this was “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” Every other nation is “dispensable.” How much clearer can it be? Furthermore: Esper explicitly asserts there that “We focus on actions inside and outside our area of responsibility,” which means that the U.S. military imposes its will “outside our area of responsibility” — anywhere in the world — meaning against any real or imagined “great power competitor,” which refers specifically to both Russia and China. Consequently, the U.S. regime demands that Europe get in line with the U.S. Government’s objective to defeat both Russia and China. He says that this is “an absolute imperative.”) Fifth, “These efforts all increase our opportunity to generate greater peace in Europe and enhance the U.S.’s effectiveness in great power competition.” (“Greater peace in Europe” implies that European nations are at war. It’s a lie. Esper has made clear that “great power competition” is the U.S. regime’s obsessive focus.)

The other assertion, that “We are moving many troops further east, closer to Russia’s border, to deter them,” is a clear affirmation of the U.S. regime’s lie to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 when he was ending the Cold War on Russia’s side — ending its communism, ending its Warsaw Pact military alliance, ending the Soviet Union — and George Herbert Walker Bush deceived him into believing that NATO would not move “one inch to the east.” The sheer evilness of that man and of all subsequent U.S. Presidents, for their ceaseless efforts ultimately to conquer Russia, and now with Trump also to conquer China, is perhaps unsurpassed in human history, competing even with Adolf Hitler. It’s what happens when a country — in this instance the United States — gets taken over by its aristocracy, its billionaires.

Europe is to serve, along with the Middle East and elsewhere, as America’s battlefields to conquer Russia and China. That’s the plan.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II

When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, August 04, 2020

To read this article in other versions, click: French, German, and Russian.

First published November 4, 2017. Revisions to the English Text, December 10, 2017

Author’s Note 

Since this article was first published in 2017, YouTube has decided to Censor the short video produced by South Front which is largely based on the declassified documents quoted in this article. 

US nuclear threats directed against Russia predate the Cold War. They were first formulated  at the height of World War II under the Manhattan Project when the US and the Soviet Union were allies.  

The plan to bomb 66 Soviet cities was “officially” formulated in mid-September 1945, two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan.  

Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

Flash Forward to 2020: Nuclear War is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

A one $1.2 trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing. 

Michel Chossudovsky, August 4, 2020

***

According to a secret document datedSeptember 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union  with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.

All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The tables below categorize each city in terms of area in square miles and the corresponding number of atomic bombs required to annihilate and kill the inhabitants of selected urban areas.

Six atomic bombs were to be used to destroy each of the larger cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.

The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities.

To undertake this operation the “optimum” number of bombs required was of the order of 466 (see document below)

One single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima resulted in the immediate death of 100,000 people in the first seven seconds. Imagine what would have happened if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on major cities of the Soviet Union as outlined in a secret U.S. plan formulated during the Second World War.

Hiroshima in the wake of the atomic bomb attack, 6 August 1945

The document outlining this diabolical military agenda had been released in September 1945, barely one month after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August, 1945) and two years before the onset of the Cold War (1947).

Video produced by South Front

The secret plan dated September 15, 1945 (two weeks after the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, see image below) , however, had been formulated at an earlier period, namely at the height of World War II,  at a time when America and the Soviet Union were close allies.

It is worth noting that Stalin was first informed through official channels by Harry Truman of the infamous Manhattan Project at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945, barely two weeks before the attack on Hiroshima.

The Manhattan project was launched in 1939, two years prior to America’s entry into World War II in December 1941. The Kremlin was fully aware of the secret Manhattan project as early as 1942.

Were the August 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks used by the Pentagon to evaluate the viability of  a much larger attack on the Soviet Union consisting of more than 204 atomic bombs? The key documents to bomb 66 cities of the Soviet Union (15 September 1945) were finalized 5-6 weeks after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (6, 9 August 1945):

“On September 15, 1945 — just under two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan and the end of World War II — Norstad sent a copy of the estimate to General Leslie Groves, still the head of the Manhattan Project, and the guy who, for the short term anyway, would be in charge of producing whatever bombs the USAAF might want. As you might guess, the classification on this document was high: “TOP SECRET LIMITED,” which was about as high as it went during World War II. (Alex Wellerstein, The First Atomic Stockpile Requirements (September 1945)

The Kremlin was aware of the 1945 plan to bomb sixty-six Soviet cities.

The documents confirm that the US was involved in the “planning of genocide” against the Soviet Union.

Let’s cut to the chase. How many bombs did the USAAF request of the atomic general, when there were maybe one, maybe two bombs worth of fissile material on hand? At a minimum they wanted 123. Ideally, they’d like 466. This is just a little over a month after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Of course, in true bureaucratic fashion, they provided a handy-dandy chart (Alex Wellerstein, op. cit)

Pentagon Plans to Destroy Dozens of Soviet Cities and the So-called Cold War

The Nuclear Arms Race

Central to our understanding of the Cold War which started (officially) in 1947, Washington’s September 1945 plan to bomb 66 cities into smithereens played a key role in triggering the nuclear arms race.

The Soviet Union was threatened and developed its own atomic bomb in 1949 in response to 1942 Soviet intelligence reports on the Manhattan Project.

While the Kremlin knew about these plans to “Wipe out” the USSR, the broader public was not informed because the September 1945 documents were of course classified.

Today, neither the September 1945 plan to blow up the Soviet Union nor the underlying cause of the nuclear arms race are acknowledged. The Western media has largely focussed its attention on the Cold War US-USSR confrontation. The plan to annihilate the Soviet Union dating back to World War II and the infamous Manhattan project are not mentioned.

Washington’s Cold War nuclear plans are invariably presented in response to so-called Soviet threats, when in fact it was the U.S. plan released in September 1945 (formulated at an earlier period at the height of World War II) to wipe out the Soviet which motivated Moscow to develop its nuclear weapons capabilities.

The assessment of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists mistakenly blamed and continue to blame the Soviet Union for having launched the nuclear arms race in 1949, four years after the release of the September 1945 US Secret Plan to target 66 major Soviet cities with 204 nuclear bombs:

“1949: The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. “We do not advise Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their heads a month or year from now,” the Bulletin explains. “But we think they have reason to be deeply alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions.” (Timeline of the Doomsday Clock, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 2017)

IMPORTANT: Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union lost 26 million people during World War II.

The Cold War List of 1200 Targeted Cities: 

This initial 1945 list of sixty-six cities was updated in the course of the Cold War (1956) to include some 1200 cities in the USSR and the Soviet block countries of Eastern Europe (see declassified documents below). The bombs slated for use were more powerful in terms of explosive capacity than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Source: National Security Archive

“According to the 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe. Major Cities in the Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings.  (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

Source: National Security Archive

Washington, D.C., December 22, 2015 – The SAC [Strategic Air Command] Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, produced in June 1956 and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive www.nsarchive.org, provides the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear targets and target systems that has ever been declassified. As far as can be told, no comparable document has ever been declassified for any period of Cold War history.

The SAC study includes chilling details. According to its authors,  their target priorities and nuclear bombing tactics would expose nearby civilians and “friendly forces and people” to high levels of deadly radioactive fallout.  Moreover, the authors developed a plan for the “systematic destruction” of Soviet bloc urban-industrial targets that specifically and explicitly targeted “population” in all cities, including Beijing, Moscow, Leningrad, East Berlin, and Warsaw.  Purposefully targeting civilian populations as such directly conflicted with the international norms of the day, which prohibited attacks on people per se (as opposed to military installations with civilians nearby).National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

List of Cities

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive, op. cit.

From the Cold War to Donald Trump

In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

What distinguishes the October 1962 Missile Crisis to Today’s realities:

1. Today’s president Donald Trump does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.

2, Communication today between the White House and the Kremlin is at an all time low. In contrast, in October 1962, the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. They collaborated with a view to avoiding the unthinkable.

3. The nuclear doctrine was entirely different during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow understood the realities of mutually assured destruction. Today, tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity (yield) of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are categorized by the Pentagon as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”.

4.  A one trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing.

5. Today’s thermonuclear bombs are more than 100 times more powerful and destructive than a Hiroshima bomb. Both the US and Russia have several thousand nuclear weapons deployed.

Moreover, an all war against China is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon as outlined by a RAND Corporation Report commissioned by the US Army  

“Fire and Fury”, From Truman to Trump: U.S Foreign Policy Insanity

There is a long history of US political insanity geared towards providing a human face to U.S. crimes against humanity.

Truman globalresearch.ca

On August 9, 1945, on the day the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, president Truman (image right), in a radio address to the American people, concluded that God is on the side of America with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and that

He May guide us to use it [atomic bomb] in His ways and His purposes”. 

According to Truman: God is with us, he will decide if and when to use the bomb:

[We must] prepare plans for the future control of this bomb. I shall ask the Congress to cooperate to the end that its production and use be controlled, and that its power be made an overwhelming influence towards world peace.

We must constitute ourselves trustees of this new force–to prevent its misuse, and to turn it into the channels of service to mankind.

It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.

We thank God that it [nuclear weapons] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes” (emphasis added)

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

Russophobia Goes Viral Again… And Fatally No Cure

Russophobia Goes Viral Again… And Fatally No Cure – The 21st Century
REUTERS Lucas Jackson

Source

July 31, 2020

This week saw U.S. media reports claiming that Russian military intelligence is spreading disinformation about the coronavirus to sow discord ahead of the November presidential election. Such reports are nothing but more bombast and reprehensible Russophobia as part of a chronic mental condition which seems to have no cure.

Meanwhile, British media reported claims that Russia and China were targeting Germany with interference campaigns in order to undermine the transatlantic alliance. More bombast and reprehensible Russophobia augmented with Sinophobia.

Hardly a week goes by without some such lurid Western media “report” of malign Russian or Chinese plot to subvert Western democracy. Suitably, in this time of global pandemic, the political phobia seems to be going viral.

It can be reasonably posited that as certain nations undergo severe political and economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, there is a tendency to find a scapegoat as a means to “explain” the crisis. The United States and Britain stand out as the globe’s worst casualties from the pandemic. President Donald Trump in particular has seen his much-vaunted “economic success” turn to dust. Out of trauma to his ego, Trump has taken to blaming China for “the plague”. Trump’s cheap-shot politicization also resonates with a deeper political agenda to create a Cold War with China.

The pandemic has also exacerbated an explosion in popular protests across the U.S. over systemic police brutality and racism. The mix has created a climate of chaos and discontent in American society not seen for decades. Thrown into the mix is sharp partisan rivalry between supporters of this president and his opponents. The bitter factionalism is set to intensify as the nation heads to presidential elections in less than 100 days.

Given the upheaval and turmoil, it is all too tempting to find a distraction in the form of “foreign interference”. A Cold War legacy of Russophobia and Sinophobia is being resurrected to provide a convenient political escape route for deep-seated structural problems.

Both sides of the American political divide seem adept at playing the xenophobic interference card. Republican Trump this week claimed that foreign interference would abuse mail-in voting systems and suggested the election should be postponed. There is no evidence for such concern.

Likewise, Trump’s opponents in the Democratic party and their sympathetic news media outlets are adept at playing the same nefarious game.

Ever since Trump was elected to the White House in 2016, his opponents have obsessed over alleged Russian interference without ever providing any evidence for their outlandish speculations.

Chief among the exponents of such conspiratorial thinking is the New York Times, the so-called “newspaper of record”. The Times is a diehard pro-Democrat and “never-Trump” organ. The paper also has a long history of serving as a conduit for U.S. intelligence agencies. Its nadir of propagandist functioning was making the false case of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the genocidal U.S. and British war on that country. Indeed, some of the journalists who peddled that propaganda are still working at the paper and penning the most recent Russophobic articles.

In recent weeks, Russophobia at the Times has become feverish. On June 26, it launched a series of stories, amplified across U.S. media, claiming that Russian intelligence was operating a “bounty-hunter” scheme for assassinating American military in Afghanistan.

On July 16, the Times headlined with “Russian hackers trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research”.

This week, the “paper of record” announced “Russian intelligence agencies push disinformation on pandemic”.

The fiendish thing about such “stories” is the cleverly disguised lack of evidence. They all rely on unsubstantiated allegations made by anonymous sources who hide their vacuous “details” behind national security pretenses. This is an audacious affront to journalistic standard and ethics, but the one “advantage” is that the claims are sealed off from being definitely critiqued and disproven because the lack of evidence precludes a specific rebuttal. The upshot is the innuendo is permitted to linger and sow doubts.

The problem for the propagandists, however, is that the credibility of the “reporting” becomes threadbare with each cycle of unsubstantiated allegations. The increased frequency of the cycle indicates the propagandists are realizing their diminishing potency in the eyes of the public and hence try to compensate by narrating ever-more lurid stories.

In the final analysis, the political and economic problems facing the United States and Britain are endemic. The abysmal failure over the coronavirus pandemic is but one accelerant of a chronic collapse. The chaos and division in those societies is of their own making from the corruption of the political and economic system. Trying to resurrect a Cold War with Russia or China is a futile attempt to postpone a reckoning over inherent problems.

President Trump’s indulgence in conspiracies about China is consistent with his conspiracies about quack medical remedies. His conspiratorial psychosis is reflected in the derangement of his Democrat opponents and their media concerning alleged malign Russian interference. The chaos and division attributed to foreign powers is actually a bipartisan vice for avoiding the radical challenge facing the U.S. and its Western vassals like Britain.

A virus without a cure can become fatal. Russophobia is a virus without any cure as far as the Western political establishments are concerned. The result can be deadly. But deadly mainly for their own societies from not addressing real problems.The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

NATO 2020: A COALITION OF THE UNWILLING

 25.07.2020 

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watsont

The problem with alliances is that they ultimately either become victims of their own success, or cannot figure out what to do with themselves once the original rationale disappears. The original Cold War-era NATO was a relatively cohesive entity led by one of the two superpowers, with most of its members being the industrialized democracies of Western Europe, with West Germany being its eastern-most European member, and alliance planning revolving around USSR. But even then there were cracks in the alliance. Italy, for example, had nearly no role to play as it did not border any Warsaw Pact country and did not practice deploying its forces to West Germany to practice its defense against the anticipated Warsaw Pact invasion. And while Greece and Turkey were ostensibly part of that alliance as well, in practice they spent more time clashing with one another than planning for joint action against USSR.

The end of the Cold War made the problem of alliance cohesion far worse, for two reasons. One, it quickly added as many members as possible thus greatly expanding its geographical extent, and two, it lost that single unifying factor in the form of USSR. Today’s NATO is a patchwork of mini-alliances revolving around the United States which is determined to replace the alliance aspect of NATO which assumes that all members have interests that are to be taken into consideration, by patron-client relationships.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the goal of the United States is global domination. This goal is shared by the entire political elite and major portions of the population, though it is nearly never discussed openly or directly. Instead, it is framed in terms of “American Leadership”, “New American Century”, and of course “American Exceptionalism” which is used to justify any policy that violates international law, treaties, or agreements. Given that every country which has not recognized “American Leadership” is described as a “regime”, there is no indication the US elite is interested in anything resembling peaceful coexistence with other sovereign states.

NATO plays a double role in achieving that goal. First, it is a military alliance that projects military power against anyone refusing to accept “American Leadership”. Military contributions by European member states are certainly important, not least by giving America the veneer of international legitimacy, but the presence of US bases on the European continent is far more so. US forces stationed in or staged out of European naval, air, and land bases are indispensable to its efforts to control the MENA region and to promote the US policy of driving a wedge between Europe on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. Secondly, a European country’s membership in NATO means a sacrifice of considerable portion of its sovereignty and independence to the United States. This is a wholly asymmetrical relationship, since US bases its forces in European countries and sells its weapons to them, not the other way around. The penetration of a European country thus achieved allows US intelligence service to develop agent networks and to employ the full range of lobbying techniques which have been particularly visible in the US efforts to press F-35 aircraft into the hands of NATO member states.

America’s self-appointed task is made not easier or harder by the fact that today’s NATO is therefore fragmented along both geographic and national power lines. The geographical divide is plainly easy to see: Norway and Denmark mainly care about the Arctic, Poland and Romania obsess about Russia, Mediterranean countries freak out about what’s happening in North Africa. The wrangling over sending more troops to Mali or to Estonia is the reflection of the differing security concerns of individual members of the far-flung pact. The power divide is less easy to see but more problematic for Washington. V_3 (A2) Of the European powers, only four—Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain—may be considered to be powerful and independent political actors with which the US has to contend on anything like an equal basis. The first three form the core of the European Union, whereas Great Britain opted for Brexit, likely in part because of the looming big power struggle between the US and the EU that has the potential of degenerating into a destructive trade war. It is doubtful that the skirmishes over Huawei and North Stream 2 are anything but the opening salvoes in the confrontation over whether the EU will emerge as a political actor independent of the US, or be reduced to a collection of client states. Unfortunately, America’s task is made easier by the fact of the intra-European divisions mentioned above.

United States is pursuing development of several hypersonic missile systems with the aim of ultimately fielding very large numbers of them in order to be able to launch disarming first strikes against Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals. Since the weapons themselves are relatively short-ranged (though that may change once the US allows New START to lapse), they require basing close to their intended targets. That means having to find countries willing to base them in Europe, where it is liable to provoke a  political debate of the magnitude comparable to that of the original Euromissile controversy of the 1980s. Since Germany is not interested in being reduced to the status of a US client, it has resisted the US on a variety of fronts, including the North Stream 2, the refusal to buy F-35s, and now also the lack of desire to host the new US missiles. Even the German defense spending increases are intended at least as much to counter US influence in Eastern Europe as the supposed Russian threat to NATO. The United States has responded using the usual array of tools: economic sanctions on any and all European entities participating in the project and even using the gas, apparently launching a cyber-attack that US-friendly German intelligence promptly blamed on Russia, and also threatening to move US troops out of Germany and possibly to Poland. There is even discussion and rumors that US nuclear weapons stationed in Germany might be moved to Poland.

The outcome of this so far is a power struggle between two NATO allies, US and Germany, over the political alignment of a third—Poland. While Germany has the power of EU institutions on its side and massive economic gravitational pull, US has cultivated a cadre of friends, possibly intelligence assets, as a result of post-9/11 collaboration in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in the realm of intelligence-sharing. This has produced a government more than willing to deploy US troops, missiles, and even nukes on Poland’s territory. The power of US influence is visible in Poland’s weapons procurement: Patriot, Javelin, HIMARS, F-35, and not a single comparable European system in recent years. The US weakness in this confrontation consists of the unwillingness to subsidize Poland economically which, combined with the ruling party’s fiscal irresponsibility, will make it difficult for the country to maintain its anti-German course in the longer term.

While in Eastern Europe US national security state is using Poland as a proxy against Germany, in the Mediterranean it has adopted Turkey as a proxy against France and Italy. After some hemming and hawing, the US hawks dropped the Kurds yet again, with Trump happily taking the blame, in order to piggy-back on Erdogan’s Libya ambitions to curtail French and Italian interests there. To be sure, Turkey retains far more autonomy in the relationship than Poland, which was unable or unwilling to play US and Russia and EU against one another in order to secure a measure of freedom of action. But the US Congress measures to allow the purchase of S-400 weapons from Turkey is an indicator that Turkey’s behavior is once again useful to the US. And even though Turkey was excluded from the F-35 program, its firms continue to make components for various assembly plants. The result has been a number of stand-offs between Turkish warships on one hand and French and Italian on the other off the coasts of Libya. And whereas France and Italy are backing the Marshal Haftar’s LNA, Turkey’s preferred proxy is the GNA, leading to a veritable “anti-Turkey” alliance being formed that includes Turkey’s old time NATO adversary Greece. While the US is officially aloof of the entire situation, in practice controlling Libya’s oil is part of the Washington strategy of “energy dominance” every bit as the North Stream 2 sanctions are.

The remarkable part of these two sets of conflicts among NATO powers is that in both cases Russia has sided with Germany and France against the US in both cases. It is Russia’s policies that are more beneficial to French and German interests than America’s, since Russia is not actually seeking to monopolize energy supplies to Europe in the way that the US clearly and openly is.

So far the US strategy consisted of steadily ratcheting up pressure through sanctions and proxies and occasional intelligence-generated anti-Russia provocations (sometimes helpfully delivered by British agencies), trying to find that happy middle of policies that actually force Germany, France, and Italy to change their policies and which do not force a permanent breach in the trans-Atlantic relationship. But the cracks in the relationship are clearly visible and they are not attributable to Trump’s erratic and brusque manner. It is the US Congress which passed the successive rounds of anti-North Stream 2 sanctions, with strong partisan majorities. It means the assertion of US control over European major powers is part of the US agenda. Since that agenda is motivated by a US political and economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the 1930s, there is little likelihood Biden’s presidency would represent a radical departure from the current trend.

Of course, for Germany, France, and Italy to successfully resist US encroachment they would first need to transform the EU into something closer than a federation. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis already providing considerable impetus for such a transformation, America’s insatiable appetites might provide the rest.

Diplomacy is reciprocal

July 25, 2020

Diplomacy is reciprocal

Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

The US suddenly ordered China to end operations from its embassy in Houston, Texas (remember when they did the same to Russia). However, diplomacy is reciprocal and the Chinese so far refrained from a further provocative reaction. They are implementing a fair tit for tat measure, closing the US Consulate in Chengdu, keeping options open for further retaliation. They could have fanned the flames and closed the US Consulate in Hong Kong, or even a bigger one in Beijing, but kept to a fair reciprocal closure – so far.

More about the Consulate spat https://www.moonofalabama.org/

China responded to Mr Pompeo’s highly advertised ‘very important’ speech this week in short, not giving Pompeo that attention that he so craves. The Chinese stance is that Mike Pompeo maliciously attacked the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s socialist system, and he made remarks that ignored the facts, were full of ideological bias and turned black into white, which showed his Cold War mentality. From the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “Some US politicians have deliberately stirred up ideological disputes, talked about changing China, denied China-US relations, and provoked China’s relationships with other countries. Their purpose is to suppress China’s development and divert the public’s attention from their own country. These tricks cannot fool the Americans and international community.”

The US have stopped all basic diplomatic standards in a grab for their self-delusional rules-based international order. Just recently, Pompeo announced that they will not respect or accept any of the agreements in the South China Sea. He must be thinking that all of the ASEAN countries like him enough to drop their raft of regional negotiated agreements.

Despite Chinese accusations that the US opens their diplomatic pouches, which is in flagrant violation of all Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular relations, the most important is the following which shows that China is still keeping to fair diplomatic and pragmatic standard:

“It must be emphasized that China has no intentions to change the US in terms of its social system, and the US cannot change China either.”

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1800221.shtml

Having followed the Russian reactions on these types of actions by the US toward Russia, we have become accustomed to the frustratingly pragmatic and clinically diplomatic methods of dealing with western bullying. The Chinese are different and they enthusiastically take part in the war of words that is reaching cold war status if one adds in the trade war announced by Mr Trump +- two years ago and which he thought would be ‘easy to win’. What we see now as reaction to the US provocation to China in the US social sphere, many ordinary Americans are deeply into the ‘crush China’ rhetoric which attempts to blame China for all of the US ills.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202007241079970310-us-heading-towards-quagmire-in-the-south-china-sea-by-inciting-tensions-with-beijing-activist-warns/

While it remains unclear if this can be written off completely to electioneering and election rhetoric, what does clarify is that the harm done is not easily fixed, no matter the reason. It is however quite breathtaking how far Pompeo will push this, hoping for retaliation which he can then use to prove himself and the current US administration right. It is beyond a level of comprehension that Pompeo and Co could really think that they will make war against China.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202007/24/WS5f1a5b8da31083481725be24.html

In this time of ‘rhetorical cold war of words’, Godfree Roberts who regularly writes on China for the Unz Review started a new weekly newsletter, Here Comes China, Skulduggery, Good News, Offbeat Opinions, chock-a-block full of what is happening in China.

Godfree has offered the first four newsletters free to Saker readers. From economics, to space, to China-Iran Trade and Military Partnership, to the cleanup and recovering of the Yangtze river, a Hong Kong section, the media war on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and an in-depth look at Human rights in China, this newsletter stands unique in its scope and its presentation of Western opinions and Eastern opinions.

Godfree’s new book on China is just about ready for release. The book is called:

Why China leads the world: Democracy at the bottom, Data in the middle, Talent at the top.
A preview: https://www.herecomeschina.com/why-china-leads-the-world-the-book/

I also want to draw the readers’ attention to a two part essay written on Mao, Mao Reconsidered, and published in greanvillepost.com. Part 1Part 2

China Sitrep – 5 selected topics from the Here Comes China newsletter:

Trump Empowers CIA to Launch Cyberattacks

The secret authorization, known as a presidential finding, gives the spy agency more freedom in both the kinds of operations it conducts and who it targets–including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which are mentioned directly in the document. The finding allows the CIA to more easily authorize its own covert cyber operations, rather than requiring the agency to get approval from the White House. The “very aggressive” finding “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries,” said a former U.S. government official. The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities. [MORE]

Belt and Road Finds New Life in Pakistan

China and Pakistan have signed deals for two hydro-power generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the disputed Kashmir region, and another to revamp the South Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion — the most expensive Chinese project yet in Pakistan. The Chinese financing has helped rid Pakistan of an electricity deficit that left exporters unable to meet orders and major cities without electricity for much of the day. [MORE]

T.P. Wilkinson: The Yemen

The West encourages dissolution of state entities that could engage in normal relations with China or any other potential competitors. The Yemen is one of those long-term victims of British imperialism. When Britain nominally withdrew from Egypt, Nasser promoted his new government’s participation in his movement for Arab unity, opposed by British clients in Riyadh (the Saud family’s Wahhabi gangsters). The Saud family would like to have annexed the Yemen but could not without war against Egypt-against which the tiny mob had no chance. So David Stirling led a counter-insurgency funded by the British and Saudis to drive Egypt out of the Yemen and leave the country as a quasi-protectorate of Britain/US. Attempts to change that have been fought for decades but until a decade ago the client regime was well protected. Clearly chaos is profitable for the empire which between Somalia and Yemen prevent any stability in opposition to its interests. Not only do Somalia and Yemen lie close to the Suez route they also form part of the ancient East African trading basin that links Asia with Africa. As part of the overall strategy of Denial, this policy is aided by the designs of the mob in Riyad which lacks the population to occupy territories it would like to annex.

Xinjiang

This section from Here Comes China is an in-depth analysis. I suggest you read it in the newsletter itself. Main points:

Islam is neither the Uyghurs’ native religion nor their only one but, in its Wahhabi form, has caused problems around the world, for which we can thank to two fervent Christians, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski,[2] who considered a united Eurasia, “The only possible challenge to American hegemony.” In 1979, months before the Soviet entry into Afghanistan, Brzezinski drafted and Carter signed a top-secret Presidential Order authorizing the CIA to train fundamentalist Muslims to wage Jihad against the Soviet Communist infidels and all unbelievers of conservative Sunni Islam and the Mujahideen terror war against Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan became the largest covert action in CIA history.[2] Brzezinski’s ‘Arc of Crisis’ strategy inflamed Muslims in Central Asia to destabilize the USSR during its economic crisis and, when Le Nouvel Observateur later asked if he had any regrets, Brzezinski snapped, “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe?”

Twenty years later, in 1999, the CIA’s Islam strategist, Graham E. Fuller, announced, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”[3]

Today, NED money supports the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which calls China’s Xinjiang Province ‘East Turkistan’ and China’s administration of Xinjiang as ‘Chinese occupation of East Turkistan,’ runs articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” and admits that Kadeer seeks Uyghur independence from China.

Faced with an armed insurrection, most states impose martial law or a state of emergency, as Britain did in Malaya from 1945 to 1957 and the US did with the Patriot Act, but China decided–despite popular outrage–to write off its losses and play the long game and founded The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),[1] a political, economic, and security alliance, with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who stopped funneling money and providing corridors for Uyghur terrorists to move into and out of China. The SCO has since expanded to include India and Pakistan and Iran has begun the accession process, making it world’s largest security pact in both area and population and the only one whose membership includes four nuclear powers.

Forming the SCO was easier than assuaging public outrage. An unheard-of lawsuit by victims’ relatives accused the government of reverse discrimination so they stepped up security and published their objectives:

  1. restore law and order
  2. prevent terrorists from inflicting more violence
  3. use ‘high-intensity regulation’
  4. contain the spread of terrorism beyond Xinjiang
  5. purge extremists and separatists from society.

Neighborhood community centres–labelled ‘concentration camps’ in the western press–educate rural Uyghurs about the perils of religious extremism and train them for urban jobs.
In 2013 President Xi toured Eurasia and proposed the Belt and Road Initiative for three billion people, designed to create the biggest market in the world with unparalleled development potential, and built a gas pipeline to China from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan which, like China’s other western pipelines, power lines, and rail and road networks, runs through the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Beijing then moved jobs to Xinjiang and opened vocational schools to train rural youth in literacy and job skills and swore to protect its neighbors from terrorism in exchange for their pledge to reciprocate. To create jobs in the province Xi directed investment from forty-five of China’s top companies and eighty Fortune 500 manufacturers to Urumqi. Corporate investment increased from $10 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2017 and infrastructure investments of $70 billion in both 2017 and 2018 lifted the annual goods shipments past 100 million tons with a goal of hourly departures to fifteen European capitals. Half a million Uyghurs have relocated from remote villages to cities and, as a result, 600,000 Uighurs were lifted out of poverty in 2016, 312,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018. The last poor Uyghurs will join the cash economy in mid-2020.

The PBOC, China’s central bank, is partnering with ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to test the use of its sovereign digital currency, AKA Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC. The regulator is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) to the ride-hailing app, which currently serves a total of over 550 million users and is often described as China’s Uber. According to Didi, “the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.” Didi has more than 30 million daily ride-sharing orders and its bike-sharing daily orders reached 10 million. Meituan and Bilibilibili are also cooperating with banks in the digital yuan project. Meituan’s service platform has over 240 million consumers and five million local merchants, and Bilibilibili is China’s largest video-sharing website.

Sign up for your free one month sub to Godfree’s very extensive newsletter here. At the Saker blog, only a fraction of all the material can be covered.

Victoria Nuland Alert

The foreign interventionists really hate Russia

PHILIP GIRALDI • JUNE 23, 2020 

It is difficult to find anything good to say about Donald Trump, but the reality is that he has not started any new wars, though he has come dangerously close in the cases of Venezuela and Iran and there would be considerable incentive in the next four months to begin something to bolster his “strong president” credentials and to serve as a distraction from coronavirus and black lives matter.

Be that as it may, Trump will have to run hard to catch up to the record set by his three predecessors Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Bush was an out-and-out neoconservative, or at least someone who was easily led, including in his administration Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Gerecht, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Eliot Abrams, Dan Senor and Scooter Libby. He also had the misfortune of having to endure Vice President Dick Cheney, who thought he was actually the man in charge. All were hawks who believed that the United States had the right to do whatever it considered necessary to enhance its own security, to include invading other countries, which led to Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. still has forces stationed nearly twenty years later.

Clinton and Obama were so-called liberal interventionists who sought to export something called democracy to other countries in an attempt to make them more like Peoria. Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan as a diversion when the press somehow caught wind of his arrangement with Monica Lewinsky and Obama, aided by Mrs. Clinton, chose to destroy Libya. Obama was also the first president to set up a regular Tuesday morning session to review a list of American citizens who would benefit from being killed by drone.

So the difference between neocons and liberal interventionists is one of style rather than substance. And, by either yardstick all-in-all, Trump looks pretty good, but there has nevertheless been a resurgence of neocon-think in his administration. The America the exceptional mindset is best exemplified currently by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who personifies the belief that the United States is empowered by God to play only by its own rules when dealing with other nations. That would include following the advice that has been attributed to leading neocon Michael Ledeen, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.

One of the first families within the neocon/liberal interventionist firmament is the Kagans, Robert and Frederick. Frederick is a Senior Fellow at the neocon American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly heads the bizarrely named Institute for the Study of War. Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert, is currently the Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. That means that Victoria aligns primarily as a liberal interventionist, as does her husband, who is also at Brookings. She is regarded as a protégé of Hillary Clinton and currently works with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who once declared that killing 500,000 Iraqi children using sanctions was “worth it.” Nuland also has significant neocon connections through her having been a member of the staff assembled by Dick Cheney.

Nuland, many will recall, was the driving force behind efforts to destabilize the Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2013-2014. Yanukovych, an admittedly corrupt autocrat, nevertheless became Prime Minister after a free election. Nuland, who was the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department, provided open support to the Maidan Square demonstrators opposed to Yanukovych’s government, to include media friendly appearances passing out cookies on the square to encourage the protesters.

Nuland openly sought regime change for Ukraine by brazenly supporting government opponents in spite of the fact that Washington and Kiev had ostensibly friendly relations. It is hard to imagine that any U.S. administration would tolerate a similar attempt by a foreign nation to interfere in U.S. domestic politics, particularly if it were backed by a $5 billion budget, but Washington has long believed in a global double standard for evaluating its own behavior.

Nuland is most famous for her foul language when referring to the potential European role in managing the unrest that she and the National Endowment for Democracy had helped create in Ukraine. For Nuland, the replacement of the government in Kiev was only the prelude to a sharp break and escalating conflict with the real enemy, Moscow, over Russia’s attempts to protect its own interests in Ukraine, most particularly in Crimea.

And make no mistake about Nuland’s broader intention at that time to expand the conflict and directly confront Russia. In Senate testimony she cited how the administration was “providing support to other frontline states like Moldova and Georgia.” Her use of the word “frontline” is suggestive.

Victoria Nuland was playing with fire. Russia, as the only nation with the military capability to destroy the U.S., was and is not a sideshow like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Taliban’s Afghanistan. Backing Moscow into a corner with no way out by using threats and sanctions is not good policy. Washington has many excellent reasons to maintain a stable relationship with Moscow, including counter-terrorism efforts, and little to gain from moving in the opposite direction. Russia is not about to reconstitute the Warsaw Pact and there is no compelling reason to return to a Cold War footing by either arming Ukraine or permitting it to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Victoria Nuland has just written a long article for July/August issue of Foreign Affairsmagazine on the proper way for the United States manage what she sees as the Russian “threat.” It is entitled “How a Confident America Should Deal With Russia.” Foreign Affairs, it should be observed, is an establishment house organ produced by the Council on Foreign Relations which provides a comfortable perch for both neocons and liberal interventionists.

Nuland’s view is that the United States lost confidence in its own “ability to change the game” against Vladimir Putin, who has been able to play “a weak hand well because the United States and its allies have let him, allowing Russia to violate arms control treaties, international law, the sovereignty of its neighbors, and the integrity of elections in the United States and Europe… Washington and its allies have forgotten the statecraft that won the Cold War and continued to yield results for many years after. That strategy required consistent U.S. leadership at the presidential level, unity with democratic allies and partners, and a shared resolve to deter and roll back dangerous behavior by the Kremlin. It also included incentives for Moscow to cooperate and, at times, direct appeals to the Russian people about the benefits of a better relationship. Yet that approach has fallen into disuse, even as Russia’s threat to the liberal world has grown.”

What Nuland writes would make perfect sense if one were to share her perception of Russia as a rogue state threatening the “liberal world.” She sees Russian rearmament under Putin as a threat even though it was dwarfed by the spending of NATO and the U.S. She shares her fear that Putin might seek “…reestablishing a Russian sphere of influence in eastern Europe and from vetoing the security arrangements of his neighbors. Here, a chasm soon opened between liberal democracies and the still very Soviet man leading Russia, especially on the subject of NATO enlargement. No matter how hard Washington and its allies tried to persuade Moscow that NATO was a purely defensive alliance that posed no threat to Russia, it continued to serve Putin’s agenda to see Europe in zero-sum terms.”

Nuland’s view of NATO enlargement is so wide of the mark that it borders on being a fantasy. Of course, Russia would consider a military alliance on its doorstep to be a threat, particularly as a U.S. Administration had provided assurances that expansion would not take place. She goes on to suggest utter nonsense, that Putin’s great fear over the NATO expansion derives from his having “…always understood that a belt of increasingly democratic, prosperous states around Russia would pose a direct challenge to his leadership model and risk re-infecting his own people with democratic aspirations.”

Nuland goes on and on in a similar vein, but her central theme is that Russia must be confronted to deter Vladimir Putin, a man that she clearly hates and depicts as if he were a comic book version of evil. Some of her analysis is ridiculous, as “Russian troops regularly test the few U.S. forces left in Syria to try to gain access to the country’s oil fields and smuggling routes. If these U.S. troops left, nothing would prevent Moscow and Tehran from financing their operations with Syrian oil or smuggled drugs and weapons.”

Like most zealots, Nuland is notably lacking in any sense of self-criticism. She conspired to overthrow a legitimately elected democratic government in Ukraine because it was considered too friendly to Russia. She accuses the Kremlin of having “seized” Crimea, but fails to see the heavy footprint of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq and as a regional enabler of Israeli and Saudi war crimes. One wonders if she is aware that Russia, which she sees as expansionistic, has only one overseas military base while the United States has more than a thousand.

Nuland clearly chooses not to notice the White House’s threats against countries that do not toe the American line, most recently Iran and Venezuela, but increasingly also China on top of perennial enemy Russia. None of those nations threaten the United States and all the kinetic activity and warnings are forthcoming from a gentleman named Mike Pompeo, speaking from Washington, not from “undemocratic” leaders in the Kremlin, Tehran, Caracas or Beijing.

Victoria Nuland recommends that “The challenge for the United States in 2021 will be to lead the democracies of the world in crafting a more effective approach to Russia—one that builds on their strengths and puts stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.” Interestingly, that might be regarded as seeking to interfere in the workings of a foreign government, reminiscent of the phony case made against Russia in 2016. And it is precisely what Nuland did in fact do in Ukraine.

Nuland has a lot more to say in her article and those who are interested in the current state of interventionism in Washington should not ignore her. Confronting Russia as some kind of ideological enemy is a never-ending process that leaves both sides poorer and less free. It is appropriate for Moscow to have an interest in what goes on right on top of its border while the United States five thousand miles away and possessing both a vastly larger economy and armed forces can, one would think, relax a bit and unload the burden of being the world’s self-appointed policeman.

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.

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