The End of the “Greater Middle East Project”: The Case of Kurdistan

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential elections has had dire implications for the American “Greater Middle East” project which has guided US foreign policy in the Middle East since it was first put forward in 2003. Trump’s reorientation toward internal US problems (migration, economy, protectionism), the emergence of new geopolitical rivals (China and Iran) and the turning point being reached in the war against Daesh in Syria have resulted, more or less, in a new balance of powers in the Middle East. While the situation is still rather chaotic, one fact is certainly clear: the Americans have lost their dominant position.

On top of all of this, following the events of July 2016, Turkey, one of the central players in the Middle East, headed for geopolitical rapprochement with Russia and began to distance itself from the United States. Turkish authorities accused Washington of having played a role in the attempted coup, driving a wedge in the relationship of the long-time allies. Up to this point, Turkey, together with Israel, were seen as outposts for pushing US foreign policy interests in the Middle East. However, contradictions began to emerge over the US’ reliance on the Kurdish separatists, who are locked in a state of open conflict with the Turkish government. As a result of disagreements over this issue, America began to lose one of its most important regional partners. After the coup attempt, hostilities between Turkey and the West escalated even further: Turkey openly discussed the possibility of a withdrawal from NATO, the West countered by threatening Turkey’s ongoing EU integration process.

Unsuccessful negotiations between Washington and Ankara over the extradition of accused coup leader Fethullah Gulen only complicated matters further, as did disputes over Turkey’s detention of Pastor Andrew Branson. The contradictions eventually reached their sharpest point as the US attempted to dissuade, and ultimately, threaten Turkey over their purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

In parallel with these processes, Saudi Arabia and Qatar began to adjust their foreign policy accordingly. Realizing that the West could no longer fully control the situation in the region, Qatar began to seek support from Russia, which had successfully shown the strength of its influence in Syria.

Qatar, being a traditional ally of Turkey (predominantly via the Muslim Brotherhood), began to follow Turkey’s lead, even improving relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia, a regional adversary of Qatar, was forced to follow a similar strategy… of course, not in terms of improving relations with Iran (their main regional adversary) but by establishing ties with Russia. This is evidenced in Riyadh’s attempt to buy S-400s from Moscow against Washington’s wishes.

Thus, the United States has lost most of its regional partners, with only the invariable Israel remaining a part of the Greater Middle East project. Trump has bent over backward to keep this relationship secure, even if it means finally destroy Washington’s relations with the Islamic world altogether and instead rely on the Kurds… a plan as obvious as it is failed.

Revising the Greater Middle East Strategy

The Greater Middle East project was the guiding light of US foreign policy strategy in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia for decades. As of 2011, the project grew to include the Arab nations of North Africa and Syria in particular. On a project map designed by J. Kemp and R. Harkavy, the Republic of Turkey and Kazakhstan were also included.

The project aimed to spread and deepen “democracy” in the region. The plan had two sides: the official one, which was supposed to contribute to a rise in power for states led by pro-Western reformers (initially completely unrealistic) and the unofficial one, which was to actively destabilize existing Islamic regimes, support color revolutions, riots and even bring about regime change.

Creating controlled chaos has always been a central goal of the project. This goal was realized in Libya and Iraq, but its implementation in Syria was disrupted by the effective policy of Russia and Syria’s alliance with Iran and Turkey. In addition to these major powers, Hezbollah played a critical role in disrupting Washington’s plans.

However, the plan also involved the creation of a wider arc of instability – from Lebanon and Palestine to Syria, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Iran – right up to the Afghanistan border, where NATO garrisons are located. The levers of the project were numerous: large-scale financial investments in the economies of the Middle Eastern countries, support for extremist groups, information warfare, alongside open provocations and false-flags operations. During the implementation of the project, many Middle Eastern countries underwent “color revolutions” backed by Western operators who induced controlled chaos and exploited social media networks in order to use various countries’ social, political, religious, ethnic and economic problems against them. During the “Arab Spring”, this strategy led to regime change in 3 states: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, while Libya and Syria were left in a state of civil war.

The US and EU were never completely unified over the project. At one G8 summit, the Greater Middle East project was criticized by French President Jacques Chirac, arguing that Middle Eastern countries do not need this kind of forcibly exported “democracy.”

The strategy for “spreading democracy” in the region had essentially become thinly , if at all, veiled US intervention in the domestic political life of Middle Eastern states. Military assaults began in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Syria. However, the results were less than favorable for most, resulting in floods of refugees, including representatives of terrorist organizations. Western Europe was forced to face the brunt of the backlash for Bush and Obama’s Middle Eastern adventures. The globalists and neoconservatives were united in their efforts, and although their destructive goals were achieved, the majority of Americans did not even understand why these costly and brutal operations were being prioritized.

Trump properly grasped the mood of voters and promised to curtail the Greater Middle East project. After coming to power, he at least began to move in that direction: in December 2018, he decided to withdraw all American troops from Syria.

Project Implementation Opportunities

After the wave of color revolutions and the Arab spring, some states in the Middle East realized the real threat posed by America’s evolving strategy. Before their eyes, centralized and well-ordered states were turning into ruins. It was not just a change of leadership: the very existence of entire countries was threatened. Hence, many leaders concluded the need for a new emphasis on sovereignty. For example, Turkey, an important player in the region, focused on geopolitical interaction with Russia and China, reorienting itself toward the Eurasian axis which caused a crisis in relations with the United States (the purchase of the S-400s from Russia led the United States to refuse to sell Turkey F-35 fighter jets as previously agreed).

The region around Syria was gradually cleared of extremist groups, with the remaining militants relegated to the province of Idlib and the south-east of the country. When Imran Khan became Prime Minister, Pakistan also moved further away from the United States and began to develop pro-Chinese policies while establishing strategic relations with Russia.

Looking at all of these factors, we can conclude that the Greater Middle East project has already been curtailed.

However, the American strategy only partly depends on who runs the White House. That’s why it’s important to understand the role of the so-called Deep State in US politics. The Deep State has its own logic and direction, something which Trump needs to take into account. Due to the Deep State’s influence, America continues to take advantage of a number of complex problems for the region, one critical example being its tactic of fomenting conflict through support for the forces fighting for an independent Kurdistan. This conflict in particular is shaping  up to be the “last battle” of the Greater Middle East project.

The Kurdish Map

The Greater Middle East project, according to Ralph Peters and Bernard-Henri Levy (the plan’s most important European propagandists), involves the creation of an independent “Free Kurdistan” which includes a number of territories in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The creation of a single state entity through the unification of the 40 million Kurds residing in these countries could lead to a number of serious problems.

The idea of ​​creating an independent Kurdish state openly and clearly began to emerge at the end of the 19th century (the first Kurdish newspaper in Kurdish began to circulate in Cairo in 1898). At the end of the 19th century, the Kurdish people seemed as though they might actually embrace Turkey. The founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, was positively greeted among the Kurds – some Alevite groups interpreted the role of Atatürk as Mahdi, the last successor of the prophet Muhammad. However, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds did not receive their desired autonomy, which began to cause problems.

Historically, the “Kurdish map” has always been an ace-up-the-sleeve of various geopolitical powers striving for influence in the Middle East: Woodrow Wilson first supported the creation of an independent Kurdish state after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the US again supporting Kurdish forces in the 1970s in an attempt to overthrow the Iraqi Ba’ath party… in 2003, it used the Kurds to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Iranians used the Kurds against Iraq in the 70s as well, while in more recent times the Syrians have tried to use the Kurdish issue against Turkey. Israel has strongly supported the Kurdistan project in order to weaken the Arabic States.

The fragmentation of the Kurds who live in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, as well as in the Caucasus, is one of the reasons why it is currently impossible to build a single Kurdish state. The Kurdish people have historically been prone to clan and political fragmentation. There are several factors which strongly separate the various groupings of Kurds.

One complication to the formation of an independent Kurdistan is linguistic fragmentation – Soran is spoken in eastern Iraq and Iran, while Kurmanji is spoken by Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurds. Some Kurds in Iraq speak yet another dialect – Zaza.

Religious issues also hinder the unification of Kurdish tribes and clans into a single state: the majority of Kurds are Sunnis (with a large number of Sufi tariqas),  while Zoroastrian styled Yazidism is less widespread. Meanwhile, In Iran, Kurds are mainly followers of Shia Islam. Yazidism is considered the Kurdish national religion, but it is too different from orthodox Islam and even from the rather syncretic Sufi Tariqas.

Yazidism is prevalent mainly among the northern Kurds – Kurmanji.

New year celebrations in Lalish, 18 April 2017. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Religion is a mixture of Zoroastrianism (manifested in the doctrine of the seven Archangels and a special attitude to fire and the sun, along with a strong caste system) with the Sufi teachings of Sheikh Abi ibn Musafir. The unexplored and closed sources of the Yazidi religion strongly complicate the Kurdish factor. The Muslim nations surrounding them often characterize the Yazidi Kurds as worshipers of Shaitan. Shiite-style Kurds (mainly residing in Iran) are a separate group, difficult to reduce to the Shiite branch of Islam as such, and are more approximately a Zoroastrian interpretation of it. Interestingly, Shiite Kurds believe that the Mahdi should appear among the Kurds, suggesting a degree of ethnocentrism.

Another important factor in assessing the chances of creating an independent Kurdistan is their cultural specificity in the Iranian context: the Kurds, unlike other Iranian peoples, maintained a nomadic lifestyle far longer than others.

We can conclude that building a unified Kurdistan is essentially a utopian idea: the rich diversity of the religious, linguistic and cultural codes would be impossible obstacles in building a traditional nation-state… and this is without taking into account the stiff opposition to the project from other states in the region, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. For these countries, the implementation of the Greater Kurdistan project would actually mean the end of territorial integrity and a fundamental weakening of their sovereignty, and perhaps even their complete collapse (particularly given the fact that other ethnic minorities would likely want to follow the Kurdish path).

Although an independent state might be a pipe-dream, Turkey’s current tactical ally, Russia, could play a positive role in solving and regulating the Kurdish issue by other means. Being neutral in the conflict, despite historically positive relations with the Kurds, Russia could act as a mediator and guarantor of Kurdish rights while fighting to maintain the territorial integrity of existing states. Russia could assist in providing the Kurds with the possibility of cultural unification, protection and the development of their identity, but this implies the concept of a cultural and historical association rather than a political one. This association could grant the Kurds a certain degree of autonomy while preserving the territorial borders of the states in which they live.

In Iraq, a solution to the Kurdish issue is possible through the construction of a tripartite confederation between the Shiite majority, the Sunnis (with the rejection of Salafism and extremism and with the Sufis playing a predominant roe) and the Kurds (mainly Sunnis). It is also necessary to take into account Assyrian Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic-religious minorities of Iraq.

At present, Iraqi Kurds have the maximum autonomy and prerequisites for the implementation of the Kurdistan project under the leadership of Masoud Barzani. The origins of the relative independence of Iraqi Kurdistan are in American operations during the 2000s. It was during this period that Iraqi Kurds gained a maximum degree of autonomy. At the moment, Iraqi Kurdistan has its own armed forces, currency and even its own diplomats. Its main income comes from oil sales. Interestingly, the per capita GDP in Iraqi Kurdistan is quite high and exceeds that of Iran and Syria.

Moreover, in September 2017, the autonomous region’s leadership held a vote on secession from Iraq – 92.73% voters voted in favor of creating an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. Erbil’s plans in this direction have been met with negativity both in Iraq and in Turkey (despite Erdogan’s partnership with Barzani).

However, the situation in Iraq has its own difficulties and complications – the Barzani clan controls only half of the region, the second part of Iraqi Kurdistan, including the capital located in Sulaymaniyah, is controlled by the Talabani clan (the “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan” party is subordinate to it). Conditional partnerships have been established between the Barzani clan and the Talabani clan, but their orientations differ due to their diverging political priorities: this also manifests itself in terms of foreign policy: The Talabani clan is focused on Iran while the Barzani clan is focused on Turkey. This situation shows that even in the strongest part of Kurdistan there are heavy internal contradictions which make state-hood impossible.

In Turkey, the project faces several particularly sharp problems, a notable one being the ruling circle’s strong views on the Kurdish issue. Erdogan came to power in part by playing on the Kurdish factor (in efforts such as the Western-supported Kurdish–Turkish peace process), but, as relations with the West worsened, he began to return to a national Kemalist course, which traditionally takes a tough anti-separatist position, seeing any compromises with separatists as weakening Turkey’s national unity. As a result, Erdogan is now pursuing a policy of suppressing the movement for Kurdish autonomy – the PKK has responded in turn by carrying out terrorist attacks and issuing ultimatums.

The most stable situation for the Kurds in the Middle East is the one in Iran. The Kurds there live in four provinces – Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Western Azerbaijan and Ilam.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The second seed of the Kurdish state is a network of associations of followers of the partisan leader Abdullah Ocalan, a left-wing politician, and the mastermind/creator of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Ocalan’s teachings are about creating a special political union of Kurds in the spirit of “democratic confederalism”. This project promotes the creation of a virtual Kurdish state, based on socialist ideas. The center of this teaching is currently Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), which has raised strong concerns from Turkey who sees the Syrian Kurds as an integral part of the PKK. Consequently, Erdogan’s policy is based on the uncompromising political rejection of the Syrian Kurds political formations, which is why he is preparing for military operations in northeastern Syria.

In Ocalan’s ideas, we find the interesting postmodern political project of creating a post-national virtual state called a “confederation” which relies on disparate associations, clans and tribes rather than a formal nation. This network-based society surprisingly coincides in its general features with postmodern theories in international relations, promoting the end of the era of nation-states and the need for a transition to a virtual structure of power. In philosophical terms, the idea is inspired by left-wing French postmodernists, in particular, the Deleuzian concept of the “rhizome” – a scattered mushroom in which there is no center, but everything is still connected in a network. The idea is manifested in the Kurdish anarcho-communist project which combines leftist ideas, postmodern philosophy and feminism. Representatives of anarchist communities inspired by globalist financier George Soros also have sympathy for the idea of a virtual rhizomatic state.

The main enemies of Ocalan’s project are Turkey and Syria (in Syria, the followers of Ocalan are based in the North – they call themselves the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). Support for the Syrian Kurds has also come from the US government… for several years, they have sent financial assistance to the Kurds to fight Daesh terrorists. In the Western media, far more attention was paid to the Kurd’s fight against Daesh than the actual large-scale victories of the Syrian and Turkish armies.

Israel is betting heavily on the Kurds in its regional policy since the Israelis are well aware that a Kurdish state would be a fundamental problem for all of their regional opponents (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria). Although the Kurds are Muslims, and therefore hardly enthusiastic about Israeli policy toward Palestine, the pragmatic interests of Kurdish nationalism often outweigh confessional solidarity.

Following the recent strengthening of Assad’s position in Syria, Iran’s tough opposition to US policy and Turkey’s geopolitical reversal toward multipolarity, America is also increasingly putting its money on the Kurds, literally and figuratively. In 2019, the Ministry of Defense allocated $300 million to support Kurdish forces in the war against Daesh. The United States, according to UWI sources, continues to supply arms to Kurdish militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) today, using them as a weapon in the struggle to overthrow Assad. A report by the Carnegie Foundation notes that Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq that successfully conducted operations against Daesh are “key US allies.” In the Western media, the Kurds are usually portrayed as “peacekeepers.”

The Americans (who are well aware of the difficulties involved) believe that the process of trying to build a Kurdish state will weaken or destroy their Middle Eastern rivals. After all, the creation of a free Kurdistan would entail the territorial division of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey, creating a wide-ranging but controlled chaos.

An Alternative to the Greater Middle East Project

It has become apparent that the Kurdish issue needs to be resolved in the framework of a new project, an alternative to the globalist’s Greater Middle East strategy. It is important to create an alternative project that could rely on Ankara, while taking into account the interests of Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus. It should be Moscow, and not Washington (at least, not the American deep state) that plays the central mediating role. The project should work to preserve the territorial integrity of existing nations and even strengthen their overall sovereignty… at the same time, it is extremely important to take into account the diversity of peoples in the Middle East, and the Kurds in particular. Within this new political framework, the Kurds should have certain powers and guarantees – but at the same time, they must not be allowed to be exploited by globalist forces looking to destabilize the region to their own advantage.

In the context of the transformation of the Middle East, powers should reorient themselves towards cooperation with the Eurasian pole. China and Russia could become the key players in resolving the Kurdish issue, ensuring a balance between real Kurdish interests and the countries seeking to maintain their territorial integrity. The only way out of the current Kurdish impasse is finding a strict, consistent and integrated approach to solving the problem of Kurdish identity.

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The new Grand Strategy of the United States

Source

by Thierry Meyssan

Many people think that the United States is very active, but does not succeed in much. For example, it is said that its wars in the Greater Middle East are a succession of failures. But for Thierry Meyssan, the USA has a coherent military, commercial and diplomatic strategy. According to its own objectives, it advances patiently, and is crowned with success.
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The designers of the US Grand Strategy – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his advisor, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski; President Donald Trump and his commercial advisor Peter Navarro; and finally Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his advisor Francis Fannon.

It is commonly believed in the United States that the country has no Grand Strategy since the end of the Cold War.

A Grand Strategy is a vision of the world that one seeks to impose, and that all administrations must respect. So, even if you lose in one particular theatre of war, the fight continues in others, and finally ends in triumph. At the end of the Second World War, Washington chose to follow the directives set by ambassador George Keenan in his famous diplomatic telegramme. It proposed describing an alleged Soviet expansionism in order to justify containment of the USSR. Indeed, although the USA had lost the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it finished by prevailing.

It is very rare to be able to rethink a Grand Strategy, even if there were others during that period, in particular, with Charles De Gaulle in France.

Over the last eighteen years, Washington has been able to progressively set new objectives and new tactics with which to attain them.

1991-2001: a period of uncertainty

When the Soviet Union collapsed on 25 December 1991, Father Bush’s USA supposed that they no longer had any rivals. The victorious President by default demobilised 1 million soldiers and imagined a world of peace and prosperity. He liberalised the transfer of capitals so that the capitalists would be able to get richer and, he believed, thus enrich their fellow citizens.

However, capitalism is not a political project, but a means of making money. The major US businesses – not the federal state – therefore allied themselves with the Chinese Communist Party (the reason for Deng Xiaoping’s famous « journey to the South »). They delocalised their businesses with very low added value from the West to China, where the workers were uneducated, but their wages were on average 20 times lower. The long process of the de-industrialisation of the West had begun.

In order to manage its transnational affairs, the Grand Capital moved its assets to countries with low taxation rates, where it realised that it could avoid its social responsibilities. These countries, whose fiscal exemption and discretion are indispensable for international commerce, suddenly found themselves swept along on a gigantic wave of fiscal optimisation, even a massive fraud system, from which they benefited in silence. The reign of Finance over the economy was beginning.

Military Strategy

In 2001, Secretary for Defense and permanent member of the « Continuity of Government ») [1] Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, which he handed to Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. This man had already computerised the armies, and was now set to modify their mission.

Without the Soviet Union, the world had become unipolar, which is to say no longer governed by the Security Council, but by the United States alone. In order to maintain its dominant position, it was obliged to « lose some to gain more », in other words, to divide Humanity in two. On one side, the stable states, meaning the members of the G8 – Russia included – and their allies), and on the other side, the rest of the world, viewed as a simple reservoir of natural resources. Washington no longer considered access to these resources as vital for itself, but intended for them to become accessible to the stable states only by permission of the USA. From that point on, it would be necessary to destroy – preventively – all the state structures in these reservoirs of resources, so that no-one could either challenge the will of the top world power, or do without it [2].

Since then, this strategy has been implemented ceaselessly. It began in the Greater Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen). However, contrary to what had been announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, (Pivot to Asia), it was not continued into the Far East, due to the military development of China, but in the Caribbean Basin (Venezuela, Nicaragua).

Diplomatic Strategy

In 2012, President Barack Obama took up the leitmotiv of the Republican Party and made the exploitation of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing a national priority. Within a few years, the United States multiplied its investments and became the world’s major producer of hydrocarbons, reversing the paradigms of international relations. In 2018, the ex-director of the oil equipment provider Sentry International, Mike Pompeo, became the director of the CIA , then Secretary of State. He created the Bureau of Energy Resources, which he handed to Francis Fannon. The BER is the equivalent of what the Office of Force Transformation had been for the Pentagon. He set up a policy which was entirely concentrated on taking control of the world market for hydrocarbons [3]. To do so, he imagined a new type of alliance, like those of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific region. It was no longer a case of creating military blocs like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quads), but organising these alliances around objectives of economic growth, on the basis of guaranteed access to sources of energy.

This concept was integrated into the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. It was no longer a case of grabbing the hydrocarbons from the rest of the world (Washington has absolutely no need of them), but to determine who may have them to use for their own development, and who will be deprived of them. This is a total reversal of the doctrine of the rarefaction of oil, promoted by the Rockefellers and the Club of Rome since the 1960’s, then by Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group. From then on, the United States decided that not only had oil not disappeared, but that despite the drastic increase in demand, Humanity had enough to last at least another century.

Using many different pretexts, Pompeo has blocked Iran’s access to the world market, then that of Venezuela, and finally, has maintained US troops in the East of Syria to prevent anyone from exploiting the oil fields that have been discovered there [4]. Simultaneously, he is increasing pressure on the European Union to give up on the Russian gas pipeline Nord Steam 2 and is also pressuring Turkey to give up Turkish Stream.

Commercial Strategy

In 2017, President Donald Trump attempted to repatriate some of the jobs which had been delocalised from the United States to Asia and the European Union. Basing himself on the advice of left-wing economist Peter Navarro [5], he put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, he set prohibitive Customs taxes on German cars and most Chinese products. He completed these with a fiscal reform which encouraged the repatriation of capital. This policy has already enabled the re-balancing of commerce and the relaunching of the job market.

The military, economic and diplomatic systems are now complete. Each chapter is articulated with the others. Everyone knows what they have to do.

The main force of this new Grand Strategy resides in the fact that it has not been understood by the elites of the rest of the world. Washington therefore retains the effect of surprise, reinforced by the deliberately chaotic communications of Donald Trump. If we look at the facts instead of the Presidential tweets, we note the advance of the United States after the double period of uncertainty under Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] The Continuity of Government is a US instance created by President Eisenhower during the Cold War and is still effective. Its mission is to ensure the continuity of the State in case the Executive is vacated, in other words, in case of the death of the President, the Vice-President and the presidents of the assemblies during a nuclear war. Its precise composition is in principle a secret, although it enjoys extremely important means.

[2] This strategy was popularised by Cebrowski’s assistant, Thomas Barnett. The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P. M. Barnett, Putnam Publishing Group, 2004.

[3] “Mike Pompeo Address at CERAWeek”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 12 March 2019.

[4] Yesterday evening, the US Treasury Department published a warning against any form of oil commerce with Iran or Syria – “Sanctions Risks Related to Petroleum Shipments involving Iran and Syria”, Voltaire Network, 25 March 2019..

[5Death by China, Peter Navarro, Pearson, 2011. Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World, Prometheus Books, 2015.

‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle

‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle

JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 15.12.2018

‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his December 4 speech in Brussels at the German Marshall Fund with “a well-deserved tribute to America’s 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush,” whom he praised as “an unyielding champion of freedom around the world.” It was fitting that he did so. The heart and soul of Pompeo’s remarks extolling the return of “the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” were little more than a rehash of Bush the Elder’s aggressive internationalism.

Pompeo (or his speechwriter) should be given credit for a masterpiece of misdirection. While the substance of his speech was a blast of stale air from the 1990s, the rhetoric was all Trumpism and national sovereignty – but only for countries obedient to Washington: “Our mission is to reassert our sovereignty, reform the liberal international order, and we want our friends to help us and to exert their sovereignty as well.”

What about the sovereignty of countries the US doesn’t count as “friends”? Well, that’s a different story: “Every nation – every nation – must honestly acknowledge its responsibilities to its citizens and ask if the current international order serves the good of its people as well as it could. And if not, we must ask how we can right it.” [emphasis added]

So according to Pompeo, the United States and our vassals (“we”) have an obligation (“must”) to fix international actors that in our infinite wisdom are not serving “the good of their people.” For example, “Russia hasn’t embraced Western values of freedom and international cooperation.” (Why should Russia care what “we” think of its values – and why should its values be “western,” anyway? Never mind! We “must” do something about it!)

This assertion constitutes not only a right but a duty of the US to dictate not only the external policies of every country on the planet but even their internal order as well if judged by all-knowing Washington to be insufficiently serving the good of their people. This means that some countries (the US and our “friends”) are sovereign, but countries we deem to be failing their people are not. Even Leon Trotsky would shrink from making such a declaration.

This alone gives the lie to the claims of the Swamp-critters Trump has put in charge of his administration that the US is “only” trying to impact behavior. (As in Pompeo’s “We welcomed China into the liberal order, but never policed its behavior.” So now we’re the police too.)

Would the Russians meet Pompeo’s standard if, say, they returned Crimea to Ukraine (presumably over the strong objections of the large majority of its residents who voted to join Russia)? Of course not. Russia would still be our No. 1 enemy.

What if the Russians “admitted” to Pompeo’s self-certifying accusations of violations of the INF Treaty and Chemical Weapons Convention, and then took the actions the US demands? Not good enough.

Maybe a gay parade through Red Square to show love of “Western values”? Getting warmer, but still no …

Admittedly, this arrogant attitude of being both the big player on the geopolitical field as well as the globocop referee (and enforcer) didn’t originate with Pompeo. Let’s recall how George H. W. Bush described America’s mission in his 1991 State of the Union:

‘What is at stake is more than one small country [.i.e., Kuwait], it is a big idea – a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children’s future. … The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order – where brutality will go unrewarded, and aggression will meet collective resistance. Yes, the United States bears a major share of leadership in this effort. Among the nations of the world, only the United States of America has had both the moral standing, and the means to back it up. We are the only nation on this earth that could assemble the forces of peace.’

Notably missing is any concern about the United States itself, the security of our own borders and territory, and the welfare and prosperity of the American people. Instead American “leadership” is needed to usher in a globalist utopia defined by Goodthink “universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law.”

One would think that at this point in the 21st century people would be wary of regurgitated Leninist claptrap, especially since it has dominated US policy for almost three decades. It’s all here:

  • Democratic centralism (which is NATO’s operating principle: there’s democratic debate until the US decides, after which there’s centralism; US “allies” in NATO have less independence than members of the Warsaw Pact did).
  • The bipartisan establishment would never admit that killing millions of people is a valid way to bring about utopia, but they have been willing to do just that in wars of choice in the Greater Middle East (including the Balkans and Afghanistan) and willing to risk far, far more deaths by pushing Russia (and China) to the brink. This is facilitated by sophisticated information control with features such as “atrocity porn” that acts as a transmission belt.

Not only is all of this Bolshevik to the core, much of it is specifically Trotskyite. That’s literally true at least for the influence of the neoconservative movement as it developed originally out of the exodus of Max Schachtman and his followers, who were expelled from the official US communist party in 1928, and then went through several party name changes, finally ending up as Social Democrats USA. As Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com summarizes it:

‘ …[T]here is plenty to see, first and foremost the Trotskyist DNA embedded in the neocon foreign policy prescription… The Trotskyists argued that the Communist Revolution of 1917 could not and should not be contained within the borders of the Soviet Union. Today’s neocons make the same argument about the need to spread the American system until the U.S. becomes a “global hegemon,” as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol puts it. Trotsky argued that socialism in one country was impossible, and doomed to failure: encircled by capitalism, surrounded by enemies constantly plotting its downfall, the “workers state” would not survive if it didn’t expand. The neocons are making a similar argument when it comes to liberal democracy. Confronted by an Islamic world wholly opposed to modernity, Western liberal democracy must implant itself in the Middle East by force – or else face defeat in the “war on terrorism.” Expand or die is the operative principle, and the neocons brought this Trotskyist mindset with them from the left.’

Very few Americans who don’t themselves come from far-left and émigré fever swamps have much of an idea of any this to this very day. Starting in earnest in the 1980s under Reagan, large numbers of neocons, who had previously styled themselves Henry “Scoop” Jackson Democrats, began to enter the governing apparatus on the strength of their intellectual and academic credentials and their strong anti-Sovietism. Regarding the neocons’s hostility to the USSR, originally an expression of their anti-Stalinism, “regular” Americans conservatives, whose own moral views were closer to ordinary Americans’, mistook it for simple anti-communism. Little did most of them suspect that the neocons were even more devoted to world revolution than was Brezhnev’s Politburo, and that to them the US was little more than a base of operations, just as the Bolsheviks had earlier viewed Russia.

The neocons’ influence leveled out but did not disappear under the presidency of George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), to whose credit also has some balance from relative “realists” like Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker. However, neocons were able to make major gains under Bill Clinton (1993-2001) in alliance with so-called “liberal internationalists” like Madeleine Albright, Strobe Talbott, Richard Holbrooke – and of course Hillary Clinton. While reflecting somewhat different priorities (notably on the mix between America as the engine of world revolution vs. the role of the United Nations), the neocons and liberal internationalists found common ground in so-called “humanitarian interventionism,” notably in the Balkans. The neocons’ only criticism of Clinton’s in Bosnia and Kosovo (and later of Obama’s in Libya and Syria) was not being militant enough; accordingly the neocons (mostly outside of the Executive Branch in those years but well-represented on Capitol Hill and in think tanks) helped the liberal internationalists beat back partisan Republican and residual realist skepticism for Clinton’s wars.

When the GOP again controlled the White House under George W. Bush (2001-2009), the liberal internationalists returned the favor by whipping up Democratic support for the invasion of Iraq. By that time the neocons were in virtually total control of the Republican’s foreign policy in powerful alliance with representatives of the Deep State complex centered on the Pentagon and military industries. This latter group, known as the “Vulcans,” included people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice. Then, when the Democrats took over again under Barack Hussein Obama (2009-2017), the liberal internationalists’ militancy was championed by a “triumfeminate” of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power (known as the “genocide chick”), under whom “responsibility to protect” (R2P) became a dominant principle of US policy, again with vocal neocon support.

With Donald Trump’s election, it was hoped by many of his supporters that his “America First” views and stated desire to get along with Russia and to get the US out of places like Afghanistan and Syria, as well as his criticism of NATO, signaled a sharp departure from the influence of the neocons and their liberal interventionist and Vulcan allies. Alas, that was not to be. As Pompeo’s Max-Schachtman-masquerading-as-Pat-Buchanan speech shows, the neocon/Deep State lock remains on a policy that hurtles heedlessly forward towards disaster.

‘How the West Eats Its Children’

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By Thierry Meyssan

For Thierry Meyssan, by taking to the streets, the French have become the first Western population to take personal risks to oppose financial globalisation. Although they do not realise it, and still imagine that their problems are exclusively national, their enemy is the same force that crushed the region of the African Great Lakes and a part of the Greater Middle East. In order to understand the project which inextricably unites these apparently disparate events, we have to take a step back.

The cause of Western recession

International relations experienced a profound change with the paralysis of the Soviet Union in 1986, when the State was unable to control the civilian nuclear incident in Tchernobyl [1], then with the revocation of the Warsaw Pact in 1989, when the East German Communist Party [2] destroyed the Berlin Wall, and finally, with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

At that time, the President of the United States, George Bush Sr., decided to demobilise one million soldiers and devote the efforts of his country to its own prosperity. He wanted to transform US hegemony within its zone of influence, and expand it into that of the leader of the world, the guarantor of world stability. With that, he laid the foundations for a « New World Order », first of all in the speech he gave side by side with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, at the Aspen Institute (2 August 1990), then during his speech to Congress (11 September 1990), announcing operation « Desert Storm » [3].

The world of the après-Soviet Union is one of free circulation, not only of merchandise, but also world capital, under the unique control of the United States. In other words, the passage from capitalism to financialisation – not the triumphant culmination of free exchange, but an exacerbated form of colonial exploitation of the whole world, including the West. Within the space of a quarter of a century, the major US fortunes have multiplied many times, and the global wealth of the world has increased considerably.

By allowing capitalism to run wild, President Bush Sr. hoped to extend prosperity to the world. But capitalism is not a political project, it is simply a system of logic designed for creating profit. The logic of the US multinationals was to increase their profits by delocalising production to China, where it is now possible, and where workers are the lowest paid in the world.

Those who were prepared to measure the cost of this advance for the West were few and far between. New middle classes began to appear in the third world, and although they were, of course, far less wealthy than those in the West, they enabled new, mainly Asian states, to play a rôle on the world stage. But simultaneously, Western middle classes began to disappear [4], meaning that it became impossible for the democratic institutions they built to survive. Above all, the populations of entire regions were to be entirely crushed, starting with those of the African Great Lakes. This first regional war caused 6 million deaths, in Angola, Burundi, Namibia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, and was met with general incomprehension and indifference. The aim was to continue to seize the natural resources of these countries, but to pay less and less for them, which meant dealing with gangs rather than with the States who had to feed their populations.

The sociological transformation of the world is happening very fast and is clearly without precedent, although we do not have the statistical tools available today to evaluate it with precision. However, everyone can witness the increase in power of Eurasia, (not in the Gaullist sense of « Brest to Vladivostok », but that of Russia and Asia without Western and Central Europe), which seeks liberty and prosperity, while the Western powers, including the United States, are slowly and progressively declining, limiting individual freedom and ejecting half of their population into zones of poverty.

Today, the percentage of imprisonment in China is four times inferior to that of the United States,while their purchasing power is slightly higher. Objectively therefore, with all its faults, Chine has become a freer and more prosperous country than the United States.

This process was predictable from the beginning. Its application was studied for a long time. So, on 1 September 1987, a US forty-year-old published a page of counter-current publicity in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. He warned his compatriots about the rôle that President Bush Sr. was planning to allocate to the United States – to assume and finance out of their own pockets the responsibility for the developing « New World Order ». People read it and laughed. The author of these texts was real estate promoter, Donald Trump.

The application of the economic model to international relations

One month after the attacks of 11 September 2001, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld nominated his friend Admiral Arthur Cebrowski as Director of the new Office of Force Transformation. He was tasked with changing the culture of the entire US military in order to enable it to respond to a complete change in its mission

There was no longer question of using US armies to defend principles or interests, but to use them for a reorganisation of the world by dividing it into two parts – one one side the states integrated into the globalised economy, and on the other, the others [5]. The Pentagon would no longer fight wars in order to steal natural resources, but to control access to those resources by the globalised nations. A division directly inspired by the process of globalisation which had already trashed half of the Western populations. This time, it was half of the world’s population which was to be excluded [6].

The reorganisation of the world began in the political zone known as the « Greater Middle East », that is to say stretching from Afghanistan to Morocco, with the exception of Israël, Lebanon and Jordan. This brought about the alleged epidemic of civil wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen, which has already caused several million deaths.

Like a monster eating its own children, the global financial system based in the United States faced its first crisis in 2008, when the subprime bubble burst. Contrary to a commonly-held belief, this was absolutely not a global crisis, but a Western problem. For the first time, the NATO states experienced the first consequences of the policy they were supporting. Yet the upper Western classes changed nothing in their behaviour, as they witnessed with compassion the wreck of the middle classes. The only notable modification was the adoption of the « Volcker rule » [7], which forbade banks from profiting from information obtained from their clients in order to speculate against their interests. But while conflicts of interest enabled a number of crooks to get rich fast, they are not the root of the problem, which is far more wide-reaching.

The revolt of the Western populations

The revolt of the Western middle and working classes against the globalised upper class began two years ago.

Aware of the Western recession as compared with Asia, the people of the United Kingdom were the first to attempt to save its life-style by leaving the European Union and turning to China and the Commonwealth (referendum of 23 June 2016) [8]. Unfortunately, the leaders of the United Kingdom were unable to conclude the agreement they hoped for with China and experienced great difficulty in reactivating their links with the Commonwealth.

Then, witnessing the collapse of their civil industries, a part of the United States voted, on 8 November 2016, for the only Presidential candidate who was opposed to the New World Order, Donald Trump. He spoke of a return to the « American dream ». Unfortunately for his voters, although Donald Trump began to question the rules of globalised commerce, he had no team with him apart from his family, and was only able to modify, but not change, the military strategy of his country. Almost all of the general officers had adopted the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski ideology, and could no longer imagine themselves in any other role than defenders of financial globalisation.

Aware of the collapse of their national industry, and certain that they would be betrayed by their upper class, the Italians voted, on 4 March 2018, for an anti-system party composed of the Ligue and the 5-star Movement. These parties built an alliance in order to implement social policies. Unfortunately, they were rejected by the European Union [9]. In France, tens of thousands of SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises), subcontractors of industry, had gone bankrupt over the last ten years, but their compulsory tax deductions, already among the highest in the world, increased by 30 % over the same period.

Several hundreds of thousands of French people suddenly took to the streets to demonstrate against abusive financial measures. Unfortunately for them, the French upper classes have been contaminated by the very idea that was rejected by the United States, and therefore did their best to adapt their policies to the popular revolt, but not to change its basic causes.

If we look at each of these four countries separately, we will find four different explanations for what is happening there. But if we analyse the situation as a single phenomenon affecting different cultures, we will discover the same mechanisms across the board. In these four countries, consecutive with the end of capitalism, the middle classes disappeared more or less rapidly, and with them the political system that they incarnated – Democracy.

So either the Western leaders abandon the financial system they have developed and return to the productive capitalism of the Cold War, or they will have to invent a different organisation that no-one has so far been able imagine. Failing that, the West, which has directed the world for five centuries, will sink into a long period of internal chaos.

The Syrians were the first non-globalised People capable of surviving and resisting the destruction of Rumsfeld-Cebrowski’s infra-world. The French were the first globalised people to rise up against the destruction of the West, even if they are not aware that they are fighting the same unique enemy of all of humanity. President Emmanuel Macron is not the man for the situation, not because he has any responsibility for the system that preceded him, but because he is pure product of that system. In response to the riots in his country, he spoke from the G20 in Buenos-Aires, declaring that the meeting was a success in his eyes, (which it was not), and that he intended to advance more efficiently than his predecessors – in the wrong direction.

How to save privilege

It appears that the British ruling class has its solution – if London in particular and the Western nations in general are no longer capable of ruling the world, it will be necessary to cut one’s losses and divide the world into two distinct zones. This is the policy implemented by Obama in the final months of his presidency [10], then by Theresa May, and now by Donald Trump, with their refusal to cooperate and their ready-made accusations, first of all against Russia and now against China.

It also seems that Russia and China, despite their historical rivalry, are aware that they will never be able to ally themselves with these Westerners who have never ceased trying to carve them up. This is the source of their project, the « Eurasian Economic Union » – if the world must be split in two, each participant will have to organise its own. In concrete terms, for Beijing, this means abandoning half of its « Silk Road » project and its redeployment with Moscow only in Greater Eurasia.

How to determine the line of demarcation

For the West and Greater Eurasia, it will be necessary to determine the split line as fast as possible. For example, what side will Ukraine choose? The construction by Russia of the Kertch bridge was aimed at separating the country, absorbing the Donbass and the Azov Sea basin, then Odessa and Transnistria. On the contrary, the incident at Kertch, organised by the Western powers, is aimed at enrolling all of Ukraine into NATO before the country fractures.

Since the ship of financial globalisation is sinking, many people are beginning to save their personal interests without any care for others. For example this is the source of the tension between the European Union and the United States. As far as this game is concerned, the Zionist movement has always had a length’s lead, which explains the mutation of Israëli strategy, which has abandoned Syria to Russia, and turned to both the Gulf States and East Africa.

Perspectives

Taking into account what is at play here, it is obvious that the insurrection in France is only the beginning of a much wider process which is going to spread to other Western countries.

It would be absurd to believe that at a time of financial globalisation, a government, whatever it might be, could resolve the problems of its country without first of all questioning international relations and at the same time regaining its capacity for action. But precisely, foreign policy has been kept on the sidelines of the democratic field since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is both necessary and urgent to resign from almost all of the treaties and engagements of the last thirty years. Only the states which are able to re-affirm their sovereignty can hope to recover.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] According to Michaïl Gorbatchev, this was the event that made possible the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union in so far as it delegitimised the State.

[2] Contrary to a commonly-held belief in the West, it was the nationalists from the East-German Communist Party (and the Lutheran churches), and not the anti-Communists (and pro-US movements), who broke down the symbol of Soviet domination, the Wall.

[3] The main purpose of the invasion of Iraq was not to liberate Kuwaït, but to use this affair to build the strongest coalition possible under US command, including the USSR.

[4Global Inequality. A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Branko Milanovic, Harvard University Press, 2016.

[5] “The US military project for the world”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 22 August 2017.

[6] It is obvious that the wars of Bush Jr. and Obama were never intended to expand the Empire. First of all because by definition, democracy can only come from the People, not imposed by bombs. And then because the United States was already a plutocracy.

[7] The ex-president of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, is on the other hand, one of the architects of global financialisation. It is Volcker who took legal action on behalf of the UNO against the people and entities who had helped Iraq to bypass the UN embargo (the « oil for food » affair). Volcker is one of the principal personalities of the Pilgrim’s Society, the trans-Atlantic club presided by Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he became the main economic advisor to President Barack Obama, and organised part of his cabinet.

[8] “The new British Foreign Policy”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 4 July 2016.

[9] Replacing the European Common Market, which was originally a system for cooperation between states, the European Union, as defined by the Treaty of Maastricht, is a supranational

[10] “Two separate worlds”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Al-Watan (Syria) , Voltaire Network, 8 November 2016.

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