G7: An Obsolete, Useless Talking Shop

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Finian Cunningham
August 23, 2019

The Group of Seven (G7) self-declared advanced nations meet this weekend in France for their 45th annual summit. US President Donald Trump caused a stir ahead of the gathering in Biarritz when he remarked that Russia should be included in the format, thereby making it a G8 summit.

“Russia should be at the negotiating table,” said Trump, in a rare moment of lucidity.

His view of including Moscow appears to be shared by France’s President Emmanuel Macron who hosted Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in southern France earlier this week, only days before the G7 summit.

Of course, Russia should be at the table to discuss resolving global economic problems. Not just Russia, but China, India and a few others as well.

Since the G7 club was created in 1975 during the Gerald Ford administration the world has undergone transformative changes from the days when the US, (West) Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan were deemed then to be the most powerful national economies.

Today, China is second to the US in terms of its economic size. The top 10 national economies have various ranking iterations, depending on which yardstick is used to compare.

In nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measurement, the top 10 nations, according to the International Monetary Fund, are: US, China, Japan, Germany, India, France, Britain, Italy, Brazil, Canada. In this ranking, Russia is 12th listed after South Korea.

But if national economies are rated by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which takes currency exchange factors into consideration, then the top 10 national economies are: China, US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Britain, France.

In other words the present G7 line-up is an arbitrary listing. Indeed, its exclusivity is something of an anachronism in today’s world. It’s a throwback to a bygone era when Western nations were more dominant (save for Japan’s inclusion in the original club). The contours of the world have become more multilateral and multipolar. The exclusion of China from the G7 is perhaps the most glaring anomaly.

In a tacit admission of the changed global reality that’s why there is the larger format of the G20 (formed in 1999) which in addition to the G7 includes China, India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others.

The so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is another sign of changed times, as are numerous other economic fora such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEA), and the Latin American bloc Mercosur.

Given that the G7 is supposed to be a forum for coordinating macroeconomic policies to enhance global economic growth, one would think that the logical requirement would therefore be for inclusion of more nations in order to more effectively address the ostensible purpose.

As it stands, the limited G7 club is a rather clapped-out vehicle. It’s a bit like a broken down auto with flat tires, a blown gasket and crankshaft missing. Does anyone seriously think that Italy in its present political meltdown is in a position to boost the world economy?

It’s also incongruous that the biggest member of the club, the United States, has no interest in coordinating policy with anyone else. President Trump’s trade war with China, the Europeans and the rest of the world is more akin to the 1930s practice of go-it-alone mercantilism and predatory capitalism. We know how disastrous that turned out with global depression and world war.

Trump’s reckless gung-ho “America First” policy (and to hell with everyone else) is casting a dark cloud on the world economy from China’s output slumping and Germany’s exports plummeting. Ironically, “business genius” Trump seems to be dimly realizing that the inevitable repercussions are rebounding like a boomerang with harmful impact on the US economy. Yet he says he’s not letting up on his America First drive to the abyss.

So, sure, if there were a genuine commitment to improve global economic outlook and uplift the wellbeing of ordinary people around the world then the leading nations should be working together in a collegiate planned fashion, and with as much outreach to others as possible.

Thus, without doubt, the leaders of China, Russia, India and others should be in attendance at the summit in France this weekend. Then it would supposedly turn into a forum not unlike the G20. Which makes the point: why is the G7 even continuing to exist?

There is an analogy with the US-led NATO military alliance. That organization was formed in a very different geopolitical world compared with the present. Why does NATO continue to exist? It’s putative security function is redundant.

So too it could be argued is the United Nations Security Council redundant with its five permanent members of US, Russia, China, France and Britain. Surely that forum should be overhauled too reflect a contemporary multipolar world. In short, the world, like history changes, and so too should mechanisms of governance.

Arguably, however, the G7 is not an economic forum, despite its public image. It’s an arbitrary political clique aimed at reinforcing a presumed Western dominance. A sign of this caprice was when the Russian Federation was admitted to the G7 in 1997 which was then renamed the G8. The admission of former President Boris Yeltsin was permitted because he was feckless towards Western strategic demands. Russia remained a G8 member for 17 years until the Ukraine conflict erupted and President Vladimir Putin was accused of “invading” that country and “annexing” Crimea. Those Western allegations are easily countered with evidence of NATO subversion of the elected government in Kiev in order to prize the former Soviet republic away from Moscow’s orbit.

Russia’s exclusion from the G8, which then reverted back to the G7, has been a political punishment to bolster a propaganda narrative for undermining and isolating Russia internationally. This is again why the G7 is no longer a viable forum for its stated purpose of advancing the global economy. It’s a useless talking shop in an utterly changed world.

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Saudi Arabia’s ‘Strategic Plan’ To Take Turkey Down

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has drawn up a plan to target Erdogan’s government following Khashoggi’s murder

By David Hearst, Ragip Soylu – Middle East Eye

Saudi Arabia has begun implementing a “strategic plan” to confront the Turkish government, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided he was being “too patient” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The plan is detailed in a confidential report based on open- and closed-source intelligence prepared by the kingdom’s ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The intelligence report is one of a monthly series written by the Emirates Policy Centre, a think tank with close links to the Emirati government and security services.

Entitled “Monthly Report on Saudi Arabia, Issue 24, May 2019”, the report is of limited circulation and intended for the top Emirati leadership. It does not appear on the think tank’s website. A copy has been obtained by Middle East Eye.

It reveals that in Riyadh in May, orders were given to implement the strategic plan to confront the Turkish government.

The aim of the plan was to use

“all possible tools to pressure Erdogan’s government, weaken him, and keep him busy with domestic issues in the hope that he will be brought down by the opposition, or occupy him with confronting crisis after crisis, and push him to slip up and make mistakes which the media would surely pick up on”.

Middle East Eye contacted the Emirates Policy Centre for comment, with no reply by the time of publication.

Restricting influence

Riyadh’s aim is to restrict Erdogan and Turkey’s regional influence.

“The kingdom would start to target the Turkish economy and press towards the gradual termination of Saudi investment in Turkey, the gradual decrease of Saudi tourists visiting Turkey while creating alternative destinations for them, decreasing Saudi import of Turkish goods, and most importantly minimizing Turkish regional role in Islamic matters,” the report says.

According to the report, Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, took the decision to confront Turkey following the assassination of Khashoggi by a team of Saudi agents in their country’s Istanbul consulate.

The murder of the Saudi journalist, a Middle East Eye and Washington Post columnist, created international outrage, in large part due to Turkey’s insistence on Riyadh providing accountability and transparency over the affair.

“President Erdogan … went too far in his campaign smearing the kingdom, especially the person of the crown prince, using in the most reprehensible manner the case of Khashoggi,” the reports says.

In the document, the Emirates Policy Centre claims Turkey did not provide “specific and honest” information to assist the Saudi investigation into the killing, but instead leaked “disinformation” to the media “all aimed at distorting the image of the kingdom and attempting to destroy the reputation of the crown prince”.

Riyadh had concluded that Erdogan failed in his attempt to politicize and internationalize the case and now was the time to mount the fightback, the report says.

Both the CIA and leading members of the US Congress have accepted the Turkish intelligence assessment of Khashoggi’s murder.

The CIA also concluded that Mohammed bin Salman almost certainly signed off on the operation, an assessment based on its own intelligence as well.

“The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a US official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions, the Washington Post reported.

Since then, a report by United Nations human rights investigator Agnes Callamard detailed the difficulties the Turkish authorities had in investigating the murder and gaining access to the consulate building and the home of the consul-general.

Callamard concluded independently that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

The pressure begins

Last week came the first public sign of the campaign detailed in the Emirati document coming to life.

Saudi authorities blocked 80 Turkish trucks transporting textile products and chemicals from entering the kingdom through its Duba port.

Three hundred containers carrying fruit and vegetables from Turkey had also been held in Jeddah’s port, according to a Turkish official who spoke to MEE on condition of anonymity.

The number of Saudi tourists visiting Turkey decreased 15 percent [from 276,000 to 234,000] in the first six months of 2019, according to official data released by the Turkish tourism ministry.

Saudi Arabia has approximately $2bn worth of direct investment in Turkey, according to the Turkish foreign ministry data from 2018.

That year, Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia were valued at around $2.64bn, while imports from the kingdom stood at $2.32bn.

Behind the scenes, other signals have been sent to Ankara.

The Emirati report says “in a sign that the Saudi leadership has severed its relationship with … Erdogan and started treating him as an enemy”, King Salman approved “without hesitation” a recommendation from an advisory committee not to send an official invitation to attend a high-profile Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Mecca.

The Turkish president’s name was added to the list of those excluded from the summit, alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Eventually, King Salman decided to allow the Qatari emir to attend the event in Mecca, though Erdogan’s invitation was not forthcoming.

The Turkish government is aware of the Saudi crown prince’s attempts to sever relations and is trying to combat them through keeping direct communications with his father, King Salman.

A senior Turkish official, speaking anonymously, said the existence of a Saudi strategy to punish Turkey over its stance on the Khashoggi case wasn’t surprising.

“We are aware of what they are doing. It is almost public, to the extent that you could see their activities on Saudi-backed social media and Saudi state media,” the official told MEE, noting that they had openly called for a boycott.

“Tourist arrivals are decreasing, while we are having problems related to Turkish exports. We are closely following the situation.”

The Turkish official said, however, that Ankara does not believe that Saudi citizens are altering their stance on Turkey, despite the government in Riyadh’s efforts.

“Istanbul, for example, is still full of Saudi tourists. Saudi officials should check the BBC’s poll on Erdogan’s popularity in the Middle East. Then they will realize that they are failing,” the official said.

Erdogan phoned the king on Thursday, raising the problem of Turkish exports being held at Saudi ports.

Another Turkish official, also speaking anonymously, said Erdogan’s phone call with the Saudi king was cordial and focused on regional developments, such as Syria and the Palestine question.

The official, who was informed about the call, said the king was lucid and supportive of Turkish concerns with regard to Syria.

In the same call, Erdogan invited King Salman and his family, including the crown prince, to Turkey.

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An Attack on Iran Would be an Attack on Russia

Moscow is proposing a diametrically opposed vision to Western sanctions, threats and economic war, one that is drawing it ever closer to Tehran

Global Research, August 06, 2019R

Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is finally blossoming as a security, economic and political body. The inevitable conclusion is that major SCO stakeholders – Russia, China, India, Pakistan and, in the near future, Iran and Turkey – will be major influencers on regional stability.

The Pentagon will not be amused.

Drill, baby, drill

When the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi, recently visited St Petersburg for the celebration of Russia’s Navy Day, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding.

Khanzadi was keen to stress the memorandum “may be considered a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory.”

A direct upshot is that Moscow and Tehran, before March 2020, will enact a joint naval exercise in – of all places – the Strait of Hormuz. As Khanzadi told the IRNA news agency:

“The exercise may be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which flows into the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf.”

The US Navy, which plans an “international coalition” to ensure “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz – something Iran has always historically guaranteed – won’t be amused. Neither will Britain, which is pushing for a European-led coalition even as Brexit looms.

Khanzadi also noted that Tehran and Moscow are deeply involved in how to strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Joint drills already took place in the Caspian in the past, but never in the Persian Gulf.

Exercise together

Russia’s Eastern Military District will be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) anti-terrorist exercise in Thailand and China early next month. According to the Eastern Military District, the training is part of “preparations for a practical phase of an ASEAN anti-terrorist exercise in China.” This means, among other things, that Russian troops will be using Chinese military hardware.

Exercises include joint tactical groups attempting to free hostages from inside official buildings; search for and disposal of explosives; and indoor and outdoor radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance.

This should be interpreted as a direct interaction between SCO practices and ASEAN, complementing the deepening trade interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union and ASEAN.

These three developments illustrate how Russia is involved in a large spectrum from the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia.

But the key element remains the Russia-Iran alliance, which must be interpreted as a key node of the massive, 21st century Eurasia integration project.

What Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the recent, historic trilateral alongside White House national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem should be unmistakable:

“Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

This lays to rest endless, baseless speculation that Moscow is “betraying” Tehran on multiple fronts, from the all-out economic war unleashed by the Donald Trump administration to the resolution of the Syrian tragedy.

To Nur-Sultan

And that leads to the continuation of the Astana process on Syria. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara will hold a new trilateral in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, possibly on the hugely significant date of September 11, according to diplomatic sources.

What’s really important about this new phase of the Astana process, though, is the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. This had been agreed way back in January 2018 in Sochi: a committee – including representatives of the government, opposition and civil society – capable of working out Syria’s new constitution, with each group holding one-third of the seats.

The only possible viable solution to the tragedy that is Syria’s nasty, rolling proxy war will be found by Russia, Iran and Turkey. That includes the Russia-Iran alliance. And it includes and expands Russia’s vision of Persian Gulf security, while hinting at an expanded SCO in Southwest Asia, acting as a pan-Asian peacemaking mechanism and serious counterpart to NATO.

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This article was originally published on Asia Times.

Featured image is from en.kremlin.ru

US-led War of Terror Against Syria, Attrition Terrorism Phase

SN

July 22, 2019

phosphate train attack

US/EU supported terrorists attacked phosphate train in Homs, latest crime in terrorist attrition. Credit: SANA

The US-led war of terror against Syria continues its most recent attacks via attrition terrorism, the brutal form of slow genocide against the Syrian citizenry. Yesterday, NATO countries beloved ‘armed moderates’ attacked a phosphate freight train in eastern Homs.

The phosphate freight train in the eastern Homs countryside was attacked 21 July by a sabotage terrorist, which led to the towing of the locomotive, the passenger car, the calibration truck, the phosphate tanks, the fire in the locomotive, the train crew were injured and the necessary treatment and treatment provided. The Ministry of Transport said in a statement received by SANA copy that terrorists infiltrated the site of the railway between the positions of the gap and insight and planted an explosive device on the train line next to the phosphate mines in the region of Khnevis in the eastern Homs. The ministry indicated that its technical workshops have begun work to remove the damage caused by the terrorist attack, repair the railway and resume transport operations.

As the sons and daughters of Syrians — the Syrian Arab Army — continue to make military gains to cleanse every inch of the Republic from foreign-owned savages, attrition terrorism has seen a massive spike, in recent weeks.

In less than one month, oil and gas pipelines have been sabotaged around the country:

  • 22 June, undersea pipelines from tankers to the Baniyas Refinery were cut. Though Syrian engineers and technicians were able to quickly make repairs, oil pollution traveled 26km. It is noteworthy that MSM, UN, and ecology activists were all mute over this near disaster, but that NATO-media came to life to cheer the English royal thugs piracy against an Iranian tanker that was suspected of carrying crude to the SAR (warmongering media now screeching that the EU is screeching about a Brit tanker boarded by the government of Iran, in compliance with international law). Empire media also remains mute over the economic terrorism euphemistically called ‘sanctions‘ imposed against the Syrian people.
  • 14 July, NATO and Gulfie armed savages engaged in attrition terrorism, sabotaging the al Shaer Gas pipeline in Homs, which was almost immediately repaired.

Though the warmonger media of NATO countries have ignored the recent spike in attrition terrorism against Syria’s essential infrastructure, they have continued to pimp out emotional war porn, breaching Nuremberg Principle VI, crimes against humanity: On 11 July, Channel 4 ran a report that could fit into an insanity screenwriting genre.

AFP again is demanding its readers engage in Hollywood suspension of disbelief; while ignoring the atrocities against Syria, today it shamelessly runs another photo, one of an ongoing series of miracles in the lives of the stethoscope-less, CPR-less, spinal precautions-less death squad fake paramedics.

Here we have yet another photo of man ‘rescued from the rubble.’ As with every other similar photograph, this man has no crushing injuries — which would be expected if a bombed building fell on him. He is fully ambulatory and is able to move all extremities. He has nicely painted the shade of Helmets Gray Rubble, and his hair was coiffed before having been painted.

Another miraculous Zombie Man rescue. No crushing injuries. Fully ambulatory.
This absurdity — or another in ongoing miracles — is not quite as ludicrous as other Helmets Productions, shown here.

Attrition terrorism is not limited to the wanton, criminal destruction of essential infrastructure. Attrition terrorism includes ‘brain drain’ assassinations; in the early days, when all of al Qaeda in Syria was FSA, these ‘moderates’ murdered professors, physicians, and heads of hospitals, while NATO media remained silent. Attrition terrorism includes trying to destroy joy, as was attempted with the terror bombing of the Damascus Fair in 2017, and more recently, in the mortar attacks on Aleppo, as the city celebrates its rebuilding, creation of a mini-renaissance.

syria

Syria’s President, Dr. Bashar al Assad, #EveryInch

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From January, Syria to Provide Crimea with Phosphate & Other Goods

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UAE Denies Reports of Oil Tanker Loss in the Strait of Hormuz

Source

July 16, 2019

UAE vessel yemen

Oil tanker Riah, which, according to vessel location tracking websites, stopped transmitting signals on its location in the early hours of 14 July, didn’t issue any emergency signals, a highly-profile Emirate official said on Tuesday.

“The oil tanker is not owned, and nor is used by the United Arab Emirates, it hasn’t trasmitted any SOS signals,” the speaker told a television channel, busting reports that the vessel had changed its course and got lost in the Strait of Hormuz off the Iranian coast.

The tanker, which was making its way through the Strait of Hormuz, stopped reporting its location over two days ago.

Earlier in the day, an unnamed US defense official told The Associated Press that America “has suspicions” that Iran seized an oil tanker based in the UAE.

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Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

Source

July 13, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

It appears that the information revolution is redefining cultural aspirations at a time when mass production has become a concave-convex supernova offering everybody (in theory) the right to ‘have everything’, regardless of the cost to fellow beings or to nature itself.

In the West, free enterprise had become an object lesson in short-sightedness and purblind avarice, suggesting that it’s time to revisit an age-old conundrum; the conflict between capitalist expediency and enlightened social wellbeing. Having successfully focused consumers on the many ways in which self-gratification can be experienced, the consumer-economy, committed to seducing the somnambulant among us, while turning a blind eye to the damage that comes with gauche and expedient ways of can-do-ness, suggest that collectively, we in the West have become befuddled pilgrims in a vainglorious journey to nowhere.

In the West we live in a world where militarism and the production of arms has come to represent the pulse of capitalism. The journey that began at the tribal level has moved through a succession of capitalist incarnations to become the singular purpose of investment-capital and a business model in every respect. As it was never intended to be an exercise in creating homogeneous wellbeing…socialism… this model remains as the one best suited to the elites who manage money. Not surprisingly, the rest is history as they say. The story of capitalism’s right-of-passage towards its colonial adventures and onwards into its imperial hegemonic phase is one of bloody-mindedness.

Until recently in the West, it was the growth of personal wealth and middle-classness that underpinned the reality of ‘collective-individualism’…an oxymoronic capitalist state of mind that encourages wealth accumulation. Skills effecting upward mobility were highly sought after. The desire to embrace cultural norms that defined progress as freedom to enjoy lifestyles enhanced by copious amounts of disposal income, soon became everyone’s dream.

So, when the economy lost it’s bearing in the heat of the bizarre excesses leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, ‘collective-individualism’ was left to pick up the pieces. Struggling with the legacy of a febrile narrative that served the interests of Wall Street, middle-classness lost some of its shine. The market had spoken, the individual was merely a unit in a bourse that had little time for niceties or human fallibility. Banking had become a low feeder-operation where the devil would take the hindmost.

It was the banking crisis of 2008 that revealed how ‘collective-individualism’ had become merely an adjunct of Wall Street’s insidiously covert private-banking system. Having cocooned itself in the system, the banking establishment managed to present itself as the face of liberal democracy…albeit pseudo… for the purpose of gratifying its own insatiable appetite. As a result of the 2008 debacle, fake-expertise-babble was required to disguise the signs of senescence now appearing in a banking system sliding toward obsolescence.

With the emergence of bureaucratic capitalism in China, the monumental task of moving countless tens of millions of people out of poverty was commenced and the results have been spectacular. Along with this operation came the realization that proportionality should be the linchpin for securing the principles of collective enterprise. The words Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong spoke in 1927 at the beginning of the Chinese Civil War; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” were replaced by notions of incremental change occurring for the betterment of the entire community.

Using the resources of the state to improve the wellbeing of the many would mechanically elevate the population to a level of heightened social order. By any measure, a great awakening had occurred…an age-old trading culture had reassembled its resources in order to find common cause. Through the medium of central planning, the path toward achieving internal hegemony reappeared in a distinctly Confucian way.

With an agenda designed to eliminate poverty by utilising the collective potential of the state to solve problems, statistics suggest that a modicum of proportionality has already been achieved within China’s sovereign territories and that plans are on track to achieve what the revolution sent out to do. Namely, a way of floating all its boats…one billion and a quarter of them…on the rising tide of a renascent imagination collectively focused on technological ascendancy.

Alert to the potential within the Chinese tech garden to achieve yet another Spring and Autumn period, the core interchangeable elements of Confucianism, collectivism and hegemony militate to emphasize personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

History shows us that the Chinese city of Guangzhou (Early Modern Guangzhou) represented the reference point that enable one to understand the changing context of Sino-foreign economic and cultural relations in the nineteenth century. A great trading city that would ultimately reconstitute itself as a commercial centre for maritime exports and debut as post-modern Guangzhou. It was always the city that identified China as a maritime trader surfing the waves of silk road opportunities. Unlike most European nations, its expansionism was benign. It never went into the business of exporting armaments or colonizing the natives along its trade routes.

From the traditional trading posts in Quanzhou and Guangzhou, to the modern treaty ports of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shanghai, to the contemporary metropolis Hong Kong and Taiwan and special economic zones in Shenzhen and Pudong, southern coastal cities in the last five hundred years and beyond have connected China to the outside world and the global economy. Throughout this time, China never sought to colonise its neighbours or occupy continents or countries across the globe…trading remained its modus operandi…and besides, Confucius the thinker, never confused occupation or dominance with the Chinese notion of hegemony!

Conversely, the colonial West’s predilection for gunboat diplomacy and stand-over tactics produced an entirely different trading model. With the advent of the industrial revolution in Europe, sorties of the ‘dalek’ kind…robotic incursions into exotic lands for the purpose of procuring the resources and territories belonging to people of colour became the norm.

It was as though the industrial revolution had spawned a concept of superiority that ultimately resulted in the white race distilling a notion of its own exceptionality that would justify its own work-ethic as proof of its right to exploit people whose appearance did not please their albino imagination. In the succeeding centuries, the march of the ‘daleks’ would in effect enslave, slaughter and exploit non-white peoples with impunity, all the while deluding themselves that their actions were progressive…a code word for exploitation…and justifiably, the ‘white-man’s-burden’…a program adopted in support of their assumption that the non-white peoples were inferior.

In time, institutional racism would achieve the kind of value an asset might have in a bourse. The concept of democracy would be privatised in accordance with the wishes of those who were there to do the thinking for all those of a lesser stripe. Patriotism would become a mantra of majestic proportions in the West to assure white people that they were on the winning side of history. Proof of same would be diligently manufactured. Strangely, Western powers who imagined they owned ‘democracy’ felt the need to garrison the globe with 800 military bases, fearing that those ‘others’ may have sovereign economic models of their own they might wish to develop.

In fact, disproportionality had reached such levels of lethality that the doyens of liberal democracy became citizens of cloud-cuckoo-land in possession of a foreign policy committed to kneecapping…sanctioning… other nation’s economies if they didn’t do what they were told to do. China in moving to re-embrace the “maritime silk road” once again, soon became the fly in the competitive ointment. Westerners, as heirs to the traditional colonial trading-throne decided that carrying a big ballistic stick was the only way to do business. Alarmed at seeing how China could engage in trade without threatening its clients, it chose the American way of doing business. In true American style, the military budget was given a massive blow job.

In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower ended his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. Before and during the Second World War, American industries had successfully converted to defence production as the crisis demanded, but out of the war, what Eisenhower called a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions emerged. Eisenhower had no need of a crystal ball to see where the emerging disproportionality would lead his country to. His fear, rightly, was that disproportionality of this kind would ultimately obfuscate the principles of the Democratic Republic of America.

Had he lived to see the colossal damage his country wrought on the Middle East he would have understood that a permanent armaments industry must do what a permanent armaments industry must do…use and sell what they produced in order to justify their budget.

What Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to as a permanent armaments industry could equally be applied to the permanent propaganda industry that has overtaken America. Together, these two industries have created a narrative for Americans to reassure them that a system based on might, is right for them. By every measure, the fourth estate and the fourth-of-July have synthetized into a narrative that is big on self-adulation.

On the occasion of the most recent fourth-of-July parade, the presence of Apache attack helicopters, ballistic missiles, M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and F-22 Raptors were assembled to reinforce the notion that corporate-capitalist-democracy existed to deliver a patriotic narrative capable of turning the key that could unlock the potential of the American psyche and find greatness by shoving its hardware and unique ideas of identity into the face of all and sundry.

As the fourth of this and that got under way, it became ever more evident that America’s unique identity possesses an internal form of hegemony seeking greatness through strictly military means. After military might was chosen as the path to dominance and greatness, America developed external hegemonic programs to curtail un-American activities such as Iranian Mullahs imagining that they can export oil to whomever they choose to, or China and Russia talking multilateralism, or Venezuela resisting imperial vassalage…or just about anything that moved, squeaked, farted or failed to avow the American way of doing business. Non-compliance would be met with sanctions or military invasion.

On the occasion of the recent fourth-of-July celebrations, Donald Trump (dealer extraordinary) stood before the statue of Abraham Lincoln to demonstrate his ability to wind up the patriotic narrative; he spoke thusly; “As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said he, “ Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told…The Story of America.”

But strangest of all were the ‘daleks’ flying overhead and the steel-clad ‘daleks’ rumbling past on terra firma for the purpose of bonding the vast gathering of patriotic stalwarts in hegemonic unity. The crowd, agog with admiration for the men and women flying overhead in their wonderful flying machines were proud to witness the “The American Story” in all its first-hand glory. Most noticeably, they were indifferent to the fact that the things they found admirable in this show of strength were designed to annihilate people. They were no less enamoured of the wet pointy cone bits of the ballistic missiles…glistening like killer-candy… as they were rained upon.

All in all, “The Story of America” reverberates across the globe as the story of meaty stealth. Its true colours were made available for all to see, or for anyone with the nous to join the dots… message delivered; American style hegemony is great for boys with schizoaffective disorders and the lethal toys that find them.

As America-the-circus moves into election mode its military arrive here in Australia to set up a military base in Darwin. As few…if any…of their political clowns will broach the subject of their lethal foreign policy, why should anyone in their right mind welcome one of their bases here? As for now, better we wait until Uncle Sam creates a peace bureau and sends an emissary of a different stripe to us.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

Washington is afraid of the technical backwardness .واشنطن خائفة من التخلف التقني؟

Washington is afraid of the technical backwardness

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Many historians say that one of the reasons of the US involvement in the Second World War was the concern from the German technical superiority, they say that by the end of the war, the German weapons were superior to the western and eastern weapons and that the great technical development represented by the American nuclear bomb was made by German minds. Since then, Washington feels comfortable regarding its technical superiority in the world, its trust and reassurance have been increased with the revolution of information and communications led by American minds and companies, but after scurrility it was noticed that Washington became highly worried during the last decade, since it had no capabilities to wage a war. The American leaders recognize the superiority of Russia in the conventional and strategic weapons, therefore they have to avoid the confrontation with Russia in their next wars but just to exert pressure on it to neutralize it, because the economic concern from the Russian weapons market has not occurred yet, but it is expected to occur   in the next decade. While the imminent concern is from China which the source of its increasing economy does not mainly concern America, although it is a growth that threatens the first place of Washington in the global economy, but it is the challenge of the next decade too. Washington’s main concern is the superiority of China in the communication techniques which form the pillar of the new global economy.

Experts say that China will lead the communication market by the next year. Huawei Company was superior and unique in producing the fifth- generation technology of the smart phones; it is the generation that will replace the personal and office computers with technical qualifications that allow the completion of all technical complicated transactions and processes in small size and through a flexible screen that can be extended virtually and with high processing capacities. Most importantly, this generation will mean the transfer to robotics in driving cars, managing business remotely, making accounts, and managing offices and exchanges, it ensures home and office welfare and security by controlling home and office appliances, but the most dangerous thing is that it will change a lot of war tools and forms. Experts say that the partnership negotiations experienced by the American companies with Huawei have not succeeded in controlling the new technology, they think that the economic war on China includes negotiating pressure on the fifth generation technologies and that one of the goals of oil embargo on Iran is to exert pressure on the economic growth of China and putting it in parallel with winning in negotiations on the fifth-generation technologies.

The Americans think that they can neutralize Russia by restricting the cooperation regarding the issues of North Korea, Venezuela, and Ukraine, as they thought they can do that in the war on Syria, but they are reaching to the last quarter of confrontation. Everyone knows the rules of engagement and knows his locations in the battlefield “Russia, China, and Iran”; the war of weapons with Russia, the war of geopolitics with Iran, and the war of technology with China. The Russian-Chinese-Iranian tripartite is sharing the burdens of confrontation and the roles in fronts from Syria to Korea to Venezuela realizing that it is one war, and that any American victory over one party will reflect on the others. As much as this tripartite is trying to avoid a war due to the American hysteria which is unable to recognize that the world has changed. This tripartite is trying to show that the American loss will be resounding at the hands of the allies whom are described by Washington as small players. Nineteen years ago, Hezbollah was classified among the secondary players, but now it becomes among the main players due to its achievement in the historic victory over the Israeli occupation of the south of Lebanon. Now it is turning into a source of horror in all the American analyses of the balances of war, as the resistance forces in the region and the world, which achieved deterrent capabilities as the experiences of Yemen, Iraq, Korea, and Venezuela. Therefore, America must fight them before it finds itself alone facing Iran, Russia, and China.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

واشنطن خائفة من التخلف التقني؟ 

مايو 22, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يقول الكثير من المؤرخين إن أحد أسباب الدخول الأميركي على خط الحرب العالمية الثانية كان القلق من التفوّق التقني الألماني، ويقول هؤلاء إنه حتى نهاية الحرب كانت الأسلحة الألمانية تتفوّق على الأسلحة الغربيّة والشرقيّة التي واجهتها في الحرب، وإن التطور التقني الكبير الذي مثلته القنبلة النووية الأميركية كان نتاج عقول ألمانية، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ واشنطن مرتاحة إلى تفوقها التكنولوجي في العالم، وزادت ثقة واطمئناناً مع ثورة المعلوماتية والاتصالات التي قادتها عقول وشركات أميركية، لكن التدقيق يفيد بأن القلق عاد إلى واشنطن خلال العقد الأخير وبقوة، من دون أن تكون لديها مقدرات خوض حرب كالحرب العالمية الثانية. فالقادة الأميركيون يعترفون بتفوّق في مجال الأسلحة التقليدية والاستراتيجية لحساب روسيا، ولذلك عليهم في خوض حروبهم الأخرى تفادي المواجهة مع موسكو، والاكتفاء بالضغط عليها، والمناورة بين الترغيب والترهيب لتحييدها، لأن القلق الاقتصادي من سوق السلاح الروسي لم يحِن وقته بعد، ويتوقع بلوغه خلال العقد المقبل، بينما مصدر القلق الداهم هو الصين، التي لا يشكل مصدر نمو اقتصادها المتزايد سبب القلق الرئيس للأميركيين، وهو نمو يهدّد بإزاحة واشنطن من تصدر المكانة الأولى بين الاقتصادات العالمية، لكنه تحدي العقد المقبل أيضاً، مصدر القلق الكبير هو تفوق الصين في تقنيات الاتصالات التي تشكل عصب الاقتصاد العالمي الجديد.

– يتحدّث الخبراء عن أن انتقال مركز القيادة في سوق الاتصالات إلى الصين في العام المقبل بعدما حققت شركة هواوي الصينية التفوق والتفرّد في إنتاج تقنية الجيل الخامس من الهواتف الذكية، وهو الجيل الذي سيحل مكان الكمبيوترات الفردية والمكتبية، بمؤهلات تقنية تتيح إنجاز كل المعاملات والعمليات التقنية المعقدة بحجم صغير وشاشة مرنة قابلة للتوسّع افتراضياً، وقدرات معالجة مرتفعة. والأهم أن هذا الجيل سيعني الانتقال إلى عصر الروبوت بالتحكم الذي يتيحه بقيادة السيارات، وإدارة الأعمال عن بعد، وتحريك الحسابات وإدارة المكاتب والبورصات، وتأمين الرفاه والأمان المنزلي والمكتبي، بالتحكم بالأجهزة المنزلية والمكتبية. والأخطر أنها ستغيّر الكثير في أدوات الحرب وأشكالها. ويقول الخبراء إن مفاوضات الشراكة التي خاضتها الشركات الأميركية مع شركة هواوي لم تنجح في السيطرة على التقنية الجديدة، ويعتقد الخبراء أن الحرب الاقتصادية على الصين هي في جزء منها ضغط تفاوضي على تقنيات الجيل الخامس، وإن بعضاً من أهداف الحصار النفطي على إيران هو الضغط على نمو الصين الاقتصادي، ووضعه في كفة موازية للفوز بالمفاوضات حول تقنيات الجيل الخامس.

– يعتقد الأميركيون أنهم قادرون على تحييد روسيا بحصر التعاون في ملفات كوريا الشمالية وفنزويلا وأوكرانيا، كما اعتقدوا من قبل خلال الحرب على سورية بفعل شيء مشابه، لكنهم يصلون إلى الفصل الأخير من المواجهة، واللعبة تجري على الملأ، حيث الكل يعلم قواعد الاشتباك ويعرف مواقعه على رقعة القتال، روسيا والصين وإيران، معركة السلاح مع روسيا وحرب الجغرافيا السياسية مع إيران، وحرب التكنولوجيا مع الصين، والثلاثي الروسي الصيني الإيراني يتقاسم أعباء المواجهة والأدوار التبادلية في جبهاتها، من سورية إلى كوريا إلى فنزويلا مدركاً أنها حرب واحدة، وأن أي نصر أميركي في أي من مفرداتها سينعكس على سائر المفردات، وبالقدر الذي يسعى الثلاثي لتفادي اندلاع حرب مجنونة بفعل الهيستيريا الأميركية العاجزة عن الاعترف بأن العالم قد تغير، يعمل الثلاثي على نزع الأنياب الأميركية وتظهير المواجهة كحرب أشباح، يستحيل خوضها بوجه أطراف الثلاثي مباشرة، وإظهار أن الخسارة الأميركية ستكون مدوّية على أيدي الحلفاء الذين تصفهم واشنطن باللاعبين الصغار، وقد ظهر في مثل هذه الأيام قبل تسعة عشر عاماً، ان حزب الله الذي كان يُحسب بين الصغار يومها، قد دخل نادي الكبار بفعل الإنجاز المحقق بانتصاره التاريخي على الاحتلال الإسرائيلي لجنوب لبنان، وها هو يتحوّل إلى مصدر رعب في كل التحليلات الأميركية لموازين الحرب، ومثله وعلى خطاه سارت قوى مقاومة في المنطقة والعالم وحققت قدرات رادعة كما تقول تجارب اليمن والعراق وكوريا وفنزويلا، وسيكون على الأميركي أن يقاتلهم قبل أن يجد نفسه مباشرة وجهاً لوجه مع إيران وروسيا والصين.

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