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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
Bannon The Barbarian Goes "Thermonuclear"
The narrative that the US deep state -- which now de facto controls the Trump presidency -- banished Bannon forever to the "deplorables" badlands tells only part of the story. The Swamp may decide on policy -- but the Breitbart guerrilla surge will take no prisoners.
Thursday, August 10, 2017(6 comments)
North Korea: fire, fury and fear
Western corporate media would hardly refrain from metastasizing pure speculation into a "North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons" frenzy consuming the cable news cycle/ newspaper headlines. Talk about hearts and minds comfortably numbed by the fear factor.
Friday, August 4, 2017(5 comments)
Against all odds, BRICS nations get their act together
What the proverbial Cassandras don't understand is that the BRICS group aims to work with a different template, as an "aggregating platform," something that is being discussed at the highest levels, especially in the framework of the Russia-China strategic partnership.
Friday, July 28, 2017(75 comments)
When in doubt, nuke China
What Admiral Swift actually said, in code, is, if a civilian order comes, the US military will start WWIII (or WWIV, if one counts the Cold War), duly applying the Pentagon's first-strike doctrine. What Swift did not say is that President Trump also has the power to pull a Truman and fire any run-amok, aspiring MacArthur clone.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
China and India torn between silk roads and cocked guns
The current stand-off at Doklam, or Donglang, is little more than a sideshow in the bigger picture as South Asia's tectonic plates shift in a direction that makes New Delhi's resistance to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) look increasingly futile.
Sunday, July 23, 2017(2 comments)
Empire of Whiners
It gets curiouser and curiouser when it comes to Iran and North Korea -- both also demonized non-stop by media and US Think Tankland. The problem is not that they pose a nuclear threat; the problem is they are obstacles to the smooth expansion of the "US-led order."
Thursday, July 20, 2017
A coup in the House of Saud?
What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017(1 comments)
The Korean Matrix
A minimally competent US "attack" would requires a lot of infiltrated US Special Forces, as in boots on the ground, with no guarantee of success. In a nutshell; Washington, realistically, is incapable of eliminating North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Monday, July 17, 2017(1 comments)
The Sun King and The American Friend
It's unclear whether Macron has imprinted on the mind of The American Friend that having Syria jihadi-free, together, makes total business sense -- and opens the way to further business deals, on all fronts. Of course, assuming the current and future ceasefires hold, and rogue deep-state elements do not disrupt the scenario.
Thursday, July 13, 2017(1 comments)
The New Silk Road will go through Syria
The key question from now on seems to be whether Washington will follow the deep state "Syraq" policy -- as in "Assad must go" mixed with support or weaponizing of non-existent "moderate rebels"; or whether Trump's priority -- to eliminate Daesh/ISIS for good -- will prevail.
Saturday, July 8, 2017(3 comments)
Putin and Trump stage-manage a win-win meeting
Trump did not make any substantial concessions in Hamburg, at least according to what both Tillerson and Lavrov volunteered to disclose. The Beltway is barking that Trump gave Putin a win. As usual, they're wrong; Putin and Trump stage-managed a win-win.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017(2 comments)
Washington and Berlin on a Collision Course
Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel will definitely be on a collision course at the G-20, with Merkel emphasizing discussions on climate change, refugees and no trade protectionism, much to Trump's disgust. The Russia sanctions bill just adds to the unholy mess. Expect a lot of fireworks "celebrating" those bilaterals in Hamburg.
Monday, July 3, 2017
HK's role for next 20 years? Silk Road "super-connector"
At the 12th G-20, Xi will once again stress globalization 2.0, the ongoing revolution in intelligent industries and sustainable development. This is all music to the ears of German industrialists, who want solid, expanding trade relations all across Eurasia.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017(2 comments)
Fear and loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
ISIS is already shipping out jihadis in retreat in both Iraq and Syria to the Hindu Kush. At the same time, it is actively enrolling scores of Pashtuns with lots of cash and weapons -- a workforce including tens of thousands of potential suicide bombers.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017(4 comments)
Blood on the tracks of the New Silk Roads
China and Iran have been doing serious business. For over a year now, direct China-Iran cargo trains have been crossing Central Asia in only 12 days. That's just the appetizer for high-speed rail connectivity spanning the arc from China to Turkey via Iran in the early 2020s.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017(3 comments)
Eurasian integration meets America First
Crucial developments in Washington, Brussels, Virginia and St. Petersburg these last few days may offer us serious clues on where we are now heading -- geopolitically and geoeconomically.
Thursday, June 1, 2017(27 comments)
Putin, Trump and 'my guy' Macron
The three-hour face-off between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron in Versailles offered some fascinating geopolitical shadow play.
Monday, March 27, 2017(2 comments)
Daesh, Creature of the West
It's easy to dismiss Daesh as the apex of barbarian cultural idiosyncrasies. Even wallowing in gruesomeness, Daesh has been able to project a universalist dimension beyond its Sunni Arab Middle Eastern base. It's like the clash of civilizations playing in a wilderness of mirrors.
Friday, March 24, 2017(5 comments)
North Korea: The really serious options on the table
Team Trump -- just like the previous US administration of Barack Obama -- assumes that Pyongyang, under pressure, must relinquish its nuclear-weapons program before the negotiations start. Wishful thinking, as anyone who has been to North Korea knows. North Korea is for all practical purposes a nuclear power.
Sunday, March 19, 2017(4 comments)
The "Birth Pangs" of a New Middle East, Remixed
Team Trump members might entertain the wishful thinking notion that Moscow will ditch Tehran -- not only in Syria but in terms of Eurasia integration. Not a chance. Yet tell that to the House of Saud. Moscow might be able, with time, to instill some geopolitical sense into Riyadh. Once again, not a chance. Because the House of Saud is now convinced their best ally is President Trump.
Thursday, March 16, 2017(2 comments)
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
All bets are off on how Xi's Great Wall of Iron will smash separatism and/or jihadism combined with the "grid" implemented on the ground by Chen Quanguo. Beijing does not have much time to strike a fine, right balance; too much iron applied against the Uyghurs might just as well mortally wound the biggest infrastructure project of the 21st century.
Saturday, March 11, 2017(5 comments)
Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump
Vast corporate media sectors embedded with the neocon/neoliberal galaxy are spinning that Vault 7 benefits Trump by changing the subject from alleged Russian hacking interference in the US elections and possible Obama administration-ordered hacks of Team Trump's communications. So, if anyone hasn't got the message, the song remains the same. WikiLeaks + Snowden + Russia + Trump = the bad guys.
Thursday, March 9, 2017(3 comments)
"The time to invest in Iran is now"
The real secret in reference to incipient trade is that Russia and Iran do not have much to exchange at globally competitive rates. Russia exports mainly metals, wood, electrical machines, paper, grain, floating structures, mechanically engineered products and weapons. Iran exports agricultural and seafood products.
Thursday, March 2, 2017(2 comments)
Letter from Tehran: Trump "the bazaari"
As with most conferences, what matters are the sidelines. Leonid Savin, a Russian geopolitical analyst, claimed that Russian airspace is now all but sealed with multiple deployments of the S-500 missile defense system against anything the US might unleash.
Sunday, February 26, 2017(1 comments)
Eurasia Integration: A Three-Speed Affair
The US angle in Kazakhstan may turn out to be key during the Trump administration. Exxon has been doing business in Kazakhstan for over 20 years now. US Secretary of State T. Rex Tillerson has a previous history of trying to stall selling Exxon's stake in state oil company KazMunayGas below the price he wanted. In the end he gave in. But should oil prices rise, Exxon will inevitably be back in Kashagan in a flash.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017(2 comments)
Go post-West, young man
The best Western political elites could come up with at their huddle that ended February 19 is this pearl of self-pity: "Donald Trump's comments about NATO being 'obsolete' have caused great uncertainty among America's allies, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
Thursday, February 16, 2017(10 comments)
The Swamp Strikes Back
the fratricide war between the Trump administration and the most powerful Deep State factions will be beyond vicious. Team Trump only stands a chance if they are able to weaponize allies from within the Deep State. Iran is momentarily relieved; Russia harbors no illusions; and China knows for sure that the China-Russia strategic partnership will become even stronger. Advantage swamp.
Saturday, February 11, 2017(2 comments)
The pivot to China
Trump may have already understood that a trade war is a lose-lose proposition. In the absence of an Asian economic version of NATO (the dead-in-the water Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal), the emphasis will be on "vigilant" allies/semi-disguised vassals such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017(8 comments)
Lots of shouting, tiny stick
Everyone who's been to Iran -- neocons haven't -- knows Tehran won't be subdued with angry threats. Iran has been under US sanctions for no fewer than 38 years. Absolutely nothing across Southwest Asia can be accomplished, geopolitically, without Iranian participation.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017(8 comments)
Age of Anger
It's impossible to summarize all the intellectual crossfire deployed by Age of Anger. What's clear is that to understand the current global civil war, archeological reinterpretation of the West's hegemonic narrative of the past 250 years is essential. Otherwise we will be condemned, like puny Sisyphean specks, to endure not only the recurrent nightmare of history but also its recurrent blowback.
Thursday, February 2, 2017(4 comments)
Game-changers ahead on the (long) Maritime Silk Road
the proverbial "concern" with this Chinese win-win was registered in both Delhi and Washington. The possibility that China will eventually acquire a permanent naval military base in the Indian Ocean is a full-time obsession of US Think Tankland. Colombo, though, has always been adamant: Chinese-financed infrastructure does not imply basing rights for the Chinese Navy.
Saturday, January 28, 2017(1 comments)
Who's top rooster in the South China Sea?
The recent diplomatic charm offensive by China spells out the absurdity of any military offensive against an ASEAN member: it's bad for business. The environment after The Hague's ruling -- as the Laos summit proved -- points toward long-term diplomatic solutions for all South China Sea disputes.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017(19 comments)
Will Trump hop on an American Silk Road?
Absent a trade war, the new US trade strategy will be perfect for Beijing, as China will accelerate the expansion of its New Silk Roads/One Belt, One Road project, especially across the Southeast Asian mainland, as in high-speed rail lines linking Yunnan province to Singapore via Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.
Friday, January 20, 2017(9 comments)
Here's How the Trump Presidency Will Play Out
Russia has always wanted peace. But they are not going to play a game with the Masters of the Universe that has Trump as the good guy and the Congress, CIA, etc., as the bad guy as a negotiating ploy. That is how they see it. They do not regard this circus as real.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Global helmsman Xi Jinping steps up with charm offensive
In a wide-ranging speech that went from global angst to China's new normal, Chinese President Xi Jinping sounded all the right notes that global capital needed to hear; protectionism is like "locking oneself in a dark room," and "no one is a winner in a trade war." He delved into the necessity of peace in Syria, and the perverse effects of the absence of financial regulation.
Sunday, January 15, 2017(3 comments)
Trump, Kissinger and Ma playing on a crowded chessboard
Trump will do business and clinch deals with China, while his deep state-tinged cabinet barks the usually explosive national security rhetoric, dalang Kissinger plots a Russia-China split, and Moscow-Beijing secretly concoct concerted moves. Place your bets on who will be the major partner in the Trump, Kissinger and Ma law firm.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Shadow play: the New Great Game in Eurasia
The "urbane," "cerebral," "legendary" Kissinger is now advising Trump. The long-term strategy might be characterized as classic Divide and Rule, but slightly remixed: in this case an attempt to break the Russia-China strategic partnership by allying with the -- theoretically -- weaker node, Russia, to better contain the stronger node, China.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Back to the Future: From the USSR to the Eurasian Century
As we wait for the dawn of the Trump era -- an almost intergalactic geopolitical question mark -- what's certain is that the War Party US deep state won't admit defeat. And the key geopolitical riddle to be answered is how strident internal American tensions will deal with the hub of progressive Eurasia integration: Russia, China and Iran.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016(11 comments)
Who profits from Turkey's "Sarajevo moment"?
Timing is crucial. The hit happened only one day before the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran were scheduled to meet in Moscow for a key Syria strategic discussion. They were already closely in touch for the past few weeks on how to strike a comprehensive deal on Aleppo -- and beyond.
Sunday, December 18, 2016(2 comments)
Trump does Taiwan
China accounts for only 16 percent of the US deficit, slightly ahead of Japan and Germany. So a Trump trade war on China "would be a war against all participants in the global supply chain, including US companies." Trump may throw Taiwan at the table, but Beijing is already playing another game entirely.
Monday, December 12, 2016(11 comments)
Obama Out Not With a Bang, But a Whimper
The whimpering Obama administration is not over yet. Expect more sensational CIA exploits; more demonization of Russia; more weaponizing of "moderate" Syrian "rebels"; and even the odd false flag.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016(3 comments)
No, Italy is not about to leave the euro
Italy is now firmly concentrated on trying to get a new -- functional -- government, not abandon the euro. But that still entails a fascinating sub-plot; none other than Angela Merkel will have to step up and lend a hand to "save" the EU by saving the future of Renzi's Democratic Party. Now that's what an opera buffa is all about.
Monday, December 5, 2016(2 comments)
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
Mad Dog James Mattis may indeed be seen by the real world as, well, a mad dog; he was on the front line of the 2001 assault on Afghanistan; led the Marine assault on Baghdad during Shock and Awe in 2003; and masterminded the horrendous American destruction of Fallujah in late 2004. Widely hailed as a fine strategist, he retired as chief of CENTCOM in 2013.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016(10 comments)
Lenin Comes to the White House?
"America First" -- but for whom? The key question is who will end up defining America's real national interest; true nationalists embedded in Team Trump, plus the proletariat "elite," or the usual -- globalist -- suspects able to infect and corrupt any notion of nationalism? Politics is war -- what else? And "revolution" is still the biggest show in town.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016(2 comments)
Welcome to the Fillon-Le Pen cage match
As it stands, everything points to a Fillon-Marine cage match next spring. President Francois Hollande would be barely able to beat a frog (literally) if he runs for a second term. Even lackluster current Prime Minister Manuel Valls would be more popular.
Sunday, November 20, 2016(3 comments)
Will Trumpolitics Erase Clintonism?
As much as 47% of Americans eligible to vote did not bother to on November 8. Trump had roughly 25.5% of the eligible electorate vote, in fact less than Hillary Clinton's 25.6%. That translates into a de facto mandate of roughly one-fourth of Americans. Overwhelmingly popular it is not. The key question is whether Trumponomics will be able to stare down and at least subdue the most savage aspects of unbridled neoliberalism.
Saturday, November 19, 2016(3 comments)
China "Marco Polo" Xi Jinping starts jockeying in post-Obama world
An eventual US-Russia deal in Syria would ultimately benefit -- who else -- China. Mirroring the original Silk Road, China sees Syria as a crucial node of the New Silk Roads, currently cut off. Picture the day in a not too distant future when Xi will be stopping in Damascus to do trade deals. And to call for a stimulus package of Chinese tourists to visit a restored Palmyra.
Friday, November 18, 2016(14 comments)
Welcome to the Brave New (Trumpolitical/Trumponomic) World
We will be living among the myriad debris originated by the Trumpolitics IED. America invented the politically correct. Trump bombed politically correct. America is proud of corporate media. Trump bombed corporate media. These are already two important victories.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016(3 comments)
It's All a Russia/Al-Qaeda/WikiLeaks/"Rogue" FBI Plot
A case could be made that the first Comey letter to Congress was a response to an FBI internal revolt. Agents that were part of the insurgency are not likely to quit the long game -- even after the election. They have made sure that the real deal is with the Clinton Foundation, not Hillary's emails.
Friday, November 4, 2016(37 comments)
What Does it Take to Bring Hillary Clinton to Justice?
Virtually the whole planet holds its collective breath at the prospect of Hillary Clinton possibly becoming the next President of the United States. The FBI has been on the Clinton Foundation for over a year. Now, arguably, they are loaded with evidence -- and they won't quit. Winning the presidency now seems to be the least of Hillary Clinton's Bonfire of Scandals' problems.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016(12 comments)
Hillary Clinton, The FBI and November Surprise
It's possible Comey had to do it because the rot goes way beyond the Clinton "pay to play" racket and involves virtually the whole system, from the deep recesses of the Obama administration to the War Party scam, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI itself. What next? Brace for impact; it may well be the ultimate November Surprise.
Sunday, October 30, 2016(5 comments)
American Dream, Revisited
We keep slouching towards a single future language -- the language of algorithms, as designed across the Wall Street/Silicon Valley axis -- that would represent a real anthropological catastrophe, just like the globalist/New World Order dream of One Thought and One Culture. That's where the American dream seems to be heading. It's time to take the next exit ramp.
Saturday, October 29, 2016(13 comments)
Why Hillary won't unleash WWIII
Russia has all the natural resources it needs; unlike the US government, which believes it needs an empire of bases overseas and 10 aircraft carrier task forces to secure the resources it lacks. Hot war? Hillary Clinton may have pulled a Julius Caesar over Gaddafi. But she's realist enough to not pull a (nuclear) Hitler over Moscow. Or is she?
Friday, October 28, 2016(43 comments)
Russia Calls the War Party's Bluff
Well-informed Western analysts know that Moscow never brags about military buildups -- and has mastered to a fault the element of surprise. Much more than calling a bluff, it's Moscow's Sun Tzu tactics that are really rattling loudmouth Washington.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016(5 comments)
"America Has Lost" in the Philippines
The neocon/neoliberalcon industrial-military complex fury against unhinged Duterte's game-changer is that containing China and ruling over the First Island Chain has been at the core of US naval strategy since the beginning of the Cold War.
Saturday, October 22, 2016(7 comments)
So Russia Won't Elect the Next POTUS
What about the (silent) Big Red Dragon in the midst of this appalling circus? The final cage match in Vegas yielded no further demonization of China. Beijing anyway is ready -- confident that no Pivoting Darth Vader in a White Pantsuit will be able to derail the Eurasian Century.
Thursday, October 20, 2016(3 comments)
BRICS continues its advance, one step at a time
The annual BRICS meeting held this past weekend in India. Apparently there's not much that meets the eye. Yet President Putin once again stressed the context; this is a long-term project, a "key element" in the embryonic multipolar world, driven by nations that don't accept "power pressure" and attempted "targeting of sovereignty" by the usual suspects.
Thursday, October 13, 2016(6 comments)
Is Trump ready to go nuclear?
for all the 24/7 scandal time of non-stop groping and kissing and lewd locker room misbehaving, Trump seems to be ready to limp toward the finish line just as he began; an all-out populist/nativist/nationalist fighting open borders (a Clinton mantra, as revealed by the latest WikiLeaks Podesta email dump); "free" trade; neoliberal globalization; and regime change/bomb them into democracy/"humanitarian" imperialism.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016(30 comments)
Hillary Clinton's Axis of Evil
The deafening talk about Washington now advancing a Plan C in Syria is nonsense. There has never been a Plan C; only Plan A, which was to draw Russia into another Afghanistan. It did not work with the controlled demolition of Ukraine. And it will not work in Syria, as Moscow is willing to supply plenty of air and missile power but no boots on the ground of any consequence.
Saturday, October 8, 2016(2 comments)
Why the New Silk Roads terrify Washington
Beijing is betting that the overwhelming majority of nations across Eurasia would rather invest in, and profit from, a "win-win" economic development project than be bogged down in a lose-lose strategic game between the US and China. And that, for the Empire of Chaos, is absolute anathema. How to possibly accept that China is winning the 21st century/New Great Game in Eurasia by building the New Silk Roads?