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

Washington is afraid of the technical backwardness

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

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

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

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

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

واشنطن خائفة من التخلف التقني؟ 

مايو 22, 2019

ناصر قنديل

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

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

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

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حروب الجيل الخامس العلوم بدلاً من العسكر تعاظم الصين وروسيا وإيران وتقهقر الأميركان

يونيو 24, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ المؤشرات المعلوماتية تفيد بأنّ الصين تسيطر على عالم الانترنت والمعادن النادره في العالم.

وانّ ثمة استراتيجية صينية شاملة تتقدّم للعالم

يقابلها تخبّط أميركي وانعدام استراتيجية مستقبلية،

والمعلوم تاريخياً انّ الولايات المتحدة، خاصة بعد دخولها الحرب العالميه الأولى، وانتصار تحالفها فرنسا وبريطانيا على تحالف دول المحور المانيا والإمبراطورية العثمانية ، قد عملت على توسيع وتعزيز هيمنتها الاستعمارية، داخلياً وخارجياً، بقوة السلاح طبعاً وليس بقوة المعرفة والعلوم.

وعلى الرغم من تحقيقها نجاحاً نسبياً في تعزيز سيطرتها على القارة الأوروبية، إلا أنّ حدوث الأزمة الاقتصادية، او دعنا نسمّيها الانهيار الاقتصادي الدولي عام 1929، وما ترتب على ذلك من انحسار للإمكانيات المالية والاقتصادية الأميركية، نتيجة للأزمة، ثم وصول الحزب النازي الألماني الى السلطة وسيطرة أودلف هتلر على الحكم في المانيا، عبر انتخابات برلمانية وتحالفات حزبية معقدة، وقيادته المانيا الى حرب عالمية جديدة دخلتها الولايات المتحدة وهي مصمّمة على استكمال سيطرتها على أوروبا تمهيداً لفرض سيطرتها على العالم.

فقد كانت أداة السيطرة الأميركية، آنذاك كما اليوم، هي القوة العسكرية الجبارة. وكان أوج استعراض واشنطن لهذه القوة قد تمظهر بشكل صارخ عندما قامت بقصفت هيروشيما وناغازاكي بالقنابل النووية في شهر آب 1949، الأمر الذي رفع الولايات المتحدة الى مرتبة الأقوى عسكرياً واقتصادياً في العالم.

لكن ذلك لم يدم طويلاً، فبعد نجاح الاتحاد السوفياتي في تصنيع القنبلة النووية، وإجراء تجربته النووية الأولى بتاريخ 29/8/1949، سرعان ما انكسر هذا الاحتكار النووي الأميركي، وبدأ يتراجع رويداً رويداً، الى أن نشأ توازن ردع في العلاقات الدولية على صعيد العالم، تجلى بشكل واضح وقوي في إجبار قوات الاحتلال البريطاني الفرنسي «الإسرائيلي» عام 1956/ 1957 لسيناء على الانسحاب منها، اثر الموقف الصارم الذي اتخذه زعيم الاتحاد السوفياتي آنذاك، نيكيتا خروتشوف، في مجلس الأمن الدولي.

ولكن عناصر الردع والقوة الأميركية، التي اعتمدت أساساً وقبل كلّ شيء على قوة السلاح، بدأت بالتآكل، أكثر فأكثر، اثر المتغيّرات الجذرية التي شهدتها ميادين الصراع الدولية، وعلى كافة الصعد، الاقتصادية والسياسية والعلمية والعسكرية، الأمر الذي أدّى ليس فقط الى كسر احتكار الولايات المتحدة لمحاولات السيطرة على العالم ومقدّرات شعوبه، وإنما الى دخولها في مرحلة تراجع تدريجي مستمرّ، سواء على الصعيد الاقتصادي او السياسي تراجع تأثيرها السياسي في العالم او العسكري والعلمي المعرفي قبل كلّ شيء.

هذا التراجع العلمي والمعرفي، الذي يعبّر عن نفسه من خلال الحروب الاقتصادية وسياسة العقوبات التي يفرضها ترامب على العديد من الدول، والتي تشهد إيران أكثرها صرامة، بينما تشهد الصين أكثرها اتساعاً، من ناحية الحجم المالي، نقول انّ هذا التعبير او التجلي لهذا التراجع قد أدّى الى إضعاف قدرة الصناعات والشركات الأميركية على المنافسة بسبب قلة الاستثمار في قطاعي العلم المعرفة والبحث العلمي أولاً، وبسبب التغيّر الذي شهدته مختلف قطاعات الصناعة والتكنولوجيا والمال والأعمال خلال العقدين الماضيين.

هذا التغيير الذي وضعنا في بداية ثورة صناعية جديدة يطلق عليها اسم الثورة الرقمية، او ثورة الإنترنت، والتي سوف تغيّر كلّ مجالات الحياة البشرية، سواء كانت صناعية أو اقتصادية او سياسية او اجتماعية او غير ذلك.

وهذه الثورة لا تعتمد على قوة السلاح، والتهديد باستخدامه لإسقاط دول ذات سيادة واحتلال أراضيها، بل تعتمد على تكنولوجيا الإنترنت الفائقة السرعة والتي يتمّ تشغيلها بالاعتماد على تقنية تسمّى تقنية الجيل الخامس G 5 ، والتي لا تعتمد أبداً على تقنية الولايات المتحدة وإنما وقبل كلّ شيء على تقنيات صينية، تعتبر شركة هواوي هي الرائدة في صناعتها، الأمر الذي جعل الرئيس الأميركي يشنّ حرباً عالمية عليها وعلى خمسة من أخواتها الصينيات اللواتي ستخضع للعقوبات والمقاطعة الأميركية اعتباراً من يوم الاثنين 24/6/2019.

وإذا ما تفحصنا بعض جوانب هذه الحرب المجنونة، التي تشنّها الولايات المتحدة على عمالقة أحدث تكنولوجيا الاتصالات في العالم ألا وهي «هواوي» واخواتها، فإننا سنكتشف بسرعة الإنترنت الصينية الفائقة السرعة انّ هذه الحرب خاسرة بلا جدال وان لا طائل من ورائها مطلقاً وذلك لسبب بسيط جداً، ألا وهو انّ الشركات الأميركية والتكنولوجيا التي تنتجها، في قطاع الاتصالات وتقنياتها، لا يمكنها منافسة المنتج الصيني الأكثر تقدّماً والأقلّ كلفة.

اما دليلنا على عدم قدرة الولايات المتحدة على منافسة الصين، في قطاع الاتصالات بشكل خاص وفي غيره من القطاعات الصناعية بشكل عام، فهو ما يلي:

1 ـ انّ تكنولوجيا الجيل الخامس الصينية للإنترنت أكثر تطوّراً من التكنولوجيا الأميركية، كما انّ خدمات الشركات الصينية التي تصنع وتدير هذه التكنولوجيا، مثل شركة هواوي وشركة هينغ تونغ، أفضل بكثير من نظيراتها الأميركيات، حسب مركز Rethink Research الأميركي. وهو ما يعلل قيام العديد من الدول الأوروبية، وعلى رأسها المانيا وبريطانيا، بأن تعهَدَ لشركة هواوي ببناء شبكة الإنترنت من الجيل الخامس في أراضيها، وليس لشركات أميركية.

2 ـ عدم وجود خطة تطوير تقني/ تجاري/ أميركية استراتيجيه شاملة، سواء في قطاع الاتصالات او بقية القطاعات الإنتاجية والخدماتية، بينما لدى الصين خطط واضحة ودقيقة تعتمد على الاستثمار البعيد المدى في البنى التحتيه ذات العلاقة مع المواضيع المذكورة أعلاه. وهو ما يعني المزيد من التطوّر والتقدّم وازدياد القدرة على المنافسة القوية في الأسواق الدولية.

3 ـ وانطلاقاً من الخطة الاستراتيجية الشاملة للصين، في تطوير صناعة التكنولوجيا الحديثة وتعميم الفائدة التجارية من هذا التطوير على الكثير من الأمم، فقد قامت الصين بطرح مشروع الحزام والطريق، الذي يعتمد مبدأ تطوير البنى التحتية، في سبعين دولة حتى الآن، في قطاعات الصناعة والنقل والاتصالات والتجارة، بدلاً من استخدام القوة في التعامل بين الدول، أيّ مبدأ التعاون والتكامل بدل شنّ الحروب الاقتصادية والعسكرية وفرض العقوبات على عشرات الدول، كما تفعل الولايات المتحدة حالياً.

4 ـ وبالنظر الى مشروع الحزام والطريق، الذي يعيش في الدول المشاركة فيه حتى الآن 65 من سكان العالم ويقومون بإنتاج 40 من الإنتاج في العالم، فإنّ ذلك يعني وجود سوق هائلة للبضائع الصينية، وعلى رأسها تكنولوجيا الإنترنت اللاسلكي الفائق السرعة، ما يعني سيطرة الصين على قطاع خدمات الإنترنت في العالم، التي ستصبح، خلال سنوات قليلة، وسيلة التواصل الرئيسيه بين أكثر من عشرين مليار شخص وآلة او شيء هناك مسمّى جديد يطلق عليه اسم: إنترنت الآلات. أي انّ الآلات من سيارات وطائرات وغيرها من الآلات الصناعية سوف تتبادل المعلومات في ما بينها دون تدخل بشري .

وغني عن القول طبعاً انّ شركات صناعة تكنولوجيا وخدمات الإنترنت الأميركية لن يكون لديها أي فرصة لدخول أسواق تلك الدول، الأعضاء في مشروع الطريق والحزام، من دون حتى اللجوء الى إجراءات عقابية أو حمائية، من قبل تلك الدول، وإنما بسبب التفوّق التقني للشركات الصينية وقدرتها الهائلة على المنافسة، لما تتمتع به من تفوّق علمي ينتج تفوقاً تقنياً، وليس بسبب الأيدي العاملة الصينية الأقل كلفة من الأيدي العاملة الأميركية فقط.

5 ـ انطلاقا من كلّ ما تقدّم، حول أهمية التفوّق التقني والصناعات التكنولوجية، في مجال الإنترنت اللاسلكي الفائق السرعة، يبدو واضحاً انّ المواجهة الدولية، التي نعيش مشاهدها في الكثير من بقاع العالم، كالشرق الأوسط ومنطقة البحر الأسود/ القرم وأوكرانيا / وبحر الصين الجنوبي والبحار الأخرى، وصولاً الى القارتين الأفريقية والأميركية الجنوبية، لن يتمّ حسمها إلا لصالح روسيا والصين، وبالتالي لصالح القوى الدولية الساعية الى إنهاء السيطرة والهيمنة الأميركية الأحادية الجانب في العالم، وذلك لأنّ الانتصار في الحروب لم يعد يعتمد على استخدام القوة المسلحة فقط وإنما على استخدام العلم كقاعدة للتفوّق على القوة بواسطة إبطال مفعولها.

وكما لاحظنا قبل أيّام قليلة فقط فإنه لم يكن بإمكان إيران أن تسقط طائرة التجسّس الأميركية الأحدث في العالم لو أنّ إيران لم تكن تملك العقول العلمية والهندسية والقاعدة الصناعية لإنتاج الصواريخ المضاده للطائرات بالمواصفات التي عرفها العالم عبر الصاروخ الإيراني الذي أسقط هذه الطائرة.

6 ـ وهذا بالضبط هو ما دفع مستشار الأمن الوطني البريطاني، مارك سيدويل Mark Sedwill، لإبلاغ البرلمان البريطاني، خلال جلسة استماع سنة 2017، بانّ أيّ هجوم إلكتروني على أحد كوابل الإنترنت البحرية البريطانية او على احدى محطات التحويل الخاصة بالإنترنت والمسماة تيرمنال Terminal، أيّ محطة، والموجودة تحت البحر، يشبه قصف محطات الكهرباء والموانئ البريطانية خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية.

ما يعني انّ التقدّم الهائل الذي حققته الصناعات التكنولوجية الفائقة الحداثة لم يعطِ الصين ميزة خلق نظام دفاع إلكتروني/ سايبري/ فعّال للغاية فحسب، وإنما نقلها الى مرحلة الدفاع الهجومي الرادع تماماً لأيّ عدوان محتمل، وذلك من خلال السلاح الصيني المخيف، الذي كشف عنه مؤخراً والمتمثل في المدفع الكهرومغناطيسي، والمسمّى بالانجليزية Electromagnetic Railgun، وهو محمول على سفينة إنزال من فئة 072ll – Yuting – Class، اسمها هايانغشان Haiyangshan ويطلق قذائف تفوق سرعتها سرعة الصوت بخمس مرات. علماً انّ باستطاعة هذا المدفع، الذي سيدخل الخدمة الميدانية في الجيش الصيني عام 2023، ان يطلق قذائف كهرومغناطيسية قاتله يصل مداها الى مائتي كيلومتر.

اذن فهي الثورة الرقمية والتكنولوجيا المرتبطة بها هي التي ستضع حداً للهيمنة الأميركية على مقدرات العالم والتي ستحوّل التقاتل الى تعاون منتج على قاعدة الاحترام المتبادل لاستقلال الدول والشعوب وسيادتها على أراضيها.

عالم يأفل نجمه ويتصدّع رغم تقدّمه العسكري، فيما عالم ينهض ويتعالى بالعلوم رغم حجم تسليحه الأقلّ، والفضل في ذلك للثورة المعرفية.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

 

Why Trump now wants talks with Iran

June 05, 2019

Why Trump now wants talks with Iran

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

 

If Tehran blocks the Strait of Hormuz it could send the price of oil soaring and cause a global recession

Iranian soldiers take part in National Persian Gulf Day in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, 2019. There is concern about a blockade of the Strait and the disastrous impact that could have on the price of oil and world financial markets. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

Unlike Deep Purple’s legendary ‘Smoke on the Water’ – “We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline”, the 67th Bilderberg group meetings produced no fire and no smoke at the luxurious Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel.

The 130 elite guests had a jolly good – and theoretically quiet – time at the self-billed “informal discussion forum concerning major issues”. As usual, at least two-thirds were European decision-makers, with the rest coming from North America.

The fact that a few major players in this Atlanticist Valhalla are closely associated with or directly interfering with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel – the central bank of central banks – is of course just a minor detail.

The major issue discussed this year was “A Stable Strategic Order”, a lofty endeavor that can be interpreted either as the making of a New World Order or just a benign effort by selfless elites to guide mankind to enlightenment.

Other items of discussion were way more pragmatic – from “The Future of Capitalism”, to “Russia”, “China”, “Weaponizing Social Media”, “Brexit”, “What’s Next for Europe”, “Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” and last but not least, “Climate Change”.

Disciples of Antisthenes would argue that these items constitute precisely the nuts and bolts of the New World Order.

The chairman of Bilderberg’s steering committee, since 2012, is Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA and the director of the Institut Montaigne, a top French think tank.

One of the key guests this year was Clement Beaune, the European and G20 counselor to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Bilderberg prides itself for enforcing the Chatham House Rule, according to which participants are free to use all the precious information they wish because those who attend these meetings are bound to not disclose the source of any sensitive information or what exactly was said.

That helps ensure Bilderberg’s legendary secrecy – the reason for myriad conspiracy theories. But that does not mean that the odd secret may not be revealed.

The Castries/Beaune axis provides us with the first open secret of 2019. It was Castries at the Institut Montaigne who “invented” Macron – that perfect lab experiment of a mergers and acquisitions banker serving the establishment by posing as a progressive.

A Bilderberg source discreetly let it be known that the result of the recent European parliamentary elections was interpreted as a victory. After all, the final choice was between a neoliberal/Green alliance and Right populism; nothing to do with progressive values.

The Greens who won in Europe – contrary to the US Greens – are all humanitarian imperialists, to quote the splendid neologism coined by Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont. And they all pray on the politically correct altar. What matters, from Bilderberg’s perspective, is that the European Parliament will continue to be run by a pseudo-Left that keeps defending the destruction of the nation-state.

Just like Castries and his pupil Macron.

The derivatives clock is ticking

Image: Wikipedia

The great Bilderberg secret of 2019 had to do with why, suddenly, the Trump administration has decided that it wants to talk to Iran “with no preconditions”.

It all has to do with the Strait of Hormuz. Blocking the Strait could cut off oil and gas from Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran – 20% of the world’s oil. There has been some debate on whether this could occur – whether the US Fifth Fleet, which is stationed nearby, could stop Tehran doing this and if Iran, which has anti-ship missiles on its territory along the northern border of the Persian Gulf, would go that far.

An American source said a series of studies hit President Trump’s desk and caused panic in Washington. These showed that in the case of the Strait of Hormuz being shut down, whatever the reason, Iran has the power to hammer the world financial system, by causing global trade in derivatives to be blown apart.

The Bank for International Settlements said last year that the “notional amount outstanding for derivatives contracts” was $542 trillion, although the gross market value was put at just $12.7 trillion. Others suggest it is $1.2 quadrillion or more.

 

An Iranian Navy warship is seen in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, amid talk that Tehran may block the Strait if relations with the US plunge further. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

Tehran has not voiced this “nuclear option” openly. And yet General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force and a Pentagon bête noire, evoked it in internal Iranian discussions. The information was duly circulated to France, Britain and Germany, the EU-3 members of the Iran nuclear deal (or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), also causing a panic.

Oil derivative specialists know well that if the flow of energy in the Gulf is blocked it could lead to the price of oil reaching $200 a barrel, or much higher over an extended period. Crashing the derivatives market would create an unprecedented global depression. Trump’s former Goldman Sachs Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin should know as much.

And Trump himself seems to have given the game away. He’s now on the record essentially saying that Iran has no strategic value to the US. According to the American source: “He really wants a face-saving way to get out of the problem his advisers Bolton and Pompeo got him into. Washington now needs a face-saving way out. Iran is not asking for meetings. The US is.”

And that brings us to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s long, non-scheduled stop in Switzerland, on the Bilderberg’s fringes, just because he’s a “big cheese and chocolate fan”, in his own words.

Yet any well-informed cuckoo clock would register he badly needed to assuage the fears of the trans-Atlantic elites, apart from his behind-closed-doors meetings with the Swiss, who are representing Iran in communications with Washington. After weeks of ominous threats to Iran, the US said “no preconditions” would be set on talks with Tehran, and this was issued from Swiss soil.

China draws its lines in the sand

Bilderberg could not escape discussing China. Geo-poetic justice rules that virtually at the same time, China was delivering a powerful message – to East and West – at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The Shangri-La dialogue is Asia’s top annual security forum, and unlike Bilderberg, held like clockwork at the same hotel in Singapore’s Orchard Road. As much as Bilderberg, Shangri-La discusses “relevant security issues”.

A case can be made that Bilderberg frames the discussions as in the recent cover story of a French weekly, owned by a Macron-friendly oligarch, titled “When Europe Ruled the World”. Shangri-La instead discusses the near future – when China may be actually ruling the world.

Beijing sent a top-of-the-line delegation to this year’s forum, led by Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe. And on Sunday, General Wei laid down China’s unmistakable red lines; a stern warning to “external forces” dreaming of independence for Taiwan, and the “legitimate right” for Beijing to expand man-made islands in the South China Sea.

By then everyone had forgotten what Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan had said the day before, accusing Huawei to be too close to Beijing and posing a security risk to the “international community”.

General Wei also found time to rip Shanahan to shreds. “Huawei is a private company, not a military company… Just because the head of Huawei used to serve in the army, does not mean his company is a part of the military. That doesn’t make sense.”

Shangri-La is at least transparent. As for Bilderberg, there won’t be any leaks on what the Masters of the Universe told Western elites about the profitability of pursuing the war on terror; the drive toward total digitalization of cash; total rule of genetically modified organisms; and how climate change will be weaponized.

At least the Pentagon has made no secret, even before Shangri-La, that Russia and China must be contained at all costs – and the European vassals must toe the line.

Henry Kissinger was a 2019 Bilderberg participant. Rumors that he spent all his time breathlessly plugging his “reverse Nixon” – seduce Russia to contain China – may be vastly overstated.

Trade War: China Accuses US of ’Naked Economic Terrorism’

By Staff, Agencies

China accused the United States of “naked economic terrorism” on Thursday as Beijing ramps up the rhetoric in their trade war.

The world’s top two economies are at loggerheads as trade talks have apparently stalled, with US President Donald Trump hiking tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this month and blacklisting telecom giant Huawei.

“We are against the trade war, but we are not afraid of it,” vice foreign minister Zhang Hanhui said at a press briefing to preview President Xi Jinping’s trip to Russia next week.

“This premeditated instigation of a trade conflict is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, and economic bullying,” Zhang said.

He also warned that “there is no winner in a trade war.”

China has hit back with its own tariff increase while state media has suggested that Beijing could stop exports of rare earths to the United States, depriving Washington of a key material to make tech products.

“This trade conflict will also have a serious negative impact on the development and revival of the global economy,” Zhang said.

China and Russia have broad consensus and common interests on the trade war issue, he said.

“China and Russia will certainly strengthen economic and trade cooperation, including cooperation in various fields such as economic and trade investment,” Zhang added.

The Chinese official further stated: “We will certainly respond to various external challenges, do what we have to do, develop our economies, and constantly improve the living standards of our two peoples.”

Huawei: US Blacklist Will Harm Billions of Consumers and American Companies

Huawei CEO against China Punishing Apple for Trump’s 5G Purge

 

Full Spectrum Economic War has replaced Trade War

May 21, 2019

by Chris Faure for The Saker Blog

Full Spectrum Economic War has replaced Trade War

The Trading Community

I grew up in the dark continent on farms, where, in the local trading town, my parents owned the meat businesses, the Jews owned the general store, the Indians owned the fabric store and sold shoes and pointy bras.  My mom owned the fashion store and hairdresser. Of course, there was the mechanic who fixed cars and tractors and big harvesting machinery and the movie house where I saw the first opera when the traveling opera came to town and fell in love. Of course, there was the school, the doctor and the pharmacist and a Church or three. We also had the Portuguese Cafe, where we could buy chocolates and candies and bread and milk and fresh English fish and chips. The joint clientele of this trading community was the forestry workers, the mine workers and the farmers of the area. It was a well-off little community with a large forestry industry and gold mining.

While we told the most offensive jokes about the Jews and the Indians and the Portuguese, and to be sure they must have told the nastiest jokes about us European style white ones, we all equally hated the Colonizing English rulers and together told dirty jokes about them while all the kids happily went to school together and played together.

This little farming town was bound together by its trading class.

When the trade started to fracture with bigger food stores and chain mechanics, the town fractured, and where our main street was with the trading class, now there are only a bunch of Korean stores, selling stuff that only Korean folks buy, to Korean folks.

The Power of Trade

This is the power of trade, it can bind people together, or it can fracture communities and whole countries. The Chinese know this, hence BRI has no structure for war, only for trade.

We look with dismay at the geopolitical situation, and it is clear that something has to give as the U.S. clearly cannot hold on all the fronts they have opened.  Mr. Trump may end up having to choose his favorite war, the one where he feels comfortable, and he does not have to see or count dead bodies and spectacular explosions, but he can hide the results of the Silent Economic war from his own eyes while standing on the China Bad plank as his 2020 mission to win the election.

Tom Luongo says: “At this point, Trump is fighting a war with everyone not named Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Just like our little town, this economic war will fracture farming communities, trading communities, and countries. As we have seen in India, we are beginning to get similar notices of desperation suicides of farmers in the U.S.

Silent Killer

An economic war is a Silent Killer. It will create conditions for the US to become Gulag America deeply into cultural schizophrenia to avoid all of their so-called enemies, and for China to take the lead as biggest trader in the world today while the U.S. is off fighting their own internal windmills.

The ‘Understandings’

It seems as if Steve Bannon (after his successful trip to change Brazil into a neocon enclave and start similar initiatives colored with racism and shades of white supremacist, in Europe), has been called back to run this Economic War. He began with an Op-Ed in the Washington Post. While WaPo is not my regular reading, this one spells out the 6 ‘understandings’ that the U.S. should have about this Economic War.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/steve-bannon-were-in-an-economic-war-with-china-its-futile-to-compromise/2019/05/06/0055af36-7014-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html?utm_term=.e13839eda6b1

It makes interesting reading to read the understandings in full. The 6 understandings are in short, and my comments are on the right hand side.  (Please read the full set of ‘understandings’ at the link.)

The first understanding: The CCP has been waging economic war against industrial democracies ever since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and now China has emerged as the greatest economic and national security threat the United States has ever faced. Note: Direct aim at the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) – Steve is fighting communism and it is the same old story … Those warmongering ChiComs are coming to get us!
The second understanding: The trade deal under negotiation this month is not a deal between two similar systems seeking closer ties, as its cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the media and academia argue. Rather, this is a fundamental clash between two radically different economic models. And of course, if you read the full second understanding, the Chinese economic model is terrible, putrid and simply wrong and those enlightened Westerners have the best method and are morally oh so superior.
The third understanding: Chinese state capitalism is highly profitable for its owners — the members of the CCP. Stagnant state-owned enterprises gain a competitive edge through massive government subsidies, and the cost savings won by stealing the intellectual property, technology, and innovations of foreigners. Chinese State Capitalism he says – The State should not own anything, he says. But, if you take a look at what is happening right now with Google and Western Technology companies, they are ‘joined at the hip’ with The State in the West and they have all joined the have all joined the economic war (See below).  Jump for Trump and the Western technologists say How High.
The fourth understanding: Certain Trump advisers inside and outside the White House are playing on the president’s well-earned pride in a rising stock market and a fear he might lose the Farm Belt to try to box him into a weak deal. But it is a decidedly false narrative that any failure to reach a deal will lead to a market meltdown and economic implosion. Now Steve takes a turn at protecting Mr. Trump for the 2020 election. In reality, the farm belt is up in arms and really upset that Mr. Trump calls them Patriots, while he is destroying their livelihoods. Farmer’s bailouts only manage to extend the agony of the farm belt.
The fifth understanding: Even the toughest agreement needs effective monitoring, which is difficult even with accommodating partners and perhaps impossible with China. The danger is for the president to sign what appears to be a reasonable deal and find out several years later that the United States was hoodwinked. And, if the Chinese boogieman does not get you now, it might just do so in the future.  One just cannot trust these yellow hordes, according to Bannon.
The sixth understanding: The world now bears witness to a rapidly militarizing totalitarian state imprisoning millions in work camps; persecuting Uighurs, Christians and Buddhists; and spying on, and enslaving, its own population. And this is so trite that it is funny. China is persecuting its own people. Have we not heard this drumbeat before?

And here comes the cherry on the Bannon cake of ‘understanding’: “The central issues that must be faced are China’s intentions on the world stage and what those ambitions mean for U.S. prosperity. With our country at a crossroads, it is more important than ever that Trump follows his instincts and not soften his stance against the greatest existential threat ever faced by the United States.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.””What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.”Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.””Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.” Cervantes’ Don Quixote

Now Bannon is on the media trip to tilt at these windmills and stop the world’s millstones from turning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYraLI04WiU

Who is posing the existential threats? “Us” Versus “Them”

So now China is an existential threat to the United States. Does this not sound like creating the basis for war talk to you? What of this is different from the Russia derangement? It is just the same old story, the same old positioning of creating enemies, using different words. Civilizational differences are now weaponized by those who we can argue do not have a civilizational history of any great import.  Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Disney, Madonna and Barbie Dolls do not a civilization make.

So, while the U.S. demanded structural reforms from China during the Trade War, and China absolutely refused, at the end of last week, Trump took aim at big Chinese businesses, placing them on lists where trade becomes almost impossible and creating an Economic War.   Huawei and ZTE Corp are easily recognized here. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Chinese technology giant Huawei and 70 of its affiliated companies would be included in an “entity list” of export controls, prohibiting Huawei from buying technology or parts from U.S. companies. Today we see that Google, Intel,, and a raft of other Western technology companies are joining this economic war to kill a Chinese enterprise and all who work for it. And they call it righteous.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-19/google-to-end-some-huawei-business-ties-after-trump-crackdown

As is usual in the “Us” Versus “Them” U.S. methodology, we can always wait for the backtracking after the insulting war talk. Early yesterday morning the penny dropped for U.S. companies using Huawei technology, and they had to quickly ask for a reprieve from the U.S. Commerce Department because somewhere they use Huawei equipment. A 90-day reprieve for certain U.S. broadband companies and wireless customers was granted to figure out plan B.  (Spoiler alert – there isn’t a plan B).   Your broadband possibly runs on Huawei equipment and let me explain how close this economic war is to you and me.

From the White House into My House

A few months ago, I had to buy a new smartphone and eventually settled on a sweet little Huawei, reasonable on price and the most intuitive smartphone ever. I got to like this phone. This morning, I hear that Google decided not to extend usage licenses to Huawei for the Android operating system.

So, now Mr. Trump’s economic war is causing havoc directly with my phone – This is not the kind of fight that will leave you or me untouched.

Future Huawei phones, which run Google’s Android operating system, are set to lose access to updates to some Google apps, including YouTube and Maps, but don’t worry, but the existing devices will be safe.

Soft Pressure

Also, the soft pressure on China is increasing. China is being interfered with in terms of oil imports (Iran, Venezuela) and the South China Sea issues which China is busy negotiating with their neighbors are continually being interfered with by U.S. aircraft carriers or some level of task force of some or other kind making passage to test ‘freedom of navigation.’ And in the U.S., not to be left behind, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning on Monday that Chinese-made commercial drones may be sending sensitive flight data to China. Nearly 80% of the drones used in the U.S. and Canada come from DJI, a Chinese commercial drone manufacturer and these drones are widely used by farmers, law enforcement and any child that has a play drone.

Vietnam is the place about 20 years behind China in terms of wages and level of development. It is beginning to hop with manufacturing facilities moving there, to avoid trade tariffs. These businesses are still in Chinese hands. It won’t be long though, and these businesses may as well save their money as this is an Economic War that will not leave any place undisturbed.

Take a look at those winning trade deals

Can this man negotiate a trade deal?  Or is he trying to lead a country with ‘off the cuff’ decisions?

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

“Starting Monday, our great Farmers can begin doing business again with Mexico and Canada. They have both taken the tariff penalties off of your great agricultural product. Please be sure that you are treated fairly. Any complaints should immediately go to @SecretarySonny Perdue! 7:29 PM – 19 May 2019″

Aha, it looks like progress, yes? What is not mentioned is that tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and Aluminum were dropped, and in a reciprocal action, Mexico and Canada lifted tariffs on the agricultural products. So, that great trade deal that Trump negotiated with Mexico and Canada is back to where it was, and it is no reprieve. There is only some normalization.

“But now Canada and Mexico will get a reprieve, as the U.S. has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and Aluminum coming from those two countries. This eliminates a huge hurdle to the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised version of NAFTA.”

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/17/18629556/trump-steel-aluminum-tariffs-canada-mexico-usmca

Fuggetaboutit

We still ask ourselves the same question. What is it going to take for the U.S. to make their appropriate place in a multi-polar world because they will not be allowed to be a single hegemonic power player any longer.  There is no doubt about this.  Consider Dmitry Orlov’s long list of things that the US can no longer get done.  (Color revolutions, false flag attacks, troop pullouts, trade wars.  The one thing they can still get done is causing humanitarian disasters).

Do you understand now that the U.S. in its current incarnation is not agreement capable as is the official stance of Russia, and China will not make a deal with them, but China will keep talking. The fear now is that China will prohibit any rare earth metal sales to the U.S. in a tit for tat action. Huawei will smile.

Think about all these issues through the prism of how the U.S. is trying to maintain it’s global hegemony. The Russia derangement is cooling down, and the China derangement has taken over the airwaves with the full U.S. Administration and the media in lockstep. Can we now say Russia won? A few days ago it was Russia Bad full-on coverage, and today it is China Bad full-on coverage.

There is nothing new here, excepting a welcome groundswell of resistance opposition in the strangest of places. In Latin America, there is a type of an eBay online store called Mercado Libre. To my great surprise, most products on there, seemingly overnight, changed to “imported directly from China” with free shipping and better prices.  I can pay in local currency and seamlessly the U.S. Dollar is not included in this buy or sell.

Mr. Trump can fuggetaboutit and, don’t mess with my phone!

Chinese Readiness

This economic war is a story that can also be told in headlines alone:

Top U.S. economist warns against American demonization of China – Jeffrey Sachs

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1150057.shtml

On Hostile Coexistence with China – Chas Freeman

https://chasfreeman.net/on-hostile-coexistence-with-china/

‘If trade stops, war starts,’ Alibaba founder – Jack Ma

https://www.rt.com/business/376431-jack-ma-trade-war-globalisation/

Chinese T.V. Station Pulls US-Made Films, Runs Classic Anti-US War Flicks Instead

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201905201075174494-Chinese-TV-Station-Pulls-US-Films-Runs-War-Flicks

I hear through the economic grapevine that there is now a popular and modern opposition song in China against the U.S. and economic war. I understand this is a war song. China and her people are ready for whatever shape or form this war will take, and Mr. Trump inadvertently unleashed the dragon, which may just spit fire and roast the U.S. first. Its time to go on record and say that my own expectation is that the Empire will fail in their objectives for this economic war, but much damage will be caused as the U.S. now is only able to cause damage.  It will in fact be impossible to find ‘the winner’.  How will a winner be defined and by who?  The Chinese ‘understanding’ is not only absolutely correct, but is the only ‘understanding’ worth knowing.  This ‘understanding’ is : There are no winners in an economic war, only horrendous costs for humanity.

Pentagon Obsession: China, China, China

Pentagon Obsession: China, China, China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Strategic Culture) by special agreement with the author)

Chinese nuclear bombers. Chinese hypersonic missiles. Chinese carrier killer missiles. Chinese cyberattacks. Chinese anti-satellite weaponry. Chinese militarization of the South China Sea. Chinese Huawei spying.

So many Chinese “malign intentions”. And we’re not even talking about Russia.

Few people around the world are aware that the Pentagon for the moment is led by a mere “acting” Defense Secretary, Patrick Shanahan.

That did not prevent “acting” Secretary to shine in the red carpet when presenting the Trump administration’s 2020 Pentagon budget proposal – at $718 billion – to the Senate Armed Services Committee: the top US national security threat is, in his own (repeated) words, “China, China, China”.

“Acting” Shanahan has been in charge since Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis – the original butcher of Fallujah in 2004 – resigned last December. His former employer happened to be Boeing. The Pentagon’s inspector general is still investigating whether Shanahan was in fact acting as a no holds barred Boeing commercial asset whenever he met the Pentagon top brass.

That, of course, fits the classic Beltway “revolving door” pattern. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a Washington-based group, actually filed a complaint around the fact that “acting” Shanahan blasted Lockheed Martin, Boeing’s competitor, in every top-level Pentagon meeting.

Shanahan told the Senate, “China is aggressively modernizing its military, systematically stealing science and technology, and seeking military advantage through a strategy of military-civil fusion.”

That includes Beijing’s development of a nuclear-capable long-range bomber that, according to Shanahan, will put it on the same level as the US and Russia as the only global powers controlling air-, sea- and land-based nuclear weapons.

It’s essential to remember that Mattis and Shanahan are the main authors of the National Defense Strategy adopted by the Trump administration which accuses China of striving for “Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States to achieve global pre-eminence in the future.”

Now compare it with

Col. Larry Wilkerson’s view; the whole Pentagon show is all about offense while Russia and China are always emphasizing defense.

Fighting the Trojan Horse

Even more enlightening is to directly compare the Pentagon approach with the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces under its chief, Gen. Valeriy Gerasimov.

Gerasimov identified “the US and its allies” as engaged in permanent war of all types, including “preparation for ‘global strike’, ‘multi-domain battle’, [and the] use of the technology of ‘color revolutions’ and ‘soft power’. Their goal is the elimination of the statehood of undesirable countries, undermining their sovereignty, changing the legitimately elected public authorities. Thus it was in Iraq, in Libya and in Ukraine. Now similar actions are observed in Venezuela.”

So there it is, graphically explained: Venezuela, geostrategically, is as important to Moscow as Syria and Ukraine.

Gerasimov also detailed how, “the Pentagon has begun to develop a fundamentally new strategy of warfare, which has been dubbed the ‘Trojan Horse’. Its essence lies in the active use of the ‘protest potential of the fifth column’ in order to destabilize the situation with simultaneous strikes by precision-guided weapons on the most important targets.”

Then the clincher; “The Russian Federation is ready to oppose every one of these strategies. In recent years, military scientists, together with the General Staff, have developed conceptual approaches to neutralize the aggressive actions of potential opponents. The field of research of military strategy is armed struggle, its strategic level. With the emergence of new areas of confrontation in modern conflicts, methods of struggle are increasingly shifting towards the integrated application of political, economic, information and other non-military measures, implemented with the support of military force.”

Call it Russia’s response to Made in USA Hybrid War. With the major incentive of being a value for money operation; after all the Russian General Staff, unlike the Pentagon, is not in the business, for all practical purposes, of stealing trillions of dollars from taxpayers for several decades.

There’s no question the Chinese leadership, not exactly adept at state of the art Hybrid War techniques, is studying the Russian military strategies in excruciating detail.

Of course this is all intrinsically linked to Putin’s leadership. Last month, in Moscow, Rostislav Ishchenko, arguably the top Russian analyst of the Ukraine saga, explained it to me in detail:

“Putin does not ‘take over the elites’ or ‘guide the nation.’ His genius lies in an acute intuitive sense of the strategic needs of the nation (which creates a strong feedback and causes absolute trust of the absolute majority of the people), but most importantly, he is a master of political compromise, understanding the importance of maintaining peace between different social, economic, and political groups within the country, to ensure its stability, prosperity, and international authority. Given that foreign policy is always a continuation of domestic policy, we can clearly trace his desire for compromise in Russian international activity.”

“Putin, Ishchenko added, “does not try to suppress the opponents even in those cases when Russia is unconditionally stronger and the result of the confrontation will clearly be in her favor. Putin understands that both the loser and the winner lose in the confrontation. Therefore, he always offers a compromise for a long time, almost to the last opportunity, even to those who clearly do not deserve it, moving to other solutions only after the opponent has clearly crossed all possible red lines and can pose a threat to the vital interests of Russia. An agreement based on consideration of each other’s interests is always stronger than any short-term ‘victories’, which tomorrow will result in the need to reaffirm their status of the winner again and again. It seems to me that Putin understands this well. Hence the effectiveness of his actions. You can also take a look at his team. These are professionals who adhere to a variety of ideological views (or do not adhere to any). The main thing is that they perform their work qualitatively. The ability to manage such a team is another of its undoubted advantages. After all, these are all ambitious people who are aware of their professionalism and are able to defend their opinion, which is not always the same for everyone. Nevertheless, they work as a single mechanism and achieve really great results.”

Watch out for Yoda’s hordes

To expect the same from the US industrial-military-surveillance complex would be idle.

In fact, “acting” Shanahan’s deputy, Under Secretary David Trachtenberg, doubled down when addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee; he said that Washington will not relinquish its self-attributed right for a nuclear first strike.

In his own words; “A ‘no-first use’ policy would erode US allies’ belief that they are protected.” As if all US allies were begging in unison to be “defended” by US nuclear bombs. In true “war is peace” mode, this Orwellian state of affairs is justified under the Pentagonese notion of “constructive ambiguity”.

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) exhibits a long list of causes that may detonate a US nuclear first strike – including a worryingly vague attack on “allied or partner civilian infrastructure”. Even a clumsy false flag, for instance in the South China Sea, could lead to such a stand off.

All of the above is in fact directly linked to the death of Yoda.

Yoda is of course RAND asset Andrew Marshall, who was the director of the nefarious Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon from 1973 to 2015.

Predictably, scores of Atlanticist think tanks are celebrating Yoda as the winner in devising the new rollback US “strategy” against China.

Yoda did groom scores of analysts across the whole spectrum of the industrial-military-surveilance complex – including think tanks, universities and mainstream media.

So in the end Yoda did body-slam Bismarckian Henry Kissinger – who remains alive, sort of (if Marshall was Yoda, would Kissinger be Darth Vader?) Kissinger always advised containment in relation to China, disguised as what he termed “co-evolution”.

Yoda finished off not only Kissinger but also the Obama administration’s wobbly and ill-defined “pivot to Asia”. Yoda preached hardcore confrontation with China. There’s no question that even beyond the grave, he’ll continue to rule over his warmongering Beltway hordes.

The EU bows to ‘systemic rival’ China

ٍSourceThe EU bows to ‘systemic rival’ China

March 28, 2019

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News) by special agreement with the author)

Let’s start with the essential background for the meeting in Paris on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and three EU heavyweights – French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker.

As imperfect as these figures may be, economic growth for the past 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis – which was a made in the West phenomenon – do tell an enlightening story.

China’s growth: 139%. India’s growth: 96%. the US’ growth: 34%. EU growth: a negative 2%.

French mainstream media, controlled by a rarified group of oligarchs, spun a risible narrative that Macron “imposed” this four-way meeting on Xi to press on him the new EC strategy aiming to “clarify” Chinese ambiguity in relation to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As I previously reported, the EC now brands China a “systemic rival,” and seems to have realized that Beijing is an “economic competitor in search of technological leadership.” And that may translate as a threat to European values and norms.

Xi had just come from Rome – where the populist, eurosceptic Lega, Five Stars coalition government became the first G7 nation to sign a partnership with the BRI, igniting massive sparks of Atlanticist fear.

So in the end, what did we get from Chancellor Angela Merkel as the EU faced a process French elites describe as Sino-globalization?

We had realpolitik. Merkel stressed the BRI was an “important” project: “We, as Europeans, want to play an active part and that must lead to certain reciprocity and we are still wrangling over that a bit.” She added: “We are seeing the project as a good visualization of interaction, interrelation and interdependence.”

Merkel was essentially relaying the position of German business elites – as a trade powerhouse, the future of Germany lies in turbo-charging business with Asia, especially China.

So, instead of demonizing Rome, in practice Berlin will eventually embark on the same path. After all, Duisburg, in the Ruhr valley, is already the de facto top BRI terminal in northern Europe.

Xi and his EU partners did not fail to emphasize multilateralism. There could not be a more glaring contrast to the Trump administration’s narrative that China is a threat and the BRI is all about Chinese “vanity.” Juncker even tried to defuse the “systemic” tension: “We understand that China does not like the expression ‘rivals,’ but it is a compliment describing our shared ambitions.”

Add to it that Xi also felt the need to remind the EU leadership of the obvious. China will continue to “open up,” as it managed in only 40 years to accomplish what Europe did over the course of the entire industrial revolution.

New Silk Air, anyone?

On the – embattled – Macron front, more than New Silk Roads a de facto New Silk Air seems to be in effect.

No one – apart from Boeing – argues about a 30 billion euro-plus Chinese order to buy 300 Airbuses. And that’s only the beginning. The fact that Beijing will use Airbus technology to enhance its aviation prowess under the framework of Made in China 2025 is another matter entirely.

So Paris may not have turned, like Rome, into an official partner to the New Silk Roads – at least not yet. But the promises are quite telling – on three fronts.

1) The emphasis on multilateralism – “strong and efficient.” That’s not exactly Trumpian rhetoric.

2) Common action with Beijing on climate change and biodiversity.

3) An economic-trade partnership that respects mutual interests. That is, in fact, New Silk Roads-BRI official policy since the beginning, in 2013.

So when we compare the different strategies by Rome and Paris, Xi has, in fact, come out with a win-win.

Merkel, predictably, was careful to hedge to the hilt: “The triangle between EU, China and US is very important. Without the US, we will not be able to have multilateralism.”

At the same time, she stressed, the US-China trade war was “hitting our German economy.”

As for Team Macron, with the leader obsessed with posing as the savior of the EU ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, they could not help but go after the administration in Rome.

According to a Macron acolyte: “There is this bad European habit to have 28 different policies, with countries competing against each other to attract investment. We need to speak with a common voice if we want to exist. We have the same approach on the 5G issue: avoiding 28 different decisions.”

The 5G Monaco Grand Prix

Which brings us to the case of Monaco, not exactly a shabby prize – and duly visited by Xi, who was received, literally, as royalty.

The principality is absolutely avid to gobble up the fast-growing Chinese luxury tourism market. And that explains why Monaco has already signed a deal with Huawei to be the first country to be entirely covered by 5G before the end of 2019.

Paris, by the way, has not ruled out using Huawei equipment. And as a cherry on the cake, guess which city Huawei chose to globally unveil its spectacular new P30 series of smartphones? Paris.

Make no mistake, for Beijing, in terms of trade and economic relations, Berlin is way more relevant than Paris. But these big three – Berlin, Paris and Rome – all have major roles to play.

The New Silk Roads being re-connected to Italy after half a millennium will accelerate Euro-Asia integration, and even, in the long run, more influence for both the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

EU businesses, if not political Eurocrats, are starting to realize that Europe cannot afford to become a battlefield in Cold War 2.0 between the US and Russia, cannot afford to become a hostage of Washington tearing up international law – see, for instance, the destruction of the Iran nuclear deal and recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel – and cannot afford to become a victim of Washington’s trade whims.

It’s no wonder that slowly but surely, the EU is shifting its priorities to the East – including to its “systemic rival.”

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