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Geopolitics To The Fore
When Henry Kissinger speaks, even now on the brink of turning centenarian, detractors and devotees. That’s because, as Alexander Mercouris put it today, no matter how you view Kissinger, no one has ever called him stupid. There has been a spate of articles lately regarding his views on the US war on Russia and China. For my money, this article (below) offers a pretty good survey of Kissinger’s legacy and his current embattled standing in the capitals of the West—Kissinger has become a pointed critic of the way the Rules Based Order has turned out. In fact, he anticipated the current crisis:
On the eve of his century, Washington's man has been exiled
BY THOMAS FAZI
Here’s the key passage for understanding why Kissinger’s current disenchantment should come as no surprise:
… throughout his career, Kissinger has consistently warned against the dangers of America’s tendency to view itself as a unique nation endowed with a quasi-religious “manifest destiny” to spread its values — first and foremost democracy — to the rest of the world. Instead, he argued for an approach based on a hard-headed assessment of balancing the US’s national interests with those of other powers.
This, from Kissinger’s perspective, was even truer in the post-Cold War world. In his 1994 memoir, Diplomacy, he argued that in an international system characterised by five or six major powers, order could only emerge from a reconciliation of different national interests, with an acceptance of the legitimacy of opposing values. However, he recognised that America’s emergence as the single, most powerful global power made this unlikely; rather, it risked empowering those factions in the US establishment who aspired to unilaterally dictate the global agenda under the pretence of remodelling the world in America’s image.
That passage needs to be unpacked a bit. Start at the end. America’s emergence as, for a few decades, the global hegemon did—as Kissinger foresaw—empower a power hungry US establishment, led by a notable faction who cherished the ambition to remake the world in their image: the Neocons. Whether that image actually reflects the reality of America is more than a little doubtful. Around the world US embassies sport the Rainbow flag, yet in my very blue town outside Chicago such displays of devotion to the Woke agenda are few and far between. Is the US government actually exporting “American values” when it pushes an agenda that much, even most, of the world finds deeply offensive—including broad swaths of America? This stealth coup that has taken control of the levers of power in DC has come about because of the chronic inattention of most Americans not only to the rest of the world but to developments in their own country. So here we are. The process Kissinger foresaw has led us to the brink of global war.
Doug Macgregor doesn’t have the following of a Kissinger, but in his most recent Youtube appearance he points to the two factors driving America’s war on Russia (and, by extension, on China). Yesterday I emphasized Macgregor’s views on the cultural aspect of the war, the desire to impose the Woke/Queer agenda on the rest of the world—an increasingly upopular agenda, it seems, even back home in the USA. But Macgregor also sees another powerful driving force. Here he identifies the mentality of the people behind the war:
[12:30] Macgregor: At the end of the day you're dealing with more than incompetents. Remember, these are also ideologues. They really believe that we are over their fighting to extend LGBTQRS or whatever it's called to everyone else in the world. We're forcing everything down everyone's throats everywhere. Which is why right now the BRICS plus 80 other countries are developing an alternative to our financial system. We're gonna see a meeting in St. Petersburg later in June, and the Russians and the Chinese and the Indians and the others are putting together a gold backed currency. ... This is gonna put us outta business as it further dedollarizes the financial system.
Charlie Kirk: ... How much of this conflict is actually an ideological proxy war of Wokism v. whatever they think Russia is?
Macgregor: It's very much that way on one level, and then on the second level, of course, you have Blackrock and all the other major financial institutions in the West who are trying to get control over the resources in Ukraine. And would like to see Russia destroyed so they could steal ...
Kirk: So an actual raw materials colonization project.
Macgregor: Yeah. [14:15] ... The annoying part for them is that all of the critical resources [in Ukraine] are now under Russian occupation. [14:38]
How many Americans understand that this is what is going on? Probably as few or, really, fewer than those who have any clue about the historical and cultural complexities of the Eastern Slav lands we call Russian and Ukraine. America’s power—or what remains of it, Macgregor maintains our munitions stocks are good only for about a week of conventional warfare—has been hijacked by a blend of two factions, ideological and financial.
Last week, May 23rd to be precise, another notable geopolitical thinker, John Mearshimer, offered some lengthy reflections and prognostications on the war. Alex Krainer was there and, in his substack, drew attention to a relatively brief portion of Mearshimer’s presentation—actually, drawn from the Q&A rather than the prepared remarks—but one which fits in very well with Macgregor’s “second level” of the war:
One group ties together Joe Biden, Obama Administration and the west's great misadventure in Ukraine.
But perhaps the most interesting part of his presentation was when, during the Q&A session he mentioned the dirty hand that Joe Biden has played in the conflict: during the Obama Administration, when the Euromaidan coup was orchestrated (Feb. 2014), Joe Biden was in charge of the Ukraine portfolio and he was a "superhawk" in that role. Mearsheimer did not elaborate much on this point, but he did note that Ukraine’s president Zelensky turned much more aggressive toward Russia and Ukraine’s breakaway regions practically from the day Joe Biden entered the White House. Recall, Zelensky was elected in 2019 by a 70% majority of Ukrainian people in the west and in the east of the country because he promised to make making peace with Russia and to respect the rights of ethnic Russians.
…. But Biden’s role was much more extensive than that. On the day of the Euromaidan Coup in February 2014, the same day when President Barack Obama was discussing with Vladimir Putin how to [defuse] the crisis, Biden called President Viktor Yanukovich and pressured him to withdraw his security forces from Kiev and from all the government buildings. Yanukovich, who had just signed a deal with opposition, conceding to all of their demands, walked straight into Biden’s perfidious trap and within hours of ordering his security forces to withdraw, armed neo-Nazi groups stormed the government buildigns, presidential palace and Yanukovich’s private residence. Yanukovich had to flee the country to save his life.
That’s by way of background. Now …
Along with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Biden also played the key role in coercing the Kiev Junta to launch its brutal “anti-terorist operation” in April 2014 which resulted in massacres of hundreds of civilians in Odessa, Mariupol, Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and other towns across Ukraine’s southern and eastern districts. The regime was urged by its western handlers to consolidate control of these regions as they accounted for the bulk of Ukraine’s economic output.
As pointed out by Macgregor, the Donbas is the region that is rich in critical resources.
So, where’s Citigroup in all this?
The pressure to consolidate control over south and east of Ukraine originated from the banking circles. On Thursday, May 1, 2014, just one day before the massacres in Kharkov, Slavyansk and Odessa, CNBC ran the headline: “IMF warns Ukraine on bailout if it loses east.” The article reported that, “‘This is something of a leap of faith for the IMF and is politically driven by key IMF shareholders to support the [Junta prime minister Arseniy] Yatsenyuk ‘kamikaze’ administration in its reform efforts...’”
IMF’s shareholders consist of the American and European financial oligarchy, the same club that controls Citigroup and other global systematically important banks (GSIBs). However, Citigroup may have had the greatest appetite for a piece of Ukrainian action which began with the 2014 Euromaidan coup, planned and organized by a cabal of western officials including a group of Neocons within the Obama administration. There’s some evidence suggesting that Obama himself wasn’t in the loop, but was dragged along with the project by a group of conspirators consisting of individuals like John Kerry, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Victoria Nuland.
Krainer then goes on to recall the outsized influence that Citigroup had over key Obama cabinet appointments, especially Jack Lew. The Citigroup angle isn’t the key. It’s the role that global financial interests have played in the war behind the scenes. That angle has somehow escaped the attention of the MSM.
I’ll finish with a substack that I take to be written from an Australian perspective. It’s not that I have a whole lot of sympathy for the Australian government—after all, they helped perpetrate the Russia Hoax on America—but the author makes a number of interesting points that we Americans don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.
The deal that the US is offering the rest of the world is becoming less and less attractive
My view is that the developments the author sketches out are largely inevitable. It was simply never going to be the case that Russia (cheap energy) and China (cheap labor) were going to remain economic colonies of the New World Order indefinitely. American unipolar hegemony was always doomed to wane, as other nations—preeminently Russia and China—developed their economic potential. That they should do so is entirely reasonable on their part, and if we assisted China, in particular, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we don’t like the results. But this entire process in which more and more of the world decouples from the US to the extent possible has been greatly accelerated by the Neocon adventure in waging war on Russia.
Back to IS THE US LOSING THE WORLD?
First, the author sketches out the deal that America offered the world after WW2, and which was eagerly accepted back then. No mystery here. Mutual economic ties on terms dictated by America, in return for military security. At the time it seemed like a good deal for all concerned. But, says the author, the US is now reneging on its part of the deal. The US is forcing its vassal states into positions that don’t conform to real interests—because many of those states no longer see Russia and/or China as threats. Here’s his example from Australia:
As the War in Ukraine drags on, it’s increasingly clear that the US cannot guarantee security, a continuation of the problems in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As pointed out in the note on Australia, the US is now asking Australia to spend 50% of its defence budget for the next 30 years to supply the US with a nuclear submarine refuelling station in Perth. This has two negatives. Firstly it risks Australian access to the Chinese market, which is far larger than the US market for Australia. And it starves other parts of the Australian military of funds.
The author then goes on to argue that much of the rest of the world doesn’t see China as a danger. Whether or not that is the case, the US government maintains that it is, and that causes problems for the vassal states. Because the US views China as a danger,
… the US is now asking allies to reduce exposure to China (the largest trading partner is most cases) and spend more on military to protect themselves from China.
Yet, at the same time,
… the US has adopted industrial policy, offering heavy subsidies to attract new business to the US at the expense of its allies.
It is, he says, an “unattractive mess”.
The author then tries to account for this attitude on the part of the US, which pays so little attention to the interests of its vassals and evinces the lack of interest on the part of the US in keeping its vassals reasonably happy with the master/servant relationship. One of the two reasons he offers is that the US, because of its energy independence (shale oil/gas) can go it alone if it chooses to do so. America doesn’t really need the rest of the world, from that perspective. Another more dubious reason he offers has to do with US politics. However, he actually offers a third reason which ties in to Alex Krainer’s reflections as well as Doug Macgregor’s—US foreign policy is to a great extent driven by corporate interests. Which is kinda what you would expect from a fascistic oligarchy. US corporate interests want to have their cake and to eat it as well—no matter the American middle class, much less foreign vassal states:
The other way to look at US policy is that it is driven by corporate interests. US corporates love the access to Chinese markets, and to Chinese manufacturers, but are extremely uncomfortable with Chinese competition in leading industries. Hence Chinese tech needs to be disparaged as dangerous to stop it taking market share - see Huawei, TikTok, semiconductor investment etc. No doubt threats to the payment systems of Visa and Mastercard will portray WePay and AliPay as security threats. Or as BYD will be seen as a security risk if it begins to threaten Tesla’s position in the US. And yet the Chinese still run a large trade surplus with the US, as corporate America still needs the low cost manufacturing. Politically the US position makes no sense, but from a corporate profitability point of view it makes perfect sense.
Follow the link to read it all. See what you think. The bottom line is that US foreign policy makes no sense at all for the vast majority of Americans—in fact, the policies of our corporatist masters actually harm the vast majority of Americans. But the factions that Kissinger feared would arise to pursue their ideological agendas have hijacked the greed of corporate interests to wage a crazy war that is losing the world for America. It never had to be this way. It happened while America slept. Ignoring reality is always easier than paying attention.
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