In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

War profiteers and the demise of the US Military-Industrial Complex

Posted by seumasach on July 22, 2019

Dimitri Orlov

Club Orlov

16th July, 2019

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

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De-dollarizing the American financial empire

Posted by seumasach on July 15, 2019

Interview with Michael Hudson

Guns and Butter

7th July, 2019

Economist Michael Hudson continues his discussion of Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire with a focus on US monetary imperialism; President Trump’s demand for lower interest rates undercuts America’s requirement for foreign investment to fund its domestic and balance of payments deficit, increases the carry trade and turns IMF and World Bank policies on the US; analysis of US economic domination of the world from its position as the world’s largest creditor post-WWI; analysis of US economic domination of the world from its position as the world’s largest debtor after the 1971 close of America’s gold window; emergence of the dollar-debt standard; how war has bankrupted the US; the difference between imperialism and super imperialism; US bribes foreign governments; China’s banking system; China and Russia stockpile gold as the world breaks out of dollar domination.

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Modi wades into eurasianism

Posted by seumasach on June 17, 2019

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

17th June, 2019

“If international diplomacy indulges in symbolism, this must be one of the most poignant ones in world politics in the recent times. The RIC has always been a red rag for the US — ever since the great Soviet strategic thinker and Kremlin statesman Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov first proposed the tantalising idea in 1999. The profound symbolism cannot be lost on Trump that India is consorting with the two “revisionist powers” on the planet (Russia and China) which, according to the US, are each working its way toward making a power grab on the world stage.”

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The New Silk Roads reach the next level

Posted by seumasach on April 30, 2019

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

29th April, 2019

 

The Belt and Road Forum in Beijing was a graphic demonstration of how tactical adjustments are essential to enhance the appeal of a complex overall strategy. Talk about a turbo-charged 4.0 version of the legendary Deng Xiaoping maxim “crossing the river while feeling the stones.”

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Reporter Sharmine Narwani on the secret history of America’s defeat in Syria

Posted by seumasach on April 30, 2019

“The U.S. was already exiting the Middle East before the so-called “Arab uprisings” kicked off. Whoever in the U.S. national security apparatus made the decision to stick around and redirect these uprisings against regional adversaries made a colossal mistake. I want to write about this one day because it’s important. I believe the Syrian conflict constitutes the main battlefield in a kind of World War III. The world wars were, in essence, great-power wars, after which the global order reshuffled a bit and new global institutions were established.

Look around you now. We have had a reshuffle in the balance of power in recent years, with Russia, China, Iran in ascendance and Europe and North America in decline. That’s not to say that Washington, London or Paris don’t have levers left to pull: They do. But it is on the back of the Syrian conflict that a great-power battle was fought, and in its wake, new international institutions for finance, defense and policymaking have been born or transformed.

I’m not just talking about the strengthening of the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa], the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Eurasian Union, etc. I mean the world’s networks are shifting hands, too. What will happen to Western-controlled shipping routes now that Asia has started to build faster, cheaper land routes? Will the SWIFT [bank messaging] system survive when an alternative is agreed upon to bypass U.S. sanctions everywhere? There are so many examples of these shifts. It’s not to say that they are due to events in Syria, but rather that Syria triggered the great-power battle that unleashed the potential of this new order much more quickly and efficiently.

Keep in mind that World War III was never going to be like the other two conventionally fought wars…. It was always going to be an irregular war that would escalate on multiple fronts — not just regime change events, but financial pressures, sanctions, propaganda, political subversion activities, destabilization, increased terrorism, proxy fights and so on. The battle for global hegemony really began to unfold over Syria, though, when the Russians, Iranians and Chinese decided to draw a line and put up a fight. The world changed after that.”

Interview with Patrick Lawrence

Salon

21st April ,2019

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China seeks to reassure Europe at Croatia summit

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Addressing the session in Dubrovnik, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the decision to join the Chinese initiative as “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments.”

“We have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation,” he said, adding that it must be done with “full respect” of the EU rules, Tsipras said.

Yahoo

12th April, 2019

DUBROVNIK, Croatia (AP) — China’s prime minister promised Friday that his government will respect European standards and fair trade, seeking to allay concerns that it is flouting European Union competition rules with huge investments on the continent.

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China’s belt and road continues to win over Europe while technocrats scream and bowl

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Mathew Ehret

Strategic Culture

20th April, 2019

On April 10th, China’s Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the completion of the 1st phase of the 2.5 kilometer Chinese-built Pelgesac Bridge in Croatia across the Bay of Mali Ston alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. This ceremony marked a striking victory as the following day ushered in an important 16+1 Heads of State summit that saw Greece inducted as the newest member of a new alliance of Central and Eastern European nations who wish to cooperate with China. At this summit held on April 12, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this was “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments” and “we have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation.”

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The U.S. is losing influence In The world’s biggest oil region

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2019

Gregory R.Copley

Oil Price

15th April, 2019

Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s visit to the White House on April 9, 2019, resulted in one of the worst setbacks for U.S. Middle Eastern policy under the Donald Trump Administration.

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European nations should join BRI

Posted by seumasach on April 15, 2019

Ken Moak

Asia Times

15th April, 2019

This may come as shock to many, but it is in the best interest of Europe that it joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Contrary to the anti-China rhetoric, the BRI is not a “debt trap,” but in fact a brilliant vehicle to promote economic growth and geopolitical stability across the globe.

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Britain in purgatory

Posted by seumasach on April 14, 2019

Cailean Bochanan

14th April, 2019

At last, some clarity is coming to Brexit. We now know that Theresa May wasn’t just running down the clock for a no-deal departure and that the EU is prepared to give extensions without any plan or clue to a plan being on offer. Even if the EU isn’t heaven a no-deal Brexit would certainly be hell and the UK has therefore entered a sort of purgatory to be purged of the sin of hubris.

We are learning still more about the British constitutional system: it doesn’t , as claimed, rest on the sovereignty of parliament. An attempt by parliament to seize control has failed miserably. How can a mere aggregation of constituency I.e. local representatives act decisively on national issues: they voted to save their seats. It was the great elitists the Whigs, who despised the people with a vengeance, who extended the franchise in order to make sure the spectre of Stuart monarchical power, which had raised it’s head once again under George the Third, could never again return to haunt them. This led to the gradual emergence of the executive, prime ministerial power through the two-party system  within the legislative itself, in contradiction to the much-vaunted doctrine of the separation of powers. Such a system worked at it’s peak during times of nations consensus such as the the two world wars and Cold War, the famous post-war consensus. So even the British constitution works when there is consensus but what happens when the country is split down the middle, from top to bottom? Nothing happens by the look of it.

But there is no shame in being dysfunctional: there are plenty of other dysfunctional countries. Spain continues to be divided along exactly the lines of the civil war fought over eighty years ago and torn apart by regional division. Similar entrenched divisions are evident in many other European countries: that is one reason why they are so committed to the EU. The EU enables them to transcend irreconcilable local feuding and move to a new, higher terrain. The political stability of Britain post- Good Friday Agreement also depends on EU membership.The Greek crisis was largely blamed on the EU and was widely cited by left-leaning, Brexiteers. But they failed to note that Greece didn’t actually leave: Greece will eventually resolve it’s economic and political problems within the EU.

But we have boldly set out to go it alone and we’ve got as far as complete paralysis. We desperately want to move, “to just get on with it” in our fabled, no-nonsense, everyday, down to earth sort of way. To keep ongoing to the end of the road!

But the UK is already at the end of the road.The factors which have enabled our essentially parasitic, imperial  economic model to serve the needs of our people are no longer there no matter how we seek to escape EU financial regulation, protect our tax havens and enable illegal money flows into the country.And extraditing Assange or jumping on the anti-Maduro bandwagon won’t stop US competition in the offshore game. Under Trump “business” trumps the Special Relationship.

 The world has left us behind. China is leading the way with the greatest project of economic construction in human history, the Belt and Road Initiative. The EU-China summit shows that Europe is buying into it. Trump is already boasting about his big deal the with China, the grandfather of all deals, the greatest deal in human history etc.- so he tells us. It is a sad delusion that Brexit Britain will be global Britain. Outside the single market the UK is economically insignificant. Thatcher destroyed the UK’s industrial base but at least her single market idea enabled the UK to become , to some extent, a hub for incoming investment.. March 31st didn’t see Brexit but another historic event went largely unnoticed: the Basil 111 accords came into force changing the status of gold within central banking reserves. In other words, the beginning of the return of gold as money and the beginning of the end of the dollar reserve fiat system introduced in 1971. This in turn threatens the status of the pound which hung onto the dollar’s coat tails under that system.

With a no-deal Brexit looking like a leap into the abyss rather than just a leap in the dark it would appear to be off the agenda. The other imagined forms of Brexit constitute a huge mass of fudge best epitomised in Corbyn’s membership of “a” customs union and close alignment with the single market, whatever that’s supposed to mean. If only the problem were a disconnect between the people and the political class as it has become fashionable to claim. The vagaries of Labour Party policy are the result of an attempt to connect to the people, a people itself hopelessly divided and confused as would be expected when you reach a fork in the road, when you face a historic shift in the status of the UK, something which can’t be grasped within the parameters of the everyday.

The remain option is now the only logical one but may still be politically impossible. Unable to leave and unable to remain our stay in purgatory may be a prolonged one. Another extension may be necessary. It is a national humiliation.

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EU and China sign a Mandate of Trade Heaven

Posted by seumasach on April 12, 2019

Another historic development as the EU reaffirms its independence from one-time overlord, the USA. Escobar, however, goes too far in asserting that Europe is China’s priority rather than the US but Eurasian integration certainly should certainly impel Washington towards integrating itself into the unfolding multipolar reality. The barriers to this stem from the inertia of US elites still harbouring hegemonist dreams when even a new Monroe doctrine seems beyond them.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

10th April, 2019

Sparks did fly in Brussels, but in the end the European Union and China managed to come up with an important joint statement at their summit this week, signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and head of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

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