Category Archives: Western Hegemony’s Collapse

Western Hegemony’s Collapse

China is Winning Construction Projects in Africa

Chinese companies accounted for 31% of African infrastructure contracts valued at US$50 million or more in 2022, compared with 12% for Western firms, according to a new study. 

It is worth to be noted that in the 1990s, about eight out of 10 contracts to build infrastructure in Africa were won by Western companies.

The study found that Chinese infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa totaled US$155 billion over the past two years. By contrast, total US foreign direct investment in Africa came to US$44.8 billion in 2021.


Niger Coup: France 0, Russia 1

The military coup in Niger can be considered pro-Russian. The ousted president of Niger was definitely pro-French. Niger is important to France, there are uranium mines that actually feed France’s nuclear power, which provides more than half of France’s electricity. The President of Niger, at the request of France, by the way, refused to go to St. Petersburg to Putin for the Russia-Africa forum.

Now the US and the EU are demanding that the military transfer power back to him.

PMC Wagner may now appear in Niger, as they are already working in neighboring Mali.

The Looming War Against China

Economic Logic has been Replaced by National Security Overrides


The July NATO summit in Vilnius had the feeling of a funeral, as if they had just lost a family member – Ukraine. To clear away NATO’s failure to drive Russia out of Ukraine and move NATO right up to the Russian border, its members tried to revive their spirits by mobilizing support for the next great fight – against China, which is now designated as their ultimate strategic enemy. To prepare for this showdown, NATO announced a commitment to extend their military presence all the way to the Pacific.

The plan is to carve away China’s military allies and trading partners, above all Russia, starting with the fight in Ukraine. President Biden has said that this war will be global in scope and will take many decades as it expands to ultimately isolate and break up China.

The U.S.-imposed sanctions against trade with Russia are a dress rehearsal for imposing similar sanctions against China. But only the NATO allies have joined the fight. And instead of wrecking Russia’s economy and “turning the ruble to rubble” as President Biden predicted, NATO’s sanctions have made it more self-reliant, increasing its balance of payments and international monetary reserves, and hence the ruble’s exchange rate.

To cap matters, despite the failure of trade and financial sanctions to injure Russia – and indeed, despite NATO’s failures in Afghanistan and Libya, NATO countries committed themselves to trying the same tactics against China. The world economy is to be split between US/NATO/Five Eyes on the one hand, and the rest of the world – the Global Majority – on the other. EU Commissioner Joseph Borrell calls this as a split between the US/European Garden (the Golden Billion) and the Jungle threatening to engulf it, like an invasion of its well-manicured lawns by an invasive species.

From an economic vantage point, NATO’s behavior since its military buildup to attack Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern states in February 2022 has been a drastic failure. The U.S. plan was to bleed Russia and leave it so economically destitute that its population would revolt, throw Vladimir Putin out of office and restore a pro-Western neoliberal leader who would pry Russia away from its alliance with China – and then proceed with America’s grand plan to mobilize Europe to impose sanctions on China.

What makes it so difficult in trying to evaluate where NATO, Europe and the United States are going is that the traditional assumption that nations and classes will act in their economic self-interest is not of help. The traditional logic of geopolitical analysis is to assume that business and financial interests steer almost every nation’s politics. The ancillary assumption is that governing officials have a fairly realistic understanding of the economic and political dynamics at work. Forecasting the future is thus usually an exercise in spelling out these dynamics.

The US/NATO West has led this global fracture, yet it will be the big loser. NATO members already have seen Ukraine deplete their inventory of guns and bullets, artillery and ammunition, tanks, helicopters weapons and other arms accumulated over five decades. But Europe’s loss has become America’s sales opportunity, creating a vast new market for America’s military-industrial complex to re-supply Europe. To gain support, the United States has sponsored a new way of thinking about international trade and investment. The focus has shifted to “national security,” meaning to secure a U.S.-centered unipolar order.

The world is dividing into two blocs: a post-industrial US/NATO vs the Global Majority

U.S. diplomats became increasingly worried as Germany and other European countries came to rely on imported Russian gas, oil and fertilizer as the basis for its steel, glass-making and other industries. They became even more worried as China had become the “workshop of the world” while the U.S. economy de-industrialized. The fear was that growth by China and its neighboring Eurasian countries benefiting from the Belt and Road expansion threatened to make that part of the world the main growth area, and hence a magnet for European investment. The logical prospect was that politics would follow economic interest at the expense of America’s ability to maintain a unipolar world economy with the dollar at its financial center and trade subject to U.S. protectionist unilateralism.

By joining America’s crusade to destroy the Russian economy and promote regime change, Germany’s and other European countries’ refusal to trade with Russia has destroyed the basic energy foundation of their industry. Destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline has plunged the German and other European economies into depression involving widespread bankruptcies and unemployment. In place of Russian gas, the NATO countries must now pay up to six times as high a price for U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG), and must build new port facilities to physically import this gas.

The European leaders sponsored and financed by U.S. election meddling over the past seventy years have done what Boris Yeltsin did in Russia in the 1990s: They have agreed to sacrifice Europe’s industrial economies and end what had been its profitable trade and investment integration with Russia and China.

The next step is for Europe and the United States to stop trading and investing with China, despite the fact that these NATO countries have benefited from the flowering of this trade, relying on it for a wide range of consumer goods and industrial inputs. That line of prosperous trade is now to be ended. NATO’s leaders have announced that importing Russian gas and other raw materials (including helium and many metals) runs the “risk” of becoming dependent – as if Russia or China might find it in their economic or political interest to abort this trade simply to hurt Europe and to do to it what the United States has been doing to force it into submission.

But submission to what? The answer is, submission to the logic of mutual gains along lines leaving the U.S. economy behind!

By trying to prevent other countries from following this logic, U.S. and European NATO diplomacy has brought about exactly what U.S. supremacists most feared. Instead of crippling the Russian economy to create a political crisis and perhaps breakup of Russia itself in order to isolate it from China, the US/NATO sanctions have led Russia to re-orient its trade away from NATO countries to integrate its economy and diplomacy more closely with China and other BRICS members.

Ironically, the US/NATO policy is forcing Russia, China and their BRICS allies to go their own way, starting with a united Eurasia. This new core of China, Russia and Eurasia with the Global South are creating a mutually beneficial multipolar trade and investment sphere.

By contrast, European industry has been devastated. Its economies have become thoroughly and abjectly dependent on the United States – at a much higher cost to itself than was the case with its former trade partners. European exporters have lost the Russian market, and are now following U.S. demands that they abandon and indeed reject the Chinese market. Also to be rejected in due course are markets in the BRICS membership, which is expanding to include Near Eastern, African and Latin American countries.

Instead of isolating Russia and China and making them dependent on U.S. economic control, U.S. unipolar diplomacy has isolated itself and its NATO satellites from the rest of the world – the Global Majority that is growing while NATO economies are rushing ahead along their Road to Deindustrialization. The remarkable thing is that while NATO warns of the “risk” of trade with Russia and China, it does not see its loss of industrial viability and economic sovereignty to the United States as a risk.

This is not what the “economic interpretation of history” would have forecast. Governments are expected to support their economy’s leading business interests. So we are brought back to the question of whether economic factors will determine the shape of world trade, investment and diplomacy. Is it really possible to create a set of post-economic NATO economies whose members will come to look much like the rapidly depopulating and de-industrializing Baltic states and post-Soviet Ukraine?

This would be a strange kind of “national security” indeed. In economic terms it seems that the U.S. and European strategy of self-isolation from the rest of the world is so massive and far-reaching an error that its effects are the equivalent of a world war.

Today’s fighting against Russia on the Ukrainian front can be thought of as the opening campaign in World War III. In many ways it is an outgrowth of World War II and its aftermath that saw the United States establish international economic and political organizations to operate in its own national self-interest. The International Monetary Fund imposes U.S. financial control and helps dollarize the world economy. The World Bank lends dollars to governments to build export infrastructure to subsidize US/NATO investors in control of oil, mining and natural resources, and to promote trade dependency on U.S. farm exports while promoting plantation agriculture, instead of domestic food-grain production. The United States insists on having veto power in all international organizations that it joins, including the United Nations and its agencies.

The creation of NATO is often misunderstood. Ostensibly, it depicted itself as a military alliance, originally to defend against the thought that the Soviet Union might have some reason to conquer Western Europe. But NATO’s most important role was to use “national security” as the excuse to override European domestic and foreign policy and subordinate it to U.S. control. Dependency on NATO was written into the European Union’s constitution. Its objective was to make sure that European party leaders followed U.S. direction and opposed left-wing or anti-American politics, pro-labor policies and governments strong enough to prevent control by a U.S.-client financial oligarchy.

NATO’s economic program has been one of adherence to neoliberal financialization, privatization, government deregulation and imposing austerity on labor. EU regulations prevent governments from running a budget deficit of more than 3% of GDP. That blocks Keynesian-type policies to spur recovery. Today, higher military arms costs and government subsidy of energy prices is forcing European governments to cut back social spending. Bank policy, trade policy and domestic lawmaking are following the same U.S. neoliberal model that has deindustrialized the American economy and loaded it down with debt to the financial sector in whose hands most wealth and income is now concentrated.

Abandoning economic self-interest for “national security” dependence on the US

The post-Vilnius world treats trade and international relations not as economic, but as “national security.” Any form of trade is the “risk” of being cut off and destabilized. The aim is not to make trade and investment gains, but to become self-reliant and independent. For the West, this means isolating China, Russia and the BRICS in order to depend fully on the United States. So for the United States, its own security means making other countries dependent on itself, so that U.S. diplomats won’t lose control of their military and political diplomacy.

Treating trade and investment with other countries than the United States as involving “risk,” ipso facto, is a projection of how U.S. diplomacy has imposed sanctions on countries that resist U.S. domination, privatization and subordination of their economies to U.S. takeover. The fear that trade with Russia and China will lead to political dependency is a fantasy. The aim of the emerging Eurasian, BRICS and Global South alliance is to benefit from foreign trade with each other for mutual gain, with governments strong enough to treat money and banking as public utilities, along with the basic monopolies needed to provide normal human rights, including health care and education, and keeping monopolies such as transportation and communication in the public domain to keep the costs of living and doing business low instead of charging monopoly prices.

Anti-China hate has come especially from Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Foreign Minister. NATO is warned to “de-risk” trade with China. The “risks” are that (1) China can cut off key exports, just as the US cut off European access to Russian oil exports; and (2) exports could potentially be used to support China’s military power. Almost any economic export COULD be military, even food to feed a Chinese army.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s trip to China likewise explained that all trade has a military potential and thus has a national-security element. All trade has a military potential, even selling food to China could be used to feed soldiers.

The US/NATO demand is that Germany and other European countries should impose an Iron Curtain against trade with China, Russia and their allies in order to “de-risk” trade. Yet only the US has imposed trade sanctions on other countries, not China and other Global South countries. The real risk is not that China will impose trade sanctions to disrupt European economies, but that the United States will impose sanctions on countries breaking the US-sponsored trade boycott.

This “trade is risk” view treats foreign trade not in economic terms but in “National Security” terms. In practice, “national security” means joining the U.S. attempt to maintain its unipolar control of the entire world’s economy. No risk is acknowledged for re-orienting European gas and energy trade to U.S. companies. The risk is said to be trade with countries that U.S. diplomats deem “autocracies,” meaning nations with active government infrastructure investment and regulation instead of U.S.-style neoliberalism.

The world is dividing into two blocs – with quite different economic philosophies

Only the United States has imposed trade sanctions on other countries. And only the United States has rejected international free trade rules as national security threats to US economic and military control. At first glance the resulting global fracture between US/NATO on the one hand and the expanding BRICS alliance of Russia, China, Iran and the Global South might seem to be a conflict between capitalism and socialism (that is, state socialism in a mixed economy with public regulation in labor’s interests).

But that contrast between capitalism and socialism is not helpful upon closer examination. The problem lies in what the word “capitalism” has come to mean in today’s world. Back in the 19th and early 20th century, industrial capitalism was expected to evolve toward socialism. The U.S. and other industrial economies welcomed and indeed pressed for their governments to subsidize a widening range of basic services at public expense instead of obliging employers to bear the costs of hiring labor that had to pay for basic needs such as health care and education. Monopoly pricing was avoided by keeping natural monopolies such as railroads and other transportation, telephone systems and other communications, parks and other services as public utilities. Having governments instead of business and its employees pay for these services increased the global competitiveness of national industry in the resulting mixed economies.

China has followed this basic approach of industrial capitalism, with socialist politics to uplift its labor force, not merely the wealth of industrial capitalists – much less bankers and absentee landlords and monopolists. Most important, it has industrialized banking, creating credit to finance tangible investment in means of production, not the kind of predatory and unproductive credit characterized by today’s finance capitalism.

But the mixed-economy policy of industrial capitalism is not the way in which capitalism evolved in the West since World War I. Rejecting classical political economy and its drive to free markets from the vested rent-extracting classes inherited from feudalism – a hereditary landlord class, a financial banking class and monopolists – the rentier sector has fought back to reassert its privatization of land rent, interest and monopoly gains. It sought to reverse progressive taxation, and indeed to give tax favoritism to financial wealth, landlords and monopolists. The Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector has become the dominant interest and economic planner under today’s finance capitalism. That is why economies are often called neofeudal (or euphemized as neoliberal).

Throughout history the dynamics of financialization have polarized wealth and income between creditors and debtors, leading to oligarchies. As interest-bearing debt grows exponentially, more and more income of labor and business must be paid as debt service. That financial dynamic shrinks the domestic market for goods and services, and the economy suffers from deepening debt-ridden austerity.

The result is de-industrialization as economies polarize between creditors and debtors. That has occurred most notoriously in Britain in the wake of Margaret Thatcher and the New [Anti-]Labour Party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s “light touch” deregulatory approach to financial manipulation and outright fraud.

The United States has suffered an equally devastating shift of wealth and income to the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sectors in the wake of Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts for the wealthy, anti-government deregulation, Bill Clinton’s “Third Way” takeover by Wall Street. The “Third Way” was neither industrial capitalism nor socialism, but finance capitalism making its gains both by stripping and indebting industry and labor of income. The new Democratic Party ideology of deregulated finance was capped by the massive bank-fraud collapse of 2008 and Barack Obama’s protection of junk-mortgage lenders and wholesale foreclosures on their financial victims. Economic planning and policy was shifted from governments to Wall Street and other financial centers – which had taken control of in government, the central bank and regulatory agencies.

U.S. and British diplomats are seeking to promote this predatory pro-financial and inherently anti-industrial economic philosophy to the rest of the world. But this ideological evangelism is threatened by the obvious contrast between the US-British failed and de-industrialized economies compared to China’s remarkable economic growth under industrial socialism.

This contrast between China’s economic success and the NATO West’s “garden” of debt-ridden austerity is the essence of today’s campaign by the West against the “Jungle” countries seeking political independence from U.S. diplomacy so as to uplift their living standards. This ideological and inherently political global war is today’s counterpart to the religious wars that tore European countries apart for many centuries.

We are witnessing what seems to be an inexorable Decline of the West. U.S. diplomats have been able to tighten their economic, political and military control leadership over their European NATO allies. Their easy success in this aim has led them to imagine that somehow they can conquer the rest of the world despite de-industrializing and loading their economies so deeply in debt that there is no foreseeable way in which they can pay their official debt to foreign countries or indeed have much to offer.

The traditional imperialism of military conquest and financial conquest is ended

There has been a sequence of tactics for a lead-nation to carve out an empire. The oldest way is by military conquest. But you can’t occupy and take over a country without an army, and the US has no army large enough. The Vietnam War ended the draft. So it must rely on foreign armies like Al Qaeda, ISIS, and most recently Ukraine and Poland, just as it relies on foreign industrial manufactures. Its armaments are depleted and it cannot mobilize a domestic army to occupy any country. The US has only one weapon: Missiles and bombs can destroy, but cannot occupy but not occupy and take over a country.

The second way to create imperial power was by economic power to make other countries dependent on U.S. exports. After World War II the rest of the world was devastated and was bullied into accepting U.S. diplomacy maneuvering to give its economy a monopoly on basic needs. Agriculture became a major weapon to create foreign dependency. The World Bank would not support foreign countries growing their own food, but pressed for plantation export crops, and fought land reform. And for oil and energy trade, U.S. companies and their NATO allies in Britain and Holland (British Petroleum and Shell) controlled the world’s oil trade. Control of world oil trade has been a central aim of US trade diplomacy.

This strategy worked for US assertion of control over Germany and other NATO countries, by blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline and severing Western Europe from access to Russian gas, oil, fertilizer and also crops. Europe has now entered an industrial depression and economic austerity as its steel industry and other leading sectors are invited to emigrate to the United States, along with European skilled labor.

Today, electronic technology and computer chips have been a focal point of establishing global Economic Dependency on U.S. technology. The United States aims to monopolize “intellectual property” and extract economic rent from charging high prices) for high-technology computer chips, communications, and arms production.

But the United States has deindustrialized and let itself become dependent on Asian and other countries for its products, instead of making them dependent on the US. This trade dependency is what makes U.S. diplomats feel “insecure,” worrying that other countries might seek to use the same coercive trade and financial diplomacy that the United States has been wielding since 1944-45.

The United States is left with one remaining tactic to control other countries: trade sanctions, imposed by it and its NATO satellites in an attempt to disrupt economies that do not accept U.S. unipolar economic, political and military dominance. It has persuaded the Netherlands to block sophisticated chip-engraving machinery to China, and other countries to block anything that might contribute to China’s economic development. A new American industrial protectionism is being framed in terms of national security grounds.

If China’s trade policy were to mirror that of U.S. diplomacy, it would stop supplying NATO countries with mineral and metal exports needed to produce the computer chips and allied inputs that America’s economy needs to wield its global diplomacy.

The US is so heavily debt-laden, its housing prices are so high and its medical care is so extremely high (18% of GDP) cannot compete. It cannot re-industrialize without taking radical steps to write down debts, to de-privatize health care and education, to break up monopolies and restore progressive taxation. The vested Financial, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE sector) interests are too powerful to permit these reforms.

That makes the U.S. economy a failed economy, and America a Failed State.

In the wake of World War II the United States accumulated 75% of the world’s monetary gold by 1950. That enabled it to impose dollarization on the world. But today, nobody knows whether the U.S. Treasury and New York Federal Reserve have any gold that has not been pledged to private buyers and speculators? The worry is that it has sold European central-bank gold reserves. Germany has asked for its gold reserves to be flown back from New York, but the United States said that it was unavailable, and Germany was too timid to make its worries and complaints public.

America’s financial quandary is even worse when one tries to imagine how it can ever pay its foreign debt for countries seeking to draw down their dollars. The United States can only print its own currency. It is not willing to sell off its domestic assets, as it demands that other debtor countries do?

What can other countries accept in place of gold? One form of assets that may be taken as collateral are U.S. investments in Europe and other countries. But if foreign governments seek to do this, U.S. officials may retaliate by seizing their investments in the United States. A mutual grabbing would occur.

The United States is trying to monopolize electronic technology. The problem is that this requires raw-materials inputs whose production presently is dominated by China, above all rare-earth metals (which are abundant but environmentally destructive to refine), gallium, nickel (China dominates the refining), and Russian helium and other gasses used for engraving computer chips. China recently announced that on August 1 it will start restricting these key exports. It indeed has the ability to cut off supplies of vital materials and technology to the West, to protect itself from the West’s “national-security” sanctions against China. That is the self-fulfilling prophecy that U.S. warnings of a trade fight has created.

If U.S. diplomacy strongarms its NATO-garden allies to boycott China’s Huawei technology, Europe will be left with a less efficient, more expensive alternative – whose consequences help separate it from China, the BRICS and what has become the World Majority in a self-reliant alignment much broader than was created by Sukarno in 1954.

Tenth South-South Forum on Sustainability: THINKING NEW HORIZONS, 7 – 30 July 2023.
Program for July 21, 2023: Geopolitics and Political Economy: The Looming War Against China.

The U.S. Wars Against Russia And China – Have No Economic Logic, But Self-Destruction

via MOA

The U.S. politician Zbigniew Brzezinski was a hardliner with a (neo-)liberal core. He had a wide influence on U.S. policies:

Brzezinski is the author of The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, a 1997 book on geopolitics that was based on Mackinder’s Heartland Theory. Brzezinski argued that the US could retain global supremacy only if it prevented the emergence of a single power on the World-Island.

The Brzezinski Doctrine remains influential in the US foreign-policy establishment. His protégés, among them Ukrainian émigré Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, are a powerful voice in the US State Department.

Brzezinski had argued that without Ukraine, Russia would be unable to rule the Asian heartland and could not challenge U.S. power.

But I just learned via a Pepe Esobar essay about Henry Kissinger’s visit and a potential great power war with China, that Brezezinski had in later years changed his mind:

“The Grand Chessboard”, published in 1997, before the 9/11 era, argued that the US should rule over any peer competitor rising in Eurasia. Brzezinski did not live to see the living incarnation of his ultimate nightmare: a Russia-China strategic partnership. But already seven years ago – two years after Maidan in Kiev – at least he understood it was imperative to “realign the global power architecture”.

In a longer piece published in 2016 in American Interest, Brzezinski indeed argued for great power cooperation:

A constructive U.S. policy must be patiently guided by a long-range vision. It must seek outcomes that promote the gradual realization in Russia (probably post-Putin) that its only place as an influential world power is ultimately within Europe. China’s increasing role in the Middle East should reflect the reciprocal American and Chinese realization that a growing U.S.-PRC partnership in coping with the Middle Eastern crisis is an historically significant test of their ability to shape and enhance together wider global stability.The alternative to a constructive vision, and especially the quest for a one-sided militarily and ideologically imposed outcome, can only result in prolonged and self-destructive futility. For America, that could entail enduring conflict, fatigue, and conceivably even a demoralizing withdrawal to its pre-20th century isolationism.

The U.S. did not follow Brzezinski’s advice. It alienated China by launching an economic war against it and pushed the Ukraine into a proxy-war against Russia that was supposed to destroy Russia’s capabilities. In consequence Russia and China united their capabilities against their common new enemy, the United States of America. We will see during the next years if the consequences Brzezinski foretold for the U.S. under these circumstances will come into light.

It is interesting that the old rivals and political opponents Kissinger and Brzezinski have late in their lives come to the same conclusions.

As Stephen Roach in his take on Kissinger’s visit to China states:

For several years, Kissinger has expressed great concern over the worrisome state of the US-China relationship. As far back as late 2019, he warned that that the United States and China were already in the “foothills of a new cold war.” Given the trajectory of conflict escalation in the ensuing four years, there is a new urgency to his concerns. In the Chinese readout of this week’s meeting with [Defense Minister] Li Shangfu, Kissinger is reported to have said. “Neither the United States nor China can afford to treat the other as an adversary. If the two countries go to war, it will not lead to any meaningful results for the two peoples.”

Opposition to the U.S. bi-partisan policy of economic warfare against China is now also coming from the bigwigs of the U.S. economy:

Leaders of the largest US chipmakers told Biden officials this week that the administration should study the impact of restrictions on exports to China and pause before implementing new ones, according to people familiar with their discussions.During meetings in Washington on Monday, Intel Corp.’s Pat Gelsinger, Nvidia Corp.’s Jensen Huang and Qualcomm Inc.’s Cristiano Amon warned that export controls risk harming US leadership of the industry. The Biden officials listened to the presentations but didn’t make any commitments, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.

Economic logic provides that the U.S. (and European) economy would be better off by avoiding a conflict with Russia and China. But, as Micheal Hudson explains, this now gets overwritten by national security preferences which have remarkable conseqences:

Instead of isolating Russia and China and making them dependent on U.S. economic control, U.S. unipolar diplomacy has isolated itself and its NATO satellites from the rest of the world – the Global Majority that is growing while NATO economies are rushing ahead along their Road to Deindustrialization. The remarkable thing is that while NATO warns of the “risk” of trade with Russia and China, it does not see its loss of industrial viability and economic sovereignty to the United States as a risk.

This is not what the “economic interpretation of history” would have forecast. Governments are expected to support their economy’s leading business interests. So we are brought back to the question of whether economic factors will determine the shape of world trade, investment and diplomacy. Is it really possible to create a set of post-economic NATO economies whose members will come to look much like the rapidly depopulating and de-industrializing Baltic states and post-Soviet Ukraine?

This would be a strange kind of “national security” indeed. In economic terms it seems that the U.S. and European strategy of self-isolation from the rest of the world is so massive and far-reaching an error that its effects are the equivalent of a world war.

The question is really why the U.S. is doing this harm to itself instead of following Brzezinski’s and Kissinger’s advice. As Yves Smith says in her preface to Hudson’s piece, it is a quite bizarre spectacle:

One of the subthemes of the latest offering from Michael Hudson on the bizarre spectacle of the US escalating against China is puzzlement that the West is not operating in its best interest. Lambert has been chewing over this conundrum too.Perhaps it’s that they really do believe their propaganda, and still don’t recognize that the military and economic clout of the US/EU bloc on a relative basis isn’t anywhere near substantial enough for them to push the rest of the world around. But you think their self-delusion would have started to crack with the failure in their efforts to pressure many countries, such as India and South Africa, to side with the US and condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and now with the supposedly superior US/NATO war machine not performing too well.

Another possibility is the so-called Iron Law of Institutions, that individuals and interests are operating to maximize their own position, with little/no concern to the impact on the system.

I have come to the conclusion that the main actors in this game, the Bindens, Blinkens, Sullivans and their bipartisan supporters, are driven by a blind ideology that has dismissed or replaced global realities with wishful thinking.

The failure of their sanctions against Russia should have demonstrated to them that the real word is by far not the one in which they believe to be living. They however are now repeating their errors by waging a similar war against China.

It will not end well for the people they are supposed to lead.

Neocons Want War With China

by Pepe Escobar via Sputnik Globe

It was a photo op for the ages: a visibly well-disposed President Xi Jinping receiving centenarian “old friend of China” Henry Kissinger in Beijing.

Mirroring meticulous Chinese attention to protocol, they met at Villa 5 of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse – exactly where Kissinger first met in person with Zhou Enlai in 1971, preparing Nixon’s 1972 visit to China.

The Mr. Kissinger Goes to Beijing saga was an “unofficial”, individual attempt to try to mend increasingly fractious Sino-American relations. He was not representing the current American administration.

There’s the rub. Everyone involved in geopolitics is aware of the legendary Kissinger formulation: To be the US’s enemy is dangerous, to be the US’s friend is fatal. History abounds in examples, from Japan and South Korea to Germany, France and Ukraine.

As quite a few Chinese scholars privately argued, if reason is to be upheld, and “respecting the wisdom of this 100-years-old diplomat”, Xi and the Politburo should maintain the China-US relation as it is: “icy”.

After all, they reason, being the US’s enemy is dangerous but manageable for a Sovereign Civilizational State like China. So Beijing should keep “the honorable and less perilous status” of being a US enemy.

The World Through Washington’s Eyes

What’s really going on in the back rooms of the current American administration was not reflected by Kissinger’s high-profile peace initiative, but by an extremely combative Edward Luttwak.

Luttwak, 80, may not be as visibly influential as Kissinger, but as a behind the scenes strategist he’s been advising the Pentagon across the spectrum for over five decades. His book on Byzantine Empire strategy, for instance, heavily drawing on top Italian and British sources, is a classic.

Luttwak, a master of deception, reveals precious nuggets in terms of contextualizing current Washington moves. That starts with his assertion that the US – represented by the Biden combo – is itching to do a deal with Russia.

That explains why CIA head William Burns, actually a capable diplomat, called his counterpart, SVR head Sergey Naryshkin (Russian Foreign Intelligence) to sort of straighten things up “because you have something else to worry about which is more unlimited”.

What’s “unlimited”, depicted by Luttwak in a Spenglerian sweep, is Xi Jinping’s drive to “get ready for war”. And if there’s a war, Luttwak claims that “of course” China would lose. That dovetails with the supreme delusion of Straussian neocon psychos across the Beltway.

Luttwak seems not to have understood China’s drive for food self-sufficiency: he qualifies it as a threat. Same for Xi using a “very dangerous” concept, the “rejuvenation of the Chinese people”: that’s “Mussolini stuff”, says Luttwak. “There has to be a war to rejuvenate.

The “rejuvenation” concept – actually better translated as “revival” – has been resonating in China circles at least since the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911. It was not coined by Xi. Chinese scholars point out that if you see US troops arriving in Taiwan as “advisors”, you would probably make preparations to fight too.

But Luttwak is on a mission: “This is not America, Europe, Ukraine, Russia. This is about ‘the sole dictator’. There is no China. There is only Xi Jinping,” he insisted.

And Luttwak confirms the EU’s Josep “Garden vs. Jungle” Borrell and European Commission dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen fully support his vision.

Luttwak, in just a few words, actually gives away the whole game: “The Russian Federation, as it is, is not strong enough to contain China as much as we would wish”.

Hence the turn around by the Biden combo to “freeze” the conflict in the Donbass and change the subject. After all, “if that [China] is the threat, you don’t want Russia to fall apart,” Luttwak reasons.

So much for Kissingerian “diplomacy.”

Let’s Declare a “Moral Victory” and Run Away

On Russia, the Kissinger vs. Luttwak confrontation reveals crucial cracks as the Empire faces an existential conflict it never did in the recent past.

The gradual, massive U-turn is already in progress – or at least the semblance of a U turn. US mainstream media will be entirely behind the U turn. And the naïve masses will follow. Luttwak is already voicing their deepest agenda: the real war is on China, and China “will lose”.

At least some non-neocon players around the Biden combo – like Burns – seem to have understood the Empire’s massive strategic blunder of publicly committing to a Forever War, hybrid and otherwise, against Russia on behalf of Kiev.

This would mean, in principle, that Washington can’t just walk away like it did in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Yet Hegemons do enjoy the privilege to walk away: after all they exercise sovereignty, not their vassals. European vassals will be left to rot. Imagine those Baltic chihuahuas declaring war on Russia-China all by themselves.

The off-ramp confirmed by Luttwak implies Washington declaring some sort of “moral victory” in Ukraine – which is already controlled by BlackRock anyway – and then moving the guns towards China.

Yet even that won’t be a cakewalk, because China and the about-to-expand BRICS+ are already attacking the Empire at its foundation: dollar hegemony. Without it, the US itself will have to fund the war on China.

Chinese scholars, off the record, and exercising their millennia-old analytical sweep, observe this may be the last blunder the Empire ever made in its short history.

As one of them summarized it, “the empire has blundered itself to an existential war and, therefore, the last war of the empire. When the end comes, the empire will lie as usual and declare victory, but everyone else will know the truth, especially the vassals.”

And that brings us to former national security adviser Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s 180-degree turn shortly before he died, aligning him today with Kissinger, not Luttwak.

“The Grand Chessboard”, published in 1997, before the 9/11 era, argued that the US should rule over any peer competitor rising in Eurasia. Brzezinski did not live to see the living incarnation of his ultimate nightmare: a Russia-China strategic partnership. But already seven years ago – two years after Maidan in Kiev – at least he understood it was imperative to “realign the global power architecture”.

Destroying the “Rules-Based International Order”

The crucial difference today, compared to seven years ago, is that the US is incapable, per Brzezinski, to “take the lead in realigning the global power architecture in such a way that the violence (…) can be contained without destroying the global order.”

It’s the Russia-China strategic partnership that is taking the lead – followed by the Global Majority – to contain and ultimately destroy the hegemonic “rules-based international order”.

As the indispensable Michael Hudson has summarized it, the ultimate question at this incandescent juncture is “whether economic gains and efficiency will determine world trade, patterns and investment, or whether the post-industrial US/NATO economies will choose to end up looking like the rapidly depopulating and de-industrializing post-Soviet Ukraine and Baltic states or England.”

So is the wet dream of a war on China going to change these geopolitical and geoeconomics imperatives? Give us a -Thucydides – break.

The real war is already on – but certainly not one identified by Kissinger, Brzezinski and much less Luttwak and assorted US neocons. Michael Hudson, once again, summarized it: when it comes to the economy, the US and EU “strategic error of self-isolation from the rest of the world is so massive, so total, that its effects are the equivalent of a world war.”

Russian Advanced Microchips?


The Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPP RAS) in Nizhny Novgorod is developing the first Russian lithography facility for the production of ultra-small nanometer microelectronics. This is reported on the Nizhny Novgorod Region Development Strategy website.

At the moment, scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences have created the first demonstration sample of the equipment. On this installation, individual images on substrates with a resolution of up to the ultimate 7 nm were obtained.

In 2024, an “alpha machine” will be created. Such a machine will become a working machine on which a full cycle of operations can be performed.

In the second stage, a “beta machine” will appear in 2026. The equipment systems will be improved and complicated, the resolution will increase, productivity will increase, many operations will be robotized, as noted on the website of the Nizhny Novgorod strategy. The machine will already be able to be used in large-scale production.

And at the third stage (2026-2028), the domestic lithograph will receive a more powerful radiation source, improved positioning and feeding systems, and will begin full-scale operation.

Joe Biden’s “Entire Act Is Unspooling”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

A Fun Day

“NATO has lost this war. Biden has lost this war. The lunatic Democrats have lost this war. The uni-party warmongers have lost this war. The EU has lost this war. Ukraine and Zelensky have lost this war.”

– Kim Dotcom

Somebody in the “Joe Biden” White House apparently thinks that the operations already underway are not enough to destroy our country fast enough, so a little extra push, such as nuclear annihilation, might get’er done.

By operations underway I mean things like mRNA vaccines stealthily deleting kin, friends, and public figures from the scene… decriminalizing crime… undermining the oil industry by a thousand cuts… liquidating small business… making little children insane over sex… flooding the land with illegal immigrants… devaluing the currency… queering elections — all of these things done on purpose, by the way. And if you complain about any of it, here comes the FBI or the IRS knocking on your door.

So, to make sure that a collapse of the USA comes on-schedule, there is the useful fracas created by our government geniuses over in Ukraine that creeps day-by-day toward a quick American assisted suicide. Just to remind you, here’s how that started: In 2014, the US fomented a coup against Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In short order, the Russian language was banned (despite the fact that Most Ukrainians speak Russian). A piqued Russia re-po’d the Crimean Peninsula. When ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine (the Donbas provinces) tried to go their own way, Ukraine shelled and rocketed them for eight years. That was the setup.

All of the above was absolutely unnecessary, you understand. Ukraine had been going about its business the best it could since 1991 as a shlub nation with an aged-out Soviet infrastructure, some US-sponsored bioweapons labs, and no energy resources. It had been collecting royalties for allowing Russia to run oil pipelines across its fruited plain — of which, a lot of gas was siphoned off in transit by bandits. Ukraine attempted to compensate for its disadvantages by being an international money laundromat, though that only benefited its oligarch class (and the extended “Joe Biden” family).

After “Joe Biden” got “elected” in 2020, and news of his family’s sketchy business activities in Ukraine and elsewhere finally dribbled out, Ukraine was turned into a giant grenade and “JB” (or persons acting on his behalf) pulled the pin. NATO was dragooned into the quarrel as backup against its better judgment. If the objective was to weaken Russia, as stated by one of our strategic geniuses, SecDef Loyd Austin, it didn’t work out. Rather, it exposed the USA as a reckless global psychopath bent on wrecking every country it pretends to help — including the major countries in NATO.

Two-thirds of the world’s other nations then started backpedaling away from the US and its protective services to form an economic and security coalition around the BRICs group, as led by Russia and China. The Ukraine campaign itself was a loser from the get-go, relying utterly, as it did, on US and NATO support. This week’s NATO meet-up in Vilnius, Lithuania, showed how that’s going now: Not too well. The Ukraine army is shredded. It’s out of munitions. The US is also out of those very artillery shells most in demand. What to do?

The answer to that, as “Joe Biden” returns from Europe to a White House haunted by a cocaine-snorting ghost, is to send three-thousand fresh reserve troops to Europe and promise a bunch of F-16 fighter planes. Said planes, which were introduced in the early 1970s, will come out of our country’s “high-mileage” inventory. These F-16s will require a suite of highly technical ground support infrastructure. They will not come with the latest avionics upgrades and will be no match for Russian air defenses. Good luck with that, President Z!

It’s all fakery, of course. What do we aim to do with those three-thousand US reservists? Send them into battle in Priyutnoye? I’m sure…. At this point, we can only pretend to prolong this stupid and unnecessary conflict with such lame gestures. Germany and France know this is a lost cause. The United Kingdom (so called) is such a mess that it literally doesn’t know what it’s doing in far off and irrelevant (to it) Ukraine. Without those countries, there is no NATO, really. So, the whole vaudeville this week was a sham — led by a US President who was too puny to attend the opening night banquet with fellow NATO leaders, and too incoherent to make a point on departure.

Anyway, “Joe Biden’s” entire act is unspooling. He is a prank that the Democratic Party played on the American people. Sometime before Halloween he will have to exit the scene in disgrace, gruesome as the prospect might seem, with Kamala Harris anxiously draining vodka bottles as she awaits history’s call at the old Naval Observatory. That will be a fun day in the USA, all righty.

China’s Rise – In One Chart

by Mike Whitney via Unz Review

Look carefully at the chart above. What do you see?

You see the development of a high-speed rail system that is unrivaled anywhere on earth. You see the actualization of plan to connect all parts of the country with modern-day infrastructure that reduces shipping costs, improves mobility and increases profitability. You see a vision of the 21st century in which state-directed capital links rural populations with urban centers lifting standards of living across the board. You see an expression of a new economic model that has lifted 800 million people out of poverty while paving the way for global economic integration. You see an industrial juggernaut expanding in all directions while laying the groundwork for a new century of economic integration, accelerated development and shared prosperity.

Is there a high-speed rail system in the United States that is comparable to what we see in China today?

No, there isn’t. So far, less than 50 miles of high-speed rail has been built in the United States. (“Amtrak’s Acela, which reaches 150 mph over 49.9 miles of track, is the US’s only high-speed rail service.”) As everyone knows, America’s transportation grid is obsolete and in a shambles.

But, why? Why is the United States so far behind China in the development of critical infrastructure?

It’s because China’s state-led model is vastly superior to America’s “carpetbagger” model. In China, the government is directly involved in the operation of the economy, which means that it subsidizes those industries that enhance growth and spur development. In contrast, American capitalism is a savage free-for-all in which private owners are able to divert great sums of money into unproductive stock buybacks and other scams that do nothing to create jobs or strengthen the economy. Since 2009 US corporations have spent more than $7 trillion on stock buybacks which is an activity that boosts payouts to rich shareholders but fails to produce anything of material value. Had that capital been invested in critical infrastructure, every city in America would be linked to a gigantic webbing of high-speed rail extending from “sea to shining sea”. But that hasn’t happened, because the western model incentivizes the extraction of capital for personal enrichment rather than the development of projects that serve the common good. In China, we see how fast transformative changes can take place when a nation’s wealth is used to eradicate poverty, raise standards of living, construct state-of-the-art infrastructure, and lay the groundwork for a new century.

Here’s more from a report by the Congressional Research Service on “China’s Economic Rise…”

Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free-market reforms in 1979, China has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with real annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 9.5% through 2018, a pace described by the World Bank as “the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history.” Such growth has enabled China, on average, to double its GDP every eight years and helped raise an estimated 800 million people out of poverty. China has become the world’s largest economy (on a purchasing power parity basis), manufacturer, merchandise trader, and holder of foreign exchange reserves…. China is the largest U.S. merchandise trading partner, biggest source of imports, and the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities, which help fund the federal debt and keep U.S. interest rates low.
China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States, Congressional Research Service

Here’s more from an article at the Center for Strategic and International Studies titled Confronting the Challenge of Chinese State Capitalism:

China now has more companies on the Fortune Global 500 list than does the United States… with nearly 75 percent of these being state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Three of the world’s five largest companies are Chinese (Sinopec Group, State Grid, and China National Petroleum). China’s largest SOEs hold dominant market positions in many of the most critical and strategic industries, from energy to shipping to rare earths. According to Freeman Chair calculations, the combined assets for China’s 96 largest SOEs total more than $63 trillion, an amount equivalent to nearly 80 percent of global GDP. Confronting the Challenge of Chinese State Capitalism, Center for Strategic and International Studies

And here’s one more from a report by the IMF titled “Asia Poised to Drive Global Economic Growth, Boosted by China’s Reopening”:

China and India together are forecast to generate about half of global growth this year. Asia and the Pacific is a relative bright spot amid the more somber context of the global economy’s rocky recovery.
As the Chart of the Week shows, the region will contribute about 70 percent of global growth this year—a much greater share than in recent years.” Asia Poised to Drive Global Economic Growth, Boosted by China’s Reopening, IMF

In short, the Chinese state-led model is rapidly overtaking the US in virtually every area of industry and commerce, and its success is largely attributable to the fact that the government is free to align its reinvestment strategy with its vision of the future. That allows the state to ignore the short-term profitability of its various projects provided they lay the groundwork for a stronger and more expansive economy in the years ahead. Chinese reformer Chen Yun called this phenom the “birdcage economy”, which means the economy can “fly freely” within the confines of the broader political system. In other words, the Chinese leadership sees the economy as an instrument for achieving their collective vision for the future.

China’s success is only partially due to its control over essential industries, like banking and petroleum. Keep in mind, “the share of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the total number of companies in the country has dropped to just 5%, though their share of total output remains at 26%.” And even though the state sector has shrunk dramatically in the last two decades, Chinese President Xi Jinping has implemented a three-year action plan aimed at increasing competitiveness of the SOE’s by transforming them into “market entities” run by “mixed-ownership.” Simply put, China remains committed to the path of liberalization despite sharp criticism in the West.

It’s also worth noting that the so-called Chinese Miracle never would have taken place had China implemented the programs that were recommended by the so-called “western experts”. Had China imposed the radical reforms (like “shock therapy”) that Russia did following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, then they would have experienced the same disastrous outcome. Fortunately, Chinese policymakers ignored the advice of the western economists and developed their own gradual reform agenda that produced success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. The story is summarized in a video on You Tube titled “How China (Actually) Got Rich”. I have transcribed part of the text below. Any mistakes are mine:

The single most stunning economic story of the last few decades has been the rise of China. From 1980 to 2020, China’s economy grew more than 75-fold…. It was the largest and most rapid improvement in material conditions in modern history…. China had been one of the poorest countries on earth but now it is an economic powerhouse… Economists predict it will overtake the US as the largest economy in the world by the end of the decade. People call it The Chinese Miracle. Some people describe this miracle as a straightforward story of the “free market”. They say “it’s a simple story. China was poor (but) then the economy was freed from the grip of the state. Now China is rich.” But this is misleading. China’s rise was NOT a triumph of the free market. ...
Since the 1980s, free market policies have swept the globe. Many countries have undergone far-ranging transformations. Liberalizing prices, privatizing entire industries, and opening up to free trade. But many of the economies that were subjected to the market overnight have since stagnated or decayed. None of them have had a growth record like the one seen in China. African countries experienced brutal economic shrinkage. Latin American countries experienced 25 years of stagnation. If we compare China to Russia, the other giant of Communism in the 20th Century, the contrast is even more staggering.
Under state socialism, Russia was an industrial superpower while China was still largely an agricultural economy. Yet during the same period that Chinese reforms led to incredible economic growth, Russia’s reform led to a brutal collapse. Both China and Russia had been economies that were largely ordered through state commands. ….Russia followed the recommendations of the most “scientific economics” at the time, a policy of so-called “shock therapy” As a basic principle, the idea was that the old planned economy had to be destroyed, to make space for the market to emerge…. Russia was expected to emerge as a full-fledged economy overnight. …When Boris Yeltsin took power he eliminated all price controls, privatized state-owned companies and assets, and immediately opened up Russia to global trade. The result was a catastrophe. The Russian economy was already in disarray, but shock therapy was a fatal blow. (Western economists) predicted some short-term pain, but what they didn’t see coming was how severe and destructive the effects would be. Consumer prices spiraled out of control, Hyperinflation took hold, GDP fell by 40%.
The shock therapy slump in Russia was deeper and longer than the Great Depression by a large margin. It was a disaster for ordinary Russians…. Alcoholism, childhood malnutrition and crime went through the roof. Life expectancy for Russian men fell by 7 years, more than any industrial country has ever experienced in peacetime. Russia did not get a free market overnight. Instead, it went from a stagnating economy to a hollowed-out wreck run by oligarchs. If just getting rid of price-controls and government employment didn’t create prosperity but did destroy the economy and kill huge numbers of people, then clearly, the rapid transition to “free markets” was not the solution.
Throughout the 1980s, China considered implementing the same type of sudden reforms that Russia pursued. The idea of starting from a clean slate was attractive, and shock therapy was widely promoted by (respected) economists… But in the end, China decided to not implement shock therapy. …Instead of knocking over the entire (economy) at once, China reformed itself in a gradual and experimental way. Market activities were tolerated or actively-promoted in non-essential parts of the economy. China implemented a policy of dual track pricing…. China was learning from.. the world’s most developed nations, countries like the US, UK, Japan and South Korea. Each of these managed and planned the development of their own economies. and markets, protecting early-stage industries and controlling investment.
Western free market economists thought this system would be a disaster …. But China’s leaders did not listen, and while Russia collapsed after following the “shock therapy” program, China saw remarkable success. The state kept control over the backbone of the industrial economy, as well as the ownership over the land,. As China grew into the new dynamics of its economy, state institutions were not degraded to fossils from the past, but were often the drivers at the frontier of new industries, protecting and guaranteeing their own growth. China today is not a free market economy in any sense of the word. It is a state-led market economy. The government effectively owns all land, and China leverages state ownership through market competition to steer the economy. The shock therapy approach advocated around the world was a failure. While Russia collapsed after its sudden transition, China’s gradual reforms allowed it to survive. And that made all the difference.” How China (Actually) Got Rich”, You Tube.

The fact that China’s SOEs are shielded from foreign competition and receive government subsidies, has angered foreign corporations who think China has an unfair advantage and is not playing by the rules. That is certainly fair criticism, but it’s also true that Washington’s unilateral sanctions—which have now been imposed on roughly one-third of all the countries in the world—are also a clear violation of WTO rules. In any event, China’s approach to the market under Xi has been ambivalent at best. And while “the state sector’s share of industrial output dropped from 81% in 1980 to 15% in 2005”, (in the spirit of reform) Xi has also ensured that the CCP has greater influence in corporate management and corporate decision-making. Naturally, none of this has gone-over well with US and EU businesses titans who firmly believe that corporate stakeholders should rule the roost. (as they do in the West.)

The larger issue, however, is not that China subsidizes its SOEs or even that China is set to become the biggest economy in the world within the next decade. That’s not the problem. The real problem is that China has not assimilated into the Washington-led “rules-based order” as was originally anticipated. The fact is, Chinese leaders are strongly patriotic and have no intention of becoming a vassal-state in Uncle Sam’s global empire. This is an important point that political analyst Alfred McCoy sheds light on in an article at Counterpunch:

China’s increasing control over Eurasia clearly represents a fundamental change in that continent’s geopolitics. Convinced that Beijing would play the global game by U.S. rules, Washington’s foreign policy establishment made a major strategic miscalculation in 2001 by admitting it to the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Across the ideological spectrum, we in the U.S. foreign policy community,” confessed two former members of the Obama administration, “shared the underlying belief that U.S. power and hegemony could readily mold China to the United States’ liking… All sides of the policy debate erred.” In little more than a decade after it joined the WTO, Beijing’s annual exports to the U.S. grew nearly five-fold and its foreign currency reserves soared from just $200 billion to an unprecedented $4 trillion by 2013. The Rise of China and the Fall of the US, Counterpunch

Clearly, US foreign policy mandarins made a catastrophic error-in-judgement regarding China, but now there’s no way to undo the damage. China will not only emerge as the world’s largest economy, it will also control its own destiny unlike western nations that have been subsumed into the oligarch-led system (WEF) that decides everything from climate policy to mandatory vaccination, and from transgender bathrooms to war in Ukraine. These policies are all set by oligarchs who control the politicians, the media, and the sprawling deep state. Again, the issue with China is not size or money; it’s about control. China presently controls its own future independent of the “rules-based order” which makes it a threat to that same system.

If we look again at the first chart (above), we can understand why Washington rushed into its proxy-war with Russia. After all, if China was able to spread its high-speed rail network across all of China in just 12 years, what will the next 12 years bring? That’s what worries Washington.

China’s emergence as regional hegemon on the Asian continent is a near-certainty at this point. Who can stop it?

Not Washington. The US and NATO are presently bogged down in Ukraine even though Ukraine was supposed to be a launching pad for spreading US military bases across Central Asia and (eventually) encircling, isolating and containing China. That was the plan, but the plan looks less likely every day. And remember the importance that national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski placed on Eurasia in his classic The Grand Chessboard nearly 3 decades ago. He said:

“Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. ….About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.” (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, p.31)

The consensus opinion among foreign policy mucky-mucks is that the United States must become the dominant player in Central Asia if it hopes to maintain its current lofty position in the global order. Former Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz went so far as to say that Washington’s “top priority” must be “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.” Wolfowitz’s sentiments are still reiterated in all of recent US national security documents including the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. The pundits all agree on one thing and one thing alone; that the US must prevail in its plan to control Central Asia.

But how likely is that now? How likely is it that Russia will be forced out of Ukraine and prevented from opposing the US in Eurasia? How likely is it that China’s Belt and Road Initiative will not expand across Asia and into Europe, the Middle East, Africa and even Latin America? Check out this brief excerpt on China’s Belt and Road plan:

China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world…The ambitious vision is to resurrect the ancient Silk Road as a modern transit, trade, and economic corridor that runs from Shanghai to Berlin. The ‘Road’ will traverse China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, extending more than 8,000 miles, creating an economic zone that extends over one third the circumference of the earth.
The plan envisions building high-speed railroads, roads and highways, energy transmission and distributions networks, and fiber optic networks. Cities and ports along the route will be targeted for economic development.
An equally essential part of the plan is a sea-based “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR) component, as ambitious as its land-based project, linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. When completed, like the ancient Silk Road, it will connect three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa. (and, now, Latin America) The chain of infrastructure projects will create the world’s largest economic corridor, covering a population of 4.4 billion and an economic output of $21 trillion
For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia. The outcome is far from certain. (“New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever”, Robert Berke, Oil Price)

The Future Is China

Xi Jinping’s “signature infrastructure project” is reshaping trade relations across Central Asia and around the world. The BRI will eventually include more than 150 countries and a myriad of international organizations. It is, without question, the largest infrastructure and investment project in history which will include 65% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP. The improvements to road, rail and sea routes will vastly increase connectivity, lower shipping costs, boost productivity, and enhance widespread prosperity. The Belt and Road is China’s attempt to replace the crumbling post-WW2 “rules-based” order with a system that respects the sovereignty of nations, rejects unilateralism, and relies on market-based principles to affect a more equitable distribution of wealth.

The BRI is China’s blueprint for a New World Order. It is the face of 21st century capitalism and it is bound to shift the locus of global power eastward to Beijing which is set to become the de facto center of world.

American Military Hardware – Like Fashion Design, Not Made to Last

by Claudiu Secara

Apologies for the foul language in the video below. It’s how real soldiers from the frontline talk. Not for ladies.

But he says it all, bluntly. He talks about the Internet-of-all-things as the tool for brainwashing on a global scale. I would rather consider the movie industry and television as mind poison on a universal scale and with instant effect as being even more pernicious. Just look at the fashion mania. Within weeks (if not days) of the appearance of some new, must-have vestment, all across the continents young people are wearing the same new status-symbol clothing. Same for hairdos, same for metal-piercing of nostrils and lips and ears. Same for the tattoo insanity, etc., etc.

But our soldier has it right. It’s all salesmanship and no substance. All Madison Avenue PR and not quality of product, be it shoes, cars, tanks or space rockets. American products are made to be replaced with new gimmicks masquerading as better, newer, fancier, “more advanced.” Commerce and the art of turning big profits are the best skills that America has to offer to the world.

But military hardware, top military weapons?! Listen to the Russian soldier. He has tested them first hand and he knows how well they perform in real battlefield conditions. Shiny metal scrap.

More importantly, what looked like ominous signs only a few days ago turn out to be the (possible) lights at the end of the tunnel, the turning point in the Ukraine story. Something crucial happened in the last few days (weeks?).  The neocons/Biden’s plan was to make a big, big display of force in Vilnius by setting a fast track for Ukraine’s accession to NATO, followed by a full-blown war, NATO vs Russia. Did you notice Biden’s body language a few weeks ago, running and jumping like a man who has just won the lottery? And then you see a different Biden in London. Empty eyes, doddering around like a dead man walking, helped by His Majesty the King as his aide. Same when he met Erdogan in Vilnius. No sense of victory there.

The day before, he had it all lined up:

1. He forced France to sign on to the Ukraine plan: NATO membership, armed with long range missiles, new financial aid package, etc.

2. He forced Erdogan to agree to Sweden’s accession to NATO, the freeing of the Azov prisoners and, of course, Ukraine’s joining NATO –  or face a ready-made orange revolution that was already in place.

But then something crucial happened. Was it the appearance of Dr. Gal Luft, a dual US-Israeli citizen, friend of Russia’s Sputnik News all this time, who escaped arrest in Cyprus, and is now the star witness ready to testify in Congress to Biden having personally received a $100,000-a-month bribe from one Chinese military source alone (some $15 million in total) plus some $60,000 a month to Hunter, etc.?

Or maybe it was the noose around Hunter Biden’s neck that is tightening – related to the famous laptop revealing so many other felonies?

But let’s get back to the complete failure of American weapons’ conception and their worthlessness on the battlefield.