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THE GREAT GAME REVIVED AND THE GEOPOLITICAL WAR OF CIVILIZATIONS

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US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s visit to China on April 2nd was indicative of the almost schizoid turn taken by relations between the USA and China. While practically imploring his hosts in Beijing to help America’s struggle with a massive recession by letting the Renmibi rise

faster, he also chastised them over their Tibet policies. The PRC’s leadership pointed out to Paulson that, like every other government it had to repress riots, ethnic or religious, and prevent civil unrest from degenerating into civil war. It is unlikely that Paulson saw the irony of his preaching restraint and pacifism as a spokesman for the nation that sponsors the “global war on terror”, runs secret, illegal detention camps and torture centres on four continents and has attacked and occupied two sovereign countries in defiance of international law, apart from routinely conducting or supporting bloody “counter-insurgency” in foreign states around the globe since more than half a century.

Indeed, the United States and China, with Russia on the side of the latter, have embarked on a global struggle, both economic and political, that increasingly reminds us of the Cold War of the fifties and sixties. However the tables have been turned since then. The US was the economic hegemon then, with a near monopoly on advanced technologies and an overwhelming commercial dominance. Today it is a sick, financially bankrupt and socially decaying nation which has only its 600 billion Dollars a year sabre left to rattle to try cowing others into submission. China and Russia on the other hand are growing at a very rapid pace and are dynamic economies served by increasingly powerful military machines. China has already become the factory to the world –what America was a century ago - in which it is the biggest exporter with over 1,6 trillion Dollars of foreign exchange reserves, while Russia holds major reserves of fossil energy and strategic minerals as well as huge human and agricultural resources.

Recent reports quoting prominent economists such as Bernard Connelly, global strategist at AIG Bank, London and Nouriel Roubini from NYU’s Stern School of Business foresee a great or “a very great depression” (in the words of the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin) which has already set on the US. Roubini predicts that losses in the American financial system will exceed one trillion and most analysts agree that this will mean a collapse of the real economy resulting in a situation without historical precedent, leading to a global systemic crisis. The galloping costs of Middle Eastern wars (three trillion according to Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz) are also to be factored in as the White House is getting the rest of the world to partly pay for them, thus dragging everybody down as well.

In Europe, Latin America, the Pacific and South Asia, America’s stars are fading and despite its 800 military bases abroad, the Pentagon is drowning in the red ink and blood generated by its endless and hopeless campaigns in Iraq ad Afghanistan where ultimate defeat can be postponed but not eluded by an incompetent and self-serving leadership, increasingly alienated from domestic and world majority opinion. The White House, Westminster and other headquarters of the Western alliance may claim that they uphold democracy in the world but they act increasingly in contradiction with the expressed wishes of the majority of their own electorates, at least when it comes to foreign and military policies.

Faced with the looming threat of ultimate decline, American strategic planners decided at the close of the 20th century that it was time to go on the offensive and they seized the opportunity provided by the events of 911 to launch a ready-made series of global initiatives meant to ensure that the future would remain American or rather would become ever more so. Those plans are described in a number of official documents and memos which have been widely publicized by now. In order to justify its military operations abroad the Bush regime fabricated or manipulated intelligence in order to allege major threats to its security from Iraqi “weapons of masse destruction” and Afghan terrorist armies in the making.


Any offensive requires an enemy just as every answer needs a question. The selected enemies were Islamic radicals who were given a symbolic shape in the mysterious and polymorphous “Al Qaida” bogeyman. The fight or “crusade” against those green terrorists had the advantage of rallying many of the Western Christians and Jews behind a common cause, said to be the survival of western civilization, but it also gave perfect cover for the USA and its NATO vassals to move their forces on the strategic theaters of Asia and Africa where they intended to roll back the old and new potential rivals and successors i.e. China, Russia and major Islamic nations such as Iran.

The Bush administration made clear in the hours and days following the September 11th strikes that they were readying to go into Iraq, Afghanistan but also eventually, in one way or another into Syria, Sudan, Iran and even Saudi Arabia, if warranted for the protection of their strategic and economic interests. By proclaiming that “you are either with us or against us” George W Bush preempted the possibility that some countries would want to remain uncommitted to the global war for predominance.

Predictably the revival of the great game, which also rekindled the cold war was meant to involve the old allies and assets of the West. The USA had kept its relationship with a number of counter-revolutionary and secessionist forces in various enemy-states and it could still count on many of its old friends and surrogates. Apart from NATO members, Pakistan, ASEAN countries, East African states, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Egypt and the Arab monarchies were drafted into the revived Western alliance. In South America the situation was more difficult for Washington because the demise of most military regimes in the region and the rise of Leftist nationalist leaders viscerally opposed to the haughty neo-colonialism practiced by the “gringos” meant that the Bush administration could not rely on most of its former satellites.

Russia under Putin presented a new challenge which the US planned to confront by recruiting new NATO satellites in Eastern Europe and among the former USSR Republics while striving to engineer “coloured” democratic revolutions in those that remained close to Moscow and in Russia itself, coordinated and funded by Pro-Western NGOs and supported by the “Free world” media. These plans were successful in Ukraine and Georgia but failed in other states and especially in Russia.

Regarding China, the USA planned for a long-time to fan the fires of secessionism in the Tibetan and Uighur autonomous regions of the country in order to weaken Beijing and possibly precipitate a new civil war which would put paid to the PRC’s dreams of global supremacy.

The IOC’s decision to accept China’s candicacy for the 2008 summer games has turned out to be a golden opportunity for the Western US-ruled axis to embarrass and destabilize the Government of the Middle Kingdom by holding it under a constant threat of boycott which would inevitably lead the games to fail and would cause a huge loss of face for the Communist Leadership while possibly stirring nationwide unrest and a Western-backed popular call for “regime change”.

Reasons were easily found for promoting anti-Chinese drives. The growing resentment of the Yellow Peril in the West, revived by widespread fear of Chinese economic dominance made many of the commercial and political claims against the PRC’s policies, whether justified or not, very popular in much of the world.

The accusations that China exported substandard and toxic goods had some merit but the charge that it was indirectly or even directly responsible for the massacres in Darfur’s region of Sudan is patently absurd. Yet it is more power for the course since the USA, Europe and industrial states in other regions are concerned about China’s rapid and successful expansion into the West’s traditional African backyard. However, Myanmar first and Tibet now provide the perfect opportunity to demonise China by making it the target of a global human rights coalition while improving the US Government’s very tarnished image at least in Western popular opinion, and allowing the ruthless conquerors of Iraq and Afghanistan to reclaim the moral high ground at little cost to themselves.

Thus concerted moves were planned with the Tibetan government in exile and particularly with Tibetan youth exile groups, generally funded by Western NGOs and hence very close to American and Israeli interests. The goal was to trigger a worldwide “non-violent” campaign against China’s “brutal occupation” while inside Tibet and other parts of China inhabited by Tibetan minorities riots would erupt, involving monks as in Myanmar and forcing the authorities to crack down.

The campaign was so obviously organized and planned with ulterior motives that its timing and execution left little of them in doubt. Some Tibetan youth leaders had stated to the press that, if Tibet could not achieve independence on its own and if India did not want to annex it, they would support it becoming a state of the USA! By demanding independence and calling for an internationally supported armed struggle to expel the Chinese from Tibet, those “leaders” undermined the Dalai Lama’s long-standing position on autonomy within China and put His Holiness in a very difficult situation. They also were inciting a direct confrontation between India and China as they accused the New Delhi Government of “timidity” in opposing Tibet’s annexation by the PRC when in fact India has all along taken the position that Tibet is a part of China, a statement based on historical and diplomatic facts.

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Come Carpentier is a French writer, traveller, editor, consultant and researcher born in the Canary Islands, who lives and works in India and in Europe (France, Italy.Switzerland), helping manage a private foundation and contributing to various (more...)
 
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Many thanks for a very balanced assessment.... by Keith Mothersson on Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 4:27:15 PM