Category Archives: Pepe’s Corner

China: Silk roads and open seas, by Pepe Escobar

Chinese missile destroyers (Reuters/China Daily)
Chinese missile destroyers (Reuters/China Daily)

Beijing’s disclosure earlier this week of its latest military white paper, outlining a new doctrine moving beyond offshore defense to “open seas” defense, predictably rattled every exceptionalist’s skull and bone.

Almost simultaneously, in Guangzhou, the annual Stockholm China Forum, hosted by the German Marshall Fund and the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, was mired in deep thought examining the vast Eurasian integration project known in China as “One Road, One Belt”.

What is also known as the New Silk Road project – displaying all the romantic connotations of a remix of a golden era – is not only about new roads, high-speed railways, pipelines and fiber optics, but also about a naval network from East Asia all the way to the Middle East and Europe.

So Chinese maritime expansion in the “open seas” – from the South China Sea to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean – had to be intimately tied to protection of the Maritime Silk Road.

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BRICS trample US in South America, by Pepe Escobar

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner arrive to the official photo session for the BRICS summit (Reuters / Sergio Moraes)

It started in April with a rash of deals between Argentina and Russia during President Cristina Kirchner’s visit to Moscow.

And it continues with a $53 billion investment bang as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brazil during the first stop of yet another South American commercial offensive – complete with a sweet metaphor: Li riding on a made in China subway train that will ply a new metro line in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

Where is the US in all this? Nowhere; little by little, yet inexorably, BRICS members China – and in a smaller measure, Russia – have been no less than restructuring commerce and infrastructure all across Latin America.

Countless Chinese commercial missions have been plying these shores non-stop, much as the US did between World War I and II. In a key meeting in January with Latin American business leaders, President Xi Jinping promised to channel $250 billion for infrastructure projects in the next 10 years.

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The German question, by Pepe Escobar

Seventy years after the end of World War II, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is once again under the grip of ‘sturm und drang’, but this time barely registered in either East or West.

Without a serious attempt at myth busting, it’s impossible to discern what could be interpreted as a new, discreet German attempt at hegemony.

Contrary to a myth currently propagated by US ‘Think Tankland’, political Berlin under Chancellor Merkel is not a mediator between a still hegemonic US and an “aggressive” Russia.

The reality is Berlin, at least for the moment, would rather give the impression of singing Washington’s tune – with minor variations – while chastising Russia. That’s the case even when we consider the solid energy/trade/business ties with Moscow, as in Germany importing a third of its natural gas, and German industry/companies/corporations hugely invested in Russia.

Contrary to a second myth, political Berlin does not seek “stability” in Europe’s eastern borderlands, but rather outright vassalage. The relentless Eastern European integration to the EU, led by Berlin, was as much a strategy to open new markets for German exports as to erect a buffer between Germany and Russia. As for the Baltic States, they are already vassals; Germany is the largest trading partner for all three.

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Eurasia as we (and the U.S.) knew it is dead, by Pepe Escobar

President Xi on a tour of Pakistan, where he is expected to offer approximately $50 billion in investment.
President Xi on a tour of Pakistan, where he is expected to offer approximately $50 billion in investment.

Move over, Cold War 2.0. The real story, now and for the foreseeable future, in its myriad declinations, and of course, ruling out too many bumps in the road, is a new, integrated Eurasia forging ahead.

China’s immensely ambitious New Silk Road project will keep intersecting with the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EEC). And that will be the day when the EU wakes up and finds a booming trade/commerce axis stretching from St. Petersburg to Shanghai. It’s always pertinent to remember that Vladimir Putin sold a similar, and even more encompassing, vision in Germany a few years ago – stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

It will take time – and troubled times. But Eurasia’s radical face lift is inexorable. This implies an exceptionalist dream – the U.S. as Eurasia hegemon, something that still looked feasible at the turn of the millennium – fast dissolving right before anyone’s eyes.

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THE HILLARATOR

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The “Hillary for America” memo:

Campaign will be guided by following principles:
“We are a team”, “We are a diverse, talented family”, “we are disciplined”, “we are humble”, “we know the importance of having fun”, “we are open to a diverse range of views”, “we are responsible”.

Campaign will be guided by Hillary’s “bedrock values”: “hard work, service, fairness and faith in the American Dream.”

And don’t forget the overarching principle, “I’m itchin’ to launch a god-damned war in January 2017. See you in the barricades, bitches.”

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THE PROOF YEMEN IS YET ANOTHER AMERICAN WAR

That fabulous fountain of unimpeachable secret sources, Le Canard Enchainé, has revealed this week in Paris that an American command cell has been fully operational in Saudi Arabia, run by CENTCOM Gen. Lloyd Austin. So all “coalition” strikes against Yemen are under – what else – US command, because the Saudi “Air Force” is, frankly, a joke.

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Eurasian emporium or nuclear war?, by Pepe Escobar

A high-level European diplomatic source has confirmed to Asia Times that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has vigorously approached Beijing in an effort to disrupt its multi-front strategic partnership with Russia.

Beijing won’t necessarily listen to this political gesture from Berlin, as China is tuning the strings on its pan-Eurasian New Silk Road project, which implies close trade/commerce/business ties with both Germany and Russia.

The German gambit reveals yet more pressure by hawkish sectors of the U.S. government who are intent on targeting and encircling Russia. For all the talk about Merkel’s outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency’s tapping shenanigans, the chancellor walks Washington’s walk.  Real “outrage” means nothing unless she unilaterally ends sanctions on Russia. In the absence of such a response by Merkel, we’re in the realm of good guy-bad guy negotiating tactics.

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Power Play Behind Regime Change in Russia, by Pepe Escobar

The Empire of Chaos dream of regime change in Russia has always hinged on controlling large swathes of Eurasia.

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With “friends” like European Council President Donald Tusk and top NATO commander Gen. Philip Breedlove, the EU certainly doesn’t need enemies.

Gen. Breedhate has been spewing out his best Dr. Strangelove impersonation, warning that evil Russia is invading Ukraine on an everyday basis. The German political establishment is not amused.

Tusk, while meeting with US President Barack Obama, got Divide and Rule backwards; he insisted, “foreign adversaries” were trying to divide the US and the EU – when it’s actually the US that is trying to divide the EU from Russia. And right on cue, he blamed Russia — side by side with the fake Caliphate of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

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War Crimes of the “righteous”

This is how Tokyo looked like 70 years ago after “Operation Meetinghouse”. Northern and eastern Tokyo were completely devastated. 100,000 civilians were burned alive. US Gen. Curtis LeMay insisted on low-altitude flights by 335 bombers, no-holds-barred carpet bombing, and loads and loads of napalm.

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Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times, an analyst for RT and Sputnik, and a Sputnik regular. His latest book is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook by clicking here.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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