Thursday, April 16, 2015

Escobar on China / Russia

The USA believes their sole-remaining-superpower self-delusions largely based on the idea that because we spend more money on the military, we will always win.  There's a couple of problems with such thinking; 1) While the ability to wreck things may be in fact an indicator of power, it isn't terribly relevant most of the time.  For example, the ability to wreck things does not come in so very handy when the problem is climate change, etc., and 2) Even IF an oversized military leads to the perks of power, it is no guarantee that some combination of weaker opponents won't win the day in the end.

Unfortunately, the USA has huge disadvantages that high explosives cannot always paper over.  I always worry how our pathetic education system, our tolerance for historical illiteracy, our insular smugness, our contempt for people outside our borders, etc., won't eventually make us so weak we will fall on our faces when tripped up by some supposedly weaker force or combination thereof.

So now we see China and Russia figuring out that between the two of them, they form a legitimate force that will allow themselves to at least ignore Empire USA.  If they could rope Germany / Europe into their new club of nations, they would bring down the Empire in many meaningful ways.  As it is, China-Russia is probably terrifying some of the geopolitical strategists in Washington.  Some.  The rest are too close to total unconsciousness to care.

Russia, China Offer Eurasian Emporium, the US - Sabre Rattling

You would think the Russian-Chinese pitch would be more attractive to Europeans, but the one by United States is backed by power, pressure and the self-interest of EU elites

Pepe Escobar Apr 10 2015

A high-level European diplomatic source has confirmed to Asia Times that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has vigorously approached Beijing in an effort to disrupt its multi-front strategic partnership with Russia.

Beijing won’t necessarily listen to this political gesture from Berlin, as China is tuning the strings on its pan-Eurasian New Silk Road project, which implies close trade/commerce/business ties with both Germany and Russia.

The German gambit reveals yet more pressure by hawkish sectors of the U.S. government who are intent on targeting and encircling Russia. For all the talk about Merkel’s outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency’s tapping shenanigans, the chancellor walks Washington’s walk. Real “outrage” means nothing unless she unilaterally ends sanctions on Russia. In the absence of such a response by Merkel, we’re in the realm of good guy-bad guy negotiating tactics.

The bottom line is that Washington cannot possibly tolerate a close Germany-Russia trade/political relationship, as it directly threatens its hegemony in the Empire of Chaos.

Thus, the whole Ukraine tragedy has absolutely nothing to do with human rights or the sanctity of borders. NATO ripped Kosovo away from Yugoslavia-Serbia without even bothering to hold a vote, such as the one that took place in Crimea.

When in doubt, bully

Of course, it takes time to turn the current Cold War 2.0 mindset around, but there are indications the Masters of the Universe are listening – as this essay shows. Call it the first (public) break in the ice.

Let’s assume Russia decided to mobilize five million troops, and switch to military production. The “West” would back down to an entente cordiale in a flash. And let’s assume Moscow decided to confiscate what remains of dodgy oligarch wealth. Vladimir Putin’s approval rate – which is not exactly shabby as it stands – would soar to at least 98%. Putin has been quite restrained so far. And still the childishly hysterical demonization of him persists.

It’s a non-stop escalation scenario: color revolutions; the Maidan coup; sanctions; “evil” Hitler/Putin; Ukraine to enter NATO; NATO bases all over. And yet reality – as in the Crimean counter coup, and the battlefield victories by the armies of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk – has derailed the most elaborate U.S. State Department/NATO plans. On top of it, Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande were forced into an entente cordiale with Russia – on Minsk 2 – because they knew that would be the only way to stop Washington from further weaponizing Kiev.

Putin is essentially committed to a very complex preservation/flowering process of Russia’s history and culture, with overtones of pan-Slavism and Eurasianism. Comparing him to Hitler does not even qualify as a kindergarten prank.

Yet don’t expect Washington neo-cons to understand Russian history or culture. Most of them would not even survive a Q&A on their beloved heroes, Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt. Moreover, their anti-intellectualism and exceptionalist arrogance creates only a privileged space for undiluted bullying.

One of my sources, a U.S. academic, sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and copied to a notorious neo-con, the husband of Victoria, the Queen of Nulandistan. Here’s the neo-con’s response, via his Brookings Institution email: “Why don’t you go (expletive deleted) yourself?” Yet another graphic case of husband and wife deserving each other.

At least there seems to be sound IQs in the Beltway driven to combat the neo-con cell inside the State Department, the neo-con infested editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, an array of think tanks, and of course NATO, whose current military leader, Gen. Breedlove/Breedhate, is working hard on his post-mod impersonation of Dr. Strangelove.

Russian “aggression” is a myth. Moscow’s strategy, so far, has been pure self-defense. Moscow in a flash will strongly advance a strategic cooperation with the West if the West understands Russia’s security interests. If those are violated – as in provoking the bear – the bear will respond. A minimum understanding of history reveals that the bear knows one or two things about enduring suffering. It simply won’t collapse – or melt away.

Meanwhile, another myth has also been debunked: that sanctions would badly hurt Russia’s exports and trade surpluses. Of course there was hurt, but bearable. Russia enjoys a wealth of raw materials and massive internal production capability – enough to meet the bulk of internal demand.

So we’re back to the EU, Russia and China, and everyone in between, all joining the greatest trade emporium in history across the whole of Eurasia. That’s what Putin proposed in Germany a few years ago, and that’s what the Chinese are already doing. And what do the neo-cons propose? A nuclear war on European soil. more

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