China and Russia Launch a ‘Global Resistance Economy’

Former British diplomat, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.

Alastair Crooke

Apri l 5, 2021

The U.S. will ignore the message from Anchorage. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (c. 500 BCE) advises that: “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands; yet the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself … Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will; and does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him”. This is the essence of the Chinese resistance economy – a strategy which has been fully unveiled in the wake of the Anchorage talks; talks that silenced any lingering thoughts in Beijing that America might somehow find some modus vivendi with Beijing in its headlong pursuit of primacy over China.

Although earlier there had been tantalising glimpses of déshabillé, the full reveal to China’s tough stance and rhetoric has only been permitted now – post-Anchorage – and the talks’ confirmation that the U.S. intends to block China’s ascent.

If it is assumed that this ‘resistance’ initiative constitutes some tit-for-tat ‘jab’ at Washington – through sinking Biden’s Iran ambitions, as revenge for America loudly crying ‘war crimes’ (‘genocide’ in Xingjian) – then we miss wholly its full import. The scope of the Iran pact by far transcends trade and investment, as one commentator in the Chinese state media made plain: “As it stands, this deal (the Iran pact) will totally upend the prevailing geopolitical landscape in the West Asian region that has for so long been subject to U.S. hegemony”.

So here is the essence to ‘a clever combatant moving to impose his will’ – there is no need for China or Russia or Iran to go to war to do this; they just implement ‘it’. They can do ‘it’ – quite simply. They don’t need a revolution to do it, because they have no vested interest in fighting America.

What is ‘it’? It is not just a trade and investment pact with Tehran; neither is it simply allies helping each other. The ‘resistance’ lies precisely with the way they’re trying to help each other. It is a mode of economic development. It represents the notion that any rent-yielding resource – banking, land, natural resources and natural infrastructure monopolies – should be in the public domain to provide basic needs to everybody – freely.

The alternative way simply is to privatise these ‘public goods’ (as in the West), where they are provided at a financialized maximum cost – including interest rates, dividends, management fees, and corporate manipulations for financial gain.

‘It’ is then a truly different economic approach. To give one example: New York’s Second Avenue Subway extension cost $6 billion, or $2 billion per mile – the most expensive urban mass transit ever built. The average cost of underground subway lines outside the U.S. is $350 million a mile, or a sixth of New York’s cost.

How does this ‘it’ change everything? Well, just imagine for a moment: the biggest element in anyone’s budget today is housing at 40%, which simply reflects high house prices, based on a debt-fuelled market. Instead, imagine that proportion at 10% (as in China). Suppose too, you have low-cost public education. Well then, you are rid of education-led debt, and its interest cost. Suppose you have public healthcare, and low priced transport infrastructure. Then you would have the capacity to spend – It becomes a low-cost economy, and consequently it would grow.

Another example: The cost of hiring R&D staff in China is a third to half the comparable cost in the U.S., so China’s tech spend is closer to $1 trillion a year (in terms of purchasing power parity), whereas the U.S. spends just 0.6% of GDP, or about $130 billion, on federal R&D.

At one level therefore, this ‘it’ is a strategic challenge to the western eco-system. In one corner, the debt-driven, hyper-financialised, yet stagnant economies of Europe and the EU – in which strategic direction and economic ‘winners and losers’ are set by the Big Oligarchs, and in which the 60% struggle, and 0.1% thrive. And, in the far corner, a very mixed economy in which the Party sets a strategic course for state enterprises, whilst others are encouraged to innovate, and to be entrepreneurial in the mould of a state-directed economy (albeit, with Taoist and Confucian characteristics).

Socialism versus capitalism? No, it is a long time since the U.S. was a capitalist economy; it’s hardly even a market economy today. It has become, more and more, a rentier economy since leaving the gold standard (in 1971). This forced U.S. exit from the ‘gold window’ facilitated the U.S. via the resultant global demand for U.S. debt instruments, (Treasury bonds), to finance itself for free (from out of the entire world’s economic surplus). The Washington Consensus ensured additionally that the inflows of dollars to Wall Street from around the globe would never be subject capital controls, nor would states be able to create their own currency, but would have to borrow in dollars from the World Bank and the IMF.

And that essentially meant borrowing from the Pentagon and the State Department in U.S. dollars, who ultimately were the system ‘enforcers’, as Professor Hudson notes. The shift in the U.S. financial system to being an entity that that prioritises ‘real’ assets, such as mortgages and real estate that offer a certain ‘rent’, rather than to invest directly in speculative business ventures, also means that debt jubilees are verboten. (The Greeks can recount the experience of what that entails, in grim detail).

The point is that – at the economic plane – the U.S., hyper-financialised sphere is fast shrinking, as China, Russia and much of the ‘World Island’ turn to trading in their own currencies (and do not buy U.S. Treasuries). In a ‘war’ of economic systems, America therefore starts on the back foot.

Halford Mackinder argued a century ago that control of the ‘Heartland’, which stretched from the Volga to the Yangtze, would control the ‘World Island’, which was his term for all Europe, Asia and Africa. Over a century later, Mackinder’s theory resonates as the two leading nations behind the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) transform this into a system of inter-relations from one Eurasian end to another. It is not so new, of course. It is simply the revival of the ancient trade-based economy of the Eurasian heartland, which finally was collapsed in the 17th century.

Alastair Macleod notes that commentators usually fail to understand ‘why’ this flourishing in West Asia is happening: “It is not due to military superiority, but down to simple economics. While the U.S. economy suffers a post-lockdown inflationary outcome and an existential crisis for the dollar – China’s economy will boom on the back of increasing domestic consumption … and increasing exports, the consequence of America’s stimulation of consumer demand and a soaring budget deficit”.

There, explicitly said, is Sun Tzu’s point! “Opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself”. There is in Washington (and to an extent in Europe too), a faction entertaining a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from a conviction that the Tzars (and later Stalin), were anti-Semitic. Their emotion is one of hatred and anger, yet it is they who largely are responsible for bringing Russia and China together. This, and America’s proclivity to sanction the world, has given China and Russia their opportunity.

The underlying point however, is that – even for the EU – the Rimland periphery is less important than Mackinder’s World Island. There was a time when British and then American primacy outweighed its importance – but this may no longer be true. What is actualising here is the greatest challenge yet mounted to American economic power and technological supremacy.

Yet this economic Realpolitik is but half the story to China and Russia’s launch of a ‘global resistance economy’. It has a parallel geo-political frame, too.

It is to this latter aspect, most probably, that the Chinese official referred when he said that the Iran deal would “totally upend the prevailing geopolitical landscape in the West Asian region that has for so long been subject to U.S. hegemony”. Note that he did not say that it would upend Iran’s relations with U.S. or Europe – he said the whole region. He implied too, that China’s initiatives would free West Asia from American hegemony. How so?

In an interview last week, FM Wang Yi outlined Beijing’s approach to the West Asian region:

“The Middle East was a highland of brilliant civilizations in human history. Yet, due to protracted conflicts and turmoil in the more recent history, the region descended into a security lowland … For the region to emerge from chaos and enjoy stability, it must break free from the shadows of big-power geopolitical rivalry, and independently explore development paths suited to its regional realities. It must stay impervious to external pressure and interference, and follow an inclusive and reconciliatory approach to build a security architecture that accommodates the legitimate concerns of all sides … Against this backdrop, China wishes to propose a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East:

“Firstly, advocating mutual respect … Both sides should uphold the international norm of non-interference in others’ internal affairs … it is particularly important for China and Arab states to stand together against slandering, defamation, interference and pressurizing in the name of human rights … [the EU should take note]

“Second, upholding equity and justice, opposing unilateralism, and defending international justice … China will encourage the Security Council to fully deliberate on the question of Palestine to reaffirm the two-state solution … We should uphold the UN-centred international system, as well as the international order underpinned by international law – and jointly promote a new type of international relations. We should share governance experience … and oppose arrogance and prejudice.

“Third, achieving non-proliferation … Parties need to … discuss and formulate the roadmap and timeframe for the United States and Iran to resume compliance with the JCPOA. The pressing task is for the U.S. to take substantive measures to lift its unilateral sanctions on Iran, and long-arm jurisdiction on third parties, and for Iran to resume reciprocal compliance with its nuclear commitments. At the same time, the international community should support efforts by regional countries in establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

“Fourth, jointly fostering collective security … We propose holding in China a multilateral dialogue conference for regional security in the Gulf (Persian Gulf) …

“And fifthly, accelerating development cooperation …”.

Well, China has spectacularly made its entrance in the Middle East, and is challenging the U.S. with a resistance agenda. FM Wang, when he met with Ali Larijani, special adviser to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, framed it all in a single sentence: “Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries, and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call”. This single comment encapsulates the new ‘wolf warrior’ ethos: states should stick with their autonomy and sovereignty. China is advocating a sovereigntist multilateralism to shake off “the western yoke”.

Wang did not confine this political message to Iran. He had just said the same in Saudi Arabia, before arriving in Tehran. It was well received in Riyadh. In economic development terms, China earlier had linked Turkey and Pakistan into the ‘corridor’ plan – and now Iran.

How will the U.S. react? It will ignore the message from Anchorage. It will likely press on. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.

For the EU, the Chinese entry into global politics is more problematic. It was trying to leverage its own ‘strategic autonomy’ by erecting European values as the gateway to inclusion into its market and trade partnership. China effectively is telling the world to reject any such hegemonic imposition of alien values and rights.

The EU is stranded in the midst. Unlike the U.S., it is precluded from printing the money with which to resurrect its virus-blighted economy. It desperately needs trade and investment. Its biggest trading partner, and its tech well-spring, however, has just told the EU (as the U.S.), to give up on its moralising discourse. At the same time, Europe’s ‘security partner’ has just demanded the opposite – that the EU strengthens it. What’s to be done? Sit back, and watch … (with fingers crossed that no one does something extremely stupid).

Welcome to shocked and awed 21st century geopolitics

Welcome to shocked and awed 21st century geopolitics

March 23, 2021

With a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the hegemon, we now have a brand new geopolitical chessboard

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

It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two.

How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again.

Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed the diplomatic Rubicon. The handlers behind hologram Joe “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” Biden had whispered in his earpiece to brand Russian President Vladimir Putin as a soulless “killer” in the middle of a softball interview.

Not even at the height of the Cold War the superpowers resorted to ad hominem attacks. The result of such an astonishing blunder was to regiment virtually the whole Russian population behind Putin – because that was perceived as an attack against the Russian state.

Then came Putin’s cool, calm, collected – and quite diplomatic – response, which needs to be carefully pondered. These sharp as a dagger words are arguably the most devastatingly powerful five minutes in the history of post-truth international relations.

In For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska, we forecasted what could take place in the US-China 2+2 summit at a shabby hotel in Anchorage, with cheap bowls of instant noodles thrown in as extra bonus.

China’s millennial diplomatic protocol establishes that discussions start around common ground – which are then extolled as being more important than disagreements between negotiating parties. That’s at the heart of the concept of “no loss of face”. Only afterwards the parties discuss their differences.

Yet it was totally predictable that a bunch of amateurish, tactless and clueless Americans would smash those basic diplomatic rules to show “strength” to their home crowd, distilling the proverbial litany on Taiwan, Hong Kong, South China Sea, “genocide” of Uighurs.

Oh dear. There was not a single State Dept. hack with minimal knowledge of East Asia to warn the amateurs you don’t mess with the formidable head of the Foreign Affairs Commission at the CCP’s Central Committee, Yang Jiechi, with impunity.

Visibly startled, but controlling his exasperation, Yang Jiechi struck back. And the rhetorical shots were heard around the whole Global South.

They had to include a basic lesson in manners: “If you want to deal with us properly, let’s have some mutual respect and do things the right way”. But what stood out was a stinging, concise diagnostic blending history and politics:

The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner. The Chinese people will not accept that. It must be based on mutual respect to deal with China, and history will prove that those who seek to strangle China will suffer in the end.

And all that translated in real time by young, attractive and ultra-skilled Zhang Jing – who inevitably became an overnight superstar in China, reaping an astonishing 400 million plus hits on Weibo.

The incompetence of the “diplomatic” arm of the Biden-Harris administration beggars belief. Using a basic Sun Tzu maneuver, Yang Jiechi turned the tables and voiced the predominant sentiment of the overwhelming majority of the planet. Stuff your unilateral “rules-based order”. We, the nations of the world, privilege the UN charter and the primacy of international law.

So this is what the Russia-China one-two achieved almost instantaneously: from now on, the Hegemon should be treated, all across the Global South with, at best, disdain.

An inevitable historical process

Pre-Alaska, the Americans went on a charming offensive in Japan and South Korea for “consultations”. That’s irrelevant. What matters is post-Alaska, and the crucial Sergey Lavrov-Wang Yi meeting of Foreign Ministers in Guilin.

Lavrov, always unflappable, clarified in an interview with Chinese media how the Russia-China strategic partnership sees the current US diplomatic train wreck:

As a matter of fact, they have largely lost the skill of classical diplomacy. Diplomacy is about relations between people, the ability to listen to each other, to hear one another and to strike a balance between competing interests. These are exactly the values ​​that Russia and China are promoting in diplomacy.

The inevitable consequence is that Russia-China must “consolidate our independence: “The United States has declared limiting the advance of technology in Russia and China as its goal. So, we must reduce our exposure to sanctions by strengthening our technological independence and switching to settlements in national and international currencies other than the dollar. We need to move away from using Western-controlled international payment systems.”

Russia-China have clearly identified, as Lavrov pointed out, how the “Western partners” are “promoting their ideology-driven agenda aimed at preserving their dominance by holding back progress in other countries. Their policies run counter to the objective international developments and, as they used to say at some point, are on the wrong side of history. The historical process will come into its own, no matter what happens.”

As a stark presentation of an inevitable “historical process”, it doesn’t get more crystal clear than that. And predictably, it didn’t take time for the “Western partners” to fall back into – what else – their same old sanction bag of tricks.

Here we go again: a US, UK, EU, Canada “alliance” sanctioning selected Chinese officials because, in Blinken’s words, “the PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

The EU, UK, and Canada didn’t have the guts to sanction a key player: Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo, who’s a Politburo member. The Chinese response would have been – economically – devastating.

Still, Beijing counterpunched with its own sanctions – targeting, crucially, the German far-right evangelical nut posing as “scholar” who produced the bulk of the completely debunked “proof” of a million Uighurs held in concentration camps.

Once again, the “Western partners” are impermeable to logic. Adding to the already appalling state of EU-Russia relations, Brussels chooses to also antagonize China based on a single fake dossier, playing right into the Hegemon’s not exactly secret Divide and Rule agenda.

Mission (nearly) accomplished: Brussels diplomats tell me the EU Parliament is all but set to refuse to ratify the China-EU trade deal painstakingly negotiated by Merkel and Macron. The consequences will be immense.

So Blinken will have reasons to be cheerful when he meets assorted eurocrats and NATO bureaucrats this week, ahead of the NATO summit.

One has to applaud the gall of the “Western partners”. It’s 18 years since Shock and Awe – the start of the bombing, invasion and destruction of Iraq. It’s 10 years since the start of the total destruction of Libya by NATO and its GCC minions, with Obama-Biden “leading from behind”. It’s 10 years since the start of the savage destruction of Syria by proxy – complete with jihadis disguised as “moderate rebels”.

Yet now the “Western partners” are so mortified by the plight of Muslims in Western China.

At least there are some cracks within the EU illusionist circus. Last week, the French Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle (CRI) – in fact an independent think tank of former high officers – wrote a startling open letter to cardboard NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg de facto accusing him of behaving as an American stooge with the implementation of NATO 2030 plan. The French officers drew the correct conclusion: the US/NATO combo is the main cause of appalling relations with Russia.

These Ides of March

Meanwhile, sanctions hysteria advance like a runaway train. Biden-Harris has already threatened to impose extra sanctions on Chinese oil imports from Iran. And there’s more in the pipeline – on manufacturing, technology, 5G, supply chains, semiconductors.

And yet nobody is trembling in their boots. Right on cue with Russia-China, Iran has stepped up the game, with Ayatollah Khamenei issuing the guidelines for Tehran’s return to the JCPOA.

1. The US regime is in no position to make new demands or changes regarding the nuclear deal.

2. The US is weaker today than when the JCPOA was signed.

3. Iran is in a stronger position now. If anyone can impose new demands it’s Iran and not the US.

And with that we have a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the Hegemon.

In our latest conversation/interview, to be released soon in a video + transcript package, Michael Hudson – arguably the world’s top economist – hit the heart of the matter:

The fight against China, the fear of China is that you can’t do to China, what you did to Russia. America would love for there to be a Yeltsin figure in China to say, let’s just give all of the railroads that you’ve built, the high-speed rail, let’s give the wealth, let’s give all the factories to individuals and let the individuals run everything and, then we’ll lend them the money, or we’ll buy them out and then we can control them financially. And China’s not letting that happen. And Russia stopped that from happening. And the fury in the West is that somehow, the American financial system is unable to take over foreign resources, foreign agriculture. It is left only with military means of grabbing them as we are seeing in the near East. And you’re seeing in the Ukraine right now.

To be continued. As it stands, we should all make sure that the Ides of March – the 2021 version – have already configured a brand new geopolitical chessboard. The Russia-China Double Helix on high-speed rail has left the station – and there’s no turning back.

ماذا يعني انتظار الانتخابات الأميركيّة؟

الأخبار

ابراهيم الأمين 

الإثنين 2 تشرين الثاني 2020

الإقبال الكبير على الانتخابات في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، يقابله إقبال كبير في كل العالم على متابعة هذا الحدث. صحيح أنه منذ سنوات طويلة، ينظر العالم كله بعين القلق الى من سيكون رئيس أميركا، لكن هذه المرّة، يتصرّف البشر كأن مصيرهم عالق على نتيجة التصويت. إنها معضلة العلاقة الإلزامية بالممسك بمفاتيح أساسية لحياة مليارات البشر في العالم. وإذا كان الأميركيون لديهم حساباتهم الخاصة لتقرير من يفضّلون، فإن البشرية تتصرّف بتوتر ناجم عن كونها محرومة من إلقاء الورقة في صندوق سيختار من له دور أساسي في مستقبلهم. في هذه اللحظة، يتصرف البشر مثل قاطني بيروت من غير «سكانها الأصليين»، أي الذين لا يقدرون على اختيار مجلسها البلدي الذي يدير أمورهم اليومية. ها نحن الآن، نحسب لأنفسنا دوراً في هذه الانتخابات.

ولأننا كذلك، نختلق عناوين ونقاشات ومتابعات لما يحصل هناك، على قاعدة أنّ لنا رأينا بما سيحصل. وكما أن في أميركا انقساماً كبيراً في الرأي، فعند المواطنين غير المسجلين في كل الكرة الأرضية انقساماتهم أيضاً. المتماهون مع التجربة الأميركية، والراغبون بعيش الحلم الأميركي، يريدون فوز جو بايدن. غالبية هؤلاء يعتقدون أن بايدن سيعزز الطريقة الأميركية كما كانت عليه قبل مجيء ترامب، وأن المسألة تتعلق بشخص ترامب. ولذلك، يفترضون أنه كما يغيّر الرئيس الجديد أعضاء إدارته، فإن بايدن، في حال فوزه، سيعيد أميركا الى ما كانت عليه قبل وصول ترامب.

وجلّ هؤلاء يفكرون بأن ابتسامات الديموقراطيين ستعيد الألق الى صورة أميركا في العالم. هم مثل أبناء المدن الأميركية الكبرى، الذين يريدون رئيساً لا يكون مصدر سباب وشتيمة لهم. لكن هؤلاء يقيسون الأمر من زاوية تأثير الانتخابات على تواصلهم المباشر مع هذه البلاد. هؤلاء، مثلاً، يعتبرون أن سياسات أميركا الداخلية أو الخارجية ستكون أقل فظاظة لو أتى بايدن. وهؤلاء يخجلون بترامب كخجلهم بحكام بلادهم في العالم. هم يفضّلون النسخة المهذبة عن الرجل الأبيض. لكنهم يرفضون أي نقاش حول عقل بايدن، بل يريدون حسم الأمر عند حدود سلوكه.

ثمة في العالم من يؤيد السياسات الأميركية في الخارج. وثمة في العالم مَن يريد أن تبقى أميركا قائدة العالم. وهؤلاء يحسمون أن كل شيء جيد لن يكون جيداً إذا لم يكن مصدره أميركا… فكرة أو سيارة أو تكنولوجيا أو أي شيء. وهؤلاء لا يروقُهم أن يكون هناك نقاش واسع حول من يحكم أميركا، والغالبية من هؤلاء تكره ترامب، لكنها لا تنتقد سياساته، بل تقف عند سلوكه. وكأن الأمر سيكون على صورة أخرى، لو أن رئيس أميركا جاء وسرق أموال العرب مثلاً، لكن مع ابتسامات وكلام لطيف. أمّا أن يسرق أموالنا و«يبهدلنا» فهذا كثير…

لكن في العالم فئة أخرى تكره أميركا. وتعريف الكره يجب ألّا يكون محاطاً برهاب التمييز بين الحاكم والمحكوم وكل الزعبرات التي تسبق عادة كلمة «ولكن»: نعم هناك حكومة منتخبة رديئة، ولكن… صحيح أن الشعب الأميركي هو من اختار هذا الرئيس ولكن… الأخطاء التي ترتكب في العالم مسؤولية المجتمع الأميركي ولكن…!

لندع هذه الـ«ولكن» جانباً، ولنعد الى رأي خصوم أميركا، خصوم النظام الاقتصادي والسياسي والتعليمي والثقافي والعلمي والبيئي والصحي والسلوكي والديني والإثني وكل ما يتعلق بهذه الدولة. لأن الأمر هنا لا يبقى متعلقاً بحسابات من ينتظر الأعاجيب والمعجزات.

شعوب الجنوب، ومن غير البيض، يعانون الأمرّين منذ عشرات السنين إن لم يكن أكثر. ومصدر معاناتهم الدور المركزي الذي قام به الغرب، سواء عندما قادته أوروبا أو عندما تولّته أميركا. العقل نفسه، والأهداف نفسها، والغاية نفسها التي تختصر بسلبنا كل شيء. حريتنا وقدرتنا على التفكير قبل ثرواتنا وبلادنا. وهذا الغرب، هو الذي أنتج العقل التسلطي بكل صوره البشعة، وبكل قتله العشوائي الذي أصاب ملايين البشر، وهو العقل الذي يمنح قلة متعجرفة، حق التفوق والتصرف من دون محاسبة أو مساءلة. وهو العقل الذي لا يزال يحكم من بيده الأمر في قلب أميركا وقلب الغرب عامةً. وهو عقل فيه كل شيء من الشر. نظريات دينية وحضارية وثقافية وعنصرية متعددة الألوان، وتجاهل مستمر لحقوق الآخر. ولأن هذا الغرب تقوده أميركا اليوم، فإن مصلحة أهل الجنوب هي في انهيار النظام الحاكم في قلب أميركا. وربما يرى البعض جنوناً في الاعتقاد بأن خلاص العالم يبدأ بانهيار هذا الكيان الذي اسمه الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وانهيار كل النظام الحاكم في أوروبا الغربية.

ما يعنينا هو هذه التمنّيات بأن تفيق أميركا على واقع سياسي يزيد من أزماتها الداخلية، ويعقّد من آليات الحكم فيها


ولأننا على هذا النحو، يجب أن يُسمح لنا بأن نتصرّف إزاء الانتخابات الأميركية من دون وهم صاحب الحق بالاقتراع. كل ما لدينا هنا هو مجرد آمال، بمعزل عن توافقها مع التقديرات أو التوقعات. في هذه اللحظة، ما يعنينا هو هذه التمنّيات، بأن تفيق أميركا على واقع سياسي يزيد من أزماتها الداخلية، ويعقّد من آليات الحكم فيها، ويجعل اقتصادها أكثر تعثّراً، وسوقها أقل رواجاً، وانقساماتها أكثر حدّة، وخلافاتها أكثر توتراً… ما سبق يحتاج إلى التجديد للأهبل الأكبر دونالد ترامب. الأهبل الذي يناسبنا ولو ألقى المزيد من القنابل فوق رؤوسنا. فهو مهما فعل، لن يزيد عما فعله أسلافه من «العقلاء». وإذا خسر ترامب، فالتمنيات أن تكون خسارته غير جليّة، فينعقد الخلاف حول البتّ بها. وليحصل ما يحصل. ولأن الأمر على هذا النحو، فإن كل كلام وتنظير آخر هو مجرد كلام من أشخاص أو جهات يتوهّمون أن لهم دوراً في صناعة القرار في أميركا، وهم في حقيقة الأمر يريدون لأميركا ما يرونه، من زاويتهم، أنه الأصح. عملياً، هم يتمنّون أيضاً. وهم مثلنا، من مواطني هذه الدولة المنتشرين في كل أرجاء المعمورة، ممن لا يملكون حق التصويت. ولأنهم كذلك، ليتوقفوا لحظة عن تلبّس شخصية الرجل الأبيض وهم يتحدثون الى شعوبهم.

هُزم أردوغان أمام الأسد… وروسيا وإيران للاحتواء

التعليق السياسي

في البعد الميدانيّ لا يمكن الفصل بين إنجازات الجيش السوري وانتصاراته من جهة، ودعم الحلفاء الصادق والموثوق والمستدام من جهة مقابلة، خصوصاً حجم البسالة والشجاعة والتضحية التي تظهرها تجربة حزب الله وفصائل المقاومة وأهمها في معركة سراقب التي كانت الضربة القاضية لطموحات وأطماع وعنجهيّة الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، بالتوازي مع حجم العزيمة التي يُظهرها الحليفان الروسي والإيراني بكل أشكال الدعم والمؤازرة المادية والمعنوية وصولاً للإحاطة التفاوضية الصلبة لتظهير الانتصارات العسكرية في السياسة.

المسألة في السياسة تقع في مكان آخر، حيث لا مشروع جذرياً للمقاومة عنوانه المواجهة مع مشروع تركي، وسقف مطلب المقاومة هو حماية مشروع الدولة السورية كقلعة للمقاومة، ومنع أحلام التقسيم التي عبث عبرها الأميركيون بالعقول التركية والكردية للعبث بسورية وتغطية وجودهم، وبالتوازي لا مشروع لدى روسيا وإيران بكسر تركيا بل إن جوهر مشروعهم وفقاً للحسابات الدولية والإقليمية هو احتواء تركيا واعتماد سياسة المطرقة والسندان معها، بتظهير استحالة تحقيق أحلام أردوغان وأطماعه وتدفيعه ثمن العناد على تحقيقها غالياً؛ وبالمقابل فتح الباب لتراجعه عندما يستوعب الدرس للعودة إلى الصف، لأن الرؤية الروسية الإيرانية للمدى الجيواستراتيجي لغرب آسيا يشتغل منذ سنوات على احتواء تركيا وإبعادها أكثر فأكثر عن المحور الأميركي وزرع الشكوك بينها وبينه على طرفي العلاقة.

الجهة الوحيدة التي تخوض صراعاً على جوهر المشروع مع تركيا هي الدولة السورية، وهي الجهة الوحيدة التي يتوقف على تموضع الرئيس التركي على أرضية مشروعها ضمان استقامة واستقرار الأوضاع بين تركيا والمحور الروسي الإيراني، وإذا كان ممكناً القول إن هزيمة مدوية لحقت بالرئيس التركي، فإن ذلك قد حدث لحساب الدولة السورية، وأمام جيشها، وخرج الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد منتصراً، حيث يتحوّل دور الحلفاء إلى عنصر مساندة لا يبحث عن نصره الخاص وليس لديه مشروعه الخاص.

لذلك بالمعنى السياسي والاستراتيجي هناك منتصر ومهزوم في حرب إدلب والمنتصر هو الدولة السورية ومشروعها، والمهزوم هو مشروع العثمانيّة الوهميّ الذي يسعى إليه أردوغان وباقي الحلفاء هنا وهناك هم حلفاء.

هُزم أردوغان أمام الأسد في جولة حاسمة مؤجّلة منذ عشر سنوات.

President Macron’s amazing admission

President Macron’s amazing admission

The Saker

September 11, 2019

[this column was written for the Unz Review]

I don’t know whether the supposedly Chinese curse really comes from China, but whether it does or not, we most certainly are cursed with living in some truly interesting times: Iran won the first phase of the “tanker battle” against the AngloZionistsPutin offered to sell Russian hypersonic missiles to Trump (Putin has been trolling western leaders a lot lately) while Alexander Lukashenko took the extreme measure of completely shutting down the border between the Ukraine and Belarus due to the huge influx of weapons and nationalist extremists from the Ukraine. As he put it himself “if weapons fall into the hands of ordinary people and especially nationalist-minded people, wait for terrorism“. He is quite right, of course. Still, there is a sweet irony here, or call it karma if you prefer, but for the Ukronazis who promised their people a visa-free entrance into the EU (for tourism only, and if you have money to spend, but still…), and yet 5 years into that obscene experiment of creating a rabidly russophobic Ukraine and 100 days (or so) into Zelenskii’s presidency, we have the Ukraine’s closest and most supportive neighbor forced to totally shut down its border due to the truly phenomenal toxicity of the Ukrainian society! But, then again, the Ukraine is such a basket-case that we can count on “most interesting” things (in the sense of the Chinese curse, of course) happening there too.

[Sidebar: interestingly, one of the people the Ukrainians gave up in this exchange was Vladimir Tsemakh, a native of the Donbass who was kidnapped by the Ukie SBU in Novorussia (our noble “Europeans” did not object to such methods!) and declared the “star witness” against Russia in the MH-17 (pseudo-)investigation. Even more pathetic is that the Dutch apparently fully endorsed this load of crapola. Finally, and just for a good laugh, check out how the infamous’ Bellincat presented Tsemakh. And then, suddenly, everybody seem to “forget” that “star witness” and now the Ukies have sent him to Russia. Amazing how fast stuff gets lost in the collective western memory hole…]

Right now there seems to be a tug of war taking place between the more mentally sane elements of the Zelenskii administration and the various nationalist extremists in the SBU, deathsquads and even regular armed forces. Thus we see these apparently contradictory developments taking place: on on hand, the Ukraine finally agreed to a prisoner swap with Russia (a painful one for Russia as Russia mostly traded real criminals, including a least two bona fide Ukie terrorist, against what are mostly civilian hostages, but Putin decided – correctly I think – that freeing Russian nationalists from Ukie jails was more important in this case) while on the other hand, the Ukronazi armed forces increased their shelling, even with 152mm howitzers which fire 50kg high explosive fragmentation shells, against the Donbass. Whatever may be the case, this prisoner swap, no matter how one-sided and unfair, is a positive development which might mark the beginning of a pragmatic and less ideological attitude in Kiev.

Urkoterrorists Sentsov and Kol’chenko

Some very cautious beginnings of a little hint of optimism might be in order following that exchange, but the big stuff seems to be scheduled for the meeting of the Normandy Group (NG), probably in France. So far, the Russians have made it very clear that they will not meet just for the hell of meeting, and that the only circumstance in which the Russians will agree to a NG meeting would be if it has good chances of yielding meaningful results which, translated from Russian diplomatic language simply means “if/when Kiev stops stonewalling and sabotaging everything”. Specifically, the Russians are demanding that Zelenskii commit in writing to the so-called “Steinmeier formula” and that the Ukrainian forces withdraw from the line of contact. Will that happen? Maybe. We shall soon find out.

But the single most amazing event of the past couple of weeks was the absolutely astonishing speech French President Emmanuel Macron made in front of an assembly of ambassadors. I could not find the full speech translated into English (I may have missed it somewhere), so I will post the crucial excerpts in French and translate them myself. If I find a full, official, translation I will post it under this column ASAP. For the time being, this is the link to the full speech transcript in French:

https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2019/08/27/discours-du-president-de-la-republique-a-la-conference-des-ambassadeurs-1

Let’s immediately begin with some of the most incredible excerpts, emphasis added by me: (sorry for the long quote but, truly, each word counts!)

L’ordre international est bousculé de manière inédite mais surtout avec, si je puis dire, un grand bouleversement qui se fait sans doute pour la première fois dans notre histoire à peu près dans tous les domaines, avec une magnitude profondément historique. C’est d’abord une transformation, une recomposition géopolitique et stratégique. Nous sommes sans doute en train de vivre la fin de l’hégémonie occidentale sur le monde. Nous nous étions habitués à un ordre international qui depuis le 18ème siècle reposait sur une hégémonie occidentale, vraisemblablement française au 18ème siècle, par l’inspiration des Lumières ; sans doute britannique au 19ème grâce à la révolution industrielle et raisonnablement américaine au 20ème grâce aux 2 grands conflits et à la domination économique et politique de cette puissance. Les choses changent. Et elles sont profondément bousculées par les erreurs des Occidentaux dans certaines crises, par les choix aussi américains depuis plusieurs années et qui n’ont pas commencé avec cette administration mais qui conduisent à revisiter certaines implications dans des conflits au Proche et Moyen-Orient et ailleurs, et à repenser une stratégie profonde, diplomatique et militaire, et parfois des éléments de solidarité dont nous pensions qu’ils étaient des intangibles pour l’éternité même si nous avions constitué ensemble dans des moments géopolitiques qui pourtant aujourd’hui ont changé. Et puis c’est aussi l’émergence de nouvelles puissances dont nous avons sans doute longtemps sous-estimé l’impact. La Chine au premier rang mais également la stratégie russe menée, il faut bien le dire, depuis quelques années avec plus de succès. J’y reviendrai. L’Inde qui émerge, ces nouvelles économies qui deviennent aussi des puissances pas seulement économiques mais politiques et qui se pensent comme certains ont pu l’écrire, comme de véritables États civilisations et qui viennent non seulement bousculer notre ordre international, qui viennent peser dans l’ordre économique mais qui viennent aussi repenser l’ordre politique et l’imaginaire politique qui va avec, avec beaucoup de force et beaucoup plus d’inspiration que nous n’en avons. Regardons l’Inde, la Russie et la Chine. Elles ont une inspiration politique beaucoup plus forte que les Européens aujourd’hui. Elles pensent le monde avec une vraie logique, une vraie philosophie, un imaginaire que nous avons un peu perdu

Here is my informal translation of these words:

The international order is being shaken in an unprecedented manner, above all with, if I may say so, by the great upheaval that is undoubtedly taking place for the first time in our history, in almost every field and with a profoundly historic magnitude. The first thing we observe is a major transformation, a geopolitical and strategic re-composition. We are undoubtedly experiencing the end of Western hegemony over the world. We were accustomed to an international order which, since the 18th century, rested on a Western hegemony, mostly French in the 18th century, by the inspiration of the Enlightenment; then mostly British in the 19th century thanks to the Industrial Revolution and, finally, mostly American in the 20th century thanks to the 2 great conflicts and the economic and political domination of this power. Things change. And they are now deeply shaken by the mistakes of Westerners in certain crises, by the choices that have been made by Americans for several years which did not start with this administration, but which lead to revisiting certain implications in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, and to rethinking a deep, diplomatic and military strategy, and sometimes elements of solidarity that we thought were intangible for eternity, even if we had constituted together in geopolitical moments that have changed. And then there is the emergence of new powers whose impact we have probably underestimated for a long time. China is at the forefront, but also the Russian strategy, which has, it must be said, been pursued more successfully in recent years. I will come back to that. India that is emerging, these new economies that are also becoming powers not only economic but political and that think themselves, as some have written, as real “civilizational states” which now come not only to shake up our international order but who also come to weigh in on the economic order and to rethink the political order and the political imagination that goes with it, with much dynamism and much more inspiration than we have. Look at India, Russia and China. They have a much stronger political inspiration than Europeans today. They think about our planet with a true logic, a true philosophy, an imagination that we’ve lost a little bit.

Now let’s unpack these key statements one by one:

1) “ great upheaval that is undoubtedly taking place for the first time in our history in almost every field and with a profoundly historic magnitude”

Here Macron sets the stage for some truly momentous observations: what will be discussed next is not only a major event, but one without precedent in history (whether French or European). Furthermore, what will be discussed next, affects “almost every field” and with huge historical implications.

2) “We are undoubtedly experiencing the end of Western hegemony over the world”

When I read that, my first and rather infantile reaction was to exclaim “really?! No kiddin’?! Who would have thought!?” After all, some of us have been saying that for a long, long while, but never-mind that. What is important is that even a Rothschild-puppet like Macron had to finally speak these words. Oh sure, he probably felt as happy as the Captain of the Titanic when he had to (finally!) order a general evacuation of this putatively unsinkable ship, but nonetheless – he did do it. From now on, the notion of the end of the western hegemony on the planet is no more relegated to what the leaders of the Empire and their propaganda machine like to call “fringe extremists” and has now fully entered the (supposedly) “respectable” and “mainstream” public discourse. This is a huge victory for all of us who have been saying the same things for years already.

3) “by the mistakes of Westerners in certain crises, by the choices that have been made by Americans for several years”

Here, again, I feel like engaging in some petty self-congratulation and want to say “I told you that too!”, but that would really be infantile, would it not? But yeah, while the internal contradictions of western materialism in general, and of AngloZionist Capitalism specifically, have been catching up with the Western World and while an eventual catastrophic crisis was inevitable, it also sure is true that western leaders mostly did it to themselves; at the very least, they dramatically accelerated these processes. In this context, I would single out the following politicians for a nomination to a medal for exceptional service in the destruction of the western hegemony over our long-suffering planet: Donald Trump and Barak Obama, of course, but also François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron (yes, he too even if he now changes his tune!), Angela Merkel, of course, and then last but not least, every single British Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher (maybe with special commendation for Teresa May). Who knows, maybe they were all KGB/GRU/SVR agents after all? (just kiddin’!)

4) “ the emergence of new powers whose impact we have probably underestimated for a long time. China is at the forefront, but also the Russian strategy, which has, it must be said, been pursued more successfully in recent years”

Next, it’s not only China. Russia too is a major competitor, and a very successful one at that, hence the admission that in spite of all the efforts of the AngloZionist elites not only did the Empire not succeed in breaking Russia, but Russia has been very successful in defeating the western efforts. To those interested, I highly recommend this article by Jon Hellevig on the true state of the Russian economy. Finally, in military terms, Russia has achieved more than parity. In fact, I would argue that at least in terms of quality the Russian armed forces are ahead in several crucial technologies (hypersonic missiles, air defenses, electronic warfare etc.) even while she still lags behind in other technologies (mostly truly obsolete things like aircraft carriers). But most crucial is the political victory of Russia: five years after the Euromaidan and the liberation of Crimea from the Nazi yoke, the USA is far more isolated than Russia. It’s comical, really!

5) “real “civilizational states” which now come not only to shake up our international order

I have been speaking about a unique, and very distinct, “Russian civilizational realm” in many of my writings and I am quite happy to see Macron using almost the same words. Of course, Macron did not only mean Russia here, but also India and China. Still, and although the Russian nation is much younger than the one of China or, even more so India, 1000 years of Russian civilization does deserve to be listed next to these two other giants of world history. And what is absolutely certain is that China and India could never build the new international order they want without Russia, at least for the foreseeable future. In spite of all the very real progress made recently by the Chinese armed forces (and, to a lesser degree, also the Indian ones), Russia still remains a much stronger military power than China. What Russia, China and India are, is that they are all former empires which have given up on imperialism and who know only aspire to be powerful, but nevertheless “normal” nations. Just by their size and geography, these are “un-invadable” countries who all present a distinct model of development and who want a multi-polar international order which would allow them to safely achieve their goals. In other words, Macron understands that the future international order will be dictated by China, Russia and India and not by any combination of western powers. Quite an admission indeed!

6) “ Look at India, Russia and China. They have a much stronger political inspiration than Europeans today. They think about our planet with a true logic, a true philosophy, an imagination that we’ve lost a little bit.”

This is the “core BRICS” challenge to the Empire: China and Russia have already established what the Chinese call a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era”. If they can now extend this kind of informal but extremely profound partnership (I think of it as “symbiotic”) to India next, then the BRICS will have a formidable future (especially after the Brazilian people give the boot to Bolsonaro and his US patrons). Should that fail and should India chose to remain outside this unique relationship, then the SCO will become the main game in town. And yes, Macron is spot on: China and, especially, Russia have a fundamentally different worldview and, unlike the western one, theirs does have “much stronger political” goals (Macron used the word “aspirations”), “a real philosophy and imagination” which the West has lost, and not just a “little bit” but, I would argue, completely. But one way or the other, and for the first time in 1000 years, the future of our planet will not be decided anywhere in the West, not in Europe (old or “new”), but in Asia, primarily by the Russian-Chinese alliance. As I explained here, the AngloZionist Empire is probably the last one in history, definitely the last western one.

Now we should not be naïve here, Macron did not suddenly find religion, grow a conscience or suddenly become an expert on international relations. There is, of course, a cynical reason why he is changing his tune. In fact, there are several such reasons. First, it appears that the on and off bromance between Macron and Trump is over. Second, all of Europe is in free fall socially, economically and, of course, politically. And with a total nutcase in power in London dealing with Brexit and with Angela Merkel’s apparently never-ending political agony, it is only logical for a French head of state to try to step in. Furthermore, while I have always said that Russia is not part of Europe culturally and spiritually, Russia is very much part of Europe geographically, economically and politically and there is simply no way for any imaginable alliance of European states to save Europe from its current predicament without Russian help. Like it or not, that is a fact, irrespective of whether politician or commentator X, Y or Z realizes this or not. Macron probably figured out that the so-called “East Europeans” are nothing but cheap prostitutes doing whatever Uncle Shmuel wants them to do, Germany is collapsing under the weight of Merkel’s “brilliant” immigration policy while the UK under BoJo is busy trying to self-destruct at least as fast as the USA under Trump. Macron is right. If united, Russia and France could build a much safer Europe than the one we see slowly and painfully dying before our eyes today. But he is also wrong if he thinks that Russia can be “re-invited” back into the AngloZionist sphere of influence. In that context, Putin’s reply to the question of whether Russia was willing to return to the G8 is very telling: first he said that if the G7 wants to come back to Russia, Putin would welcome that, but then he also added that the G7/8 is useless without, yes, you guessed it, China and India.

It will be interesting to see if the current G7 will ever agree to mutate into a new G10 which would make Russia, China and India the most powerful block (or voting group) of this new forum. I personally doubt it very much, but then they are becoming desperate and Macron’s words seem to be indicating that this option is at least being discussed behind closed doors. Frankly, considering how quickly the G7 is becoming utterly irrelevant, I expect it to be gradually phased out and replaced by the (objectively much more relevant) G20.

Finally, there are Trump’s efforts into getting Russia back into the G8 which are very transparently linked to the current trade war and geostrategic competition between the US and China. The offer is useless to Russia, just like the return to PACE, but Russia does not want to needlessly offend anybody and that is why Putin did not publicly rebuff Trump or directly refuse to come to Miami: instead, he approved of the general concept, but offered a better way to go about it. Typical Putin.

Conclusion: Macron reads the writing on the wall

Whatever his political motives to say what he said, Macron is no idiot and neither are his advisors. Neither is this a “one off” thing. The French meant every word Macron spoke and they are putting everybody on notice (including the Ukrainians, the US, the EU and the Russians, of course). In fact, Macron has already invited Putin to participate in a Normandy Format meeting in Paris in the very near future. If that meeting eventually does take place, this will mean that the organizers gave Putin guarantees that this will not just be the usual kaffeeklatsch and that some serious results will finally be obtained. That, in turn, means that somebody – probably the French – will have the unpleasant task of telling the Ukrainians that the party is over and that they now need to get their act together and start implementing the Minsk Agreements, something which Zelenskii might or might not try to do, but which the real gun-toting Ukronazis will never accept. Thus, if the West is really serious about forcing Kiev to abide by the Mink Agreements, then the West has to finally give-up its self-defeating russophobic hysteria and substantially change their tone about the Ukraine. To invite Putin to Paris just to tell him again that Russia (which is not even a party to the Minsk Agreements) “must do more” makes zero sense. Therefore, all the other parties will have to come to terms with reality before inviting Putin. Apparently, this might be happening in Paris. As for Trump, he just offered to mediate (if asked to do so) between Russia and the Ukraine.

It shall be extremely interesting to see if this Normandy Format meeting does actually take place and what role, if any, Trump and the USA will play behind the scenes. We shall then know if Macron’s epiphany was just a one-time fluke or not.

The Saker

PS: the latest rumor from the Ukraine: Zelenskii supporters are saying that Poroshenko is preparing a coup against Zelenskii and that he is preparing a special force of Ukronazi deathsquads to execute that coup. Dunno about a real coup, but they have already blocked the Rada. Never a dull moment indeed… 🙂

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