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The Eurasian Big Bang
How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
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Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations — the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS’ New Development Bank) — whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.” And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia — a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

The Eurasian Silk Road

With the Vienna deal, whose interminable build-up I had the dubious pleasure of following closely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his diplomatic team have pulled the near-impossible out of an extremely crumpled magician’s hat: an agreement that might actually end sanctions against their country from an asymmetric, largely manufactured conflict.

Think of that meeting in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan, as a preamble to the long-delayed agreement in Vienna. It caught the new dynamics of the Eurasian continent and signaled the future geopolitical Big Bangness of it all. At Ufa, from July 8th to 10th, the 7th BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit overlapped just as a possible Vienna deal was devouring one deadline after another.

Consider it a diplomatic masterstroke of Vladmir Putin’s Russia to have merged those two summits with an informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Call it a soft power declaration of war against Washington’s imperial logic, one that would highlight the breadth and depth of an evolving Sino-Russian strategic partnership. Putting all those heads of state attending each of the meetings under one roof, Moscow offered a vision of an emerging, coordinated geopolitical structure anchored in Eurasian integration. Thus, the importance of Iran: no matter what happens post-Vienna, Iran will be a vital hub/node/crossroads in Eurasia for this new structure.

If you read the declaration that came out of the BRICS summit, one detail should strike you: the austerity-ridden European Union (EU) is barely mentioned. And that’s not an oversight. From the point of view of the leaders of key BRICS nations, they are offering a new approach to Eurasia, the very opposite of the language of sanctions.

Here are just a few examples of the dizzying activity that took place at Ufa, all of it ignored by the American mainstream media. In their meetings, President Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked in a practical way to advance what is essentially a Chinese vision of a future Eurasia knit together by a series of interlocking “new Silk Roads.” Modi approved more Chinese investment in his country, while Xi and Modi together pledged to work to solve the joint border issues that have dogged their countries and, in at least one case, led to war.

The NDB, the BRICS’ response to the World Bank, was officially launched with \$50 billion in start-up capital. Focused on funding major infrastructure projects in the BRICS nations, it is capable of accumulating as much as \$400 billion in capital, according to its president, Kundapur Vaman Kamath. Later, it plans to focus on funding such ventures in other developing nations across the Global South — all in their own currencies, which means bypassing the U.S. dollar. Given its membership, the NDB’s money will clearly be closely linked to the new Silk Roads. As Brazilian Development Bank President Luciano Coutinho stressed, in the near future it may also assist European non-EU member states like Serbia and Macedonia. Think of this as the NDB’s attempt to break a Brussels monopoly on Greater Europe. Kamath even advanced the possibility of someday aiding in the reconstruction of Syria.

You won’t be surprised to learn that both the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the NDB are headquartered in China and will work to complement each other’s efforts. At the same time, Russia’s foreign investment arm, the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), signed a memorandum of understanding with funds from other BRICS countries and so launched an informal investment consortium in which China’s Silk Road Fund and India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be key partners.

Full Spectrum Transportation Dominance


On the ground level, this should be thought of as part of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Its flip side is the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Pacific and the Atlantic version of the same, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, both of which Washington is trying to advance to maintain U.S. global economic dominance. The question these conflicting plans raise is how to integrate trade and commerce across that vast region. From the Chinese and Russian perspectives, Eurasia is to be integrated via a complex network of superhighways, high-speed rail lines, ports, airports, pipelines, and fiber optic cables. By land, sea, and air, the resulting New Silk Roads are meant to create an economic version of the Pentagon’s doctrine of “Full Spectrum Dominance” — a vision that already has Chinese corporate executives crisscrossing Eurasia sealing infrastructure deals.

For Beijing — back to a 7% growth rate in the second quarter of 2015 despite a recent near-panic on the country’s stock markets — it makes perfect economic sense: as labor costs rise, production will be relocated from the country’s Eastern seaboard to its cheaper Western reaches, while the natural outlets for the production of just about everything will be those parallel and interlocking “belts” of the new Silk Roads.

Meanwhile, Russia is pushing to modernize and diversify its energy-exploitation-dependent economy. Among other things, its leaders hope that the mix of those developing Silk Roads and the tying together of the Eurasian Economic Union — Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — will translate into myriad transportation and construction projects for which the country’s industrial and engineering know-how will prove crucial.

As the EEU has begun establishing free trade zones with India, Iran, Vietnam, Egypt, and Latin America’s Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela), the initial stages of this integration process already reach beyond Eurasia. Meanwhile, the SCO, which began as little more than a security forum, is expanding and moving into the field of economic cooperation. Its countries, especially four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) will rely ever more on the Chinese-driven Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB. At Ufa, India and Pakistan finalized an upgrading process in which they have moved from observers to members of the SCO. This makes it an alternative G8.

In the meantime, when it comes to embattled Afghanistan, the BRICS nations and the SCO have now called upon “the armed opposition to disarm, accept the Constitution of Afghanistan, and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations.” Translation: within the framework of Afghan national unity, the organization would accept the Taliban as part of a future government. Their hopes, with the integration of the region in mind, would be for a future stable Afghanistan able to absorb more Chinese, Russian, Indian, and Iranian investment, and the construction — finally! — of a long-planned, \$10 billion, 1,420-kilometer-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline that would benefit those energy-hungry new SCO members, Pakistan and India. (They would each receive 42% of the gas, the remaining 16% going to Afghanistan.)

Central Asia is, at the moment, geographic ground zero for the convergence of the economic urges of China, Russia, and India. It was no happenstance that, on his way to Ufa, Prime Minister Modi stopped off in Central Asia. Like the Chinese leadership in Beijing, Moscow looks forward (as a recent document puts it) to the “interpenetration and integration of the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt” into a “Greater Eurasia” and a “steady, developing, safe common neighborhood” for both Russia and China.

And don’t forget Iran. In early 2016, once economic sanctions are fully lifted, it is expected to join the SCO, turning it into a G9. As its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, made clear recently to Russia’s Channel 1 television, Tehran considers the two countries strategic partners. “Russia,” he said, “has been the most important participant in Iran’s nuclear program and it will continue under the current agreement to be Iran’s major nuclear partner.” The same will, he added, be true when it comes to “oil and gas cooperation,” given the shared interest of those two energy-rich nations in “maintaining stability in global market prices.”

Got Corridor, Will Travel

Across Eurasia, BRICS nations are moving on integration projects. A developing Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor is a typical example. It is now being reconfigured as a multilane highway between India and China. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia are developing a transportation corridor from the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the Caspian Sea and the Volga River. Azerbaijan will be connected to the Caspian part of this corridor, while India is planning to use Iran’s southern ports to improve its access to Russia and Central Asia. Now, add in a maritime corridor that will stretch from the Indian city of Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and then on to the southern Russian city of Astrakhan. And this just scratches the surface of the planning underway.

Years ago, Vladimir Putin suggested that there could be a “Greater Europe” stretching from Lisbon, Portugal, on the Atlantic to the Russian city of Vladivostok on the Pacific. The EU, under Washington’s thumb, ignored him. Then the Chinese started dreaming about and planning new Silk Roads that would, in reverse Marco Polo fashion, extend from Shanghai to Venice (and then on to Berlin).

Thanks to a set of cross-pollinating political institutions, investment funds, development banks, financial systems, and infrastructure projects that, to date, remain largely under Washington’s radar, a free-trade Eurasian heartland is being born. It will someday link China and Russia to Europe, Southwest Asia, and even Africa. It promises to be an astounding development. Keep your eyes, if you can, on the accumulating facts on the ground, even if they are rarely covered in the American media. They represent the New Great — emphasis on that word — Game in Eurasia.

Location, Location, Location

Tehran is now deeply invested in strengthening its connections to this new Eurasia and the man to watch on this score is Ali Akbar Velayati. He is the head of Iran’s Center for Strategic Research and senior foreign policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Velayati stresses that security in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and the Caucasus hinges on the further enhancement of a Beijing-Moscow-Tehran triple entente.


As he knows, geo-strategically Iran is all about location, location, location. That country offers the best access to open seas in the region apart from Russia and is the only obvious east-west/north-south crossroads for trade from the Central Asian “stans.” Little wonder then that Iran will soon be an SCO member, even as its “partnership” with Russia is certain to evolve. Its energy resources are already crucial to and considered a matter of national security for China and, in the thinking of that country’s leadership, Iran also fulfills a key role as a hub in those Silk Roads they are planning.

That growing web of literal roads, rail lines, and energy pipelines, as TomDispatch has previously reported, represents Beijing’s response to the Obama administration’s announced “pivot to Asia” and the U.S. Navy’s urge to meddle in the South China Sea. Beijing is choosing to project power via a vast set of infrastructure projects, especially high-speed rail lines that will reach from its eastern seaboard deep into Eurasia. In this fashion, the Chinese-built railway from Urumqi in Xinjiang Province to Almaty in Kazakhstan will undoubtedly someday be extended to Iran and traverse that country on its way to the Persian Gulf.

A New World for Pentagon Planners

At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month, Vladimir Putin told PBS’s Charlie Rose that Moscow and Beijing had always wanted a genuine partnership with the United States, but were spurned by Washington. Hats off, then, to the “leadership” of the Obama administration. Somehow, it has managed to bring together two former geopolitical rivals, while solidifying their pan-Eurasian grand strategy.

Even the recent deal with Iran in Vienna is unlikely — especially given the war hawks in Congress — to truly end Washington’s 36-year-long Great Wall of Mistrust with Iran. Instead, the odds are that Iran, freed from sanctions, will indeed be absorbed into the Sino-Russian project to integrate Eurasia, which leads us to the spectacle of Washington’s warriors, unable to act effectively, yet screaming like banshees.

NATO’s supreme commander Dr. Strangelove, sorry, American General Philip Breedlove, insists that the West must create a rapid-reaction force — online — to counteract Russia’s “false narratives.” Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter claims to be seriously considering unilaterally redeploying nuclear-capable missiles in Europe. The nominee to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Commandant Joseph Dunford, recently directly labeled Russia America’s true “existential threat”; Air Force General Paul Selva, nominated to be the new vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, seconded that assessment, using the same phrase and putting Russia, China and Iran, in that order, as more threatening than the Islamic State (ISIS). In the meantime, Republican presidential candidates and a bevy of congressional war hawks simply shout and fume when it comes to both the Iranian deal and the Russians.

In response to the Ukrainian situation and the “threat” of a resurgent Russia (behind which stands a resurgent China), a Washington-centric militarization of Europe is proceeding apace. NATO is now reportedly obsessed with what’s being called “strategy rethink” — as in drawing up detailed futuristic war scenarios on European soil. As economist Michael Hudson has pointed out, even financial politics are becoming militarized and linked to NATO’s new Cold War 2.0.

In its latest National Military Strategy, the Pentagon suggests that the risk of an American war with another nation (as opposed to terror outfits), while low, is “growing” and identifies four nations as “threats”: North Korea, a case apart, and predictably the three nations that form the new Eurasian core: Russia, China, and Iran. They are depicted in the document as “revisionist states,” openly defying what the Pentagon identifies as “international security and stability”; that is, the distinctly un-level playing field created by globalized, exclusionary, turbo-charged casino capitalism and Washington’s brand of militarism.

The Pentagon, of course, does not do diplomacy. Seemingly unaware of the Vienna negotiations, it continued to accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons. And that “military option” against Iran is never off the table.

So consider it the Mother of All Blockbusters to watch how the Pentagon and the war hawks in Congress will react to the post-Vienna and — though it was barely noticed in Washington — the post-Ufa environment, especially under a new White House tenant in 2017.

It will be a spectacle. Count on it. Will the next version of Washington try to make it up to “lost” Russia or send in the troops? Will it contain China or the “caliphate” of ISIS? Will it work with Iran to fight ISIS or spurn it? Will it truly pivot to Asia for good and ditch the Middle East or vice-versa? Or might it try to contain Russia, China, and Iran simultaneously or find some way to play them against each other?

In the end, whatever Washington may do, it will certainly reflect a fear of the increasing strategic depth Russia and China are developing economically, a reality now becoming visible across Eurasia. At Ufa, Putin told Xi on the record: “Combining efforts, no doubt we [Russia and China] will overcome all the problems before us.”

Read “efforts” as new Silk Roads, that Eurasian Economic Union, the growing BRICS block, the expanding Shanghai Cooperation Organization, those China-based banks, and all the rest of what adds up to the beginning of a new integration of significant parts of the Eurasian land mass. As for Washington, fly like an eagle? Try instead: scream like a banshee.

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

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: BRICs, China, Iran, Russia 
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  1. Whether Pepe Escobar or Yanis Veroufakis, one thing consistently overlooked in their proposed economic models is the fact sustained development is precisely the principle of cancer:

    Nature is the bank account and it is overdrawn far beyond recovery for this iteration of ‘civilization’ .. intelligent folk, those ‘big brained White people’, but intelligence does not confer common sense –

  2. A natural and positive development. Not for the US so much, but its abuse of its former dominant role deprives it of the right to complain.

  3. Marian says:

    Neocons never admit defeat. They just slink back to their secret liar, and work on their new death obsessed, Zionist scheme. Crazed animals do tend to become more dangerous when cornered, and these are still in control of politicians, who control nukes. Good times for all.

    Good luck to the BRICs and their silk road. Like with all grand economic plans, they should thrive initially. Unfortunately there still is only so much junk one can buy, especially as water becomes the next hot commodity for the burgeoning human herd.

  4. Realist says:

    I agree with some of what Pepe has to say. But co-operation or agreements between China/Russia and Islamic countries is extremely problematic.

  5. Sherman says:

    I think the effects of all this economic and infrastructure integration is greatly exaggerated.

    It sounds like a bunch of weak, oil and gas dependent economies propping each other up.

    Furthermore, I believe China’s economic strength is also greatly exaggerated. All this integration is ultimately dependent on The assumption that China will continue economic growth of 7 percent a year. I doubt China will grow indefinitely at this rate.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Sam Shama
  6. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    Politically, this makes sense.

    Economically, this will not work.

    The finances of China, Russia, Brazil, India, and esp South Africa—and other interested states—are too shaky to embark on a venture like this.

    • Replies: @Biff
  7. Realist says:

    “All this integration is ultimately dependent on The assumption that China will continue economic growth of 7 percent a year.”


    US 2nd Q GDP comes out this Thursday. How negative will it be?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  8. Biff says:
    @Priss Factor

    Well, that’s like, your opinion man.

    Jeff Lebowski

  9. Sam Shama says:

    Expected QoQ at 2.5%. So? The US is a super high income economy, try producing 7% growth on that level of income. I posted something a few minutes ago,

    • Replies: @Realist
  10. Mulegino1 says:

    America was diverted from its proper historical role by dreams of empire. Perhaps no nation on earth was ever so well suited for peaceful economic development and for providing a level of modest comfort to all its citizenry. Yet this opportunity was thrown away when the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana Harbor and America began its endless wars of empire.

    Although it may sound odd, individuals like Theodore Roosevelt, John Hay and Admiral Mahan – in league with the Atlanticist-Zionist factions on Wall St. and the City, turned the U.S. into a thalassocratic power, destined to be the successor to the British empire. The U.S. turned away from the development of its own “great space”; it went abroad to ape faithless Albion.

    Thalassocratic power is by nature extractive and predatory; it thrives on world conflict, chaos and strife and hates the peaceful concert of nations and the stability of peoples.

    On the other hand, powers that are tellurocratic, such as China and Russia, look to peaceful cooperation and mutually beneficial economic development – pipelines, rail lines, power stations, transfers of technology, etc. This requires regional stability and peaceful societies.

    What we are now witnessing is a symbiosis between Russia and China – and if you think about it, the relationship is an ideal one. Russia has what China wants – enormous amounts of valuable resources, highly advanced weapons system and an enormous “great space”, while China has what Russia wants, manufacturing technology, and an enormous consumer market for its own products.

    The U.S. will never get a clue until it elects individuals of the caliber of Putin and Xi. Look at a Putin press conference – over a period of three hours, the man can give elaborate, technically precise and extemporaneous answers to questions on issues of great complexity – and he takes questions from the hostile foreign press as well, and compare it to the childlike teleprompter readers we have as our own elected officials. (Xi is brilliant as well. I read somewhere that he can read 14 languages.)

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  11. Realist says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Expected QoQ at 2.5%.”

    That’s not what I ask you. Thursday’s GDP number….how negative?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Sam Shama
  12. Sam Shama says:

    That is the expected GDP growth rate to be released on Thursday, measured using quarter end to quarter end data and then annualised. If the first release (which is followed by more releases after greater information becomes available), turns out to be, say 2.2% then it is -0.3% below expectations. However, if you mean you are expecting the actual growth rate to be negative (such as -1.5%), I would very much doubt it. The actual level of GDP (end of last year, I believe from memory) was \$17.7 trillion. So if you are claiming we’ve had negative growth this year thus far, the actual level would have to be below \$17.7 trillion. Again I doubt it very much.

  13. unit472 says:

    There’s a reason Putin talks up schemes like Eurasia or the Brics. Its all he’s got. There is a reason the Russian Far East and Central Asia are so undeveloped and sparsely populated. They are horrible places to live! Winters are long and brutal, summers short and other than mineral extraction or nomadic lifestyles why would a person want to live in such harsh and empty areas. Even high speed rail doesn’t take you anywhere anytime soon. Amtrak can get your from Chicago to Seattle in 50 hours. From Beijing to Moscow it would take just as long via the putative highest speed rail in the world, but there is nothing much in between so why anyone would want to spend two days on a train that goes too fast to sight see on when they could fly is the main reason this ridiculous scheme, like so many of Putin’s fantasies, will never happen.

    The BRICS concept is something else Putin has latched onto. Never mind it was a term coined by a Goldman Sachs executive to describe a bloc of large and, especially in regards to China at that time, nations with unrealized potential. Only Putin imagines it as some sort of geopolitical bloc that would support Russia in a confrontation with the West. Xi Jinping may allow Putin to preen around Beijing but he isn’t interested in destroying his relations with his real economic partners in Japan, North America and Europe just so Putin can destroy Ukraine. Why India or Brazil would be anymore inclined is never explained either.

    Putin is an international bottom feeder now. Isolated and reduced to visiting and hosting any nation that will have him. His conquest of Crimea is recognized by Zimbabwe, Venezuela ( at least until Madura gets the heave ho) and a few other inconsequential nations. His economy is crumbling ( he just fired 110,000 Interior Ministry employees) and his promise to the Russian people made at the beginning of this year that the economy would be back on track in two years will be exposed as an all too palpable lie come January 2017.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @annamaria
  14. Seraphim says:

    @They are horrible places to live!

    Why then the “International Community” is so keen to get a slice of the ice and dust? Why do they think that ‘Siberia is too large and rich to belong to one country’?

  15. @Mulegino1

    I agree with every word you say here. The American Empire is the successor to the British Empire… Anglo-Zionism at work.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  16. annamaria says:

    “His conquest of Crimea…”
    Well, compare this “conquest” to the conquest of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and to the multitude of regime change in South America conducted by the US. What was the danger of relatively peaceful Iraq for the US, again?
    Why so much hate towards one man? He is just a head of state, like Holland and Obama and Merkel. A politician. As for Russians overall, they had more than enough of revolutions and wars during the last century. It is obvious that the former Soviets want peace and prosperity and freedom of visiting other countries. They do not want any confrontations with either Europe or the US.
    On a side, do you really want to compare Putin (a self-made man) with the obscenity of Lesser Bush and the poison of Cheney family? Come on.

    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    , @Avery
  17. Mulegino1 says:

    Much of the hatred of Putin by the Atlanticist-Zionist elites and spread through their controlled media is born of envy and personal animus. “How,” these elites must ask themselves, “could a man who did not attend the Ivy League, never worked on or for Wall St. or in Washington D.C. have achieved things our own servant politicians could never even hope to accomplish?”

    When contrasted with his contemporaries in the west, Putin is a lion in a den of Daniels, by far the greatest statesman of the twenty first century thus far. The elites hate everything Putin represents: strength, national sovereignty, Orthodox Christianity, and traditional societies – it literally enrages them that Putin can stand up to all of them at once with what St. Augustine called noble insolence.
    After all, a tin pot dictator like a Noriega or a Saddam is one thing, the world’s largest nuclear arsenal is another, and the arsenal combined with an 86% approval rating still another. The gnashing of teeth in Washington, New York, London and Tel Aviv must be intense.

  18. Seraphim says:

    When you remember that Putin was declared ‘Haman’ for the Purim 2014, you understand who really hates him so much and why.

    “Putin’s future for Ukraine – Please pray his plans like Haman’s are thwarted!”. This is taken from ‘Closeups From Far Away’: “blog dedicated to those who are resisting the status quo when it comes to their faith in the real God of the Bible, to those who are interested in Messianic Judaism and/or their Jewish roots and to those who want to combat the evil of anti-Semitism and its disabling effect on the followers of Yeshua, Jesus, and the nations. Also we will keep you updated on what’s happening in Europe and the US that interests us. Shalom. David Schneier”.

    Or, from a Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin(@

    ‘Time to play that game with none other than Haman, Purim’s arch-villain. Every time I try to type “Purim” in Word, it auto-corrects to “Putin.” Maybe Word is trying to tell me something…. That’s the point. The presence of evil is a deep mystery, and not often lightly or easily explained.
    Come Purim, and I will be thinking of Putin. And Assad.
    And Iran, aka Persia.
    Don’t let the gragger drown out the truth: There is still a whopping amount of evil in the world. And our job is to vanquish it.”

  19. Avery says:

    {“Why so much hate towards one man?”}

    [annamarina]: having read your many posts I can tell you are knowledgeable about such things, so I am surprised you’d ask such a question.
    The SOP for the Neocons is to demonize anyone who stands in the way of their projects.
    Pres Putin is being demonized because he is a Russian patriot, he is smart, knows who and what Necons are (thanks to his KGB background), and has been able to checkmate Neocon designs on Russia at every turn to date.
    Neocons want someone like Yeltsin: a drunkard, a doofus, so that they can loot and dismember Russia behind his back.

    Various interests in the West have always coveted the vast natural wealth of Russia for a couple centuries at least.
    Nothing new.
    They can’t take on Russia directly: they have tried and were badly mauled.
    And that was before nuclear weapons.
    Now they face the real threat of being annihilated, if they screw up.
    So they have to be careful not to start a real war where nukes start flying.

    So you demonize the leader first.
    Not working on the people of Russia though: Putin’s approval rating is approaching 90%.
    And the poll was conducted by a Western outfit.

    However, Russian people need to have a large number of future ‘Putins’ available to take over when he retires.
    Another ‘Yeltsin’ will be another disaster.

  20. Bliss says:

    Years ago, Vladimir Putin suggested that there could be a “Greater Europe” stretching from Lisbon, Portugal, on the Atlantic to the Russian city of Vladivostok on the Pacific. The EU, under Washington’s thumb, ignored him

    And this is why any Russia-China alliance is a makeshift one. The previous alliance between these two powers, based on shared communism, was shaky as well and easily disrupted by Nixon and Kissinger.

    Russia is ultimately a part of the West, one of the three children of the Roman Empire: the Eastern Greco-Slav-Orthodox child. The other two being the Northern-Germanic-Protestant and the Latin-Mediterranean-Catholic.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Seraphim
  21. Sam Shama says:

    U.S. GDP in the 2nd quarter +2.3%

    • Replies: @Realist
  22. annamaria says:

    You are correct about Russia’s longing and belonging to European civilization. After the dissolution of the USSR, there has been a huge influx of visitors (the former Soviets) to European museums and old beautiful cities. But the “Greater Europe” is not acceptable for the Hegemon. A peaceful Europe makes poor perspectives for war profiteers and for Vampires Squids of banking sector.

  23. Realist says:
    @Sam Shama

    Why would you send me the GDP number?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  24. Sam Shama says:

    Realist says:
    July 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm GMT
    “All this integration is ultimately dependent on The assumption that China will continue economic growth of 7 percent a year.”


    US 2nd Q GDP comes out this Thursday. How negative will it be?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    Realist says:
    July 27, 2015 at 10:13 pm GMT
    @Sam Shama
    “Expected QoQ at 2.5%.”

    That’s not what I ask you. Thursday’s GDP number….how negative?


    Sam Shama says:
    July 27, 2015 at 10:53 pm GMT • 100 Words
    That is the expected GDP growth rate to be released on Thursday, measured using quarter end to quarter end data and then annualised. If the first release (which is followed by more releases after greater information becomes available), turns out to be, say 2.2% then it is -0.3% below expectations. However, if you mean you are expecting the actual growth rate to be negative (such as -1.5%), I would very much doubt it. The actual level of GDP (end of last year, I believe from memory) was \$17.7 trillion. So if you are claiming we’ve had negative growth this year thus far, the actual level would have to be below \$17.7 trillion. Again I doubt it very much.

    I thought you were attempting to say that the numbers that would come out today would be negative, no?

    Unless I misunderstood, and if so, could you expand your thoughts a bit?

  25. Realist says:

    “I thought you were attempting to say that the numbers that would come out today would be negative, no?”

    Did you think I was incapable of getting the results without your help????

    “Unless I misunderstood, and if so, could you expand your thoughts a bit?”

    No problem. You’re a pompous, gloating, little shit.

    How’s that?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  26. Sam Shama says:

    You misunderstand.

    On two occasions, you repeated the same question and I then elaborated (after which you did not reply whether we were on the same page or not). Forward to today; upon my posting you replied as if you were totally surprised why I did so, and I thought the conversation dropped from your memory.

    No gloating on my part. You should learn how to learn. It will help in your endeavours.

  27. Seraphim says:

    Russia is ultimately part of the “East”. She belongs to the cultural sphere of the “Old Europe”, which is Eastern in geographical terms and older than the Roman Empire in chronological terms. The “West” is in reality the Atlantic fringe of Eurasia and its cultural development diverged from that of the Old Europe which is the basis of the Christian Roman Empire of Constantine or, as it is generally known, Byzance. The Eastern Greco-Slav-Orthodox are the children of that Empire. The “West” is the result of a lengthy process of de-Christianising of the Christian Empire, started by the alliance of the Pope of Rome with the barbarian Franks to build a “Roman Empire” against Byzance, accelerated by the revolt of the “Northern-Germanic-Protestant” and ending in the atheistic revolution of the “West”. That “West” endeavored to bring Russia under its control for centuries, but with little success. Her natural movement was towards the East. The collaboration with China is not a makeshift one, but the result of a necessity.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  28. Bliss says:

    Russia is ultimately part of the “East”. She belongs to the cultural sphere of the “Old Europe”, which is Eastern in geographical terms and older than the Roman Empire in chronological terms.

    “Old Europe”/Greece/Byzantium is still the West by definition; still west of Persia, India, China (near east/middle east, east, far east).

    Ancient Greece is the very mother of western civilization. Russia is a protege of Byzantium aka the Eastern Roman Empire. Just because Russia conquered a huge chunk of the Asian landmass does not make it part of the East.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  29. Seraphim says:

    This is an amphibology, an intentional ambiguity. The meaning of the “West” is not a geographical one. It purports to designate the “modern”, “enlightened”, “progressive”, “civilized” and “civilizing” part of the Humankind as opposed to the “Rest”. Anyhow, Russia was NEVER considered, by that enlightened part of Humankind as belonging to the “West” and even incapable of reaching ever these lofty heights.

  30. Bliss says:

    The meaning of the “West” is not a geographical one.

    That’s funny. You were using a geographical meaning in your last post:

    Russia is ultimately part of the “East”. She belongs to the cultural sphere of the “Old Europe”, which is Eastern in geographical terms

    Eastern Europe is still european, isn’t it? Western culture or european culture, old and new, is ultimately derived from Greece and Rome, isn’t it? Was Byzantium greco-roman or not?

  31. @Seraphim

    “The meaning of the ‘West’ is not a geographical one.”

    Uh, yeah it is. The term originates from the greatest world powers being in Europe for hundreds of years.

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