June 09, 2018
The 'West' Is Past
G-7 summits are supposed to symbolize "the west", its unity and its power. The summits pretended to set policy directions for the world.
We are happy to see that they are dead.
I do not know who made this pic.
It is a modification of a photo by German chancellor Merkel's staff photographer Jesco Denzel that was uploaded to her Instagram account:
Is that supposed to make her look good? Is it not similar to this scene?
Another picture of that moment shows the various heads of states redacting some common statement and discussing its formulations.
Trump rejected the summit communiqué:
The American side objected to including the phrase “rules-based international order,” even though it is boilerplate for such statements, according to two people briefed on the deliberations. The Europeans and Canadians were pushing back, but it remained unclear whether the Trump administration would ultimately sign the statement or be left on its own.
Trump was obviously not inclined to compromise. He did not sign. There are no 'rules' for him. Not even the ones the U.S. itself once wrote.
Before attending the summit Trump trolled his colleagues by inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7/G-8 format without conditions. Russia had been kicked out after Crimea voted to join its motherland. Merkel, who had negotiated the Minsk agreement with Russia, was furious. She wants to use such an invitation as an element of future negotiations. (It is stupid attempt. Russia is not interested in rejoining the G-7/G-8 format.)
There are now many fields where the U.S. and its allies disagree: climate change, the Iran deal, trade are only the major ones.
Before leaving the summit Trump again used Mafia language against everyone else:
As he prepared to depart early from the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, to head to Singapore ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump delivered an ultimatum to foreign leaders, demanding that their countries reduce trade barriers for the U.S. or risk losing market access to the world's largest economy.
"They have no choice. I'll be honest with you, they have no choice," Trump told reporters at a news conference, adding that companies and jobs had left the U.S. to escape trade barriers abroad. "We're going to fix that situation. And if it's not fixed, then we're not going to deal with these countries."
The row at the G-7 meeting was in stark contrast to the more important other meeting that happened today, the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China:
Dazzling against the city skyline of Qingdao, fireworks lit up the faces of guests who traveled across the vast Eurasian continent to the coast of the Yellow Sea for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, on Saturday night.
It is the first such summit since the organization's expansion in June 2017 when India and Pakistan joined as full members.
The Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development, was stated in the Charter of the SCO, a comprehensive regional organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and later expanded to eight member states.
This weekend Xi will chair the summit for the first time as Chinese president, which is attended by leaders of other SCO member states and four observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations.
The SCO has grown to be an organization covering over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.
Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that.
Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles.
Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'.
The 'west' has lost in Eurasia.
The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.
Trump is off to Singapore to meet Kim Yong-un. Unlike Trump North Korea's supreme leader will be well prepared. It is likely that he will run rings around Trump during the negotiations. If Trump tries to bully him like he bullies his 'allies', Kim will pack up and leave. Unlike the U.S. 'allies' he has no need to bow to Trump. China and Russia have his back. They are now the powers that can lead the world.
The 'west' is past. The future is in the east.
Posted by b on June 9, 2018 at 03:14 PM | Permalink
After so much gloom and doom, it is nice to hear of this progress and unity in the east, such unity is important, as it can withstand attacks and invasions by "the west"..
Posted by: Ingrid B | Jun 10, 2018 6:55:53 PM | 101
Fuck you American @87
… tosses some “inconvenient truths” into the stew, but hasn’t drawn any comment. Interesting. Regarding just one of the mega-billion dollar deals Putin has signed with Netanyahu, what does Russia partnering with Israel on Israel’s natural gas exploitation mean? From a few years ago:
“...for all its apparent support for Syria’s Assad regime, Russia’s energy partnership with Israel is clearly meant for the long haul whichever side gains control in Damascus. No wonder Israel has recently felt sufficiently emboldened to issue oil and gas exploration rights on the disputed Golan Heights. [see Genie Energy Board of "Strategic" Directors ]
“But, most significantly of all… what would Russia do if Israel decides militarily intervention [against] Iran…?
“While we have consistently made out a strong case that… not a single ME government would come to Iran’s aid in the event of an attack, we can also state precisely what Russia won’t do.
“Moscow won’t jeopardize its new deeply strategic energy partnership with its Israeli-Greek Cypriot ‘Western’ partners – in particular, its burgeoning relationship with the Middle East’s coming energy superpower, Israel.”
Posted by: Daniel | Jun 10, 2018 7:15:31 PM | 102
@98 karlof1.. thanks.. i read the link and listened to the interview.. good stuff.. i enjoy michael hudsons work... his comments in the interview are fascinating..
Posted by: james | Jun 10, 2018 7:19:50 PM | 103
Steve Miller it is!
Posted by: daffyDuct | Jun 10, 2018 8:10:35 PM | 104
Totally agree with the conclusion here. However, the US is still in denial. And I'm afraid they may behave in some more belligerent ways trying to force their hegeminy.
Posted by: KP | Jun 10, 2018 11:10:37 PM | 105
"It's always interesting how international law means so very little when there is a political agenda."
Posted by: craigsummers | Jun 10, 2018 8:16:02 AM | 69
Oh, the irony!
Posted by: Activist Potato | Jun 11, 2018 12:14:15 AM | 106
Absolutely disgusting, but expected propaganda from Wikipedia.
Posted by: Daniel | Jun 10, 2018 5:42:17 PM | 94
(We Con The World)
B's May 25 post on Sources, focusing on London's(!!?) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, was a timely heads-up/ warning that EVERY consumer of News (from any source) needs to keep their skepticism handy and their bs detector up to date. The post also included hints and examples of the way b extracts 'likely truthful' News from sources with a Fake News reputation.
You (and I) were alerted by a Wiki contributor's insertion of the word "purported" to qualify a factoid and were able to extract the 'likely truth.'
Wiki's value, to me, is that it covers EVERY topic which has ever aroused my curiosity. I'm not surprised that its veracity is under attack because it has made (as one example) Encyclopedia's and their Annual Update$ redundant for 90%+ of consumers. I have a passing interest in Photons and their (unresolved) place in Life, The Universe & Everything. Wiki's entry 6 or 7 years ago was very comprehensive and contained links to specialised avenues of research.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2018 1:50:17 AM | 107
Hoarsewhispers. I read and replied to that post. I also noted that I first discovered that Wikipedia is edited to provide false information back in about 2005, and even answered questions you asked about that.
Perhaps you didn't notice Craig Murray's discovery about Wiki?
Or maybe you didn't know that Israel has been editing and locking changes for years?
Governments, Intelligence Agencies, corporations and other "special interests" have been manipulating Wikipedia (often with the approval of Wiki) from the start. Chances are, that was part of its purpose.
Read and believe ANYTHING in Wikipedia at your own risk.
Posted by: Daniel | Jun 11, 2018 2:20:26 AM | 108
Besides being good and observant on a given topic (G7-SCO summits), the article in passing fixed two important facts, to which I drew attention.
(1) "...Russia had been kicked out after Crimea voted to join its motherland".
(2) "...Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War".
Good to see here an accurate and correct wordings, not some usual [western] propaganda stamps aka "annexation of Crimea" or "occupied Crimea".
Good to see an adult and sober estimation of the event.
One might like or don't like it, but Crimea joined Russia in full accordance with international law.
A precedent for this appeared when the West recognized a separation of Kosovo from Serbia.
A [West's] decision on Kosovo clearly stated a primacy of the right of nations to self-determination over the territorial integrity of state.
At that time, Russia was warning that recognizing Kosovo the West opens the Pandora's box, and that possible results in the future can be regrettable and dangerous.
As usual, western elites were not listening. Well, they got a result in 2014.
Btw, one might notice that since 2014 no one (first of all Ukraine) ever tried to start a trial against Russia because of Crimea.
They could, for example, appeal to the ICC or ECHR. Why not?
If there would be any violations (from Russian side), the court, of course, would clearly state "Russia is guilty here, here and here..".
But no one ever appealed to the ICC or ECHR (or any other court\institution).
Because they know they will fail in court, since Russia did not violate any laws\norms of the international law.
That's why all they can do is just to scream about "Russian aggression" and "annexation of Crimea".
Btw, that's interesting (and very characteristic) - Ukrainian Nazi regime did not refuse to use courts to argue with a Russian company "Gazprom" on gas prices and other stuff. But they're refuse to use courts to dispute a legitimacy of Crimea's status.
The myth that US had 'won' the Cold War is another interesting moment.
First of all, because the Cold War was not over. It's easy to prove by concrete facts.
To name just a few:
1) NATO was not dissolved and continued to expand to the East even after 1991, when the USSR collapsed.
2) Russia still was under sanctions ("Jackson-Vanik amendment", repealed only in 2012) even after 1991, when the USSR collapsed.
3) The West (in particular, the US) widely supported separatist sentiments & terrorists on Russian Caucasus in 90-es/early 2000-es.
4) The US' meddling into a Russian elections (well-known story of 1996 President elections in Russia).
5) NATO\US aggression against Yugoslavia in late 90-es, completely ignoring Russia's opinion & concern. Not mentioning bombardment of Saraevo in the middle of 90-es, again, ignoring Russia's opinion & concern.
The Cold War was never finished. In 90-es it was just transferred into some kind of a "lightened form", since Russia was weakened (but not defeated) by the collapse of USSR, therefore it was no need for the West to 'try hard' against Russia. Since 2000-es (unilateral withdrawal of the US from the ABM Treaty in 2002, aggression against Iraq in 2003 etc.) the Cold War "woke up" and was steadily increasing till our days.
That's why the US did not win the Cold War - you can't be a winner in the unfinished, continuous process.
The results of WWII is a good example to compare (for Russia it's 1941-1945 war).
There were concrete winners and there clearly was a side who lost the war.
Those who lost the war signed a concrete documents, signed a capitulation.
All these documents are official documents, they have a concrete names, signatures, dates, conditions etc.
So what's with "victory in Cold War"?
Any concrete date of "victory"?
Maybe there's some concrete documents signed by Russia (where the country admitts it lost the "Cold War")?
Maybe some conditions for the "losing side" (that it must completely disarm, abandon the army, let foreign troops enter its territory or change its constitution etc.)?
Maybe Russia lost its place\role in UNSC, and in the United Nations on the whole?
Maybe there were some 'obligations' of Russia regarding a "winner side"?
For all questions the answer is no.
The problem is that from some moment the US unilaterally started to think they 'won' a Cold War (though, i repeat, the Cold War was not over, and Russia never admitted it lost any war). Some kind of a voluntary delusion, self-deception.
This gave birth to the unprecedented level of arrogance and impudence of the US leadership.
This arrogance and impudence now is the main factor of unstability of the worldorder.
The article itself is well written and observant, though i maybe disagree with some moments.
For example, that A.Merkel wished to use a suggestion to Russia to come back into G8 as a possible trump card\reward.
Of course, Merkel is not Otto von Bismarck or Helmut Kohl, but even with her level of political mastery i don't think she's SO naive\stupid to think this weak proposal to Russia would work.
Also, in my opinion a statement that "the West is Past" is too much.
It would be unreasonable to deny the West still have a lot advantages and impressive achievements - education, technologies, market, good & developed medicine, science, clever and qualified people, strong economics...
Plus, must not forget the West still control the main world media, and, in fact, form an everyday news agenda - i.e. controls the minds of most people.
I would say the West (the western political system, elites) is in serious crisis now - that's obvious, yes.
But i wouldn't say "the West is Past".
@ Madderhatter67, #10
They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.
Explained above in detail why you're wrong.
The US did not win the Cold War. It is a myth that they themselves came up with and sincerely believed in.
Posted by: alaff | Jun 11, 2018 9:22:36 AM | 109
Good thread. I won't re-hash what others have said better than I, other than say thanks to b and (most) commenters.
I did however want to add something with respect to the US military disability issue. To begin with, a lot of it is the real, old fashioned kind, mainly because as others have noted the kind of serious injuries which are now survivable are astonishing. Even losing multiple limbs is no longer necessarily a death sentence. However, the psychological toll is real, too, as exemplified by the oft quoted 22 veterans a day who are killing themselves.
Aside from the very earliest parts of the Gulf entanglements, US soldiers are being used mostly as occupation forces. Soldiers and police are supposed to be very, very different occupations, with very different training, oversight, and even from the beginning, different personality traits recruited. Being occupation soldiers, it is extremely common for the troops to de-humanize the people under their boot. It is a psychological defense mechanism, a way of dealing with the things they are ordered to do. In so doing, it also dehumanizes the soldiers, and the mental incongruity of oppressing others for freedom is damaging, often permanently.
But there is another odd twist on the whole disability thing. The United States is not a happy place right now, particularly for blue collar workers which troops returning home from past wars would often become. As Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, the first trick the USG did to improve double digit unemployment was not jobs projects, but to re-define unemployment away. It has only worsened. The bulk of the credit for the election of Trump was the increasingly angry "deplorables" into which category fall 99% of returning veterans. The PTB must be increasingly concerned about a large group of angry, damaged, well trained and well armed young people who, after "fighting for America's freedom" come home to find the only job they can get is flipping burgers for below sustenance wages. So, I believe a conscious decision was made to go easy on disability applications by vets. The stipend is a small price for the elites to have the taxpayers pay to soothe the returning troops into mostly peaceful reintegration. They remember the trouble returning vets can cause a government, as in after WW1 (and even the Revolutionary War). Anyway, not to downplay the real damage many of these vets have suffered from what has been demanded of them by their nation, but I do think there is another interesting dynamic going on as well.
Posted by: J Swift | Jun 11, 2018 10:33:36 AM | 110
As we await info on Kim-Trump, I think it wise to examine what Trump's outbursts at and beyond the G6+1 are based upon--his understanding of Economic Nationalism. Fortunately, we have an excellent, recent, Valdai Club paper addressing the topic that's not too technical or lengthy. The author references two important papers by Lavrov and Putin that ought to be read afterwards. Lavrov's is the elder and ought to be first. Putin's Belt & Road International Forum Address, 2017 provides an excellent example of the methods outlined in the first paper. I could certainly add more, but IMO these provide an excellent basis for comprehending Trump's motivations as he's clearly reacting to the Russian and Chinese initiatives. Furthermore, one can discover why Russia now holds the EU at arms length while Putin's "I told you so" reminder had to sting just a bit. Then to recap it all, I highly suggest reading Pepe Escobar's excellent article I linked to yesterday higher up in the thread.
Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11, 2018 12:06:47 PM | 111
@ Uncoy | Jun 10, 2018 10:10:26 AM | 78
What mattered was that in a world with multiple hegemons, the West had to treat its workers well, maintain a free press and generally make living conditions appealing enough that no country would be attempted to follow the Yugoslavian route. It's no accident that Yugoslavia was the first victim of Pax Americana after the end of the Cold War.
Exactly, that is why Milošević from Serbia and Tuđman from Croatia were encouraged by the West to tear apart Yugoslavia in 1991-1995 war. Haven't we seen this tactic ever before, or since?! Powers to be did not like powerful, independent, socialist, not to much indebted country in the Europe since it was not good example for the wage slaves around the world, since they could start thinking that free education, health care, apartments, jobs for life, passport without visa accepted almost anywhere, ... is the human right! Does Libya ring a bell?
Posted by: ex-SA | Jun 11, 2018 3:04:14 PM | 112
@Jen | Jun 9, 2018 6:36:52 PM | 32
Russia under Vladimir Putin and China under Xi Jinping may be fine but will their successors know not to abuse the power they may gain from the New Silk Road projects encompassing Eurasia and Africa?
In a multipolar world, power will be split many ways. Abuse will not be easy.
Posted by: Cyril | Jun 11, 2018 7:37:43 PM | 113