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The West Fades. The Center Quietly Returns: The New Silk Road

The West Fades. The Center Quietly Returns: The New Silk Road

An image from the workshop on desalination and mineral extraction from seawater organized by Sharif University in Teheran this week. In the photo, you can see people from Oman (3), Iran (3), South Africa (1), India (1), and Bangladesh (1). It was not only a multi-ethnical group but also a Eurasia-centered one. It gave me some impression of the shifting balance of power in the world, from the West to the Center, and inspired this post.  

If you think about that, it is funny that we tend to define ourselves as “Westerners.” Most civilizations and cultures in history have tended to see themselves as the center of the world, just think of China: it is supposed to be “the Middle Kingdom”. This idea that we are on an edge is something that we’ve probably inherited from the ancient Greeks, when everything west of them was seen as a land of mystery, peopled with savages, monsters, and Gods. 

But the fact that we call ourselves Westerners doesn’t mean we think we are a periphery of the world, not at all. Most Westerners seem to cherish the idea that we are the real center, the most advanced, enlightened, and powerful area of the world. The rest of is, well, it is mostly inhabited by turban-wearing barbarians, savage tribes, or, at best, ancient and decadent empires on their way to dissolution. These Non-Westerners need our guidance if they have to attain the nirvana as defined here: democracy and economic liberism.

But the world is vast and things change. Empires are born, reach their pinnacle of greatness and then collapse while still claiming that they will last forever. That may be the destiny of that great world empire, the “Western Empire,” that started with the British and continues with the Americans.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement“. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

West’s Moral Bankruptcy Exposed

West’s Moral Bankruptcy Exposed 

The moral bankruptcy of Western powers was exposed – inadvertently – with the recent publication of three separate news reports. Taken together the reports out last week illustrate the rank hypocrisy of Western governments.

Also, the way that the reports were prioritized or left disconnected demonstrates how the Western mainstream media serves as a dutiful propaganda service for state and corporate power.

First there was the Dutch-led inquiry into downing of the Malaysian MH17 airliner, which put the finger of blame on Russia for the disaster in 2014 when all 298 people onboard were killed.

That nearly five-year investigation has never provided any credible proof of Russian culpability, yet the Dutch-led investigators known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) continually level allegations that Russia supplied an anti-aircraft missile to Ukrainian rebels who purportedly blasted the Boeing 777 out of the sky.

Despite its evident failures of due process, nonetheless Western governments and media have lent the JIT allegations (slanders) undue credibility. The US, Britain and other NATO members last week called on Russia to comply with the JIT “investigation”, smearing Moscow as guilty of causing the MH17 deaths.

However, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad denounced the report as “ridiculous hearsay” aimed at “scapegoating Russia”. Tellingly, his comments were not widely reported in Western media.

For its part, Russia has vehemently rejected allegations of involvement in the MH17 disaster, as have pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels. Russia’s repeated offers of contributing information to the probe have been rebuffed by the Dutch-led JIT. By contrast, Russia’s own investigation has uncovered credible radar and forensic evidence that an anti-aircraft missile fired at the passenger jet actually came from military forces under the Kiev regime’s command. Russia’s evidence has been steadfastly ignored by Western media reports.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Orientalism of Western Russophobia

The Orientalism of Western Russophobia

An illustration from a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Russia’s Turn to its Asian Past” depicting Vladimir Putin as Genghis Khan.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the publication of Edward W. Said’s pioneering book, Orientalism, as well as fifteen years since the Palestinian-American intellectual’s passing. To bid farewell to such an important scholar shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Said fiercely criticized until his dying breath before succumbing to leukemia, made an already tremendous loss that much more impactful.

His seminal text forever reoriented political discourse by painstakingly examining the overlooked cultural imperialism of colonial history in the West’s construction of the so-called Orient. Said meticulously interrogated the Other-ing of the non-Western world in the humanities, arts, and anthropology down to its minutiae. As a result, the West was forced to confront not just its economic and political plunder but the long-established cultural biases filtering the lens through which it viewed the East which shaped its dominion over it.

Said's Orientalism

His writings proved to be so influential that they laid the foundations for what is now known as post-colonial theory. This became an ironic category as the author himself would strongly reject any implication that the subjugation of developing countries is a thing of the past. How apropos that the Mandatory Palestine-born writer’s death came in the midst of the early stages of the ‘War on Terror’ that made clear Western imperialism is very much alive.

Despite its history of ethnic cleansing, slavery, and war, the United States had distinguished itself from Britain and France in that it had never established its own major colonies within the Middle East, Asia or North Africa in the heart of the Orient. According to Said, it was now undergoing this venture as the world’s sole remaining superpower following the end of the Cold War with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

In an extremely weird article titled “Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials“, CNN reports that Facebook has suspended popular dissident media outlet In The Nowand its allied pages for failing to publicly “disclose” its financial ties to a subsidiary of RT. According to CNN, such disclosures are not and have never been an actual part of Facebook’s official policy, but Facebook has made the exceptional precondition of public disclosure of financial ties in order for In The Now to return to its platform.

I say the article is extremely weird for a number of reasons. Firstly, according to In The Now CEO Anissa Naouai, CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform. Secondly, the article reports that CNN found out about Maffick’s financial ties thanks to a tip-off from the German Marshall Fund, a narrative control firm which receives funding from the US government. In The Now‘s Rania Khalek has described this tactic as “a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world.”

Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The West Is in Disarray, and It Will Only Get Worse

The West Is in Disarray, and It Will Only Get Worse

The West Is in Disarray, and It Will Only Get Worse

We are witnessing the withdrawal from Syria of the American military contingent, protests in France, the prospect of a British hard Brexit, the political decline of Angela Merkel in Germany, Netanyahu in crisis, and Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia suddenly becoming an international pariah. The contemporary crisis of leadership in Europe, the United States and among their main allies has thrown the West into chaos, leading it to one of its most critical junctures in recent decades. It is a situation brought on by the United States and its contradictory politics, which results in diminishing the sovereignty and decision-making power of Washington’s allies.

Well before the election of Donald Trump, European Union leaders Merkel, Cameron and Hollande were already faltering and evidencing signs of failure.

Hollande fell in the polls because of policies favoring the interests of the elites at the expense of the increasingly poor and indebted French population. Cameron, to stave off a Labour victory under Jeremy Corbyn, promised a vote on Brexit, a decision that would eventually end up costing him his political career. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, the undisputed master of the German political scene, suffered for the first time in fifteen years heavy electoral defeats stemming from recent migration policies. The Chancellor, harshly criticized for these results, resigned from the position of president of the party, leaving the CDU split into two factions. The situation worsened in the UK and France over the next twelve months, with Cameron resigning following the Brexit vote and Hollande forced to give up on the the idea of ​​running for reelection given his unpopularity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Self-Genocide of the West

The Self-Genocide of the West

Stephen Cohen and I are branded “Russian dupes” and “Putin agents,” because we object to the highly orchestrated and false portrayal of Russia as a threat to the West, a portrayal that is leading to war. The purpose of this orchestration is to prevent President Trump or any future president from reducing the dangerous tensions between nuclear powers that have accumulated since the Clinton regime. The military/security complex has resurrected its Cold War enemy so necessary for its outsized budget and power and intends to keep Russia as The Enemy. The Democrats have an interest in the villification of Russia as “Russiagate” explains Hillary’s loss of the 2016 Presidential election and gives Democrats hope of removing President Trump from office. The media lacks independence, knowledge, and integrity and is the tool used by the military/security complex to control explanations, a prostitution of the media that has made the term “presstitutes” an accurate description. As strategic and Russian studies are largely funded by the military/security complex, the universities are also complicit in the march toward nuclear war. Republicans are as dependent as Democrats on funding from the military/security complex and the Israel Lobby.

All of this self-serving is driving America and its vassals to war with Russia, which might also mean with China. The war would be nuclear and be the end of the West, an act of self-genocide. The US national security establishment is so crazed that Trump’s efforts to get off the war track and onto a peace track are characterized as treason and a threat to US national security. See for example: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/23/opinion/trump-mattis-syria-afghanistan.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion

The Russians are aware that the accusations and demonization that they experience are fabrications. They no longer see the problem as one of misunderstandings that diplomacy can overcome.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US will become a neo-feudal nation

The US will become a neo-feudal nation

The Western world is heading for the next big social and economic crisis. America’s hegemony is waning and its establishment is fighting among themselves. To uphold American supremacy, President Trump and his administration are trying to reshape the nation into a neo-feudal society with a new relationship between the President (sovereign), the financial elite (fief holders, the privileged vassals) and the people (subjects performing socage). If the country is doing well, the population lives in relative stability and the leader is loved. The US is facing a demographic decline and a rapid replacement with migrants from Central America and Africa. This internal development will have profound effects on social stability and economic prosperity. The US can only be a superpower if the country is stable and the nation supports the establishment.

Jerome Powell, the head of the FED, is derailing Trump’s stimulus programme by increasing the interest rate and reducing the federal reserve balance sheet. The actions of the FED result in a drop in stock prices and the increase in the cost of debt servicing for the highly indebted US corporations. The US is now the world’s largest oil consumer and producer thanks to its shale oil industry. However even with the oil price around $70 the industry has lost more than it earned. A high interest rate and a low oil price make the industry vulnerable.

The president has said clearly that he does not like what the FED is doing. The FED has to revise its decisions, otherwise Jerome Powell will be dismissed as envisioned by Section 10 of the Federal Act. The FED will have to reconsider its policies so as to enable the stock market to make another push up next year. However, investors should be careful.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Myth of Western Democracy

The Myth of Western Democracy

How does the West get away with its pretense of being an alliance of great democracies in which government is the servant of the people?

Nowhere in the West, except possibly Hungary and Austria, does government serve the people.

Who do the Western governments serve? Washington serves Israel, the military/security complex, Wall Street, the big banks, and the fossil fuel corporations.

The entirety of the rest of the West serves Washington.

Nowhere in the West do the people count. The American working class, betrayed by the Democrats who sent their jobs to Asia, elected Donald Trump and the American people were promptly dismissed by the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as “the Trump deplorables.”

The Democrats, like the Republicans, serve power, not the people.

In Europe we see the squashing of democracy everywhere.

British prime minister May has turned Brexit into subservience to the EU. She has betrayed the British people and has not yet been hung off of a lamp post, which shows how acceptance the British people are of betrayal. The British people have learned that they do not count. They are as a nothing.

The Greeks voted for a leftwing government that promised to protect them from the EU, IMF, and big banks, but promptly sold them out with austerity agreements that destroyed what remained of Greek sovereignty and Greek living standards. Today the EU has reduced Greece to a Third World country.

The French have been in the streets in revolt for weeks against the French president who serves everyone except the French people.

There are currently massive protests in Brussels, Belgium, with half the government also resigning in protest against the government signing a pact that will replace the Belgian people with migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS

The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS

The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS
Forces are aligning against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, lead by elements within the CIA and strong players in the mainstream media. But what is really behind this deterioration in relationship, and what are its implications?

Following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, western media and various entities, including the CIA, appear to have turned their back on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). In response to the scandal, the Guardian released a video which its celebutante, Owen Jones, captioned“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest threats on Earth. Time to stop propping up its repulsive regime.”

The Guardian was not alone in its condemnation. “It’s high time to end Saudi impunity,” wrote Hana Al-Khamri in Al-Jazeera. “It’s time for Saudi Arabia to tell the truth on Jamal Khashoggi,” the Washington Post’s Editorial Board argued. Politico called it “the tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Even shadowy think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Atlantic Council released articles criticising Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s death.

A number of companies began backing away from Saudi money after the journalist’s death, including the world’s largest media companies such as the New York Times, the Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Arianna Huffington, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Google Cloud CEO, just to name a few.

The CIA concluded that MBS personally ordered Khashoggi’s death, and was reportedly quite open in its provision of this assessment. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, also took time out of his schedule to express concern over Saudi Arabia’s confirmation of the killing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The West Slips Down Another Step

The West Slips Down Another Step

The West Slips Down Another Step

There is much on the Internet these days about documents allegedly hacked by Anonymous; these documents belong to the “Integrity Initiative” and describe a multi-country effort, funded by London and Washington, to counter “Russian propaganda” and “fake news”. Since the initial story broke, a good deal of confusion has been laid down: Wikileaks is doubtful, and Anonymous itself is being evasive. On the other hand, Integrity Initiative doesn’t entirely deny.

But even if entirely false, they would be in that curious category of “fake but true”: Integrity Initiative does actually exist and here is its website. It is certainly engaged in anti-Russia propaganda. It publishes articles locking the barn door after the horses have escaped: yes, “Novichok” is terribly deadly but that doesn’t mean it will kill you. But, if it isn’t strong enough to kill you today, it may be strong enough to kill someone four months later. Its most memorable statement is surely this:

The Kremlin has invested more operational thought, intent and resource in disinformation, in Europe and elsewhere in the democratic world, than any other single player.

A statement that would stun anyone who’s ever been in a hotel and gone channel cruising: RT’s in there somewhere along with CNN, MSNBC, Fox, BBC, DW, France Télévisions, Rai and so on. A tiny voice in a bellowing crowd. But, after all, these are the people who tell us that Russia affected the US election with one FB message per 400 million others.

The Integrity Initiative is one of many. We had, and still have, the Legatum Institute which worried about “Russian disinformation” back in 2013, a pair of British thinktankers two years later also worried about “Russia’s information warfare in the UK“. Then it was time for “hybrid war“, a supposed Russian invention.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The West Slips Down Another Step

The West Slips Down Another Step

The West Slips Down Another Step

There is much on the Internet these days about documents allegedly hacked by Anonymous; these documents belong to the “Integrity Initiative” and describe a multi-country effort, funded by London and Washington, to counter “Russian propaganda” and “fake news”. Since the initial story broke, a good deal of confusion has been laid down: Wikileaks is doubtful, and Anonymous itself is being evasive. On the other hand, Integrity Initiative doesn’t entirely deny.

But even if entirely false, they would be in that curious category of “fake but true”: Integrity Initiative does actually exist and here is its website. It is certainly engaged in anti-Russia propaganda. It publishes articles locking the barn door after the horses have escaped: yes, “Novichok” is terribly deadly but that doesn’t mean it will kill you. But, if it isn’t strong enough to kill you today, it may be strong enough to kill someone four months later. Its most memorable statement is surely this:

The Kremlin has invested more operational thought, intent and resource in disinformation, in Europe and elsewhere in the democratic world, than any other single player.

A statement that would stun anyone who’s ever been in a hotel and gone channel cruising: RT’s in there somewhere along with CNN, MSNBC, Fox, BBC, DW, France Télévisions, Rai and so on. A tiny voice in a bellowing crowd. But, after all, these are the people who tell us that Russia affected the US election with one FB message per 400 million others.

The Integrity Initiative is one of many. We had, and still have, the Legatum Institute which worried about “Russian disinformation” back in 2013, a pair of British thinktankers two years later also worried about “Russia’s information warfare in the UK“.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Is Disadvantaged by Her Belief that the West Is Governed by Law

Russia Is Disadvantaged by Her Belief that the West Is Governed by Law

Ukrainian military ships have violated Russian restrictions in the Sea of Azov and Articles 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Ukrainian Navy crossed the Russian sea border and entered a closed area of Russian territorial waters. Clearly, Washington was behind this as Ukraine would not undertake such a provocation on its own. Here is an accurate explanation of the event: https://www.rt.com/news/444857-russia-ukraine-kerch-strait-standoff/ 

The Russian Navy detained the Ukrainian ships. Of course, the Western presstitutes, most of whom are CIA assets, will blame “Russian aggression.” Washington and its presstitutes are doing everything they can to make impossible Trump’s expressed goal of normal relations with Russia. NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu quickly aligned NATO with Ukraine: “NATO fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity, including its navigation rights in its territorial waters.” https://twitter.com/NATOpress/status/1066796714672222210/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1066796714672222210&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fnews%2F444853-russia-ukraine-ships-conflict%2F 

The US military/security complex prefers the risk of nuclear war to any diminution of its $1,000 billion annual budget, a completely unnecessary sum that is destined to grow as the presstitutes, in line with the military/security complex, continue to demonize both Russia and Putin and to never question the obvious orchestrations that are used to portray Russia as a threat.

The Russian goverment’s response to Ukraine’s provocation and violation of law was to call an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, as if anything would come of this. Washington pays such a large percentage of the UN budget, that few countries will side against Washington. As President Trump’s crazed UN ambassador Nikki Haley said, “we take names.”

From all evidence, the Russian government still, despite all indications to the contrary, believes that presenting a non-threatening posture to the West, which appeals to law and not to arms, is effective in discrediting Western charges of aggression against Russia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

OPINION: CBS’s & NPR’s Rabidly False ‘News’ About the Khashoggi Case

OPINION: CBS’s & NPR’s Rabidly False ‘News’ About the Khashoggi Case

CBS

It’s a lie to say, as CBS ‘News’ did on October 24th, that Saudi Crown Prince Salman couldn’t have done what Turkey says he did in the Khashoggi case — couldn’t do it,  because it’s not in the Saud family’s “DNA” to do such things. To the exact contrary: it is the norm for the Saud family, and has been for decades if not longer. What’s not normal in the Khashoggi case is that it was being done to a Saudi who has so many admirers and friends at high places in The West. That’s what makes the Khashoggi case different from all the others. And the evidence for this — and for the pervasive propagandistic fakery in U.S. mainstream ‘news’ reporting about foreign affairs (such as CBS did there) — will be presented here. This routine and unchallenged lying by the ‘news’-media is a super-scandal that the U.S. and UK press don’t report, but instead they all hide that they had lied and routinely do lie. So, since it’s totally unaddressed, it continues, on and on, for at least decades. Probably none of the major American or British ‘news’-media will publish this American samizdat, exposing the press, but this is being submitted to them all, in the hope that maybe at last, some or at least one of them will finally relent, and break open this mega-scandal — about the press itself. It needs to be made public

The constant lying, at any rate, must stop, regardless how it’s done. Though the problem itself, of repeatedly deceiving-the-public-into-wars, is not being reported, some U.S. and UK ‘news’-media are starting to come clean on aspects of the resulting disaster. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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