Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2018

Helsinki Talks - How Trump Tries To Rebalance The Global Triangle

The reactions of the U.S. polite to yesterday's press conference of Pgresident Trump and President Putin are highly amusing. The media are losing their mind. Apparently it was Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin and 9/11 all in one day. War will commence tomorrow. But against whom?

Behind the panic lie competing views of Grand Strategy.

Rereading the transcript of the 45 minutes long press conference (vid) I find it rather boring. Trump did not say anything that he had not said before. There was little mention of what the two presidents had really talked about and what they agreed upon. Later on Putin said that the meeting was more substantive than he expected. As the two spoke alone there will be few if any leaks. To understand what happened we will have to wait and see how the situations in the various conflict areas, in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere, will now develop.

The 'liberal' side of the U.S. did its best to prevent the summit. The recent Mueller indictment was timed to sabotage the talks. Before the meeting in Helsinki the New York Times retweeted its three weeks old homophobic comic flick that shows Trump and Putin as lovers. It is truly a disgrace for the Grey Lady to publish such trash, but it set the tone others would follow. After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan - 15:52 UTC - 16 Jul 2018

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Senator John McCain released a scathing statement:

... “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. ...

These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder.  He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, said in his book The Grand Chessboard (pdf) about a Chinese-Russian alliance. They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised Trump to let go of Crimea.

Trump himself professed his view (vid) of the big picture and of relations with Russia in a 2015 press conference:

"...  Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big Problem, big problem. And you know Russia has been driven - you know I always heard, for years I have heard - one of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together - with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin- okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well. I really believe that. I think we would get along with a lot of countries that we don't get along with today. And that we would be a lot richer for it than we are today.

There are three great geographic power-centers in the world. The Anglo-American/transatlantic one which is often called 'the west'. Mackinder's heartland, which is essentially Russia as the core of the Eurasian landmass, and China, which historically rules over Asia. Any alliance of two of those power-centers can determine the fate of the world.

Kissinger's and Nixon's biggest political success was to separate China from the Soviet Union. That did not make China an ally of the United States, but it broke the Chinese-Soviet alliance. It put the U.S. into a premier position, a first among equals. But even then Kissinger already foresaw the need to balance back to Russia:

On Feb. 14, 1972, President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger met to discuss Nixon’s upcoming trip to China. Kissinger, who had already taken his secret trip to China to begin Nixon’s historic opening to Beijing, expressed the view that compared with the Russians, the Chinese were “just as dangerous. In fact, they’re more dangerous over a historical period.”

Kissinger then observed that “in 20 years your successor, if he’s as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese.” He argued that the United States, as it sought to profit from the enmity between Moscow and Beijing, needed “to play this balance-of-power game totally unemotionally. Right now, we need the Chinese to correct the Russians and to discipline the Russians.” But in the future, it would be the other way around.

It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

After the Cold War the U.S. thought it had won the big ideological competition of the twentieth century. In its exuberance of the 'unilateral moment' it did everything possible to antagonize Russia. Against its promises it extended NATO to Russia's border. It wanted to be the peerless supreme power of the world. At the same time it invited China into the World Trade Organisation and thereby enabled its explosive economic growth. This unbalanced policy took its toll. The U.S. lost industrial capacity to China and at the same time drove Russia into China's hands. Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have seen little to no gains from it. Trump wants to revert this situation by rebalancing towards Russia while opposing China's growing might.

Not everyone shares that perspective. As security advisor to Jimmy Carter Brzezinski continued the Nixon/Kissinger policy towards China. The 'one China policy', disregarding Taiwan for better relations with Beijing, was his work. His view is still that the U.S. should ally with China against Russia:

"It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don’t want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence."

But why would China join such a scheme? How would Russia be 'forced'? What costs would the U.S. have to endure by following such a course? (Brzezinski's view of Russia was always clouded. His family of minor nobles has its roots in Galicia, now in west Ukraine. They were driven from Poland when the Soviets extended their realm into the middle of the European continent. To him Russia will always be the antagonist.)

Kissinger's view is more realistic. He sees that the U.S. can not rule alone and must be more balanced in its relations:

[I]n the emerging multipolar order, Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.

Kissinger is again working to divide Russia and China. But this time around it is Russia that needs to be elevated, that needs to become a friend.

Trump is following Kissinger's view. He wants good relations with Russia to separate Russia from China. He (rightly) sees China as the bigger long term (economic) danger to the United States. That is the reason why he, immediately after his election, started to beef up the relations with Taiwan and continues to do so. (Listen to Peter Lee for the details). That is the reason why he tries to snatch North Korea from China's hands. That is the reason why he makes nice with Putin.

It is not likely that Trump will manage to pull Russia out of its profitable alliance with China. It is true that China's activities, especially in the Central Asian -stans, are a long term danger to Russia. China's demographic and economic power is far greater than Russia's.  But the U.S. has never been faithful in its relations with Russia. It would take decades to regain its trust. China on the other hand stands to its commitments. China is not interested in conquering the 'heartland'. It has bigger fish to fry in south-east Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It is not in its interest to antagonize a militarily superior Russia.

The maximum Trump can possibly achieve is to neutralize Russia while he attempts to tackle China's growing economic might via tariffs, sanctions and by cuddling Taiwan, Japan and other countries with anti-Chinese agendas.

The U.S. blew its 'unilateral moment'. Instead of making friends with Russia it drove it into China's hands. Hegemonic globalization and unilateral wars proved to be too expensive. The U.S. people received no gains from them. That is why they elected Trump.

Trump is doing his best to correct the situation. For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China. (An aging and disunited Europe will flap in the winds.) These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries. Korea, Iran and the Ukraine will be centers of these conflicts. Interests in Central Asia, South America and Africa will also play a role.

Trump understands the big picture. To 'Make America Great Again' he needs to tackle China and to prevent a deeper Chinese-Russian alliance. It's the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who do not get it. They are still stuck in Brzezinski's Cold War view of Russia. They still believe that economic globalization, which helped China to regain its historic might, is the one and true path to follow. They do not perceive  all the damage they have done to 90% of the American electorate.

For now Trump's view is winning. But the lunatic reactions to the press conference show that the powers against him are still strong. They will sabotage him wherever possible. The big danger for now is that their view of the world might again raise to power.

Posted by b on July 17, 2018 at 07:41 AM | Permalink

Comments
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b:

A somewhat one-eyed view. The US comes a very distant third as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: cdvision | Jul 17, 2018 8:04:45 AM | 1

The Dance of the Three Mafias, eh? And all played out against the background of the collapse of industrial civilization.

Posted by: mike k | Jul 17, 2018 8:06:18 AM | 2

Russia would be dumb to dump China.
Americas political establishment is not in line with Trump, the establishment need Russia as the enemy and that’s not going to change. There are many who actually believe Russia is the enemy

Trump will go back to America be beaten up by friends and enemies and conform to thie establishment view.

Putin who has gone through 4 presidents should know better?

Posted by: James and | Jul 17, 2018 8:06:37 AM | 3

If indeed Trump's strategy is to separate Russia from China, and to surround China on its eastern and southeastern seaboard with hostile states that could potentially cut off China's maritime trade links with SE Asia and countries beyond the Indian Ocean, then one wonders whether Trump would also consider cutting off any and all ties with Ukraine, and leave that country to drown in its own Nazified stupidity once Russia cuts off all gas transit through Ukrainian territory in 2019. After all, Ukraine was only useful to the Americans as long as it could hold onto Crimea and Sevastopol.

At the rate Ukraine is going, it may not be an independent state with secure borders within the next five years. The most Nazified western parts of the country (the historic Galicia and Volhynia) will almost certainly go to Poland; one is curious to know how a resurgent nationalist Poland will deal with the spiritual descendants of Stepan Bandera, Yaroslav Stetsko and their followers who tortured and butchered hundreds of thousands of Poles as well as Jews. Zakarpatska Oblast will go to Hungary and Bukovina to Romania. Kherson and Odessa Oblasts are likely to stampede over to Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts to form an enlarged Novorussia. What's left of rump Ukraine surrounding Kiev (if that's not taken by Poland as well) will be an economic backwater swamp fit only to host barracks of NATO soldiers in the hope they'll spend money patronising brothels and pole-dancing clubs.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17, 2018 8:15:41 AM | 4

Well, if Trump pulls this off, against the deep state, I'll be truly impressed.
But, at this point I'm thinking the deep state is looking at how to end him.
He's a loose cannon on the deck of a sinking ship...
And world peace is not on the agenda.

Posted by: V | Jul 17, 2018 8:21:49 AM | 5

Great work, b. I will read this again when I have the chance.

An interesting question/theory develops with this newfound Russia-engagement:

Does Russia have more in common with the US than China and does Russia really want to see the US economy go down in flames?

I would say no to the latter and yes to the former. I wouldn't say that Russia would ever betray the east and China, but Putin is in a strange position now where he is holding all the cards...could Russia get rich and grow in power off business with the US? Why would Putin emotionally harbor illwill towards Americans when it appears a seachange is taking place?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 17, 2018 8:28:14 AM | 6

"It is truly a disgrace for the Grey Lady to publish such trash".

That fine old nickname has outlived its usefulness. Nowadays we should be talking about the "Grey Whore".

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jul 17, 2018 8:52:22 AM | 7

BTW it is worthwhile to keep in mind that back in 2001, Russia and China signed a treaty of friendship in which, among other things, both nations renounced all and any territorial designs on one another's territory. This meant that China would have renounced any claims on parts of Primorsky Kray in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, that used to be part of the old Ming and Qing empires.

The text of this treaty can be read at this link:
https://www.chinese-embassy.no/eng/dtxw/t110017.htm

There is one significant paragraphy to be noted:
Neither party will join any alliance or group that harms the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Neither of them will conclude such treaties with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Well ... there goes any attempt by Trump to prise apart Russian and Chinese friendship.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17, 2018 8:54:40 AM | 8

"Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains".

To continue the theme: "People? We don't need no stinkin' people". US government has long been directed towards the enrichment of a tiny clique of the super-rich and powerful. It is nothing more than a bloodsucking parasite on the USA itself.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jul 17, 2018 8:56:16 AM | 9

Jen, the US government has no chance of prizing apart the Chinese-Russian friendship. Firstly, because China and Russia can see perfectly well that friendship is in both their interests. ("Hang together... or hang separately"). Secondly, because they both know that any promise, agreement or treaty signed by the US government isn't worth the paper it is written on.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jul 17, 2018 8:58:21 AM | 10

This is interesting analysis and your thesis might represent an effective strategic advance for the US if only there wasn't a badly compromised buffoon in charge of the US side.

My view has long been that the US and Russia are defacto allies in a relationship that could not be spoken despite the sanctions and geopolitical warring. Trump comes along and in effect exposed the muddy nature of this special relationship at least in part because his so-called buisness empire appears to be most obviously enveloped in freshly laundered Russian oligarchic cash going back decades.

Still, at the end of the day, I believe this is wishful thinking that won't survive Trump. If Trump can't manage President for life status before his term in ofice ends I would bet on China becoming the second leg of the imperialist three legged stool, and Russia actually growing closer to the newly-minted autocratic states of the foundering and failing EU construct.

The monopolism of the China-American partnership vastly outweighs anything Russia can bring to table. Putin is a master political player but his country is simply too weak economically in relation to the "West" and "China."

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 17, 2018 9:00:09 AM | 11

NemesisCalling #6

I cannot remember Putin ever saying he held any animosity against the American people.
He's not that stupid; he understands it's the government of the U.S. that he's up against.
There is an old saying: East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.
Well that is no longer true, but; there is an underlying truth that still stands.
West is easier dealing with west and east with east; but that world is gone. But many in power do not recognise that at this time.
Russia and China have created a bond both geo-politically and strategically.
Mostly because of the intrasigence of the west; primarily the U.S. hegemon.
And I'm not so sure a "sea change" is taking place; at least not yet.
The firestorm that erupted after the Trump/Putin meeting does not bode well for future relations...

Posted by: V | Jul 17, 2018 9:07:38 AM | 12

And Mackinder was merely stating what had been clear since land-based Sparta beat sea-power Athens, or at the latest since land-based Rome beat sea-power Carthage.
Avoiding alliance of the 2 other bigger powers has also been the English strategy for half a millennium - making sure Spain, France, Germany or Russia couldn't dominate Europe but would always have as a foe the 2nd biggest continental power.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 17, 2018 9:16:51 AM | 13

B got it wrong, over intellectualized Trump. Trump is there for himself, he wants to fulfill his electoral promises or pretend to do it, and wants to follow what his base wants as long as it does not cost much while give oligarchy and CIA everything they want in terms of money.

He wants to Bragg about something in 2020 and most of all to blame liberals or whoever for what ruling elite will not let him have. He is actor of reality show, do not make him a statesman b.

Posted by: Kalen | Jul 17, 2018 9:17:21 AM | 14

Chinese, Russian (and Eastern European) integration is done. Russia has stopped all plans for the evolvement of the Eurasian Economic Union but everybody takes part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

And NATO will not transfer to the South China Sea.

The US are on their own.

Trump is psychological. A few presidents later the US will be used to the idea that they are just another country.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17, 2018 9:17:45 AM | 15

Trump will get killed, the hatred is disgusting and doesnt seems to be going down, ever, its growing.
I sincerly fear for his life.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 17, 2018 9:22:31 AM | 16

Who is be-friending who?

In my last comment a couple posts ago I stated something to the effect that I did not think Putin had much 'to put on the table' in negotiations. How wrong I was. The offer of all the documentation surrounding Browder and the Clintons was a a brilliant move by the Russian side, gifting Trump with all the ammo he would need to put his political foes in their place.

Putin, played his hand very deftly and to indicate how important it was, the MSM has been clamped shut on it ever since

Pass the popcorn please...

Posted by: les7 | Jul 17, 2018 9:29:04 AM | 17

This analysis fails to account for space as a fourth geo-political power center.

Trump has taken the first steps to militarize space. I expect that space-warfare capabilities will develop faster than anyone expects.

I agree with b that the 3 big powers are unlikely to fight a terrestrial war. But they will fight in space.

PS Putin mentioned space in his news conference.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17, 2018 9:30:32 AM | 18

i lel'd at all the "did [x] talk with [y] after [z]?" statements, they were so hilarious and over-the-top that i decided to invent one of my own:

DID LBJ TALK WITH ISRAEL AFTER THE USS LIBERTY INCIDENT?

Posted by: anonymouscoward | Jul 17, 2018 9:30:51 AM | 19

The fact that Russia, China and others have been collecting gold tells me that the US government's dubious pile of gold will be no match for the hoard that China and its citizens have in their possession. When (not if) the fiat monies of the world have their crisis and the world is forced back onto a gold standard, the US will become just another country and will be economically forced to mind its own business. Oh happy day.

Posted by: therevolutionwas | Jul 17, 2018 9:49:34 AM | 20

b,
This is a brilliant, penetrating and remarkably succinct overview of what always appears to be a very complex dynamic. By focusing on the three power centers and grasping how their combined weight affects the equilibrium of world power, this article cuts through the fog and the sideshows to provide a glimpse of the greater strategic picture.

While I feel that it may be too late for the United States to wrestle Russia away from China, I also feel that Putin would be inclined to give Trump something for his efforts, provided he trusts that Trump's real intention is honest rapprochement with a view to strengthening ties with Russia. This "something" may, in fact, be guarantees for Israel's security and to influence an Iranian retreat from the Israeli border with Syria.

Trump is going dangerously against the grain of the establishment and the media in his own country, as if he feels he has little time left and needs to make his move now. The Neocons can no longer win applying their timeworn strategies, but they are generally stupid and wilful creatures who can still make life miserable for everybody.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jul 17, 2018 9:52:24 AM | 21

There was no announced agreement on anything. Maybe they laid the groundwork for some future agreement(s) but all they told us at the presser was that they had a dialog and wanted to have a more constructive relationship.

Yet they didn't even announce a future/follow-on meeting.

This leads me to believe that what Trump really wanted - and pressed for - in this meeting was Russia's help to expel Iran from Syria. THAT is the big issue of the moment. And when powerful people in the West want something, they are laser-focused on that goal. Netanyahu has already implored Putin to rid Syria of Iran to no avail. It is simply unacceptable to Israel to have Iranian presence in Syria.

I think this was the stumbling block. Trump was NOT going to consider progress in other matters without Putin's cooperation on expelling Iran from Syria.

This view supported by USA announcement - just before the Summit - that it will not leave Syria while Iranian forces remain in the country.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17, 2018 9:55:05 AM | 22

Amazing! There kind of imploding ! Like a black hole in outer space. They have no insight, totally unaware that the rest of the world are looking on, with fasinaton. Ha ha credibility rating less than junk status !! He he it's all so sweet it's giving me dieabietes! Aaah ha ha aah ! Karma man. Snigger

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 17, 2018 10:05:06 AM | 23

I would not see "aging and disunited Europe" as less relevant although it is certainly true that EU countries are disunited. Economically, there are three main economic powers of a similar size, China (which will probably soon be first in absolute terms), the US, and the European Union. Russia is certainly an important country, as well, but economically, it is behind these powers.

It would probably be in the interest of China, Russia, and Western Europe to achieve a better Eurasian economic integration and closer political co-operation. This would not have to be a catastrophe for the US - it certainly would further diminish the viability of worldwide imperial aspirations of the US, but the US might be better off without them. However, it seems that hardly any influential circles in the US are ready to agree on a more modest role of the US in the world, neither the neoconservatives with their representatives both in the Democratic and Republican parties nor people around Trump who have somewhat different ideas about how the US should avoid giving up its imperial ambitions.

The conflicting strategies concern both Russia and Western Europe. Of course, if the US wants to uphold worldwide imperial ambitions, it may make sense to attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and China as Nixon did in the Cold War. However, the chances of that succeeding are probably rather slim. Therefore, the main goal of the US seems to be to create conflicts between Western Europe and Russia (and other areas through which One Belt One Road would create closer connections between Europe and China). On that matter, Trump is not really that different from the neoconservatives. The neoconservatives want a more hostile relationship between the US and Russia than Trump does, but both Trump and the neoconservatives seem to agree that they want Western Europe to have hostile relations with Russia (and Trump seems to go even further in his desire to force Western European countries to increase the arms race in a direction that will be seen as hostile by Russia).

In the short term, the US may be quite successful - in many European countries, there are Atlanticists in influential positions in politics and the media who are more oriented towards US interests than European and Eurasian interests. However, in the long run, I doubt that this can succeed. With all the issues on which EU countries are divided (economic questions, migration etc.) hostility towards Russia is probably the one area in which the gulf between European elites and vast majorities of the populations in these European countries is biggest. Of course, the US successfully exploits historical resentments against Russia in Poland and the Baltic states, but these smaller and poorer countries can hardly dominate EU policies in the long run. In countries like Germany, Italy, or France, only a small minority of the population sees Russia as a threat, and, according to surveys, a vast majority wants good relations with Russia. Also, with increasing investments, especially in the East of the EU, the US can hardly get EU countries to support anti-Chinese policies. For the time being, the main goal seems to be to attempt to stoke up conflicts between EU countries and Russia. Since only a small minority of EU citizens agree with the anti-Russian positions of their influential Atlanticist media and governments, but at the same time, the relationship with Russia usually is not the main issue determining people's voting behavior, this can go on for some time, but probably, in the medium and long term, such an attempt only accelerates the demise of these Atlanticist European elites (and I suppose that many of them will be ready to dump hostility towards Russia when it becomes too obvious that they will lose when they uphold it).

I doubt that much can be expected to change as far as Russian-Chinese relations are concerned. In some areas, of course, Russian and Chinese interests diverge, but on the whole, they are both interested in keeping their good relations and the US does not offer any viable alternative. Where a change is more likely to happen is in Western Europe. Both the neoconservatives and Trump try to incite hostility between Western Europe and Russia, but I think in a few years it will become obvious that this strategy has failed. The question is then whether the US is ready to put up with a somewhat diminished and more modest role of the US in world politics (neither Trump nor the neoconservatives seem to be ready for this, but maybe there will be new forces, possibly someone like Bernie Sanders or a similar politician might be ready to take some steps in such a direction and to agree on at least partially giving up the US' imperial ambitions) or whether the US will go on stoking up conflicts everywhere in order to hamper Eurasian collaboration.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Jul 17, 2018 10:12:28 AM | 24

....and immediately Deep State throw in their own trump card, the finally found "real russian spy" Maria Butina.
It is not anymore Muller's 13, the guys imaginary friends, it is something with the flesh!

EXCEPT that miss BUTINA seems to be a quisling, an American "spy" in Russia, that very "5th column", "antlantic integrationist" ad so forth.

Read my brief comments at https://plus.google.com/+ChristineFelixon/posts/DEjDQuq1tgS

I am not really informed here, i heard that name for the first time two days ago.

But if i guessed right, if now Deep State starts burning their own witches, their own agents and spies just to make a plausible public show.
Desperation and resources scarcity?

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 17, 2018 10:18:36 AM | 25

@6

Does Russia have more in common with the US than China and does Russia really want to see the US economy go down in flames?

Yes and no, respectively, but this doesn't change outlook in the long run anyway. Russia is playing Kutuzov in 1812 after Tarutino maneuver.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jul 17, 2018 10:21:04 AM | 26

@ Jackrabbit #22

And that's why his fearless supporter Hewitt said this:

https://twitter.com/hughhewitt/status/1019165347780419584

If @realDonaldTrump removes U.S. troops from Syria, it will be understood as a capitulation to Putin's designs on the region, a threat to Israel, a boon to Iran. We don't need resignations, and a terrible failure isn't "treason," but the failure needs to be contained, reversed.

Posted by: Yul | Jul 17, 2018 10:22:42 AM | 27

I agree with the overall argument (Makinder, Nixon etc. etc.) -- but the narrative of this post is wrong because it makes appear the USA has led itself into today's situation only because people in charge made a series of consecutive mistakes. This is not true, and is part of the "free will illusion" -- a bad habit we inherited from ancient Roman historians, a principle which states individual decisions by the elite have decisive and direct macroeconomic and long-term consequences.

After WWII, the USA was both the industrial and the financial superpower. Europe was on its knees, as was Japan; China was in the middle of a devastating civil war and the USSR had just lost 35% of its GDP and 26 million if its people. Put it another way, the USA had both the gold and the excess industrial capacity to reconstruct the world (that's why the Marshall Plan worked in Europe: it inundated the Peninsula with American Dollars, which could be exchanged only for American products; it was no problem, since the USA had excess industrial capacity).

But, to everyone who knows how the capitalist system works, this situation could not last (see Kiffin paradox). When the USA begun to export dollars in order to estimulate its own industry, osmosis kicked in and it became cheaper to produce abroad. It first begun with Germany and Japan and, later, China. Since it is more advantageous to issue the world fiat currency, the USA transmuted into a uniquely financial superpower, in order to sustain the world capitalist system.

One could argue the USA could have gone to India, but Mao Zedong was correct when he stated that, in its later development stage, capitalism can only do its basic development transformations through a socialist revolutions and reforms, to break its inertia. India never had and still doesn't have the infrastructure and political security to do an industrial revolution (i.e. population is not enough). The argument is too sophisticated to be written here, but I recommend people here to read his works in order to realise the actual necessity of socialism in the real world.

That is, when Nixon decided to shake hands with Mao Zedong, he had politics in mind, BUT, it only thrived in later decades (long after Nixon died) because, ultimately, it was a question of survival for American capital (the man who competed against Obama in 2012 was Mitt Romney, the face of the American elite who prospered with outsourcing to China). It's not like the USA had a menu of choices to where it could reliably and cost-effectively outsource its industry, that narrative is false (as is the narrative that the USA could've maintained, under capitalism, its industry at home).

-//-

As for Trump's ideology versus the liberals'.

In contemporary USA, there are three doctrines.

The first one and by far the most dominant (so dominant it doesn't have a name: people in the USA just call it "common sense", "being American" or "the Establishment") is the Wolfowitz Doctrine, also known in far-right circles as "Russophobia". When he was working with G.H.W. Bush and in the wake of the fall of the USSR, Wolfowitz wrote a paper where he drew the general guidelines for American foreign policy for the forseeable future. This paper is still fully classified (we only know that it exists and its title, date and author), but the document leaked to a NYT journalist in 1992, and he published the general spirit of the document.

Put it simply, the Wolfowitz Doctrine states that, albeit the Russian Federation is not the USSR anymore, it still inherited its nuclear arsenal and a good chunk of its military technology know-how. Besides, it's still close to 90% of the former USSR territory, and comprised a similar percentage of its population. Therefore, communist or not, Russia would remain the only real existential threat to the USA for the forseeable future. This may be the reason the IMF acted quickly in Russia, trying to sack it the fastest and most savagely possible.

The second doctrine is the "Clash of Civilizations" theory (after Huntington's book), to which Trump is an adherent. Hegemonic in the American far-right circles, this doctrine states that, after the fall of the USSR, the future conflicts of the world would be cultural. There would be many clashes between many cultures (e.g. against muslims), but, in the long term, the main cultural war would be West vs East, i.e. the Chinese.

This doctrine may seem naive, but it's important to highlight the fact that it is traditional for the Western far-right since the rise of nazifascism to paint the world as a moral world, i.e. that all problems of the world arise from moral decay (degeneration), not economic factors. That's why the far-right use an aestheticized, romantic language to describe inherently economic and geopolitical issues: it has a function of deceiving the masses, masking the real interests of the elites. In the "Clash of Civilization", the "cultural" West vs East narrative merely means that the Cold War goes on, without actually saying it.

The third -- by far the most minoritary of the three -- is the "Chicom" doctrine.

Restricted in a few military circles, the Chicom doctrine is some kind of an hybrid between the first two. It is very straightforward: it states China is not only the economic and cultural menace, but also the ideological menace. In other words, they are not only Chinese ("Chi"), they are also Communists ("Com").

The thing with this doctrine is that, albeit very minoritary, it is the dominant doctrine of the most powerful and influential sector of the military: the Pacific forces, specially the Navy and its most powerful official, Gen. Harry Harris (possibly, the most powerful non-gabinet military man alive today).

So, it's not true Trump's vision is "so far winning". The sanctions against Russian not only remain, but were extended. The liberals and the EU and counting the days to 2020 to put another POTUS in power and reverse the clock; China has just grown 6.8% in H1 2018. The long-term prospects of the West are dire, even if they eventually emerge victorious against China.

Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 10:32:37 AM | 28

B it would be nice if you put the usual pundits into a grouping of one world order internationalist.. i don't wish to use any term other than evil idiots as confusion is a very big part of their strategy and the terms that they use to coin such pple are usually to discredit the concerns.

they are in both aisles and are "non partisan" but usually for tyrannical dictatorships (ukraine/isis/etc.) and have relations outside of usa with such governance methods. though some will paint themselves with human rights and democracy...... with their forked tongues.

it takes some time but they reveal themselves through time but of course keep their relations with one another secret. that is the key really. muellar/comey/rosenstein come to mind. putting the judge/sheriff/detective together is corruption. again i don't wish to use zionists, as almost every group even modern zionism is infiltrated by these evil cunts.

builderburg lists and their circles are a start but the media/hollywood/economic/etc all come to mind. lakers front row seats also come to mind...... but hollywood is merely entertainment after all but there are some faces here and there some ownership or wht not. its hard to find shell corporation members.

sorry to take this off topic from the trump show. its just psy op and these actors all play a role, knowingly or unknowingly, though most likely with full consent. like muellar/rosen/comey

is trump one.... hard to say..... but if he is impeached and imprisoned and given a sentence more sever than nixon....for something less stank than having confidential and secretive info on a private server and emailing it around... probably not. but if he goes on to conduct war....or falls ill with novichok then wakes up.. i wouldn't doubt it. as that doesn't make america great at all and quickens the one world order's need to have USA fall.

the question is can he resist them? is he able to juggle all the balls against the walls? probably not but he does have one advantage. the population control has resulted in full blown mob mentality of the masses and is willing to even vote for their deaths while watching big pharm commercials that rerun nonstop between every commercial break.

Posted by: jason | Jul 17, 2018 10:36:09 AM | 29

The heartland theory is crackpot. So much for Trumpian realism.

I think the issue is much simpler. Trump is a businessman, a capitalist, and businessmen and capitalists always think their people are lazy bums who should work harder and actually earn their wages. What's true for ordinary citizens in the US is true for nations in the empire. The EU works for the US, they should work harder, so Trump, like a boss wise to the ways of the world, kicks the asses of his employees. The boss should be treated with respect, like the elect of the God Mammon he is.

But you don't tip your hand to the competition. They are the ones you need to con, fake out, clasp your arm around their shoulders...so you can slip in the knife in the back later. NATO's military budget is aimed at Russia too. EU paying through the nose for US LNG is Russia's economy besieged by a boycott on natural gas exports. If Putin thinks Trump is his friend, he's an idiot.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 17, 2018 10:36:12 AM | 30

Jackrabbit @ 18

Either everyone wins in Space or no one wins in Space. The country "losing in Space" need only launch a few dirty ICBM's and space frontier is closed for quite a while.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Jul 17, 2018 10:39:53 AM | 31

Thank you b, once again you see clearly through the fog of MSM and Dem hate and misdirection.
I vote that the Democratic Party embrace a new campaign slogan of "Squirrel!!"
I believe Trump took significant risks in not only having a private meeting but in then criticizing the Mueller and Co circus. Happily Putin n the meeting with Trump must have taken the measure of the man and knowing his adversaries were also his, decided to back him up.
No wonder the MSM and Dems are in meltdown. Alone they probably felt they could take him, but now that he has the GRU backing him up its new game, new rules.
The 400 million that the Foundation laundered is just the beginning IMO of what Putin has to offer.
And I bet Mueller is ruing the day he ok'd that list of GRU officials as the bad guys.
For what it is worth, I went to the WH website and posted a note to Trump of congratulations and support for his meeting with Putin and said I welcomed Putin's offer to respond to the Mueller charges. Given the level of rant directed at him, if you think he is on the right track I would encourage any MoA reader to do the same.

Posted by: frances | Jul 17, 2018 10:40:06 AM | 32

The Treaty of Friendship between Russia and China would not prevent Russia from staying neutral in any conflict between China and the U.S. If Trump accomplished just that much, it would be significant.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 17, 2018 10:50:12 AM | 33

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17, 2018 9:30:32 AM | 18

The problem with space militarization is that it's easier said than done.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Jul 17, 2018 10:12:28 AM | 24

The EU is not a superpower for a very simple reason: it doesn't have an armed forces of its own, instead relying on NATO (a.k.a. the USA). The European Peninsula is really an American protectorate.

Besides, Merkel has already made her position very clear. When talking about the OBOR, she said she's totally in favor of Eurasian development... as long as it happens under Germany hegemony, not Chinese. She's also a stuttering Atlanticist, being in favor of the Iraq invasion of 2003 etc. In other words, the EU will continue to be at America's side while she (and her Christian Bavarian ilk) breaths.

Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 10:53:22 AM | 34

If Trump, in cooperation with Putin, can achieve security for Israel, will the neocons continue to oppose him? Which is their higher loyalty, Israel or military contracts?

Posted by: lysias | Jul 17, 2018 10:57:37 AM | 35

Enrico Malatesta @31

A space war near earth could be problematic. But space is a big place. Imagine if the US declares that the Moon and Mars are vital national interests akin to the Persian Gulf.

Manifest Destiny writ large.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17, 2018 10:59:09 AM | 36

Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 10:53:22 AM | 34

The EU is not a superpower for a very simple reason: it doesn't have an armed forces of its own, instead relying on NATO (a.k.a. the USA). The European Peninsula is really an American protectorate.

This is wrong.

NATO is a mutual defense pact. In the case of 9/11 the US called on NATO to defend them against Afghanistan :-)) UN security council approval was needed for Germany to be able to take part. In Iraq Bush depended on a "coalition of the willing" minus Germany and France.

Europe is basically very diverse with different opinions on foreign policy.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17, 2018 11:16:58 AM | 37

Posted by: lysias | Jul 17, 2018 10:57:37 AM | 35

John Bolton is working for Trump.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17, 2018 11:19:30 AM | 38

b said:"The 'liberal' side of the U.S. did its best to prevent the summit. "

Good thing the word "liberal" is in " b, otherwise it would be total BS. True liberals welcome dialog between Russia, and the U$A. To create a truly multi-polar world, dialog must take place.


Regardless of motives from DJT, which I question, dicussion is ALWAYS better than military confrontation.

Posted by: ben | Jul 17, 2018 11:30:39 AM | 39

@lysias 35

Excellent question, but it is, a kind of, rhetorical one. Even if another mentality was involved rather than the Zionists', the self-interest almost always wins. But the Zionists are the most extreme self-interested "nationalists" the world has ever seen. In short, MIC wins, everywhere and always. Bolton is not really working for Trump, it is the opposite.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 17, 2018 11:42:59 AM | 40

Once Russia can commence large scale exportation of oil and gas, it will reach parity with other "economically strong" nations.

Concurrently, as Russia gains economic strength, the USA will weaken as its petro-dollar fiat currency (value upheld by austerity for the commons & mass murder of peasants) is displaced by other currencies and trade mechanisms.

Adding to its demise, is the ongoing excessive printing and massive distribution (to millionaires & billionaires and corrupt nations) of the dollar as if it were penny candy.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17, 2018 11:58:04 AM | 41

BTW, the fact that Russian military might is disproportional to its economic one is something that b misses to mention in this otherwise very insightful essay. The choice of Russia as The Enemy is very natural and obvious one knowing the people who make all the decisions in US (outcomes are almost never random, they may look so only when we do not understand the drivers). I postulate that there is not a single reason that Russia should be a US enemy except the MIC profit!!!

But any attempt to separate Russia and China now are a complete fools errand. That train has left the station a couple of decades ago. Only a late ageing/semi-senile Kissinger could come up with such re-hashed Anglo-Imperial plan, to divide et impera. Russia and China are not the British African and South Asian colonies of the yesteryear.

Truthfully, the only sane strategy now for US is to keep insanely confronting both, whilst playing on any differences it may discover. It is an assured path to ruin, but US should not turn and say: oooops, we are going to turn into Russia-benevolent China-haters now.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 17, 2018 12:01:01 PM | 42

frances 32

Red Team/Blue Team division works to obfuscate complex issues. It should be apparent to you that the Red Team is likewise not keen on detente with Russia.

The MIC which is a major puppet master of the US Congress elephants and asses, is not happy about detente with any nation. It's not good for business.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17, 2018 12:07:56 PM | 43

I'd like to point out that Putin did an interview with FOX News's Chris Wallace after the summit that goes well beyond Putin's comments and presser answers. Paraphrasing Putin, he did the interview to inform the American public, which needs much better information than the ultra-biased media to which it's subjected.

A few quibbles with b's analysis. Nixon didn't break China away from the USSR; that had already occurred prior to Stalin's death as Mao wanted Communism with Chinese Characteristics, as is the description now. Both Putin and Xi along with their subordinates understand that break wasted a great deal of precious time that ought to have been used to build what's being built now. Russia and China are now locked in a symbiotic relationship that will not be rent asunder--period. Any attempt by the Outlaw US Empire to split them is futile and a massive waste of time and energy.

There's a Third Way: Instead of the confrontation/competition that ultimately wastes efforts and scarce resources, cooperation and partnering to achieve shared goals as part of the grand attempt to establish peace, combat resource and ecological crises, while trying to uplift humanity in a Win-Win instead of Zero-sum manner represents a very obvious path that's not being taken, primarily because of the Zero-sum obsessed Deep State actors trying to run the Outlaw US Empire. The indivisibility of China/Russia means the Outlaw US Empire has lost, but its insane Exceptionalism won't allow it to admit this defeat. NO!! It must discover some way to have its cake and eat it too, which is the absolutely incorrect choice of action to pursue. I just can't write it enough: The utterly insane Deep State is 100% blinded by their Exceptionalism and ingrained Manifest Destiny to the point where they'd rather wreck the nation upon the rocks than admit their defeat. And Trump shares a lot of that mindset.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 12:09:17 PM | 44

I remember back in the 1970's, a small book titled 'Will the Soviet Union survive to 1984?' ..the premise being China is sitting next to the open steppes and needed the space. ...and, with a billion plus people, even nuclear weapons would not be a deterrent. We should always remember that Nations do not have friends, they have 'Interests'. As long as the USSA maintains a trillion $ war machine, Russia's interest is alliance with China ...but in the long term, i believe Russia will need the USA to ally with against an emerging Chinese superpower. Russia would hope the USA would wake up and see they are not the boogey man, the US media portrays the as....

Posted by: Breadonwaters | Jul 17, 2018 12:14:35 PM | 45

the only sane strategy now for US is to keep insanely confronting both, whilst playing on any differences it may discover.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 17, 2018 12:01:01 PM | 42

The only sane strategy for the US is to dismantle the empire and retire to the Western hemisphere where they'd be self-sufficient and physically invulnerable.

Of course it's Americans we're talking about, so they'll never do that but keep insanely confronting everyone.

(I was tempted to phrase this comment in terms of "the American people" vs. "the US government", but I see little evidence here that this isn't exactly the government which at least the voters want. Most of the people I know personally are truly crazy in their politics/economic views. Hard to tell what the non-voters really want.)

Posted by: Russ | Jul 17, 2018 12:20:43 PM | 46

But what does Trump have to offer? He can't lift sanctions unilaterally, he cannot undo the damage already done and certainly no one will compensate Russia. So what's left? Trust? No. That's long gone. There's nothing on the table at all.

Even if Putin succumbed to Trump's magnetic personality, all significant future growth is in Asia, something which Russia will leverage. Japan behaves as if it still head the upper hand, but Korea it's quite the prize if it doesn't get blown up first. I haven't even mentioned Indonesia and others. Australia and Japan are on the outside. While some Chinese neighboring nations may not trust China, they certainly won't trust the US or it's allies. That's the near term.

Africa is already a bother of competition, which explains all the media stories about China 'ripping off' African countries by indebting them whilst the US military tries to make the whole continent it's military base. Corruption was absolutely fine as long as they were loyal to the west, but now... It's an exciting (and deadly) time to be alive!

Posted by: et Al | Jul 17, 2018 12:20:47 PM | 47

lysias;35;The zionists are going down,with the nationalism on steroids.yahoo.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 17, 2018 12:26:35 PM | 48

USA Congress is controlled by USA Multinational oil companies, The MIC, Pharma and Big Ag, Banking and the illegal drug trade. These work together toward common goal of self enrichment.

Where we see Big Oil commanding the cock blocking of Russian competition, it is done hand in glove with the MIC. Banking, Illegal Drug Trade, Pharma and Big Ag also get a piece of the action.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17, 2018 12:27:16 PM | 49

While I too would conclude that the Trump/Russia coalition of intelligence/FBI and other deep state actors, the corporate press, the DNC, the Clintons and others still has considerable power, I don't give them a very good chance of regaining power now.

To me the reaction to the meeting really circumscribes the group they are all bunched together screaming treason and every hyperbolic characterization possible, but you can see the parameter now, the outline is marked you are screaming or you are not screaming so it is easy to tell who is who. Now that they have defined themselves as "another Pearl Harbor" they became irrelevant.

I had a rule of thumb, once there was a bumper sticker the cause was lost. The MSM/DNC/NSA cabal has reduced their argument to a bumper sticker. PROSECUTE TROMP OR DIE A SLAVE!! or TREASON KILLS or, for the Reagan people JUST SAY NO TO SEDITION

Sure they are powerful but they are actually a small group we can just shove over in the corner soon enough...he said cautiously.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 17, 2018 12:33:57 PM | 50

Thanks for looking into the importance of Kissinger in the current show b.
Strategic points. There are a few of these around the world - Crimea, Gibraltar, Britain at one time using Singapore to control Malacca Strait ect.
At the moment, the most strategically important piece of real estate on the globe is the patch of energy rich ground surrounding the Persian gulf. Whoever controls this piece of strategic ground will control much of Asia and much of Europe for the next fifty years.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 12:39:22 PM | 51

Thanks for the posting b however I have a small quibble with 2006 being reported by you as when the economic disruption occurred and I believe it happened in 2008

While I respect your analysis I find it misses any discussion about the private/public finance components of the melee we are going through and which will likely change significantly.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 17, 2018 12:40:40 PM | 52

I think that Russia and China are firmly aligned and that the US brings virtually nothing to the table.

Russia, China, Iran etc are finding many ways to bypass the USD.

The US thought that it could use its financial and military hegemony to intimidate others but has lost on both those fronts and failed to put forth a more useful plan similar to OBOR etc.

Iran I think also was a big winner in Syria and now has Hezbollah/Lebanon and Hezbollah/Syria. This combination of forces is respected by Russia.

The US needs to learn some respect if it wants to be a player in the future. It has bascially been outmaneuvered on all fronts largely due to hubris.

Posted by: financial matters | Jul 17, 2018 12:43:34 PM | 53

B,
I enjoyed this blog very much, and for the most I am in agreement with it. Near the end you conclude:

'For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China.’

This implies that the 'Multi-polar World Order' (MPWO) has won and the ‘Globalists’ are defeated. However, I think that it is a bit premature to cry victory.

Remember, when the Soviet Union collapsed at the beginning of the 90s, the ‘Globalists’ (i.e. the international financial elite that controls global institutions, the U.S. Deep State, the EU, etc.) thought that the Global Chess Game was over and they had won. They declared the ‘End of History’. At that time, Russia was in their hands and China was just beginning to emerge. They moved to usurp European sovereignty, through the device of the Euro, and then to consolidate the process of achieving Global Governance through the ‘Project for a New American Century’.

What the Globalists didn’t count on was the re-emergence of Russia as an independent nation and the resistance of China to rule by ‘Global Institutions’. Nor did they expect that their policies of ‘Globalization’ would devastate the economies of the states under their control (for example, the U.S., UK, Europe) and cause internal revolts leading to Brexit, the election of Trump and the rise of ‘Populism’ throughout Europe.
While the Trump-Putin meeting is a good sign-post that the struggle to defeat the ‘Globalists’ is successfully moving forward, I think that it is much too early to declare victory. The ‘Globalists’, for whom a ‘Multi-Polar World Order’ represents an existential defeat, will not give up easily.

I think that Trump understands that only under a MPWO will the citizens of the U.S. prosper. However, it will take many years (decades) to repair the damage that has been done to the U.S. economy and society by the ‘Globalists’, and for the U.S. to regain its strength and leadership position in the MPWO. I think that it is Trump’s intention for the U.S. to isolate itself in order for the repair process to proceed.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 17, 2018 12:49:28 PM | 54

Here are two other interpretations of the summit. First, Garrie notes what they agreed upon, then notes media reaction from various corners of the world. Pepe Escobar decided to focus on Big Lie Media reactions: "It was inevitable that a strategically crucial summit between the Russian and American presidencies would be hijacked by the dementia of the US news cycle." In closing, Pepe noted the very symbolic passing of the ball from Putin to Trump, symbolism Putin followed up on during his FOX News post-summit interview I linked above.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 12:51:48 PM | 55

In scrolling through all the Trump is a traitor ect news coming from the MSM, I decided to look up Fox news to see what they were saying. The fox news pieces and videos I could find were supportive of Trump. Trump has known Murdoch for sometime and it seems Murdoch climbed on Trump,s presidential wagon a couple of months into the primaries.
Murdoch is a fully fledged zionist with no cultural hatred of Russia.
But for Trump to take the domestic risk he did in trying to ally with Russia at this point, means there is something else very important in the making.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 12:55:58 PM | 56

Russia wants to question Christopher Steele, Michael McFaul, top politicians for aiding Bill Browder
https://www.rt.com/news/433524-browder-steele-mcfaul-investigation/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 17, 2018 12:59:38 PM | 57

we have absolutely no idea what transpired in the private meeting. i don't see Trump being very adept at 10 dimensional chess when he can't get through his daily briefings.

Putin probably reminded Trump about all the dirt they have on him. The brash arrogant personality with which Trump dazzles his intellectually-challenged base was nowhere to be seen during the following presser. He had the mien of a dog that's been kicked in the ass. Probably wondering what Melania will say when she sees the piss tape.

Posted by: peter | Jul 17, 2018 1:02:12 PM | 58

Trump is not a Russian Manchurian Candidate; he's a Zionist Manchurian candidate and he's Kissinger's tool for a reason. The plan for Russia is Zionist authored.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 17, 2018 1:05:47 PM | 59

That's okay I'll write it everywhere else!

Posted by: Circe | Jul 17, 2018 1:07:12 PM | 60

Jen 8
Thanks for pointing out the Treaty. 2001 was under Putin's watch so I don't see him breaking that for any possible short term or long term gain.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 1:07:50 PM | 61

I do so hate it when 40 minutes are spent typing a comment with imbedded links and it fails to post. Yes, I copied it, but didn't check to see if it posted before I copied something else, thus losing my ability to repost. RATS!!

The additional thought I copied: The naked Emperor is clinging to his Exceptionalism as a shroud to conceal his utter decline into irrelevance--that and its Manifest Destiny: Both ideological narcotics of the most addictive sort.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 1:09:15 PM | 62

it seems from the Tass news article that putin-trump discussed 4 issues: Syria; Ukraine; the "interference" in the elections; the Iranian 'nuclear program'

I would have hoped for something more about beginning strategic talks re nuclear weapons, perhaps re-instating the ABM treaty, dropping some of the sanctions.... They must have gone into some real details in two hours of one on one talks. (and I do hope it happens again very soon)

of course there's nothing that these two capitalists/bureaucrats/power brokers care at all about global warming and ecological catastrophe, so that even if B is right and the 3 big nuclear powers and competitors avoid direct conflict, that may actually amount to little when the temperature in DC is 105 degrees every day of the year and most of the city is flooded by rising sea levels or swept away in a super-hurricane. you think that's all so unlikely? or only 100+ years from now. guess again.


https://tass.com/politics/1013540

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 17, 2018 1:12:21 PM | 63

I agree that the Kissinger Doctrine with respect to dividing China and Russia is no longer viable.

It should be noted that both Brzezinski (deceased) and Kissinger are monster sociopaths and war criminals of the highest order.

It should also be noted that Israeli & US Citizen, Kissinger (a Statesman!) maintains influence over Trump as he has influenced every US President over the past 50 years.

Hillary Clinton made it a point to mention that she and Kissinger are good friends. She thought this would help her win.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17, 2018 1:14:41 PM | 64

Four rogue countries are part of the Zionist/Kissinger plan: China, Russia, Venezuela and Iran. Regime change will come to all, except China. China will suffer other consequences. TRUMP will set it all in motion even if regime change for Russia might be delayed. Putin is being lured into betraying Iran and creating distance with China.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 17, 2018 1:17:50 PM | 65

One can agree on a lot of things, B, but at the same time your view is also simplistic. There are other power clusters that modify the situation. This includes India, for example. And the Europeans too, however disunited they may be, continue to have great influence. At least their power is big enough to make it difficult for everyone else to succeed.
However, the biggest empty space in your description is the total absence of ecological aspects. Something has fundamentally changed since earlier times. And not just by the appearance of Uber-weapons whose destructive potential exceeds human imagination. It's also that we are reaching the limits of growth in many respects. Agricultural land is becoming scarce, water supplies are evaporating, entire lakes, even seas are turning into deserts. The climate is changing to the disadvantage of mankind. All this also has a massive impact on political developments. One cannot say that a massive drought triggered the war in Syria, but it has created some of the conditions for it - many desperate people who felt abandoned by the regime. It was then no longer difficult to use some of them for the vicious Western plans. It will happen again and again, more and more often. And whether your wish clotted in a statement – "These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries." - will foreveer be true is quite questionable.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 17, 2018 1:23:37 PM | 66

Hillary had to be derailed because Putin couldn't stand her while Trump had an excellent chance of getting further on the Zionist/Kissinger Russia agenda.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 17, 2018 1:25:32 PM | 67

Posted by: peter | Jul 17, 2018 1:02:12 PM | 56

In all likelihood they discussed the Magnitsky act.
Bill Browder and the Magnitsky act were the final nail into the coffin of the Obama/Clinton "reset".

It presumably was the heart of the deal - if there was any - for Russian help in the election.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17, 2018 1:26:30 PM | 68

Over the last four years that I have been watching, the main war fronts have moved between Syria, Ukraine, South China Sea, sometimes all three being hot points at the same time.
The Ukraine front is now finished, perhaps to be left like an untreated festering sore for as long as it lasts. Useful Syria is being dropped but US at all costs will hold the country it now occupies and most likely keep trying to gain a foothold in Deir Ezzor province west of the Euphrates.
Constant sniping of China to continue - Taiwan, SCS, trade ect - but the main front, now that we have moved from "end of economic empire days' to 'great power strategy' will be Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 1:35:33 PM | 69

thanks b.. i think you provide an excellent overview on international politic today.. no one person can see it all and this is where the moa community of posters provides additional insight and challenges to your perspective.. there are too many good posts and viewpoints to mention them all, but i have read the 66 posts prior to commenting here.. my favourite posts are listed below.. i list them as they capture a perspective that i share.. read them if you are interested..

i think the usa is on the losing end of the stick here and no amount of effort by trump is going to change it.. and as others have also noted, trump seems to be working for zionism as much as anything else.. so - what exactly is the deep state? and if it's in a semi open confrontation with trump, what exactly does that mean and how does it play out? i like your comment - no war among the big 3, but proxy wars will continue on the periphery.. i am not really sure that trump understands the big picture here and as others point out - the big picture is changing quickly with other surprising factors coming up that had not been thought of at the time - see @64 pnyx for more..

some of my fav posts.. @21 active potato... @28 vk... @32 frances...@44 karlof1.. @47 el Al.. #53 dh-mtl..

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 1:42:46 PM | 70

I agree with the overall argument (Makinder, Nixon etc. etc.) -- but the narrative of this post is wrong because it makes appear the USA has led itself into today's situation only because people in charge made a series of consecutive mistakes. This is not true, and is part of the "free will illusion" -- a bad habit we inherited from ancient Roman historians, a principle which states individual decisions by the elite have decisive and direct macroeconomic and long-term consequences.
...
Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 10:32:37 AM | 28

That was a cunning way to introduce a screed which failed to fulfill its promise. What happened to illustrating why the people in charge weren't responsible for the results of their policies?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17, 2018 1:42:55 PM | 71

Twitter agreement followed by a herd of deranged twitter cattle--the USA's become a nation populated by Sgt Schultz's--I Know Nothing!!!

Really, no comments on the Putin FOX News interview? My comments must be invisible along with not posting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 1:45:26 PM | 72

@72 karlof1... i can assure you that your comments are not invisible!

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 1:49:11 PM | 73

TDS. Anti and pro Trump derangement syndrome. Most anti, blinded by his persona, the pro group dazzled by his persona.
Enables all to keep living in the past era, completely unaware we are now in a new post economic hegemon era where the rules of the game have yet to be established. The norms and customs of the past era are now in the past.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 1:59:19 PM | 74

@44 karlof1... as to the interview which i am 8 minutes into.. it is most unfortunate that the american news person is bogged down with mueller allegations and unable to get beyond that narrative...this is indeed the deep state narrative that the news person is taking up and he behaves as though he has swallowed it hook, line and sinker... continuing more later..

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 1:59:41 PM | 75

Amerikkka succumbed to death by infotainment. We laughed ourselves silly to the bitter end. The old white war horses from the 60s as in Rome could no longer muster the energy to fight back.

This led directly into the intensifying pogrom against immigrants, latinos and African Americans: for only they possessed the requisite energy to fight back against the fascist oppressors. The white working classes committed suicide in tribute to their racist self identification with the elites who forsook them, one crummy LOL at a time.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 17, 2018 2:03:19 PM | 76

Putin probably reminded Trump about all the dirt they have on him. The brash arrogant personality with which Trump dazzles his intellectually-challenged base was nowhere to be seen during the following presser. He had the mien of a dog that's been kicked in the ass. Probably wondering what Melania will say when she sees the piss tape.

Posted by: peter | Jul 17, 2018 1:02:12 PM | 56

Quite wrong. For a minor nitpick, Melania grasped the art of saying nothing when a situation asks for it, while Trump is all about branding and "boys will be boys" is part of his charm (probably more talk than walk now that he is over 70).

More importantly, what can Trump do that Putin would like? I could identify only two things, both minor and both done already. The first is for USA doing less sh..t in Syria than it could, and indeed, jihadists of southern Syria were forcibly removed from tits that they were sucking, and now they are surrendering town after town with rather tepid fighting. For all we know, Tanf enclave can be next. A billion dollar question is why? USA could double the meager stipends of those jihadists -- combat time premium, increase supplies of anti-tank weapons and other goodies, may be even transport some Sunni fanatics to the location from elsewhere. I though that Trump refrained from that on the account of his somewhat genuine hatred of terrorists, but does he really? A more plausible scenario is that Netanyahu played the role of a useful idiot. The dread of Hezbollah and Iran is very vivid in the minds of Israeli elite, and Putin played his cards closely to the vest, nothing as crass as laughing at the PM who is in a tight spot. No, no, no! He showed "full understanding of your concern" with a "but". And thus a slightly veiled deal: Iranian troops and "proxies" will be sent to the opposite side of Syria, Euphratus valley, and in exchange, no neo-cons with good Zionist standing will prevent "an abject betrayal of the freedom fighters".

Something similar may be true for Ukraine, American actions can be a bit less obnoxious for Russia, e.g. "lethal weapons of Ukrainian armed forces" may be symbolic or much more than symbolic. In the latter case, Ukraine would be tempted to engage in a serious military escalation with an outcome rather woeful for everybody involved: Ukrainians who would get killed, "Russian speakers" who would also get killed, Russia who would get another round of bad press and American weapon manufacturers whose wares would be unfavorably compared with the newest Russian products. Russia could get some orders for new weapons.

But I really do not see Trump managing something with more substance. There could be some secondary effect, like governments of Italy, Hungary and perhaps few others vetoing an extension of EU sanctions on Russia -- they were so inclined, but somehow, so far they were intimidated, but then again, perhaps not, Trump himself was all over the place on the issue, but he confuses Europeans as to what constitutes pro-American policies these days.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 17, 2018 2:03:23 PM | 77

the interviewer makes a complete ass of himself... it is difficult to continue..
"do not hold russia-us relations hostage to your political infighting." that is all this interviewer is capable of!

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 2:05:43 PM | 78

I'll provide the guts of what I tried to post earlier that the Cloud swallowed. This was about various interpretation of the Summit. Garrie provided two assessments yesterday, this one and the following link about differing media views. Pepe Escobar weighed in today with his usual wit: "It was inevitable that a strategically crucial summit between the Russian and American presidencies would be hijacked by the dementia of the US news cycle;" and closed by noting the symbolic passing of the ball by Putin to Trump. Craig Murray opines that the West would rather war than peace given its reaction.

Now, lets copy this and see if it sticks or gets swallowed again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 2:07:36 PM | 79

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 12:09:17 PM | 44

Well remembered. China had already cinded with the USSR after Stalin's death. Krushchev (for many macroeconomic reasons that I will not put here), thought the USSR would surpass, in peacetime, the USA in circa 20 years in GDP terms. He then begun destalinization, and the Chinese disagreed, which reverberated in the Communist International and affected all Communist parties around the world.


Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17, 2018 1:42:55 PM | 71

I think I had, albeit not with the degree of detail I would've liked. Nixon didn't approached China only because he wanted to drive a hedge between it and the USSR. The American economy had already peaked in 1969 and we were at the gates of the crisis of 1974-5 (the oil crisis, the same crisis which toppled Krushchev). At the time, the only viable option for American industry for outsourcing was China, which gave the infrastructure and had the population to pull it off. Nixon shaking hands with Mao was the symptom, the symbol, not the cause, of this long process of American manufacture outsourcing/profitability decay. The CIA has already assassinated one POTUS (Kennedy), there would be no reason for it not to have assassinated Nixon, had he gone against the elite's vital interests.

As for Trump, the same case is true. He represents the part of America which is realizing it is loosing its sole superpower status. Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (which could have happened -- Trump only won because of American system's technicalities), the cauldron that is today's USA social fabric would've only gathered even more pressure, triggering an even deeper crisis in 2020.

Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 2:09:39 PM | 80

Sorry, I forgot to post a previous comment and (old) link here vis Crimea/international law/whatever that you all may find to be a very useful reference against the usual morons:


...the Badinter Commission (setup by the EC foreign ministers) to break up Yugoslavia legally along its administrative borders, it is quite legitimate to point out to anyone complaining about Crimea that it is fully in line with Badinter:

How the Badinter Commission on Yugoslavia laid the roots for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2015/02/20/how-the-badinter-commission-on-yugoslavia-laid-the-roots-for-crimeas-secession-from-ukraine/

[deleted - there is absolutely no need to copy that article. Provide a link, make your argument and don't scream at us - b]

To quote Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes, "Oh my God... I'm back. I'm home. All the time it was... we finally really did it. ... YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvuM3DjvYf0

Posted by: et Al | Jul 17, 2018 2:22:42 PM | 81

@karlof1... i watched it all.. putin comes across as a genius and the fox interviewer a complete ignoramus... oh well.. here is a direct link to it for others
https://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58019/videos

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 2:29:53 PM | 82

That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it.
Probably explains why the English Establishment so hates the Russians and Russia. BTW, May was talking about future good relations between the United Kingdom and Russia, no doubt after Putin is history.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 17, 2018 2:32:44 PM | 83

VK
The 74 oil crises was required to push through legislation to prevent any further legal challenges to the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The completion of the pipeline was absolutely essential before the next move to sky rocket oil prices could go ahead. The US kicked off the Iranian revolution one month after the first oil had flowed out of the pipeline.
The petro-dollar strategy was conceived, or at least put into action after the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay. It was held up for four years or more due to the legal challenges to the pipeline. This was Kissinger's decade, I think first as national security advisory the sec of state. He oversaw the plan from start to finish. The finishing point was the Iranian Revolution.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 2:33:11 PM | 84

james @78--

There's a reason I prefer transcripts to videos, which you're articulating--the obnoxious behavior's muted. But Putin's very experienced in dealing with such interlocutors which shows in his amazing patience to get his very important points across to the audience. I wouldn't go so far as to say Wallace's swallowed the Establishment's line; rather, he's pushing it just like any other member of Big Lie Media would. I thought Putin's response to the issue of civilian deaths was very smart and extremely tactful--and he took his time to make his point. Also, his retort to the Russian state spying on everyone was a gem, nor did Wallace try to deny the extent of NSA spying within the USA. Essentially, Putin's message was: You're the Police State now.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17, 2018 2:35:58 PM | 85

Excellent analysis.
Mackinder's theory is not hard to grasp, least of all for a guy in real estate. So perhaps Trump really does understand it.
It is tempting to review his actions against Iran as a deliberate move to ensure that this keystone in the China-Russia axis did not, as Rouhani and his allies clearly wanted, orientate back towards the 'west.'
With Iran, China and Russia forced to cooperate mutually, and Pakistan and Turkey being pushed towards them, a real policy aimed at pushing the United States out of the middle east and forcing Israel to make its own arrangements with its neighbours emerges.
The real meaning of Mackinder is that geography is a factor of primary importance which is why the position of Germany becomes crucial- its natural orientation is towards Russia and eastern Europe. It always was. Just as Poland was always in the way- that is Poland as in the old imperial Poland including Lithuania and western Ukraine.
The 'west's' hold over eastern europe is entirely ideological, and devoid of any economic logic. It always was because the 'nobility' needed the west to save them from the wrath of their peoples- which was as true in 1848 as it had been in the days of Teutonic Knights' crusades (against the slavs).

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17, 2018 2:39:17 PM | 86

I love the smell of u s a. u k. National cognitive dissonance in the morning!!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 17, 2018 2:47:14 PM | 87

karlof1 85
My take on the Fox interview was much the same as yours. I have not looked to see how much of Putin's answers have been put out on TV or in print, but from what I have seen of Fox news since the meeting, Murdoch appears to be backing Trumps push for better relations with Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 17, 2018 2:48:32 PM | 88

Has it occurred to anyone that E.U. and it’s disintegration might be the common goal that Trump (hopefully unsuccessfully) is striving towards. Not McKinder’s heartland but the entire Eurasian integration is the target of the ambitious Trump.

Trump would be offering “security guaranties” to Russia, by removing the “E.U.-threat” & NATO to the West of Russia. In return, he requests assistance in further destabilizing E.U. by arranging a larger influx of 3rd world migrants. It would be Trump weaponizing the hoards, fleeing the failed states, created by US government at the same at the same time encouraging nationalism and the Extreme-Right. Thus destroying liberal democracy, an essential prerequisite in the multi-ethnic and politically feeble, economic giant E.U.

This would in one go explain Trump’s behavior as the “crazed elephant” in the Trans-Atlantic china shop. Trump would cut off it’s most powerful economical competitor, E.U. as a pillars under the 4-legged geopolitical chair.

Posted by: Amir | Jul 17, 2018 2:49:58 PM | 89

@85 "I wouldn't go so far as to say Wallace's swallowed the Establishment's line; rather, he's pushing it just like any other member of Big Lie Media would."

Agreed. Wallace is just doing his job. Whether he believes in what he's saying or not isn't the point. He's a pro.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17, 2018 2:54:39 PM | 90

@89 And so is Putin. He knows the MSM game inside out.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17, 2018 2:57:08 PM | 91

This explains a lot:
"... the upper echelon of the FBI concealed intelligence confirming Chinese state-backed ‘assets’ had illegally acquired former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 30,000+ “missing” emails, federal sources said.
The Russians didn’t do it. The Chinese did, according to well-placed FBI sources." https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html

Posted by: Anya | Jul 17, 2018 3:01:55 PM | 92

@85 karlof1.. ditto transcripts.. i rarely if ever watch video.. too much work!!

as for wallace doing his job.. i am sorry, but that just doesn't cut it with me... at some point someone needs to fall on their sword, as opposed to always carrying water for the empire... the whole concept of pro is thus self serving, as opposed to the true principle of serving the public... none of these people are capable and they have been brainwashed into thinking they are doing their job and in fact - they are not... they are beholden to the pay cheque, as opposed to being of some real value... it is too bad.. wallace comes across as a complete buffoon.. bear in mind - i do not watch msm, so take it from where it comes..

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 3:10:10 PM | 93

@91 anya... wake me up when it hits the msm... until then, it is biz as usual..

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 3:11:09 PM | 94

here is being '''professional'''.. professional my ass..

"The entire “liberal” media and political establishment of the Western world reveals its militarist, authoritarian soul today with the screaming and hysterical attacks on the very prospect of detente with Russia."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/detente-bad-cold-war-good/

Posted by: james | Jul 17, 2018 3:12:32 PM | 95

An excellent overview of the twists and turns of world power bloc politics following the Sino-Soviet split. Fortunately, we can now refer to Brzezinski in the past tense.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 17, 2018 3:17:44 PM | 96

@92 Karlofi's link @44 came with a FOX warning. If Wallace wasn't asking those questions somebody else would. I was mainly interested in Putin's answers.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17, 2018 3:21:41 PM | 97

We still have no idea what Putin and Trump discussed. Which is why I consider most of the statements irrelevant.

But Trump stated rather clearly that he trusts Putin's word over his own intelligence people. Deep State vs Foreign State.

Trump is a Putinversteher.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 17, 2018 3:35:00 PM | 98

Posted by: Anya | Jul 17, 2018 3:01:55 PM | 91

Yes, it is very confusing who is foe or competitior or foe.

The Steele Dossier

Commenting on the negative media publicity surrounding alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election campaign in support of Trump, Source E said he understood that the Republican candidate and his team were relatively relaxed about this because it deflected media and the Democrats’ attention away from Trump’s business dealings in China and other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public, would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

Above quote is from

The Moscow Project is an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund dedicated to analyzing the facts behind Trump’s collusion with Russia and communicating the findings to the public. The Moscow Project’s team employs a multi-disciplinary approach towards its work, leveraging a unique combination of experience and expertise gained on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, and in private industry to examine this complex and sprawling series of events stretching back decades.

And this here is the South China Morning Post from May, this year.

Trump Indonesia project is latest stop on China’s Belt and Road

Project is part of the Lido City development in Jakarta and is the first to link the US president’s business interests to Beijing’s epic infrastructure plan

This here on Ivanka Trump doing business in China

Is China bribing Donald Trump?

Trump's many many business dealings in one map

No wonder, he is confused.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17, 2018 3:40:20 PM | 99

Great job! Hats off to you Moon

Posted by: meme | Jul 17, 2018 3:44:54 PM | 100

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