Hobbled US Turns to War to Preserve its Waning Primacy
By Mike Whitney
Source: The Unz Review
The future of humanity will be decided on a battlefield in Ukraine. That’s no exaggeration. The conflict between the United States and Russia will determine whether global economic integration will expand within an evolving multi-polar system or if the “rules-based order” will succeed in crushing any opponent to its Western-centric model. This is what’s taking place in Ukraine today, in fact, all of the recent government-prepared documents related to national security identify Russia and China as the greatest threats to US hegemony. For example, take a look at this brief clip from the 2021 Congressional Research Service Report titled Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress:
The U.S. goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia… is a policy choice reflecting two judgments: (1) that given the amount of people, resources, and economic activity in Eurasia, a regional hegemon in Eurasia would represent a concentration of power large enough to be able to threaten vital U.S. interests….
From a U.S. perspective on grand strategy and geopolitics, it can be noted that most of the world’s people, resources, and economic activity are located not in the Western Hemisphere, but in the other hemisphere, particularly Eurasia. In response to this basic feature of world geography, U.S. policymakers for the last several decades have chosen to pursue, as a key element of U.S. national strategy, a goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia.” (“Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress”, US Congress)
That sums up US foreign policy in a nutshell; “prevent the emergence of a regional hegemon” at all cost. Now check out this summary of the 2022 US National Defense Strategy by Andre Damon at the World Socialist Web Site:
These documents, which were not seriously discussed in the US media, make clear the fundamental falsehood that the massive US military buildup this year is a response to “Russian aggression.” In reality, in the thinking of the White House and Pentagon war planners, the massive increases in military spending and plans for war with China are created by “dramatic changes in geopolitics, technology, economics, and our environment.”
These documents make clear that the United States sees the economic rise of China as an existential threat, to be responded to with the threat of military force. The United States sees the subjugation of Russia as a critical stepping stone toward the conflict with China.” (“Pentagon national strategy document targets China”, Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site)
These two excerpts are by no means a comprehensive summary of US foreign policy objectives, but they are a pretty effective thumbnail sketch. Bottom line: The war in Ukraine is not about Ukraine. America’s clearly articulated strategic objectives are as follows: To weaken Russia, topple its leader, take control of its vast natural resources and move on to containing China. Simply put, Washington’s escalating aggression in Ukraine is a Hail Mary pass aimed at containing emerging centers of economic power in order to preserve its waning position in the global order.
This is the geopolitical chess match that is being played behind the cover of “a war against Russia’s unprovoked aggression.” People should not be hoodwinked by that absurd deception. This war was concocted as a desperate attempt for the United States to defend its flickering global hegemony. That’s what Ukraine is really all about. It’s a clash between the warmongering western oligarchs who have a stranglehold on the US media and political establishment and the emerging economies that are using the market system to link their resources and manufactured goods to countries around the world through “high-speed” infrastructure and cooperative development.
So, the question everyone must ask themselves is this: Do you want to see more economic integration, lower prices, more shared prosperity and less war or another 80 years of onerous and arbitrary sanctions, color-coded revolutions, regime change operations, genocidal interventions and bioweapon warfare (Covid-19)? Which do you want?
Perhaps, you are one of the millions of Americans who believe that China is an enemy of the United States. Perhaps, you are also unaware of the role the US played in creating modern China. Here’s a question for you: Did the US and western corporations move their operations en masse to China to escape the high costs of production in the US?
answer– Yes, they did.
And, did they betray US workers because they didn’t want a fair wage to interfere with their excessive profit-making?
And, did they offshore their businesses, outsource their product manufacturing and do everything in their power to make themselves winners while robbing American workers of the opportunity of making a decent wage so they could put food on the table?
answer– They sure did.
Then who is actually responsible for the rise of China?
answer– Western corporations are responsible. If Americans want to blame someone, blame them!
But now the corporate mandarins and other elites are unhappy with China because China will not allow them to take control over their markets, financial system and currency as they have in America. So now these same cutthroat corporations want us to fight a war with the monster that they created?
Can you see that? Can you see that the relentless provocations against China have nothing to do with US national security or US interests. We are being led by the nose to fight and die for the cadres of voracious western oligarchs who have settled on China as the next target of their grand looting operation.
But let’s forget the past for a minute and focus on the future, after all, that’s what really matters, right?
Well then, which country has a more “positive vision” for the future: China or the United States?
Have you ever heard of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the massive, multi trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that is the centerpiece of China’s foreign policy? It is the biggest infrastructure program in history and more 150 countries have invested in the plan already. It is a development-oriented project aimed at increasing connectivity through high-speed rail, shipping lanes and ports, skyscrapers, railroads, roads, bridges, airports, dams, power stations, and railroad tunnels. By increasing the speed of travel, China’s products and merchandise will get to markets faster generating greater prosperity for itself and for the other countries involved. And, keep in mind, the BRI will link countries around the world in a high-speed system that will not require its participants to follow a specific economic model dictated by Beijing. In other words, the Belt and Road Initiative is free market economics without the politics. It’s a “win-win” situation for everyone, a guarantee of mutual prosperity absent political manipulation, coercion or exploitation.
The venal oligarchs that run the US can’t even imagine a project of this scale or potential. In fact, they can’t even pony-up enough money to keep the trains on the rails in America. The profits these billionaire parasites extract from their activities invariably come from stock buybacks, tax evasion, and other sleight-of-hand, debt-layering ponzi-scams that benefit no one and merely shift more of the nation’s wealth into their own bulging bank accounts. Of course, ripping off the country would be bad enough, but now we see how this same class of miscreants have settled on public health as a means for amplifying their political power so they can impose repressive, police-state measures that greatly curtail the freedom of the entire population. In short, they want absolute social control and they aren’t going to let-up until they get it.
Where is the “positive vision” in this behavior?
There isn’t one. America used to be a country of ideas, ideals and vision. Now it is an oligarch-run detension center in which all hope for the future has been ruthlessly extinguished by a handful of mercenary billionaires.
At least, in the case of China, we can imagine a better, more prosperous world that is interconnected and more accessible to everyone. But what about the United States? Are we supposed to believe that fighting a war in eastern Europe is going to improve our lives? Are we supposed to believe that the only way “we can stay on top” is by pushing everyone else down? Are we expected to hate China and Russia even while our own government demonizes 80 million of us for voting for the wrong presidential candidate or for not supporting the terrorists who burn and loot our cities or for believing that the people in East Palestine are more deserving of our support and assistance than the Nazi stormtroopers in Kiev?
The fact is, our leaders cannot imagine devoting public resources to a giant interconnected infrastructure project like BRI, because that would mean less lucre for themselves. So, they’ve decided to destroy it just like they destroyed Nord Stream. Just read the press reviews on this groundbreaking project. Western journalists can’t find a ‘good word’ to say about it. A vast area in the center of America was fiendishly nuked with vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate and isobutylene, but the western media would rather criticize China’s ambitious BRI project than hold their paymasters accountable. Go figure.
The same rule applies to Russia. The Biden team and their wealthy allies don’t want closer relations between Germany and Russia because closer relations mean more prosperity for both countries, and Washington can’t have that, which is why they blew up the pipeline that was Germany’s lifeline to cheap fuel. That’s how Washington solved the problem. It pushed Germany and Russia down so the US could remain on top. Who doesn’t see this?
In contrast, the Belt and Road Initiative provides a positive vision for the future, which is an idea that the majority of the world supports. It puts us on a path to an interconnected world in which people can raise their standards of living, make a meaningful contribution to their communities, and enjoy their own culture and traditions without fear of being sanctioned, incarcerated or bombed to death. This is an excerpt from China’s Global Times:
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has already become a well-received international public good and an important platform for international cooperation…
“BRI transcends the outdated mentality of geopolitical games, and created a new model of international cooperation. It is not an exclusive group that excludes other participants but an open and inclusive cooperation platform. It is not just China’s solo effort, but a symphony performed by all participating countries….
Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was proposed in 2013, the initiative has always been development-oriented, and consistent efforts have been made to ensure that it is high-standard, sustainable and people-centered….
By August, China’s goods trade with countries participating in the BRI had reached around $12 trillion and the country’s non-financial direct investment in those countries surpassed $140 billion. … By the end of 2021, Chinese enterprises had invested $43 billion in the construction of economic and trade cooperation zones in BRI countries, creating more than 340,000 local jobs, official data showed…
China is open to other countries’ and regions’ participation in the BRI and is considering connecting with infrastructure initiatives proposed by other nations to provide more good-quality public goods for the world…. China hopes to join hands with all partners to advance the high-quality development … stressing that China aims to strive for global connection rather than fragmentation, for mutual opening-up rather than shutting doors, for mutual integration rather than zero-sum games. (“BRI remains open, inclusive for all, transcends the outdated mentality of geopolitical games“, Global Times)
What is the American-led project that rivals the Belt and Road Initiative?
There isn’t one. The US allocates over $1 trillion per year for lethal weaponry and war-making, and trillions more to bail out the Wall Street banksters, and trillions more to shut down all the businesses across the country that were forced to comply with the diktats of billionaire elites who wanted to inject the population with their toxic slurry, but zero for any global infrastructure project that would peacefully bring the world’s people closer together through commerce and recreation.
No one is saying that China is perfect, at least, I’m not. Nor do I want to live in China. I don’t. I’m an American and I plan to die here.
But I’m not blind. It’s easy to see that this war with Russia has nothing to do with “unprovoked aggression.” That is merely a smokescreen that’s being used to conceal the real objective, which is to preserve America’s global hegemony. What we need to do now, is honestly analyze ‘what is happening’; try to understand ‘why it is happening’, and, then, figure out what the outcome will be if the United States prevails. In other words, do we want to perpetuate an oligarch-controlled system that crushes Russia, contains China, starves Europe of the energy it needs, sabotages the Belt and Road infrastructure plan and reinforces the same failed policies that brought us Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq?
Do we want that? Do YOU want that?
The American people want their government to cooperate with other nations in order to create a more prosperous and peaceful world. They don’t want a new world order and they certainly don’t want a Third World War.
‘The American people…don’t want a new world order.’ There will be a new world order. As I have commented on your blog before, in 1894 Engels wrote in a letter about the rise of China, stating that one of the results will be that the U.S. will have to become socialist in order to (try to) compete with it. Imagine…U.S.S.A! Australia (which just signed up with the U.S. to spend multiple billions on soon-to-be-outdated U.S. nuclear submarines, digging itself ever-deeper into servility towards the war-mongering plans of the U.S. capitalist class), too – of course – will follow likewise behind – U.S.A(ustralia). Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!
It seems the entirety of the Western World (especially English speaking majority nations) have been in a long-running competition to be seen as a 51st state. But as is becoming increasingly clear, such nations are treated by US government more as exploited territories which must abide by US law without benefits of statehood.
History repeats itself again and again. Empires come and go, and for the US it is time for it to go. Now it’s China’s turn. Of course, it is probably certain, that in time, China will become the next ‘evil’ empire and go the way of all empires.
But in the meantime, the world needs a long break from the endless wars and planet-risking aggression to focus on its own existential problems – climate change and resource depletion.
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