Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

The US has two realistic options: save itself or destroy the world in trying to do so

One Belt–One Road could save the US economy if it was embraced by Washington. The alternative is for the US to fight an increasing numbers of losing wars, all while failing to enrich itself economically and destroying the dream of world peace.

Published

on

5,037 Views

Yesterday’s marathon speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping was not only a blueprint for China’s future, but for the future of the 21st century. Not only will all roads lead to China by century’s end, but in many ways, the new and most vibrant roads in the world already do.

Xi Jinping’s 3.5 hour speech before the 19th CPC National Congress is actually a succinct introduction to China’s road-map for the future

Meanwhile, the US appears to be hellbent on maintaining its power through disrupting China’s progress on One Belt–One Road, the system of interconnecting highways and maritime routes that will literally link up new and existing commercial hubs, while symbolising the new modus operandi which underscores the modern Chinese model of exchange. This can be summarised as “share openly, but never impose”.

The US model of geo-political/geo-economic quid pro quo, as opposed to the more pragmatic cost benefit analysis business model of China, has clearly failed. Fewer countries are interested in US quid pro quos, because more and more countries realise that in order to gain even limited access to American money and American markets, one has to surrender one’s political independence and domestic freedoms.

Currently, Iraq is failing to succumb to Kurdish agitations while remaining spiritually, politically and military aligned with Iran. Iraq is also now allied with Syria, a country which perhaps best symbolises the place where America’s regime change foreign policy met its first battle ground failure. While regime change has been a disaster from Yugoslavia, to Iraq and Libya, it was only in Syria where the US proxy steamroller hit a roadblock prior to reaching the seat of power in Damascus.

In South Asia, America’s crowning failure of Afghanistan continues to haunt both military and political leaders in Washington. The US is likewise confused about its policies with Pakistan and India. While the US under Trump ha ratcheted up its anti-Islamabad rhetoric while attempting to turn India into a giant US proxy in the heart of Asia, mixed messages and lethargy from the Modi government have disrupted the would-be even flow of such a plot. Recently, the US stated that it no longer opposes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in a move that is as much of a surrender to reality as it is an attempt to re-patch rapidly declining relations with Pakistan.

In respect of South East Asia, while many focus primarily on Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s domestic policies, his foreign policy pivot to both China and Russia is becoming increasingly symptomatic of a region that is moving away from the US. While Philippines is the most prominent US ‘ally’ to pivot away from Washington, Indonesia is making moves in the same direction. All of this is happening while countries like Vietnam remain consistently pro-Russia, in spite of historical differences with Russia’s most important 21st century ally, China.

While Turkey remains in NATO, it is difficult to see how the US could ever resurrect the Ankara-Washington alliance. Apart from damage control, there is little the US can do to win trust from  Turkey. This is especially the case so long as President Erdogan is in power and the likelihood is that he will be in power in Ankara long after Donald Trump leaves the White House.

The US has also divided its European allies over Iran and even the Arab states of the Persian Gulf are engaging more thoroughly with Russia and China than ever before.

Venezuela has also united the Russian and Chinese superpowers in a strong show of support for a country in a continent that used to be the CIA and US military’s backyard playground.

While the crux of this piece is about China’s rise to global economic and trading dominance, there has also been a great deal of discussion about Russia. This if for the obvious reason that as a vast superpower, Russia is among the most important of partners in China’s One Belt–One Road, as well as one of the most openly enthusiastic.

By contrast, the United States, failing to built new partnerships and rapidly losing old ones, including South Korea whose economic dealings with Russia continue to increase, is getting desperate. Because of this, the US has resorted to threats against important positions along One Belt–One Road, ranging from the Iraq-Iran border, to the Afghan-Pakistan border, to the Korean peninsula, to the Russo-European borderlands.

US troops in Europe and the Middle East are there to provoke China more than Russia or Iran

In each of these cases though, the US is trying more to destroy than to create. In some places like Iran and North Korea, the US will almost certainly not even try to directly engage in a conflict. Instead, threats and proxy agitations serve as the go-to method through which to achieve destabilisation. In respect of the Russo-European borderlands, the US may have been able to install a wildly pro-NATO regime in Kiev, but this regime looks to be on shaky ground and in any case, the US hasn’t profited from its Ukrainian coup, it has merely made it harder for the Ukrainians to profit from any partnerships themselves.

Arab unity and Russian unity – the Donbass and Kurdistan case study

Through all of these processes, US living standards continue to decline. While the US has always had a rarely talked about poverty problem among both the mostly non-white urban poor and the mostly white rural poor, the large and generally well-off American middle class, helped US propagandists to obscure this reality. Now though, with many middle class Americans of all backgrounds, struggling with the same issues today as America’s forgotten poor have been struggling with for decades, the problems of housing, transport, a job which pays a sustainable income and even household expenses are becoming a worry for many Americans.

America’s military industrial complex is not only a money drain, as Dr. Ron Paul frequently points out, but it is also a brain drain. The popular myth of the ‘stupid American’ isn’t true per se. What is true however, is that outside of military-technology firms, America’s best and brightest are harder and harder to find. If the US used the money and brainpower it has in the military-industrial complex and applied this to civilian projects ranging from infrastructure rebuilding, to state-financed medical research, to developing affordable micro-technologies for civilian use, the US could in fact save itself both from financial poverty and from the poverty of a population increasingly divided by lack of practical opportunities to learn and use a skill in a civilian vocation.

This is where One Belt–One Road comes into things. While received wisdom is that the US has increasingly little to offer China except as a marketplace for goods, if the US were to shift from a military-industrial complex to a civilian-industrial complex, this would not be the case.

The reason that One Belt–One Road frightens both western protectionists and western globalists, is because it offers a model that is superior to both. Like globalism, One Belt–One Road offers opportunities for economic enrichment and the enhancement of living standards through global trade and economic connectivity. But like protectionism and unlike western free trade globalism, One Belt–One Road is focused on each nation playing to its strengths and allowing these domestic strengths (whether tapped or fully untapped) to then, expand globally. While globalism seeks to offshore entire economies, One Belt–One Road’s model allows strong domestic industries to create new markets for themselves while effectively and cheaply supplying these economies with much needed materials and expertise that cannot be produced domestically. It’s not a coincidence that “win-win” is one of Xi Jinping’s favourite phrases.

Because of this, all countries, including the US could benefit from integrating themselves into One Belt–One Road. In this sense, it helps to think of the declining US as an economy with the potential for growth. But the US can only grow if it admits that the old model has failed and that it is high time to embrace a new one, one which will create more domestic jobs, more domestic wealth and more global peace.

The US could avoid the protectionism that would cut off much required Asian materials and finished goods from the US economy, while also avoiding the prolonged offshoring of the US industrial base if it spoke with China about joining One Belt–One Road and expanding it westward, rather than positioning itself as an adversary.

The US, like all of China’s other partners could agree on which sectors could produce things that other countries along One Belt–One Road require, while also agreeing to import the things that the US requires from China’s One Belt–One Road partners. In the words of Xi Jingping, this would be a ‘win-win’ model.

China has been able to develop a largely self-sufficient industrial economy while also trading openly with the world on just this model. When one trades globally, yet preserves important sectors nationally, based on pragmatic geo-industrial realities, one can in fact both be open to the world and independent at home.

While many might maintain that the infamous “1%” in the United States who have enriched themselves through financial speculation and investments in the military-industrial complex, will be reticent to embrace this change, such a reticence will be at the “1%’s” own peril in the long term, in addition to the peril of working and middle class Americans (the 99%).

In this sense, it is not only greed that might ultimately force America into a position of continued hostility towards China and her partners like Russia, but moreover, it represents a a short sighted stupidity. There is plenty of money to be made in the United States, were American businesses to embrace One Belt–One Road. Even Alibaba founder Jack Ma has told American audiences that it isn’t China that has created US debt, unemployment and declining living standards, but instead, that it is America’s wars which are doing so. All of the money spent on war, could be money spent on peace and yes, peace is big business, just ask any Chinese businessman.

There is little doubt among the wider global consensus that the US is currently the biggest obstacle to world peace. The reason for this is that the US continues to cling onto an imperial model of world trade. If the US adopted the Chinese model and made it work for American businesses and American workers, they would find that not only could they make a lot of money, but that China would become far more flexible when approached through the language of opportunity rather than that of suspicion and aggression. This is true of any country. Even today, fewer and fewer countries are standing up to US neo-imperial bullying, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and the DPRK are merelythe most vocal examples.

The only other alternative is for the US to cling on to a model that has objectively failed. It is a failed model that if taken to its logical extreme, would mean more war and little else. This would be a ‘lose-lose’ situation for the entire planet.

With countries throughout the world buying more Russian and Chinese weapons and increasing their ability to resist would-be US military aggression, even when accounting for its military strength, the US will find itself increasingly disabled in respect of turning its hegemonic attitude into meaningful economic results.

Why would the US want to make itself poorer and the world less peaceful when a ready-made alternative is available which could make the world safer and all participating nations richer? When one considers the words, stupidity, insanity and irrationality, one might find an answer to such a question.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Liberal Scorned: The Media Turns on Facebook and Google

Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog:


Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.

Of the many remarkable trend changes of the past year, few are more striking than the fawning embrace of Facebook et al. by Big Media turning to an enraged sense of betrayal. Facebook and Google–by their own self-definitions, shining beacons of liberalism and goodness (we’re not evil, we’re fantabulous!)– were viewed by the famously liberal Big Media as allies in the fight against Trump, illiberalism, populism, deglobalization, etc.

Now, to their horror, Big Media has discovered that not only did their Big Tech sweethearts betray their affection and trust, they’re just another bunch of predatory profit-maximizing monopolies who will stab anyone and everyone in the back who gets in their way to higher profits and more power.

It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic. Poor Big Media, so anxious to be hip and with it, so anxious to impress social media while trying to exploit its reach to prop up their own dying business model. Big Media, so easily seduced by Big Tech: we’re liberal, too, and together we’ll lead the world out of darkness into light, blah blah blah.

Then Big Media discovered its virtue-signaling liberal sweetheart, Big Tech, is just as threatened by liberals as by conservatives, and it turns its firepower on liberals with the same savage abandon as it does on independent and conservative media.

The bitter rage of the previously besotted and now betrayed suitor is evident in these recent articles in The Atlantic, New York Times and Washington Post, all bastions of virtue-signaling self-righteous defense of the state-cartel Empire, a.k.a. liberalism.

When the Tech Mythology Collapses (The Atlantic)
Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (NY Times)
How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ (NY Times)
It’s time to start regulating Facebook (Washington Post)

The high dudgeon of WaPo is especially amusing to those us blacklisted by the faux-liberal Washington Post’s witch-hunting promotion of a bogus list of “Russian propaganda” sites in 2016. As I noted recently, some observers suspect Facebook is using this same baseless, fact-free libelous list in its shadow banning of independent journalists and commentators.

That Facebook would stick a knife in neoliberal globalist George Soros (gasp!) to mask its calumny might have been an eye-opener for the enamored liberals who foolishly believed the facile PR of Facebook, Google et al. Nobody’s more offended that the chump who falls for the obvious scam, a scam that any streetwise person would have spotted a mile away.

Big Media so desperately wanted a partner in its faux-liberal virtue-signaling that it overlooked the abundant evidence that Facebook and Google are only interested in reaping billions of dollars in ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. These are corporations, after all, and just like the corporations that own Big Media, maximizing profits is their sole raison d’etre, self-congratulatory preening claims of public service wonderfulness aside.

Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies. Just like all the other monopolies that had to be busted up to protect the public from their predatory power.

I just received this email from the Wall Street Journal: the Big media war on Facebook just opened a new front, and it looks like a take-no-prisoners conflict now:

With Facebook Under Siege, Zuckerberg Adopts More Aggressive Style

Mark Zuckerberg gathered roughly 50 of his top lieutenants earlier this year and told them that Facebook was at war and he planned to lead the company accordingly.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s new approach is causing unprecedented turmoil atop Facebook, driving several key executives from the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

I’ve written a lot about these issues: here’s a selection of recent essays:

Are Facebook and Google the New Colonial Powers? September 18, 2017
The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized November 17, 2017
Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace November 24, 2017
Should Facebook, Google and Twitter Be Public Utilities? March 5, 2018
Is Profit-Maximizing Data-Mining Undermining Democracy? March 19, 2018
The Blowback Against Facebook, Google and Amazon Is Just Beginning April 27, 2018
Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now October 27, 2018


My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.

Read the first section for free in PDF format.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington

The only regime change that is needed is in Washington and it would include Jeffrey, Bolton, Haley, Pompeo, and Miller.

Published

on

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Ron Paul Institute:


Secretary Pompeo officiates the Swearing-In Ceremony for Ambassador James F. Jeffrey. Image credit: U.S. Department of State/ flickr)

One of the things to look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is the special treats that one is allowed to sample. Fruitcake and nuts are Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites. They usually come in tins or special packages but it seems that this season some of the nuts have escaped and have fled to obtain sanctuary from the Trump Administration.

Currently, there is certainly a wide range of nuts available on display in the West Wing. There is the delicate but hairy Bolton, which has recently received the coveted “Defender of Israel” award, and also the robust Pompeo, courageously bucking the trend to overeat during the holidays by telling the Iranian people that they should either surrender or starve to death. And then there is the always popular Haley, voting audaciously to give part of Syria to Israel as a holiday treat.

But my vote for the most magnificent nut in an Administration that is overflowing with such talent would be the esteemed United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. The accolade is in part due to the fact that Jeffrey started out relatively sane as a career diplomat with the State Department, holding ambassadorships in Iraq, Turkey, and Albania. He had to work hard to become as demented as he now is but was helped along the way by signing on as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Jeffrey set the tone for his term of office shortly after being appointed back in August when he argued that the Syrian terrorists were “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.” Jeffrey, who must have somehow missed a lot of the head chopping and rape going on, subsequently traveled to the Middle East and stopped off in Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been suggested that Jeffrey received his marching orders during the visit.

James Jeffrey has been particularly active during this past month.  On November 7th he declared that he would like to see Russia maintain a “permissive approach” to allowing the Israelis to attack Iranian targets inside Syria.  Regarding Iran’s possible future role in Syria, he observed that “Iranians are part of the problem not part of the solution.”

What Jeffrey meant was that because Israel had been “allowed” to carry out hundreds of air attacks in Syria ostensibly directed against Iran-linked targets, the practice should be permitted to continue. Israel had suspended nearly all of its airstrikes in the wake of the shoot-down of a Russian aircraft in September, an incident which Moscow has blamed on Israel even though the missile that brought down the plane was fired by Syria. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed. Israel reportedly was deliberately using the Russian plane to mask the presence of its own aircraft.

Russia responded to the incident by deploying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria, which can cover most of the more heavily developed areas of the country. Jeffrey was unhappy with that decision, saying “We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?” And he defended his own patently absurd urging that Russia, Syria’s ally, permit Israel to continue its air attacks by saying “We understand the existential interest and we support Israel” because the Israeli government has an “existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power projection systems such as surface-to-surface missiles.”

On November 15th James Jeffrey was at it again, declaring that U.S. troops will not leave Syria before guaranteeing the “enduring defeated” of ISIS, but he perversely put the onus on Syria and Iran, saying that “We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014.”

As virtually no one but Jeffrey and the Israeli government actually believes that Damascus and Tehran were responsible for creating ISIS, the ambassador elaborated, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for the cycle of violence in Syria that, he claimed, allowed the development of the terrorist group in both Syria and neighboring Iraq.

He said “The Syrian regime produced ISIS. The elements of ISIS in the hundreds, probably, saw an opportunity in the total breakdown of civil society and of the upsurge of violence as the population rose up against the Assad regime, and the Assad regime, rather than try to negotiate or try to find any kind of solution, unleashed massive violence against its own population.”

Jeffrey’s formula is just another recycling of the myth that the Syrian opposition consisted of good folks who wanted to establish democracy in the country. In reality, it incorporated terrorist elements right from the beginning and groups like ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliates rapidly assumed control of the violence. That Jeffrey should be so ignorant or blinded by his own presumptions to be unaware of that is astonishing. It is also interesting to note that he makes no mention of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, knee-jerk support for Israel and the unrelenting pressure on Syria starting with the Syrian Accountability Act of 2003 and continuing with the embrace of the so-called Arab Spring. Most observers believe that those actions were major contributors to the rise of ISIS.

Jeffrey’s unflinching embrace of the Israeli and hardline Washington assessment of the Syrian crisis comes as no surprise given his pedigree, but in the same interview where he pounded Iran and Syria, he asserted oddly that “We’re not about regime change. We’re about a change in the behavior of a government and of a state.”

Actually, the only regime change that is needed is in Washington and it would include Jeffrey, Bolton, Haley, Pompeo, and Miller. And while we’re at it, get rid of son-in-law Jared Kushner and his claque of Orthodox Jews, Jason Greenblatt the “peace negotiator” and David Friedman the U.S. Ambassador in Israel. None of them are capable of acting to advance any American national interest, which they wouldn’t recognize even if it hit them in the butt. Once they are gone the U.S. can bid the Middle East goodbye and leave its constituent nations to sort out their own problems. Jeffrey’s ridiculous prescriptions for the Syrians and Russians are symptomatic of what one gets from a team of yes-men who have latched onto some dystopic ideas and pursued them relentlessly, blinded by what they believe to be American power. Someone should tell them that their antics have made that power a commodity that is dramatically depreciating in value, but it is clear that they are not listening.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

‘Iron’ Mike Pence Stares-Down Putin In APEC Showdown

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton were seen shaking hands and chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Singapore.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Forget the All-Blacks ‘Haka’, ignore Foreman-Frasier, Drago-Balboa, and Ortiz-Liddell, the honor of the greatest (or perhaps most awkward) staredown in history now goes to US Vice President Mike Pence…

Having been blamed for everything from Trump’s election victory to USA soccer team’s loss to England last week, Russia faced accusations all weekend and was reportedly confronted by the US contingent over “meddling.”

As The Sun reports, Pence and Putin “discussed the upcoming G20 Summit and touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the summit,” according to the vice president’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah.

An NBC reporter tweeted: “New per the @VP’s Office—> The VP’s office says Vice President Pence directly addressed Russian meddling in the 2016 election in a conversation with Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Singapore.

“The conversation took place following the plenary session this afternoon at ASEAN.”

But, it was the following clash of the titans that caught most people’s attention.

As the Russian president joined the that Pence shook Putin’s ‘deadly’ hand, met his ‘steely KGB-trained’ gaze, and desperately tried not to smile or blink for 20 seconds as Putin appeared to chat amicably with the US VP…

While Putin has (if his accusers are to be believed) grappled his opponents to death with his bare hands (remember he is a sinister KGB agent and jiu-jitsu expert); we suspect the only thing VP Pence has gripped tightly in his hands is his bible.

Sadly, John Bolton then blew the tough guy act (or is he Mike Pence’s ‘good cop’) as he does his best impression of a teenage girl meeting their popstar idol for the first time…

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending