بكين وصلت إلى دمشق.. ماذا بعد؟

22 تموز2021

المصدر: الميادين

أحمد الدرزي

حملت زيارة الصين إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية.

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كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي نفسه، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها.

تعاطى السوريون مع قدوم وزير الخارجية الصيني في يوم القسم الرئاسي إلى سوريا، والذي حمل دلالات رمزية عميقة، بمشاعر متباينة بين التفاؤل والتشاؤم، وخصوصاً أن الوضع الاقتصادي ضاغط بشدة على القاعدة الأكبر منهم، التي تجاوزت 90% من مجموع السكان، فأي مسارات ستسلكها العلاقات بين البلدين؟ وما انعكاسها على الوضع السوري الداخلي والخارجي؟

لا يعدّ اهتمام قادة بكين بسوريا وليد اللحظة، إذ إنه يمتد إلى نهايات الألفية الثانية، مع صعود الصين التي بدأت نهضتها الحقيقية في العام 1978، بمجيء دينغ هسياو بينغ. وكان من المفترض أن تحصل قفزة كبيرة في العلاقة بين البلدين بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد لبكين في العام 2004، ولكن المشاريع الاقتصادية التي كان من المفترض أن تقوم بها الأخيرة في مدينة عدرا العمالية تم إيقافها لأسباب غير معروفة.

مع مجيء تشي جينبينغ في العام 2013 إلى موقع الرئاسة في الصين، تم الإعلان عن مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” التي قُدّرت كلفتها بحدود 4 تريليون دولار. وكان اللافت للنظر هو استبعاد سوريا والعراق من المشروع، واعتبار شمال غرب إيران وجنوب شرق تركيا الممرَّ البري نحو أوروبا، واعتبار مرفأ حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة المرفأ المعتمد في شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط. 

أخذت السياسات الصينية تُظهر نفسها على المستوى السياسي بعد إدراك قادة بكين أن القدرات الاقتصادية الهائلة التي أتاحت لهم بناء قدرة عسكرية دفاعية، تتيح لهم ترجمة ذلك، لتحويل الصين إلى قطب دولي موازٍ للقطب الأميركي الأوحد، ما دفع الرئيس جينبينغ إلى الإعلان عن اعتباره أن العالم أصبح متعدد الأقطاب، ولا عودة عن ذلك، وذلك من منبر الأمم المتحدة في العام 2015.

ارتفعت نبرة التحدي الصيني بعد مجيء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بقيادة بايدن، واعتبارها كلاً من الصين وروسيا تهديدين استراتيجيين للولايات المتحدة، ما دفع الرئيس الصيني إلى الإعلان عن أنَّ “زمن التنمّر على الصين ولَّى بلا رجعة”.

كما أحدث الانسحاب الأميركي غير المشروط من أفغانستان، وتركه الفوضى والاضطرابات من خلال سيطرة حركة “طالبان”، قلقاً لدى دول الجوار، ما دفع 40 دولة إلى عقد مؤتمر آسيا الوسطى والجنوبية في مدينة طشقند في أوزباكستان بتاريخ 15 تموز/يوليو الماضي، بعنوان لافت للنظر هو “الترابط الإقليمي، تحديات وفرص”.

وكان من الواضح من خلال طبيعة تحركات وزير الخارجية الصيني أنَّ القرار اتخذ بضرورة تأمين منطقة غرب آسيا، التي تشمل المنطقة الممتدة من أفغانستان إلى شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط، وهو ما يقتضي بطبيعة الحال إخراج سوريا من منطقة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية، فالتقى القوى الدولية والإقليمية المؤثرة في الملف السوري، ممثّلة بكل من وزيري خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف والمملكة العربية السعودية سعود الفرحان في اليوم الأول. وفِي اليوم الثاني، التقى وزير خارجية تركيا مولود جاويش أوغلو قبل التوجّه إلى دمشق.

كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها، وعلى أنّ بقاء الرئيس الأسد في سدة الحكم لم يكن سوى مظهر لنتائج الصراع الدولي والإقليمي وتحولاته الكبرى، وتأكيداً على دور الصين في المرحلة القادمة في تأمين الجغرافيا السورية كمنطقة آمنة، بالتعاون والتنسيق بشكل أساسي مع موسكو وطهران، وإشراك المملكة العربية السعودية التي تعتبر قاطرة دول الخليج، إضافة إلى مصر التي زارها في اليوم التالي، والتقى فيها الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومعالجة الدور التركي السلبي الذي لم يفِ بتعهداته لبكين بتسليم القيادات الإرهابية التركستانية، رغم الدعم الاقتصادي الصيني لها.

وكان لاتصال وزير الخارجية وانغ يي بوزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في اليوم الذي زار فيه دمشق دلالة كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن بيان وزارة الخارجية الصيني أعلن استعداد الصين للعمل مع إيران على مواجهة السياسات الأحادية والهيمنة، وهو ما يعني بالضرورة التوافق مع استراتيجيتها بإخراج الأميركيين من غرب آسيا بأكملها، وخصوصاً سوريا والعراق، ما يمهّد الطريق لدخول مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” إلى كل من العراق وسوريا ولبنان.

حملت الزيارة الصينية إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير، أسوةً ببقية الدول التي وافقت عليه، وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية. 

وللتأكيد على ذلك، وقعت على اتفاقيات الاستثمار في كل مدينة عدرا الصناعية واللاذقية، وعلى إنشاء خط بري من الشمال إلى الجنوب، يربط دول الخليج العربي وشمال أفريقيا بتركيا وأوروبا، وبناء خط لسكك الحديد يربط مرفأ طرطوس بالعراق وإيران وباكستان والصين، إضافةً إلى الاستثمار في قطاع النفط والغاز، والجانب الآخر يتعلق بالمساعدات التي يمكن أن تقدمها إلى سوريا.

وقد توج ذلك بمبادرة للحل السياسي وفق قرارات الأمم المتحدة، مع الدعم الكبير لتصورات دمشق في أكثر القضايا، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بالإدارة الذاتية والاحتلال التركي، عندما لمّحت المبادرة إلى “رفض جميع المخططات المحفزة على الانقسامات العرقية تحت ذريعة مكافحة الإرهاب”، إضافةً إلى شرط أساسي: “ينبغي دعم حل سياسي شامل وتصالحي للقضية السورية” بقيادة السوريين.

من الواضح أنَّ المساهمة الصينية في مساعدة سوريا اقتصادياً وسياسياً مرتبطة بتحقيق متطلبات أساسية، تتعلق بتغيير بيئة العمل الاقتصادي وتغيير التشريعات الاقتصادية، وهو ما تعهّد به الرئيس الأسد في خطاب القسم، عندما أكّد أن العمل في المرحلة القادمة سيكون على مكافحة الفساد وإصدار تشريعات اقتصادية جديدة.

أما الحلّ السياسي، فقد يذهب نحو مسار تشكيل منصّة للمعارضة السورية الداخلية بعنوان منصة دمشق، تكون مهمّتها الأساس إيجاد أرضية للحوار والتفاوض بين الطرفين في دمشق، وليس جنيف، وإنهاء دور المنصات التي تشكل امتدادات دولية وإقليمية.

بعد أن اختارت دمشق قرار التوجّه شرقاً، تطلَّب منها ذلك الشروع في تحقيق المتطلبات الثلاثة الآنفة الذكر، وهو ما ينتظره أغلب السوريين الذين طحنتهم الحرب، والذين يبحثون عن مخرج لاسترداد حياتهم السابقة واستعادة المناطق المحتلة في الشمال السوري وجنوبه، والبدء بإعادة إعمار ما تهدم على الصعيد الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، والّذي تعجز عنه الدولة السورية وحدها.  

Venezuelan interview with Dr Bouthaina Shaaban: ‘creating a new multipolar system’

الحرب الأخطر The most dangerous war

** Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation **

الغرب أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية
الغرب أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية

الحرب الأخطر

bouthaina shaaban | Belçika Yeni Haber

بثينة شعبان

المصدر: الميادين نت

نيسان 19 2021

هناك حرب مخابراتية إعلامية تستخدمها أجهزة المخابرات الغربية، وهي تسبق وتستمر إلى ما بعد الحرب العسكرية. وهذه الحرب بحاجة إلى اهتمام شديد وإلى تكريس الميزانيات والخبراء والأدمغة والأقلام لتفنيد كل الادعاءات والردّ عليها من على منصات إعلامية نافذة للغرب.

هناك نوع من الحرب يبدأ قبل شنّ أي هجوم ويستمر خلاله وبعده وهو الذي يوفّر الأرضية والحالة المجتمعية والسياسية والإعلاميّة لنجاح أي هجوم عسكري في أي مكان ولأي هدف كان، وقد مردت الدول الغربية الاستعمارية على تخصيص الميزانيات السخيّة ووضع الخطط التفصيلية، وشحذ الأدوات المهنية لمثل هذه الحرب، بحيث مازالت تتربع على عرش هذه الحرب وتنتصر فيها مرة تلو أخرى، وذلك لإغفال الآخرين لهذه الحقيقة الهامة وإحجامهم عن التوقف قليلاً وتغيير جداول ميزانياتهم وأولويات خططهم. 

ما أقصده هو الحرب الإعلامية التي يستخدم القائمون عليها من أجهزة المخابرات الغربية خبراء في اللغات والتعبير وخبراء في تاريخ وثقافة وأديان وطوائف الشعوب ليعلموا من أين ينفذوا إلى عقول هذه الشعوب وقلوبها ويسيّروها وفقاً للمصالح الغربية، ويستخدمون خبراء في علم النفس وخبراء في الترويج وخبراء في الأصوات والموسيقى والتأثير وربما خبراء في اختصاصات لم نطّلع عليها بعد ومازالت حكراً عليهم ولمراكز أبحاثهم ووسائل إعلامهم، إذ أن الدارس لساحة الصراعات والحروب التي تشنها القوى الغربية لنهب ثروات الشعوب وعلى الأخص الولايات المتحدة التي تشن الحروب اليوم مع أتباعها على دول عديدة يكاد يصاب بالدهشة من المفارقات الجمّة بين الواقع على الأرض وبين الادعاءات التي يتم الترويج لها في إعلام الكون حتى تصبح حقيقة لا يتجرّأ أحد على تحدّيها، وحتى إذا تجرأ لن يتمكن من قلب المعادلة وإعادة الاعتبار للوقائع التي تشير إلى عكس توجه العاصفة الإعلامية. 

والأمثلة أكثر من أن تُحصى. وإذا بدأت بضرب المثال عن وطني سوريا فإننا نجد أن الغرب وبعد أن أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية (وقد كشفت تسريبات الوثائق البريطانية عن حرب إعلامية منظمة وممولة منذ اليوم الأول منذ بداية الحرب الإرهابية على سوريا) بعد ذلك بدأوا بإخراج أفلام ومنحها جائزة أوسكار لأكاذيب صمموها واخترعوها وروّجوا لها وأصبحت بالنسبة لهم واقعاً بديلاً يدحض سيرة الواقع المعاش ومن هذه الأفلام “رجل حلب الأخير” و”الكهف”، وبالنسبة لجماهير الغرب فإن هذه الأفلام هي القناة الأساسية التي تنبؤهم بما جرى في سورية. رغم أن هذه الأفلام، تماماً كقصة الطفل عمران، هي عبارة عن أكاذيب ملفقة لا تمتّ إلى الحقيقة بصلة قام بها بعض المأجورين وعلى رأسهم فراس فياض لتقديم ما يشتهي الغرب رؤيته وسماعه عن حرب ابتدعها لتدمير حياة الملايين من شعب مسالم في بلد آمن ومستقر يشكّل شوكة في أعين الصهاينة والطامعين بإرث هذه الأمة.

وفي الاتهامات المزعومة عن استخدام الحكومة السورية للغازات السامة في دوما وسراقب، تأتي هذه الاتهامات لتناقض تناقضاً صارخاً تقرير منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيماوية والتي أكدت أن سوريا قد تخلت عن كلّ أسلحتها الكيماوية وأنها خالية من السلاح الكيماوي وكان هذا منذ سنوات، والبارحة في 16/4/2021 عقد السفير الروسي في الأمم المتحدة فاسيلي نيبينزيا جلسة استماع لخبراء منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيماوية، وخبراء آخرين في الملف والموضوع أكدوا خلالها وبما لا يدع مجالاً للشك تلاعب بعض العناصر في المنظمة بالتقرير الذي كتبه الفريق الذي زار سوريا واستبدلوه بأكاذيب من قبل أطراف لم تطأ أقدامها أرض سورية، كما رفض المسؤولون في المنظمة الاستماع لهؤلاء الذين زاروا سورية والمدير السابق للمنظمة لأن تقاريرهم تؤكد على عدم استخدام الحكومة السورية للغازات السامة وأن ما تمّ الترويج له على شاشات التلفزة هو مسرحية إعلامية هزلية لأن هؤلاء الناس لو تعرضوا للغازات السامة لكانوا أمواتاً ولما كانوا موجودين لسكب الماء عليهم. 

والذاكرة تعود بنا إلى كولن باول وإلى ادعاءات أميركا بأن العراق يمتلك أسلحة دمار شامل، وبعد أن أنهوا بحثهم في الملف ووجدوا أنه على الأغلب لا يوجد أي دليل لما أكدوه مراراً وتكراراً ختموا التقرير بالشمع الأحمر وأودعوه أقفال الأمم المتحدة ومنعوا فتحه إلى ما بعد ستين عاماً أي بعد أن يكون كل من عاش وشهد الأحداث أصبح في ذمة الله.

وهناك قصص مشابهة كثيرة ومتوفرة عبر الاتهامات التي يكيلونها لروسيا والصين بشأن مواضيع عدة، وعن الأكاذيب التي تطبخ في ذات المطبخ عن الحرب على اليمن، وعما يجري في أوكرانيا وعن حقيقة المواقف من الاتفاق النووي الإيراني والقائمة تطول. ولكن ما يثلج الصدر اليوم هو بداية التصدي وإن يكن مازال في بداياته لهذه الحرب المخابراتية الإعلامية الخطيرة، إذ أن الجلسة التي عقدها البارحة السفير الروسي في الأمم المتحدة وأعطى المنبر لعدد من الشهود الموثوقين والذين فنّدوا الحقائق حول الملف الكيميائي السوري بطريقة يجب أن تدفع القائمين على التزوير إلى الخجل من أنفسهم وعدم الإقدام على مثل هذه المهزلة مرة أخرى. 

وفي الإطار ذاته وبذات الروح قرأت مقالاً في جريدة (الصين اليومية) عن إقليم شيجيانغ بقلم الكاتب فو زو وبتاريخ 8/4/2021  فنّد فيه بما لا يدع مجالاً للشك الأكاذيب الأميركية حول إقليم شيجيانغ وأثبت بالأرقام اهتمام الحكومة الصينية بالتعليم لكل سكان هذا الإقليم وبالتعليم الداخلي الذي يوازي بجودته أي تعليم داخلي في العالم. كما يتحدث الكاتب عن تحسين المستوى المعيشي لسكان الإقليم والعمل الذي يدأبون للقيام به لتحسين مستوى معيشتهم وأن الصين تقف ضدّ أي اضطهاد أو تطهير عرقي أو إبادة يدّعي الغرب أن الصين تمارسها في الإقليم.  ومن الواضح من تاريخ الصين ومن عملها للقضاء على الفقر في كل الصين وعلى رفع مستوى المعيشة للصينيين أنها حضارة تهتم بالإنسان وبمقدرات عيشه ولا تدخل التفرقة الدينية أو العنصرية في قاموس سياساتها.

ومن ناحية أخرى من المضحك أن تدّعي الولايات المتحدة الحرص على حياة المسلمين الإيغور في الصين وعلى تعليمهم ومستوى معيشتهم وقد كرّست منظمات إرهابية ومولتها بالمال ومازالت، لتدمير آلاف المدارس في سورية والتي يرتادها مسلمون ومسيحيون، ولتدمير الجوامع والكنائس والأسواق التاريخية والآثار والحضارة. فكيف يمكن أن تكون حريصة على مسلمي الصين ومدمّرة لمسلمي العراق وسورية وليبيا واليمن؟ من أين أتى اهتمام الولايات المتحدة بمسلمي الإيغور في الصين إلا من باب التدخل في شؤون الصين الداخلية، تماماً كما هي سياستها حيال تايوان وهونغ كونغ من جهة، وسياستها تجاه أوكرانيا والقرم بالنسبة إلى روسيا من جهة ثانية. لا يمكن فهم ما تقوم به الولايات المتحدة إلا من باب التدخل في شؤون الدول الداخلية والحرص على أمن “إسرائيل” وقوتها الإرهابية في المنطقة.

لقد علِمَتْ الولايات المتحدة أن الكيان الصهيوني هو الذي قام بالهجوم على محطة نطنز لتدمير المباحثات الأميركية الإيرانية ولكننا لم نسمع كلمة إدانة لهذا الهجوم من الولايات المتحدة أو من أي دولة غربية. كما أنهم يلتزمون الصمت عن كل الأكاذيب التي يتم الترويج لها عن أوكرانيا والقرم بعد أن اتخذت الولايات المتحدة عقوبات ضد روسيا على أسس واهية لا دليل واحد فيها على كل الادعاءات بل هي تعترف أن صحة هذه الادعاءات منخفضة إلى متوسطة.

المهم في الموضوع هو أن هذه الحرب المخابراتية الإعلامية التي تسبق وترافق وتستمر إلى ما بعد الحرب العسكرية بحاجة إلى اهتمام شديد وإلى تكريس الميزانيات والخبراء والأدمغة والأقلام لتفنيد كل الادعاءات والردّ عليها من على منصات إعلامية نافذة للغرب وتصل إلى أسماع البشر في كل أنحاء الدنيا تماماً كما فعل السفير فاسيلي نيبينزيا في الجلسة الهامة التي تحدث بها الخبراء وفندوا ألاعيب منظمة الأسلحة الكيماوية، وتماماً كما فعلت جريدة الصين اليوم بتفنيد كل الأكاذيب المختلقة حول إقليم شيجيانج. ولا بأس من تخصيص ميزانية سخيّة لهذا الأمر حتى وإن تم اقتطاعها من ميزانيات الدفاع العسكرية لأن الدفاع بالكلمة والترويج للحقائق النابعة من الأرض في وجه الأكاذيب والافتراءات قد يوفّر على الجيوش معارك عسكرية مكلفة وقد يساهم في تثقيف الرأي العام العالمي حول حقيقة السياسات الغربية والكلفة الباهظة التي يدفعها البشر في كل أنحاء الأرض نتيجة هذه السياسات.

 إن مواجهة سياسة القطب الواحد وضمان ولادة عالم متعدد الأقطاب تحتاج إلى استراتيجيات شاملة تتصدى لاستراتيجيات الهيمنة والتدخل والإسفاف والتزوير والذي كلّف دماء وحياة واستقراراً وأمناً لشعوبنا جمعاء. 

نحن بحاجة إلى وقفة عميقة صادقة وذكية وشاملة وبحاجة لمقارعة من يشن الهجوم ويدمر البلدان بأدوات أذكى وأدهى من أدواتهم على كل الصعد وفي كافة المجالات.


مقالات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة


The most dangerous war

bouthaina shaaban | Belçika Yeni Haber

Buthaina Shaaban

Source:  Al-Mayadeen  Net

April 19, 2021

There is a media intelligence war used by Western intelligence services, which precedes and continues until after the military war. This war needs great attention and budgets, experts, brains and pens are devoted to refuting and responding to all allegations from west-window media platforms.

There is a kind of war that begins before, during and after any attack, which provides the ground and the societal, political and media situation for the success of any military attack anywhere and for any purpose, and the western colonial states have been forced to allocate generous budgets and draw up detailed plans, and sharpen the professional tools of such a war, so that they still sit on the throne of this war and win it again and again, in order to ignore others for this important fact and their reluctance to stop a little and change their budget schedules and priorities.

What I mean is the media war on which western intelligence agencies use experts in languages and expression, experts in the history, culture, religions and communities of peoples to know where to carry out to the minds and hearts of these peoples and to conduct them in accordance with Western interests, and use experts in psychology, promotion experts, experts in sounds, music and influence, and perhaps experts in disciplines that we have not yet seen and are still exclusive to them, their research centers and their media, as The study of the arena of conflicts and wars waged by western powers to plunder the wealth of peoples, especially the United States, which is waging wars today with its followers on many countries, is almost surprised by the great paradoxes between reality on earth and the allegations promoted in the media of the universe so that it becomes a reality that no one dares to challenge, and even if he dares, he will not be able to turn the equation and reconsider the facts that indicate the opposite of the direction of the media storm.

Examples are too many. If you start to set an example of my homeland syria, we find that the West, having created rooms and organizations and generously funded them to distort what is happening on Syrian soil (leaks of British documents have revealed an organized and funded media war since the first day since the beginning of the terrorist war on Syria) then began to direct and give films The Oscar for lies they designed, invented, promoted and became, for them, an alternative reality that refutes the biography of living reality, including “The Last Man of Aleppo” and “The Cave”, and for western audiences, these films are the main channel that predicts what happened in Syria. Although these films, just like the story of The Child Imran, are fabricated lies that have nothing to do with the truth, some of the hacks, led by Firas Fayyad, have done to present what the West desires to see and hear about a war it created to destroy the lives of millions of peaceful people in a safe and stable country that is a thorn in the eyes of the Zionists and those who aspire to the legacy of this nation.

In the alleged accusations of the Syrian government’s use of toxic gases in Douma and Saraqeb, these accusations are in stark contrast to the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which confirmed that Syria has abandoned all its chemical weapons and that it is chemical-weapon-free and this has been for years, and yesterday on 16 April 2021, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia held a hearing of experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and other experts in the file and subject confirmed during it and not There is no doubt that some elements of the organization manipulated the report written by the team that visited Syria and replaced it with lies by parties that did not set foot on Syrian soil, as the officials of the organization refused to listen to those who visited Syria and the former director of the organization because their reports confirm the Syrian government’s non-use of toxic gases and that what was promoted on television is a comic media play because if these people had been exposed to toxic gases they would have died and would not have been there to pour water on them.

The memory brings us back to Colin Powell and America’s claims that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, and after they have finished their research on the file and found that there is probably no evidence of what they have repeatedly confirmed, they sealed the report with red wax, called it the locks of the United Nations and prevented it from opening it until after 60 years, i.e. after all those who lived and witnessed the events became in the hands of God.

There are many similar stories available through accusations by Russia and China on several topics, about the lies that are being cooked in the same kitchen about the war on Yemen, what is going on in Ukraine and about the reality of the positions on the Iran nuclear deal and the list goes on. But what is heartening today is the beginning of the response, although it is still in its infancy for this dangerous media intelligence war, as the meeting held yesterday by the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations and gave the platform to a number of reliable witnesses who refuted the facts about the Syrian chemical file in a way that should lead the counterfeiters to be ashamed of themselves and not to make such a farce again.

In the same spirit, I read an article in the China Daily on Zhejiang Province by writer Fu Zhou on April 8, 2021, in which he refuted beyond a doubt U.S. lies about Zhejiang province and in numbers demonstrated the Chinese government’s interest in education for all the region’s population and internal education, which is equal to the quality of any internal education in the world. The author also talks about improving the standard of living of the territory’s population and the work they are doing to improve their standard of living and that China stands against any persecution, ethnic cleansing or extermination claimed by the West to be practiced by China in the territory.  It is clear from China’s history and its work to eradicate poverty in all China and to raise the standard of living of the Chinese that it is a civilization that cares about human beings and their livelihoods and does not include religious or racial segregation in the dictionary of its policies.

On the other hand, it is funny that the United States claims to take care of the lives, education and standard of living of Uighur Muslims in China, and has dedicated terrorist organizations and financed them with money and continues to destroy thousands of schools in Syria frequented by Muslims and Christians, and to destroy mosques, churches, historical markets, monuments and civilization. How can you be keen on the Muslims of China and destroy the Muslims of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen? Where did the U.S. interest in Uighur Muslims in China come from except for interference in China’s internal affairs, just as its policy on Taiwan and Hong Kong on the one hand, and its policy toward Ukraine and Crimea for Russia on the other. What the United States is doing can only be understood in order to interfere in the affairs of internal states and to ensure the security of Israel and its terrorist power in the region.

The United States has learned that it was the Zionist entity that attacked Natanz station to destroy the U.S.-Iran talks, but we have not heard a word of condemnation from the United States or any Western country. They also remain silent about all the lies promoted about Ukraine and Crimea after the United States has taken sanctions against Russia on flimsy grounds, not a single evidence of all allegations, but recognizes that the veracity of these allegations is low to medium.

What is important about the matter is that this media intelligence war that precedes, accompanies and continues until after the military war needs great attention and devoting budgets, experts, brains and pens to refute all allegations and respond to them from media platforms open to the West and reach the ears of people in all parts of the world just as Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia did in the important session in which the experts spoke and refuted the tricks of the Chemical Weapons Organization, just as the China Today newspaper refuted all the fabricated lies about Zhejiang. There is nothing wrong with allocating a generous budget for this matter, even if it is cut from military defense budgets, because defending by word and promoting facts emanating from the ground in the face of lies and fabrications may save armies costly military battles and may contribute to educating the world public opinion about the truth of Western policies and the high cost paid by them. Humans are all over the earth as a result of these policies.

Confronting one-pole politics and ensuring the birth of a multipolar world requires comprehensive strategies that address strategies of domination, intervention, subsistence and forgery that have cost blood, life, stability and security to all ourpeoples.

We need a deep, honest, intelligent and comprehensive stand and need to fight those who launch the attack and destroy countries with smarter and more powerful tools at all levels and in all areas.

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Raging Twenties Book Review – Pepe Escobar – the philosopher, the court jester, the mystic, the historian.

Raging Twenties Book Review – Pepe Escobar – the philosopher, the court jester, the mystic, the historian.

April 08, 2021

By Larchmonter445 for the Saker Blog

Early on in the introduction to “Raging Twenties”, Pepe Escobar points to the change, the disruption that confronts the Established Elites who for 30 years ruled the globe with a free hand: “The Empire we have been taught to accept as a fact of life is irretrievably losing its leadership position—and will have to deal with much pain implicit in the acceptance of an increasingly multipolar world.”

Escobar’s concept from “Raging Twenties” that impressed is: “We are all being carried forward through the tides by a harpooned whale, with no idea how, where, or when our journey ends. Like Melville’s Ishmael, we’ve got to stay cool as we relentlessly fight the winds of fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that the expiring system manipulates non-stop.”

This is the vision of Pepe’s book “Raging Twenties”, a volume of works dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on people, governments and world affairs, especially the macro world economy.

Escobar is a man of many journeys, an adventurer, explorer, mapper and story-teller. For decades he has traveled the capitals of the globe and trekked the backroads of the third and fourth worlds more than any writer in our lifetime.

His professional vocation is understanding the human condition and transmitting via his writings that understanding of facts, people, events and situations. He has a unique quality to absorb information he personally gathers, demonstrating his grasp of geopolitical, philosophical and historical context, from ancient to modern.

Focusing on this decade, the “Raging Twenties”, a collection of Pepe’s definitive prose, is a “voice-over” that narrates the change in our world from a single-polar hegemon to a multi-polar world order in the time of a pandemic. He teases apart the complexities that often are unknown, misunderstood or misconstrued. His “voice” is pleasing though authoritative, yet instantly familiar. Writing that talks, as if it were an audio track, is his style.

“For the first time in two millennia, China is able to combine the dynamism of political and economic expansion both on the continental and maritime realms, something that the civilization-state did not experience since the short expeditionary stretch led by Admiral Zheng He in the Indian Ocean in the early 15th century. Eurasia, in the recent past, was under Western and Soviet colonization. Now it’s going all-out multipolar—a series of complex, evolving permutations led by Russia-China-Iran-Turkey-India-Pakistan-Kazakhstan.”

Escobar is a man comfortable in any of the five civilizations on Earth. He moves easily in the West, China, Russia, India or Iran, and most parts neighboring these giant cultures. He presents his narratives, tales of his travels and meetings in differing performances. Escobar has mastered four story-telling voices–philosopher, court jester, mystic, historian. He moves through these presenters seamlessly, embellishing his writing with intellectual depth and artful illumination.

In Chapter 8, “How the Riddler may teach us to fight a disease”, we perceive the Philosopher investigating the nature of our universe through the eyes of Heraclitus, the Riddler. “In his heart of hearts a contemptuous aristocrat, this master of paradox despised all so-called wise men and the mobs that adored them. Heraclitus was the definitive precursor of social distancing.”

“Heraclitus was a Taoist and a Buddhist. If opposites are ultimately the same, this implies the unity of all things. Heraclitus even foresaw the reaction we should have towards COVID-19: ‘It is disease that makes health sweet and good, hunger satiety, weariness rest.’ The Tao would approve it. In the Heraclitus framework of serial cosmic recycling, disease gives health its full significance.”

The Court Jester authors Chapter 5, entitled “We are all Stoics now”. Imagine a Court Jester flowing with Stoicism as pop culture in Ancient Greece. Pepe brings it to you. Escobar marks the first punk in History, Diogenes the Cynic. “It’s enlightening to know that the upper classes of the Roman empire, their 1%, regarded Zeno’s insights as quite solid, while—predictably—deriding the first punk in History, Diogenes the Cynic, who masturbated in the public square and carried a lantern trying to find a real man.”

He follows the transition from Greece to Rome as the ideas of the Stoics migrate over the centuries and better suit the Roman minds of Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, the trio we view as role models of Stoicism.

“The Stoics were very big on ataraxia (freedom of disturbance) as the ideal state of our mind. The wise man cannot possibly be troubled because the key to wisdom is knowing what not to care about.”

Have you ever read such a ‘take’ on Stoics, Cynics, Epicureans, Humanists, and Skeptics? Pepe ties it into the impact of the pandemic.

“Perhaps the ultimate Stoic secret is the distinction by Epictetus between things that are under our control—our thoughts and desires—and what is not: our bodies, our families, our property, our lot in life, all elements that the expansion of COVID-19 now put in check.”

“What the postmodern world retains from the Stoics is the notion of resigned acceptance—which makes total sense if the world really works according to their insights. If Fate—once again, Zeus, not the Christian God—rules the world, and practically everything that happens is out of our hands, then realpolitik means to accept “everything to happen as it actually does happen”, in the immortal words of Epictetus. Thus, it’s pointless to get excited about stuff we cannot change. And it’s pointless to be attached to things that we will eventually lose. But try selling this notion to the Masters of the Universe of financial capitalism.” You can hear Pepe’s laughter.

“So, The Way—according to the Stoics—is to own only the essentials, and to travel light. Lao Tzu would approve it. After all, anything we may lose is more or less gone already—thus we are already protected from the worst blows in life.”

As with each of the personas of Pepe we perceive in his collected work, he changes from one to another in mid-flight. The Court Jester can be seen and felt throughout “Raging Twenties”. Just take a tour of the Chapter Headings and the section sub-headings. Pepe does floor gymnastics, handstands and backflips, cartwheels and tumblesaults with terminology and labels. That big Escobar smile and hearty chest laugh abound: “Remember Pax Mongolica”, “The Sirens and La Dolce Vita”, “The Westlessness Myth”, “East is East, West is More”, “Barbarism With A Human Face”, “Enter The Triad”, “The City In A Time of Plague”, “Show Me Your Fragility”, “Barbarism Begins At Home”, “Flying Dragon, Crashing Eagle”, “Blake Meet Burroughs”.

The modern Mystic is with us in Chapter 10, “How Confucious, Buddha and The Tao Are Winning This War”, as well as the anchor chapter, “Eurasia, The Hegemon and the Three Sovereigns”. The Mystic appears most definitely in Chapter 25, a retrospective column Pepe chose to explore the digital ether that has wrapped around our brains. “Kim No-Vax Does Darpa” is a trip back into the early days of AI,3 research financed by Darpa, the teat that nearly all US computer scientists sought to suck. Reading this nostalgia spotlights the many dead-ends of US technology that generated the perverse present High-Tech Silicon Valley feudalism.

Travel with the Mystic to Venice, Chapter 3, “The Sirens and La Dolce Vita”. Pepe floats in Venice waterways to retrace selected steps with Ezra Pound. In “The Cantos”, we find The Sirens, sculptures that represent to Pound the beautiful culture, a time and place of the best which preceded a time (the present) of tawdry cheapness. The Mystic smoothly elides into “La Dolce Vita”, the Fellini film, that epitomizes the glitzy ugliness oncoming in the sixties. A period of trash culture that now envelopes the globe, foretold by Pound, embossed by Fellini and absorbed by us.

Pepe the Historian appears nearly everywhere in the pages of “Raging Twenties”. In a most clever Chapter 13, “Siren Call of A ‘System Leader’”, Pepe wends through the Mongol age of Genghis Khan, to the death of Kublai Khan and the end of that Empire right into the 21st Century where the USA Empire, like the last great Khan, faces China. However, China is a part of Eurasia, the vast resource of the multi-polar sovereigns China, Russia, Iran, India, their neighbors and friends, arrayed ready to construct a new world based on four civilizations, not an ideology like the failed Empire of the USA.

The Historian gathers from Thucydides and others regarding plagues. Pertinently, Escobar delivers the connection of the fall of empires and plagues as cause. “Predictably eyeing the Decline and Fall of the American Empire, a serious academic debate is raging around the working hypothesis of historian Kyle Harper, according to whom viruses and pandemics—especially the Justinian plague in the 6th century—led to the end of the Roman Empire.”

Escobar’s journalistic roots remain in real politic while consistently pointing out the gap between the twisted souls that feel the need to lie, cheat and murder to achieve their ends. With acerbic ink, he writes: “Those were the days when NATO, with full impunity, could bomb Serbia, miserably lose a war on Afghanistan, turn Libya into a militia hell and plot myriad interventions across the Global South. And of course, none of that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded forced into becoming refugees in Europe.”

Pepe’s economic interest in Belt and Road and the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era opens our eyes to the real geo-political shifts. The pandemic has fractured world trade. “Soon we will be facing three major, interlocking debates: the management of the crisis, in many cases appalling; the search for future models; and the reconfiguration of the world-system.”

Peering over our Covid masks, we read Chapter 12, “How To Think Post-Planet Lockdown”. Pepe’s main insight remains valid: the state of exception has been completely normalized. And it gets worse: “A new despotism, which in terms of pervasive controls and cessation of every political activity, will be worse that the totalitarianisms we have known so far.”

“As dystopia and mass paranoia seem to be the law of the (bewildered) land, Michel Foucault’s analyses of biopolitics have never been so timely, as states across the world take over biopower—the control of people’s life and bodies.”

Pepe gives us, among many, Giorgio Agamben, who redoubles his analyses of science as the religion of our time: “The analogy with religion is taken literally; theologians declared that they could not clearly define what is God, but in his name they dictated rules of conduct to men and did not hesitate to burn heretics. Virologists admit they don’t know exactly what is a virus, but in its name they pretend to decide how human beings shall live.”

In the section, “Enter the triad”, Chapter 10, Pepe postulates: “I offer as a working hypothesis that the Asia triad of Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu has been absolutely essential in shaping the perception and serene response of hundreds of millions of people across various Asian nations to COVID-19—compared to the being is the greatest joy.” It also helps to know that “life is a series of natural and spontaneous choices. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Buddhism runs in parallel to the Tao: “All conditioned things are impermanent—when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” And to keep our vicissitudes in perspective, it helps to know that, “better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”

Quo Vadis. Where are you marching?

Pepe shows us the way, the paths we are on. He offers, too, a pantheon of “travelers” who opine from the high clouds of history, from books on dusty shelves of libraries, from blogs and videos on digital platforms, all snatched by his rapier mind to weave affirmation into his ideas and analysis. In sum, a feast awaits the reader, taken as a banquet or a serial read chapter by chapter. Enjoy.

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Where you can buy RAGING TWENTIES by Pepe Escobar

The Brazilian fracture between the Expanding Universe and the new imperialist competition in South America

The Brazilian fracture between the Expanding Universe and the new imperialist competition in South America
Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

April 05, 2021

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

In an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine – one of the most prominent mouthpieces of US imperialism – , and signed by, among others, Marcus Hicks, former commander of the US Special Operations Command in Africa during the period 2017-2019, defends the idea that the increased competition between the great powers ignites a red alert that the United States should turn its attention to the African continent.

The main motivator of this concern would be the urgent need to limit the “malign influence” of the hegemon’s two major strategic rivals: Russia and China.

Citing the increased Sino-Russian presence on the African continent, in which Russia alone would have already established military agreements with at least 19 countries, and China, installed in 2017 its first international military base in Djibout.

It is worth noting, that although the Foreign Affairs article mentions that there was an ebb in the American presence during Donald Trump’s administration, in reality, and in a long-term look, since 2001 American foreign policy has turned more aggressively to Africa, and this posture has even been an incentive for a greater presence of other actors of the interstate system in that continent.

The American presence in Africa, justified by the excuse of fighting transnational terrorism, was therefore the trigger for an increase in the presence of other interstate actors, and consequently, of the imperialist competition that in this pandemic 2021 gains even more dramatic contours.

Although this article is specifically a defense of the American presence in Africa, it serves as a warning of how the American establishment is positioning itself in face of a phenomenon that has deepened considerably in recent years: the new imperialist race.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the role of South America in this complex power game.

Taking into consideration that the increase in competitive pressure in the world system has been accelerating considerably since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has gained imperial contours after September 11, and has unveiled itself as, in fact, in a scenario of almost war with the advent of the pandemic, it is possible to deduce that the recent events in certain parts of South America definitely place it as a battleground of the current powers’ wider dispute for global hegemony.

Symptoms of this competitive phenomenon could be seen recently in insinuations that the Chinese are carrying out naval maneuvers in Argentinean waters (when in fact it was the Americans who in fact carried out exercises near the Brazilian coast), as well as in the intensification of the diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and Guyana.

There are many fracture points in South America, and perhaps the most visible and dangerous one lies over the Esequibo zone, a Guyanese territory of 159,000 square kilometers never recognized by Caracas.

In early March, Guyana accused Venezuela of having violated its airspace with the use of two Sukhoi SU 30 drones, of Russian origin. Caracas promptly refuted the accusations as false.

Repudiated by the Secretary of State for Falklands, Antarctica and the South Atlantic, Daniel Filmus, more recently, the publication of the new British defense plan – ratifying the decision to maintain a permanent military presence in the Falkland Islands – brought concerns to Buenos Aires.

The presence of foreign powers in South American territory is clear, and in light of the significant increase of competitive pressure in the world system – which has been gradually taking place since the disproportionate display of American military power against a defenseless Iraq in 1991 – the theory of the Expanding Universe is confirmed year after year, and in an increasingly dramatic way.

Contradicting the idea that a unipolar system, and therefore led and conducted by a single hegemon, would lead to Kant’s “perpetual peace,” the theory of the Expanding Universe supports the thesis that the global power game tends to reproduce itself ad infinitum as a continuously expanding, anarchic, and directionless universe.

Thus, it doesn’t matter whether the dispute is bipolar or multipolar: whoever is at the top of the system tends to expand his power even further – even if he is not necessarily being challenged at the moment, as is the case in the period right after the Soviet collapse, when the United States reigned absolute over the rest of the world.

The factual (and cruel) reality that comes to confirm the theory of the Expanding Universe could not fit into a more appropriate outfit than that of the present moment.

Just as 9/11 served as the perfect excuse for the expansion of the United States’ global power (in this specific case against an imaginary enemy – since the usual enemy, Russia, was temporarily out of the game), the Covid-19 pandemic serves today as a ladder for an unprecedented increase in competitive pressure in the interstate system.

Following this reasoning, and contrary to what Atlanticist analysts are saying, the pandemic crisis would be favoring only one country: the United States of America.

Not only because Silicon Valley technology companies have never profited as much as they do now, but the awakening of sovereigntist and militarist instincts brought about by the pandemic chaos has made possible the realization of the only fundamental and untouchable consensus of the currently divided US elites: the permanent and continuous reproduction and expansion of their military industrial complex. This expansion would be nothing more than the viability of the so-called Full Spectrum Dominance contained in the DOD Joint Vision 2020, published in the year 2000.

In this context, South America comes to play a new role in the global geopolitical chessboard, a role that the long period as a zone of peace under Anglo-Saxon influence would have softened.

With the increased competitive pressure caused by the pandemic event, which in other terms could be seen as the hegemon’s reaction to the entrance of new competitors in the system, came an increase or shock in the demand for energy resources.

In this scenario, we could exemplify the perspective of an expressive growth in the global demand for oil for the next 30 years, with China and India alone representing approximately 50% of all demand.

Considering that South America today can be considered the region with the largest oil (Venezuela) and Lithium (Bolivia) reserves on the planet – not to mention the Amazon forest and fresh water reserves (Brazil) – and in light of this global energy order in formation and dispute, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the new imperialist race between the great powers in the beginning of this century would be gradually turning to the region.

This situation is a wake-up call for a country in the region that is currently experiencing the greatest identity crisis in its entire history: Brazil.

Fractured internally since before the pandemic, the South American giant has never found itself so pressured and isolated internationally.

The systemic chaos that began with the Color Revolution of June 2013, and which has been deepening year after year until culminating in the election of Jair Bolsonaro (puppet president emerging from the white coup orchestrated by the consortium between the Armed Forces High Command and the U.S. government), finally goes into full short circuit after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

Since then the growing discontent of sectors of the local economic elites with the disastrous management of the health crisis by the current government ruled by the military junta is visible.

Threatened by external sanctions from all sides, the country that has surpassed the mark of 300,000 deaths, is experiencing an internal fracture unprecedented in its history.

Something little remembered, but already in October 2019, Portuguese-speaking writers Mia Couto and José Eduardo Agualusa, on a visit to Brazil, said they were impressed by the climate of local political animosity, comparing the South American giant to African countries like Mozambique and Angola during the pre-civil war period.

At the same time that military police officers in Rio de Janeiro organize marches dressed in suggestive black shirts in defense of President Jair Bolsonaro, military police officers in the state of Bahia are threatening to cause chaos with a riot against the local governor (Rui Costa, from the Workers’ Party, an opponent of Bolsonaro).

Amid escalating tensions, the arm-wrestling between government and parliament is intensifying, and in particular with regard to two issues of geopolitical relevance: 5G and the Sputnik V vaccine.

Even if it is not clear from the stories reported by the hegemonic Brazilian press, it is visible that the Bolsonaro government deliberately acts as a representative of US interests in Brazil.

The difficulties created for the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, and the constant threat of exclusion of the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the great 5G auction in the country, reflect the current role of Brazil as a battleground of the great expansionist dispute of the world system in this beginning of the century.

The social fracture, and the deepening divide within the local elites expose the serious risk of a country that could spiral out of control at any moment.

The news that the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) has sent a letter to Mr. Joe Biden, and to his Special Climate Secretary John Kerry, requesting a direct channel of communication – and away from the Brazilian government – to deal with issues related to the Amazon, opens a very serious alert about something that, for those who know history, would not be new.

Bearing in mind that geopolitical competition between the great powers is usually concentrated in fracture zones of the world system, history teaches us that fractured societies – and weakened states – tend to become the object of divisive games in the hands of the great powers.

With all due respect to the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil – so mistreated and threatened by the current government – but the moment calls for a deep reflection on this.

اتفاق استراتيجي بين إيران والصين لربع قرن.. ماذا في الدلالات والتوقيت؟ A strategic agreement between Iran and China for a quarter of a century. for a quarter of a century.

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

When Tehran, Beijing and Moscow decide to unite together

When Tehran, Beijing, and Moscow decide to come together in the face of destructive foreign policies of successive U.S. administrations, the White House must inevitably calculate the consequences.

Iran and China are moving beyond a new phase of bilateral relations, after years of talks and discussions put the points on the letters within the framework of a strategic cooperation document in all fields, while China is advancing in an upward, strong and rapid way to the consolidation of the global economy, and Iran has huge energy resources and prospers scientifically and is active industrially, and here liesthe importance of convergence between them.

The two sides describe this document as a roadmap for the future of bilateral relations, its provisions include trade, economic, military, and cultural cooperation in a way that gives the two sides mutual privileges in accordance with the mutual profit equation.

The agreement details cooperation from crude oil and nuclear power to railways, telecommunications, banking and the use of the national currency, to Iran’s role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is an agreement of great geopolitical importance because it also includes the exchange of military expertise, defense capabilities, security cooperation and support in international    forums.

It is true that economic cooperation is the cornerstone of this treaty, but according to observers it is a political challenge to the common adversaries of the two countries, and it opens the door to a new kind of confrontation against the European-Americancamp.

The importance of the agreement lies not only in substance, in the form of the timing of a thousand accounts as well, where China simultaneously is subjected to threats from the United States and Iran to sanctions and Russia to blockade. With the signing of the cooperation agreement, it highlights the role Tehran will play in the horizon of this agreement, which will serve as a benefit to its growingrole.

Iran’s important location, located on the land route of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, gives it an opportunity to link to regional infrastructure, which is inseparable from port andrail networks.

On this basis, the above will reflect huge economic gains, but also a strategy that is no less important than economic ones, as deepening Iran’s ties to regional infrastructure will result in international interests in defending Iran to counter U.S.policies.

On the other hand, China’s military and economic expansion and technological superiority are the most feared by Washington and its officials, and reducing Chinese influence has become one of the top priorities of the new U.S. administration.

The United States sees China as its biggest threat, and to its leading position in the world, its president Joe Biden  has positioned since entering the White House to outdo China and prevent it from expanding further on the international scene as its first target.

U.S. concern stems from a reality in which China has imposed its power, through its success in gradually expanding and considering with reliable allies such as Iran, Russia and others, as well as raising the level of its military readiness.

China’s access to Iranian ports as part of a strategy of access to as many seaports as possible limits U.S. dominance in the Gulf as Chinese presence, specifically at the port of Jask near the Strait of Hormuz, is limited by U.S. Fifth Fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain.

China’s expansion comes on the heels of the failure of the Alaska-U.S. meetings, the first between the two parties under Biden, in the absence of common ground for understanding, and the tyranny of sharpness on bilateral talks, which were punctuated by an unprecedented verbal scathing, during which Beijing’s behavior was evident on the basis of the club.

These are important strategic shifts in China’s policy toward the world order and regional politics and evidence that the increasing deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing is no longer manageable and, according to observers, threatens to widen theconfrontation.

“The partnership with China allows Iran to support its economy very much,” said Jamal Wakim, a professor of history and internationalrelations.

“The Iran-China partnership allows the heart of Eurasia to be closed to U.S. penetration,” Wakim said, noting that “seaports are essential for controlling navigation routes and international trade.”

“There is strategic integration between Iran, China and Russia on geopolitical issues,” Wakim said, noting that “Washington’s problem is that it wants absolute dominance on the course of things in theworld.”

“Washington is afraid of Chinese expansion,” said Khaled Sfouri, political advisor at the Meridian Center for Strategic Studies, adding that “America fears that China’s economic progress will turn into politicalinfluence.”

“China is a key economic partner ofthe United States thatcannot be easily abandoned,” he said, adding that “The Chinese influence that is entering the areas of American influence is makingthe clash between the two sidessoon.”

“If the Russian-Chinese agreement is signed, there is hope that the trilateral alliance with Iran will become a trilateral alliance with Iran, “said Imad Absinas, editor-in-chief of Iran Diplomat, noting that “the formation of the Trilateral Sino-Iranian-Russian alliance will be a source of danger toAmerica.”

“According to the agreement, Iran will be theheart of East-West trade,” Hesaid, noting that “the agreement stipulates that China will produce a lot of goods in Iran.”

“If Washington wants to continue its policy of imposing its will on the world, it will lose a lot,” He said, adding that “the Israeli-American and Saudi media reflects the extent of anger over the Iran-China  agreement.”

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إيران والصين توقعان الوثيقة الشاملة للتعاون لمدة 25 عاما

عندما تقرر طهران وبكين وموسكو الاتحاد معاً في مواجهة سياسات خارجية مدمرة للإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة، فعلى البيت الأبيض حتماً احتساب العواقب

عندما تقرر طهران وبكين وموسكو الاتحاد معاً

واشنطن حددت خصومها، فاختاروا التقارب رداً طبيعياً لمن يرفض الهمينة الأميركية 

المصدر: الميادين

27 آذار 23:18


تخط إيران والصين مرحلة جديدة من العلاقات الثنائية، فبعد سنوات من المحادثات والنقاشات وضع الطرفان النقاط على الحروف في إطار وثيقة تعاون استراتيجية في المجالات كافة، فيما تتقدم الصين على نحو متصاعد وقوي وسريع لتتسيد الاقتصاد العالمي، وإيران تملك موارد ضخمة للطاقة وتزدهر علمياً وتنشط صناعياً، وهنا تكمن أهمية التقارب بينهما.

يصف الطرفان هذه الوثيقة بخارطة الطريق لمستقبل العلاقات الثنائية، فبنودها تشمل التعاون تجارياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً وثقافياً بشكل يمنح الطرفين امتيازات متبادلة وفق معادلة الربح المتبادل.

تتحدث الاتفاقية بالتفصيل عن أوجه التعاون من النفط الخام والطاقة النووية إلى سكك الحديد والاتصالات والعمل المصرفي واستخدام العملة الوطنية، وصولاً إلى دور إيران في مبادرة الحزام والطريق.

هي اتفاقية تمتلك أهمية جيوسياسية كبرى لكونها تشمل أيضاً تبادل خبرات عسكرية وقدرات دفاعية وتعاوناً أمنياً واسناداً في المحافل الدولية. لا بل أكثر من ذلك، هو اتفاق على توسيع التعاون بين الجامعات وأقسام التكنولوجيا والعلوم والسياحة.

صحيح أن التعاون الاقتصادي يشكل عمود الأساس في المعاهدة هذه، إلا أنه بحسب مراقبين يعتبر تحدياً سياسياً لخصوم البلدين المشتركين، وهو يفتح الباب على نوع جديد من المواجهة ضد المعسكر الأوروبي الأميركي.

ولا تكمن أهمية الاتفاقية في المضمون فقط، ففي الشكل يحسب للتوقيت ألف حساب أيضاً، حيث بالتزامن تتعرض الصين للتهديدات الأميركية وإيران للعقوبات وروسيا للحصار. ومع توقيع اتفاقية التعاون، يسلط الضوء على الدور الذي ستؤديه طهران في أفق هذا الاتفاق الذي سيصب لمصلحة تعاظم دورها.

فموقع إيران المهم الذي يقع على المسار البري لمبادرة الحزام والطريق الصينية، يمنحها فرصة للارتباط بالبنية التحتية الإقليمية، وهو ما لا ينفصل عن شبكات الموانئ والسكك الحديدية.

على هذا الأساس، سينعكس ما سبق وفق مراقبين مكاسب اقتصادية ضخمة، لا بل استراتيجية أيضاً لا تقل أهمية عن الاقتصادية منها، فتعميق الارتباط الإيراني بالبنية التحتية الإقليمية سينتج مصالح دولية في الدفاع عن إيران لمواجهة السياسات الأميركية.

من الناحية الأخرى، فإن التوسع العسكري والإقتصادي للصين وتفوقها التكنولوجي، أكثر ما تخشاه واشنطن والمسؤولين فيها، حتى بات الحد من النفوذ الصيني أحد أبرز الأولويات للإدارة الأميركية الجديدة.

ترى الولايات المتحدة في الصين التهديد الأكبر لها، ولموقعها القيادي في العالم، رئيسها جو بايدن وضع منذ دخوله البيت الأبيض التفوق على الصين ومنعها من التوسع أكثر على الساحة الدولية هدفاً أولاً له.

القلق الأميركي ينبع من واقع فرضت فيه الصين قوتها، عبر نجاحها في التوسع التدريجي والمدروس مع حلفاء موثوقين مثل ايران وروسيا  وغيرهما إضافة إلى رفع مستوى جهوزيتها العسكرية.

كذلك، فإن وصول الصين إلى الموانئ الإيرانية ضمن استراتيجية تقوم على النفاذ إلى أكبر عدد ممكن من الموانئ البحرية، يحد من الهيمنة الأميركية في الخليج حيث اقترب الحضور الصيني، وتحديداً في ميناء “جاسك” القريب من مضيق هرمز من مقر الأسطول الخامس الأميركي في البحرين.

توسع صيني يأتي على وقع فشل اجتماعات ألاسكا بين الصين وأميركا، الأول بين الطرفين في عهد بايدن، في ظل غياب أرضية مشتركة للتفاهم، وطغيان الحدة على المحادثات الثنائية، التي تخللها تراشق كلامي لم يسبق له مثيل، وبدا واضحاً أثناءها تصرف بكين على أساس الندية.

هي تحولات استراتيجية مهمة في السياسة الصينية تجاه النظام العالمي والسياسات الإقليمية ودليل على أن التدهور الذي يتزايد في العلاقات بين واشنطن وبكين، لم يعد ممكنا ضبطه، وبات ينذر، وفق مراقبين، باتساع رقعة المواجهة.

أستاذ التاريخ والعلاقات الدولية جمال واكيم، قال إن “الشراكة مع الصين تتيح لإيران أن تدعم اقتصادها جداً”.

وفي حديث للميادين، أضاف واكيم، أن “الشراكة الإيرانية الصينية تتيح إغلاق قلب أوراسيا أمام التغلغل الأميركي”، مشيراً إلى أن “الموانئ البحرية أساسية للسيطرة على طرق الملاحة والتجارة الدولية”.

من جهته، قال المستشار السياسي لمركز ميريديان للدراسات الاستراتيجية خالد صفوري، قال إن “واشنطن تخشى من التوسع الصيني”، موضحاً أن “أميركا تخشى أن يتحول التقدم الاقتصادي الصيني إلى نفوذ سياسي”.

صفوري أكد للميادين، أن “الصين شريك اقتصادي أساسي للولايات المتحدة لا تستطيع التخلي عنها بسهولة”، معتبراً أن “النفوذ الصيني الذي بدأ يدخل مناطق النفوذ الأميركي يجعل الصدام بين الطرفين قريباً”.

مقالات ذات صلة

In Quest of a Multipolar Economic World Order

In Quest of a Multipolar Economic World Order

March 26, 2021

Posted with special Permission – Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar

(Transcript)

Ibrahima: [00:00:00] Good morning or good evening, depending on where you are located and welcome to the Henry George School. My name is Ibrahima Drame and I’m the director of education. It’s a great honor to have you with us today for another joint webinar co-organized with the International Union for Land Value Taxation with two great thinkers, Professor Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar to discuss the emerging economic world order.

I ‘d like to, thank Michael and Pepe for accepting to share their ideas with us my friend Alanna Hartzok co-founder of Earth Rights Institute, who will be moderating the session this morning. So, before I hand it over to Alana, I’d like to ask all attendees to keep muted until we open the Q&A session. And of course, in the meantime, you are free to use the chat and, please do so responsibly. So, Alanna, please go ahead and introduce our speakers.

Alanna: [00:00:55] Yes. Happy to do so I’m also an administrator for the International Union for Land Value Taxation, and we are on the web@theiu.org. I’m so delighted to have Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar join us once again for “In Quest of a Multipolar World Order”.

Michael Hudson is an American economist and professor of economics at the university of Missouri, Kansas City and a researcher at the Levi Economics Institute at Bard college. He’s a former Wall Street analyst, political consultant, commentator, and journalist.

He’s also teaching at the University for Sustainability in Hong Kong. Michael was the author of J is for Junk EconomicsKilling the HostThe Bubble and Beyond, Super Imperialism: the Economic Strategy of American Empire. And he has a new edition of that coming up now. Also, Trade Development and Foreign Debt ,and The Myth of Aid, and others.

Those books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, German, Spanish, and Russian, and they are very popular in China right now, I might add.

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is a correspondent editor at large at Asia times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture, Moscow. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East Pepe is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid WarRed Zone Bluesa Snap of Bagdad during the Surge. He was contributing editor to the Empire and the Crescent. His last two books are Empire of Chaos and The Raging Twenties: Great Power Rivalry Meets Techno Feudalism. Pepe is also associated with the Paris based European Academy of geopolitics.

He does have a new book out, The Raging Twenties, which is a collection of his excellent essays and articles for the several publications, for which he writes. So, when he’s not on the road and covering the New Silk Road, he is living in Sao Paulo, Paris, and most recently in Bangkok. So welcome both of you.

I must say that, for the chat, if you have questions, viewers, listeners, please ask your questions in the chat. And then we will ask them at the end of the conversation between Pepe and Michael. Thank you. Go right ahead.

Pepe Escobar: [00:03:38] Michael you want to start?

Michael Hudson: [00:03:41] Oh no, I don’t know what to talk about.

Pepe Escobar: [00:03:44] Come on now you should start. OK, why don’t you start with your last revised chapter for Super Imperialism.

Michael Hudson: [00:03:51] All right. 50 years ago, I wrote Super Imperialism about how America dominates the world financially, and gets a free ride.

I wrote it, right after America went off gold in 1971, when the Vietnam war – which was responsible for the entire balance-of-payments deficit – forced the country to go off gold. And everybody at that time worried the dollar was going to go down. There’d be hyperinflation. But what happened was something entirely different.

Once there was no gold to settle U.S. balance-of-payments deficits, America’s strong armed its allies to invest in US Treasury bonds, because central banks don’t buy companies. They don’t buy raw materials. All they could buy is other government bonds. So, all of a sudden, the only thing that other people could buy with all the dollars coming in were US Treasury securities. The securities they bought essentially were to finance yet more war making and the balance-of-payments deficit from war and the 800 military bases America has around the world.

The largest customer – I think we discussed this before – was the Defense Department and the CIA. They looked at it as a how-to-do-it book. That was 50 years ago. What I’ve done is not only re-edit the book and add more information that’s come out, but I’ve summarized how the last 50 years has transformed the world. It’s a new kind of imperialism. There was still a view, 50 years ago, that imperialism was purely economic, in the sense that there’s still a rivalry, for instance, between America and China, or America and Europe and other countries. But I think the world has changed so much in the last 50 years that what we have now is not really so much a conflict between America and China, or America and Russia, but between a financialized economy, run by financial planners allocating resources and government spending and money creation, and an economy run by governments democratic or less democratic, but certainly a mixed economy.

Everything that made industrial capitalism rich, everything that made America so strong on the 19th century, through its protective tariffs, through its public infrastructure investment all the way down through world war two and the aftermath, was that we had a mixed economy in America. Europe also had a mixed economy, and in fact, every economy since Babylon has had a mixed economy.

But in America you’ve had something entirely different since 1980. Something that was not foreseen by anybody, because it seemed to be so disruptive: namely, the financial sector saying, “We need liberty – for ourselves, from government.” By “liberty” they meant taking planning and subsidy, economic and tax policy, out of the hands of government and put into the hands of Wall Street. The result was libertarianism as a “free market.” In the form of a centralized economy that is concentrated in the hands of the financial centers – Wall Street, the City of London, the Paris Bourse. What you’re having today is an attempt by the financial sector to take on the role that the landlord class had in Europe, from feudal times through the 19th century. It’s a kind of resurgence of feudalism.

If you look at the last 200 years of economic theory from Adam Smith and Marx, onward, everybody expected a mixed economy to become more and more productive, and to free itself from the landlords – and also to free itself from banking. The expectation was to make land a public utility, the tax base, and to make finance basically something public. Government would decide who gets the funding. hus, the idea of finance in the public sector was going to be pretty much what it is in China: You create a bank credit in order to finance capital investment in factories. It means the production of machinery, agricultural modernization, transport infrastructure of high-speed trains, ports and all of that.

But in the United States and England, you have finance becoming something completely different. Banks don’t lend money to build factories. They don’t create money to make means of production. They make money to take over existing assets. Some 80% of bank loans are mortgage loans to transfer the ownership of real estate.

But of course, that’s what created a middle class in the United States. The middle class was able to buy its own housing. It didn’t have to pay rent to landlords or absentee owners, or to warlords and their descendants as in England and Europe. They could buy their own homes. What nobody realized is that if you borrowed the money to take a mortgage, there’s still an economic rental value. Most of it is no longer paid to the landlords. It’s paid to the banks. And so in America and Europe, the banks now play the role that landlords played a hundred years ago.

Just as landlords are trying to do everything they could through the House of Lords in England and the upper houses of government in Europe, they’re trying to block any kind of democratic government. The fight really is against government that would do anything that is not controlled by the 1%, and by the banks. Essentially, the merger between Finance, Insurance and Real Estate – the FIRE sector. So, you have a relapse of capitalism in the West back into feudalism, but feudalism with a financialized twist much more than in medieval times.

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

Pepe Escobar: [00:10:40] Well, as an introduction, Michael that was perfect, because now, now we have the overall framework, especially geo-economic and historically, at least for the past 70 years. Let’s put it this way.

I have a series of questions for you. I was saving one of these for the end, but I think I should start really the Metallica way. Let’s go heavy metal for a start, right? So considering what you describe as a new kind of imperialism, and the fact that this sort of extended free lunch cannot apply anymore because of sovereigns around the world, especially Russia in China. I tried to formulate the idea that there are only three real sovereign powers on the planet, apart from the hegemon: Russia, China and Iran. These three, which happened to be the main hub and the main focus of not only of the New Silk Road but of the Eurasia integration process, are actively working for some sort of change of the rules that predominated for the past 70 years.

So my first question to you would be, do you see any realistic possibility of f a Bretton Woods 2.0, which would imply the end of dollar hegemony as we know it? These petrodollar recyclings, on and on and on, with the very important presence of that oily hacienda in Saudi Arabia. And do you think this is possible considering that president Putin himself only a few days ago reiterated once again that the US is no longer agreement-capable. That destroys already the possibility of the emergence of the new rules of the game, but do you think this is still realistically possible?

Michael Hudson: [00:12:47] I certainly do not see any repetition of a Bretton Woods because as I described in Super Imperialism, Bretton Woods was designed to make American control over Britain over Europe total. Bretton Woods was a US-centered system to prevent England from maintaining its empire. That was okay. It also was to prevent France from maintaining its empire, and for America to take over the Sterling Area. The World Bank was to prevent other countries from becoming independent and feeding themselves, to make sure that they supported plantation agriculture, not land reform. The one single fight of the World Bank was to prevent land reform and to make sure that America and other foreign investors would take over the agriculture of these countries.

Very often people think of capitalism, certainly in the sense that Marx described in Volume One, as being limited to the exploitation of wage labor by employers. But capitalism also is an appropriation of the land rent, the agricultural rent, the natural-resource rent, the oil and mineral rent. The idea of Bretton Woods was to make sure that other countries could not impose capital controls to prevent American finance coming in and appropriating their resources. The aim was to make the loans to governments so that they would not create their own money to promote their own social development, but would have to borrow from the World Bank and the IMF. That essentially meant borrowing from the Pentagon and the State Department in U S dollars. They would dollarize their economies and the economic surplus would all be sucked abroad. The economic rents from oil, agriculture and mining would all be sucked into the United States.

That kind of Bretton Woods cannot be done again. Since Bretton Woods was an idea of centralizing the world’s economic surplus in a single country, the United States, no, that can never be done again.

What is happening? You mentioned the world of a free lunch That’s was the theme of my Super Imperialism: When America issues dollars, and these end up in central banks, what can these banks do with them? All they really can do is lend them back to the United States Government. So America got a financial free lunch. It can spend and spend on its military, or bump up corporate takeovers of other countries. The dollars have gone out, but foreign countries can’t cash them in for gold. They have nothing to cash them into. All they can do is finance the U S budget deficit by buying more and more Treasury IOUs. These are the liabilities side of the balance sheet of foreign military bases and related operations.

What’s is ironic now is what has happened in the last few years in the fight against Russia and China. America has killed the free lunch. It said, okay, now we’re going to have sanctions against Russia and China. We’re going to grab whatever money you have in foreign banks, like we grabbed Venezuela’s money. We’re going to excommunicate you from the SWIFT bank clearing system. So, you can’t use banking. We’re going to put sanctions against banks that deal with you.

So Russia and China have seen that they can’t deal with dollars anymore, because the United States just unilaterally rejected their use by any country that does not follow its military and financial diplomacy. If countries do have dollars as reserves and lend them back to the United States, it’s going to spend them on building more military bases around Russia and China, to make them waste their money on military defense spending. So, America itself has ended the free lunch, by the way in which it’s fighting against China and Russia.

And now Russia and China, as you pointed out, are de-dollarizing. They’re trading in each other’s currency. They’re doing the opposite of what Bretton Woods tried to create. They’re inspiring monetary independence from the United States. Bretton Woods sponsors dependence on the United States, a centralized system dependent ultimately on Wall Street financial planners. What China and Russia are trying to create is an economy that’s not run by the financial sector, but run by, industrial and economic engineering principles.

At issue is what kind of an economy we need in order to raise living standards and, wages and self-sufficiency and preserve the environment. What is needed for the ideal world that we want? Well, for starters you’re going to need a lot of infrastructure. In America and Britain, infrastructure has been privatized. It has to make a profit. And railroads or electric utilities, as you’ve just seen in Texas, are natural monopolies. For 5,000 years, infrastructure in Europe, the Near East and Asia was kept in the public domain. If you give it to private owners, they’ll charge a monopoly rent.

China’s idea is to provide the educational system freely, and let everybody try to get an education. In America, to get an education you have to go into debt for between $50,000 and $200,000. Most of whatever you make is going to be paid the creditor. But in China, if you give free education, the money that students earn will be spent into the economy, buying the goods and services that they produce. So the economy will be expanding, not shrinking, not being sucked up into the banks that are financing the education. The same avoidance of privatized financialized or monopolized rent-seeking applies to the railroads, and also to healthcare.

If you provide healthcare freely then employers do not have to pay for it. In the United States, if companies and their employees have to pay for healthcare, this means that employees have to be paid a much higher wage in order to afford the healthcare. They also have to be paid more in order to afford the privatized transportation that gets them work, or auto loans in order to drive to work. Such costs are free or at least subsidized in other countries. Their governments can create their own credit. But in the United States and Europe, governments feel that they have to borrow from the wealthy and pay interest. China’s government doesn’t need to borrow from a wealthy bondholding class. It can simply print the money. That’s Modern Monetary Theory. As Donald Trump has explained in the United States, we can print whatever we want. Dick Cheney said that deficits don’t matter, because we can just print what we need to invade Iraq or bomb Libya. And of course, Stephanie Kelton and my other colleagues in MMT at Kansas City for many years have been saying that.

The banks fear this because they see that Modern Monetary Theory no longer gives them control. They want the rich One Percent to be able to have a choke point on the economy, so that that people cannot survive without borrowing and paying interest. They want to control the choke points to extract economic rent. So you have the West turning into a rent-extractive economy, a rent-seeking economy. The ideal of Russia, China, and other countries is that not only of Mar, but also of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and even Ricardo in the sense that the aim of classical economics was to free economies from economic rent. The American economy is all about extracting rent through the real estate sector, the financial sector, the health insurance sector, monopolies and the infrastructure sector.

The US economy has been Thatcherized and Reaganized. The result is a fight of rentier economic systems against China and Russia. So it’s not simply a fight between who makes the best computer chips and the best iPhones. It’s over whether we are going to have a fallback of civilization back into feudalism, back into control by a narrow class at the top of the economy – the 1% – or are we going to have democratic industrialization? That used to be called socialism, but it also was called capitalism. Industrial capitalism was evolving toward socialism. It was socialized medicine, socialized infrastructure, socialized schooling. So, the fight against socialism is also a fight against what made industrial capitalism so successful in the United States and Germany.

What you’re seeing now is a fight for what direction civilization will follow. You can’t have a Bretton Woods for a single worldwide organization, because the United States would never join what it can’t control. The United States accuses a country trying to make its labor force prosperous, educated and healthy instead of sick with shorter lifespans of being communist or socialist. That means independent of the U.S. financialized “Free World” austerity economics.

Pepe Escobar: [00:21:40] Well, you put it very starkly. The opposition between two completely different systems, what the Chinese are proposing, including, from productive capitalism to trade and investment all across Eurasia and beyond, including Africa and parts of Latin America as well. Recognizing the rentier obsession of the 0.01% that controls the U S financial system, in terms of facts on the ground: Are we going slowly but surely and ominously toward an absolute divorce of a system based on rentier ultra-financialization, which is the American system, not productive capitalism at all?

I was going through a small list of what the U S exports. It’s not long, as you know. Agricultural products, always privileging US farmers. Hollywood? We are all hostages of Hollywood all over the world. Pop culture? That’s not the pop culture that used to be absolutely impregnable and omniscient during the sixties, the seventies, during the Madonna, Michael Jackson era and in the eighties? Infotech? And that’s where a big bet comes in. This is maybe the most important American export at the moment, because American big tech controls social networks all over the planet.

Big pharma? Now we see the power of big pharma with the whole COVID operations, right? But Boeing prefers to invest in financial engineering instead of building decent products. Right? So, in terms of being a major superpower, the hyper power, that’s not much. Obviously, buyers all over the world already noticed that. So, what is China proposing in terms of the New Silk Road? It is a foreign policy strategy, a trade investment and sustainable development strategy applied not only to the whole of Eurasia, but beyond Eurasia to grow a great deal of the global South. That’s why we have global South partners to the New Silk Road. 130 and counting as we speak. Right?

So, the dichotomy could not be clearer. What will the 0.0 0.1% do? They don’t have anything seductive to sell. To all those nations in the global South to start with; the new version of the non-aligned movement, the countries that are already part of New Silk Road projects. We could see this by the end of last year when the China European union agreement was more or less sealed. It’s probably going to be sealed in 2021 for good.

At the same time, we had the Regional, Economic and Comprehensive Partnership at the ASEAN 10, my neighbors here, the Association of South East Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. So, when you have the China -EU deal, and when you have R C E P, you have China as the number one trade partner on the planet, no competition whatsoever.

Every one of these players wants to do business with China. They’re privileging doing business with China to doing business with US, especially with a country that once again, according to President Putin is non-agreement-capable. So, Michael, what is your key economic view of the next steps? Are we going toward the divorce of the American financialization system and the Eurasia-and-beyond integration system?

Michael Hudson: [00:25:51] Well, you you’ve made the whole point clear. There is a basic incompatibility between a rentier society controlled by the finance and real estate interests – and military interests – and an industrial democracy. For industry in England and Europe in the 19th century, the fight for democratic reform was to increase the role of the House of Commons against the House of Lords in England and other lower housse in Europe was a fight to get labor on the side of industry to get rid of the landlord class. And it was expected that once you had capitalism free of the landlord class, free of something that wasn’t really industrial capitalism at all (it was a carry-over from feudalism), you wouldn’t have this overhead of the idle 1%, only consuming resources and going to war.

World War I changed all that. Already in the late 19th century the landlords and the banks fought back. They fought back largely through the Austrian School of individualism and the English marginalists, and they euphemized it as free markets. That slogan meant giving power to the monopolists, to the oppressors, to violence. A free market was where armies can come in, take over your country, impose a client dictatorship like Pinochet in Chile or the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Americans call that a free market. The Free World was a world centrally planned by the American military and finance. So, it’s Orwellian double-think. The dynamic of this world is shrinking because it’s polarizing. You’ve seen with the COVID pandemic in the United States, the economy has polarized much more sharply between the 1%, the 10% and the rest of the economy.

Well, as opposed to that, you have economies that are not run by a rentier class, and that do not have a banking class and landlord class controlling the economy. The kind of arrangement that you had in Germany in the late 19th century: government, industry and labor coordinated. The question was how to provide the financing for industry so that banks can provide not only industrial capital formation, but public funding to build infrastructure and uplift the population.

China is doing just what made America rich in the 19th century, and what made Germany rich. It’s the same logic of industrial engineering. This plan is based on economic expansion, environmental preservation and economic balance instead of concentration, so this is going to be a growing economy. So, you’re having a growing economy outside of the United States and a shrinking economy in the States and its satellites in Europe.

Europe had a choice: Either it could shrink and be an American satellite economy, or it could join the growth. Europe has decided unanimously to forego growth and become a set of client oligarchies and kleptocracies. It is willing to let its financial sector take over just as in America. That’s a “free market,” because I’m told by American officials that they can just buy the European politicians, they’re bribable. Being up for sale is what a free political market means. That’s why when President Putin says that America and Europe are not agreement-capable, it means they’re just in it for the money. There’s no ideology there. There is no idea of overall social benefit. The system is based on how to get rich, and you can get rich by being bribed. That’s why you go into politics. As you can tell in America with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling saying that politics can be personally financed.

So, you’re having two incompatible systems. They’re on different trajectories. If you have a system that is shrinking like the West and growing in the East, you have resentment. People who obtain their wealth in crooked ways, or without working, by inheritance or by crime, by exploitation, they will fight like anything to keep that. People who actually create wealth – labor and capital – they’re not willing to fight. They just want to be creative. So you have a destructive military force in the West, and basically a productive economic growth force in Eurasia. The clash now is occurring largely in Ukraine. You’re having the United States back the neo-Nazis.

Pepe Escobar: [00:30:40] The old Nazi movement!

Michael Hudson: [00:30:41] Yes. It’s the same swastika carrying group that threatened Russia in World War II. This is like waving a red flag before a bull. Putin continues to remind the Russians of what happened with the 22 million that died, in World War II. He said that Russia was not going to let it happen again.

You can be certain that Russia is not going to be sucked into invading Ukraine. The United States has its military advisors that the Vineyard of the Saker has a very good report on. America’s trying to needle Russia into fighting back against the terrorist groups, but Russia has no desire at all to do that. There’s nothing that Russia has to gain by taking it over. It’s essentially a bankrupt country.

The United States is trying to provoke a response so that it can accuse Russia of attacking the West. The result will probably be that Russia will simply provide arms to the Eastern Ukrainians to fight back the invasion. You’re going to have a wasteland in Western Ukraine and Poland. This wasteland may be the new buffer state between Europe and Russia. Already you have maybe 10% of Ukrainians having moved to Russia and the East, the other 10% are now plumbers in England and Europe. They’re in flight, and they’re beginning to look like Latvia and other neoliberalized countries. If you want to see their future, look at Latvia, Estonia and Greece. That’s the American plan. Essentially, an emigration of skilled labor, a sharp reduction of living standards, a 20% decline in population. Although it may appear to have more income, all this income and GDP is essentially interest collection and rents paid to the FIRE sector – as if these payments were for “real product.”

All the American GDP growth is essentially payment to the banks, to the landlords and the monopolists. The population and employees are not sharing in the GDP growth. It’s concentrated at the top. High finance is like the Roman Empire: “They make a desert, and call it growth.”

Rome was a predatory economy held by military force that ultimately collapsed, and America is on the same trajectory as Rome. And its managers know this. I have spoken to American policymakers and they say, “We’re going to be dead by then. It doesn’t matter if the West loses. I’m going to get rich. I’m going to buy a, farm in New Zealand and make a big bomb shelter there and live underground,” like a cave dweller. The financial time frame, the predatory rentier timeframe, is short-term. The Eurasian time frame is long-term. So you’ve got the short term burning what wealth it has, as opposed to the longer term building it up.

What you can see in the COVID bill that President Biden just got passed in the Senate. They call it a stimulus bill, but if you’re starving, if you haven’t been able to pay your rent, if you’re six months behind in your rent and you get enough money to pay the landlord, at least one month back rent, that’s not a stimulus, that’s survival. And it’s a one-time payment. This kind of “stimulus” checks that America’s sending out are sent out every month in Germany and parts of Europe. The whole idea in Europe is, “Okay, you have a pandemic, you have business interrupted. We’re going to proclaim a pause: You don’t pay the rent, but the landlords are not going to pay the banks. And the banks are not going to be in arrears. We’re just going to have a pause so that when it’s all over and cure people, we’ll go back to normal.” Well, China and Russia are already pretty much there and where you are, in Thailand, already back to normal.

They don’t have an abnormal thing, but America has pushed anybody who’s renting or who’s bought a house on mortgage credit, or who has credit-card debt or personal debt or automobile debt – they’re way behind. These stimulus checks are just being used to pay the banks and the landlords not to not to buy more goods and services. All they’re trying to do is to get out of the hole that they’ve been dug into in the last 12 months. That’s not a stimulus. That’s a partial, desperation payment.

This problem never existed, in other civilizations. You have the whole tradition of the ancient Near East. That’s what my book “… and Forgive them their Debts” is all about. The whole idea is that when there is an economic interruption, you don’t leave people in debt. You wipe out the arrears that have mounted up. You simply wipe out the tax arrears, the rent arrears and other payment arrears.

So once the crisis is over, you can start from a normal position again. But there’s no normalization in America. You’re starting from a position, even more behind financially than when you went in. The foreign economies of China and Russia don’t have a backlog of arrears as a deficit. So, the West is beginning with 99% of its population deeper into debt to the 1%. That polarization between the 1% and the 99% doesn’t exist in China. And in Russia, Putin is trying to minimize it, given the legacy of the kleptocracy that the neoliberals put in. He’s still trying to deal with that, but you really have a difference in economic systems and the direction in which these systems are moving.

Pepe Escobar: [00:36:27] I’m really glad that you brought up Ukraine, Michael, because US foreign policy – even, before Trump, and now with the new Biden-Harris administration – basically boils down to sanctions, sanctions, sanctions – as we know, provocations, which is what they’re doing to Greece and certainly in Syria. They already did that with bombing a few days ago.

In the case of Ukraine and Donbass, it’s absolutely crazy, because NATO so-called strategists, when you talk to them in Brussels, they know very well that each state or whatever they weaponize and financialize to profit Kiev to mount some sort of offensive against the Donbass. Even if they would have like 300,000 soldiers, like 30,000 in Donbass. If the Russians see that this is going to get really heavy, if they intervene directly with their bombing, with their super missiles, they can finish this story in one day. And if they want, they could finish the whole story, including invading Ukraine in three days, like they did in 2008 with Georgia, and still keep the provocations loosely acted on by people from inside the Pentagon. So we have sanctions, we have nonstop provocations, and we have also a sort of fifth column, elements inside or at the top of government. I would love to have your personal analysis on the role of super Mario “Goldman-Sachs” Draghi, now in Italy, which is something I had been discussing with my Italian friends. There’s more or less a consensus among very well informed, independent Italian analysts that Draghi may be the perfect Trojan horse to accelerate the destruction of the Italian state. That will accelerate the globalist project of the European union, which is absolutely non-state centric. That is also part of the great reset. So, if you could briefly talk to us about the role of Super Mario at the moment.

Michael Hudson: [00:38:55] Well, Italy is a very good example to look at. When you have a country that needs infrastructure and public, social democratic spending, you need a government to create the credit. But when Americans – and specifically the University of Chicago free-market lobbyists – created the Eurozone financial system, their premise was that governments should not create money. Only banks should be allowed to do that, for the benefit of their stock and bond holders. So, no European governments can run a budget deficit large enough to cope with the coronavirus or with the problems that have been plaguing Italy for a decade. They can’t create their money to revive employment, to revive infrastructure or to revive the economy.

The European central bank only lends to other central banks. It’s created trillions of euros just to buy stocks and bonds, not to spend into the economy, not to hire labor, not to build infrastructure, but just to save the holders of the stocks and bonds from losing money from falling asset prices. That makes 1% or 5% of the population richer. So in practice, the function of the European Central Bank is to create money only for the purpose of saving the wealthiest 5% from losses on their stocks and bonds.

The cost of this limitation is to impoverish the economy and to basically make it looking like Greece, which was a dress rehearsal for how the Eurozone was going to reduce Europe to debt dependency. Under feudalism, everybody had to have access to the land by becoming a serf. Well now you’re in debt peonage, modern, finance capitalism’s version of serfdom.

So, Italy says, “We’re going to need government spending. We’re going to need to do in our way what China’s doing in its way, and what Russia is doing in its way. We’re going to have some kind of government program. We can’t just let the economy be impoverished simply because the University of Chicago has designed a plan for Europe to prevent the Euro from being a rival to the dollar. If there’s no European Central Bank to pump euros into the world economy, then only dollars will be left for central bank reserves.

The United States doesn’t ever want a rival. It wants satellites. That’s what it’s basically turned Europe into. I don’t see any response outside of Italy for an attempt to say they can’t be a part of this system and so should withdraw from the Eurozone. When I was in Greece years ago, we all thought it might join with Italy, Portugal and Ireland and say that the system wasn’t working. But everybody else said no, no, the Americans will just simply get us out of office one way or another. And in Italy, of course, if you look at what happened after World War II, the great threat was Italian communism. You had the Americans essentially say, “Well, we know the answer to communism. It’s fascism,” and you saw them buying politicians. They did every dirty trick in the book in order to fight any left wing group in Italy, just as they did in Yugoslavia, and just as they did in Greece. They wiped out the partisans, all the leading anti-Nazi groups from Greece to Italy to elsewhere. All of a sudden, they were all either assassinated or moved out of office – and replaced by the very people that America had been fighting against during World War II.

Well, now Italy is finally coming to terms with this and trying to fight back. You’re having what’s happening there, between Northern Italy and Southern Italy, the same splits as in other countries.

Pepe Escobar: [00:42:53] Yeah. Well, I’m going to bring up, perhaps an even more extreme case now Michael, which is the case of Brazil, which at the moment is in the middle of an absolutely out of this world mix of telenovela and Kabuki theater that even for most Brazilians, is absolutely incomprehensible, because it’s like a fragmentation bomb exploding over and over again, a Groundhog Day of fragmentation bombs.

In fact, it’s completely crazy. Lula is back in the picture as well. We still don’t know how the guys who run the show, the Brazilian military, are going to deal with him. I bring up this case because it’s happened in the past 48 hours. It has convulsed Brazil completely, and large parts of Latin America, because it is a telenovela with one cliffhanger after another, sometimes in a matter of minutes. But it encompasses all the basic themes of what really interests the 0.01%, which we can identify as a class war against labor, which is the system in Brazil since the coup against Dilma. A war against mixed economies, economic sovereignty, which is something that the masters of the universe of the 0.01% cannot wage against Russia in China. But that was very successfully waged against Brazil and implemented in Brazil. In fact, in a matter of two years they completely devastated the country in every possible sense, industrially, sociologically, you name it…

And of course, because the main objective is something that you keep stressing over and over again: unipolar rentier dominance. So, Brazil, I would say is the extreme case not only in the global South, but in planetary terms. Let’s say, the last frontier of the rentier economy is when you manage to capture a country that was slowly emerging as a leader in the global South, an economic leader. Don’t forget that a few years ago Brazil was the sixth largest economy in the world, and on the way to become the fifth. Now it’s the 12th, falling down nonstop and controlled by a mafia. That includes, not by accident, a Chicago boy Pinochetista minister Paulo Guedes, who is implementing in the 21st century something that was implemented in Chile in the seventies and in the eighties. They were successful. Apparently, at least so far, Brazil is so disorganized as a nation, so shattered so fragmented and atomized as a nation that basically it depends on the re-emergence of a single political leader

In this case it is Lula, to try to rebuild the nation from scratch. Even in a position where he cannot control the game, he can interfere in the game, which is what happened 24 hours ago when he gave a larger-than-life press conference, mixed with a re-presentation of himself as a statesman. He said, look, the whole thing is shattered, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel. But still, he cannot confront the real masters of the universe that have allowed this to happen in the first place.

So just to give an example to many of you who are not familiar with some details of the Brazilian case, it involves directly the Obama-Biden scheme or the Obama-Biden larger operation. When Biden was vice president in 2013, in May he visited Brazil for three days and he met with president Dilma. They discussed very touchy subjects, including the most important one: the absolutely enormous, pre-salt oil reserves. Obviously, the Americans wanted to be part of the whole thing, not by accident. You know what happened one week later: the start of the Brazilian color revolution, and this thing kept rolling and rolling and rolling.

We got to the coup against Dilma in 2016, we got to the carwash operation landing Lula in jail. And we got to the election of Bolsanaro. And now we are in a place where even if the military control the whole process, even Bolsanaro is becoming bad for business. But will he become bad for the rentier class business, for the 0.01% in the US that has all the connections in their new, large neo-colony in the tropics, which has enormous strategic value, not to mention unforeseen wealth resources? So, this is an extreme case, and I know that you follow Brazil relatively closely. So, your geo-economic and geopolitical input on the running telenovela I think would be priceless for all of us.

Michael Hudson: [00:48:50] Well, this problem goes back 60 years. In 1965 João Goulart, the former president of Brazil, came to New York and we met with each other. He explained to me how the U.S.-backed military got rid of him in 1964 because he wasn’t representing the banking class. He said that they built Brasilia, just in order to be apart from the big industrial cities and their constituencies. They wanted to prevent industry and the democracy and the population from controlling the government.

So, they built Brasilia. He said, “Maybe they’ll use it as an atom bomb site. It certainly doesn’t have economic value.” Well, fast forward, in 1982, after Mexico defaulted on its foreign debt in 1972, nobody would invest in Latin America. And by 1990, Brazil was paying 45% interest per year to borrow the dollars to be able to finance its deficit, which is mainly flight capital by the wealthy. Well, I think I’d mentioned before here, I was hired by Scudder Stevens and Clark to create the first Sovereign Debt bond fund. Brazil and also Argentina were paying 45%. Just imagine that. That’s a fortune every year. No American would buy it, no European would buy it. Who bought it? The Brazilians and the Argentineans bought it. They’re the government, they’re the central bankers. They’re the president’s family. They’re the 1% – the only people that would hold Brazil’s dollar debt. So when Brazil pays its foreign Yankee Dollar debt, it’s paying its own 1% who are holding it offshore, for instance in the Dutch West Indies where the fund was located for tax-avoidance purposes. They pretend to be American imperialists, but actually are local imperialists.

Toward the end of Lula’s rule the Brazilian Council of Economic Advisors brought Jamie Galbraith, Randy Wray and me down for a discussion. They were worried because Lula, in order to get elected, had to meet with the banks and agree to give them what they wanted. The banks told him “We can see that you have the power to be elected. We don’t want to have to fight you in dirty ways. We will let you be elected, but you’re going to have to support the policies, certainly the financial policies that we want.” Lula made a kind of a devil’s agreement with them because he didn’t want to be killed, and they were willing to do some good things.

So, he was sort of a Bernie Sanders type character. Okay, you have to go along with a really bad system in order to get something good done, because Brazil really needs something good done. Well, the fact is that the financial groups couldn’t take even the little bit he did, because one of the characteristics of financial wealth is to be addictive. It’s not like diminishing marginal utility. If you give more food to an employee or to a worker at the end of the meal, you’re satiated, you don’t want much more. If you give enough money, they buy a few luxuries and then, okay, they save it. But if you give more money to a billionaire they want even more, and they grow even more desperate. It’s like a cocaine addict. The Brazilian ruling class wanted it so desperately that they framed up and controlled the utterly corrupt judiciary. The judiciary in Brazil is almost as corrupt as it is in New York city

Pepe Escobar: More, even more.

Michael Hudson: They frame them up and they want totalitarian control. And that is what a free market is: Totalitarian control by the financial class. It’s freedom for the financial class to do what they want to the rest of the economy. That’s libertarianism. It’s a free market, it’s Austrian economics. It’s the right wing’s fight against government. It’s a fight against any government strong enough to resist the financial and real estate interests. Brazil is merely the most devastating example of this, because it takes such a racial turn there. Brazilians want to make a fortune tearing down the Amazon, cutting up the Amazon, selling the lumber to China, turning the Amazon into soya production to sell to China. But for that, you have to exterminate the indigenous population that wants to use the land to feed itself. So you see the kind of race war and ethnic war that you have, not to mention the war against the blacks in the Brazilian slums that Lula tried so much to overcome.

So you have a resumption of the ethnic war there. On Wall Street I had discussions with money managers back in 1990. They saw it as a lnog=term burden, and wondered whether that’s going to be a model for what’s happening in the United States with the ethnic war here.

Essentially, it’s a tragedy what’s happening in Brazil, but it’s pretty much what happened in Chile under Pinochet, which is why they have the Pinochetista and the Chicago boys that you mentioned.

Pepe Escobar: [00:54:07] Absolutely. Coming back to China, Michael, what we had a few days ago, they are still discussing it. It goes on until the 15th of March, the approval of the five-year plan, which is not actually the five-year plan. It’s actually three five-year plans in one, because they are already planning for 2035, which is something absolutely unimaginable anywhere in the West. Right? So, it’s a different strategy: productive investment, expansion of social welfare and solidifying it with technological improvements. I would say by 2025, China would be very close to the same infotech level of the US, which is part of the Made in China 2025 policy, which is fantastic. They stopped talking about it, but they are still implementing the technological drive in all those standard areas that they had codified a few years ago. And I found this notion particularly fascinating, because it is on one sense socialism with some Confucianist elements, but it’s also very Daoist. The dual development strategy, which is an inversion and expansion of domestic investment and consumption, balancing all the time with projects across Eurasia. Not only affiliated with the Belt and Road, with the New Silk Road, but all other projects as well. So, when you have a leadership that is capable of planning with this scope, amplitude, breadth and reach, compare that to the money managers in the West, whose planning goes not even quarterly in many cases, but just for 24 hours.

So our dichotomy between rentier capitalism, financialization, industrial capitalism or whatever we want to call it, and state planning with the view of social benefit, is even starker. I’m not saying that the Chinese system can be exported to the rest of the world, but I’m sure that all across the global South people are looking at Chinese policies, how they are planning long-term, how they are always fine tuning, and what they develop and discuss.

For instance, this week there were over 3000 recommendations coming from different counties and villages and regions and local leaders, et cetera. Some of them are incorporated into the five-year plan as well. So this, as you said in the beginning, is a frontal shock of two systems. Sooner or later we’re going to have the bulk of the global South, including nations that nowadays are still American vassals or satrapies or puppets or poodles. They’re going to see which way the wind was blowing. Right?

Michael Hudson: [00:57:27] Why can’t the Chinese system be exported to the West? That’s a good question. Let’s suppose how would you make American industry able to follow the same productive path that China did. Well, for one thing, the biggest element in workers budget today is housing: 40%. There was one way to get rid of the high housing prices that essentially are whatever a bank will lend. The banks lend essentially the economic rent. There’s a very simple way to keep housing prices down: Tax the land rent. Use the tax system not to tax labor, because that increases the cost of labor, and not tax industrial capital, but tax the land, the real estate and the banks.

Well, suppose you were to lower the price of housing in America from 40% to 10% like China. This is the big element in the cost-structure difference. Well, if people only had to pay 10% of their income for housing, then all the banks would go under, because 80% of the bank loans are mortgage loans.

The function of housing in a financialized economy is to force new buyers and renters into debt to the banks, so that the banks end up with all of the lend rent that the landlord class used to get. That’s their business plan. This is what’s preventing America from being like China.

What if America would try to develop a high-speed railroad like China? Well, then you need the right of way. You’d need to you have to have the railroads go in a straight line. As we’ve mentioned before, they need a right of way, which it doesn’t have because that would conflict with private property and most of the right of way is a very expensive real estate. So, you can’t have high-speed rail in the United States, like in China.

Suppose you would have a low-cost public education. well then, you get rid of the whole means of siphoning off labor’s income to pay for education loans. Suppose you had public healthcare, and prevent Americans from getting sick like they do in, China and Thailand, where, where you are. In that case the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be able to make their interest and dividend payments. So, you could not have America adopt a China-type industrial program without what would be really a revolution against the legacy of monopoly of a private banking, of finance and all the fortunes that have been built up financially in the last 40 years, since 1980.

Pepe Escobar: [01:00:22] So, what’s going to happen in the short to mid-term in the US, Michael? We are seeing the corrosion of the whole system, not only externally in terms of foreign policy and the end of the free lunch, but internally with those 17 million plus deplorables being literally canceled from public debate, from the impoverishment of the middle classes, with over 50 million people in America, which are becoming literally poor. Obviously the American dream ended a few decades ago, but now that it’s not even a glimpse that there could be a renewal of the American dream. So we have a larva of civil war situation degrading on a daily basis. What’s the end game? What exactly does Wall Street, the American ruling class, the guys who have lunches at the Harvard club – what do they ultimately want?

Michael Hudson: [01:01:31] Well, what you call a disaster for the economy is a Bonanza for the 1%. This is a victory for finance. You look at it as a collapse of industrial capitalism. I look at it as the victory of rentier finance capitalism. You’re having probably 10 million Americans that are going to be thrown out of their apartments and their homes in June, when the moratorium on rents and mortgages ends. You’re going to have a vast increase in the homeless population. That will probably represent an increase in people who use the subways. Where else are they going to live? A large number of private capital firms have been created in the last year of wealth accumulation. They’re looking forward to great opportunities to pick up real estate at bargain prices, for the commercial real estate that’s broke, and all the buildings and restaurants that have to be sold because they can’t meet their mortgage payments or rents, all the houses that are going under. Private capital can come in and do what was done after the Obama evictions.

Private capital can do what Blackstone did. It can buy them out for pennies on the dollar. So they’re looking at their own 20-year plan. Their 20-year plan is to grab everything!

Pepe Escobar: [01:02:51] What’s going to happen with the surplus population Michael, we’re talking about tens of millions of people. It reminds me of those, the projection of those World Bank projections in the early 1980s, when the World Bank projected that the global economy could actually work with only 20% of the global population implying that 80% of the global population was expendable. Are we watching this happening in the West in the next few months and years?

Michael Hudson: [01:03:22] It’s being compressed into a very short time frame. I heard this from the Club of Rome back in the 1970s when I was with the United Nations UNITAR. Their idea was that the world had too much population and needed to cut it back. It was a giant austerity plan. That was what really spurred Liberation Theology. The Catholic Church saw that cutting the population meant vast birth control. At a Chase Manhattan meeting I talked to the former head of the World Bank, John McCloy, who was also the chairman of Chase Manhattan. I asked him what he thought about Robert McNamara and his population control. And he said, “He just wants to stuff it up women. He doesn’t care if they get sick.” McCloy added, “He’s not a Wall Street boy.” I could see that he was appalled by it, but I wouldn’t use his words for the record, because he used little more vulgar language for just where McNamara was trying to stuff up the population control.

Liberation theology was backed by the Catholic church advocating land reform to feed the population if we’re not going to cut it back. Well, of course the result was that America defined a free market as being when its Special Forces go in and shoot the nuns after raping them. They killed liberation theologists. They killed indigenous leaders. They recognized that you can’t have a free market Chicago-style without being able to kill everybody who disagrees with you and who thinks that the market is for the people, not for the 1%. In my talks with the Catholic Church, I mean, it’s sort of hilarious given my background, which is not exactly religious. But I was working very closely with them at that time, because they were the only ones with an economic plan for how you can avoid this population collapse. The wealthy elite only need a few people. This was before mechanization, already in the 1970s. So, there was this idea that there were too many poor people that don’t make enough money for the rich people. We’ve got to get rid of them.

Many liberals supported them. Bob Heilbroner at the New School criticized me for working with some Liberation Theologists. It was the Catholic Church that published my first book, and articles. So, what you’re seeing today is an almost cosmic inversion of everything that people wanted until about the last century. Every country wanted more population. The idea was that population was the source of an army. It was a workforce to produce more goods and services. But now in the West, a population is who you want to get rid of. All you need is an economy that only has a few people and the rich. China, Russia, and Asia want to use the population and essentially, how to enrich the population so we can all have a world of prosperity and leisure.

Pepe Escobar: [01:06:12] Absolutely. I’m glad that you brought up Russia and China, because they are not on board. They diplomatically made it very clear that they are not on board for the great reset. Herr Schwab’s absolutely ominous idea and concept, which is supported by the IMF, by the World Bank, by Prince Charles, by big multinational corporations, et cetera. It’s very crazy, because eugenicist ideas are at the heart of the great reset. We’re not only talking about that strange character, Bill Gates; it goes much deeper than that. It’s eugenicist ideas in terms of culling of population by all means necessary. So, we are back to the same scenario that you were discussing decades ago.

Alanna: [01:07:06] Michael, when you said importantly that we could get the cost of housing down from 40% of income in the United States, can you give more detail on what people can do?

Michael Hudson: [01:07:22] The problem is what we can do without a revolution. In the United States you have Ms. Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress having a new voting law that tries to prevent any third party from being developed in the United States. So there can only be one party, the duopoly between the Republicans and the Democrats. You can’t have a Green Party. That’s being essentially ruled out. You can’t have any political alternative and you cannot have a parliamentary system like you have in Europe’s representative voting. The only choice you have is what flavor of oligarchy you want. You can have a Republican white oligarchy, or a mixed identity politics Democratic party, but none of this identity can have to deal with wage-earners, debtors or renters. So there’s very little, that they can do. If you need housing, you don’t have an alternative. You rent or go into debt to a bank to outbid other people who are trying buy the house, and the house is worth however much a bank will lend.

The Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with such low-interest credit that banks are able to lend more and more against housing. There’s been a huge increase in mortgage refinancing here. People have been able to get through the pandemic by borrowing more money against houses whose market value is rising, because banks are lending so much more debt to equity. So, what people think is making them rich is the housing that’s going up in price. Well, it’s actually the debt that has been going up. They think that they’ve been getting rich, but they’ve been more and more having to go into debt as a condition to get housing, just as they have to go into debt as a condition for getting an education and getting a job, or to get a car to drive to the job, or just to break even and feed themselves.

So unless people have an idea that there is an alternative, they’re not going to be able to create a political movement to create one. And in the United States, if you study economics you’re only taught University of Chicago neoliberal mainstream economics. There’s no more history of economic thought, so you don’t read Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill or Marx. There’s no economic history. So, you don’t know what’s the fight against feudalism was all about. You don’t have an idea that there’s an alternative. As Margaret Thatcher said, There Is No Alternative.

Well, of course there’s an alternative, but if people don’t know that there’s an alternative, they’re going to fall for this line, that there’s no alternative to the “free market” controlled by the 1% – freedom only for the 1% and debt peonage for the 99%. Unless they know that, I don’t have much hope that the people here can do very much at all.

Alanna: [01:10:26] So Michael, what about one city that it’s desperate that could be educated, that there is an alternative with clarity about a land value tax system and a public bank. For instance, the city of Baltimore that desperately needs a new economy. Can you give us some hope that we could focus on a city level and begin building a template for how cities and like Sao Paulo where Pepe is born from the cities that desperately need change? Michael, can you give us some sort of template?

We know the federal government is hopeless for us now for we, the people. Texas is having a vote to form the Republic of Texas to secede to have a beginning conversation. There are other growing secessionist movements in the United States. Could we imagine that there could be an implosion away from centralized control to the us to a regional and city level. Michael, give us some hope.

Michael Hudson: [01:11:30] I can’t give you hope. I am all in favor of public banking and I’m on Ellen Brown’s board of directors for her group. However, supposing you had a public bank in Baltimore and the public bank said, we want to provide credit for Baltimore people to be able to afford homes. They would still have to out create enough credit and enough debt to outbid what commercial banks are lending other people that want to buy houses there. So, you can’t have an Island of efficiency and public banking in a system that basically is still financialized. The problem is systemic.

It goes to the courts. You talk about seceding. Then of course it’s possible. And people in Texas were talking about seceding in the 1840s when it was largely a German population. There were more publishers publishing German language books in Texas than there were English language books. But now, I think the way Texans think, if they were to succeed it is not going to be along the lines of public banking that you want . It would be a private bank owned by the oil companies that calls itself, a public bank. We’re in a world of Orwellian rhetoric.

What can the Americans do? They already have voted. We have democracy, they’ve voted for what they wanted to do. What did they vote for? They want shorter lifespans, lower wages, less education and less public services. Their choice is to get these things by a Democrat or by a Republican. But that’s the only choice they have. Other countries have a choice to emigrate, as the Ukrainians and the Greeks and Latvians have done. But I have no idea where Americans can emigrate to.

Alanna: [01:13:21] Perhaps they could emigrate to some of Bill Gates, who now owns more agricultural land. He’s a top agricultural landowner in the United States. So, there are plenty of vacant lots all over our cities. What about some direct land-rights movements? Michael, what about depositing the land rent in Baltimore in a public bank and generating a local based economy?

Michael Hudson: [01:13:45] I think that’s unlikely as long as the city is controlled by the landlord interests. Almost all cities are controlled by the landlord interest. This is what Thorstein Veblen wrote about in Absentee Ownership in 1923. As long as you have the system that already was pretty clear a century ago, it doesn’t help to build up a few vacant lots and say, okay, we’re not going to tax that, because pretty soon you’re going to have people selling out the vacant lots and they will be gentrified.

A hundred years ago you had communities that were founded by followers of Henry George. They had the idea that, just that you have, we’re going to collect the land rent. They’ve all now become bourgeois, gentrified yuppie communities.

It’s a fight of economic systems. It’s a systemic fight. You can’t fix it at the margin. The problem goes deep to the core.

Alanna: [01:14:40] Well, the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania voted in land rent to shift largely to land rent. That was a vote. Can the people not vote in an economic democracy once they have the understanding of how to do so. And the landlord population is after all the majority. The minority is that landlord ownership. Can we not have the majority vote in a land rent system?

Michael Hudson: [01:15:05] Good question. If you said, okay, we are now going to tax all of the land rent, the problem is that as of right now, most land rent is pledged to the banks as mortgage interest. The banks have lent money against the rent-of-location – the fact that some houses and some properties and homes are in a better location than others, near parks and schools. Suppose that all of a sudden the owners would have to pay the full land tax that you and Henry George’s followers want. How are they going to pay the banks? Are they going to pay the land rent on top of the mortgage interest, or are they going to default?

The reality is you would have massive defaults and foreclosures by the banks taking over the properties of families and cities that had collected the land rent for themselves. You can’t have the same rent paid to two different parties. You have the land rent either paid to the government or paid to the banks. If you pay it to the government, then you’ll take it away from the banks. And the banks will use American law to say that this is appropriation of property without compensation. You really would need a new constitution, and that would need a revolution. A revolution is a step function, a discontinuity. You cannot have a continuity to make a rational economic system pasted on to an irrational economic system at the margin. You have to have a revolution.

Alanna: [01:16:33] The template needs to be for a nonviolent revolution based on the Jubilee principles that you teach so well Michael, of debt cancellation and restore the land for the people.

Michael Hudson: [01:16:46] You may be non-violent. But the bankers and the landlords are not. One group will be non-violent and the other will be violent. Who’s going to win?

Alanna: [01:16:56] That’s where getting the military to understand the new system comes in.

Michael Hudson: [01:17:01] Well it’s true that much of the military did defect to Russia’s Communists in October 1917. But I’m not sure today’s military is like that. They’ll have special advisors, Blackwater or whatever that group was in Afghanistan. We don’t have as much military as we have the advisers that we’ve hired, or we’ll just bring our foreign legion in. We’ll bring ISIS and they’ll fight for the landlords.

Alanna: [01:17:31] Well, it’s the same thing globally. It’s the same thing of what this discussion is Pepe and Michael about “in quest of a multipolar world” the hegemon up against up against three rivals as Pepe points out Iran, China and Russia, trying to be sovereign. We are again at a violent point.

Michael Hudson: [01:17:56] Yep, absolutely.

Pepe Escobar: [01:17:58] Yep. I think people want to ask a few questions. So, before we move to the questions, I selected one particular sentence, which more or less encapsulates where we are at the moment geopolitically. I don’t know if you agree with me. So I’m, throwing this fragmentation bomb out. Zbig Brzezinski in the famous, The Grand Chessboard published in 1997. I think this sentence is more or less the definition of the empire of chaos in the modern era until now. So, what was Zbig saying? The three grand imperatives of Imperial geostrategy are:

To prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals. So a security dependence among vassals – so far, basically Germany and Japan, which are the key hubs in the Rimland and to control the heartland and isolate the Heartland. If America could control two key hubs in the Rimland they will get the job done, which is more or less what happened for decades, right?

Continuing with Zbig. Tributaries, pliant and protected. Then we can go all the way from Latin America to the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia, right? And to keep the barbarians from coming together. So when he wrote that in 1997, he meant the barbarians, obviously Eurasia, like the old rear Asia of the golden horde invading Kiev in the 13th century. But he meant essentially Russia and China. So, what do we have now? We have the three sovereigns getting together. Iran Russia and China. We have a strategic partnership between peer competitors, Russia and China, which was a Brzezinski and his acolytes’, supreme nightmare. The Americans need to prevent the emergence of a peer competitor in Eurasia.

Now they have a strategic partnership. So now, what that means is that Pax Americana in a nutshell is completely unraveling. That’s when we reached the possibility of a sort of Samson option by the 0.001%. They are little by little being expelled from Eurasia. So, this could create the conditions for an absolutely demented Dr. Strangelove kind of adventure, which even some generals in the US are already saying they are. These people are completely nuts. They are talking about the possibility of a nuclear war without advising the population of the United States and the rest of the world that the next war is going to be the last. So, this is where we are at the moment, I would say an incandescent crossroads, all of our history. And even if we look in real-politic terms some of the possibilities are beyond the ominous, right?

Michael Hudson: [01:21:21] Well, if you’re China or Russia, I think you’re saying that there was a kind of inversion of the direction of barbarism of the Golden Horde. Today, Europe is the barbarian trying to break into the Eurasian core. Think of what Brzezinski said about how the barbarians can prevent their own allies from working together in Europe. I think your point is quite right. If it’s an atomic war, and it will wipe out the world. As you know, I worked with Herman Kahn for many years. He said that there are going to be some survivors. I think that in Russia the other day President Putin said if there’s any missile of any kind coming in, it’s assumed to be atomic. And they’re going to retaliate in kind.

I can imagine Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden getting together and saying, “Look, I know that you’re trying to provoke us. We are going to respond militarily, but let’s not fight against each other. We have 20 atom bombs. We’ll take out England and London, Manchester and Frankfurt, but not Berlin because that’s East German; but Munich, Stuttgart, and certainly Brussels and Paris just to show you what can be done. You can try to use your defense to stop it, but let’s agree we’ll only knock out each other’s proxies. We won’t go to war with each other.”

I can imagine the Americans saying, “Well, that’s fine. No more Europe. So now we will be the leaders. We won’t have Europe to contend with anymore. We will just have ourselves. This will sort of stabilize things for the next 50 years. Europe will be devastated, and we can help rebuild it like we did after World War II. And this time, we’ll lock in our control even more. Russia and China can go their own way. And then, in 50 years, we’ll see whether there’s any kind of relation that we can have.”

I can see them making a deal like that. The Americans want war. The people that Biden has appointed have an emotional hatred of Russia. I’ve spoken to government people who are close to the Democratic Party, and they’ve told me that there’s a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from the fact that the Tzars were anti-Semitic and there’s still the hatred about their ancestors: “Look what they did to my great-grandfather.” And so they’re willing to back the Nazis, back the anti-Semites in Ukraine. They’re willing to back today’s anti-Semites all over the world as long as they’re getting back at this emotional focus on a kind of post 19th-century economy.

I’ve met these people. Their emotion is one of hatred and anger. You can look at their face and see what they’ve become. This is really dangerous. They are crazy. And Putin is quite right. America has got its power by breaking contracts. It broke all of the contracts with the native Americans to take their land. It’s broken the Iranian contract. It broke most recently the Ukrainian Minsk agreement, and the JCP before. So what’s the point of making an agreement with any Americans, if they’re going to say, “Okay, now that we’ve got a compromise. You’ve given me and we’ve given. Now, let’s take that as a beginning point. We’re going to break that old agreement and we’re going to ask you for yet more.” They call that salami tactics. Slicing and slicing and slicing. So, I can see that essentially America telling Ukrainians, “Let’s you and Russia fight – to the last Ukrainian.”

And I think it would be Western Ukrainians, the people who used to be part of Poland.

Pepe Escobar: [01:25:00] And we, we call it, Bandera Land. Perfect. Okay.

Questions and Answers

Alanna: [01:25:06] Now David Spangler once said that the “role of the prophet is to preach the doom, to wake people up”. And that we’re certainly preaching, showing the doom right now. And the role of the priest is to show the new way, the new direction. So do we want to have another half hour or so for this? Can Pepe and Michael stay on because we do have some questions from those who’ve been listening. I see Ed Dodson’s hand is up, and then Tom Rossman, and then I’ll be looking at the chat questions.

Ed are you able to talk with us now and ask your question?

Ed Dodson: [01:25:46] Okay. As I’m listening to you, Michael, and not to you Pepe so much, but Michael’s gloom and doom, I keep thinking that the one opportunity the people of the world have is to go back to Proudhon and the whole concept of mutualism to create societies within societies. With all the positive components that have been raised, public banking and labor organizations, I just wonder. I know you have a relationship with Richard Wolf, Michael, in your conversations with him, he’s so positive about the socialism attached to the cooperative movement and places like Mondragon are these avenues. And Pepe you might want to comment on this, about countries other than the Western democracies. Is this an opportunity for people to come together under a common philosophy, a set of principles that would operate independent of the nation-state?

Michael Hudson: [01:26:57] There are many areas where a mutualism works. Farmer’s markets, distributors and small factories like in Mondragon. However, how are you going to have a mutual oil company? That’s very capital intensive. How will you have mutualism in a high-speed railway transport system? How will you have mutualism in building a system of foreign ports? Like what China’s doing with the belt and road extension.

Mutualism is very good when labor is the main element of all this. But once you have a strong capital element, and where it’s very capital intensive with not much labor, it’s very hard to see where the mutualism is. Suppose an oil company 10 oil producers making $10 million a year in profit. Are they going to just give each other a million dollars each? What about the rest of the economy? One mutual group can be cut off from another. In fact, when I went through the Basque country (I was brought over by the labor unions) some of the unions were complaining that Mondragon doesn’t want labor unions.

Yes, it’s a cooperative, but they don’t want a labor union. So, mutualism can only work as a particular sector of the economy. It can’t be the economy. Proudhon wrote a lot about compound interest. He said that debt is going to grow so large that it can’t be repaid. You’ll have to be able to deal with that. So you can’t really have a mutual banking based on compound interest and everybody getting deeper and deeper into debt. Proudhon-style also wanted to tax the land and Marx wrote a long discussion explaining why a Proudhon mutualism wouldn’t work. In The Poverty of Philosophy, a response to Proudhon’s Philosophy of Poverty, he pointed out what was progressive and predominant to a point, became unprogressive after a point.

Alanna: [01:28:49] Okay, thank you, Michael. I want to read this from Carl Sanchez in the chat. He says that the purpose of the federal government is to form a more perfect union. Do you think it’s possible to rally the reds and blues into a coalition of purples to reassert those government goals?

Michael Hudson: [01:29:17] Well, you already have them together we already have a purple. You have the blue Wall Street and the red oil industry and mining industry. You have both kinds of the rentier 1% all together in one happy purple rentier duopoly controlling the political system.

Alanna: [01:29:34] Well then, relevant to the impossible task. Walter wants to know what’s the new HR 1 law, Michael that you mentioned that prevents or will prevent third parties.

Michael Hudson: [01:29:43] I think it’s 700 pages. so I can’t go through the whole thing. But there’s a lot of discussion in today’s Internet about it. If you look at Naked Capitalism, the site run by Yves Smith, she has a citation of articles that explain why it’s aimed to prevent the green party or any other kind of reform party. The idea is to prevent any alternative to the hardline democratic pro-Wall Street, pro-pharmaceutical industry. Essentially you’re going to have Obamanomics with a sledgehammer, particularly against the Black and Hispanic populations.

Tom Rossman: [01:30:29] Great. Thanks Alanna. So your comments about the war reminded me of an Albert Einstein quote. He said, I do not know with what weapons world war three will be fought but world war four will be fought with sticks and stones. So, it kind of reminded me of that. And so, my question is you know, based on the fact that, you know, it’s pretty, pretty well established that narratives really drive people’s economic behavior.

What is the type of narrative that can kind of shift the Overton window in the direction that we all seem to want to go? And if there isn’t a narrative that could shift the Overton window, is the only alternative then revolution – potentially violent revolution.

Michael Hudson: [01:31:11] Well, my narrative is about how civilization has developed. I published the first volume of “… and Forgive them their Debts” to show how civilization took off, and narrates how the idea was to create resilience in an economy – how you would wipe out the debt, you would wipe out of the debt bondage, you’d restore free liberty to the people. That worked for thousands of years.

I’m just finishing now the second volume, The Collapse of Antiquity. That’s about how Greece and Rome, and hence subsequent Western civilization, made a complete break from the Near East. They didn’t cancel the debts. Western civilization was oligarchic from the beginning. There never was really a democracy here except for a very short revolution in the seventh and sixth centuries BC, catalyzed by the “tyrants.” What you think of as democracy, the rule by the people overthrowing the oligarchy, was called tyranny in Greece. In Rome it was called “seeking kingship,” because what did kings were able to do. Kings kept the oligarchs in place, just as the tyrants redistributed the land and cancelled the debts in Corinth and other Greek cities, and finally Solon did that in an Athens after Sparta did it . So if you see that our civilization doesn’t have to be this way, that Western civilization has taken a wrong turn – and it’s a rentier turn that earlier civilizations didn’t have – then you can see there is an alternative. And once you see there is an alternative, you have a narrative that can show the kind of future.

Well, Marx had one kind of alternative like that worked in the late 19th century. The classical economists had an alternative leading into Marxism. I’m now publishing my long lecture series in China on The Fight for Civilization: Rentier Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism. I’m trying to show what is positive in China system and still needs to be done. There are plenty of alternatives, but the fact is that the West – as Pepe and I’ve described – are set on fighting against an alternative that would make other people prosperous. They fought against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. You have the ruling classes in America and Europe wanting to concentrate all the wealth in their own hand. They’re against the whole wave of democratic reform that the 19th century was all for. The 19th century was for a land tax. It was for public banking. It was all public infrastructure to lower the cost of doing business. This was taught in the business schools in America. But all that has been expurgated from economic history and from the history of social thought – into the memory hole, as George Orwell would say. So, you have to let people know that there’s been a whole suppressed history, not only of civilization but as recently as the 19th century concerning where civilization was going. There has been a counter-revolution. In America you have people saying anything that promotes democracy, anything that’s antiwar is a propaganda for Russia, because who’s trying to avoid war Russia. So, if you believe what Alanna believes and you want a peaceful world, then you’re pro-Putin.

Alanna: [01:34:33] David Lee has a question for Pepe. He says, what do you think are the possibilities that Lula can (A) be allowed to win an election in Brazil, and (B) return Brazil to the BRICS?

Pepe Escobar: [01:34:50] Wow. Assuming he would run and win an election, the first things he will do of course, is to get the back to BRICS. That is what Lula would do in terms of policy, because he believes in it. And because he was one of the main drivers of the BRICS union, but because Putin and (as I get from our connections in Moscow, in Beijing, they are dying for it to happen. Obviously, their ministry of foreign affairs cannot express this in public, especially the Chinese, because the Chinese are very reactive and very cautious in terms of emitting their opinions on internal policy, even if they’re their allies.

I’m trying to get some feedback from Russian analysts in the next few days about what happened in Brazil in this past few days, and to see how the Kremlin and the ministry of foreign affairs view the possibility of Lula being back in the game. But the most important thing is whether he will be allowed to be back in the game. Considering the Kabuki telenovela configuration moment that’s a major if. This would only happen if there is a deal cut in the shadows. Lula is very good at cutting deals. He’s a master negotiator, probably in terms of an international statesman, he’s the number one master negotiator in the world for the past two decades. But this is very, very complicated because it involves the military, who run the show in Brazil. It involves the Brazilian ruling class the 0. I would say the 0.00001% in Brazil. You have no idea in terms of an absolutely rapacious, ignorant, arrogant, and absolutely disgusting ruling class. I had the displeasure to meet these people when I still lived in Brazil years ago. So, if they think that Lula might be good for business, which means their own exploitation business, rentier business inside Brazil, allied and as subordinates to the masters of the universe in New York and the beltway, they would allow it.

But then, Lula will have to convince more than just these people. He’ll have to convince the military and he’ll have to convince the market – you know, this entity that rules Brazil and is reaping all the benefits of the destruction of Brazil. And the fourth component is the media. In Brazil that means the Globo network, which plays a role that in the US would be equivalent to all the major US networks, plus CNN, Fox and all that, but concentrated in only one media and buyer. This is very complicated because they have the same interest of the Brazilian ruling class. They have the same interests of the military, and they have their own monopolistic interests in terms of controlling the flow of public information to the mass of Brazilians. But now at least there is a counter movement, which is via social networks and the internet.

So they have been losing ground, but still, if you look at the 8:00 PM newscast in Brazil, every night people who are in the middle of the Amazon or in the deserts, in the Northeast, they are tuning to Globo and they get their news from Globo Open TV, not paid cable. So if Lula wins, wow, this is titanic. If he’s able to navigate all of these interests and prove to them that he is good for their business, this means that you have to make a lot of concessions, just like Michael explained to us in the beginning. He had to make concessions when he was first elected . And even with that, he managed to turn a little bit of the game around in Brazil, in terms of bringing 30 million people out of poverty. In terms of having a more decent minimum wage, you name it, and basic income for a lot of people in the middle of nowhere. So to have this back under negotiation, it is going to be much harder than it was in the early two thousands, right before Shock and Awe, by the way. It’s, crazy to remember that the first Lula government came to power two months before Shock and Awe, which we’re going to have the anniversary next week,. So, it’s complex. It’s extremely complicated to explain this to an international audience. The complexity of the game in Brazil is absolutely mind boggling. And the absolute majority of the Brazilians have no clue what’s going on because it’s one fragmentation bomb after another, like a semiotic free for all. It’s completely crazy, but if there’s only one person that could pull that off, that would be Lula.

Alanna: [01:40:10] Well praise be Lula. This is a question and a rather long comment that will draw out more on this “in quest of a multipolar world”, and it’s for both of you to respond because he mentioned both of you. This is from Zach for Pepe. What, what do you believe is the future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Will it become stronger and work a closer Alliance between its member States, sort of like NATO, or it will keep being a loose association? And then, where is India going to orient to? He’s also curious about the Bretton Woods and how it was established, was it the brainchild and one or two economists, like Keynes? Was It designed by a genius? How are we going to relate to this Bretton Woods? Are we going to be able to break free? Are Russia and China clearly going to break free?

Michael Hudson: [01:41:08] That’s what the talk is about you know. I think the first discussion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Western media was an op-ed I did for the Financial Times of London. Nobody was mentioning it.

The idea was that it was only marginal, it’s going to go away. There was always a sense of denial in the West that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization could develop a different economic philosophy of development. And that’s what we’re really talking about. It’s not simply an organization of people wanting to help each other. It’s the way they’re trying to help each other. It’s a mode of development. It’s the idea that any rent-yielding resource – banking, land, natural resources and natural infrastructure monopolies – should be in the public domain to provided basic needs to everybody freely. That essentially means that the private sector won’t have to pay for services that should be available to everybody, at the minimum cost. If you privatize them as in the West, they’re going to be provided at a financialized maximum cost, including interest rates, dividends management fees, corporate manipulation for capital gains, and stock and bond buyback programs. It’s a whole different economic philosophy.

Well, there is no need for China or Russia or Iran to go to war to do this. They’re doing it. They can do it quite simply. They don’t need a revolution to do it, because they don’t have a vested interest fighting against them and killing them if they do it. If the West wants to resist this, and all the West can do is number one, kill its own leaders who want to do something like this. If they have a Latin American leader, if you have Venezuela trying to use this oil wealth for the public good, then you isolate and attack Venezuela. If you have a Honduran president who wants to distribute the land, you have a coup d’ etat and give it to the drug dealers to run. They’ll be pro-American. If you have anyone in the West who tries to do something productive, you marginalize them and prevent them. And if there’s a threat of China and Russia and Iran growing, then you try to do what Americans did to Russia in the 1920s. You will fight it militarily you at their borders, you fund color revolutions, so that they have to dissipate the wealth that they create in military overhead to match the military overhead of the United States. The dream today is to make Ukraine Russia’s Afghanistan.

Pepe Escobar: [01:43:53] Yeah, absolutely.

Michael Hudson: [01:43:55] Yeah. The difference is what gives China and Russia the advantage. Defense is only 10% as expensive as offense. America needs a huge offense, and it needs huge corruption. To be offensive, America has to corrupt European politics, corrupt the labor union, the corrupt the whole educational system, corrupt the media into junk media and junk economics.

And it has to have enormous profits for the military-industrial complex. That is America’s version of industrial capitalism. All China and Russia have to do is develop high-speed missiles, the defensive missiles to stop it. So they’re not being bled. It’s not going to be Russia’s Afghanistan. It’s America’s Afghanistan all over again.

Pepe Escobar: [01:44:47] I was just the one to compliment one minute what Michael said and answering the question as well, in terms of the importance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It has changed so much in the past few years. I remember years ago, I used to mention the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to people in Brussels, the European Union or European commission. They were saying, “No way. It’s not important. It’s ridiculous. It’s a talk shop, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Years ago, in fact in the early 2000s, it was essentially Russia, China and four of the central Asian states against terrorism, against separatism. And then, little by little, they started to evolve. Now it’s also a trade and investment cooperation organization. I went to some of the round tables of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, for instance, in the St Petersburg Economic Forum. There’s always a meeting of the SCO and it’s absolutely fascinating. You have Russians, Chinese and a lot of central Asians (not a single one Westerner) discussing trade deals. They are not only discussing terrorism, but also discussing the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan allied with the Taliban, that kind of things. They are discussing business. And now it’s even more important, because now with the expansion you have Russia, China, the Central Asians, and India and Pakistan as well. And sooner or later, not only as observers, but as full members, you’re going to have Turkey and Iran.

So, this means every single major player in the Eurasian arc, in the heartland in fact, is part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. To give a practical example, the solution for Afghanistan is being debated by them for years now. The Russian solution for Afghanistan was discussed with China and the other central Asians, especially Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which are neighbors of Afghanistan.

They want an SCO-brokered Asian solution for the Afghan problem. So what the Americans are proposing –or the American plan B’s, or C’s with the same Zalmay Khalilzad – they know this thing’s never going to work. And they have a direct conversation with Afghanistan, because Afghanistan is an associate member of the SCO as well. So it makes total sense. We see them all converging. You have the original economic union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Belt and Road initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – everybody’s converging and following more or less the same path. Later, you’re going to have a total integration of these organizations working for a common purpose in terms of security, of course, but also especially in terms of business.

Michael Hudson: [01:47:57] So the question is, why are other people not discussing what you and I are discussing? Why are people only talking about this on the web? Nothing in The New York Times or other mainstream media.

Pepe Escobar: [01:48:06] Nothing Michael. You will never read something like this in the Washington Post or The New York Times. They don’t even know what the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is.

Alanna: [01:48:19] Well, there’s more questions and comments coming in on chat, and we’re not going to be able to handle now, but I’m thinking maybe I’ll just copy and paste what everybody’s asked, and we’ll have another session with all the questions may be a good idea.

Pepe Escobar: Fantastic I think that’s a very good idea Alanna.

Alanna: Okay, great and thank you both, this has been sponsored by the Henry George School of Social Science. Please go to their website. They’re doing a lot of online courses on land rents and the land rent problem. The International Union for Land Value Taxation, iu.org. Please also sign up for our newsletter and connect with people around the world. We’re looking for socializing the land rents.

We’re now starting a conversation with the public banking Institute with a focus on Baltimore, which is why I had those questions. So again, I’m going to copy everything from chat. And then we’ll talk about having a session that will start in with the questions. I think has been a great overview.

We know we’re at a dangerous point. We know that we, the people, have got to get it together and provide a really clear direction now to the world. We are the people who are really thinking and concerned and, in many ways, privileged. I think we’re going to need to get to the military and get to those kinds of power people, and get them to think in terms of who are they protecting?

What are they protecting? What side are they going to be on? Because clearly, we do need a nonviolent revolution, we’re at a dangerous point. So, thank you, Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar. Thank you so very much all the best of both of you forever.

Pepe Escobar: [01:49:56] Thank you, Michael. Thanks a lot. Thanks everybody.

Ibrahima: [01:49:59] Thank you all very much. And we hope to see you again.

Pepe Escobar: [01:50:04] Absolutely.

Sino-US Dialogue in Alaska: Outcomes.

Sino-US Dialogue in Alaska: Outcomes.

March 23, 2021

by Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

The first direct, high-level dialogue, under Joe Biden Administration, was held on 18-189 March 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the dialogue.

After welcoming the Chinese guests, Secretary of state Mr. Blinken accused China of many issues, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threatens the rules-based order that maintains global stability.

Director Yang responded that “What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called rules-based international order. And the United States has its style — United States-style democracy –and China has the Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the World, to evaluate how the United States has advanced its own democracy. After decades of reform and opening up in China’s case, we have come a long way in various fields. In particular, we have engaged in tireless efforts to contribute to the peace and development of the World and to upholding the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter.”

“The wars in this World are launched by some other countries, which have resulted in massive casualties. But for China, what we have asked for, for other countries, is to follow a path of peaceful development, which is the purpose of our foreign policy. We do not believe in invading through the use of force, in toppling other regimes through various means, or massacring other countries’ people because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this World. And at the end of the day, all of those would not serve the United States well. So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the World. Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the government of the United States. In China, according to opinion polls, China’s leaders have the wide support of the Chinese people. So no attempt to — the opinion polls conducted in the United States show that China’s leaders have the support of the Chinese people. No attempt to smear China’s social system would get anywhere. Facts have shown that such practices would only lead the Chinese people to rally more closely around the Communist Party of China and work steadily towards the goals that we have set for ourselves.”

“Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan are an inalienable part of China’s territory. China is firmly opposed to U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs. We have expressed our staunch opposition to such interference, and we will take firm actions in response. On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights. China has made steady progress in human rights, and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well. The United States has also said that countries can’t rely on force in today’s World to resolve the challenges we face. And it is a failure to use various means to topple the so-called authoritarian states. And the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently. So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this World. We’ve had a confrontation in the past, and the result did not serve the United States well. China will pull through and has pulled through such confrontation.”

Outcomes:

China availing this opportunity has conveyed that China will not accept U.S. supremacy and will not accept dictation. China will not allow any country to interfere in its domestic issues. Generally speaking, the Chinese are well-mannered, polite, submissive, and friendly people. It seems that the U.S. has crossed all the limits where China have to take a firm and blunt stand and express their point of view so clearly. It is up to the U.S. administration to analyze the Chinese response and do their homework before meeting them again.

The World has conceived well that the U.S. can not sustain its hegemony anymore. It is no longer a unipolar world, and the U.S. is no longer a unique superpower. The U.S. needs to understand the emerging geopolitics and have to accept realities. It might need to share power with other rising nations and respect them. The U.S. must keep in mind the existence of other emerging nations’ potential while making any decision.

It is an established fact that the U.S., after enjoying the global leadership role for seven decades, may not sustain this status anymore. The U.S. is on the decline and, with every passing day, may decline further. Whereas China is a rising power and, with the passage of each day, may grow further. The time is on the Chinese side. If Americans are wise, they might give up confronting China and extend cooperation to be the beneficiary of Chinse rise. There exists enormous goodwill about America among the general public in China.

The American claim of promoting democracy and the law-based rule is no more trusted as the Americans are a supporter of all dictators in the oil-rich Gulf countries in the Middle-East. The U.S. was behind the toppling of the democratically elected legitimate Government of Mr. Adil Morsey in Egypt. Again, it was the U.S. who was among the first nations to support the dictator General Sissi in Egypt. American history is full of supporting dictators around the globe. Regarding law-based rule, it is just a joke. It was the U.S. that destroyed Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.

Under the Trump Administration, America was deteriorated in respect of human rights violations, hate among various ethnicities in America. And official discriminatory laws were introduced against Muslims; immigration laws were biased. The pandemic was mismanaged, the economy was collapsed. President Trump harmed America so severely that it might take several decades to recover such losses. President Trump has offended some of his close allies too.

President Joe Biden’s remarks about President Putin were misconceived and may spoil the geopolitics further. More tensions between Russia and the U.S. are predictable visibly. It may cement China-Russia relations further.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Sitrep: The Unipolar moment is over; the Multipolar moment is here.

March 22, 2021

By Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Shortly after Mr.Biden characterising Mr.Putin as a killer and more, Mr.Putin invited Biden for a public and live online  discussion, saying that it would be beneficial for both the N.American as well as the Russian people.

This morning we find this bluntly devastating shot across the bows from the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry.

The final sentence, not included in the image, reads as follows:  “Responsibility for this lies entirely with the United States.

Setting this in context, the contrast between Mr.Lavov’s ongoing visit to China, and the so-called ‘strategic’ meeting between the United States and China at the end of last week, cannot be more stark.

 #PhotoOfTheDay –  Sergey #Lavrov on his way to greet FM #WangYi in  China 
 #Lavrov: #China  is a truly strategic partner and a like-minded country for #Russia  Our cooperation on the international stage is having a stabilising effect on the global and regional situation.
#Lavrov: #Russia believes that our dialogue with #China based on trust and mutual respect should provide an example for other nations, including those that are trying to develop ties on different principles not based on equality.

At the very same time, Mr.Putin and Mr Shoigu are taking the air on the Taiga in Siberia.  I wonder if the western governments have figured out why now?

“ Vladimir #Putin is spending the weekend in #Siberia.  The President together with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu enjoys walking in the #taiga forest and riding an all-terrain vehicle.  Also, Sergei Shoigu showed the President his workshop.”

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65178

In the next few hours we will receive Mr.Lavrov’s translated speeches from his China visit.  Some of it is already published.  Take a look at what Mr.Lavrov described as ‘dynamic cooperation“:

“We regard the new era of Russian-Chinese relations, which you have mentioned, primarily in the context of the broader situation on the international stage. It is undergoing a very deep transformation and the strengthening of the new centres of economic growth, financial might and political influence. Regrettably, the objective trend for a rise of a truly multipolar democratic world is being hindered by some Western countries led by the United States, which would like to preserve their domination of the global economy and international politics at all costs and to force their will and their demands on each and all. In response to this, Russia and China are promoting a constructive unification agenda. We want the architecture of international relations to be fair, democratic, capable of ensuring stability and based on broad interaction of states and their integration associations, just as we are doing together with our Chinese friends by promoting integration in Eurasia.

China is a truly strategic partner and a like-minded country for us. Our cooperation on the international stage is having a stabilising effect on the global and regional situation. Russia believes that our dialogue with China based on trust and mutual respect should provide an example for other countries, including those that are trying to develop ties with Russia and China on different principles that are not based on equality. This is not acceptable to us or our Chinese friends. We will continue developing our foreign policy constructively and flexibly, showing readiness for compromise but exclusively on the basis of mutual respect and a balance of interests.”

There is however a twist in this lovely tale and it is the one of economic influence and we know now which direction both Russia and China (and a host of other countries) will take in the short term.  They will remove the sanctions weapon from the hands of the United States including Europe.  Let’s take a look at a few more of Mr.Lavrov’s comments.

“The US sanctions risks need to be alleviated by switching to alternative currencies and moving away from using the dollar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.”

“The minister said the US is aiming to limit the technological development of Russia and China, so the two countries need to strengthen their independence.”

“According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the US and other western countries are no longer capable of using classical diplomacy and only resort to one tool on the international arena: sanctions.”

“We must form the widest possible coalition of countries that will fundamentally oppose this illegal practice,” the Russian Foreign Minister concluded.”

As geopolitical watchers and analysts, we’re always looking for the signals that frequently just go up in smoke.   This time however the signals from Russia and China are not going up in smoke but being presented in pictures in photo essays, and in clear language.  From the last few days we can learn a few things:

  • China and Russia are friends and will remain friends and will work together where their interests coalesce.  Their interests coalesce right here in Lavrov’s words:  “….. architecture of international relations to be fair, democratic, capable of ensuring stability and based on broad interaction of states.”  If that statement confuses you, in short, it means right across our world.
  • Sanctions will be removed as a weapon.
  • The petrodollar is on its last legs.
  • The clock for the final battle is ringing.  The only weapons remaining that will be allowed to the failing hegemon will be NATO (which, according to many of our serious analysts, is a paper tiger) and the ability to use nuclear and conventional weapons.  I will not comment on that as I am not qualified in the field.   The ability of the current and failing hegemon to do damage economically, is being curtailed.   We can look forward to a different economic reset, with countries taking their power back using their own currencies and other alternatives.   (This is not the reset from the WEF).  Then we will see what happens to the sphere of weapons because they may become a last resort.

(On a humorous note, it looks like the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry has resorted to photos with captions, hoping they can reach the failing hegemon with pictures, because there is such a great problem to reach them with diplomatic words.  The growth of the adult coloring book industry in the West may have been the deciding factor lol. )

موسكو وحزب الله: تثبيت الانتصار السياسي بعد العسكري في سوريا

موسكو وحزب الله: تثبيت الانتصار السياسي بعد العسكري في سوريا
(أ ف ب )

الأخبار

فراس الشوفي

السبت 20 آذار 2021

زيارة وفد حزب الله لموسكو ليست «فتحاً مبيناً» ولا بهدف «الضغط على الحزب للانسحاب من سوريا»، إنّما بداية تواصل استراتيجي نابعٌ من أن حزب الله «طرف موثوق وقادر» بالنسبة إلى روسيا

حتى من قبل أن يطأ وفدُ حزب الله أرض مطار شيريميتييفو الدولي في موسكو، استنفرت دبلوماسية العدو الإسرائيلي وأجهزته العسكرية والأمنية، في حملة تقصٍ وتشويشٍ على الزيارة/ الحدث، رافقتها محاولات داخل روسيا للوبي الصهيوني وامتداداته، بهدف عرقلة الزيارة والتخفيف من مفاعيلها. وسريعاً، انتقل وزير الخارجية ورئيس أركان العدو السابق غابي أشكينازي إلى روسيا، للقاء رئيس الدبلوماسية سيرغي لافروف (يوم الأربعاء الماضي)، بعد يومٍ على لقاء لافروف مع وفد حزب الله، الذي ترأّسه رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة النائب محمّد رعد. زيارة وفد الحزب لموسكو كانت محور الاهتمام في زيارة أشكينازي، الذي على عكس غيره من قادة كيان العدوّ، يبتعد عن خوض انتخابات الكنيست المقبلة، فيما يضع بنيامين نتنياهو مسألة تجيير «الناخبين» من أصل روسي في فلسطين المحتلّة لمصلحته، على رأس جدول أعمال أي زيارة لموسكو.

منذ سنوات، تعمل «إسرائيل» والولايات المتّحدة الأميركية، على عزل حزب الله وشيطنته في الساحة العالميّة، بالعقوبات والحصار والحرب الإعلامية، من أقصى الشرق وأوروبا إلى أميركا اللاتينية. وتحديداً، منذ انفجار 4 آب 2020، ارتفع منسوب الهجوم على حزب الله. لكنّ الحزب، بدل أن ينكفئ، تحوّل إلى قوّة مؤثّرة، وطرفاً في التشاور والتواصل مع القوى الدوليّة. فكان اللقاء مع الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون، ثمّ تلبية دعوة الدبلوماسية الروسية لزيارة موسكو، بغطاء من الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين.

على لسان الدبلوماسيين الروس، ومصادر مطّلعة على أجواء زيارة موسكو في بيروت، تصنّف الزيارة على قدرٍ عالٍ من الأهميّة، وخطوة أساسية لاتصال استراتيجي دائم في المستقبل. فهي في الشكل والمضمون واللقاءات، التي تنوّعت من لقاء فريق متابعة الشرق الأوسط الذي يقوده نائب لافروف ميخائيل بوغدانوف، يعاونه رئيس دائرة الشرق الأوسط في وزارة الخارجية ألكسندر كينشاك، إلى اللقاءات مع المجلس الفدرالي (مجلس الشيوخ) ولجنة العلاقات الخارجية في مجلس الدوما، حفلت بنقاشات موسّعة خرج بعدها المجتمعون بانطباعات إيجابية.

فمهما يكن ما يُبعد موسكو عن منظّمة عسكرية لا تحمل صفة دولة رسميّة كحزب الله، يكفي العداء الأميركي المتنامي للطرفين، لكي يزيل الحواجز، وأن تتماهى المصالح، ولا سيّما في ظلّ السّلوك الأميركي للإدارة الجديدة.

في موسكو، توصف الروابط الروسية اليوم مع إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن، بأنها «اتصالات الضرورة، لا علاقة طبيعية». بل إن الحذر والتوجّس من السلوك المستقبلي المفترض للديموقراطيين، يبدو طاغياً أكثر بأشواطٍ من «الممارسات المجنونة» للجمهوري دونالد ترامب. وجاء كلام بايدن بحقّ بوتين شخصيّاً، ليؤكّد المخاوف الروسية، من أن الإدارة الجديدة ستفعّل أسلحتها المعتادة، الإرهاب والعقوبات وتفجير الأوضاع في آسيا والبلقان والشرق، لمواجهة روسيا والصين وإيران وسوريا وحزب الله، وكل من يقف في وجه الرغبة الأميركية بقطبية أحاديّة لم تعد تجد مكانها المريح على الخريطة العالميّة.

أكثر من ذلك، يشعر الروس بأن الأميركيين يستعدّون مجدّداً لتسعير الساحات حيث يستطيعون بوجه موسكو كما بوجه بكّين، ويلوّحون لحلفائهم قبل أعدائهم، بالضغوط والتهويل، في أوروبا والخليج، من المستشارة الألمانية إنجيلا ميركل، إلى «الضحية» الأخيرة وليّ العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان. فالرجل الأميركي المدلّل… يقف قرب المقصلة الأميركية، بانتظار أن يدفع فدية تفوق، أو توازي على الأقل، الفدية التي دفعها لترامب. كلّ هذا الضغط، يشجّع موسكو على توسيع هامش حركتها، مستفيدةً من قدرتها على الاتصال بالجميع، وبكلّ المتحاربين، لتأمين شبكة تواصل إقليمية، تخفّف من عنف التصعيد الأميركي.

حتى المفاوضات الأميركية ــــ الإيرانية المنتظرة، استبقها الإيرانيون برسالة من المرشد الأعلى للثورة الإسلامية علي خامنئي حملها رئيس البرلمان الإيراني محمد باقر قاليباف إلى بوتين، وردّ عليها بوتين بالمثل، وفحواها، أن مجموعة المفاوضات ليست «5 +1» بل «4 + 2»، في تأكيد على التنسيق الروسي ــــ الصيني الكامل، لدعم موقف إيران. وهذا الموقف يحمل في طيّاته تعاوناً اقتصادياً واسعاً، مع القرار الإيراني الضمني، بالتوقّف عن التعويل على سياسة الماضي ببيع الموارد للشرق وشراء السلع من الغرب، والتوجّه نحو تمتين الأسواق مع الشرق، في البيع والشراء.

من هنا، تأتي زيارة حزب الله، تتويجاً لتحوّلات دولية كبيرة، ولتجربة معمّدة بالتعاون في مكافحة الإرهاب طوال سنوات الحرب السوريّة، هذا التعاون بين سوريا وحلفائها الذي أنجز انتصاراً عسكريّاً، وأعاد موسكو بقوّة إلى الساحة الدولية وكسر أحاديّة حكمت العالم منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي.

يشعر الروس بأن الأميركيين يستعدّون مجدّداً لتسعير الساحات حيث يستطيعون بوجه موسكو وبكّين


«بالنسبة إلى موسكو، حزب الله هو طرف موثوق وقادر»، يقول مصدر وثيق الاطّلاع. أمّا ملفّات البحث، «فتناولت كل ما يخطر على البال من الملفّات المحليّة والإقليمية والدولية، لكن لسوريا الحصّة الأكبر من المناقشات».

في سوريا، تتطابق الرؤية الروسية مع موقف حزب الله، «يجب أن يتمّ تثبيت الانتصار السياسي كما حصل في الانتصار العسكري». وعلى هذا الأساس، فإن البحث في إنجاز أي تسوية سياسية في سوريا لا يتمّ قبل إعادة انتخاب الرئيس بشّار الأسد في الصيف المقبل، ودعم الدولة السورية والشعب السوري في مواجهة «قانون قيصر». وفي معلومات مصدر آخر، فإن موسكو تُعِدّ حزمة مساعدة من المفترض أن تصل تباعاً إلى سوريا من الآن وحتى الانتخابات الرئاسية. أما في ما بعد الانتخابات، «فلا يمكن أن يبقى الوضع على ما هو عليه، لا في إدلب والمناطق التي تحتلّها تركيا ولا في منطقة شرقي الفرات، ولا يمكن أن تبقى أهم الموارد السورية في أيدي قسد والأميركيين». طبعاً، كل الكلام عن رغبة روسية بانسحاب حزب الله من سوريا أكّدت الزيارة أنه وَهْم وتسويق إعلامي غربي وعربي وإسرائيلي ليس أكثر.
كذلك كرّر الروس أمام الوفد سخطهم على الانتهاكات الإسرائيلية للأجواء اللبنانية والاعتداء على سوريا، معتبرين أنها خرقٌ لسيادة دولتين ذات سيادة وأسباب لتوتير الشرق ومنع الاستقرار.

أمّا في لبنان، فنتائج الزيارة ظهرت سريعاً في بيروت، بلقاء السفير الروسي ألكسندر روداكوف بالوزير جبران باسيل، بعد حملة ضغوط وشائعات وضعت العرقلة في ملفّ تأليف الحكومة عند رئيس الجمهورية ميشال عون، ومحاولات تبرئة الرئيس المكلّف سعد الحريري من هذه العراقيل. ولقطع الشكّ باليقين، أصدرت السفارة الروسية أول من أمس بياناً حسمت فيه هذا الجدال، مؤكّدة عدم تدخّل موسكو في التفاصيل الداخلية.

يكفي العداء الأميركي المتنامي لموسكو وحزب الله لكي تزول الحواجز وتتماهى المصالح


ويخشى الروس فعلاً المحاولات الأميركية لزيادة الضغط على لبنان، بهدف تأجيج الاحتجاجات الشعبية وتعميم الفوضى في البلاد، وصولاً إلى إسقاط ما تبقّى من هيكل الدولة، بما يؤثّر عملياً على الساحة السورية ويعيد عقارب الساعة إلى الوراء.


وبدا موقف موسكو وحزب الله مشابهاً، في ما خصّ تكليف الحريري، على اعتبار أن الأخير يشكّل مفتاحاً لمنع المحاولات الأميركية من إعادة التوتّر الشيعي ــــ السّني في لبنان والإقليم، من دون أن يعني ذلك دعم الحريري على حساب عون، أو منحه هامشاً سياسيّاً في الحكومة يستطيع من خلاله تغيير التوازنات الداخلية على حساب حلفاء روسيا. وفيما يُنتظر تحرّك روسيّ فاعل تجاه الأزمة اللبنانية، يتفرّج الروس على المبادرة الفرنسية التي لم تحقّق أي تقدّمٍ حتى الآن، و«يضحكون»…
لم تغب طبعاً ساحات فلسطين والعراق واليمن عن النقاشات، فحيث لا يوجد الروس في مواجهة الأميركيين، يوجد الإيرانيون وحزب الله.

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Nasrallah: ‘It was Iran’s Soleimani who convinced Putin to enter Syria war’

January 25, 2021

Nasrallah: ‘It was Iran’s Soleimani who convinced Putin to enter Syria war’

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/nasrallah-it-was-irans-soleimani-who-convinced-putin-to-enter-syria-war/

Description:

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recounts how assassinated Iranian General Qassim Soleimani held a two-hour long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convinced him to militarily enter the war in Syria in support of the government in Damascus and its allies.

Source: Al Mayadeen Programs (YouTube)

Date: December 27, 2020

Transcript:

– The Host:

Did martyr Qassim Soleimani really meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, and talk to him in person about the deployment of Russian forces to Syria?

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

That is correct. There had been discussions before (regarding this issue). As you know, before its intervention (in Syria), Russia maintained a (purely) political stance. It initially started as a political stance. Russia would use its veto power in the Security Council to defend and protect (Syria). It would provide help in logistical and intelligence matters, but (its support) never got to the point of establishing a (military) presence (in Syria).

Anyway, the shifts in the battle in Syria began only in the second year (of the war). The curve (showing the authority/position of the Syrian government) was descending in the first year, but by the second and third years, the curve began to ascend.

However, of course, the battle would have dragged on …

– The Host:

(the curve began to ascend) in mid-2013 …

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

(The battle) would have dragged on for much longer than it did (if not for Russia’s intervention). Therefore, Russia’s military intervention (in Syria) was highly important. We cannot deny that.

That day (when Soleimani went to Russia), Russian President Putin was hesitant, and as you know Russia was virtually besieged (at the time). It had (no influence) in the region i.e. in the Middle East. (The US) even stripped Russia (of its influence over) Eastern European states. One after another, (certain) states that neighbored Russia and were inside its sphere of influence were taken over by America.

Regardless, (the Russians) were concerned about this decision (intervention in Syria) as it could either be a risky step that was doomed to fail, or one that might achieve success. As a result, it was not a political discussion that would convince (Putin) but rather a military discussion.

At the time, after coordination between Iran and Russia, our brother Hajj Qassim (Soleimani) went to Moscow and met with President Putin for two hours – the length of the meeting is important. A number of relevant military, security and political officials were present (at the meeting as well). Hajj (Qassim) told me this (information) himself…(I heard this) directly from him, not through word of mouth. He said, “I spread the maps out on the table and (started talking about): the current situation, our location/positions (and by ‘our’ he means the Syrian army and all its allies), the location/positions of the armed groups, the opportunities for (military) action, and the chances of success”.

(In this meeting) he (Soleimani) presented a (comprehensive) strategic report to (Putin) on the situation in Syria and the region, (and explained) the proposed idea and the expected results. Of course, (in the meeting) he used a scientific, objective, military and battlefield language, (and based his statements) on maps, land areas, numbers and statistics. At this meeting, President Putin said to Hajj (Qassim): “I am convinced”, and the decision (for a Russian military effort in Syria) was made. This what I heard from Hajj Soleimani, and it is (now) well-known by everyone.

– The Host:

So can I say that the Russian intervention (in Syria started) with an Iranian initiative in consultation with Damascus, or at Syria’s request?

– Sayyed Nasrallah: It was at Syria’s request. (Syria) wanted (Russia) to take part (in this war).

– The Host: So Syria did not directly ask (Russia to intervene)?

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

(Syria) never asked Russia (to intervene)? I don’t know, but I suppose it did. That would be the obvious choice because there was an actual need…

– The Host: But Putin …

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

… there was an actual need for help. Mr. Ghassan, there is a leadership, a regime, a country that is facing global war, so it would be normal (for Syria) to ask Russia for help. Russia was hesitant to intervene. The Syrian and Iranian discussions…

Look, I am somewhat objective and rational. I do not like to create myths. It is not accurate to say that Hajj Qassim Soleimani (alone) is the one who convinced Putin to intervene (in Syria). I prefer to say that through his strategic reading (of events), argumentation, compelling logic, and charismatic personality, Hajj Qassim Soleimani was able to provide an outstanding addition to all the previous efforts that led Russia to take the decision to come to Syria. Great efforts were made (before) and many discussions were held, yet President Putin reportedly remained hesitant.

Hajj (Soleimani) was able to persuade (Putin). As you know, he was skilled in (the art of) persuasion and had (impeccable) logic . He did not shame Russia into (joining the war), nor did he use (empty) rhetoric. Not at all. He used a scientific language, as he explained the (possible) military and battlefield outcomes, as well as the political outcomes for the (Russian) intervention (in Syria).

I believe that today – following the (Russian) intervention in Syria and the major regional and global transformations – Russia, President Putin, the Russian people and everyone knows that Russia found its way back to the international arena through the gateway of Syria.

(Important Note: 

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Unipolar vs Multipolar: The Death of McKinley and the Loss of America’s Soul

Unipolar vs Multipolar: The Death of McKinley and the Loss of America’s Soul

December 23, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

On December 17, 2020 A new US Maritime strategy was unveiled putting into practice the regressive concepts first outlined in the early National Defense Strategy 2020 doctrine which target China and Russia as the primary enemies of the USA and demanding that the USA be capable to “defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized integrated all-domain naval force of the future”.

The Pentagon’s Advantages at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power continued by saying “China’s and Russia’s revisionist approaches in the maritime environment threaten US interests, undermine alliances and partnerships and degrade the free and open international order… moreover, China’s and Russia’s aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding US institutional advantages.”

The document continued to describe that “we must operate more assertively to prevail in day-to-day competition as we uphold the rules-based order and deter our competitors from pursuing armed aggression… ready, forward-deployed naval forces will adopt a more assertive posture in day to day operations”

For anyone who has been paying attention to the vast growth of the Pentagon’s Full Spectrum containment policy around China’s perimeter begun with Obama’s Asia Pivot, it may appear as though these words are not new, but just a continuation of American unipolar agenda, Pacific war games, and psychological projection onto perceived enemies, that have been underway for years. While this is certainly true, it must be noted that they are occurring at a time that NATO 2030 has enshrined an anti-China military posture into the Trans Atlantic security doctrine which had formerly channeled most of its hate purely onto Russia.

The fact is those unipolar zombies programmed to think in no other terms but global post-nation state dominance are deathly afraid of the Russia-China bond of survival which has created a uniquely viable foundation for an alternative economic/security architecture for the world. This model is based on a system of finance that defines money not in speculative but rather long-term development of the real economic foundations of life. It also features a strong emphasis on win-win cooperation as opposed to Hobbesian zero-sum logic dominant among western powers, and it also finds itself driven by OPEN system economic practices shaped by unbounded scientific and technological progress that once upon a time guided America’s better traditions.

With the obvious threat of nuclear war breaking out between a collapsing unipolar order in the west and an emergent Multipolar alliance, it is important to review what possible latent policy traditions may yet be revived within America’s history which certain forces have worked very hard to scrub out of the historical record and memory. This study will take us to the incredible fights that arose over America’s identity at the turn of the 20th century during the period of President William McKinley and the treasonous anglophile President of vice, Theodore Roosevelt.

Munroe Doctrine or Empire?

As Martin Sieff eloquently laid out in his recent article, President McKinley himself was an peacemaker, anti-imperialist of a higher order than most people realize. McKinley was also a strong supporter of two complementary policies: 1) Internally, he was a defender of Lincoln’s “American system” of protectionism, internal improvements and black suffrage and 2) Externally, he was a defender of the Munroe Doctrine that defined America’s anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823.

The Munroe Doctrine’s architect John Quincy Adams laid out this principle eloquently on July 4, 1821:

“After fifty years the United States has, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own.

That the United States does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

That by involving itself in the internal affairs of other nations, the United States would destroy its own reason of existence; the fundamental maxims of her policy would become, then, no different than the empire America’s revolution defeated. It would be, then, no longer the ruler of itself, but the dictator of the world.”

America’s march is the march of mind, not of conquest.

Colonial establishments are engines of wrong, and that in the progress of social improvement it will be the duty of the human family to abolish them”.

It was an aging John Quincy Adams whom a young Abraham Lincoln collaborated with in ending the imperial Mexican-American war under Wall Street stooge James Polk in 1846. When Adams died in 1848, Lincoln picked up the torch he left behind as the London-directed “proto deep state” of the 19th century worked to dissolve the republic from within. The foreign policy conception laid out by Adams ensured that America’s only concern was “staying out of foreign imperial entanglements” as Washington had earlier warned and keeping foreign imperial interests out of the Americas. The idea of projecting power onto the weak or subduing other cultures was anathema to this genuinely American principle.

A major battle which has been intentionally obscured from history books took place in the wake of Lincoln’s murder and the re-ascension of the City of London-backed slave power during the decades after the Union victory of 1865. On the one hand America’s role in the emerging global family of nations was being shaped by followers of Lincoln who wished to usher in an age of win-win cooperation. Such an anti-Darwinian system which Adams called “a community of principle” asserted that each nation had the right to sovereign banking controls over private finance, productive credit emissions tied to internal improvements with a focus on continental (rail/road) development, industrial progress and full spectrum economies. Adherents of this program included Russia’s Sergei Witte and Alexander II, Germany’s Otto von Bismarck, France’s Sadi Carnot, and leading figures within Japan’s Meiji Restoration.https://www.youtube.com/embed/gYeVDjFKpOU?feature=oembed

On the other hand, “eastern establishment families” of the USA more loyal to the gods of money, hereditary institutions and the vast international empire of Britain saw America’s destiny tied to an imperial global partnership with the Mother country. These two opposing paradigms within America have defined two opposing views of “progress”, “value”, “self-interest” and “law” which have continued to shape the world over 150 years later.

William Gilpin vs Alfred Mahan: Two Paradigms Clash

A champion of the former traditionally American outlook who rose to the international scene was William Gilpin (1813-1894). Gilpin hailed from a patriotic family of nation builders whose patriarch Thomas Gilpin was a close ally of Benjamin Franklin and leading member of Franklin’s Philosophical Society. William Gilpin was famous for his advocacy of America’s trans continental railway whose construction he proselytized as early as 1845 (it was finally begun by Lincoln during the Civil War and completed in 1869 as I outlined in my previous paper How to Save a Dying Republic).

In his thousands of speeches and writings, Gilpin made it known that he understood America’s destiny to be inextricably tied to the ancient civilization of China- not to impose opium as the British and their American lackies were want to do, but to learn from and even emulate!

In 1852, Gilpin stated:

“Salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the “Chinese constitution” viz. the “patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire”. The political life of the United States is through European influences, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States”.

With Lincoln’s 1861 presidential victory, Gilpin became Lincoln’s bodyguard and ensured the president survived his first assassination attempt en route to Washington from Illinois. During the Civil War, Gilpin was made Colorado’s first Governor where he successfully stopped the southern power from opening up a western front during the war of secession (applying Lincoln’s greenback system to finance his army on a state level) and winning the “Battle of Glorieta Pass”, thus saving the union.

After the war Gilpin became a leading advocate of the internationalization of the “American system of political economy” which Lincoln applied vigorously during his short-lived presidency. Citing the success of Lincoln’s system, Gilpin said: “No amount of argument will make America adopt old world theories… To rely upon herself, to develop her own resources, to manufacture everything that can possibly be manufactured within her territory- this is and has been the policy of the USA from the time of Alexander Hamilton to that of Henry Clay and thence to our own days”.

Throughout his speeches Gilpin emphasizes the role of a U.S.-Russia alliance: “It is a simple and plain proposition that Russia and the United States, each having broad, uninhabited areas and limitless undeveloped resources, would by the expenditure of 2 or 3 hundred millions apiece for a highway of the nations threw their now waste places, add a hundredfold to their wealth and power and influence”

And seeing in China’s potential the means to re-enliven the world- including the decadent and corrupt culture of Europe: “In Asia a civilization resting on a basis of remote antiquity has had, indeed, a long pause, but a certain civilization- although hitherto hermetically sealed up has continued to exist. The ancient Asiatic colossus, in a certain sense, needed only to be awakened to new life and European culture finds a basis there on which it can build future reforms.”

In opposition to the outdated British controls of “chock points” on the seas which kept the world under the clutches of the might of London, Gilpin advocated loudly for a system of internal improvements, rail development, and growth of the innate goodness of all cultures and people through scientific and technological progress. Once a global system of mutual development of rail were established, Gilpin stated “in the shipment of many kinds of raw and manufactured goods, it will largely supersede the ocean traffic of Great Britain, in whose hands is now carrying the trade of the world.”

Gilpin’s vision was most clearly laid out in his 1890 magnum opus “The Cosmopolitan Railway” which featured designs for development corridors across all continents united by a “community of principle”.

Echoing the win-win philosophy of Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road today, Gilpin stated:

“The cosmopolitan railway will make the whole world one community. It will reduce the separate nations to families of our great nation… From extended intercommunication will arise a wider intercourse of human ideas and as the result, logical and philosophical reciprocities, which will become the germs for innumerable new developments; for in the track of intercommunication, enterprise and invention invariably follow and whatever facilitates one stimulates every other agency of progress.”

Mahan Derails America’s Anti-Imperial Identity

Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) represented an opposing paradigm which true American statesmen like Lincoln, Secretary of State James Blaine, William Seward, President Grant, William Garfield, and McKinley detested. Sadly, with McKinley’s murder (run by an anarchist ring with ties to British Intelligence) and the rise of Teddy Roosevelt in 1901, it was not Gilpin’s but rather Mahan’s worldview which became the dominant foreign policy doctrine for the next 120 years (despite a few brief respites under FDR and JFK).

Mahan is commonly credited for being a co-founder of modern geopolitics and an inspiration for Halford Mackinder. Having graduated from West Point’s naval academy in 1859, Mahan soon became renowned as a total failure in actual combat having crashed warships repeatedly into moving and stationary objects during the Civil War. Since reality was not his forte, Mahan focused his post-war career on Ivory tower theorizing gushing over maps of the world and fawning over Britain’s power as a force of world history.

His “Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 published in the same year that Gilpin published his Cosmopolitan Railway (1890) was a total break from the spirit of win-win cooperation that defined America’s foreign policy. According to the Diplomat, this book soon “became the bible for many navies around the world” with the Kaiser of Germany (now released from the influence of the great rail-loving statesman Otto von Bismarck whom he fired in 1890) demanding all of his offers read. Later Teddy Roosevelt ordered copies for every member of Congress. In Mahan’s book, the geopolitician continuously asserts his belief that it is America’s destiny to succeed the British Empire.

Taking the British imperial definition of “commerce” which uses free trade as a cover for the military dominance of weak nations (open borders and turning off protectionism simply makes a people easier to rob), Mahan attempts to argue that America need not continue to adhere to “outdated” habits like the Munroe doctrine since the new order of world empires demands America stay relevant in a world of sea power and empire. Mahan writes: “The advance of Russia in Asia, in the division of Africa, in the colonial ambitions of France and in the British idea of Imperial Federation, now fast assuming concrete shape in practical combined action in South Africa” demands that the USA act accordingly.

Attempting to refute the “outdated habits” of rail development which consume so many foolish statesmen around the globe, Mahan states: “a railway competes in vain with a river… because more facile and copious, water traffic is for equal distances much cheaper and because cheaper, more useful”. Like those attacking today’s Belt and Road Initiative, the power of railways is that their returns are not measurable by simple monetary terms, but are rather QUALITATIVE. The long-term construction of rail systems not only unite divided people, increase manufacturing and industrial corridors but also induce closer powers of association and interchange between agriculture and urban producers. These processes uplift national productive powers building full spectrum economies and also a culture’s capacity for creative thought.

The attempt made to justify sea traffic merely because “larger amounts of goods can be shipped” is purely quantitative and monetaristic sophistry devoid of any science of real value.

While Gilpin celebrates the successful awakening of China and other great nations of the world, in the Problem of Asia (1901) Mahan says: “It is scarcely desirable that so vast a proportion of mankind as the Chinese constitute should be animated by but one spirit”. Should China “burst her barriers eastward, it would be impossible to exaggerate the momentous issues dependant upon a firm hold of the Hawaiian islands by a great civilized maritime power.”

Mahan’s adherence to social Darwinism is present throughout his works as he defines the political differences of the 3 primary branches of humanity (Teutonic, Slavic and Asiatic) as purely rooted in the intrinsic inferiority or superiority of their race saying: “There are well recognized racial divergencies which find concrete expression in differences equally marked of political institution, of social progress and of individual development. These differences are… deep seated in the racial constitution and partly the result of the environment”. Mahan goes onto restate his belief that unlike the superior Teutonics “the Oriental, whether national or individual does not change” and “the East does not progress”.

Calling China a carcass to be devoured by an American eagle, Mahan writes: “If life departs, a carcass can be utilized only by dissection or for food; the gathering to it of the eagles is a natural law, of which it is bootless to complain… the onward movement of the world has to be accepted as a fact.”

Championing an Anglo American alliance needed to subdue and “civilize” China as part of the post-Boxer Rebellion, Mahan says “of all the nations we shall meet in the East, Great Britain is the one with which we have by far the most in common in the nature of our interests there and in our standards of law and justice”.

In case there was any doubt in the minds of Mahan’s readers as to the MEANS which America should assert its dominance onto China, Mahan makes clear his belief that progress is caused by 1) force and 2) war: “That such a process should be underlain by force… on the part of outside influences, force of opposition among the latter themselves [speaking of the colonial European monarchies racing to carve up China in 1901 -ed] may be regrettable, but it is only a repetition of all history… Every step forward in the march that has opened in China to trade has been gained by pressure; the most important have been the result of actual war.”

A Last Anti-Imperial Push

The chaos induced by the anti-foreigner Boxer Rebellion of 1899 which spread quickly across China resulted a heated battle between imperial and anti-imperial forces in both Russia and the USA. Where Transport Minister Sergei Witte who spearheaded the development of the Trans Siberian rail line (1890-1905) tried to avoid military entanglement, McKinley was busy doing the same.

The boxers soon attacked the Manchurian rail connecting Russia to China by land and Witte succumbed to pressure to finally send in troops. The reformers of China who attempted to modernize with American and Russian assistance under Emperor Kuang Hsu and Li Hung Chang fell from power as total anarchy reigned. The outcome of the Boxer chaos involved the imperial powers of France, Germany and England demanding immense financial reparations, ownership of Chinese territory and mass executions of the Boxers.

While McKinley is often blamed for America’s imperial turn, the reality is just the opposite.

The Spanish-American war begun in 1898 was actually launched unilaterally by Anglophilic racist Theodore Roosevelt who used the 4 hour window he had while Undersecretary of the Navy (while the actual Secretary was out of Washington) to send orders to Captain Dewey of the Pacific fleet to engage in a fight with the Spanish over their Philippine territories. McKinley had resisted the war hawks until that point but found himself finally bending to the momentum. In China, McKinley, like Witte worked desperately to reject taking territory resulting in great fears from the British oligarchy that a U.S.-Russia alliance led by McKinley and Witte was immanent.

The assassination of McKinley on September 18, 1901 catapulted Mahan-loving Vice President Teddy Roosevelt into high office, who enmeshed America into a new epoch of Anglo-American imperialism abroad, a growth of eugenics and segregation at home and the creation of an independent police state agency called the FBI.

As Sieff writes“Roosevelt devoted his next eight years in the presidency and the rest of his life to integrating the United States and the British Empire into a seamless web of racial imperialist oppression that dominated Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and that destroyed the cultural history and heritage of the Native North American nations.”

In Russia, the 1902 Anglo-Japan Treaty led to the disastrous Japan-Russo war of 1905 which devastated the Russian navy, ended the political career of Sergei Witte and threw Russia into chaos leading to the fall of the Romanovs (Czar Nicholas II was the last statesman occupying high office that this author is aware of to have actively promoted the Bering Strait Tunnel rail connection in 1906. It wasn’t until FDR’s Vice President Henry Wallace met with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 that the idea resurfaced once more).

In his Two Peoples One Friendship, Wallace described his discussions with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 saying:

“Of all nations, Russia has the most powerful combination of a rapidly increasing population, great natural resources and immediate expansion in technological skills. Siberia and China will furnish the greatest frontier of tomorrow… When Molotov [Russia’s Foreign Minister] was in Washington in the spring of 1942 I spoke to him about the combined highway and airway which I hope someday will link Chicago and Moscow via Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Molotov, after observing that no one nation could do this job by itself, said that he and I would live to see the day of its accomplishment. It would mean much to the peace of the future if there could be some tangible link of this sort between the pioneer spirit of our own West and the frontier spirit of the Russian East.”

While the “open door” rape of the China was attempted by the Anglo-Americans, a fortunate rear guard maneuver orchestrated by another follower of Abraham Lincoln named Sun Yat-sen resulted in a surprise overthrow of the Manchu dynasty in 1911 and the institution of the Republic of China with Sun Yat-sen as the acting President. While Sun Yat-sen sided with Gilpin and Lincoln in opposition to the Mahanists on the issue of rail and industrial development (illustrated in his extraordinary 1920 International Development of China program which called for 160 000 km of rail, water diversion projects, ports and 1.5 million km of paved roads- illustrated below), the intrigues that sank the world into World War I made any hopes of this early development of China impossible in Sun Yat-sen’s lifetime.

Expressing his own deep understanding of these top down tactics of world history (and the recognition that the same British imperial forces that orchestrated the US Civil War were planning to do the same to China), Sun Yat-sen wrote in 1912:

“We understand too well that there are certain men of power—not to include for the present, certain nations—who would view with a greater or lesser satisfaction an internal rupture in the new Republic [of China]. They would welcome, as a move toward the accomplishment of their own ends and designs, a civil war between the provinces of the North and the South; just as, 50 years ago, there was applause in secret (in certain quarters) over the terrible civil strife in the United States.

Americans of today who were alive in those dark days of the great republic will remember the feelings in the hearts of the people—the bitter and painful thoughts that arose from the knowledge that foreigners were hoping and praying for the destruction of the American Union.

Had the war been successful from the South’s standpoint, and had two separate republics been established, is it not likely that perhaps half a dozen or more weak nations would have eventually been established? I believe that such would have been the result; and I further believe that with the one great nation divided politically and commercially, outsiders would have stepped in sooner or later and made of America their own. I do not believe that I am stating this too forcibly. If so, I have not read history nor studied men and nations intelligently.

And I feel that we have such enemies abroad as the American republic had; and that at certain capitals the most welcome announcement that would be made would be that of a rebellion in China against the constituted authorities.

This is a hard statement to make; but I believe in speaking the truth so that all the world may know and recognize it.”

Today’s Belt and Road Initiative, and strategic friendship established between Russia and China has re-awoken the forgotten vision of William Gilpin for a world of cooperating sovereign nation states. Does the USA have the moral ability to avoid disintegration by accepting a Russia-U.S.-China alliance needed to revive McKinley’s American System or will we slip into a new Great Reset and World War?

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow, BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide FoundationHe can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

Behold the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Behold the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

December 21, 2020

An astrological reading for Planet Earth at a time of Great Mutation

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is upon us and there is no looking back. Image: Twitter

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. – Oscar Wilde

Today all radio stations on Planet Earth should be playing this song. What the aptly named Fifth Dimension immortalized in their spring of 1969 psychedelic soul classic is now literally true: This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius – the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st at 𝟬° in Aquarius.

Aquarius starts just as some dodgy, self-important elites gear up to impose a Great Reset on most of the planet – following a very specific, reductionist and exclusionist political agenda. Yet the real deal is not the Reset; it’s the Mutation.

So we’re all into something much bigger than any neo-Orwellian scenario. To shed much needed light into what seems our current, interminable darkness, I posed selected questions to Vanessa Guazzelli, a respected astrologer, writer and speaker in astrology conferences worldwide, as well as a practicing psychoanalyst and psychologist.

Let astrology fertilize geopolitics. Let the sunshine in.

PE: Arguably not many people around the world are aware that a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction this December 21st seems to represent the ultimate game-changer – defined by serious astrology scholars as the Great Mutation.

Could you please elaborate on what this Mutation really means, astrologically, as it seems to take place every 200 years? And bringing it back to everyday life and politics, are we permitted to infer geopolitical parallels from what the stars are telling us?

VG: By Great Mutation we refer to when the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions change elements, which happens every 200 years as you mentioned. Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction, astrologically, by ecliptic longitude, every 20 years, not that long a period. However, they keep on intersecting in signs of the same element for 200 years, with the possibility of another 40 years of transition, indicating a greater cycle.

Jupiter and Saturn are what we call social planets and are to be considered in regards to politics and geopolitics. When the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction starts to effectively happen in the next element, it marks the Great Mutation, denoting important socioeconomic and cultural changes. That’s what is happening now.

We come from a two-century period of conjunctions in Earth signs. The emphasis has been on matter and the more tangible dimension of life – material boys and girls in a material world. As we now move on into the element of air, as they conjoin at 0º of Aquarius, a call for sublimation takes place.

All that is solid mutates into air. Things and procedures can be less material and more digital and, to some extent, virtual. But not only that. Shared ideas and ideals gain yet more importance. More then what we materially have, with whom and what for is what matters most. Collaboration and cooperation are, now more than ever, the winds which make the world go around.

This is indeed a highly significant astrological aspect and configuration happening on December 21, at 18h20 UTC. In parts of Asia and Oceania, it will be already past midnight, on December 22.

This is not only the Great Mutation but a Great Conjunction, when the two farthest visible planets conjoin not merely by longitude but also by latitude (ecliptic coordinates), by both right ascension and declination (equatorial coordinates). That means they are not just aligned in the same direction but really, really close to each other in the sky as seen from Earth, almost as if they were one and the same star.

Last time the two heavenly bodies have been that close was in 1623, but that was not a Great Mutation, just a regular conjunction in terms of ecliptic longitude. Astrologically, the fact that all these enhancements happen together at this time intensifies the significance of what this conjunction now indicates, how powerful a mutation it marks.

In everyday life, it also speaks of an increase in technological development, digitalization of things and procedures, including crypto-currencies and digital money as a sort of “sublimed” money, from matter to a lighter, less material “substance” which can quickly circulate through air.

At a more personal level, we tend to lose interest in social contexts which are not in tune with our ideas and ideals, and we’re pulled towards groups, associations and projects in the same wavelength as we are. It is not a time to merely rely on institutions to take care of people, but a time to discern for oneself and then connect with others with shared interests, ideals, purposes.

The air element is where we open space and make room for the Other, be it in respect for differences or to collaborate and cooperate towards shared interests and projects. Co-op’s, where every participant gets a fair, proportional share, in a joint enterprise, is surely a way to go.

Aquarius is opposite to the centralizing sign of Leo. Geopolitically, that is to say, it is not the time for a hegemonic single star to rule the world, but a time of many stars illuminating the entire sky. It is not a time for a single empire. There can be empires, if in plural. The strength of powerful nations now lies, more than ever, in the quality of their partnerships and alliances in mutual respect, as equals.

Any power which loses sight of that crucial key will see it, in the short or long run, backfire. Some are more powerful than others and some will be more prominent than others. Nonetheless, they are not alone. It is time for a multipolar world – now that is the Mandate of Heaven.

Regarding the Great Mutation’s astro-cartographic map, which shows the lines of planetary positions on the face of the Earth, it is interesting to notice that the IC lines of Jupiter and Saturn go through Beijing, indicating the relevance of China in the foundation of this 200-year cycle, for the IC is the root of an astrological chart.

On the other side of the globe, we see the MC lines of the two planets going through South America (Venezuela, Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Argentina), showing the value of the continent’s resources in this new cycle.

What the Davos crew is up to

PE: Our current, turbulent juncture seems to be pointing towards increased bio-security and what some serious systemic analysis defines as techno-feudalism. All this implies hyper-concentration of power – and not only power exercised by the geopolitical hegemon, the United States. Should we now expect a serious mutation of the world-system – as studied by Immanuel Wallerstein, in the sense of serious changes to our capitalist system?

Immanuel Wallerstein. Source: Wikimedia Commons

VG: Yes, we should. We are at the very turning point of the world-system. Along with the Great Mutation, another immensely significant aspect in the 2020s is the Saturn-Neptune conjunction, in February 2026, at 0º of Aries. This is precisely the first degree of the whole Zodiac, also called the Vernal Point – crucial in astrological interpretation.

Saturn and Neptune conjoin every 36 years, which is a relatively short historical cycle. However, as with the Great Mutation, the way it occurs and where in occurs in the Zodiac can lead us to broader historical perspectives and indicate more expressive historical moments.

If we go back up to 7,000 years ago, this conjunction has occurred at the Vernal Point only in 4361 B.C. and 1742 B.C. If we look up three thousand years ahead, the closest it gets to the Vernal Point is 3º of Aries in 3172. Quite rare. So this conjunction at the first degree of the Zodiac, 0º of Aries – the very beginning – is not that small a deal.

Neptune impregnates and conceives; Saturn refers to the concrete structure of reality; and 0º of Aries means new, springing up. Saturn-Neptune on 0º Aries means a new conception of reality.

Aspects between Saturn and Neptune, by historical observation, are associated with socialism and communism – these movements on Earth coincide with the transiting contacts between these two planets in the sky. It has already been proven in mundane astrology historically. Moreover, this does not just tell us about the past, for it is in fact just about to begin – upgrading and advancing, reconfiguring itself in yet new forms of socialism.

According to Wallerstein, during the structural crisis which characterizes the final period of a world-system, a bifurcation of the system can tilt to one of either directions, or to multiple systems. Before passing away last year, he did consider us to be right in the middle of the structural crisis of capitalism, which lasts 60 to 80 years.

I’d say at this moment we are past the mid-point. It could, initially, go towards multiple systems in two branches: on the one hand, the freshness of the Eastern winds inspiring socialism and multipolarity through the Belt and Road Initiative and the integration of Eurasia and its partners; on the other hand, the whirlwind of the collapsing empire and its Western allies as a terminator cyborg operated by the perverse 0.0001% who are so lifeless they cannot conceive other people’s right to exist.

When I first heard about it in June 2020, it astonished me how they set the “Great Reset” for January 2021, so close to the Great Mutation at the end of December 2020. I doubt this is a mere coincidence or “synchronicity.” J P Morgan is known to have affirmed that millionaires don’t need astrologers, but billionaires do.

Possibly aware of this great transition, the Davos crew seem to be actually trying to reset the system they already rule with their own settings and revive the dying system as a cyborg from hell.

‘Wall Street Bubbles – always the same,’ 1901 cartoon by Keppler, depicts J.P. Morgan as a bull blowing soap bubbles for eager investors. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The nefarious potential of the Aquarian emphasis is the control of society through technology, be it techno-feudalism or, gods forbid, techno-slavery. On the brighter side of the Force, Aquarius is about a social project to sustain life and meet the needs of the people. Both dimensions or systems might co-exist on Earth for a while.

Western powers – not to mention the Masters of the Universe, as you say, who pull their strings – seem to have a long way to go before reaching a state of real and respectful cooperation. Perhaps more ancient civilizations found in the East have a deeper, more consistent root from which to draw the wisdom and maturity necessary in such challenging times for humanity.

Often remembered for the food and goods traded along the route, the Silk Roads involved in the past and involve nowadays the exchange of ideas. It is interesting to observe the strong Aquarian edge activated in China’s astrological progressions when the Belt and Road Initiative was first proposed by Xi Jinping in Astana, in 2013, and how it connected to the degree of the Great Mutation (progressed Venus and Jupiter conjunct AC at 1º Aquarius).

When some years before that Vladimir Putin gave his historical speech in Munich, proposing the Eurasian Integration, in February 2007, there was a Saturn-Neptune aspect – an opposition. When at the 70th UN Assembly, both Putin and Xi delivered long, strong and synchronized speeches affirming the multipolarity of the world, in 2015, there was also a Saturn-Neptune aspect – a square.

The next Saturn-Neptune aspect will be the conjunction, in February 2026, inaugurating a brand new cycle and we can expect it to be related to these previous movements, keeping in mind the cycle points towards multipolarity and new forms of socialism.

The Black Moon spell

PE: Could Covid-19, on a certain level, be interpreted as the – unpleasant – preamble towards a Great Mutation? After all the new social (un)reality represents a system upside down: near-total economic devastation, especially of small businesses; canceling of constitutional rights; governments practically ruling by decree, with no popular consultation; global corporations censoring any manner of informed dissent; whole societies practically under house arrest; most of the planet reduced to a sort of totalitarian theme park.

VG: Oh, Covid-19 – we could have a whole conversation just on the implications of it at so many dimensions, and how it can be, to some extent, astrologically tracked. It definitely can be interpreted as the unpleasant preamble, perhaps aiming to the Great Reset, one could ponder.

An unprecedented worldwide collective experience – and experiment. Nevertheless, serving to shake it all up, transforming our very perception of time, preparing for the conception of a new time. To all those paying attention, a call to be yet more alive, more vivid, against all odds.

A nearly black moon. Image: Unsplash

The very dichotomy which has been so emphasized between “either caring for life or caring for the economy” in and of itself shows how absurd a world it already was. How many people so easily got caught into separating one thing from the other, as if it was a means to resist the system and finally say no to the demands of capital accumulation. To eventually see, indeed, small businesses devastated, poverty increasing drastically, whilst billionaires concentrate wealth to yet more bizarre levels.

Something fundamental to consider is how it has affected the human body. The pandemic was declared with Black Moon (the lunar apogee) in Aries and that indicates the importance of being sharply present and responsive as Michael Jackson danced, Bruce Lee moved and Maria Zakharova responds.

In October, Black Moon, this astrological point representing the visceral and instinctive dimension of existence, moved into Taurus, highlighting the importance of being aware of how the life force in us is conditioned or channeled, shaping how we perceive our own existence. For instance, how the confinement of the body might – or might not – confine our psyche.

What are the psychological effects of the lack of touch or the physical experience of constantly having our mouths covered? How those situations affect our psyche is not irrelevant. Both René Descartes and Wilhelm Reich had Black Moon in Taurus. How are mind and body related? Are they a cartesian dichotomy or are they intertwined as bio-energetic unity moved by libido?

This is an important underlying issue in our collective until July 2021.

The fate of the American empire

PE: Astrology in History is full of fascinating stories about celestial interpretations opening the way to a crucial political or military move. For instance, right before the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258, the Great Khan, Hulegu, asked the court astrologer about the prospects ahead. The astrologer, Husam al-Din, said that if he followed his generals and invaded Baghdad, the consequences would be ominous.

But then Hulegu turned to a Shi’a astronomer, Tusi, a polymath. Tusi said the invasion would be a major success. That’s what happened – and Tusi was admitted into Hulegu’s inner circle. So the Mongols – who built the largest empire in history – were big fans of “celestial insurance.” Could “celestial insurance” in our times end up predicting the fate of another empire – the US?

VG: That’s true, there are so many fascinating stories. The end of the Byzantine Empire and conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire was also marked by an astrological prediction of the Ottoman victory related to an eclipse.

The US Pluto return happens in 2022. That’s massive. It’s a cycle of approximately 247 years. Pluto has a sense of fate to it. The return of the lord of the underworld also speaks of the return of that which was repressed, hidden or rejected. It will have three exact hits throughout 2022, and the final and definitive of the next Pluto cycle has the planet of death and regeneration facing Black Moon Lilith in Cancer, in opposition. Karma is a bitch and hits home.

It is also a cycle related to power and power status. It won’t all be bad and some victorious moments will be there, but there is a change in the country’s position in the balance of powers in the world which is not so easy to digest. The power struggle will be intense, both externally and internally, with considerable risks of destructive manifestations. The best way to go through such a moment would be to purge – although it’s hard to believe “the swamp” can be so easily drained.

It is a call for a deep transformation, when all things under the rug and corpses out of the basement are to be dealt with. For the nation’s people it is a call for maturity (Saturn conjoins Moon), compassion and a more humanly receptive disposition (Neptune opposition), letting illusions dissolve and realizing the empire is losing its hegemony and status, but the nation will continue. What nation should it be for its people – as opposed to against other peoples?

This doesn’t mean the American Empire will fall by 2022, but it is collapsing and will undergo dramatic transformations in the coming decade.

A Dystopian Renaissance

PE: Amid so much gloom, looks like you are introducing a very hopeful concept: “Dystopian Renaissance”. That’s the exact opposite of what is being largely interpreted as our inevitable neo-Orwellian future. How would you characterize this Dystopian Renaissance – in terms of individual, collective, political and cultural struggle?

VG: The concept emerges precisely to elucidate the extreme complexity of our times. Well, the renaissance part seems very hopeful, doesn’t it? But, there’s the dystopian part to it too. It is not a utopian renaissance, as we well know. Perhaps in 200 years, when we reach the Great Mutation into water, the same element as the magnificent Italian Renaissance, humanity might be able to feel and better comprehend deeper dimensions of life. Why not aim for Utopia next? But whatsoever may be possible by then passes through right now.

It is now that, along with this special Great Mutation, a few significant astrological aspects point to a real change of the world-system. It takes this crucial moment in time and this period of air to elevate perspectives, to share ideas and ideals and understand how enriching it can be to build “a community with a shared future for mankind,” as Xi Jinping puts it.

A highly enhanced turning point, opening new horizons, offering the possibility of enriching exchanges in a multipolar world, and with a call for socialism like we haven’t known before.

Catalan Atlas, detail showing family Of Marco Polo 1254-1324 traveling by camel caravan, 1375, drawing by Spanish School. Source: Wikimedia

Let’s not forget this moment in time also resonates with the 13th century, when Venetian Marco Polo, traveling through the Silk Roads to Asia, brought back to Europe the freshness of the Eastern winds, with news from Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty, including the “sublimation” of money into a lighter form, from coin to paper.

At that time, there was a stellium (a concentration of planets) in Capricorn just as we had in 2020, with the following Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius (although not as a Great Mutation), and Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius as we will also have in 2023/2024. It is an absurdly dystopian context, but a turning point for a new conception of reality and the possibility for surprising new horizons.

A new world system is in the air

PE: Giorgio Agamben has referred to that famous Foucault intuition in Les Mots et les Choses, when Foucault writes that humankind may disappear like a figure drawn in the sand being erased by waves hitting the shore. The striking image may apply to our present, mutating condition, as we are about to enter a trans-human and even post-human era, dominated by artificial intelligence (AI) and genetic engineering.

Agamben argues that Covid-19, global warming and, more radically, direct digital access to our psychic life – all these elements are destroying humanity. Would the Great Mutation install a different paradigm – and lead us away from post-humanity?

FG: The rapid development in technology will be something seriously complex to deal with. It will be amazing in many ways, but not all pretty, presenting undeniable challenges, some of which are already here and about to intensify.

What are the effects of technology and artificial intelligence in both our organic and our subjective bodies? Mind control with bidirectional devices, both collecting information and inducing commands is a work in progress.

Perverse levels of technological control of society are a serious concern as Pluto, aka Hades, lord of the underworld, will also transit in technological and futuristic Aquarius from 2023/24 on, up until 2043/44 – times of intense social transformation, when technological advancements will blow our minds and the very conception of science will change considerably, but with serious risks of trans-human and post-human madness.

We cannot disregard our organicity. We cannot disregard our subjectivity, either. Pluto is about transformation or domination – in other words, quoting a recent article of yours: “Here’s our future: hackers or slaves.”

We’ve got to go hacking not only in the objective sense – which surely becomes more and more a desirable skill – but in the subjective sense as well, finding lines of flight and keeping Eros alive, the life force in us vivid.

Considering we’re already here, living through dystopian times, we might as well make the best out of this undeniably epic adventure. Instead of succumbing to fear and isolation, overtaken by the doom and gloom, let’s not forget Wallerstein’s observation on destiny versus free will – a very cool take, by the way, which my experience as an astrologer observing collective and individual cycles very much confirms: Both exist.

During the stable period of a world-system, its normal life when its structure is functioning well, even if there are some fluctuations in it, it is very hard to change things in the system, it tends to stabilization. It’s destiny: you gotta put a whole lot of effort to get perhaps very little change trying to escape destiny.

But when the world-system has reached its final phase, it can no longer be rescued and there is a lot of instability. The crisis is not going away and the only possibility is change, in one way or another – it’s free will time. In the structural crisis, Wallerstein says we have more free will, our actions have a stronger impact and every little move counts to decide in which direction the change of the system will go.

In our personal lives at this turning point in time, as Foucault questions, we may also ask ourselves: As humans, are we an obstacle or obstruction? Are we a way of imprisoning life – or are we an opening, a line of flight?

In regard to Foucault’s words you and Agamben bring to light, please allow me to refer to the previous paragraph, just before that final one in Les Mots et les Choses, when he states that by “taking a relatively short chronological sample within a restricted geographical area – European culture since the sixteenth century – one can be certain that man is a recent invention within it.”

The “man” he is referring to as the effect of a change in the fundamental arrangements of knowledge a couple of centuries ago, with the newer arrangements perhaps about to end, is within European references. That is neither the beginning nor the end of man, nor its only interesting expression. With huge, deep appreciation for so much of European culture, perhaps one of the things coming to a necessary end is Eurocentrism.

Nonetheless, of course, it is deeply worrying how faces are being at the same time digitally traced by machines and hidden from other humans by masks – especially the effects of that in children. The current transition is not without epistemological effects and effects on how we conceive man, humans. But it’s not all said and done.

To counter the objectification of humans, it may be timely to draw from the Tupis’ conception of human beings: tu + pi , seated sound. A human being is a sound which has taken a seat, has taken place and vibrates. We gotta keep our bodies, faces and words vibrant. For the native South American Tupis, each human being is a new music, a new word vibrating and co-creating life with others and nature.

Albert Eckhout painting of a Tupi man. Source: Wikipedia

It seems that the deeper roots of aboriginal-indigenous wisdom still need to be more fully acknowledged and reintegrated in the Americas before the reinvention of the world in the West can take place.

Now winds blow from the East and from Eurasia, inspiring new forms of co-existence. But the controllers of capital, wealth and worldly power won’t give it up without a fight – or a few wars and a heavy load of social control via technology, capturing bodies and minds. What will it be – Great Reset or Great Mutation?

Is there a way out? Yes. And it seems to go along the New Silk Roads and the Eurasia Integration – literally to some important extent, but symbolically as well. The West can gain a lot from opening up to the Eastern winds, the news and the ideas they bring, stories of a community of shared future for mankind. A new world-system is in the air.

China’s Economy of Peace

China’s Economy of Peace

December 14, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

In the context of China’s webinar on 14 December 2020, on the topic of “China’s New Development Paradigm and High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation”, organized by the China Center for Contemporary World Studies, International Department of CPC Central Committee and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, my presentation was on China’s Economy of Peace.
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China, about a decade ago, has deliberately embarked on an Economy of Peace. A strategy that China pursues, unimpressed by constant aggression from the west, which are mostly led by the United States. Is it perhaps this Chinese steadfast, non-aggressive way of constant forward-creation and embracing more and more allies on her way – that has made China such a success story? Overcoming violence by non-violence is engrained in 5000 years of Chinese history.

Despite relentlessly repeated assertions by the west, China’s objective is not to conquer the world or to “replace” the United States as the new empire. Quite to the contrary. The alliance China-Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is seeking a multipolar world, with more justice for all – i. e. fairer trade in the sense of “win-win”, where all parties are benefitting equally. This is also a policy pursued by the recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, the 15-country trade agreement signed at the 37th ASEAN Summit – 11 November 2020, in Vietnam, as well as by President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013 by the President himself.

China does not coerce cooperation – but offers peaceful cooperation. In 2014, Mr. Xi traveled to Germany to offer Madame Merkel for Germany to become – at that time – the western most link to the BRI, or the New Silk Road. This would have been an opening for all of Europe. However, Madame Merkel, having to follow Washington’s mandates – did not respond positively. President Jinping returned to Beijing, no hard feelings. And China continued her persistent course of connecting the countries of our Mother Earth with transport infrastructure, inter-country industrial ventures, education and research projects, as well as cultural exchanges to enrich the world – all the while respecting individual countries’ monetary and political sovereignty.

Many country leaders from Africa and the Global South in general express openly their contentment and satisfaction to have China as a partner and for dealing with China on the basis of equals. With the west, especially the US, there is bullying and coercion, unequal contracts, and often total disrespect for legally signed contracts.
——

Meanwhile, the west lives in a permanent state of hypocrisy. It bashes China – actually without any reason, other than that the dying Anglo-Saxon-American empire mandates it to its partners, especially the European NATO allies – under threats of sanctions. Unfortunately, spineless Europe mostly complies.

Yet, having outsourced – for economic and profit reasons – most production processes to reliable, efficient and cheaper-labor China, the west depends very much on China for its supply chains. The covid-crisis, first wave, has clearly shown how dependent the west is on goods produced in China from sophisticated electronic equipment to pharmaceuticals.

As an example: About 90% or more of antibiotics or ingredients for antibiotics are Made in China. Similar percentages apply to other vital western imports. – But China does not “punish” or sanction. China creates and moves forward offering her alliance to the rest of the world.

China has also developed a new digital international Renminbi (RMB) or Yuan that may soon be rolled out for use of monetary transactions – of all kinds, including transfers, trade and even as a reserve currency. The yuan is already an ever-stronger reserve currency. This trend will be further enhanced through the RCEP and BRI.

Of course, the US is afraid that their dollar-hegemony they have built up since WWII with Fiat money backed by nothing, may suffer as international trading currency which the Anglo-American banking cartel practically imposed on the world, will come to an end; and the US-dollar’s standing as a reserve currency may rapidly decline.

And yes, the yuan will gradually replace the US dollar as reserve currency – and this – because countries’ treasurers realize that the yuan is a stable, gold-backed currency, also supported by a solid economy – the only economy of any importance in the world that will grow in the covid-year 2020, by perhaps as much as 3.5%, while western economies will falter badly. Predictions are dire for the US and Europe, between 12% (EU predictions) and up to 30% / 35% (US FED prediction).

The US dollar and its dominion over the international transfer system through SWIFT – has been used massively for sanctioning non-compliant countries, including totally illegal confiscation of assets – even countries reserve assets – case in point is Venezuela.

Escaping this coercive dollar dominion is the dream of many countries. Therefore, trading, investing and dealing with the Chinese currency, will be a welcome opportunity for many sovereign nations.
—-
China’s economic achievements and forward-looking perspectives may be summarized in two major events or global programs, the just signed free trade agreement with 14 countries – the 10 ASEAN countries, plus Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, altogether, including China 15 countries. The so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was in negotiations during eight years – and achieved to pull together a group of countries for free trade, of some 2.2 billion people, commanding about 30% of the world’s GDP. This is a never before reached agreement in size, value and tenor.

In addition to the largest such trade agreement in human history, it also links to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt, One Road (OBOR), which in itself comprises already more than 130 countries and more than 30 international organizations. Also, China and Russia have a longstanding strategic partnership, containing bilateral agreements that too enter into this new trade fold – plus the countries of the Central Asia Economic Union (CAEU), consisting mostly of former Soviet Republics, are also integrated into this eastern trade block.

The myriad of agreements and sub-agreements between Asian-Pacific countries that will cooperate with RCEP, is bound together by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai as an intergovernmental organization, composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The SCO is little known and little talked-about in the west.

The purpose of the SCO is to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region, join forces to counteract emerging challenges and threats, and enhance trade, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

Much of the funding for RCEP and BRI projects may come in the form of low-interest loans from China’s Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and other Chinese and participating countries’ national funding sources. In the hard times emerging from the covid crisis, many countries may need grant assistance to be able to recover as quickly as possible from their huge socioeconomic losses, created by the pandemic. In this sense, it is likely that the new Silk Road may support a special “Health Road” across the Asian Continent.

The RCEP may, as “byproduct”, integrate the huge Continent of Eurasia that spans all the way from western Europe to what is called Asia and covering the Middle East as well as North Africa, of some 55 million square kilometers (km2), and a population of about 5.4 billion people, close to 70% of the world population – See map (Wikipedia).

The crux of the RCEP agreement’s trade deals is that they will be carried out in local currencies and in yuan – no US-dollars. The RCEP is a massive instrument for dedollarizing, primarily the Asia-Pacific Region, and gradually the rest of the world.

Much of the BRI infrastructure investments, or New Silk Road, may be funded by other currencies than the US-dollar. China’s new digital Renminbi (RMB) or yuan may soon become legal tender for international payments and transfers, and will drastically reduce the use of the US-dollar.

The US-dollar is already in massive decline. When some 20-25 years ago about 90% of all worldwide held reserve-assets were denominated in US-dollars, this proportion has shrunk by today to below 60% – and keeps declining. The emerging international RMB / yuan, together with a RCEP- and BRI-strengthened Chinese economy, may further contribute to a dedollarization, as well as dehegemonization of the United States in the world. And as said before, the international digital RMB / yuan may progressively also be replacing the US-dollar, as well as euro reserves in countries’ coffers around the globe. The US-dollar may eventually return to be just a local US-currency, as it should be.

Under China’s philosophy, the unilateral world may transform into a multi-polar world. The RCEP and New Silk Road combination are rapidly pursuing this noble objective, a goal that will bring much more equilibrium into the world.

Maybe for a few years more to come, the west, led by the US – and always backed by the Pentagon and NATO, may not shy away from threatening countries participating in China’s projects, but to no avail. Under Tao philosophy, China will move forward with her partners, like steadily flowing water, constantly creating, avoiding obstacles, in pursuit of her honorable goal – a world in Peace with a bright common future.

*****
Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; New Eastern Outlook (NEO), Information Clearing House (ICH) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Days of the Future Passed: A Syncretic Look at the Problems of Empire – Book Excerpt

December 10, 2020

‘Days of the Future Passed’ by Jim Miles. (Photo: Book Cover)

By Jim Miles

(Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return, Jim Miles. Kindle Edition. 2020)

By Introduction

The United States has throughout its existence demonstrated all the features of ‘empire’, from the original settlers using the Papal Doctrine of Discovery (1542)  through to the current propaganda of the global war and terror, now changing to defense doctrines against Russia and China.  My new work, “Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” presents the broad outlines of what this represents to the international scene from inception through to today’s ongoing empirical adventures.

The two main constants have been economic influence and military influence.  The two are highly integrated and always have been even from before Independence, through the conquest of much of North America, where sometimes the soldiers led the way, and sometimes the settlers led the way, but neither being far apart from the other.  Today the economy of the US empire is highly dependent on the military mindset of the US supporting its economic adventures overseas, the bottom line being support for the global reserve currency, the fiat ‘petrodollar.’

Three other ideas enter into this picture.  An additional military factor is the threat of nuclear war, an event only a hair trigger action away from ultimately ending all of our problems.  The current increase in propaganda rhetoric against Russia and China makes a nuclear scenario unfortunately all too realistic.  Added to this, climate change is affecting our chances at long term safety and overall survival, much of it caused by our consumer oriented economy based on fossil fuels – control of the latter being of paramount importance for the US dollar and thus the US military.  Add to all that the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the empire appears to be slowly losing its grip on its desired hegemony, but not without threatening much of the rest of the world.

Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” argues that we have passed some tipping points for which there will be no return to normal, within economics, the environment, and the military industrial complex.  Ideas for solutions are easy, their implementation is not as the inertia of empire is not easily restrained or controlled.

Excerpt

2020 – Tipping Points

It may not be evident yet, but in another ten or twenty years, the year 2020 may also be looked on as a pivotal year in global interactions – geopolitical, environmental, and financial – all of which are highly interrelated.

Imagine the lowly teeter-totter, a playground piece not as common as it used to be.  The teeter-totter is aptly named as many a child, and many an adult has stood above the bar that makes the plank teeter and totter, trying to maintain balance but also testing how far they can go before touching down on one side or the other.   Now imagine that teeter-totter is poised on the edge of a cliff, where one side can touch down and avoid the unknown drop, and the other side obviously is the drop from which there is no recovery to equilibrium.

It is a simple metaphor, but it illustrates for several sectors of our lives, we have allowed ourselves to drop into the unknown.

The unknown is simply the future.  This future is to be determined by a declining global economy becoming saturated with massive US money printing to prop up the banksters and corporate CEOs.  It will be determined by the disregard domestically and in foreign affairs for the supposed ‘rule of law’ but more importantly international law and true justice for all people. The changes to our environment are at the moment relatively slow but are becoming irreversible under current trends.   Finally, the massive military investments on a global scale for both nuclear and conventional weaponry threatens everyone with a very delicate balance of power.

….Under the Trump presidency, combined with the economic impact of the virus and actions to contain it (for better or worse, not a point of discussion here), the US has assuredly reached a point where its huge national debt can never be repaid.   Combine this with the main source of income and wealth in the US no longer being production, but financialized services simply creating money at the stroke of a keyboard and the economy is surviving precariously on the whim of people servicing the US$.

Put simply, the US survives on the Federal Reserve Bank (a consortium of private banks) pumping money into the economy.   With much of the economy based on debt, and interest rates kept necessarily low in order to service the debt, the strength of the US$  as a global reserve currency – the petrodollar – is jeopardized.

….This year there have been several accounts of how the climate/environment is showing signs of tipping into conditions where there can be no reversals to ‘normal’ without serious changes to our atmospheric inputs:  Greenland’s ice sheet melts more than it accumulates in snowfall each year by a significant amount; the Amazon has reached the status where it can no longer regenerate itself after a series of droughts; the forest fires in Siberia, Australia, and California demonstrate the overall pattern of global warming; each succeeding month has set record new global highs.

….The main feature here is that the combination of China and Russia have created a multi-polar world whether the US is willing to admit it or not.  Russian resources, defensive military achievements, and a renewed domestic scene under the direction of the much-vilified Vladimir Putin have combined with China’s increasing defensive measures in the Western Pacific, its Belt and Road initiative throughout Asia and extending elsewhere, and the economic power that China has achieved as the largest economy in the world (on purchasing power and domestic market basis).

Above all, both China and Russia have stated they no longer support the hegemony of the US$ as the global reserve currency.  They cannot replace it themselves, but they can operate outside of it, and they can support alternate global systems such as a ‘basket’ of reserve currencies, and their own digital exchange systems.   That is what truly scares the US as it sees its own debt problems trap it into hyperinflation while other countries start to shift away from supporting the US$.   That could mean war, hybrid for sure, but it could also go kinetic.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and analyst who examines the world through a syncretic lens.  His analysis of international and domestic geopolitical ideas and actions incorporates a lifetime of interest in current events, a desire to preserve and conserve our natural environment and stop the commodification of the environment.  He has been active as a critical writer in opposition to the US empire and its militarization of most aspects of domestic and international affairs. Miles’ work has been published globally and has appeared on a variety of websites including Palestine Chronicle, Axis of Logic, Countercurrents, and Global Research.  He has appeared on RT News and The Tyee concerning events in Palestine/Israel.  This is his first book and effectively summarizes many years, indeed a lifetime, of interest in international geopolitical and environmental affairs. He contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle. 

Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem Was A Multipolar Visionary

Andrew Korybko (@AKorybko) | Twitter

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

18 NOVEMBER 2020

Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem Was A Multipolar Visionary
In order to appreciate his legacy, the reader must understand the complex circumstances in which he worked.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem passed away earlier this week, but his multipolar vision will be remembered forever. The Arab Republic’s top diplomat previously served as his country’s Ambassador to the US from 1990-1999 prior to becoming Assistant Foreign Minister in 2000, Deputy Foreign Minister in 2005, Foreign Minister in 2006, and even Deputy Prime Minister in 2012. He was also Syria’s Minister of Expatriates too. In order to appreciate his legacy, the reader must understand the complex circumstances in which he worked.

The US became the world’s unipolar superpower after the end of the Cold War right when Mr. Muallem became the Syrian Ambassador to that country. He was charged with managing Damascus’ changing relations with the world during that very difficult time. It was during that period that both countries attempted to normalize their formerly hostile Cold War-era relations. Although extremely challenging, Mr. Muallem succeeded as best as he could with his very important task.

Just before becoming Foreign Minister, Syria militarily withdrew from neighboring Lebanon in response to the domestic political changes that took place there during its Cedar Revolution after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Damascus was blamed for that crime but vehemently denied it, and Mr. Muallem provided plenty of evidence in defense of his country to the United Nations. That was his first real challenge in his new post. The year after, in 2007, Israel bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria, which caused a brief crisis.

Mr. Muallem also had to contend with the increasingly aggressive US military presence in neighboring Iraq. Washington had accused Damascus of supporting anti-American militias, and some voices were even urging the Pentagon to go to war against the Arab Republic. Thankfully nothing ever came out of those hawkish cries, but that’s largely the result of Syria’s diplomatic success in standing strong against this bullying. Syrian-American relations then thawed for a short period of time after Secretary of State Kerry visited Damascus in 2010.

It was after the onset of the regional regime change operation popular described as the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011 that Mr. Muallem became a globally recognized diplomatic figure even though he arguably deserved this distinction earlier for the aforementioned reasons. Syria was victimized by an externally waged hybrid war of terror which included foreign sponsorship of terrorist groups, crippling Western sanctions, and several false accusations that Damascus used chemical weapons against its own people.

The most dramatic of the latter occurred in late 2013 and almost led to the US launching a conventional all-out war against Syria like it had against Libya just two years prior. Mr. Muallem played a leading role in resolving this global crisis, which resulted in Syria surrendering its chemical weapons stockpile to the international community. Two years later, Russia launched a game-changing anti-terrorist military intervention in Damascus’ support to help defeat ISIS, which Mr. Muallem also played an integral role in organizing behind the scenes.

All the while, he simultaneously helped Syria react to several Turkish military interventions without escalating them to the point of a larger war, the same as he did whenever Israel launched literally hundreds of strikes against his country in the proceeding years as well, to say nothing of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition’s attacks too. It took exceptional patience and restraint to avoid overreacting to those provocations like others in his position elsewhere might have done, but he kept his cool and thus helped manage those destabilizing developments.

It should also be mentioned that Syria retained its historic alliance with Iran that preceded Mr. Muallem’s tenure as Foreign Minister by several decades. He masterfully balanced between that Mideast country and Syria’s other Russian ally without playing either off against the other unlike other smaller- and medium-sized states in similarly difficult positions had historically attempted in the past with different partners. Importantly, Mr. Muallem also oversaw the improvement of Syrian-Chinese relations during this time as well.

China, Russia, and Iran are completely different countries but are all united in spirit because of their belief in a multipolar world order, which Syria also supports. Mr. Muallem proved that countries such as his can successfully bring all three of them together to synergize their efforts in pursuit of this vision. The example that he set in this respect, among the many others that were mentioned in this analysis, will ensure that he’s remembered the world over as one of the greatest diplomats of the 21st century.

تحالف خماسيّ دوليّ في وجه القطبيّة الأميركيّة وأعوانها

د. وفيق إبراهيم

التمرد الدولي على الأحادية القطبية الاميركية يتأجج في أميركا الجنوبية والقوقاز وبحر السلع والتنافسات الاقتصادية، لكنه يرتدي في الشرق الأوسط شكل استعادة سورية لسيادتها بشكل كامل، وذلك من خلال الإمساك بوجهي أزمتها الداخلي المتعلق بالميادين العسكرية والخارجي المتجسد بنحو ستة ملايين نازح سوريّ ينتشرون في تركيا والأردن ولبنان وأوروبا ومصر وأنحاء اخرى متوزعة.

واذا كانت الدولة السورية نجحت في الانتصار مع تحالفاتها الروسية والإيرانية وحزب الله على المشروع الإرهابي المدعوم خليجياً وأميركياً فإنها تعمل على استعادة النازحين ضمن إطارها الوطني.

إلا أنها تصطدم بعجزها الاقتصاديّ عن استيعاب هذه الأعداد الكبيرة نتيجة لتدمير معظم مناطقها. هذا بالإضافة الى الحصار والعقوبات الأميركية، الاوروبية والخليجية التي تصيب بنيوياً الاقتصاد السوري بما يؤدي الى تراجع إمكانياته بمعدلات كبيرة.

هناك أمثلة على المحاولات الاميركية لمنع الدولة السورية من استكمال سيادتها، يكفي أن الأميركيين مارسوا ضغوطاً لمنع مصر والإمارات ودول اخرى في اوروبا من حضور المؤتمر الدولي الذي اعدته سورية قبل يومين لمعالجة أزمة النازحين منها.

واتفقوا مع اوروبا والخليج على ممارسة ضغوط في كل الاتجاهات لمنع نجاحه في معالجة ازمة النازحين.

هؤلاء جميعاً مقتنعون بوجهة النظر الاميركية التي تجزم ان استكمال سورية لسيادتها الدستورية والشعبية لن تقتصر تداعياتها على الشرق العربي.

فسورية حليف لاتجاه دولي إقليمي وعربي يعمل على مكافحة النفوذ الاميركي والادوار الاوروبية والخليجية المنصاعة له.

هنا يقدم الاميركيون نموذجاً عن قوة سورية، يظهر بوضوح في قدرتها على جمع 26 بلداً في مؤتمرها الخاص للنازحين ونجاحها في التمهيد لحلف خماسي يرفع شعار كسر الحظر الأميركي مع تحالفاته في السماح بعودتهم الى ديارهم.

مَن هو هذا الخماسي؟ وما هو مشروعه الفعلي؟ إنه سورية وروسيا وإيران والصين وفنزويلا، يرفعون شعار العمل الجدي والحازم على دفع أكبر كمية ممكنة من النازحين للعودة الى ديارهم.

هذا جانب هام جداً من المشروع الخماسيّ، إلا ان هذا الجانب يعمل على توطيد أواصر العلاقات الدولية لهذا الخماسي في مواجهة القطبية الأميركية.

بما يؤدي الى توتير أميركي – خليجي – إسرائيلي مع ضياع اوروبي لم يعُد يعرف ماذا يفعل.

لذلك يحاول الاميركيون بزخم شديد عرقلة إعادة النازحين الى ديارهم في إطار خطة عميقة لإجهاض هذه الخماسية. ويرى الاميركيون ان هذه الخماسية تتضمن بشكل عملي خمسة مشاريع، الاول هو مشروع الدولة السورية المعروف والثاني هو الطموح الروسي للعودة الى القطبية العالمية من خلال دور بلاده في آسيا الوسطى وسورية وفنزويلا وعلاقاته العميقة بكل من الصين وايران.

أما المشروع الثالث فهو الصين التي تعتقد ان هيمنتها الاقتصادية على العالم لم تعد بعيدة وقد لا تتأخر عن 2025، بما يؤكد حاجتها الى تحالفات وازنة في مختلف القارات كإسناد يمنع الأميركيين من الاستفراد بها. لذلك نراها وللمرة الأولى تلتحق بمؤتمر النازحين «السوري» وتتبنى مواقف جذريّة من الصراع مع الأميركيين.

لجهة المشروع الرابع فهو إيران التي نجحت ببناء تحالفات قوية من افغانستان الى باكستان واليمن والعراق وسورية وصولاً الى حليفها القوي حزب الله، هذا رغم الحصار المضروب عليها من قبل الخليجيين والاوروبيين والاميركيين.

هذا ما يدفع ايران الى الإصرار على حماية الدولة السورية حليفتها الاساسية في مجابهة الاميركيين والاسرائيليين، بما يؤدي الى تزخيم جبهة التصدي بالتعاون مع روسيا والصين وفنزويلا في قلب اميركا الجنوبية المجاورة للأميركيين في الشمال.

يتبقى المشروع الخامس الخاص بفنزويلا التي تتعرّض منذ 15 سنة لحصار اميركي يعمل على إسقاط دولتها للسيطرة على أكبر آبار للنفط في العالم تختزنها في اراضيها.

هذه الدول الخمس التي اجتمعت مع 21 دولة اخرى في مؤتمر النازحين في دمشق بدأت تتحضر جدياً لبناء آليات تعرقل القطبية الاميركية الأحادية، التي لا تعمل إلا وقف برنامج يقوم على نهب ثروات العالم وتدمير الدول التي ترفض هذا الاجتياح الاميركي المستمر من 1990.

فهل تنجح هذه الخماسية؟

هذه الدول ليس لديها خيارات كثيرة، فإما ان يهزمها الاميركي نهائياً ويلحقها بمستعمراته او تنتصر عليه وتصمد لتمهّد الطريق نحو نظام قطبي جديد يمنع العربدة واحتلال الدول واستعمال لغة الحروب والحصار والمقاطعات لتركيع الدول.

بما يؤكد أن هذه الخماسية ماضية نحو مجابهة الأميركية لإعادة استقرار نسبي كبير للعلاقات الدولية.

Will Biden be the head of restoration and review of major Middle Eastern files? هل يكون بايدن رئيس الترميم ومراجعة الملفات الشرق أوسطية الكبرى؟

Will Biden be the head of restoration and review of major Middle Eastern files?

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Brigadier General Dr. Amin Mohammed Hatit

The world has not known a president who has created in international relations and corrupted the major core files in it, as witnessed with Donald Trump, the current U.S. president, who failed to renew his mandate, and now has to come out of the White House with a praise that regrets his luck and blames those who failed him or betrayed him.

Trump is coming out of power, leaving behind him, as well as from the major international files that have corrupted his tracks, and who are waiting for the parties concerned to intervene in the United States, contrary to the arrogance and insanity of the Trumpi in its circulation, and to put an end to the corruption that caused a terrible imbalance in international relations and caused serious damage to it on more than one level, but the Middle East region has been harmed by Trump’s aggressiveness, greed and madness, a lot of harm that he has inflicted on him in exchange for cash or in kind payments to him. He’s connected to those files on Trump’s back in order to fix what’s been corrupted.

Here… Apart from the issues of armaments, climate, alliances, international relations and the economic, security and political wars that America is waging on more than one level, the files that America is affecting in our region are not the small size of the Syrian and Iraqi situation to the Iranian nuclear file to the deal of the century to the Turkish and Gulf ogres, all of which are hot citizens affected by the decision and the American behavior, which makes us ask the question about the course of the new American policy in those citizens and how will the performance of the new democratic president Joe Biden and the second Catholic reach to Rule in America after John F. Kennedy, and will it be a dramatic coup on Trump’s decisions in these files? Or does the deep American state have other decisions and paths that do not deny the above?

First of all, it should be noted that despite all that has been said and said of the situations or coups that America is witnessing with the change of head of state, it is not to be taken for granted, since the truth seems otherwise. Although the president’s personality is essential in the state, there are standards and controls in the U.S. system that prevent the formation of extreme coup slings and prevent interruptions with the past, so the new president, whoever comes to the White House, finds himself obliged to deal with the legacy of the former departing whatever this legacy is on the basis that the rule “that governing continues” taking into account cases of exceptional anomalies as happened with Trump and his coup decisions. The next president inherits the legacy of the former and treats it as a fait accompli that means America and then works on restoration and correction for development and rarely we see radical coups as Trump did in specificfiles.

Trump has left major files on the Middle East that require decisions from new President Joe Biden to address, reform, or change, raising the question of the new u.S. policy paths to those files with the change in the head of state after the presidential election that prevented Trump from remaining in the White House for four more years. Here, taking into account the principle of continuity of state function, a change may govern the U.S. performance on these files unevenly, a change imposed by the new balance of power, trump’s failure to reach the finals of the file, and Biden’s tendency to restore and correct from the degree to which those files have reached:

1 The war on Syria and the U.S. presence there and in Iraq: Through the stated positions and realities on the ground, we do not expect the Biden administration to take a decision to withdraw from the two countries, and U.S. policy under the new president will be destined for a situation that does not constitute the declaration of defeat of the Arab Spring in them, which is the “spring” he launched The Democrats under Obama’s term, so the two countries will have to deal with a U.S. administration that will try to get the whole country to try to activate the division and fragmentation files, especially since Biden is the owner of the partition project and that his land is slowly forming in the northeastern Euphrates Syria and in the north of Iraq in the Kurdistan region. It is true that the partition decision is not easy to achieve in light of the existing changes on the ground, but it has become a danger that has increased its intensity from what existed, which means that the two countries will not see soon breakthroughs under the Biden administration that will bring them back to normal except by exceptional political and military action with the support of allies, which is urgent and not excluded..

2 «Deal of the century» will be the most likely destination with Biden in power with what will constitute a freeze of negative frequencies on the personal status of both Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman where we see that biden’s project to solve the Palestinian issue is based on two-state basis in the form of the “deal of the century”, and this project will return to the forefront taking into account the steps achieved under the deal that has not been implemented what makes it final and not revisitable, as the size ofthe The obstacles to the completion of implementation are now much larger than the size of the pressure to pass it, and therefore we see that the Palestinian issue will enter into a new stage of fanship in which there is no ability to follow up in the deal of the Century Trump and there are not enough opportunities for a radical solution that satisfies the Palestinians, but will register in any case the opponents of the “deal of the century” that they succeeded in first and freeze it later and still hindered them to work in order to abort what has been implemented and prevent the resumption of work.

3. Iran’s nuclear dossier will see an important move toward a re-examination of the U.S. position in it after Trump withdrew America’s signature on the 5+1 solution with Iran and was enshrined in a Security Council resolution. We believe that Iran will enter with the U.S. and other parties in restrictive negotiations in order to develop this agreement after America backs away from Trump’s malicious actions against it..

I think that Biden will return Turkey in general and Erdogan in particular to the seat set by the West for him and will not let him follow his authoritarian and mongol march on the region from Libya to Azerbaijan, passing through Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and Greece, and Erdogan will find himself controlled by Biden’s leadership bringing him back to work, for his advantage, without special Turkish expansionist independent project.

5 Saudi and Gulf illusion and the War of Yemen, Yemen may be at the forefront of america’s review of its policy in the region by Biden, where we do not expect the latter to give additional time to Saudi Arabia to resolve the war of Yemen, a solution that is now in the rule of the impossible, so we believe that the war of Yemen may see its dramatically end in the coming year.

Therefore, we can say that the possible breakthroughs will be witnessed by the Yemeni and Iranian situation, and complications in the Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian affairs if there is no internal shock supported by external support and control even the restriction of the Gulf and Turkish movement in the region from the American side, but the response remains subject to the decisions of regional and international stakeholders, who will act without a doubt on the basis of the developments drawn by the confrontations internationally and regionally, which dropped the saying that “America is the destiny” doing what it wants and imposes what it wants, America is finished, with the rise of multipolarity.

هل يكون بايدن رئيس الترميم ومراجعة الملفات الشرق أوسطية الكبرى؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

لم يعرف العالم رئيساً أميركياً أحدث في العلاقات الدولية وأفسد في الملفات الأساسية الكبرى فيها كما شهده مع دونالد ترامب الرئيس الأميركي الحالي، الذي فشل في تجديد ولايته، وبات عليه ان يخرج من البيت الأبيض مذموماً مدحوراً يندب حظه ويلوم من خذله أو خانه.

يخرج ترامب من الحكم مخلفاً وراءه كمّاً من الملفات الدولية الكبرى التي أفسد مساراتها والتي ينتظر الأطراف المعنيون بها تدخلاً أميركياً مغايراً للغطرسة والجنون الترامبي في تداولها، ولوضع حدّ للإفساد الذي أحدث خللاً فظيعاً في العلاقات الدولية وتسبّب بأضرار بالغة فيها على أكثر من صعيد، اما منطقة الشرق الأوسط فقد نالها من عدوانية ترامب وجشعه وجنونه الكثير الكثير من الأذى الذي أنزله فيها مقابل أموال نقدية أو عينية دفعها له من كان مستفيداً من أفعاله السيئة تلك، ولهذا يعوّل من هو على صلة بتلك الملفات على خلف ترامب من أجل أن يصلح ما أفسد فهل يفعل خاصة على صعيد الملفات التي تعنينا مباشرة في المنطقة؟

وهنا… وبعيداً عن قضايا التسلح والمناخ والتحالفات والعلاقات الدولية والحروب الاقتصادية والأمنية والسياسية التي تشنّها أميركا على أكثر من صعيد، فإنّ الملفات التي تؤثر فيها أميركا في منطقتنا ليست بالحجم الصغير من الوضع السوري والعراقي الى الملف النووي الإيراني الى صفقة القرن الى التغوّل التركي والجموح الخليجي وكلها مواطن حامية تتأثر بالقرار والأداء والسلوك الأميركي ما يجعلنا نطرح السؤال حول مسار السياسة الأميركية الجديدة في تلك المواطن وكيف سيكون فيها أداء الرئيس الجديد جو بايدن الديمقراطي المسنّ وثاني كاثوليكي يصل الى الحكم في أميركا بعد جون كنيدي، وهل ستكون انقلابات دراماتيكية على قرارات ترامب في هذه الملفات؟ أم أن للدولة الأميركية العميقة قرارات ومسارات أخرى لا تتنكر لما سبق؟

بداية لا بدّ من التنويه انه رغم كلّ ما قيل ويقال من أوضاع أو حالات انقلابية تشهدها أميركا مع تغيير رأس الدولة هو أمر لا يمكن الاخذ به على إطلاقه، حيث انّ الحقيقة تبدو خلاف ذلك. اذ رغم انّ شخصية الرئيس أساسية في الدولة فإنّ هناك معايير وضوابط في النظام الأميركي تمنع تشكل الحالات الانقلابية الجذرية الحادة وتحول دون إحداث انقطاع مع الماضي، وبالتالي فإنّ الرئيس الجديد أيّاً كان هذا القادم الى البيت الأبيض يجد نفسه ملزماً بالتعامل مع إرث السابق المغادر كيفما كان هذا الإرث على قاعدة «انّ الحكم استمرار» مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار حالات من الشذوذ الاستثنائي كما حصل مع ترامب وقراراته الانقلابية. فالرئيس القادم يرث تركة السابق ويتعامل معها على أساس أنها أمر واقع يعني أميركا ثم يعمل على الترميم والتصحيح من أجل التطوير وقلما نشهد حالات انقلابية جذرية كما كان يفعل ترامب في ملفات محدّدة.

لقد خلف ترامب ملفات كبرى تعني منطقة الشرق الأوسط وتتطلب قرارات من الرئيس الجديد جو بايدن لمعالجتها تصحيحاً أو ترميماً أو تغييراً، ما يطرح السؤال عن مسارات السياسة الأميركية الجديدة حيال تلك الملفات مع التغيير الحاصل في رأس الدولة بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية التي منعت ترامب من البقاء في البيت الأبيض لأربع سنوات جديدة. وهنا، ومع الاخذ الحتمي بمبدأ استمرارية عمل الدولة فإنّ تغييراً قد يحكم الأداء الأميركي حيال تلك الملفات بشكل متفاوت تغييراً فرضته موازين القوى الجديدة وتعثر ترامب وفشله في الوصول الى نهائيات الملف ونزعة بايدن للترميم والتصحيح انطلاقاً من الدرجة التي وصلت اليها تلك الملفات وفقاً لما يلي:

1

ـ الحرب على سورية والوجود الأميركي فيها وفي العراق: من خلال المواقف المعلنة والوقائع القائمة على الأرض لا نتوقع ان تتخذ إدارة بايدن قراراً بالانسحاب من البلدين، وستكون السياسة الأميركية في ظلّ الرئيس الجديد متجهة لوضع لا يشكل إعلان هزيمة «الربيع العربي» فيهما وهو «الربيع» الذي أطلقه الديمقراطيون في ظلّ ولاية أوباما ولذلك سيكون على البلدين التعامل مع إدارة أميركية ستحاول بعد الفشل في وضع اليد على كامل البلاد ستحاول تفعيل ملفات التقسيم والتجزئة التامة خاصة أنّ بايدن صاحب مشروع التقسيم أصلاً وانّ أرضيته تتشكل رويداً في شمالي شرقي الفرات سورياً وفي الشمال العراقي في إقليم كردستان. وصحيح انّ قرار التقسيم ليس أمراً سهلاً تحقيقه في ظلّ المتغيّرات الميدانية القائمة إلا أنه بات خطراً ارتفعت نسبة شدّته عما كان قائماً ما يعني انّ البلدين لن يشهدا في ظلّ إدارة بايدن انفراجات قريبة تعيدهما الى الوضع الطبيعي إلا بعمل استثنائي سياسي وعسكري يحصل بدعم من الحلفاء وهو أمر بات ملحاً كما انه غير مستبعد.

2

ـ «صفقة القرن» سيكون التجميد فيها هو الوجهة المرجحة مع وجود بايدن في السلطة مع ما سيشكل تجميدها من ترددات سلبية على الوضع الشخصي لكلّ من نتنياهو ومحمد بن سلمان حيث نرى انّ مشروع بايدن لحلّ القضية الفلسطينية قائم على أساس الدولتين في غير صيغة «صفقة القرن»، وسيعود هذا المشروع الى الواجهة أخذاً بعين الاعتبار الخطوات التي تحققت في إطار الصفقة التي لم ينفذ منها ما يجعلها نهائية غير قابلة لإعادة النظر، حيث انّ حجم العوائق لاكتمال التنفيذ بات الآن أكبر بكثير من حجم الضغوط من أجل تمريرها ولهذا نرى انّ القضية الفلسطينية ستدخل في مرحلة مراوحة جديدة لا يكون فيها قدرة على المتابعة في صفقة القرن الترامبية ولا يوجد فرص كافية لحلّ جذري يرضي الفلسطينيين ولكن سيسجل على أيّ حال لمعارضي «صفقة القرن» انهم نجحوا في عرقلتها أولاً وتجميدها لاحقاً ويبقى عليهم العمل من أجل إجهاض ما نفذ منها ومنع استئناف العمل بها.

3

ـ الملف النووي الإيراني. سيشهد هذا الملف تحريكاً مهماً باتجاه إعادة النظر بموقع الولايات المتحدة فيه بعد ان سحب ترامب توقيع أميركا عن الحلّ الذي توصلت اليه مجموعة 5+1 مع إيران وكرّس بقرار من مجلس الأمن. ونعتقد انّ إيران ستدخل مع الأميركي والأطراف الأخرى في مفاوضات مقيّدة من أجل تطوير هذا الاتفاق بعد ان تتراجع أميركا عن إجراءات ترامب الكيدية بحقها. ولا نتصوّر بأنّ أميركا ستعود الى الاتفاق وكان القرار الترامبي لم يقع بل نرى حلاً وسطاً سيحكم الملف تستفيد منه إيران ما سيؤكد مرة أخرى انّ صمود إيران حفظ حقوقها ويثبت انّ سياسة العقوبات الأميركية فشلت في تحقيق الأهداف منها.

4

ـ التغوّل التركي الواسع، سيواجَه بقرارات أميركية جدية تمنع استمراره، واعتقد انّ بايدن سيعيد تركيا عامة وأردوغان بخاصة الى المقعد الذي حدّده الغرب له ولن يدعه يتابع مسيرته التسلطية والتغوّل على المنطقة امتداداً من لبيبا الى أذربيجان مروراً بكلّ من سورية والعراق وقبرص واليونان، وسيجد أردوغان نفسه مع بايدن أنه أمام قيادة تضبطه وتعيده الى العمل لمصلحتها وعنصراً في معسكرها دون أن تترك له المجال لممارسة مشروع تركي توسعي خاص مستقلّ عن الغرب. وهذا سينعكس حتماً على الميدان في كلّ من ليبيا وسورية والعراق وأذربيجان.

5

ـ الوهم السعودي والخليجي وحرب اليمن، قد يكون اليمن في طليعة المستفيدين من مراجعة أميركا لسياستها في المنطقة على يد بايدن، حيث لا نتوقع أن يعطي الأخير وقتاً إضافياً للسعودية لحسم حرب اليمن، وهو حسم بات في حكم المستحيل، لذلك نعتقد انّ حرب اليمن قد تشهد نهاية لها خلال العام المقبل وبشكل دراماتيكي من الوجهة السعودية،

وعليه نستطيع ان نقول انّ انفراجات مرجحة سيشهدها الوضع اليمني والإيراني، وتعقيدات أو مراوحة في الشأن السوري والعراقي والفلسطيني انْ لم تحدث صدمة داخلية مسندة بدعم خارجي وضبط حتى التقييد للحركة الخليجية والتركية في المنطقة هذا من الجانب الأميركي، أما الردّ فيبقى رهن قرارات المعنيين الإقليميين والدوليين، الذين سيتصرفون بدون شك على أساس المستجدات التي رسمتها المواجهات دولياً وإقليمياً، والتي أسقطت القول بانّ «أميركا هي القدر الذي لا يُردّ» والتي تفعل ما تشاء وتفرض ما تشاء، فأميركا هذه انتهت وانّ عالم القطب الواحد الذي رغبت به غير قائم الآن، في ظلّ وضع باتت ملامح نظامه مؤكدة قائمة على التعددية في المجموعات الاستراتيجية.

فيديوات مرتبطة

الفائز بِكُرة من لهب

أميركا 2020: الإمبراطورية كما لم تُرَ من قبل!

الأخبار

 وليد شرارة 

الثلاثاء 3 تشرين الثاني 2020

الفائز بِكُرة من لهب

المرشّح الفائز في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، أكان جو بايدن أم دونالد ترامب، سيواجه تحدّيات وصعوبات داخلية وخارجية، نُدِر أن واجه مثلها رئيس أميركي منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية. فالذي سيتربّع على مقعد رئاسة الإمبراطورية الأميركية المنحدرة سيجد نفسه أمام شرخ داخلي لا سابق له بين «أميركتين» يخشى الكثيرون أن يفضي إلى نزاعات أهلية دامية ومديدة، وأمام مشهد دولي تتسارع فيه ديناميات صعود المنافسين، مع ما تحمله من تهديدات بالانزلاق الى صدامات مباشرة معهم يصعب التنبّؤ بنتائجها، بالتوازي مع مسار تفكّك التحالفات الموروثة من حقبات سابقة، وتصاعد الصراعات بين أفرقاء إقليميين ودوليين تتراجع قدرة الولايات المتحدة على التحكّم فيها. الفوز في الانتخابات الرئاسية، في مثل هذا السياق العام، قد لا يكون أكثر من «هدية مسمومة»، تمثّل مقدمة لسلسلة من الانتكاسات والإخفاقات سيتحمّل مسؤوليتها رئيسٌ سيجد نفسه مضطراً إلى الأخذ بخيارات أحلاها شديد المرارة.


نُذُر النزاعات الداخلية
معدّلات المشاركة المرتفعة والمفاجئة في الانتخابات الرئاسية مفاجأة غير سارّة بالنسبة إلى دونالد ترامب. سبق لهذا الأخير أن حذر، خلال مهرجان انتخابي يوم السبت الماضي، من وقوع «أحداث شديدة السوء» في حال إعلان هوية الفائز يوم 3 تشرين الثاني، متوقعاً أن تَعمّ الفوضى بلاده. لَمّح ترامب، في أكثر من مناسبة في الأسابيع الماضية، إلى احتمال وقوع عمليات تزوير بسبب التصويت عن بعد، وهو احتمالٌ نفاه مدير «أف.بي.آي» المُعيّن من قِبَله، كريس وراي. هو يعلم أن نقطة ضعفه الأبرز، التي استغلّها منافسه الديمقراطي بقوة، هي إدارته الكارثية لجائحة كورونا وتداعياتها المُروّعة إنسانياً واقتصادياً واجتماعياً في الولايات المتحدة، والتي أدت إلى تعبئة قطاع وازن من الرأي العام ضدّه. «مجموعة الأزمات الدولية»، التي تُعنى عادة بتحليل خلفيات النزاعات في البلدان «النامية» واقتراح آليات لحلّها سلمياً، أصدرت، في خطوة وُصفت بـ»الاستثنائية» من قِبَل رئيسها روبرت مالي، تقريراً يشير إلى احتمال وقوع «اضطرابات وأعمال عنف واسعة» في الولايات المتحدة على خلفية الانتخابات والتشكيك في نتائجها من قِبَل كتل وازنة من الأميركيين. التقرير، الذي نشرت «الأخبار» يوم الإثنين أهمّ ما ورد فيه، يُركّز على أن رفض ترامب لنتائج الانتخابات واحتمال إقدامه على الطعن في نتائجها أمام القضاء، إضافة إلى عوامل أخرى: «غرق الولايات المتحدة بالأسلحة وسجلها السوداوي السابق في الحروب الأهلية، والقتل العشوائي، إضافة إلى الصراع الطبقي الحادّ والعبودية وغيرها، وتنامي الحركات المنادية بتفوّق العرق الأبيض في عهد ترامب، وتزايد الظلم العنصري ضدّ السود ووحشية الشرطة، جميعها أسباب تُرجّح إمكانية حدوث أعمال عنف».

ستدخل الولايات المتحدة في فترة طويلة من غياب الاستقرار السياسي


وحتى إذا نجح الفريق المنتصر في الانتخابات في تجاوز مرحلة من الصراع الداخلي المحموم، فإنه سيجابَه خلال سنوات حكمه بمعارضة داخلية عنيدة من قِبَل قطاع وازن من المجتمع والنخبة السياسية الأميركيَّين. يصحّ هذا الكلام على ترامب وبايدن على حدّ سواء. المنتصر بينهما سيُتّهم بعدم تمثيل الإرادة الشعبية «الحقيقية»، وبـ»التضحية» بالمصالح الوطنية على مذبح مصالحه الخاصة ومصالح القوى السياسية والاجتماعية الداعمة له. ستترتّب على هذا الاستقطاب الداخلي العميق مساعٍ من الفريق المعارض لإفشال السياسات التي يعتمدها ذلك المنتصر بغية إضعافه وإلحاق الهزيمة به في المستقبل. بكلام آخر، ستدخل الولايات المتحدة في فترة طويلة من غياب الاستقرار السياسي، «الضروري لحسن سير النظام الديمقراطي» بحسب تعبير مُنظّريه، وتزايد للتناقضات الداخلية ستكون له انعكاسات سلبية على موقعها الدولي.

خطر الانزلاق إلى حرب مع الصين
العداء المستشري والمتزايد للصين في النخبة السياسية الأميركية، بجناحَيها الديمقراطي والجمهوري، وارتفاع مستوى التوتر معها في جوارها المباشر، في بحر الصين وحول تايوان، والإصرار على تشديد الضغوط والعقوبات التجارية والاقتصادية عليها بحجة انتهاكها لحقوق الإنسان في هونغ كونغ والسين كيانغ، جميعها عوامل تجعل من إمكانية الانزلاق نحو صدام مفتوح معها فرضية واقعية. قبل تناول المعطيات التي قد تدفع في هذا الاتجاه، لا بدّ من إدراك أبرز سمة في الوضع الدولي الراهن، وهي الانتقال من هيمنة أحادية إلى انتشار وتوزّع القوة على الصعيد الدولي، مع صعود دور أطراف جدد، وفي مقدّمتهم الصين، وتحوّلها إلى منافس من المستوى نفسه، ورفض القطب المهيمن سابقاً، وهذا هو الأهمّ، التسليم بالانتقال المذكور. مثل هذا السياق هو الذي يؤسِّس تقليدياً للنزاعات والحروب.
يرى كريستوفير لاين، أستاذ العلاقات الدولية في جامعة تكساس، في مقال لافت في العدد الأخير من «فورين أفيرز» بعنوان «العواصف القادمة»، أن فرضية استحالة الصدام المباشر بين القوى العظمى، والتي سادت بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، أساساً بسبب خطر الإفناء المتبادل الناتج عن امتلاك كلّ منها للسلاح النووي، باتت غير مطابقة للوقائع الراهنة، وأوّلها التطور الهائل الذي تمّ في مجال الأسلحة النووية التكتيكية، والذي يتيح المجال لاستخدامها بشكل محدود، ومن دون الذهاب إلى درجة الإفناء المتبادل. الحُجّة الثانية التي تورَد أيضاً من أنصار استحالة الصدام المباشر هي تداخل المصالح الاقتصادية بين الأطراف الدوليين، وفي حالتنا هذه بين الولايات المتحدة والصين. يؤكد لاين ما سبق أن أشار اليه العديد من الباحثين، من أن مسار فسخ للشراكة بين البلدين قد بدأ في السنوات الماضية، وأن تفكيك شبكة المصالح الضخمة المشتركة يتسارع في الآونة الأخيرة، وبقرار من قيادتَيهما. علاوة على ذلك، فإن وجود مصالح مشتركة وروابط اقتصادية وثقافية عميقة لم يمنع الحرب بين بريطانيا وألمانيا في 1914، على رغم غياب أيّ أسباب مباشرة لها، كالنزاع الحدودي أو التنافس للسيطرة على بلد ما، بينهما. يردّ الأكاديمي الأميركي الدافع الرئيس للحرب إلى تعاظم القدرات العسكرية، خاصة البحرية، لألمانيا، وكذلك الاقتصادية والصناعية، وما مَثّله من تحدٍّ لقوة مهيمنة كبريطانيا، بدأت تشعر في تلك الحقبة بتراجع قدراتها. وهو يعتبر أن «هذه المسارات الانتقالية من النادر أن تتمّ بشكل سلمي. القوة المسيطرة عادة ما تكون متغطرسة، وتعطي دروساً لبقية دول العالم حول كيفية إدارة شؤونها، وتتجاهل مخاوفها وتطلّعاتها. مثل هذه القوة، بريطانيا في الماضي، أميركا اليوم، تقاوم بعناد انحدارها، والقوة الصاعدة متلهّفة للحصول على ما تعتبره حصتها العادلة من المغانم، أكانت في ميادين التجارة أم الموارد أم مناطق النفوذ». الرئيس الأميركي المقبل سيكون أمام تحدّي إدارة الصراع مع الصين، مع ضبط سقفه للحؤول دون الانزلاق نحو الحرب معها.

مسار تفكّك التحالفات
يُلام ترامب باعتباره مسؤولاً عن إضعاف تحالف الولايات المتحدة مع بقية الديمقراطيات الغربية بسبب تعريفه الضيّق للمصالح الأميركية ورؤيته «المركنتيلية». في الحقيقة، فإن الخلافات الاقتصادية والتجارية بين واشنطن وشركائها الأوروبيين، والتباينات المتزايدة في المصالح، ظهرت بوضوح للعيان منذ رئاسة أوباما، وتفاقمت بطبيعة الحال مع ترامب. في حال بقاء الأخير في السلطة، فإنها مرشّحة للمزيد من التفاقم، مع ما يستتبع ذلك من تداعيات على التحالف. في حال انتصار بايدن، وعلى رغم إعلانه نيّته «ترميم» العلاقات مع هؤلاء الشركاء، فإن طموحه إلى اتباع «سياسة خارجية لصالح الطبقة الوسطى» يعني التشدّد في مفاوضاته التجارية والاقتصادية معهم، والسعي إلى منع نموّ علاقاتهم مع منافسيه الدوليين كروسيا والصين. وتأتي النزاعات بين الدول الأعضاء في «الناتو»، كتلك الدائرة في ليبيا أو شرق المتوسط، لتُضاعف من صعوبة الحفاظ على تماسك الحلف في ظلّ التناقضات المتنامية في مصالح بعض أعضائه.
حقيقة الشرخ الداخلي في الولايات المتحدة، ومخاطر التدحرج نحو نزاع مدمّر مع الصين والاتجاه إلى تزايد الصراعات والنزاعات بين العديد من اللاعبين الدوليين، وحتى غير الدوليين، في أنحاء مختلفة من العالم، ستجعل من الفائز في الانتخابات الأميركية كَمَن فاز بِكُرة من لهب.

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Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU

Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU

October 21, 2020

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, is the world’s foremost diplomat. The son of an Armenian father and a Russian mother, he’s just on another level altogether. Here, once again, we may be able to see why.

Let’s start with the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, Russia’s premier think tank. Here we may follow the must-watch presentation of the Valdai annual report on “The Utopia of a Diverse World”, featuring, among others, Lavrov, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Dominic Lieven of the University of Cambridge and Yuri Slezkine of UCLA/Berkeley.

It’s a rarity to be able to share what amounts to a Himalayan peak in terms of serious political debate. We have, for instance, Lieven – who, half in jest, defined the Valdai report as “Tolstoyian, a little anarchical” – focusing on the current top two, great interlocking challenges: climate change and the fact that “350 years of Western and 250 years of Anglo-American predominance are coming to an end.”

As we see the “present world order fading in front of our eyes”, Lieven notes a sort of “revenge of the Third World”. But then, alas, Western prejudice sets in all over again, as he defines China reductively as a “challenge”.

Mearsheimer neatly remembers we have lived, successively, under a bipolar, unipolar and now multipolar world: with China, Russia and the US, “Great Power Politics is back on the table.”

He correctly assesses that after the dire experience of the “century of humiliation, the Chinese will make sure they are really powerful.” And that will set the stage for the US to deploy a “highly-aggressive containment policy”, just like it did against the USSR, that “may well end up in a shooting match”.

“I trust Arnold more than the EU”

Lavrov, in his introductory remarks, had explained that in realpolitik terms, the world “cannot be run from one center alone.” He took time to stress the “meticulous, lengthy and sometimes ungrateful” work of diplomacy.

It was later, in one of his interventions, that he unleashed the real bombshell (starting at 1:15:55; in Russian, overdubbed in English): “When the European Union is speaking as a superior, Russia wants to know, can we do any business with Europe?”

He mischievously quotes Schwarzenegger, “who in his movies always said ‘Trust me’. So I trust Arnold more than the European Union”.

And that leads to the definitive punch line: “The people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West do not understand the necessity of mutual respect in dialogue. And then probably for some time we have to stop talking to them.” After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had stated, on the record, that for the EU, “there is no geopolitical partnership with modern Russia”.

Lavrov went even further in a stunning, wide-ranging interview with Russian radio stations whose translation deserves to be carefully read in full.

Here is just one of the most crucial snippets:

Lavrov: “No matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.”

Question: “Their national security strategy states that they will do so.”

Lavrov: “Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.”

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?”

Lavrov: “It’s the other way round. I can use the language I’m not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I’m convinced that we must abide by international law.”

Moscow stands unconditionally by international law – in contrast with the proverbial “rules of the liberal international order” jargon parroted by NATO and its minions such as the Atlantic Council.

And here it is all over again, a report extolling NATO to “Ramp Up on Russia”, blasting Moscow’s “aggressive disinformation and propaganda campaigns against the West, and unchecked adventurism in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan.”

The Atlantic Council insists on how those pesky Russians have once again defied “the international community by using an illegal chemical weapon to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny. NATO’s failure to halt Russia’s aggressive behavior puts the future of the liberal international order at risk.”

Only fools falling for the blind leading the blind syndrome don’t know that these liberal order “rules” are set by the Hegemon alone, and can be changed in a flash according to the Hegemon’s whims.

So it’s no wonder a running joke in Moscow is “if you don’t listen to Lavrov, you will listen to Shoigu.” Sergey Shoigu is Russia’s Minister of Defense, supervising all those hypersonic weapons the US industrial-military complex can only dream about.

The crucial point is even with so much NATO-engendered hysteria, Moscow could not give a damn because of its de facto military supremacy. And that freaks Washington and Brussels out even more.

What’s left is Hybrid War eruptions following the RAND corporation-prescribed non-stop harassment and “unbalancing” of Russia, in Belarus, the southern Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan – complete with sanctions on Lukashenko and on Kremlin officials for the Navalny “poisoning”.

“You do not negotiate with monkeys”

What Lavrov just made it quite explicit was a long time in the making. “Modern Russia” and the EU were born almost at the same time. On a personal note, I experienced it in an extraordinary fashion. “Modern Russia” was born in December 1991 – when I was on the road in India, then Nepal and China. When I arrived in Moscow via the Trans-Siberian in February 1992, the USSR was no more. And then, flying back to Paris, I arrived at a European Union born in that same February.

One of Valdai’s leaders correctly argues that the daring concept of a “Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok” coined by Gorbachev in 1989, right before the collapse of the USSR, unfortunately “had no document or agreement to back it up.”

And yes, “Putin searched diligently for an opportunity to implement the partnership with the EU and to further rapprochement. This continued from 2001 until as late as 2006.”

We all remember when Putin, in 2010, proposed exactly the same concept, a common house from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and was flatly rebuffed by the EU. It’s very important to remember this was four years before the Chinese would finalize their own concept of the New Silk Roads.

Afterwards, the only way was down. The final Russia-EU summit took place in Brussels in January 2014 – an eternity in politics.

The fabulous intellectual firepower gathered at the Valdai is very much aware that the Iron Curtain 2.0 between Russia and the EU simply won’t disappear.

And all this while the IMF, The Economist and even that Thucydides fallacy proponent admit that China is already, in fact, the world’s top economy.

Russia and China share an enormously long border. They are engaged in a complex, multi-vector “comprehensive strategic partnership”. That did not develop because the estrangement between Russia and the EU/NATO forced Moscow to pivot East, but mostly because the alliance between the world’s neighboring top economy and top military power makes total Eurasian sense – geopolitically and geoeconomically.

And that totally corroborates Lieven’s diagnosis of the end of “250 years of Anglo-American predominance.”

It was up to inestimable military analyst Andrey Martyanov, whose latest book I reviewed as a must read, to come up with the utmost deliciously devastating assessment of Lavrov’s “We had enough” moment:

“Any professional discussion between Lavrov and former gynecologist [actually epidemiologist] such as von der Leyen, including Germany’s Foreign Minister Maas, who is a lawyer and a party worm of German politics is a waste of time. Western “elites” and “intellectuals” are simply on a different, much lower level, than said Lavrov. You do not negotiate with monkeys, you treat them nicely, you make sure that they are not abused, but you don’t negotiate with them, same as you don’t negotiate with toddlers. They want to have their Navalny as their toy – let them. I call on Russia to start wrapping economic activity up with EU for a long time. They buy Russia’s hydrocarbons and hi-tech, fine. Other than that, any other activity should be dramatically reduced and necessity of the Iron Curtain must not be doubted anymore.”

As much as Washington is not “agreement-capable”, in the words of President Putin, so is the EU, says Lavrov: “We should stop to orient ourselves toward European partners and care about their assessments.”

Not only Russia knows it: the overwhelming majority of the Global South also knows it.

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