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Westlessness as a Cover for US vs. China
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stresses urgent need for international coordination 'to build a shared future'
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Few postmodern political pantomimes have been more revealing than the hundreds of so-called “international decision-makers,” mostly Western, waxing lyrical, disgusted or nostalgic over “Westlessness” at the Munich Security Conference.

“Westlessness” sounds like one of those constipated concepts issued from a post-party bad hangover at the Rive Gauche during the 1970s. In theory (but not French Theory) Westlessness in the age of Whatsapp should mean a deficit of multiparty action to address the most pressing threats to the “international order” – or (dis)order – as nationalism, derided as a narrow-minded populist wave, prevails.

Yet what Munich actually unveiled was some deep – Western – longing for those effervescent days of humanitarian imperialism, with nationalism in all its strands being cast as the villain impeding the relentless advance of profitable, neocolonial Forever Wars.

As much as the MSC organizers – a hefty Atlanticist bunch – tried to spin the discussions as emphasizing the need for multilateralism, a basket case of ills ranging from uncontrolled migration to “brain dead” NATO got billed as a direct consequence of “the rise of an illiberal and nationalist camp within the Western world.” As if this were a rampage perpetrated by an all-powerful Hydra featuring Bannon-Bolsonaro-Orban heads.

Far from those West-is-More heads in Munich is the courage to admit that assorted nationalist counter-coups also qualify as blowback for the relentless Western plunder of the Global South via wars – hot, cold, financial, corporate-exploitative.

For what it is worth , here’s the MSC report. Only two sentences would be enough to give away the MSC game: “In the post-Cold War era, Western-led coalitions were free to intervene almost anywhere. Most of the time, there was support in the UN Security Council, and whenever a military intervention was launched, the West enjoyed almost uncontested freedom of military movement.”

There you go. Those were the days when NATO, with full impunity, could bomb Serbia, miserably lose a war on Afghanistan, turn Libya into a militia hell and plot myriad interventions across the Global South. And of course none of that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded being forced into becoming refugees in Europe.

West is more

In Munich, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha got closer to the point when she said she found “Westlessness” quite insular as a theme. She made sure to stress that multilateralism is very much an Asian feature, expanding on the theme of ASEAN centrality.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with his customary finesse, was sharper, noting how “the structure of the Cold War rivalry is being recreated” in Europe. Lavrov was a prodigy of euphemism when he noted how “escalating tensions, NATO’s military infrastructure advancing to the East, exercises of unprecedented scope near the Russian borders, the pumping of defense budgets beyond measure – all this generates unpredictability.”

Yet it was Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who really got to the heart of the matter. While stressing that “strengthening global governance and international coordination is urgent right now,” Wang said, “We need to get rid of the division of the East and the West and go beyond the difference between the South and the North, in a bid to build a community with a shared future for mankind.”

“Community with a shared future” may be standard Beijing terminology, but it does carry a profound meaning as it embodies the Chinese concept of multilateralism as meaning no single state has priority and all nations share the same rights.

Wang went farther: The West – with or without Westlessness– should get rid of its subconscious mentality of civilization supremacy; give up its bias against China; and “accept and welcome the development and revitalization of a nation from the East with a system different from that of the West.” Wang is a sophisticated enough diplomat to know this is not going to happen.

Wang also could not fail to raise the Westlessness crowd’s eyebrows to alarming heights when he stressed, once again, that the Russia-China strategic partnership will be deepened – alongside exploring “ways of peaceful coexistence” with the US and deeper cooperation with Europe.

What to expect from the so-called “system leader” in Munich was quite predictable. And it was delivered, true to script, by current Pentagon head Mark Esper, yet another Washington revolving door practitioner.

21st Century threat

All Pentagon talking points were on display. China is nothing but a rising threat to the world order – as in “order” dictated by Washington. China steals Western know-how; intimidates all its smaller and weaker neighbors; seeks an “advantage by any means and at any cost.”

As if any reminder to this well-informed audience was needed, China was once again placed at the top of the Pentagon’s “threats,” followed by Russia, “rogue states” Iran and North Korea, and “extremist groups.” No one asked whether al-Qaeda in Syria is part of the list.

The “Communist Party and its associated organs, including the People’s Liberation Army,” were accused of “increasingly operating in theaters outside China’s borders, including in Europe.” Everyone knows only one “indispensable nation” is self-authorized to operate “in theaters outside its borders” to bomb others into democracy.

No wonder Wang was forced to qualify all of the above as “lies”: “The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, and still less would they want to accept the success of a socialist country.”

So in the end Munich did disintegrate into the catfight that will dominate the rest of the century. With Europe de facto irrelevant and the EU subordinated to NATO’s designs, Westlessness is indeed just an empty, constipated concept: all reality is conditioned by the toxic dynamics of China ascension and US decline.

ORDER IT NOW

The irrepressible Maria Zakharova once again nailed it: “They spoke about that country [China] as a threat to entire humankind. They said that China’s policy is the threat of the 21st century. I have a feeling that we are witnessing, through the speeches delivered at the Munich conference in particular, the revival of new colonial approaches, as though the West no longer thinks it shameful to reincarnate the spirit of colonialism by means of dividing people, nations and countries.”

An absolute highlight of the MSC was when diplomat Fu Ying, the chairperson on foreign affairs for the National People’s Congress, reduced US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dust with a simple question: “Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile” that it can be threatened by Huawei?

(Republished from Asia Times by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. MGM says:

    A delightful read! Thank you, Pepe.

  2. Anon[112] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder if Unz will publish some authors who take the pro-West side ever. I mean, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are at least loosely on board with US foreign policy. So there is probably something, morally, to it.

    Today, war broke out between Syria and Turkey, big time. Some 900,000 people are planning to flee. Citizens say it feels like the end of the world…again.

    This war was not from the US. If anything, Russia was more involved, as they are supporting Syria militarily. The US, in the meantime, is withdrawing troops. Is the US the only bad actor in the region? Is the region really going to be more stable without the US?

    West Africa continues to be in hot religious wars, waged by Boko Haram and ISIS terrorists. Is Muslim violence really the fault of the USA?

    In theory (but not French Theory) Westlessness in the age of Whatsapp should mean a deficit of multiparty action to address the most pressing threats to the “international order” – or (dis)order – as nationalism, derided as a narrow-minded populist wave, prevails.

    Does the West reject nationalism? Yes and no. In the days of the Cold War, the US fervently backed nationalist fighters of communism. Similar stories exist these days.

    When we try to pull out of countries militarily, as in the case of the Philippines, they ask us to return.

    African countries regularly ask the US to intervene in their disputes. Take Ethiopia vs. Egypt, for example. Because the US is pulled in by our infinity allies, the US CIA has a finger on the pulse of the entire world.

    Isn’t it odd that the Obama foreign policy was similar to Trump’s, and that Pelosi is similar to Esper, and yet the media only blasts the shit out of US foreign policy when there is a Republican president?

    We love to praise China for being peaceful, but are they really helping to stabilize the world? Is it really OK for them to support certain Middle Eastern regimes, which the rest of the world distrusts? Do they really know how to create the Pax Americana that has existed since the 80’s? Given that Iraq is still geared up for civil war, and Saudi Arabia is begging the USA to stay in to maintain stability, can we be so confident that the Middle East would be OK if we withdraw?

    I don’t know. But there are other sides, and nobody really digs deeply into them. It would be nice for Unz to get some articles supporting the other side, from some genuinely informed people, many of whom might work in these fields in the US government, to contribute.

  3. Jason Liu says:
    @Anon

    That is not true today. Today the US spreads and enforces liberalism on the world. Russia, China, Iran etc are all more nationalistic and conservative than any western country, and they’re still enemy #1. If anything, the closest thing to communism today is the liberal democracy practiced in the west, due to its radical egalitarianism.

  4. Crazy Horse says: • Website

    Another enjoyable read Pepe. Keep up the good work. I think the world could use a little more “westlessness” if it means less imperialist corporate kleptocratic neoliberal intervention.

  5. Anonymous[104] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Hang around Unz a while longer. Eventually, the fog will begin to lift and you will understand.

  6. @Anon

    What you really want is Unz to be more like the NYT, WaPo, BBC & the MSM generally. Perhaps it would be easier for all if you just returned to the MSM ?

    • Agree: Showmethereal
  7. Realist says:
    @Anon

    I wonder if Unz will publish some authors who take the pro-West side ever. I mean, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are at least loosely on board with US foreign policy. So there is probably something, morally, to it.

    Oh there is something to it alright…they are all members or minions of the Deep State.

    This war was not from the US. If anything, Russia was more involved, as they are supporting Syria militarily. The US, in the meantime, is withdrawing troops. Is the US the only bad actor in the region? Is the region really going to be more stable without the US?

    Russia is supporting Syria against US hegemony. The US is guarding the Syrian oil…from Syria…Trump has said so. The US is not the only bad actor in the region…there is Israel, but the US is the worst.

  8. The pattern of history must be changed if we are to achieve “peaceful coexistence” and a “shared future for mankind”.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  9. Anonymous[181] • Disclaimer says:

    Ziocons are freaking out. Belt & Road puts in jeopardy their grand vision of JWO with Jerusalem as world capital. They thought the Chinese were just going to be 1.4 billion subservient cheap slaves and coolies to all eternity like the good old days, didn’t count on an autocratic government not ready to bend over, which means no “free and fair” elections for them to meddle with through “free media”, no “liberal education” and “liberal entertainment” for them to freely indoctrinate with multiculturalism and LGBTQ degeneracy, and no “free market economy” and central bank for them to take control of and destroy from within like the US. What to do?

    What’s worse China is now aligned with Russia and Iran, with Germany becoming uncomfortably friendly. This is becoming an existential crisis for the Zios.

    But then again, *everything* is an existential crisis for these warmongers.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  10. Anonymous[104] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Well said!

  11. Thierry Meysan reminded ICH readers of the “Pentagon’s New Map”, the controlling paradigm of the newest New World Order:

    Thomas Barnett [assistant to Donald Rumsfeld’s colleague Admiral Arthur Cebrowski] . . .popular book The Pentagon’s New Map .
    . . .is about adapting the missions of the US armies to a new form of capitalism giving primacy to Finance over Economics.
    [A.] The world must be divided in two.
    On the one hand, stable states integrated into globalization (which includes Russia and China);
    on the other, a vast area of exploitation of raw materials.

    This is why [B] the state structures of the countries in this zone must be considerably weakened, ideally by destroying them and preventing their resurgence by all means.

    This “constructive chaos”, as Condoleeza Rice put it, should not be confused with the homonymous rabbinic concept, even though the supporters of the theopolitics have done everything in their power to do so. It is not a question of destroying a bad order in order to rebuild a better one, but of destroying all forms of human organization in order to prevent any form of resistance and to allow transnationals to exploit this area without political constraints.

    James Jeffrey, implementer-in-chief of this policy of destroy and prevent reconstruction, has been stating that policy in State Department briefings since at least December 2018:

    The Damascus regime, and particularly the Russians and the Iranians, want to see what I call the three Rs: refugees essentially pushed back to Syria; reconstruction aid, perhaps up to 400 billion according to the UN, to flow into the country from the West – us, Europe, international organizations; and the regime to be recognized by the world as legitimate. None of those things are happening, and they’re not going to happen until the political process makes progress, as far as I can see. And I don’t see a change in that, and I think that’s dawning on at least the Russians. https://www.state.gov/briefing-with-special-representative-for-syria-engagement-ambassador-james-f-jeffrey/

    On Feb. 5, 2020 Jeffrey repeated the determination to block Syria’s efforts at reconstruction:

    First of all, the economic situation in Damascus and around the country, while that begins with the mismanagement of the regime and its opting for guns, not butter, our sanctions and the European Union sanctions and our strict position that has been largely adhered to by the international community of no reconstruction assistance has placed the regime under considerable pressure. We’re going to continue that pressure, we’re going to continue our sanctions, and the Russians are aware that we’re going to do that. So we are having an effect on them. https://www.state.gov/ambassador-james-jeffrey-on-the-situation-in-syria/

    What a scumbag.

    The American people pay this man’s salary.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
    , @Reg Cæsar
  12. @SolontoCroesus

    Most Americans have not the slightest clue. Some applaud it even. “Exceptionalism” they call it.

  13. @Anon

    West Africa continues to be in hot religious wars, waged by Boko Haram and ISIS terrorists. Is Muslim violence really the fault of the USA?

    Boko Haram kidnapped large groups of girls from rural high schools in Nigeria. Those schools were mostly co-ed, but I don’t remember news reports telling us what was done with their male classmates.

    Correct me if this is wrong, but I’d recently read they were all shot. Oh, really?

    All the news that’s fit to print.

  14. @SolontoCroesus

    …all state structures in the dewy zone must be destroyed.

    They seem to be doing a pretty good job of this without any help from us.

    The last couple of days I went out to shovel the driveway, by hand, on the rural lot we plan to build on. My wife said I was crazy; it will be in the 40s (F) all week. It goes away by itself!

    Same with Third World governance.

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