Voices from Russia

Saturday, 12 November 2016


01 brick through window


What has just happened in the “indispensable nation” is nothing less than a geopolitical 9/11. With, of course, a major twist. The suicide bomber sneaked out of the successful attack… which he meant to decimate virtually the whole War Party/neocon-neoliberal/Wall Street/think tank/corporate media establishment. Then, out of left field, when no one saw him coming, he reappeared, trumping it all. Internal geopolitics was key… as in the Trump campaign rust belt strategy mastering geography, demography, and the rudiments of class struggle to effectively shatter the much-vaunted Democrat blue wall. For all the requiems… “American tragedy” downwards… there won’t be armed revolution in the US. There won’t be civil war. The “deplorables” may have given a collective “finger” to the liquid modernity elites… but there’ll be no vengeful victory laps. Furthermore, geopolitically… and that’s what matters to the whole world… there’ll be no Warmonger-in-Chief.

Heart of Glass

Donald Trump… populist or not, a conduit to a mass revolt of the excluded and downgraded… managed to destroy the self-propelled myth of American institutional stability/predictability/credibility because these were already hollow qualities, vaunted by a bunch of vainglorious functionaries of Empire (“hollow men, stupid men, heads filled with straw”, to quote T S Eliot). Corruption… duly exposed by WikiLeaks… apart, what was on offer was a neocon cum neoliberal “humanitarian” imperialist, privileging military “solutions” to problems these same Exceptionalist functionaries created and/or de-multiplied. No wonder the Beggars’ Banquet clearly saw through the Looking Glass; they didn’t buy the myth of a “seasoned”, “capable”, “progressive pragmatist”, they engineered her rebound on the glass ceiling.

There may be reasons to doubt what certain dodgy Trumpsters such as Newt Gingrich or Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn could concoct as possible cabinet members. What’s certain is priorities will deviate from régime change in Russia and containment of China, and pivot to Asia-style (after all, Hillary was the pivot’s Mother). The Global Times, reflecting what the Chinese leadership really thinks, got the basics right:

He didn’t only beat Hillary Clinton, but also the traditional élite politics’ convictions and authority [that] she stands for.

What they left unsaid is that Beijing can do business with this man. The true test starts of course next January. One can’t forget that Russia and China, in that order, remain the Pentagon’s top two “existential threats” to the US. Only recently, Lieutenant-General Joseph Anderson, US Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Training, emphasised that the USA faces existential threats from “modern nation-states acting aggressively in militarized competition”. US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley stressed a war, against one of those threats or both, is “almost guaranteed”. It’ll be up to President Trump to defuse this madness. Unlike Hillary, who is a true believer in the doctrinal “first-strike” nuclear policy, Trump at least promised, in one of the debates, he wouldn’t start World War III.

In parallel, there won’t be neocons/neoliberals around to advocate a “muscular” “interventionist” policy, from the Russian borderlands to the South China Sea all the way to an al-Qaeda Air Force-style “no-fly zone” Syria. Trump doesn’t seem inclined to build “order” in the chaos the Empire fomented… from “Syria/Iraq” to Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. He has only pledged to bomb ISIS/ISIL/Daesh to smithereens. He won’t heed the desperate plea by former vassal NATO Secretary-General Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen… “We need America as the world’s policeman”. Iran, though, will remain a flashpoint. Flynn, not free from neocon indoctrination, is a certified Iranophobe. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani already preempted him, stating the Iran nuclear deal is irreversible (he’s lawfully correct).

Trump the Eurasian?

As usual, the buck always stops with China. At the recent Valdai discussion group, Fu Ying, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, went straight to the point:

China views the US-dominated world order as a mess and this is why it doesn’t want to take it over. Why should China repeat the mistakes that the USA did?

With Beijing not taking over whilst Trump focuses on rebuilding the USA, a geopolitical power vacuüm is bound to emerge. Yet, don’t discount Trump proposing a power-sharing deal China simply won’t refuse, centred on respecting spheres of influence. The same could apply to Cold War 2.0 hysteria. It’s not far-fetched to see Trump accepting the Crimea as part of the new status quo; a real Minsk II in the Ukraine; and respecting Russia’s spheres of influence. In a flash, Cold War 2.0 would be gone. Talk about a real reset… not Hillary’s, which featured a handicapped State Department that couldn’t even properly write “reset” in Russian. Likewise, what about TPP and TTIP? Considering Trump’s aversion to NAFTA, it’s improbable this Obama administration twin obsession… geoeconomic and geostrategic… would prosper.

Hillary was mesmerized by the USA-EU as “the greatest strategic objective” of our “transatlantic alliance”… meaning NATO. Trump isn’t exactly ecstatic about NATO… unless everyone is religiously paying their 2 percent of GDP into it. Don’t count on an “economic NATO” seducing Trump. What this would all mean, in the long run, is something quite extraordinary; the progressive dissolution of the USA-EU politico/economic/military bloc, in parallel to the inexorable ascension of Eurasian integration… ranging from the China-Russia strategic partnership to the interlinking with the SCO and the BRICS. Imagine Trump turning Dr Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski upside down:

To respond effectively in both the western and eastern parts of Eurasia, the world’s central and most critical continent, the USA must play a dual role. It must be the promoter and guarantor of greater and broader unity in the West, and it must be the balancer and conciliator between the major powers in the East.

The USA is in no position anymore to be promoter, guarantor, balancer, and conciliator of whatever there is… starting with itself. Now, imagine Donald Trump ultimately revealing himself… by proxy… as a Eurasian at heart; that would be the ultimate Trumpquake.

9 November 2016

Pepe Escobar

Sputnik International



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