In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘End of empire’

The audacious Mr Putin

Posted by seumasach on May 25, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

25th May, 2014

Prince Charles is only the lunatic fringe of so many in the West who like to characterize Vladimir Putin as a ruthless and ambitious dictator hell-bent on his goal of refounding the Soviet Union. But if he is ruthless and ambitious why would he limit himself to such a mediocre and fruitless goal?
His latest statements as reported by RT deserve careful attention:
“I really would not like to think that this is a beginning of a new Cold War,” he said speaking with the heads of the world media at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I think this is not going to happen.”
As for the Western sanctions against Russia, “I think that they are absolutely counterproductive, not based on a fair attitude to existing problems, and driven by a desire to impose on Russia international relations developments that do not correspond either with international law or with mutual interests. They certainly do not correspond with Russian interests,” Putin said.
Isolation of Russia is “impossible,” Putin stressed, adding that there is a “mutual dependence” between Russia with both the US and EU.
Not only is there no hint here of the reconstitution of the Soviet sphere but there is no suggestion of the much-touted turn from the West towards an Eastern alliance. The truth is that Putin, as a man of great ambition, is not reckoning on having to choose between East and West, between the BRICS and the US and EU: he aims to choose both.
A little thought shows that a mere Russia-China(BRICS) alliance is inadequate from the point of view of Russian interests. The strategic tensions with the West would remain unresolved and would continue to distort Russia’s internal development. Excessive and badly required resources would continue to be poured into defense to counter threats such as missile defense and ongoing NATO destabilization programs. Russia’s natural trading relations with Europe , especially Germany, would be disrupted. This would be far from the win/win scenario so wished for and so required.
The holy grail for Putin is a strategic partnership with Washington. This is not only of mutual interest but the key to the historic imperative of ending war, hot or cold. It may appear to be a laughable goal given the current media-generated anti-Russian frenzy but let us hope that deeper trends are at work and that the coming collapse of the US economy is focusing Obama’s mind marvelously and that he is coming to see a strategic partnership with those hitherto presumed to be America’s enemies as a drowning man sees his rescuers.
Of course, the obstacles to such a resolution are great. The death of an empire whose tentacles are everywhere is a prolonged and obscure agony. The hydra has many heads and there are countless agendas which have been heavily invested in: five billion dollars, apparently, in the current Ukraine fiasco alone. But I suspect Russia have strategic depth in Ukraine and that the new president, Poroshenko, will be a disappointment to the West’s war party.
With a diplomatic solution in sight in Ukraine and the West’s contras in retreat in Syria and Venezuela the air will begin to clear, the smoke of war to dissipate and the two most prominently left standing will be Putin and Obama. Certainly, next to Putin’s grandmaster role, Obama cuts a rather forlorn figure but in his role of commander -in-chief he has recognized the unwillingness of the US military, as opposed to the various agencies, to engage in further futile and destructive war. This was the minimum required of him and he has duly delivered(touch wood!).
We will then see that there is no contradiction between the Eurasian Union( the economic reunification of the post-Soviet space), the Lisbon to Vladivostok economic space(hopefully, we might be allowed in too, once Prince Charles has apologized) and strategic partnerships between the US and the BRICS. This is the win/win scenario, nothing short of the unification of humanity itself and the only scenario worth the audacity of hoping for.

Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

China pivot fuels Eurasian century

Posted by seumasach on May 20, 2014

“Meanwhile, a discombobulated America seems to be aiding and abetting the deconstruction of its own unipolar world order, while offering the BRICS a genuine window of opportunity to try to change the rules of the game.” 

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass – at the expense of the United States. 

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Five reasons why the world needs the BRICS Bank

Posted by seumasach on May 4, 2014

Russia and India Report

30th December, 2013

A new development bank that will complement – and compete with – the World Bank and the IMF is on the fast track. Here’s a primer on why the BRICS Bank is a pretty sound idea.

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US unhappy over Bahrain-Russia deal

Posted by seumasach on May 1, 2014

Trade Arabia

1st May, 2014

The US has raised concern over a decision by its Gulf ally Bahrain to sign an investment cooperation deal with Russia at a time when US and European governments are imposing economic sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, an official said.

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Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine, Multipolar world | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Money and credit and the current backdrop

Posted by seumasach on April 30, 2014

“Today’s markets would react negatively to any major expansion of central bank Credit from the likes of Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia or South Africa. This market dynamic provides a huge competitive advantage to developed central banks, markets and economies. Increasingly, this competitive advantage along with the destabilizing global role of Federal Reserve “money” are sources of heightened global animosities. More than ever before, EM economies see developed “money” printing as a force for rising inequality”. 

In other words, the ability of Washington and London to “quantitatively ease” is an imperial privilege. However, there is one crucial distinction between this and past forms of imperial exploitation: QE is also impoverishing, through inflation, the whole US and UK populations, outside the 0.01 % elite.

Doug Noland

Prudent Bear

27th April, 2014

Trouble brewing

Over the years, money and the “Moneyness” of Credit have remained focal points of my Macro Credit Analytical Framework. From my perspective, money is fundamentally defined by perceptions. “Money” is a financial claim perceived as safe and a liquid store of nominal value. Understandably, this definition is troubling to monetary purists. Yet in the spirit of Ludwig von Mises and his notion of broad money/“fiduciary media,” my view of contemporary “money” is focused on an array of financial claims and their functionality. 

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Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing

Posted by seumasach on April 19, 2014

F.William Engdahl

PressTV

18th April, 2014

Washington’s decision to go for the military coup in Ukraine was intended to rupture the emerging cooperation between key Eurasian nations that ultimately would have isolated the power of US hegemony and opened the door for a genuine multi-polar world where peaceful cooperation replaced military threats and sole Superpower domination.

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Europe dragged into a division of the world between debtors and creditors: the United States’ desperate solutions for not sinking alone

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2014

A new cold war led by the USA has become a fashionable theme. However, core US diplomacy has consistently contradicted such a scenario. The USA, more than Europe, needs to reach out to the BRICS for its own salvation. The problem is that vested interests, the imperial state if you like, continue to rely on a strategy of geopolitical tension. But the CIA, the neo-cons, the Israel lobby, the Military Industrial Complex and their congressional representatives have emerged from the fiascos in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine embittered and weakened. This should enable Obama to pursue policies in accord with US national interests whereby US retreat from empire is rewarded by inward investment from China and others. For that surplus to be available a new motor of global development must emerge which can only be the Eurasian economic space from Shanghai to Lisbon. The resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, the first step of which was completed at Geneva yesterday, will facilitate this happy development. Certainly Russia and China are emerging as leading global players but their prime goal is geo-strategic partnership with the USA. By an agonised path Obama is positioning himself to reciprocate

LEAP 2020

17th April, 2014

In the present confrontation between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian crisis, the image of the Cold War inevitably comes to mind and the media are obviously fond of it. However, contrary to what it gives us to understand, it’s not Russia that seeks the return of an iron curtain but really the US. An iron curtain separating the old powers and emerging nations; the world before and the world afterwards; debtors and creditors. And this in the crazy hope of preserving the American way of life and the US’ influence over “its” camp in the absence of being able to impose it on the whole world. In other words, go down with as many companions as possible to give the impression of not sinking. 

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U.S. response to Crimea worries Japan

Posted by seumasach on April 6, 2014

Seattle Times

5th April, 2014

U.S. officials have distanced themselves from the Budapest Memorandum in light of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, calling promises made in Budapest “nonbinding.”

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Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

“New Cold War” fizzles out

Posted by seumasach on March 22, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

22nd March, 2014

We are nearly a week into the “New Cold War” and we haven’t got as far as kicking the Russians out of the G8. At the same time a remarkably laid back Barak Obama has, uncharacteristically for a US president, taken the military option off the table- did Kennedy do that during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War?  The West will therefore limit itself to a non-military response. But Western hegemony, the empire, rests entirely on military force as we have seen repeatedly in the last thirty years. To rely on moral authority or diplomatic finesse is to go naked. Legal authority looks equally questionable. The EU has declared the Crimean referendum invalid on the grounds that it runs contrary to the Ukrainian constitution- the same constitution that it trashed by supporting the 22nd February coup in Kiev.

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Neo-con anger at Obama on Ukraine

Posted by seumasach on March 1, 2014

Fort much of the left and libertarian movement Obama is a fascist tyrant. For the neo-cons, however, he is nothing but a wimp. Krauthammer certainly has a point in regarding Obama’s intervention as very low-key.

Krauthammer on Ukraine: ‘Everybody is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement’

Fox News

28th February, 2014

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Friday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Obama’s statement on the latest Ukraine developments showed “weakness,” and implied that “we’re not really going to do anything” about the political upheaval in Ukraine.

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US now backing down on Afghan security agreement

Posted by seumasach on February 27, 2014

Obama and Karzai agree to part ways

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

The US president Barack Obama’s telephone call to Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Tuesday is a rare happening, given the poor equations between the two leaders, and it was intended to flag a ‘turning point’ in the White House’s strategy for the period beyond 2014. It comes just before an important NATO meeting at defence minister level in Brussels and at a time when for the first time the majority opinion among the American public has begun casting doubts on the raison d’etre of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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