Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Paul Craig Roberts — How Much War Does Washington Want?

Paul Craig Roberts on another tear.

The government of China, having read Washington’s war plans for war against China and being fully away of Washington’s “pivot to Asia,” in which the “indispensable nation” announced its “safe-guarding of peace” by surrounding China with naval and air bases, understands that it has the same Washington enemy as does Russia.
What the entire world faces, every country, every individual regardless of their political orientation, is a Washington-engineered confrontation with Russia and China. This confrontation is enabled by Washington’s bought-and-paid-for European and UK puppet states. Without the cover provided by Europe, Washington’s acts of aggression would result in war crimes charges against the government in Washington. The world would not be able to enforce these charges without war, but Washington would be isolated.
It's about encirclement of Russia and China to secure The Heartland as the global pivot.

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
who rules the World-Island controls the world."
(Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 194)

How Much War Does Washington Want?
Paul Craig Roberts

See also, Russia, Knuckle Under—Or Else! by Norman Pollack
Americans’ self-delusion that a post-Cold War era has been suddenly closed because of Russia annexing Crimea, is incorrect for several reasons. Chiefly, the continuity has never been broken. Each supposed thaw in relations has provided gathering space for primarily US cumulative arms-building, global market-penetration, emphasis on creating a national-security state, with Russia not bathed in innocence yet also hands-down outclassed by America in every department: a broad swath of military intervention, efforts at and success in regime change (implemented through the breadth of paramilitary operations), size of military expenditures (even as measured against gross domestic product), and the degree of ideological conditioning in support of war and the doctrine of permanent war. We speak of Russian totalitarianism, but say nothing about the substratum of ideological mind-bending in the West and especially America conditioning their peoples to equating freedom and democracy with the institutions and practices of advanced capitalism—no other standard on offer (in America the democracy-capitalism equation and consequent narrowing of permissible ideological BOUNDARIES since inception).
Today “Putinism” has become the term of choice for insinuating the combined Hitler-Stalin image as the nemesis of America reaching deeply into the national psyche. Exceptionalism has become all-consuming triumphalism, dulling moral sensibility and demanding conformity—since 1945 a progressive tightening of boundaries already set in place, now adding to capitalist absolutism the vigorous antisocialism which generates increased ethnocentrism and xenophobia. A combination of industrial-commercial-financial might, especially following a world war that devastated Europe and Russia, established the terms from the beginning of America’s claims to global hegemony. Today, from the US perspective, that context of arrogance and superiority has not changed, which makes the emergence of a multipolar power system then and now unthinkable, Russia no matter its policies—whether or not in response to US actions—the implacable foe, a paranoid currently directed as well to China.
There are always economic reasons behind power politics. Who profits from this?


Peter Pan said...

Unless the US thinks it can win a nuclear war, this crisis will end up as a stalemate.

Who wins? The military establishment, in terms of continued funding. Perhaps those who wish to see regime change in Syria and Iran will get what they want.

Business between Russia and Europe will continue, and the elites will continue to profit.

There's always the chance that something will go horribly wrong and escalate the crisis. As a spectator to these events, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. How about you?

Unknown said...

Who wins ?

Ukraine agrees to 50% gas price hike amid IMF talks

The winner has already been decided.

Unknown said...

"the “indispensable nation”"


What is 'the world island'?

Tom Hickey said...

The link in the post, the global pivot, explains it.

Tom Hickey said...

See also World Conquest : The Heartland Theory of Halford J. Mackinder for the geopolitical and geostrategic background. This is how world leaders and militaries see it. It's not possible to understand foreign policy without this background. It's basic to the thinking.

Unknown said...


Peter Pan said...

Heartland Theory should have been put to rest once it became possible to destroy the world with nuclear weapons, namely ICBMs.

Capitalism rules the world. It has a greater potential to monopolize power than traditional politics.

Tom Hickey said...

One problem with that is that the Heartland is extremely resource-rich including oil and gas reserves. Capitalism needs those resources and neoliberals/neoconservatives feel they need to control them rather than being at the mercy of others, especially potential enemies.

Peter Pan said...

They cannot gain control of those resources. They can gain access by doing business with the 'Heartland'. But that is an issue for Europe and China.

Africa is a resource rich continent, with whom China is interested in doing business. Is that not a threat to US interests?

Tom Hickey said...

The US is full on militarily in central Asia in Afghanistan and has also established an African command.

Think pipelines and where they go.

Peter Pan said...

Pipelines run from producers to their customers. There are none in Afghanistan last time I checked.

The US has military bases everywhere, who is to say what each one is for?

Tom Hickey said...

Search on "pipeline" and "Central Asia."

This is from 2005, but it's still relevant.

CFR-U.S. Military Bases in Central Asia

Russia and China view US military in Central Asia as strategic in an energy-rich area in their spheres of influence. The US says they are only there owing to Afghanistan and the US has no plans for permanent bases. That was 2005. The US is still there and angling with Karzai for a long-term presence there after it "withdraws."

Controlling Central Asia has been a US goal since the dissolution of the USSR and the perceived rising threat of China. Central Asia is rich not only in energy but also other natural resources.

Ukraine’s shadow on Central Asian steppes

A New Great Game in Central Asia

Central Asia’s Pipelines: Field of Dreams and Reality

What we have yet to see is cooperation among the different players in Central Asia pipelines in pursuit of convergent objectives, as opposed to competition for divergent interests. The zero-sum game principle applies not only to Russia, China, or Iran but also to Western government policy on pipelines in Central Asia.

Peter Pan said...

This says the US bases are there to support the war in Afghanistan. Failing to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan is delaying the closure of these bases.

As convenient as that excuse may be, how do these bases threaten the interests of Russia, or China? They can move ahead with plans to transport and sell energy if the economics support it.

Fighting a 13 year war to secure a route for a pipeline that may never be built was not a sound plan. They should have left the development of the region to large multinational corporations. And that is ultimately what is going to happen.

The US has accomplished little and controls nothing of importance. In the process millions of lives were destroyed and millions more are made to suffer. Afghanistan's mineral wealth could have been developed with the Taliban in power, now that has been rendered impossible due to the war. Karzai is a liability just as previous stooges were a liability for the Soviet Union.

That this situation is viewed as some kind of opportunity in US government circles beggars belief.

Tom Hickey said...

Unfortunately, the politics trumps the economics. The amount of USD and real resources the US has pumped into Iraq and Afghanistan boggles the mind, not to mention the human cost and destruction of property. And there is little to show for it.

But the neoliberals and neoconservatives are now dominating the framing over Ukraine and Russia. They have already with China as shown by the "Asian pivot" of US forces.

The basis is economic, but it makes no sense economically.