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À partir d’avant-hierAnalyses, perspectives

Pompeo’s Sinophobic Pressure Campaign Runs Amok at National Governors’ Association Convention

Par Matthew Ehret

Of all the things the CIA is good at, insecurely threatening people who may potentially wish to work with Russia and China is at the top of the list.

The post Pompeo’s Sinophobic Pressure Campaign Runs Amok at National Governors’ Association Convention appeared first on Fort Russ.

Pompeo's Sinophobic Pressure Campaign Runs Amok at National Governors' Association Convention - Fort Russ

Of all the things the CIA is good at, insecurely threatening people who may potentially wish to work with Russia and China is at the top of the list. This insecure passive aggressiveness shined with blinding intensity on February 8 during an annual National Governors' Association event which saw 44

The Forgotten Judeo-Muslim-Christian Alliance and China’s Silk Road

Par Matthew Ehret

Under a primitive version of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations doctrine, the Byzantine Empire, their sister Venetian Empire and the Ultramontane Church which were the heirs of the recently collapsed Roman oligarchy hated the rise of the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne and the Augustinian humanist educational and economic reforms enacted during Charlemagne’s reign. More importantly, they hated the brilliant alliances Charlemagne oversaw alongside his co-thinker Harun al Rashid (Caliph of the Abbasid Dynasty of Baghdad who ruled from 786-809 CE) and the new King Bulan of Khazaria who converted his kingdom to Judaism in the mid-8th century.

The post The Forgotten Judeo-Muslim-Christian Alliance and China’s Silk Road appeared first on Fort Russ.

Trump at Davos Challenges Malthusian Agenda

Par Matthew Ehret

Whether you like it or not, those battle lines dividing the two views of mankind as a cancer on the one side vs a creature of divine reason on the other do exist. It is up to each of us to decide which side we wish to represent.

The post Trump at Davos Challenges Malthusian Agenda appeared first on Fort Russ.

Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration

Par Andrey Areshev

Coming decade could see the US take on Russia, China and Iran over the New Silk Road connection

Pepe ESCOBAR

The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani.

Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.

The Deep State and crucial sectors of the US ruling class are absolutely terrified that China is already outpacing the “indispensable nation” economically and that Russia has outpaced it militarily. The Pentagon officially designates the three Eurasian nodes as “threats.”

Hybrid War techniques – carrying inbuilt 24/7 demonization – will proliferate with the aim of containing China’s “threat,” Russian “aggression” and Iran’s “sponsorship of terrorism.” The myth of the “free market” will continue to drown under the imposition of a barrage of illegal sanctions, euphemistically defined as new trade “rules.”

Yet that will be hardly enough to derail the Russia-China strategic partnership. To unlock the deeper meaning of this partnership, we need to understand that Beijing defines it as rolling towards a “new era.” That implies strategic long-term planning – with the key date being 2049, the centennial of New China.

The horizon for the multiple projects of the Belt and Road Initiative – as in the China-driven New Silk Roads – is indeed the 2040s, when Beijing expects to have fully woven a new, multipolar paradigm of sovereign nations/partners across Eurasia and beyond, all connected by an interlocking maze of belts and roads.

The Russian project – Greater Eurasia – somewhat mirrors Belt & Road and will be integrated with it. Belt & Road, the Eurasia Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank are all converging towards the same vision.

Realpolitik

So this “new era”, as defined by the Chinese, relies heavily on close Russia-China coordination, in every sector. Made in China 2025 is encompassing a series of techno/scientific breakthroughs. At the same time, Russia has established itself as an unparalleled technological resource for weapons and systems that the Chinese still cannot match.

At the latest BRICS summit in Brasilia, President Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin that “the current international situation with rising instability and uncertainty urge China and Russia to establish closer strategic coordination.” Putin’s response: “Under the current situation, the two sides should continue to maintain close strategic communication.”

Russia is showing China how the West respects realpolitik power in any form, and Beijing is finally starting to use theirs. The result is that after five centuries of Western domination – which, incidentally, led to the decline of the Ancient Silk Roads – the Heartland is back, with a bang, asserting its preeminence.

On a personal note, my travels these past two years, from West Asia to Central Asia, and my conversations these past two months with analysts in Nur-Sultan, Moscow and Italy, have allowed me to get deeper into the intricacies of what sharp minds define as the Double Helix. We are all aware of the immense challenges ahead – while barely managing to track the stunning re-emergence of the Heartland in real-time.

In soft power terms, the sterling role of Russian diplomacy will become even more paramount – backed up by a Ministry of Defense led by Sergei Shoigu, a Tuvan from Siberia, and an intel arm that is capable of constructive dialogue with everybody: India/Pakistan, North/South Korea, Iran/Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan.

This apparatus does smooth (complex) geopolitical issues over in a manner that still eludes Beijing.

In parallel, virtually the whole Asia-Pacific – from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean – now takes into full consideration Russia-China as a counter-force to US naval and financial overreach.

Stakes in Southwest Asia

The targeted assassination of Soleimani, for all its long-term fallout, is just one move in the Southwest Asia chessboard. What’s ultimately at stake is a macro geoeconomic prize: a land bridge from the Persian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Last summer, an Iran-Iraq-Syria trilateral established that “the goal of negotiations is to activate the Iranian-Iraqi-Syria load and transport corridor as part of a wider plan for reviving the Silk Road.”

There could not be a more strategic connectivity corridor, capable of simultaneously interlinking with the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the Iran-Central Asia-China connection all the way to the Pacific; and projecting Latakia towards the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

What’s on the horizon is, in fact, a sub-sect of Belt & Road in Southwest Asia. Iran is a key node of Belt & Road; China will be heavily involved in the rebuilding of Syria; and Beijing-Baghdad signed multiple deals and set up an Iraqi-Chinese Reconstruction Fund (income from 300,000 barrels of oil a day in exchange for Chinese credit for Chinese companies rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure).

A quick look at the map reveals the “secret” of the US refusing to pack up and leave Iraq, as demanded by the Iraqi Parliament and Prime Minister: to prevent the emergence of this corridor by any means necessary. Especially when we see that all the roads that China is building across Central Asia – I navigated many of them in November and December – ultimately link China with Iran.

The final objective: to unite Shanghai to the Eastern Mediterranean – overland, across the Heartland.

As much as Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea is an essential node of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and part of China’s multi-pronged “escape from Malacca” strategy, India also courted Iran to match Gwadar via the port of Chabahar in the Gulf of Oman.

So as much as Beijing wants to connect the Arabian Sea with Xinjiang, via the economic corridor, India wants to connect with Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran.

Yet India’s investments in Chabahar may come to nothing, with New Delhi still mulling whether to become an active part of the US “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which would imply dropping Tehran.

The Russia-China-Iran joint naval exercise in late December, starting exactly from Chabahar, was a timely wake-up for New Delhi. India simply cannot afford to ignore Iran and end up losing its key connectivity node, Chabahar.

The immutable fact: everyone needs and wants Iran connectivity. For obvious reasons, since the Persian empire, this is the privileged hub for all Central Asian trade routes.

On top of it, Iran for China is a matter of national security. China is heavily invested in Iran’s energy industry. All bilateral trade will be settled in yuan or in a basket of currencies bypassing the US dollar.

US neocons, meanwhile, still dream of what the Cheney regime was aiming at in the past decade: regime change in Iran leading to the US dominating the Caspian Sea as a springboard to Central Asia, only one step away from Xinjiang and weaponization of anti-China sentiment. It could be seen as a New Silk Road in reverse to disrupt the Chinese vision.

Battle of the Ages

A new book, The Impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, by Jeremy Garlick of the University of Economics in Prague, carries the merit of admitting that, “making sense” of Belt & Road “is extremely difficult.”

This is an extremely serious attempt to theorize Belt & Road’s immense complexity – especially considering China’s flexible, syncretic approach to policymaking, quite bewildering for Westerners. To reach his goal, Garlick gets into Tang Shiping’s social evolution paradigm, delves into neo-Gramscian hegemony, and dissects the concept of “offensive mercantilism” – all that as part of an effort in “complex eclecticism.”

The contrast with the pedestrian Belt & Road demonization narrative emanating from US “analysts” is glaring. The book tackles in detail the multifaceted nature of Belt & Road’s trans-regionalism as an evolving, organic process.

Imperial policymakers won’t bother to understand how and why Belt & Road is setting a new global paradigm. The NATO summit in London last month offered a few pointers. NATO uncritically adopted three US priorities: even more aggressive policy towards Russia; containment of China (including military surveillance); and militarization of space – a spin-off from the 2002 Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.

So NATO will be drawn into the “Indo-Pacific” strategy – which means containment of China. And as NATO is the EU’s weaponized arm, that implies the US interfering on how Europe does business with China – at every level.

Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2001 to 2005, cuts to the chase: “America exists today to make war. How else do we interpret 19 straight years of war and no end in sight? It’s part of who we are. It’s part of what the American Empire is. We are going to lie, cheat and steal, as Pompeo is doing right now, as Trump is doing right now, as Esper is doing right now … and a host of other members of my political party, the Republicans, are doing right now. We are going to lie, cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That’s the truth of it. And that’s the agony of it.”

Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are fully aware of the stakes. Diplomats and analysts are working on the trend, for the trio, to evolve a concerted effort to protect one another from all forms of hybrid war – sanctions included – launched against each of them.

For the US, this is indeed an existential battle – against the whole Eurasia integration process, the New Silk Roads, the Russia-China strategic partnership, those Russian hypersonic weapons mixed with supple diplomacy, the profound disgust and revolt against US policies all across the Global South, the nearly inevitable collapse of the US dollar. What’s certain is that the Empire won’t go quietly into the night. We should all be ready for the battle of the ages.

asiatimes.com

China’s XJP visits Myanmar to build Belt and Road Initiative

Par Joaquin Flores

CCTV: “Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin a two-day visit to Myanmar on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. It will be the first visit by a top Chinese leader in 19 years. Xi Jinping is expected to promote the implementation of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative.”

The post China’s XJP visits Myanmar to build Belt and Road Initiative appeared first on Fort Russ.

China's XJP visits Myanmar to build Belt and Road Initiative - Fort Russ

CCTV: "Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin a two-day visit to Myanmar on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. It will be the first visit by a top Chinese leader in 19 years. Xi Jinping is expected to promote the implementation of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor under t

Martin Luther King’s 91st Birthday: A Reminder of an Existential Choice Still Undecided

Par Matthew Ehret

The world marches forward into the new year with a mix of hope and trepidation. The words of Martin Luther King who warned in his final days the universal truth that either we commit to "nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation" ring as true today as they did when they were spoken in 1968. In that speech, King stated prophetically that "this may well be mankind's last chance to choose between chaos and community".

The post Martin Luther King’s 91st Birthday: A Reminder of an Existential Choice Still Undecided appeared first on Fort Russ.

Martin Luther King's 91st Birthday: A Reminder of an Existential Choice Still Undecided - Fort Russ

The world marches forward into the new year with a mix of hope and trepidation. The words of Martin Luther King who warned in his final days the universal truth that either we commit to "nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation" ring as true today as they did when they were spoken in 1968. I

Hussein Askary: The New Silk Road’s Advance Across the Middle East

Par Matthew Ehret

Anyone looking at a map of the Belt and Road Initiative will notice that Syria, Iraq and Iran's stability and active participation are vital for this world changing program to function. Anyone not realizing that this program of win-win cooperation is in direct anti-thesis to the neocon paradigm of "a clash of civlizations" would be blind to the very essence of world history and modern events.

The post Hussein Askary: The New Silk Road’s Advance Across the Middle East appeared first on Fort Russ.

Hussein Askary: The New Silk Road's Advance Across the Middle East - Fort Russ

Anyone looking at a map of the Belt and Road Initiative will notice that Syria, Iraq and Iran's stability and active participation are vital for this world changing program to function. Anyone not realizing that this program of win-win cooperation is in direct anti-thesis to the neocon paradigm of "

La « Muslim Belt » et le levier djihadiste Ouighour

Par Réseau International
par René Naba. Embourbés en Afghanistan depuis près de vingt ans, harcelés par leurs anciens alliés les Talibans, les États Unis paraissent vouloir se cramponner à ce qui a longtemps été leur arme favorite, la stratégie du « Muslim Belt », la ceinture verte de l’espace musulman, ayant vocation à encercler le « Heartland » […]

The Art of Peace- The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence

Par Matthew Ehret

On November 16, an seminar was held in Montreal Canada entitled “The Art of Peace: The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence” hosted by the Rising Tide Foundation, featuring six speakers tackling the multi-faceted New Silk Road from artistic, engineering, historical, philosophical and scientific standpoints.

The post The Art of Peace- The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence appeared first on Fort Russ.

The Art of Peace- The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence - Fort Russ

On November 16, an seminar was held in Montreal Canada entitled “The Art of Peace: The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence” hosted by the Rising Tide Foundation, featuring six speakers tackling the multi-faceted New Silk Road from artistic, engineering, historical, philosophical and scientif

Trials and Tribulations of Central Asia Integration

Par Andrey Areshev

The pros and cons of being the Heartland in the 21st century

Pepe ESCOBAR, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Crossing Tajikistan from west to northeast – Dushanbe to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border – and then Kyrgyzstan from south to north all the way to Bishkek via Osh, is one of the most extraordinary road trips on earth. Not only this is prime Ancient Silk Road territory but now is being propelled as a significant stretch of the 21st century New Silk Roads.

In addition to its cultural, historical and anthropological pull, this road trip also lays bare some of the key issues related to the development of Central Asia. It was particularly enlightening to hit the road as previously, at the 5th Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, I had had the pleasure of moderating a panel titled Central Asia at the Intersection of Global Interests: pros and cons of being Heartland.

The Heartland in the 21st century could not but be a major draw. Any serious analyst knows that Central Asia is the privileged corridor for both Europe and Asia at the heart of the New Silk Roads, as the Chinese-led BRI converges with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

And yet, less than 10% of trade in Central Asia happens within the region, while 60% is directed to the EU. Idiosyncratic practices among the five former Soviet “Stans” still somewhat prevail. At the same time, there’s a consensus that measures such as a proposed, online, unified Silk Visa plan are bound to boost tourism and trade connectivity.

Banking experts such as Jacob Frenkel, chairman of JP Morgan Chase International, insist that the path towards inclusive growth in Central Asia entails access for financial services and financial tech; Nur-Sultan, incidentally, happens to be the only financial center within a 3,000-mile radius. Only a few years ago it was basically a potato field.

So it will be up to Kazakhs to capitalize on the financial ramifications of their independent, multi-vector foreign policy. After all, aware that his young nation was a “child of complicated history,” First President Nursultan Nazabayev from the beginning, in the early 1990s, wanted to prevent a Balkans scenario in Central Asia – as proposed as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy by Zbigniew Brzezinski in The Grand Chessboard. Recently Kazakhstan mediated quite successfully between Turkey and Russia. And then there’s the Kazakh hosting of the Astana process, which quickly evolved as the privileged road map for the pacification of Syria.

A link or a bridge?

Frederick Starr, chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington, made a crucial point in the sidelines of our debate: the UN recently passed a unanimous resolution recognizing Central Asia as a world region. And yet, there is no structure for cooperation inside Central Asia. Tricky national border issues between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers may have been solved. There are very few pending questions between, for instance, the Uzbeks and the Kyrgyz. Most “Stans” are SCO members, some are EAEU members and all want to profit from BRI.

But as I later saw for myself on the road as I crossed Tajikistan and then Kyrgyzstan, tariff barriers still apply. Industrial cooperation is developing very slowly. Corruption is rife. Distrust against “foreigners” is inbred. And on top of it, the fallout of the US-China trade war affects mostly developing nations – such as the Central Asians. A solution, Starr argues, would be to boost the work of an established commission, and aim towards setting up a single market by 2025.

At the Nur-Sultan debate, my friend Bruno Macaes, former Minister for Europe in Portugal and author of the excellent The Dawn of Eurasia, argued that the thrust for the New Silk Roads remains sea transportation, and investment in ports. As Central Asia is landlocked, the emphasis should be on soft infrastructure. Kazakhstan is uniquely positioned to understand differences between trading bocks. Macaes argues that Nur-Sultan should aim to replicate the role of Singapore as a bridge.

Peter Burian, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, chose to stress the positives: how Central Asia has managed to survive its new Heartland incarnation without conflict, and how it’s engaged in institutional building from scratch. The Baltics should be taken as an example. Burian insists the EU does not want to impose ready-made concepts, and would rather work as a link, not as a bridge. More EU economic presence in Central Asia means, in practice, an investment commitment of $1.2 billion in seven years, which may not amount to much but targets very specific, practical-minded projects.

Evgeny Vinokurov, chief economist of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, touched on a real success story: the 15 day-only transportation/connectivity rail between China’s central provinces, Central Asia and the EU – now running at 400,000 cargo containers a year, and rising, and used by anyone from BMW to all manner of Chinese manufacturers. Over 10 million tons of merchandise a year is already moving West while six million tons are moving East. Vinokurov is adamant that the next step for Central Asia is to build industrial parks.

Svante Cornell, from the Institute for Security and Development Policy, emphasized a voluntary process, possibly with six nations (Afghanistan also included), and well-coordinated in practice (way beyond mere political integration). Models should be result-oriented ASEAN and Mercosur (presumably before Bolsonaro’s disruptive practices). Key issues involve facilitating smoother border crossings and for Central Asia to position itself as not just a corridor.

Essentially, Central Asia should think eastwards – in an SCO/ASEAN symbiosis, keeping in mind the role Singapore developed for itself as a global hub.

What about tech transfer?

As I saw for myself days later, when for instance, visiting the University of Central Asia in Khorog, in the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, set up by the Aga Khan foundation, there is a serious drive across Central Asia to invest in universities and techno centers. In terms of Chinese investment, for instance, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is financing hydropower in Kyrgyzstan. The EU is engaged in what it defines as a “trilateral project” – supporting education for Afghan women and universities in both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

This may all be discussed and deepened in an upcoming, first-time-ever summit of Central Asian presidents. Not bad as a first step.

Arguably the most intriguing intervention in the debate in Nur-Sultan was by former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev. He remarked that the GDP of four “Stans,” excluding Kazakhstan, is still smaller than Singapore’s. He insisted the road map ahead is to unite – mostly geoeconomically. He emphasized that both Russia and China “are officially complementary” and that’s “great for us.” Now it’s time to invest in human capital and thus generate more demand.

But once again, the inescapable factor is always China. Otorbaev, referring to BRI, insisted, “you must offer to us the highest technological solutions.” I asked him point-blank whether he could name a project with inbuilt, top technological transfer to Kyrgyzstan. He answered, “I didn’t see any added value so far.” Beijing better go back to the drawing board – seriously.

asiatimes.com

The Middle East’s New Post-Regime Change Future

Par Matthew Ehret

Just to get a sense of this incredible potential that is keeping western oligarchs up at night, I want to quickly review just a few of the greatest China-led reconstruction projects which are now taking hold in four of the most decimated areas of the Middle East: Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

The post The Middle East’s New Post-Regime Change Future appeared first on Fort Russ.

Carney’s Green Crypto Currency Abandons Reality

Par Matthew Ehret

The only reason why the Bank of England’s green digital currency is taken seriously at all today is because westerners have become so psycho-spiritually detached from reality during the years since the “consumer society cult” led people to believe that a nation could magically exist as a services economy without producing.

The post Carney’s Green Crypto Currency Abandons Reality appeared first on Fort Russ.

Carney’s Green Crypto Currency Abandons Reality - Fort Russ

By Matthew Ehret The momentum pushing for the overhaul of the financial system from its current disorderly state of unbounded speculation (amounting to over $1.2 quadrillion of derivatives) towards a “reformed central bank-driven” system of green finance is moving startlingly fast. The fact that thi

The Middle East’s New Post-Regime Change Future

Par Andrey Areshev

With the transformation of the rules of the “Great Game” in the Middle East emerging out of President Trump’s recent Syrian surprise pullout and Putin’s brilliant manoeuvres since 2015, a sweeping set of development/reconstruction programs led by China now have a chance to become hegemonic across the formerly hopeless, terrorist-infested region.

The fact that the Arab states of the Middle East were targeted for destruction by western geopoliticians over the last 40 years is not un-connected to the region’s historic role as “cross-roads of civilizations” which were once the bridge between East and West along the ancient Silk Road (c. 250 BC). Today’s New Silk Road has brought 150 countries into a multipolar model of cooperation and civilization-building which necessitates a stabilized Middle East in order to function.

When asking “how could a reconstruction of the Middle East be possible after so many years of hell” I was pleasantly surprised to discover that both great projects once derailed have been given new life with the new prospects for peace and also new projects never before dreamed possible have been created as part of the New Silk Road (Aka: One Belt One Road).

Just to get a sense of this incredible potential that is keeping western oligarchs up at night, I want to quickly review just a few of the greatest China-led reconstruction projects which are now taking hold in four of the most decimated areas of the Middle East: Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

Iraq Joins the New Silk Road

After decades of foreign manipulation, the Iraqi government was able to declare victory over Da’esh in 2017- just 3 years after the western-sponsored insurgents had gained control of one third of the territory. This new stability created by Russia’s intervention into Syria, unleashed a vast potential for China-led reconstruction to not only re-build the war-torn nation, but launch it into the 21st century.

In September 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdu-Mahdi announced Iraq’s participation in the New Silk Road standing alongside Xi Jinping in Beijing. Mahdi said: “Iraq has gone through war and civil strife and is grateful to China for its valuable support… Iraq is willing to work in the ‘One Belt One Road’ framework”.  President Xi then said: “China would like, from a new starting point together with Iraq, to push for the China-Iraq Strategic Partnership”.

Part of this Strategic Partnership involves an Oil for Reconstruction program which will see Chinese firms exchange infrastructure-building for oil (100 000 barrels/day to be exact). Already Iraq is China’s 2nd largest supplier of overseas oil while China has become Iraq’s #1 trade partner. Abdul Hussein al-Hanin (Advisor to the Prime Minister) explained that rather than giving money for Iraqi oil, China would build its projects defined by 3 priorities which al-Hanin said “first is building and modernizing the highways and internal roads with their sewage systems. Second is the construction of schools, hospitals and residential and industrial cities, and third is the construction of railways, ports, airports and other projects”. Atop the list of “other projects” include water treatment systems and power plants.

While Iraq’s economy is dependant on oil (making up 65% of its GDP, 100% of its export revenue), China’s New Silk Road focuses upon diversifying Iraq into a more complex full spectrum economy which is vital to enhance its sovereignty.

While great strides have been made towards a new system, anti-government protests threaten to disrupt this program having left 100 dead and thousands wounded since they began in July 2018.

A New Hope for Syria

The wounds Syria has inflicted since the crisis erupted in 2011 will take generations to heal, with over half a million deaths, a loss of 5.6 million civilians who have fled the country and approximately 6.1 million displaced within Syria itself. China has made clear its intentions to bring the BRI to Syria as fast as possible since 2017 with Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying:

“Too many people in the Middle East are suffering at the brutal hands of terrorists. We support regional countries in forming synergy, consolidating the momentum of anti-terrorism and striving to restore regional stability and order. We support countries in the region in exploring a development path suited to their national conditions and are ready to share governance experience and jointly build the Belt and Road and promote peace and stability through common development.”

After committing $23 billion in aid in 2018, BRI projects in Syria have taken many forms which can now begin as a viable peace process is finally underway, including East-West rail and road connections between Asia and Europe passing through Iran, to Iraq and into Syria where goods can be sent to the Basra Port in Iraq, the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartus on the Mediterranean as well as the incredibly important Port of Tripoli in Lebanon called a “pearl on the New Silk Road” by the Chinese.

Discussion of a North South route connecting transport routs through Syria to Lebanon, Israel and Egypt into Africa are now underway and the timing of the chaotic anti-government protests in Lebanon makes one wonder if western meddling is behind it.

Many of the beautiful possibilities for Syrian reconstruction were laid out in great detail in a 2016 Schiller Institute video entitled Project Phoenix which has circulated widely across the Arab world.

Assad’s Five Seas Strategy Revived

Little known in the western world, President Bashar al-Assad had already advanced this vision as early as 2004 when he first announced his “Five Seas Strategy”. In an August 1, 2009 interview, President Assad described his program beautifully: “Once the economic space between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran becomes integrated, we would link the Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and the [Persian] Gulf . . . we aren’t just important in the Middle East. . . Once we link these four seas, we become the unavoidable intersection of the whole world in investment, transport, and more.”

Going beyond mere words, President Assad had led delegations signing agreements with Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to begin Five Seas projects. This was done at a moment that President Qadaffi was well underway building the Great Manmade River as the largest water project in history alongside a coalition of nations of Sudan and Egypt.

In a powerful report Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, BRI expert Hussein Askary wrote: “Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post-World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity.”

It is now becoming obvious, that the Syrian project that was derailed in 2011 can now get back on track.

Yemen as Keystone of the Maritime Silk Road

The four year Saudi war on Yemen has been a humanitarian disaster of our times. However in spite of insurmountable odds, the Yemenis have managed to not only defend themselves but have pulled off one of the most brilliant military flanking maneuvers in history crippling the Saudi economy on September 29th. This victory has both forced the Saudis to eat yet-another mouthful of humble pie and created a breathing space for a serious discussion for Yemen’s reconstruction through participation in the New Silk Road. Sitting upon the entry of the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea, Yemen is today as it was 2000 years ago: a vital node in both Maritime Silk Road and the land-based Silk Road connecting Asia with Africa and Europe.

Already several Yemeni organizations have been created endorsing this vision led by the Yemeni Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS, Yemeni Youth BRICS Cabinet and the New Silk Road Party which has gained the support of leading government officials since their founding by Yemeni poet/statesman Fouad al-Ghaffari in 2016. Courageous efforts such as these have resulted in the government’s signing an MOU to join the BRI in June 2019.

A word on Turkey and Afghanistan

The Middle Corridor linking Turkey to Georgia and Azerbaijan via rail and to China via Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan was hailed by Erdogan to “be at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative.” In July 2019, Erdogan said the BRI “has emerged as the greatest development project of the 21st century”. After citing the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosporus, Eurasian tunnel and Marmaray system across the Dardanelles and its vast high speed rail, Erdogan continued by saying: “Turkey shares China’s vision when it comes to serving world peace, preserving global security, stability, promoting multilateralism… the world seeks a new multipolar balance today”. It is no secret that Turkey has come to the realization that its destiny relies on China, whose trade rose from $230 million in 1990 to a staggering $28 billion in 2017!

President Trump’s efforts to bring the Taliban to the discussion table with the Afghan government of Ahmadzai have resulted in a renewed potential for China’s desire to extend the $57 billion China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) into Kabul. While this diplomatic opportunity is very fragile, it is the closest the region has yet come to a viable resolution to the post 2001 insanity (including the replacement of its opium-based economy towards a viable full spectrum nation).

It goes without saying that the entire Arab world is looking at a new future of hope and development through the combined efforts of Russia and China. The USA, under Trump’s efforts to undo the decades of Gordian Knots in the Middle East have resulted in the most absurd campaign from republican and democratic tools in Washington to impeach the president. Obviously, a US-Russia-China alliance would be a wonderful blessing for the world, but for this to occur, the matter of the deep state infestation of America must first be dealt with.

The author can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

Warnings of “Financial Armageddon” from the City of London

Par Matthew Ehret

Former Governor of the Bank of England has let the cat out of the bag when he said the world was heading towards a "financial Armageddon" unless central banks are given more freedom to print infinite amounts of money to bailout the bankrupt speculators of Wall Street as they had in 2008-2009.

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How the Deep State Overthrew the Last Nationalist Government of Canada… in 1963!

Par Matthew Ehret

it is a fitting moment to pause and review some of the leading battles against the hives of Malthusian technocrats who infested western society in the wake of WWII and overthrew the last genuinely nationalist federal government of Canada in 1963.

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HSBC Never Left the Dope Trade nor the Crown

Par Guest Author

Though HSBC claims to have its base in Hong Kong and Shanghai, it always has up until this date had its headquarters in London, England as a banking institution. Not only this, but despite their attempts to claim that their banking practices have long since moved away from opium trade to healthier prospects, as earlier listed in this paper, HSBC clearly deals presently with not only drug money laundering but is also tied to money laundering for the use of terrorist activity.

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The Battle Over Hong Kong: New Silk Road or New World Order?

Par Matthew Ehret

The 4th annual Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit took place from September 10-11 featuring 5800 guests from business, academia, finance and non-governmental organizations committed to accelerating Hong Kong’s involvement with the BRI. Mrs. Lam, as well as leaders of China’s government addressed the opening assembly making the point that Hong Kong’s future lies in participation in this win-win alliance.

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The Battle Over Hong Kong: New Silk Road or New World Order?

Par Andrey Areshev

To the chagrin of those authors of color revolutions who have invested so much time and energy in their attempts to undermine national sovereignty as seen in Hong Kong today, not only have their plans to overthrow Bashar al Assad, and President Maduro failed, but even their simpler objectives to foment separatist movements among ethnic minorities in China (such as the Uyghurs and Tibetan Buddhists) collapsed miserably. The reason for this failure is simple.

China has allied with a growing array of nations to create a comprehensive international program operating on every imaginable level of human activity which is essentially… creative.

Take the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as an example. This program has evolved in its six years of existence from an idea which most establishment hacks wrote off as wildly utopian, to becoming the primary force for world development today. Rather than being a crystalized, defined idea, the BRI is flexible and open to change which frustrates insecure technocrats due to the fact that it is not susceptible to formulas while its effects increase the hope and optimism of all effected by demonstrating not only that peoples’ lives can improve, but that the government which effects such improvement may not be worth hating and fearing as these minorities are told they should.

This creative power should not be a mystery as the principle of “win-win” cooperation is much more in harmony with natural law than the twisted Hobbesian world view of zero sum geopolitics that has brought the world to the brink of nuclear war and economic collapse.

The Case of Hong Kong and the BRI

In the case of Hong Kong, a former British colony still infested with deep-seated Anglo-American intelligence and banking ties, the commitment to join the BRI began to arise as early as 2016 with the first BRI Summit that since became an annual event.

By 2017, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would do everything in her power to ensure the region’s full participation in the BRI – with a focus on the growing “Macau-Guangdong-HK Greater Bay Area” economic zone which incorporates two independent administrative regions into a unified China policy. Macau was a Portuguese colony until it was returned to China in 1999. In the course of dozens of BRI conferences since 2016, Carrie Lam has made the point that the region’s financial services, legal and logistic capacities can provide invaluable support to the BRI while its ports make it a key node in the Maritime component of the New Silk Road. Arguably the most important element in this mix is Hong Kong’s unique cultural character making it a key spiritual connection between east and west which geopolitical ideologues such as Samuel P. Huntington and Sir Bernard Lewis demanded could not exist.

As Mrs. Lam announced this policy, key Pacific nations long thought to be under the yolk of western geopoliticians such as Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and even Japan increasingly made their intentions to join BRI known, putting the U.S-led containment of China at risk.

The 2019 BRI Summit in Hong Kong

The 4th annual Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit took place from September 10-11 featuring 5800 guests from business, academia, finance and non-governmental organizations committed to accelerating Hong Kong’s involvement with the BRI. Mrs. Lam, as well as leaders of China’s government addressed the opening assembly making the point that Hong Kong’s future lies in participation in this win-win alliance.

Xie Feng, commissioner of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Hong Kong went the furthest in his remarks calling out the foreign influences manipulating Hong Kong saying “Foreign forces have intervened, distorting the truth, and trying to protect those in the wrong and let them get away with it. With this continuous intervention of black hands, violence cannot stop and the rule of law cannot be upheld.”

While China’s interests were well represented, the British Empire was not to be ignored. Unlike the Americans who entirely boycotted the event, the British demonstrated their superior understanding of manipulation once more by not only attending but taking over a major panel at the event.

The Empire Poisons the Well

Among the many presentations, a highly attended panel discussion stood out like a sore thumb on the theme of Geopolitical Risks of the Belt and Road Initiative featuring four Oxford-trained speakers led by Sir Richard Shirreff, former NATO Supreme Commander for Europe and moderated by Andrew Weir, Chairman of the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Global BRI Forum and honored “Member of the British Empire”. Other Oxford-trained panelists include “Risk-assessment professional Peter Burnett (CEO of Standard Charter Bank, former head of UBS and current chair of the BRI Committee of the HK Association of Banks), and Michael Barrow, CEO of MB Secure Financial.

This panel was particularly interesting as it provided transparent insight into the current sophistry being used by a weak, desperate and dangerous British Empire which seeks to undermine Xi’s Grand Design by redefining its “operating system” by destroying those aspects which generate creative change.

After acknowledging the irrefutable positive effects of the BRI as all good Delphic arguments must, the panelists quickly went to work to get the audience to understand the “risk” this project has created for the world system with Sir Richard going so far as to compare China as the “New Roman Empire summoning African leaders to the capital”. The knight was joined by Barrow who had the nerve to argue that China’s ignorance of the “science of risk analysis” has caused an explosion of resentment from people whose lives are changed against their will leading “to an increase of Islamic extremism” in places like Mozambique!!!

The BRI Delenda Est

These “risk analysis experts” complain that when a mega-project, such as a dam, or railway, or new industrial hub is built the consequences are not entirely predictable. This complaint merely covers the fact that imperialists are also control-freaks who want to maintain their God-like feeling of control by denying all change to nations seeking a better way of life. Whenever scientific and technological progress are introduced justly into a society, that change transforms all of the socio-economic, political relationships both within that society as well as that society’s relationship to the external world- and that is simply what they hate.

Hence, the unfortunate conclusion that all geopoliticians must come to: Creativity= evil.

What exactly did these “risk assessment professionals” propose to subvert the BRI?

  1. That China is wrong to pursue “Top Down planning” but must transform its operating procedures into the same “market-driven”, bottom up process which also underlies globalization (and keeps bottom up thinkers from seeing the real invisible power structure manipulating the show behind a wall of complexity from the top).
  2. That ALL risk must be assessed on ALL levels BEFORE projects are built by teams of professionals deployed as “boots on the ground” to “get under the skin of nations”. A new bureaucracy of risk managers would be a perfect mode of throwing sand into the gears of the BRI and rendering its momentum impotent.
  3. Once this new operating system is created, Sir Richard and his friends argued that China must only build projects in nations which have first solved the meaningless term “corruption” (citing the USA, Britain and Canada as examples of corruption-free societies), and only projects which make minimal environmental impact should be considered by this new reformed BRI. All Oxford panelists shared their belief that de-centralization and monetarist standards must replace the current “sovereignty-driven” model.

Of course, what these arguments propose is merely that China’s BRI become the instrument for a British-run new world order which the failing Anglo-American system was originally meant to be. This process is akin to a virus trying to infect a new host.

Risk Management: “World Problematique Revived”

This new sophistical argument is nothing but a modified “science of World Problematique” created by a team of French and British imperialists in the 1950s and 1960s and which underlies the creation of systems analysis as well as modern ecology.

This “science” was premised upon the cynical belief that future states of humanity can be forecast by denying those positive potentials which our creative discoveries can create to resolve human problems. In denying this driving principle of human life, its adherents asserted that the future could be known by first analyzing the infinite array of “problems” which humanity creates by attempting to make life better for ourselves. By identifying those “problems” which lead to dis-equilibrium (aka: creative change), those problems can more easily be ironed out in a perfectly pre-determined world of blah. This anti-creative ideology is the basis for the End of History thesis published in the midst of the Soviet Collapse in 1991.

It is an irony not to be missed, that not only does World Problematique underlie “right wing” neo conservatism, but is also at the root of the rise of the “new left” ecological movement as its leading adherents included Sir Alexander King who used it to create the Club of Rome in 1969 and a new green technocracy governed by the quasi-science of systems analysis which is more focused upon depopulation than actually cleaning the environment [1].

So if you are happy living in a world that denies creativity, then a new bureaucracy of risk management is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you are a member of the human species and have faith that we were created for something better, then you might want to applaud China’s Belt and Road Initiative, celebrate Hong Kong’s participation in it, and hope your nation joins if it hasn’t done so yet.


[1] A fascinating refutation of Systems Analysis was undertaken by American Economist Lyndon LaRouche in his 1981 report “Systems Analysis is White Collar Genocide”

 

Sun Yat-sen’s Advice to Young Revolutionaries…

Par Matthew Ehret

On January 1, 1912 Dr. Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of China consolidating a decades-long effort to overthrow an ancient feudal order premised upon a hereditary power structure of the “divine right of bloodlines”.

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Sun Yat-sen’s Advice to Young Revolutionaries: Don’t Be Imperial Stooges

Par Andrey Areshev

On January 1, 1912 Dr. Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of China consolidating a decades-long effort to overthrow an ancient feudal order premised upon a hereditary power structure of the “divine right of bloodlines”. Sun’s fascinating life defies any pre-existing categorization as a “socialist” or “capitalist” both schools of which he attacked as fallacies. Also known as the Founding Father of China, Sun is one of the few people revered as a hero of impeccable moral character equally by Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan alike.

For many young aspiring color revolutionaries in Hong Kong today who shout such mantras as “Independence for Hong Kong” while throwing petrol bombs and bricks at police officers, Sun Yat-sen serves as a role model for their current devotion to overthrowing the authority of the Chinese government and claiming “independence” from Beijing’s rule.

On the surface, it is understandable why these young kids believe they are continuing the legacy of the great statesman. But only on the surface.

Cause for Confusion: Sun Yat-sen’s “American” Revolution

After studying in Hawaii from 1879-1883, Sun’s vision for a republican revolution grew as he watched China slowly die under the corrupt regime of the Qing Dynasty which had lost all moral fitness to rule. After taking the helm of the revolutionary movement by 1893, Sun openly modelled the new system directly upon his studies of the best of the American Constitutional tradition. Considering Sun Yat-sen is revered today as a hero in mainland China, you can be excused for finding this hard to believe, but it is none the less true. Sun, who was both a Christian and Confucian scholar, stated this fact explicitly in his 1904 pamphlet A True Solution for the Chinese Question where he wrote:

“To work out the salvation of China is exclusively the duty of our own but as the problem has recently found a worldwide interest, we, in order to make sure of our success… must appeal to the people of the United States in particular for your sympathy and support, either moral or material, because you are the pioneers of western civilization in Japan: Because you are a Christian nation: Because we intend to model our new government after yours; Above all, because you are the champion of liberty and democracy. We hope we may find many Lafayette’s among you.”

This was no hyperbole. After doing battle with a usurper Yuan Shih-kai, when the later attempted to re-impose a monarchical system onto the new nation with the help of Anglo-American bankers, Dr. Sun Yat-sen wrote his Three Principles of the People where he explicitly modelled China’s constitution on those enunciated decades earlier by President Abraham Lincoln as a nation organized for the people, by the people and of the people. Sun called these principles minzu (‘national feelings of the people’), minquan (‘rights of the people’), and minsheng, (‘the people’s livelihood’). Once these were attained, then Sun believed the nation could become a true democratic republic in practice.

So how was this revolutionary process in total opposition to the current US/British-backed “revolution” being attempted in Hong Kong?

Introducing Sun Yat-sen’s Mind

For starters, Sun Yat-sen had an actual PLAN for what to do after the over-bloated and corrupt imperial regime was overthrown. Today’s young anarchists who wave British and American flags have no idea what to do with their “revolution”, believing instead in some magical force that will make life better if the west intervenes to defend some imagined freedom which they think they lost with their return to Chinese rule in 1997. Unlike today’s anarchists, Sun also knew the enemy inside and out. Sun wrote his 1917 Vital Problems of China in order to share his insight into the true nature of the empire’s manipulation of China (and the world) saying:

“The British are as cunning as the fox and as changeable as the weather and they are not ashamed of themselves… Britain seeks friendship only with those which can render her services, and when her friends are too weak to be of any use to her, they must be sacrificed in her interests. Britain’s tender regard for her friends is like the delicate care usually shown by farmers in the rearing of silkworms; after all the silk has been drawn from the cocoons, they are destroyed by fire or used as food for fish. The present friends of Britain are no more than silkworms.”

The young anarchists in Hong Kong today have for the most part, no idea that they are just being used as a part of a broader geopolitical agenda.

Sun Yat-sen understood this “Great Game” very well. In his Vital Problems, Sun not only rigorously demonstrated how and why the British oligarchy directly manipulated ALL of the major wars of the 19th and early 20th centuries in the pursuit of a “balance of power, but also laid out those imperial techniques that are as applicable today as they were in 1917 when he said:

“The key policy of England is to attack the strongest enemy with the help of the weaker countries and join the weakened enemy in checking the growth of a 3rd country. The British foreign policy has remained basically unchanged for two centuries.”

Sun pointed out that when a nation is on the ascent Britain’s policy is to use alliances with weaker powers who are on the descent to undermine it, and once those allies find themselves in a position of ascent the policy is reversed and they then become the targets for destruction, echoing Lord Palmerston’s famous assertion that the “empire has no permanent friends, but rather only permanent interests.” On this point Sun stated:

“When England befriends another country, the purpose is not to maintain a cordial friendship for the sake of friendship but to utilize that country as a tool to fight a third country. When an enemy has been shorn of his power, he is turned into a friend, and the friend who has become strong, into an enemy. England always remains in a commanding position; she makes other countries fight her wars and she herself reaps the fruits of victory.”

The 21st Century British Empire

Today’s situation is not very different from the one faced a century ago. Having successfully imbedded a Deep State structure into America (over the bodies of more than a few American leaders during the 20th century), Britain has today managed to induce this republic to act as her “dumb giant” doing much of the dirty work managing wars, and regime change operations around the world. In the case of Hong Kong, this means deploying arsenals of violent anarchists under the rubric of the CIA and the National Endowment of Democracy. This model of organized chaos has already been deployed in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela.

It is this force which is both fearful of the new power which China has created in the form of the international Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is desperate to undermine the BRI’s success in ANY and ALL means possible. Either through economic warfare, infiltration and cooption, or color revolutions and separatist movements in the weaker outskirts of China’s territories.

Sun Yat-sen’s Grand Design as Precursor to the New Silk Road

Unlike the anarchists in Hong Kong today who have zero vision for a concrete future, Sun Yat-sen’s Grand Design laid out in brilliant detail in his 1920 International Development of China. In this magnum opus that called for an industrial revolution driven by thousands of rail lines, roads, canals, dams, mines and ports we can find the guiding spirit underlying China’s Belt and Road Initiative today. As Sun developed the vision for rail lines and trade corridors to the west under a new philosophy of “win-win” cooperation (or in Sun’s words a system of “Right makes Might”), he always maintained that it was the best traditions of America that animated his design. An example from his 1920 book reads:

“The world has been greatly benefited by the development of America as an industrial and a commercial Nation. So a developed China with her four hundred millions of population, will be another New World in the economic sense. The nations which will take part in this development will reap immense advantages. Furthermore, international cooperation of this kind cannot but help to strengthen the Brotherhood of Man.”

It may startle many in Hong Kong as much as it would many pro-Sun Taiwanese to discover that this is the principled intention behind the vision for the Belt and Road Initiative unleashed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 and which is intimately tied Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. Speaking on behalf of President Xi, Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi recently reflected that vision saying:

“President Xi Jinping called for the fostering of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. He expounded on a vision of an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. Such thinking and vision encapsulate the propositions and principles that China holds dear as a staunch supporter of multilateralism.”

The truth of history keeps geopolitical ideologues up at night simply because reality refutes their faith in the inevitability of a “clash of civilizations” and “might makes right” paradigm of global governance. Just as Sun’s achievements overturn this imperial (and bestial) worldview, so too might Americans with enough morality and foresight recognize the “other” America which Dr. Sun saw as a force to be re-awakened under a new East-West alliance.

Bolton’s Firing Opens a New Potential for a Russia-China-USA Alliance

Par Matthew Ehret

Whether the neo cons infesting the US administration successfully subvert this potential for a new paradigm which would be unstoppable under a Russia-China-India-USA alliance, or not remains an open question, but Trump’s firing of Bolton will hopefully represent a new purge of war mongering sociopaths while opening the door to a new foreign policy doctrine.

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The Revival of Space Exploration in the 21st Century

Par Matthew Ehret

Do we live in a world of scarcity and limits? Or do we live in a world of creative potential? Is humanity a closed system or an open system? Is the universe moving towards a heat death, or is it animated by a living principle of creative reason?

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The Revival of Space Exploration in the 21st Century - Fort Russ

Do we live in a world of scarcity and limits? Or do we live in a world of creative potential? Is humanity a closed system or an open system? These questions have animated the thinking of scientists and philosophers for thousands of years and strikes at the very heart of the nature of humanity and th

America Loses Asia-Pacific as Full Spectrum Dominance Continues to Fail

Par Matthew Ehret

Those American military officials promoting the obsolete doctrine of Full Spectrum dominance are dancing to the tune of a song that stopped playing some time ago. Both Russia and China have changed the rules of the game on a multitude of levels, and can respond with fatal force to any attack upon their soil with next generation weaponry beyond the scope of anything imagined by ivory tower game theorists in the west.

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Latin American Shockwaves Bring the New Silk Road Into the Americas

Par Matthew Ehret

Over the past three years, over 17 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) nations have signed onto the new operating framework of the Belt and Road Initiative which extends far beyond the limited China-to-Europe corridor which many presumed it to be when it was announced in 2013.

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South American Shockwaves Bring the New Silk Road Into the Americas as Neo-Liberal Order Crumbles

Par Andrey Areshev

Over the past several years Latin America has become a strategic battleground which involves much more than merely “geopolitical power plays” between the USA vs China as many commentators are asserting. Of course this is not to say that there are no geopolitical battles occurring. The entire western sponsored regime change operation in Venezuela couldn’t be understood unless one realized that China and Russia see Venezuela as a strategic ally in the Americas and a future zone for Belt and Road projects which are sweeping across the world… but something more is happening.

Over the past three years, over 17 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) nations have signed onto the new operating framework of the Belt and Road Initiative which extends far beyond the limited China-to-Europe corridor which many presumed it to be when it was announced in 2013. With its focus on long term planning and interconnectivity, China is already number one in vital infrastructure investments globally and while not number one in overall trade in the Americas, has now produced over six times more investment into Latin American energy infrastructure than the World Bank.

This new paradigm has been a breath of fresh air for many nations of the south that have been gripped by Western drug money laundering, poverty, debt slavery and organized crime which has been kept in place by over four decades of IMF-World Bank dictates enforced by London/Harvard trained economists positioned as local governors over the bodies of nationalist leaders.

In spite of the 17 nations on board the BRI, the big four powers (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia) have not yet joined, which has been a frustrating obstacle for the greater vision of integrated infrastructure to blossom. However, in the past few weeks, even this has begun to change.

Colombia and the BRI

At a July 29-31 state visit to Beijing, Colombia’s President Iván Duque embraced a long term perspective with China (though not fully joining the BRI) when he spoke to 200 Chinese businessmen saying that China could help “transform Colombia into a food basket for the world” and that Colombia should be China’s “golden gate” into South America. He invited China to help with projects to develop infrastructure, education and science calling for “a Colombia-China initiative for the next 40 years”.

The specific program to transform Colombia was outlined by Duque as a “productive corridor” connecting the Eastern High Plains with the Pacific Port of Buenaventura through transportation corridors across the Andes, and a Sea Motorway 2 connecting the Gulf of Uraba in the Caribbean and several oil fields. While only 8 million hectares of agricultural land are currently used, Colombia’s full potential of 24 hectares will become developed once this initiative is built.

On the BRI itself, Duque said that it should be “the conceptual umbrella for this project to materialize”.

As the infamous 1999 photograph of the President of the NYSC embracing Raul Reyes (FARC narco-terrorist leader) demonstrates, Wall Street and London financiers have literally kept Colombia under the clutches of narco-traffickers for decades, resulting in a culture of organized crime, terrorism, and impoverishment that only the BRI can solve. In the 21st century over two million Colombians have no access to electricity. With Colombia’s involvement in the BRI, every Andean nation in South America would be on board.

A Sea Change for Argentina

Since Mauricio Macri’s December 2015 victory, Argentina took a slide into insanity. At one time representing a powerful force of opposition to the international financiers and vulture funds under the Peronist government of the late Nestor Kirchner and his wife Christina, Argentina under Macri has once again become a bankers’ fiefdom which brought the nation slavishly back under the whip of the financial oligarchy. Under Macri, austerity became the new norm and payment of debts the new priority for Argentina, while the vast majority of large scale infrastructure projects begun by President Kirchner were cancelled or postponed.

Somehow Macri was surprised that his monetarist strategies failed to win him the love of the people as unemployment continued to rise, and inflation topped 55% with no hope in sight.

The effects of the population’s suffering under the IMF’s monetarist diktats resulted in a surprise August 12 pre-election vote which gave Macri’s opponent Alberto Fernandez 47% of the votes (compared to a mere 33% for sitting President). Although this was only a pre-election vote, Fernandez demonstrated that he will likely become the President in the November elections. What is also notable is that Fernandez (a former Chief of Staff to Nestor Kirchner) is partnered on the Front for All ticket with his Vice-Presidential running mate Christina Fernandez de Kirchner herself. Fernandez and Kirchner promise to re-organize the unpayable IMF debts and end the age of austerity. Of course, speculators showed their disapproval of this return to a national power by collapsing the Argentina peso by 15% on August 13 and threatening more punishment if the “populist Peronists” are elected.

With Kirchner’s immanent return to power, many presume that the burgeoning golden age of China-Russian relations will blossom once more. Under Kirchner’s leadership a powerful “Argentina-China Integral Strategic Alliance” was formed along with 20 major treaties between the nations.

Some of the projects begun under Kirchner which Macri wasn’t able to kill involve the $4.1 billion Patagonia Hydroelectric project where two dams are being built on the Santa Cruz River, and also the $8 billion plan to build two nuclear power plants (one Canadian CANDU and one Chinese design). The dam represents the first hydro project built in over a quarter century and even thought Argentina was the first Latin American country to go nuclear with the Atucha I plant in 1974, very little was permitted since then.

Neo-Liberal Fractures in Brazil

While the current right wing regime under Jair Bolsonaro has turned away from a friendly relationship with China on orders from Washington, Chinese-sponsored projects begun under Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff were not so easy to kill with Brazil still receiving the second highest investment of Chinese capital amounting to $54 billion. Some BRI-related projects underway currently involve the Ultra High Voltage electricity transport system under construction since 2011 by China’s State Grid subsidiary in Brazil. This incredible project also known as the Electricity Superhighway carries high voltage electricity with very little loss of power over 2000 km from the northern Belo Monte Dam to the impoverished and populated southeast providing cheap electricity to 22 million people.

In agriculture, China imported 50 million tons of soybeans (80% of Brazil’s soy exports) and 560 tons of beef (40% of total) in 2018, and this is only expected to rise.

The New Development Ban is also setting up operations in Brazil and will begin emitting funds outside of the control of the IMF/World Bank shortly and Brazil’s hosting of the 11th BRICS Summit on November 13 is sure to dovetail with Chinese and Russian investment strategies in the South. Under a re-organized financial system, such new institutions as the New Development Bank, the Silk Road Investment Fund, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank would take on leading roles in providing long term productive credit for projects globally.

When responding to Bolsonaro’s attacks on Kirchner and Fernandez of Argentina, Fernandez responded saying “with Brazil, we are going to get on splendidly. Brazil will always be our main partner. Bolsonaro is a passing phase in the life of Brazil- just as Macri is a passing phase in the life of Argentina”.

A Word on Mexico

Mexico gained a huge victory with the election of nationalist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 2017 who has fought for a Mexico/Central America Development Plan since his election as an alternative to the current IMF/World Bank paradigm. This plan which is very much in harmony with the Belt and Road model involves southern Mexico and the “northern triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras which would see the construction of a cross Isthmus and North-South railroad system and ports along with a new electricity grid and agro industrial developments for all four nations.

Although AMLO’s impulses favor joining the BRI, immense pressure has withheld this leap from occurring to this point.

Green Depopulation or a New Growth Paradigm

After Panama became the first Latin American nation to join the BRI in 2017, Uruguay followed suite, and was quickly joined by Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Chile, and Costa Rica. Caribbean nations on board involve Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Antigua-Barbuda.

Western assets embedded in the LAC political structures are not only easy to identify due to their rejection of the BRI and embrace of Wall Street, but also for their blatant support of “green” energy strategies which seek to shut down carbon emitting oil, coal and even nuclear power.  An example of this hive was made evident by coalition of former energy secretaries of Argentina that wrote a memo calling for a scrapping of nuclear in preference to a total wind/solar strategy in obedience to the oligarchs that wrote COP21 and the Green New Deal. For any thinking citizen, this is merely another name for depopulation.

Accurately capturing the principle of what is happening across South America and the world as a whole, Costa Rica’s ambassador to China recently said that China is “creating a new paradigm for development which may be as important perhaps as the Bretton Woods was after World War II” and that China is “calling upon the whole world to design together what the New Paradigm is going to be”.

The Anglo American Origins of Color Revolutions and the NED

Par Matthew Ehret

Of course, the vast web of NGOs permeating the geopolitical terrain can only be effective as long as no one says the truth and “names the game”. The very act of calling out their nefarious motives renders them impotent and this simple fact has made the recently announced China-Russia arrangement to formulate a proper strategic response to color revolutions so important in the current fight.

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The Misanthropic Bankers Behind the Green New Deal

Par Matthew Ehret

Attacking the “mindless forces of the market” and vested power structures of capitalism are not bad things to do… but why must we de-carbonize? Re-regulating the too-big-to-fail banks is long overdue, but why do so many assume that a “Green New Deal” won’t just empower those same forces that have run havoc upon the world for the past half century and just cause more death and starvation than has already been suffered under Globalization?

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How the ‘Real’ America Is in Harmony With the Belt and Road Initiative

Par Matthew Ehret

In reviewing some history, you might be shocked to discover that the Belt and Road Initiative is more American than the America which the world has come to know over the past 50 years.

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Khan Sets the Table for US Pull Out of Central Asia

Par Andrey Areshev

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been nothing less than a breath of fresh air in a world grown stale with the status quo of geopolitics. Like Trump, Brexit, Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine, Matteo Salvini in Italy and even AMLO in Mexico, Khan represents the desire of people to live in a vastly different world than the one erected by the transnational oligarchy I like to call The Davos Crowd.

So I looked forward to Khan’s first meeting with Trump at the White House. Pakistan’s relationship with the US looks strained on the surface as Trump cut off aid packages to Pakistan at a time when the country’s finances have been, to say the least, challenging.

Khan is in a incredibly difficult position, trying to legitimize the civilian government while reining in the de facto military one. I don’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs but it should be obvious that Khan is facing the same kind of ‘deep state’ pushback that Trump, Salvini and others like him are experiencing.

Pakistan is the lynchpin on which China’s Belt and Road Initiative rests. China has pumped more than $60 billion into Pakistan through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. That money has itself become a political football Khan has had to deal with.

At the same time, the US is still obsessed with keeping central Asia chaotic and unsettled.

Those forces within both the US and British Deep States have worked hard to sabotage any gains made by Khan to navigate the roiling waters around him. They cling to the more than 150 year-old view of disrupting central Asia, what Halford Makinder called “The Heartland,” as the key to maintaining supremacy over China and Russia.

Preventing rapprochement between India and Pakistan was the point behind the terrorist attack back in February which nearly set the two countries to war, as Khan made a strong first impression at ending the forever war between the two countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a committed neoliberal if there ever was one, took full advantage of the attack to ensure his re-election in May.

And since then he has gone out of his way to virtue signal how upset he is with Khan over not getting control over ‘terrorism’ in Pakistan. No invitation to his inauguration, snubbing him at the recent SCO conference. Modi knows full well the challenges Khan is facing and his behavior has been nothing short of abominable these past few months.

But he also knows that the Afghanistan peace process is proceeding without India’s input. And both sides of the conflict have been elevating Pakistan to get what they want. While India has fumed and stamped its feet over both BRI and Afghan talks the world has moved on without it.

Trump is moving forward with some form of end to the Afghan war. He needs this for political purposes. It won’t be a full withdrawal, not with the people surrounding him in place.

India is wedded to the Ghani government, barely hanging on in Kabul by the grace of US support, and keeps making investments outside of BRI, namely the port at Chabahar in Iran, and railways to Afghanistan, to spite the Chinese, who they are still angry with over the Tibetan border.

And India’s pride has ultimately isolated them because they are not central to solving Afghanistan like Pakistan is.

Talks with the moderate Taliban leaders began in December 2016 when China, Russia and Iran elevated Pakistan to lead the talks, knowing full well that for any lasting peace between the two countries, Pakistan would have to be a primary negotiator. This has kept India on the sidelines, hoping the US would support them in talks.

But it hasn’t worked out that way at all under Trump. If anything Trump has been dismissive of India, relegating their concerns to the back burner. Russia, China, the US and Pakistan have all agreed, in principle, to a path forward towards de-escalating the situation in Afghanistan.

This is why it was important for Khan to come to Washington D.C. now while Trump is mad at Modi for buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems and giving Khan a stage.

And, to Khan’s credit, he did just that.

Going on Fox News and making the public offer to give up Pakistan’s nuclear weapons if India would was a masterstroke of diplomacy. Will anything come of it? Not directly. India isn’t giving up its nukes because Imran Khan asked nicely.

Will the war hawks in Washington decry Trump for meeting with Khan and talking peace? Yes.

In fact, to over-shadow Khan’s offer the media, both US and Russian sadly, has focused on Trump’s tweets about ending the war in Afghanistan (10 million dead) and India denying there was an offer to mediate on Kashmir.

Lost in all of that was Khan, again playing it very smart, saying he made the offer to Trump back in February to mediate a settlement on Kashmir.

“Nuclear war is not an option between Pakistan and India. The idea of nuclear war is actually self-destruction,” he replied.

Speaking on the recent tensions between the two South Asian neighbors in February, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had asked President Trump to play his role and mediate between the two countries.

The US is the most powerful country in the world, the only country which could mediate between Pakistan and India and resolve the only issue which is Kashmir. The only reason for 70 years we have not been able to live like civilized neighbours is Kashmir,” Prime Minister Imran Khan told Fox News.

“I really feel that India should come on the table, US could play a big part, and President Trump can certainly play a big part. We are talking about 1.3 billion people on this earth. Imagine the dividends of peace if somehow that issue could be resolved,” he added.

And the answer from Modi was to deny there was ever an offer of such mediation and Trump had to back down as the State Department went into spin control mode. Modi, of course, has to say that, even though it’s clear that the subject has come up.

But Khan has been consistent in his working towards peace in the region since his election.

It’s all ridiculous and sad, as it is becoming clearer by the day that the forces of the status quo and war are working over-time to erect phantom barriers to peace through perceived slights and political chicanery.

Modi is still playing up the terrorism angle and hard-liners in India prevent him from moving forward with any real diplomacy outside of the SCO, of which both India and Pakistan are full members. No one in the West is happy about this arrangement and it’s clear to me the terror attacks in February were meant to split either Pakistan or India from the SCO and set things aright in The Heartland.

So if Modi continues to act like an inconsolably aggrieved party that may be your signal that we’re no closer to regional peace than we’ve been. But it hasn’t been for a lack of trying by all the major players.

In the end, it all comes down to Trump and his parallel position within the US government to Khan’s in Pakistan’s. Does he have the clout and the will to achieve his goals of ending the war in Afghanistan while effecting a tactical retreat from the Heartland?

I don’t know, but it’s beginning to look like that is his plan. So much has changed since the G-20 and the meetings in Doha and Beijing since then concerning Afghanistan, that it is possible to entertain this hope.

Trump has little control over the forces unleashed in his maximum pressure campaign on Iran. His presidency represents a threat to a very old policy that transcends governments and political systems.

Like with North Korea he is doing what he can to signal to his ‘partners,’ as Russian President Vladimir Putin would put it, that he won’t make things worse in Pakistan and Afghanistan while they work out the details and through his inaction force players like Modi to accede to reality.

Trump needs a way to save face after doubling down in Afghanistan at the behest of the war hawks in 2017. Khan can give him that, publicly. It may be Russia, China and Iran doing the heavy lifting but it’s Khan and Pakistan that can be the politically palatable face on it.

Western Intellectuals Freak Over ‘Frankenstein’ China

Par Andrey Areshev

… while academics in Beijing plot decoupling business with the US and teaming up with EU and ASEAN

Pepe ESCOBAR

Western economists and intellectuals obsessed with demonization of China are never shy of shortcuts glaringly exposing their ignorance.

The latest outburst posits that “we” – as in Western intellectuals – “are the modern version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” who electro-shocked a dead body (China) into a resurrected “murderous monster.”

So, welcome to the Sino-Frankenstein school of international relations. What next? A black and white remake with Xi Jinping playing the monster? Anyway, “we” – as in mankind’s best hope – should “avoid carrying on in the role of Frankenstein.”

The author is an economics professor emeritus at Harvard. He cannot even identify who’s to blame for Frankenstein – the West or the Chinese. That says much about Harvard’s academic standards.

Now, compare this with what was being discussed at a trade war symposium at Renmin University in Beijing this past Saturday.

Chinese intellectuals were trying to frame the current geopolitical dislocation provoked by the Trump administration’s trade war – without naming it for what it is: a Frankenstein gambit.

Li Xiangyang, director of the National Institute of International Strategy, a think tank linked to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stressed that an “economic decoupling” of the US from China is “completely possible,” considering that “the ultimate [US] target is to contain China’s rise … This is a life-or-death game” for the United States.

Decoupling

Assuming the decoupling would take place, that could be easily perceived as “strategic blackmail” imposed by the Trump administration. Yet what the Trump administration wants is not exactly what the US establishment wants – as shown by an open letter to Trump signed by scores of academics, foreign policy experts and business leaders who are worried that “decoupling” China from the global economy – as if Washington could actually pull off such an impossibility – would generate massive blowback.

What may actually happen in terms of a US-China “decoupling” is what Beijing is already, actively working on: extending trade partnerships with the EU and across the Global South.

And that will lead, according to Li, to the Chinese leadership offering deeper and wider market access to its partners. This will soon be the case with the EU, as discussed in Brussels in the spring.

Sun Jie, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that deepening partnerships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will be essential in case a decoupling is in the cards.

For his part Liu Qing, an economics professor at Renmin University, stressed the need for top international relations management, dealing with everyone from Europe to the Global South, to prevent their companies from replacing Chinese companies in selected global supply chains.

And Wang Xiaosong, an economics professor at Renmin University, emphasized that a concerted Chinese strategic approach in dealing with Washington is absolutely paramount.

All about Belt and Road

A few optimists among Western intellectuals would rather characterize what is going on as a vibrant debate between proponents of “restraint” and “offshore balancing” and proponents of “liberal hegemony”. In fact, it’s actually a firefight.

Among the Western intellectuals singled out by the puzzled Frankenstein guy, it is virtually impossible to find another voice of reason to match Martin Jacques, now a senior fellow at Cambridge University. When China Rules the World, his hefty tome published 10 years ago, still leaps out of an editorial wasteland of almost uniformly dull publications by so-called Western “experts” on China.

Jacques has understood that now it’s all about the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative: “BRI has the potential to offer another kind of world, another set of values, another set of imperatives, another way of organizing, another set of institutions, another set of relationships.”

Belt and Road, adds Jacques, “offers an alternative to the existing international order. The present international order was designed by and still essentially privileges the rich world, which represents only 15% of the world’s population. BRI, on the other hand, is addressing at least two-thirds of the world’s population. This is extraordinarily important for this moment in history.”

In fact, we are already entering a Belt and Road 2.0 scenario – defined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi as a “high-quality” shift from “big freehand” to “fine brushwork.”

At the Belt and Road Forum this past spring in Beijing, 131 nations were represented, engaged in linked projects. Belt and Road is partnering with 29 international organizations from the World Bank to APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Apart from the fact that Belt and Road is now configured as a vast, unique, Eurasia-wide infrastructure and trade development project extending all the way to Africa and Latin America, Beijing is now emphasizing that it’s also a portmanteau brand encompassing bilateral trade relations, South-South cooperation and UN-endorsed sustainable development goals.

China’s trade with Belt and Road-linked nations reached $617.5 billion in the first half of 2019 – up 9.7% year-on-year and outpacing the growth rate of China’s total trade.

Chinese scholar Wang Jisi was right from the start when he singled out Belt and Road as a “strategic necessity” to counter Barack Obama’s now-defunct “pivot to Asia”.

So now it’s time for Western intellectuals to engage on a freak-out: as it stands, Belt and Road is the new Frankenstein.

asiatimes.com

Debunking the Indo-Pacific Myth

Par Andrey Areshev

The Trump administration is obsessively spinning the concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”. Apart from a small coterie of scholars, very few people around the world, especially across the Global South, know what that means since the then incipient strategy was first unveiled at the 2017 APEC forum in Vietnam.

Now everything one needs to know – and especially not know – about the Indo-Pacific is contained in a detailed Pentagon report.

Still: is this an act, or the real deal? After all, the strategy was unveiled by “acting” Pentagon head Patrick Shanahan (the Boeing guy), who latter committed hara-kiri, just to be replaced by another, revolving door, “acting” secretary, Mark Espel (the Raytheon guy).

Shanahan made a big deal of Indo-Pacific when he hit the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last month, picking up on his introduction to the Pentagon report to stress the “geopolitical rivalry between free and repressive world order visions” and demonizing China for seeking to “reorder the region to its advantage”.

In contrast, all the benign Pentagon yearns for is just “freedom” and “openness” for a “networked region”; calling it the New Pentagon Silk Road wouldn’t be far fetched.

Anyone remotely familiar with “Indo-Pacific” knows that’s code for demonization of China; actually, the Trump administration’s version of Obama’s “pivot to Asia”, which was in itself a State Dept. concoction, via Kurt Campbell, fully appropriated by then Secretary Hillary Clinton.

“Indo-Pacific” congregates the Quad – US, Japan, India and Australia – in a “free” and “open” God-given mission. Yet this conception of freedom and openness blocks the possibility of China turning the mechanism into a Quintet.

Add to it what hawkish actor Esper told the Senate Armed Services Committee way back in 2017:

“My first priority will be readiness – ensuring the total Army is prepared to fight across the full spectrum of conflict. With the Army engaged in over 140 countries around the world, to include combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, training rotations to Europe to deter Russia, and forward deployed units in the Pacific defending against a bellicose North Korea, readiness must be our top priority.”

That was 2017. Esper didn’t even talk about China – which at the time was not the demonized “existential threat” of today. The Pentagon continues to be all about Full Spectrum Dominance.

Beijing harbors no illusions about the new Indo-Pacific chief they will be dealing with.

Surfing FONOP

“Indo-Pacific” is a hard nut to sell to ASEAN. As much as selected members may allow themselves to profit from some “protection” by the US military, Southeast Asia as a whole maintains top trade relations with China; most nations are participants of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and they will not shrink from enjoying the benefits of Huawei’s 5G future.

Actually even the other three in the Quad, as much as they are not linked to BRI, are having second thoughts on playing supportive roles in an all-American super production. They are very careful about their geoeconomic relations with China. “Indo-Pacific”, a club of four, is a de facto late response to BRI – which is indeed open, to over 65 nations so far.

The Pentagon’s favorite mantra concerns the enforcement of “freedom of navigation operations” (FONOP) – as if China, juggling the countless tentacles of global supply chains, would have any interest in provoking naval insecurity anywhere.

So far, “Indo-Pacific” has made sure that the US Pacific Command was renamed US Indo-Pacific Command. And that’s about it. Everything remains the same in terms of those FONOPs – in fact a carefully deceptive euphemism for the US Navy to be on 24/7 patrol anywhere across Asian seas, from the Indian to the Pacific, and especially the South China Sea. No ASEAN nation though will be caught dead performing FONOPS in South China Sea waters within 12 nautical miles of rocks and reefs claimed by Beijing.

The rampant demonization of China, now a bipartisan sport across the Beltway, on occasion even more hysterical than the demonization of Russia, also features proverbial reports by the Council on Foreign Relations – the establishment’s think tank by definition – on China as a serial aggressor, politically, economically and militarily, and BRI as a geoeconomic tool to coerce China’s neighbors.

So it’s no wonder this state of affairs has led Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a recent, frenetic Indo-Pacific related tour, including Quad members India and Japan and possible associates Saudi Arabia, UAE and South Korea.

Geopoliticians of the realist school do fear that Pompeo, a fanatic Christian Zionist, may be enjoying under Trump a virtual monopoly on US foreign policy; a former CIA director playing warmongering top “diplomat” while also “acting” as Pentagon head trampling other second string actors who are not under full employment.

His Indo-Pacific roving was a de facto tour de force emphasizing the containment/demonization not only of China but also Iran, which should be seen as the major US target in the Indo/Southwest Asia part of the club. Iran is not only about strategic positioning and being a major BRI hub; it’s about immense reserves of natural gas to be traded bypassing the US dollar.

The fact that the non-stop demonization of Iran and/or China “aggression” comes from a hyperpower with over 800 military bases or lily pads spread out across every latitude plus a FONOP armada patrolling the seven seas is enough to send the hardest cynic into a paroxysm of laughter.

The high-speed train has left the station

In the end, everything under “Indo-Pacific” goes back to what game India is playing.

New Delhi meekly opted for not buying oil from Iran after the Trump administration lifted its sanctions waiver. New Delhi had promised earlier, on the record, to only respect UN Security Council sanctions, not unilateral – and illegal – US sanctions.

This decision is set to jeopardize India’s dream of extending its new mini-Silk Road to Afghanistan and Central Asia based on the Iranian port of Chabahar. That was certainly part of the discussions during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, when full members Putin, Xi and Modi, plus Rouhani – as the head of an observer nation – were sitting at the same table.

New Delhi’s priority – embedded deep in the Indian establishment – may be containment of China. Yet Putin and Xi – fellow BRICS and SCO members – are very much aware that Modi cannot at the same time antagonize China and lose Iran as partner, and are deftly working on it.

On the Eurasian chessboard, the Pentagon and the Trump administration, together, only think Divide and Rule. India must become a naval power capable of containing China in the Indian Ocean while Japan must contain China economically and militarily all across East Asia.

Japan and India do meet – again – when it comes to another more geoeconomically specific anti-BRI scheme; the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), which so far has had a minimal impact and stands no chance of luring dozens of nations across the Global South away from BRI-related projects.

The chessboard now clearly shows Indo-Pacific pitted against the three key hubs of Eurasia integration – Russia-China-Iran. The definitive unraveling of Indo-Pacific – even before it starts gaining ground – would be a clear commitment by New Delhi to break apart the US sanctions regime by restarting purchases of much-needed Iran oil and gas.

It won’t take much for Modi to figure out that taking a second role in a Made in USA production will leave him stranded at the station eating dust just as the high-speed Eurasia integration train passes him by.

Technocrats and Neocons Respond to the Polar Silk Road

Par Andrey Areshev

“Fate leads the willing and drags the unwilling”

– Seneca

Over the past months, an unexpected world of economic activity has opened up across Russia’s Arctic frontier with the unveiling of the Polar Silk Road. While many western business and political interests have seen this incredible opening up of the last unexplored frontier on the earth as a chance for dialogue and peace, too many neo conservative warmongers and neo-liberal technocrats have chosen instead to view this development as a threat to be destroyed at all costs.

American Neocons Respond

Representing the regressive neocon viewpoint, Mike Pompeo described his geopolitical view of the Arctic seaway as “the 21st century Panama and Suez Canals” – then hypocritically attacked China as a threat to America saying: “China’s pattern of aggressive behavior elsewhere should inform what we do, and how it might treat the Arctic… Do we want crucial Arctic infrastructure to end up like Chinese-constructed roads in Ethiopia? Crumbling and dangerous after only a few years. Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea? Fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims.”

Before the end of June, American lawmakers will vote on a bill to increase military capabilities in the long-neglected arctic under National Defense Authorization Act 2020 which proposes to upgrade America’s dismal ice breaker fleet from its current roster of one (compared to Russia’s 40) and develop one or more military ports in Alaska. The NDAA 2020 both recognizes the Russia-China economic leadership in the zone and calls for creating infrastructure needed to tap into the “abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources” which would make America a competitor.

The Case of Canada

While the militarist/monetarist neocons on the “right” push confrontation and war, militarily impotent Canadian technocrats under the control of the Privy Council Office (currently managed by Rhodes Scholar Chrystia Freeland) have taken a slightly different anti-Polar Silk Road policy. This policy is essentially a religious commitment to doing nothing and demand that others join in this absence of all activity.

In the wake of the successful St Petersburg Arctic Forum on April 9-10, a non-partisan parliamentary Canadian study group published an incredibly positive white paper calling for Canada to respond to the polar silk road by reforming the entire 70 year Arctic doctrine from its Cold War mindset to becoming a zone of mass infrastructure development and growth in harmony with the Eurasian philosophy. The governing elite of the Anglo-Canadian establishment took one whole month to assess this remarkably sane proposal before deciding to go in the opposite direction.

In May 23, the chosen course of action began to take form with the submission of a 1200 page report to the United Nations claiming that the North Pole is the sole property of Canada. The Canadian “scientific” study supposedly found that since the continental shelf connected to Ellesmere Island extends to the North Pole’s Lomonosov Ridge (disputed with Russia since 2007), Canada’s property in the Arctic can be grown to 1.2 million squared kilometers. This zone, which extends far beyond the 200 mile “exclusive economic zone” has been a point of conflict for years and was used to provoke a diplomatic crisis in 2007 when a Russian scientific submarine planted a Russian flag on the sea bed, and again in 2014 when then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, humored Canada’s joining NATO’s ABM shield in the Arctic stated that Santa Claus is Canadian.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland gleefully said of this Arctic claim: “Canada is committed to furthering its leadership in the Arctic. Defining our continental shelf is vital to ensuring our sovereignty and to serving the interests of all people, including indigenous peoples in the Arctic. Today’s submission is a major step toward securing legal and international recognition of the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.”

Technocrats Dig their Heals into the Permafrost: Demand Stasis for All

The next phase of Canada’s anti-Polar Silk Road policy has now been unveiled in the form of Bills C-48, C-69, C-88 and a fourth Bill passed on June 17 declaring that Canada is officially in a “Climate Emergency”.

All three major omnibus bills passed just days of each other might cause one to think of a toddler having a temper tantrum in a super market, screaming while letting their bodies go limp and forcing their annoyed parents to drag them out of the store.

Under the hysteria fomented by Canada’s new “climate emergency”, Bill C-48 legally enforces a moratorium on all oil tankers in Northern British Columbia banning their existence from Vancouver Island all the way to Alaska.

Bill C-88 amends the Canada Petroleum Resources Act banning all offshore Arctic drilling thus taking a policy begun by Trudeau and Obama in December 2016 when the duo declared the Arctic “off limits” to all development, and now establishing it in the form of law for the first time. Once given “Royal Assent” (all laws must be approved by the Monarchy), all existing licenses will be frozen and financial compensation will be given to all companies who have purchased exploratory licenses in Canadian waters.

Bill C-49 overhauls the already over-bloated environmental review process for all energy infrastructure making it even more impossible than it previously was to start any new infrastructure across the vast Arctic.

These three bills combined threaten to devastate the Canadian economy which heavily relies on resource development (especially since its manufacturing sector has been so viciously hollowed out over the course of 25 years of NAFTA outsourcing). Already, Alberta which is a hub of the Canadian Yellow vest movement, is on fire with thousands protesting the shutdown of employment and economic potential under the ideologically driven craze to “stop global warming” (which has a lot more to do with stopping Russia and China than many would care to admit). The beleaguered Trudeau/Freeland government which faces collapse in the upcoming October elections has now found itself in a paradoxical situation of 1) needing to resist the growth policy driven by the Russia-China alliance on the one side while 2) needing to appease the flames of mass revolt within the country on the other side.

For this reason, Trudeau also approved the Trans Mountain pipeline project which has been on the rocks for several years. The project will increase oil and natural gas output from Alberta to 890 000 barrels/day by connecting a pipeline from Edmonton Alberta to Burnaby, BC.

The Trudeau/Freeland green regime have justified this paradoxical decision by claiming that all profits from the pipeline will now be used to fund Canada’s transition to a zero-growth green energy infrastructure grid which will ironically prohibit all such major projects from ever being built again. If it sounds absurd, that is because all empires committed to a policy of Malthusian depopulation must somehow balance an agenda of killing human cattle on the one side while keeping those cattle happy enough to vote into power those political operatives assigned to cull the herd.

China and Russia Understand Real Economics

In opposition to monetarists and Malthusians dominant across the Anglo-sphere, the leadership of Russia and China have demonstrated a clear understanding of the core principles of real economics and the moral/intellectual/financial bankruptcy of the derivatives-laden western banking system. Describing the collapse of the “each against all paradigm”, President Putin said on June 6th that the world was suffering under a “fragmentation of the global economic space by a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown. But this is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.”

He went on to describe the need for “a more stable and fair development model. These agreements should not only be written clearly but should also be observed by all participants. However, I am convinced that talk about an economic world order like this will remain wishful thinking unless we return to the centre of the discussion, that is, notions like sovereignty, the unconditional right of every country to its own development road and, let me add, responsibility for universal sustainable development, not just for one’s own development.”

This positive approach is at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative, and its Arctic extensions which are founded upon the respect of each participating nation, as well as the group of nations working on projects which satisfy common aims and interests of all people. Under this system, which uplifts the conditions of life of every individual as well as the productive powers of labour of each nation, private interests, and public good do not find themselves in contradiction since everyone aspires to make life better for their children.

Great projects rooted in scientific and technological progress satisfy that need brilliantly. Both China and Russia know that if the world is to embark upon great infrastructure projects as the foundation for the new order of constant progress and “win-win cooperation” then the Arctic’s vast resources will be vital in that recipe for success. If the west is intelligent then it will reject the zero-growth agenda which has designated Canada’s Arctic as untouchable as fast as they reject the zero-sum neocon agenda of militarism and unilateralism.

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