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Robert F Kennedy Jr's The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health should be front-page news in all the news media in the US. Instead, it has been met with the proverbial thundering silence. Critics seeking to have Kennedy dismissed as a kook trading on a... Read More
Marx. Lenin. Mao. Deng. Xi. Late last week in Beijing, the sixth plenum of the Chinese Communist Party adopted a historic resolution – only the third in its 100-year history – detailing major accomplishments and laying out a vision for the future. Essentially, the resolution poses three questions. How did we get here? How come... Read More
The Eurasian chessboard is in non-stop motion at dizzying speed. After the Afghanistan shock, we’re all aware of the progressive interconnection of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and of the preeminent roles played by Russia, China and Iran. These are the pillars of the... Read More
Afghanistan was the missing link in the complex chessboard of Eurasia integration. Now time is running out. After four long decades of war, getting the nation up and running as soon as possible is a pressing matter for all its neighbors. The three key nodes of Eurasia integration are very much aware of the high... Read More
The plenary session is the traditional highlight of the annual, must-follow Valdai Club discussions – one of Eurasia’s premier intellectual gatherings. Vladimir Putin is a frequent keynote speaker. In Sochi this year, as I related in a previous column, the overarching theme was “global shake-up in the 21st century: the individual, values and the state.”... Read More
The annual Valdai Club meeting has always been positioned as absolutely essential when it comes to understanding the non-stop movement of geopolitical tectonic plates across Eurasia. The ongoing 18th meeting in Sochi, Russia once again lived up to expectations. The overall theme was Global Shake-Up in the 21st Century: The Individual, Values, and the State.... Read More
Forget about the incessant drumming of Cold War 2.0 against China. Forget about think-tank simpletons projecting their wishful thinking on the perpetual “end of China’s rise.” Forget even about a few sound minds in Brussels – yes, they do exist – saying Europe does not want containment of China; it wants engagement, which means business.... Read More
It would be tempting to picture the Iraqi parliamentary elections last Sunday as a geopolitical game-changer. Well, it’s complicated – in more ways than one. Let’s start with the abstention rate. Of the 22 million eligible voters able to choose 329 members of Parliament from 3,227 candidates and 167 parties, only 41% chose to cast... Read More
The 21st century, geopolitically, so far has been shaped by the U.S.- engineered Forever Wars. Forever Wars: Afghanistan-Iraq, part 2, ranging from 2004 to 2021, is the fourth in a series of e-books recovering the Pepe Escobar archives on Asia Times. The archives track a period of 20 years – starting with the columns and... Read More
The 20th anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, enshrined no less than a new geopolitical paradigm. Iran, now a full SCO member, was restored to its traditionally prominent Eurasian role, following the recent $400 billion-worth trade and development deal struck with China. Afghanistan was the main topic – with all... Read More
Massoud leaving Bazarak in the Panjshir after our interview in August 2001, roughly three weeks before his assassination. Photo: Pepe Escobar
It’s impossible not to start with the latest tremor in a series of stunning geopolitical earthquakes. Exactly 20 years after 9/11 and the subsequent onset of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the Taliban will hold a ceremony in Kabul to celebrate their victory in that misguided Forever War. Four key exponents of Eurasia integration... Read More
The announcement by Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid in Kabul of the acting cabinet ministers in the new caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan already produced a big bang: it managed to enrage both woke NATOstan and the US Deep State. This is an all-male, overwhelmingly Pashtun (there’s one Uzbek and one Tajik) cabinet... Read More
It looked like everything was set for the Taliban to announce the new government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan after this Friday’s afternoon prayers. But then internal dissent prevailed. That was compounded by the adverse optics of a ragtag “resistance” in the Panjshir Valley that is still not subdued. The “resistance” is de facto... Read More
It was 20 years ago today. Asia Times published Get Osama! Now! Or Else...The rest is history. Retrospectively, this sounds like news from another galaxy. Before Planet 9/11. Before GWOT (Global War on Terror). Before the Forever Wars. Before the social network era. Before the Russia-China strategic partnership. Before the Dronification of State Violence. Before... Read More
The horrific Kabul suicide bombing introduces an extra vector in an already incandescent situation: It aims to prove, to Afghans and to the outside world, that the nascent Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is incapable of securing the capital. As it stands, at least 103 people – 90 Afghans (including at least 28 Taliban) and 13... Read More
After 20 years and a staggering US$2.23 trillion spent in a “forever war” persistently spun as promoting democracy and benefiting the “Afghan people,” it’s legitimate to ask what the Empire of Chaos has to show for it. The numbers are dire. Afghanistan remains the world’s 7th poorest nation: 47% of the population lives below the... Read More
In the end, the Saigon moment happened faster than any Western intel “expert” expected. This is one for the annals: four frantic days that wrapped up the most astonishing guerrilla blitzkrieg of recent times. Afghan-style: lots of persuasion, lots of tribal deals, zero columns of tanks, minimal loss of blood. August 12 set the scene,... Read More
August 12, 2021. History will register it as the day the Taliban, nearly 20 years after 9/11 and the subsequent toppling of their 1996-2001 reign by American bombing, struck the decisive blow against the central government in Kabul. In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban all but captured three crucial hubs: Ghazni and Kandahar in the... Read More
The ever-elusive Afghan “peace” process negotiations re-start this Wednesday in Doha via the extended troika – the US, Russia, China and Pakistan. The contrast with the accumulated facts on the ground could not be starker. In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban have subdued no less than six Afghan provincial capitals in only four days. The... Read More
Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as the 8th president of Iran this Thursday at the Majlis (Parliament), two days after being formally endorsed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei. Representatives of the UN secretary-general; OPEC; the EU; the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); the Inter-Islamic Union; and quite a few heads of state... Read More
China and Russia will be key to solving an ancient geopolitical riddle: how to pacify the 'graveyard of empires'
So this is the way the Forever War in Afghanistan ends – if one could call it an ending. Rather, it’s an American repositioning. Regardless, after two decades of death and destruction and untold trillions of dollars, we’re faced not with a bang – and not with a whimper, either – but rather with a... Read More
Over a week ago the excruciatingly slow Doha peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban resumed, and then they dragged on for two days observed by envoys from the EU, US and UN. Nothing happened. They could not even agree on a ceasefire during Eid al-Adha. Worse, there’s no road map for how... Read More
While the dogs of demonization bark, Russia's newfangled armaments are flat out beating the competition
The annual MAKS aerospace show kicked off its 2021 installment at Zhukovsky Airport outside Moscow – not with a bang, but with multiple bangs. MAKS – whose name is an acronym for the Russian mouthful Mezhdunarodnyj aviatsionno-kosmiches, literally international aviation and space show – is famous for showing off the latest hits in aerospace and... Read More
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting of Foreign Ministers on Wednesday in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, may have been an under-the-radar affair, but it did reveal the contours of the big picture ahead when it comes to Afghanistan. So let’s see what Russia and China – the SCO’s heavyweights – have been up to. Chinese Foreign... Read More
The Great Game: This lithograph by British Lieutenant James Rattray shows Shah Shuja in 1839 after his enthronement as Emir of Afghanistan in the Bala Hissar (fort) of Kabul. Rattray wrote: \
Russia-China-Iran alliance is taking Afghanistan's bull by the horns
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a Central Asian loop all through the week. He’s visiting Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last two are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 20 years ago. The SCO heavyweights are of course China and Russia. They are joined by four Central Asian “stans” (all but... Read More
Deploying diplomatic skills refined from Doha to Moscow, the Taliban in 2021 has little to do with its 2001 incarnation
A very important meeting took place in Moscow last week, virtually hush-hush. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, received Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser. There were no substantial leaks. A bland statement pointed to the obvious: They “focused on the security situation in Afghanistan during the pullout of Western military contingencies and... Read More
The US is on the verge of its own second Vietnam repeated as farce in a haphazard retreat from Afghanistan
Let’s start with some stunning facts on the Afghan ground. The Taliban are on a roll. Earlier this week their PR arm was claiming they hold 218 Afghan districts out of 421 – capturing new ones every day. Tens of districts are contested. Entire Afghan provinces are basically lost to the government in Kabul, which... Read More
The West’s ‘rules-based order’ invokes rulers’ authority; Russia-China say it’s time to return to law-based order
We do live in extraordinary times. On the day of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), President Xi Jinping, in Tiananmen square, amid all the pomp and circumstance, delivered a stark geopolitical message: I have offered a concise version of the modern Chinese miracle – which has nothing to do with divine... Read More
Welcome to the latest NATO show: Sea Breeze starts today and goes all the way to July 23. The co-hosts are the US Sixth Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy. The main protagonist is Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. The show, in NATOspeak, is just an innocent display of “strenghtening deterrence and defense”. NATO spin tells... Read More
Iran's president-elect will 'Look East' while seeking to exit 'strategic patience' when dealing with the US
In his first press conference as President-Elect with 62% of the votes, Ebrahim Raesi, facing a forest of microphones, came out swinging and leaving nothing to the imagination. On the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, the dossier that completely obsesses the West, Raeisi was clear: the US must immediately return to the JCPOA that Washington... Read More
Let’s start with the written word. In Geneva, the US and Russia issued a joint statement in which “we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Assorted Dr Strangeloves will cringe – but at least the world has it in writing, and may breathe a sigh of... Read More
For those spared the ordeal of sifting through the NATO summit communique, here’s the concise low down: Russia is an "acute threat" and China is a "systemic challenge". NATO, of course, are just a bunch of innocent kids building castles in a sandbox. Those were the days when Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay, NATO's first secretary-general,... Read More
It requires major suspension of disbelief to consider the G7, the self-described democracy’s most exclusive club, as relevant to the Raging Twenties. Real life dictates that even accounting for the inbuilt structural inequality of the current world system the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total. Cornwall was at best an... Read More
The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”. The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva... Read More
It’s impossible to understand the finer points of what’s happening on the ground in Russia and across Eurasia, business-wise, without following the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). So let’s cut to the chase, and offer a few choice examples of what is discussed on top panels. The Russian Far East - Here’s a... Read More
As Sino-Russo-Iranophobia dissolves in sanctions and hysteria, mapmakers carve the post-unilateral order
It’s the Nikolai Patrushev-Yang Jiechi show – all over again. These are the two players running an up and coming geopolitical entente, on behalf of their bosses Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Last week, Yang Jiechi – the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee –... Read More
When Iran’s Interior Ministry released on Tuesday the final list of candidates approved by the 12-member Guardian Council to run for President in the upcoming June 18 election, all hell was breaking loose in Tehran for at least 24 hours. An "unofficial" list of the 7 candidates for the presidential election was already circulating and... Read More
Andrei Martyanov is in a class by himself. A third wave baby boomer, born in the early 1960s in Baku, in the Caucasus, then part of the former USSR, he’s arguably the foremost military analyst in the Russian sphere, living and working in the US, writing in English for a global audience, and always excelling... Read More
So Sergey Lavrov and Tony Blinken met for nearly two hours at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, on the sidelines of the ministerial session of the Arctic Council. Frosty? Not really. Even if the get together may not have been a throwback to a Reagan-Gorbachev funfest in the good old Cold War days. After... Read More
Once upon a time in Anatolia, in the late 13th century a Turkic principality – one of many shaped in the wake of the Mongol invasion of the 1240s – consigned the Seljuk Turks to the past and emerged as the Ottoman emirate. It was named after its founder, Osman I. By the middle of... Read More
militarysilhouettesofsoldiersagainstthebackdropofsunsetsky
One cannot but feel mildly amused at the theatrical spectacle of the US troop pullout from Afghanistan, its completion day now postponed for maximum PR impact to 9/11, 2021. Nearly two decades and a staggering US$2 trillion after this Forever War was launched by a now immensely indebted empire, the debacle can certainly be interpreted... Read More
Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna. The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi.... Read More
In times of grave geopolitical trouble it’s up for a true statesman to step up in the global podium and defuse a noxious Cold War 2.0 atmosphere. President Xi Jinping did deliver with his keynote speech at the annual Boao Forum in Hainan. Here’s the full speech. And let’s start with a single sentence: The... Read More
War, Russophobia and Pipelineistan
Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war. On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021. The decree... Read More
The extraordinary confluence between the signing of the Iran-China strategic partnership deal and the Ever Given saga in the Suez Canal is bound to spawn a renewed drive to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and all interconnected corridors of Eurasia integration. This is the most important geoeconomic development in Southwest Asia in ages –... Read More
Capping an extraordinary two weeks that turned 21st century geopolitics upside down, Iran and China finally signed their 25-year strategic deal this past Saturday in Tehran. The timing could not have been more spectacular, following what we examined in three previous columns: the virtual Quad and the 2+2 US-China summit in Alaska; the Lavrov-Wang Yi... Read More
shutterstock_1708171471
Let’s start with comic relief: the “leader of the free world” has pledged to prevent China from becoming the “leading” nation on the planet. And to fulfill such an exceptional mission, his “expectation” is to run again for president in 2024. Not as a hologram. And fielding the same running mate. Now that the “free... Read More
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) in Beijing, China on March 23, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout / Anadolu Agency
It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two. How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again. Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed... Read More
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to exchange views with his US counterpart in Alaska. Image: Facebook
Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi will seek to make shark's fin soup out of Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan at the Anchorage summit
Leviathan seems to be positioning itself for a geopolitical Kill Bill rampage – yet brandishing a rusty samurai high-carbon-steel sword. Predictably, US deep state masters have not factored in that they could eventually be neutralized by a geopolitical Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. In a searing, concise essay, Alastair Crooke pointed to the heart... Read More
A surprising Supreme Court decision that, while not definitive, restores Lula’s political rights has hit Brazil like a semiotic bomb and plunged the nation into a reality show being played in a wilderness of shattered mirrors. At first, it looked like three key variables would remain immutable. The Brazilian military run the show – and... Read More
PastClassics
Becker update V1.3.2
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.