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    New Multipolar World


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    Post  Kiko Fri Jul 21, 2023 7:50 pm

    Pepe Escobar: Neocons Want War With China, 07.21.2023.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The World Through Washington’s Eyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So much for Kissingerian “diplomacy.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Destroying the “Rules-Based International Order”

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

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

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

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

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

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    Post  Kiko Sat Jul 29, 2023 2:38 pm

    Pepe Escobar: Geopolitical Chessboard Shifts Against US Empire, 07.29.2023.

    The geopolitical chessboard is in perpetual shift – and never more than in our current incandescent juncture.

    A fascinating consensus in discussions among Chinese scholars – including those part of the Asian and American diasporas – is that not only Germany/EU lost Russia, perhaps irretrievably, but China gained Russia, with an economy highly complementary to China's own and with solid ties with the Global South/Global Majority that can benefit and aid Beijing.

    Meanwhile, a smatter of Atlanticist foreign policy analysts are now busy trying to change the narrative on NATO vs. Russia, applying the rudiments of realpolitik.

    The new spin is that it’s “strategic insanity” for Washington to expect to defeat Moscow, and that NATO is experiencing “donor fatigue” as the sweatshirt warmonger in Kiev “loses credibility”.

    Translation: it’s NATO as a whole that is completely losing credibility, as its humiliation in the Ukraine battlefield is now painfully graphic for all the Global Majority to see.

    Additionally, “donor fatigue” means losing a major war, badly. As military analyst Andrei Martyanov has relentlessly stressed, “NATO ‘planning’ is a joke. And they are envious, painfully envious and jealous.”

    A credible path ahead is that Moscow will not negotiate with NATO – a mere Pentagon add-on – but offer individual European nations a security pact with Russia that would make their need to belong to NATO redundant. That would assure security for any participating nation and relieve pressure on it from Washington.

    Bets could be made that the most relevant European powers might accept it, but certainly not Poland – the hyena of Europe – and the Baltic chihuahuas.

    In parallel, China could offer peace treaties to Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, and subsequently a significant part of the US Empire of Bases might vanish.

    The problem, once again, is that vassal states don’t have the authority or power to comply with any agreement ensuring peace. German businessmen, off the record, are sure that sooner or later Berlin may defy Washington and do business with the Russia-China strategic partnership because it benefits Germany.

    Yet the golden rule still has not been met: if a vassal state wants to be treated as a sovereign state, the first thing to do is to shut down key branches of the Empire of Bases and expel US troops.

    Iraq is trying to do it for years now, with no success. One third of Syria remains US-occupied – even as the US lost its proxy war against Damascus due to Russian intervention.

    The Ukraine Project as an existential conflict
    Russia has been forced to fight against a neighbor and kin that it simply can’t afford to lose; and as a nuclear and hypersonic power, it won’t.

    Even if Moscow will be somewhat strategically weakened, whatever the outcome, it’s the US – in the view of Chinese scholars – that may have committed its greatest strategic blunder since the establishment of the Empire: turning the Ukraine Project into an existential conflict, and committing the entire Empire and all its vassals to a Total War against Russia.

    That’s why we have no peace negotiations, and the refusal even of a cease fire; the only possible outcome devised by the Straussian neocon psychos who run US foreign policy is unconditional Russian surrender.

    In the recent past, Washington could afford to lose its wars of choice against Vietnam and Afghanistan. But it simply can’t afford to lose the war on Russia. When that happens, and it’s already on the horizon, the Revolt of the Vassals will be far reaching.

    It’s quite clear that from now on China and BRICS+ - with expansion starting at the summit in South Africa next month – will turbo-charge the undermining of the US dollar. With or without India.

    There will be no imminent BRICS currency – as noted by some excellent points in this discussion.  The scope is huge, sherpas are only in the initial debating stages, and the broad outlines have not been defined yet.

    The BRICS+ approach will evolve from improved cross border settlement mechanisms – something everyone from Putin to Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina have stressed – to eventually a new currency way further down the road.

    This would probably be a trade instrument rather than a sovereign currency like the euro. It will be designed to compete against the US dollar in trade, initially among BRICS+ nations, and capable of circumventing the hegemonic US dollar ecosystem.

    The key question is how long the Empire’s fake economy – clinically deconstructed by Michael Hudson - can hold out in this wide spectrum geoeconomic war.

    Everything is a 'national security threat'

    On the electronic technology front, the Empire has gone no holds barred to impose global economic dependency, monopolizing intellectual property rights and as Michael Hudson notes, “extracting economic rent from charging high prices for high-technology computer chips, communications, and arms production.”

    In practice, not much is happening other than the prohibition for Taiwan to supply valuable chips to China, and asking TSMC to build, as soon as possible, a chip manufacturing complex in Arizona.

    However, TSMC chairman Mark Liu has remarked that the plant faced a shortage of workers with the “specialized expertise required for equipment installation in a semiconductor-grade facility.” So the much lauded TSMC chip plant in Arizona won’t start production before 2025.

    The top Empire/vassal NATO demand is that Germany and the EU must impose a Trade Iron Curtain against the Russia-China strategic partnership and their allies, thus ensuring “de-risk” trade.

    Predictably, US Think Tankland has gone bonkers, with American Enterprise Institute hacks rabidly stating that even economic de-risking is not enough: what the US needs is a hard break with China.

    In fact that dovetails with Washington smashing international free trade rules and international law, and treating any form of trade and SWIFT and financial exchanges as “national security threats” to US economic and military control.

    So the pattern ahead is not China imposing trade sanctions on the EU – which remains a top trade partner for Beijing; it’s Washington imposing a tsunami of sanctions on nations daring to break the US-led trade boycott.

    Russia-DPRK meets Russia-Africa

    Only this week, the chessboard went through two game-changing moves: the high-profile visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the DPRK, and the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg.

    Shoigu was received in Pyongyang as a rock star. He had a personal meeting with Kim Jong-Un. The mutual goodwill leads to the strong possibility of North Korea eventually joining one of the multilateral organizations carving the path towards multipolarity.

    That would be, arguably, an extended Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). It could start with an EAEU-DPRK free trade agreement, such as the ones struck with Vietnam and Cuba.

    Russia is the top power in the EAEU and it can ignore sanctions on the DPRK, while BRICS+, SCO or ASEAN have too many second thoughts. A key priority for Moscow is the development of the Far East, more integration with both Koreas, and the Northern Sea Route, or Arctic Silk Road. The DPRK is then a natural partner.

    Getting the DPRK into the EAEU will do wonders for BRI investment: a sort of cover which Beijing does not enjoy for the moment when it invests in the DPRK. That could become a classic case of deeper BRI-EAEU integration.

    Russian diplomacy at the highest levels is going all out to relieve the pressure over the DPRK. Strategically, that’s a real game-changer; imagine the huge and quite sophisticated North Korean industrial-military complex added to the Russia-China strategic partnership and turning the whole Asia-Pacific paradigm upside down.

    The Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, in itself, was another game-changer that left collective West mainstream media apoplectic. That was nothing less than Russia publicly announcing, in words and deeds, a comprehensive strategic partnership with the whole of Africa even as a hostile collective West wages Hybrid War – and otherwise – against Afro-Eurasia.

    Putin showed how Russia holds a 20% share of the global wheat market. In the first 6 months of 2023, it had already exported 10 million tons of grain to Africa. Now Russia will be providing Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Somalia and Eritrea with 25-50 thousand tons of grain each in the next 3-4 months, for free.

    Putin detailed everything from approximately 30 energy projects across Africa to the expansion of oil and gas exports and “unique non-energy applications of nuclear technology, including in medicine”; the launching of a Russian industrial zone near the Suez Canal with products to be exported throughout Africa; and the development of Africa’s financial infrastructure, including connection to the Russian payment system.

    Crucially, he also extolled closer ties between the EAEU and Africa. A forum panel, “EAEU-Africa: Horizons of Cooperation”, examined the possibilities, which include closer continental connection with both the BRICS and Asia. A torrent of free trade agreements may be in the pipeline.

    The scope of the forum was quite impressive. There were “de-neocolonialization” panels, such as “Achieving Technological Sovereignty Through Industrial Cooperation” or “New World Order: from the Legacy of Colonialism to Sovereignty and Development.”

    And of course the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) was also discussed, with major players Russia, Iran and India set to promote its crucial extension to Africa, escaping NATO littorals.

    Separate from the frantic action in St. Petersburg, Niger went through a military coup. Although the end-result remains to be seen, Niger is likely to join neighboring Mali in reasserting its foreign policy independence from Paris. French influence is also being at least “reset” in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Burkina Faso. Translation: France and the West are being evicted all across the Sahel, one-step at a time, in an irreversible process of decolonization.

    Beware the Pale Horses of Destruction

    These movements across the chessboard, from the DPRK to Africa and the chip war against China, are as crucial as the coming, shattering humiliation of NATO in Ukraine. Yet not only the Russia-China strategic partnership but also key players across the Global South/Global Majority are fully aware that Washington views Russia as a tactical enemy in preparation for the overriding Total War against China.

    As it stands, the still unresolved tragedy in Donbass as it keeps the Empire busy, and away from Asia-Pacific. Yet Washington under the Straussian neocon psychos is increasingly mired in Desperation Row, making it even more dangerous.

    All that while the BRICS+ “jungle” turbo-charges the necessary mechanisms capable of sidelining the unipolar Western “garden”, as a helpless Europe is being driven to an abyss, forced to split itself from China, BRICS+ and the de facto Global Majority.

    It doesn’t take a seasoned weatherman to see which way the steppe wind blows – as the Pale Horses of Destruction plot the trampling of the chessboard, and the wind begins to howl.

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    Post  kvs Sat Oct 07, 2023 3:25 am

    This subject belongs in this thread.

    Putin's Valdai speech affirmed the trend to "civilizational centers" forming the poles of the multi-polar new order. He highlighted how the
    western pole has been using colonialism to pillage the other poles and these days are drawing to a close. The exceptionalism claimed
    by the west about being the only model for humanity is total BS.

    I think this explains the woke spasm in the west orchestrated by the power elites. They are using wokeness to trigger an anti-woke
    backlash and give the western population a hard core fascist make over. This includes total hate for the concept of multi-polarity since
    it sounds a lot like the woke wailing about oppressive whitey and exploitation of the non-whites applied to current situations in the
    west where it simply does not apply. Whitey does not own colonialism. The mixed elites do.

    The woke spasm is clearly staged since it came out of nowhere in the last 15 years when it became increasingly evident to those with
    a clue that the west was losing its dominant position. The current war on Russia and soon China shows that the western elites are
    going to go down fighting.

    I do not think that polarizing the western proles will save the west's dominant position. It is likely to prevent sane political evolution in the
    west if people are triggered into rejecting multi-polarity. But there was never enough freedom for such sanity to take hold since the west is
    a elite run theater. Imposing fascism is just elite insecurity.

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    Post  GarryB Sat Oct 07, 2023 4:05 am

    The current war on Russia and soon China shows that the western elites are
    going to go down fighting.

    On a positive note the cuts to aid and the internal dissent suggest support for the war in Europe is waning despite every effort by the US and UK and France and Germany to double down and commit more resources to the losing side. (western morality or nazism)

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    Post  kvs Sat Oct 07, 2023 2:23 pm

    We'll see if the western public can exert real influence on its fate. It does not look like the western elites are giving up their fight.
    They are really advancing the lunatic plan to have a war with China using Taiwan like another Ukraine.

    The western elites appear to want to use proxy conflicts in place of total war to achieve the same goal: to bring Russia and China
    to heel and terrorize the rest of the planet into submission. I do not see this being a successful strategy. They are losing badly
    with their Ukria operation and I just don't see why they will succeed with Taiwan. I suppose China is more exposed to economic
    damage since it has large trade with the west. If a Taiwan war severs this trade, then that is not good for China. But it is
    not enough to bring it down. China's economy has been driven by domestic demand for last 20 years at least. It is not a
    banana republic dependent on the western market. Just like Russia isn't one either. But the western elites love their caricature
    images such as "gas station posing as a country". This just shows that they are lunatic morons.

    So the big risk is that the west will spasm into a nuclear attack when its attempt at proxy war fails. If they were rational, then
    they would be adapting to live in a multi-polar world instead of trying to preserve colonial supremacy. The notion that Russia
    will not fight back with nukes is pervasive in much of the noise that comes out of think tanks and western politicians. We
    have covered this topic before.

    EU residents may not like the Ukria war but they still froth at the mouth with hate for Russia. For now they don't have the
    same hate for China.

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    Post  Kiko Thu Jan 25, 2024 3:50 pm

    Pepe Escobar: Five Variables Defining Our Future, 01.25.2024.

    In the late 1930s, with WWII in motion, and only months before his assassination, Leon Trotsky already had a vision of what the future Empire of Chaos would be up to.

    “For Germany it was a question of ‘organising Europe’. The United States must ‘organize’ the world. History is bringing mankind face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism…Under one or another pretext and slogan the United States will intervene in the tremendous clash in order to maintain its world dominion.”

    We all know what happened next. Now we are under a new volcano that even Trotsky could not have identified: a declining United States faced with the Russia-China “threat”. And once again the entire planet is affected by major moves in the geopolitical chessboard.

    The Straussian neocons in charge of US foreign policy could never accept Russia-China leading the way towards a multipolar world. For now we have NATO’s perpetual expansionism as their strategy to debilitate Russia, and Taiwan as their strategy to debilitate China.

    Yet in these past two years, the vicious proxy war in Ukraine only accelerated the transition towards a multipolar, Eurasia-driven world order.

    With the indispensable help of Prof. Michael Hudson, let’s briefly recap the 5 key variables that are conditioning the current transition.

    Losers Don’t Dictate Terms

    1. The stalemate
    : That’s the new, obsessive US narrative on Ukraine – on steroids. Confronted with the upcoming, cosmic NATO humiliation in the battlefield, the White House and the State Dept. had to – literally - improvise.

    Moscow though is unfazed. The Kremlin has set the terms a long time ago: total surrender, and no Ukraine as part of NATO. To “negotiate”, from the Russia point of view, is to accept these terms.

    And if the deciding powers in Washington opt for turbo-charging the weaponization of Kiev, or to unleash “the most heinous provocations in order to change the course of events”, as asserted this week by the head of the SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, fine.

    The road ahead will be bloody. In case the usual suspects sideline popular Zaluzhny and install Budanov as the head of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the AFU will be under total control of the CIA - and not NATO generals, as it’s still the case.

    This might prevent a military coup against the sweaty sweatshirt puppet in Kiev. Yet things will get much uglier.

    Ukraine will go Total Guerrilla, with only two objectives: to attack Russian civilians and civilian infrastructure. Moscow, of course, is fully aware of the dangers.

    Meanwhile, chatterbox overdrive in several latitudes suggest that NATO may even be getting ready for a partition of Ukraine. Whatever form that might take, losers do not dictate conditions: Russia does.

    As for EU politicos, predictably, they are in total panic, believing that after mopping up Ukraine, Russia will become even more of a "threat" to Europe. Nonsense. Not only Moscow couldn’t give a damn to what Europe “thinks”; the last thing Russia wants or needs is to annex Baltic or Eastern European hysteria. Moreover, even Jens Stoltenberg admitted “NATO sees no threat from Russia toward any of its territories.”

    2. BRICS: Since the start of 2024, this is The Big Picture: the Russian presidency of BRICS+ - which translates as a particle accelerator towards multipolarity. The Russia-China strategic partnership will be increasing actual production, in several fields, while Europe plunges into depression, unleashed by the Perfect Storm of sanctions blowback against Russia and German de-industrialization. And it’s far from over, as Washington is also ordering Brussels to sanction China across the spectrum.

    As Prof. Michael Hudson frames it, we are right in the middle of “the whole split of the world and the turning towards China, Russia, Iran, BRICS”, united in “an attempt to reverse, undo, and roll back the whole colonial expansion that’s occurred over the last five centuries.”

    Or, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defined at the UN Security Council this process of BRICS leaving Western bullies behind, the changing world order is like “a playground scuffle – which the West is losing.”

    Bye Bye, Soft Power

    3. The Lone Emperor: The “stalemate” – actually losing a war - is directly linked to its compensation: the Empire squeezing and shrinking a vassalised Europe. But even as you exercise nearly total control over all these relatively wealthy vassals, you lose the Global South, for good: if not all their leaders, certainly the overwhelming majority of public opinion.

    The icing in the toxic cake is to support a genocide followed by the whole planet in real time. Bye bye, soft power.

    4. De-dollarisation: All across the Global South, they did the math: if the Empire and its EU vassals can just steal over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves – from a top nuclear/military power – they can do it to anyone, and they will.

    The key reason Saudi Arabia, now a BRICS 10 member, is being so meek on the genocide in Gaza is because their hefty US dollar reserves are hostage to the Hegemon.

    And yet the caravan moving away from the US dollar will only keep growing in 2024: that will depend on crucial crossover deliberations inside the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and BRICS 10.

    5. Garden and jungle: What Putin and Xi have essentially been telling the Global South – including the energy-rich Arab world - is quite simple. If you want improved trade and economic growth, who’re you gonna link to?

    So we’re back to the “garden and jungle” syndrome – first coined by imperial Britain orientalist Rudyard Kipling. Both the British concept of “white man’s burden” and the American concept of “Manifest Destiny” derive from the “garden and jungle” metaphor.

    NATOstan, and hardly all of it, is supposed to be the garden. The Global South is the jungle. Michael Hudson again: as it stands, the jungle is growing, but the garden isn’t growing “because its philosophy is not industrialization. Its philosophy is to make monopoly rents, meaning rents that you make in your sleep without producing value. You just have a privilege of a right to collect money on a monopoly technology that you have.”

    The difference now, compared to all those decades ago of an imperial free lunch, is “an immense shift of technological advance”, away from North America and the US, to China, Russia and selected nodes across Asia.

    Forever Wars. And No Plan B

    If we combine all these variants – stalemate; BRICS; the Lone Emperor; de-dollarisation; garden and jungle – in search of the most probable scenario ahead, it’s easy to see that the only “way out” for a cornered Empire is, what else, the default modus operandi: Forever Wars.

    And that brings us to the current American aircraft carrier in West Asia, totally out of control yet always supported by the Hegemon, aiming for a multi-front war against the whole Axis of Resistance: Palestine, Hezbollah, Syria, Iraqi militias, Ansarullah in Yemen, and Iran.

    In a sense we’re back to the immediate post-9/11, when what the neocons really wanted was not Afghanistan, but the invasion of Iraq: not only to control the oil (which in the end they didn’t) but, in Michael Hudson’s analysis, “to essentially create America’s foreign legion in the form of ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Now, “America has two armies that it’s using to fight in the Near East, the ISIS/al-Qaeda foreign legion (Arabic-speaking foreign legion) and the Israelis.”

    Hudson’s intuition of ISIS and Israel as parallel armies is priceless: they both fight the Axis of Resistance, and never (italics mine) fight each other. The Straussian neocon plan, as tawdry as it gets, essentially is a variant of the “fight to the last Ukrainian”: to “fight to the last Israeli” on the way to the Holy Grail, which is to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (copyright John McCain) and provoke regime change.

    As much as the “plan” did not work in Iraq or Ukraine, it won’t work against the Axis of Resistance.

    What Putin, Xi and Raisi have been explaining to the Global South, explicitly or in quite subtle ways, is that we are right in the crux of a civilisational war.

    Michael Hudson has done a lot to bring down such an epic struggle to practical terms. Are we heading towards what I described as techno-feudalism – which is the AI format of rent-seeking turbo-neoliberalism? Or are we heading to something similar to the origins of industrial capitalism?

    Michael Hudson characterizes an auspicious horizon as “raising living standards instead of imposing IMF financial austerity on the dollar block”: devising a system that Big Finance, Big Bank, Big Pharma and what Ray McGovern memorably coined as the MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) cannot control. Alea jacta est.

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