by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times:
Is the world’s center of gravity shifting to the heart of the Indo-Pacific – a new pivot to Asia?
In the context of the New Great Game in Eurasia, the New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), integrates all of China’s instruments of national power – political, economic, diplomatic, financial, intellectual and cultural – to shape the 21stcentury geopolitical/geoeconomic order. BRI is the organizing concept of China’s foreign policy for the foreseeable future; the heart of what was conceptualized, even before President Xi Jinping, as China’s “peaceful rise.”
The Trump administration’s reaction to the breath and scope of BRI has been somewhat minimalistic. For the moment, it amounts to a terminological switch from what was previously known as Asia-Pacific to “Indo-Pacific.” The Obama administration, up to the former president’s last visit to Asia in September 2016, always referred to Asia-Pacific.
Indo-Pacific includes South Asia and the Indian Ocean. So, from an American point of view, that does imply elevating India to the status of a rising global superpower able to “contain” China.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not have stated it more bluntly: “The world’s center of gravity is shifting to the heart of the Indo-Pacific. The United States and India – with our shared goals of peace, security, freedom of navigation, and a free and open architecture – must serve as the eastern and western beacons of the Indo-Pacific. As the port and starboard lights between which the region can reach its greatest and best potential.”
Attempts to portray it as a “holistic approach” may mask a clear geopolitical swerve where Indo-Pacific sounds like a remix of the Obama era “pivot to Asia” extended to India.
Indo-Pacific directly refers to the Indian Ocean stretch of the Maritime Silk Road, which as one of China’s top connectivity routes, features prominently in “globalization with Chinese characteristics.” As much as Washington, Beijing is all for free markets and open access to commons. But that must not necessarily imply, from a Chinese point of view, a single, vast institutional web overseen by the US.
As far as New Delhi is concerned, embracing the Indo-Pacific concept entailed quite a tightrope act.
Last year, both India and Pakistan became formal members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is a key element of the Russia-China strategic partnership.
India, China and Russia are BRICS members; the president of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), headquartered in Shanghai, is Indian. India is a member of the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). And until recently India was also participating in BRI.
But then things started to unravel last May, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to attend the BRI summit in Beijing because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key BRI node that happens to traverse Gilgit-Baltistan and the sensitive region Pakistan defines as Azad Kashmir and India as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
And right on cue, at an African Development Bank meeting in Gujarat, New Delhi unveiled what might be construed as a rival BRI project: the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) – in partnership with Japan. AAGC could not be more “Indo-Pacific,” actually delineating an Indo-Pacific Freedom Corridor, funded by Japan and using India’s know-how of Africa, capable of rivaling – what else – BRI.
For the moment, this is no more than an avowed “vision document”shared by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to do some very BRI-like things, such as developing quality infrastructure and digital connectivity.
And adding to AAGC comes the Quadrilateral, which the Japanese Foreign Ministry spins as projecting “a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific.” That once again pits the “stability of Indo-Pacific region” against Tokyo’s perception of “China’s aggressive foreign policy” and “belligerence in the South China Sea” which imperils what the US Navy always describes as “freedom of navigation”.
As much as Xi and Abe may have recently lauded a new start of Sino-Japanese relations, reality says otherwise. Japan, invoking the DPRK threat but actually fearing China’s fast military modernization, will buy more US weapons. At the same time, New Delhi and Canberra are also quite worried about China’s economic/military onslaught.
Essentially, AAGC and the Quadrilateral link India’s Act East Policywith Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. Reading these documents in tandem, it’s not far-fetched to qualify the Indo-Japanese strategy as aiming for a “Eurasifrica.”
In practice, apart from the expansion in Africa, Tokyo is also driven to expand infrastructure projects across Southeast Asia in cooperation with India – some in competition or overlapping with BRI. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), meanwhile, is mulling alternative financing models for infrastructure projects away from BRI.
As it stands, the Quadrilateral is still a work in progress, with its “stability of Indo-Pacific region” pitted against Beijing’s avowed desire to create a “community with a shared future” in the Asia-Pacific. There are reasons to worry that this new configuration might actually evolve into a stark economic/military polarization of Asia.
A split at the heart of BRICS
Asia needs a whopping $1.7 trillion in infrastructure projects a year, according to the ADB. In theory, Asia as a whole would benefit from an array of BRI projects coupled with some others that are ADB-financed and AAGC-linked.
Considering the extremely ambitious breath and scope of the whole strategy, BRI enjoys a substantial head start. Beijing’s vast reserves are already geared towards investing in Asia-wide infrastructure in tandem with exporting excess construction capacity and improving connectivity all around.
In contrast, New Delhi barely has enough industrial capacity for India’s own needs. In fact India badly needs infrastructure investment; according to an extensive report, India’s needs amount to at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade. And on top of it India holds a persistent trade deficit with China.
A tangible would-be success is the Indian investment in Chabahar port in Iran as part of an Afghan trade strategy (see part two of this report). But that’s about it.
Read More @ ATimes.com
Disdain for McCain, and a Trap for Ohr. Secret Tribunals Already Underway? #NewQ #QAnon #GreatAwakening
from Neon Revolt:
BOIIIIIII he had to do it. Q had to come on and RUUUUUIIIN my vacation by posting again.
I rode 10 miles on a bike today, Q. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve ridden that far on a bike?
My gooch hurts more than Anderson Cooper’s after a 3-hour bang-a-rang at Chateau Vanderbilt.
The space below my cheeks feels like it’s going to buckle and give out like Nakatomi plaza on Christmas morning every time I sit down.
Signs The Tide Is Slowly Turning: George Soros Freaks Out About The Revolution Against Globalism But The Empire Strikes Back
by Stefan Stanford, All News Pipeline:
While globalist kingpin George Soros was busy penning this new story over at Market Watch warning that Europe may be on the cusp of a nightmare with nothing less than a populist revolt spreading from France to the European Union with yellow vests the new ‘revolution‘ fashion statement of 2019, we see in this new story from Daniel Taylor over at Old Thinker News what often happens to people opposed to globalism with the chairman of the ‘Proud Boys‘, Enrique Tarrio, having Chase Bank abruptly ban him from using their banking services as Zero Hedge reported in this February 9th story.
Snowflake Writer Ripped From ‘Safe Space’ Becomes Unhinged, Admits To Melting Down When Presented With Opposing Opinions, Blames Fox News
by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:
A writer, who was recently published in both the Boston Globe, which later realized how unhinged he was and changed his story (Archive.is link for the original version before the globe made changes) to remove his most sickening comments, as their new editor’s note shows, and the NY Mag, has exposed how utterly intolerant modern day liberals are and how completely overcome with anger and bitterness they become when they are ripped out of their “safe space” by hearing opinions other than what they espouse.
by Hugo Salinas Price, Plata:
History does not repeat, but certain patterns of events do recur in political life.
Of course, it is impossible to predict political events with any hope of accuracy. However, we can observe how societies of the past have dealt with the problem of maintaining order in public life. Perhaps we shall see that similar problems of the past, will turn out to be dealt with by similar measures, applied in the present.
Three cases of great social disorder in the past hundred years:
1. Italy. In the early 20th Century, Italy was plagued by groups of Communists who were raping the country at their pleasure. Groups of Communists terrorized the city governments of Italy and stole their (physical gold) money. Italy was helpless to defend itself against these outlaws. Enter thefascist Benito Mussolini, who organized his followers into paramilitary groups. They beat the crap out the Communists. Benito and his followers marched on Rome and took over the government of Italy. Order was restored. Italy rose from the ashes of bankruptcy to great industrial progress.
2. Germany. In the 1920’s Germany had had a moral collapse due to its defeat in WW I, combined with the economic extortions exercised upon it by the victorious powers of Freedom and Civilization, led by the US and Britain, and the sexual degeneracy favored by the liberaloid government of the impotent Weimar Republic. (However, the degeneracy never fell to the level of degeneracy in the US of A at present.) Communists sent in by the USSR were having a field day in Germany. Enter the fascist Adolf Hitler, who organized his forces much like his counterpart Benito Mussolini. The Communists who thrived on all the disorder were routed out by Hitler. Hitler and his Party took over the German government. Order and decency were restored. Germany rose from the ashes of bankruptcy to great industrial progress.
3. Spain. In 1936 there was a political crisis in Spain. The Spanish had been ruled by a Constitutional Monarchy since 1874, and it proved ineffectual in governing Spain. A strong movement took the shape of a Republican Party, whose object was to install government more responsive to the people of Spain than the Constitutional Monarchy. However, the Republican Party was infiltrated and taken over by Communists who applied the techniques of the USSR’s terrorists in “liquidating” – a more genteel word than “assassinating” – its opposition, after suitable torture had been applied to extract confessions of guilt regarding “crimes against the Proletariat”.
Enter the fascist General Francisco Franco. Stationed in the Canary Islands, Franco moved to the mainland and led the Civil War against the Communists. The war was very bloody, with enormous loss of life on both sides. The US government was against Franco; so was that stooge Hemingway. Franco won, but two hundred years may pass, and The Left, the Party of Disorder, never, ever forgets or forgives.
The Communists had raided the vault of the Bank of Spain and carted off its gold to Barcelona; as Communist defeat approached, the gold was loaded onto a ship bound for the USSR. The gold never returned to Spain.
Franco gave the Spanish security, order, excellent education for the young, and economic growth. The Left cannot ever forgive General Francisco Franco for saving Spain from Communism. With regard to respect for property: in Franco’s Spain, in 1955, if a tourist lost a camera somewhere in Madrid, it would surely turn up at a police station. Prosperity arrived for the Spanish. But with prosperity, the relaxation of rules. So today, Spain is once again in an ungodly liberaloid mess of permissiveness. Morality has sunk to unheard of levels.
* * * * *
This appears to be the pattern of events: 1. A numerically important segment of society accepts total permissiveness; any, and more or less all, behavior is tolerated and indeed, celebrated in its depravity. 2. The disorderly elements of libertinism chafe at the criticism that the more conservative elements begin to direct at their behavior. 3. Nobody loves a good fight more than the disorderly elements – whatever their code name, in whatever age they are present. So the “weirdos” begin to attack physically the conservative elements. 4. The police do not dare protect the conservatives. They are afraid of the degenerates and their political connections, which might get any policeman fired for “brutality”. 5. The country tumbles further and further into social disruption and broken heads. 6. The stage is set for the arrival of a fascist leader.
Thus we see that the very presence of the US group denominated “Antifa” heralds the arrival of its nemesis, a fascist military leader.
I am looking past Mr. Trump, past his soon-to-be-successor Mr. Pence, at a moment when the US is overwhelmed with violence: “Left” against “Right”.
Chaos reigns. Perhaps the stock market has collapsed, leaving millions of Americans penniless. State governors are helpless. The nation is gripped by panic and a reflection of panic is hatred: the Left wants blood! And perhaps the Right also craves bloodshed – fear does these things to people.
At that time, the Military will intervene. The concept which prevails in the Military Mind at all times in all ages is the concept of ORDER.
a) A Military “Junta” will enter the White House and the President will find himself transferred to other quarters and deprived of communication.
b) The Junta will name a leader and the Leader will address the Nation, informing the Nation that a National Emergency has forced a momentary suspension of the Constitution. (Note that the German word for “Leader” is “Fuhrer” – incidentally, a word which the Germans are ashamed to use, nowadays.)
c) Congress is adjourned for the duration of the Emergency.
d) The TV chains, as well as the newspaper chains and the news services are put under the control and supervision of the Military, who will determine what news is published and what interpretation is to be given to the news.
e) The top bankers and their Boards are removed from office, and military men take their place.
f) A group of military men are named to the Board of the Federal Reserve.
g) A military draft is established for young men.
h) After a short period, peace and quiet again prevails. Few people watch television as it has become very boring under government control.
i) What has passed unnoticed is the quiet emanating from the Left: all has become quiet on the Leftist front. Where are all the trouble-makers? Nobody knows, but with each passing day their absence becomes more noticeable. At last the truth begins to filter out: FEMA!
It turns out that the FEMA camps – which the conservatives always feared so much – now house the most radical, violent and noisy Leftists, by the thousands. Word of mouth circulates that people have been carried off at nighttime, picked off the streets or from their homes by military squads, and put to work in the FEMA camps. Those detained are the most violent, the craziest sexual freaks and all their professors in the Universities. A most terrible intellectual and moral purge is carried out relentlessly by the military government of the US.
j) Since the value of the dollar has completely collapsed, the military install a monetary reform; there is the precedent of Napoleon’s reform of the collapsed French monetary system: he declared, “I shall pay in gold, or not pay at all.”
The Treasury is instructed to receive absolutely all silver mined in the US, plus all silver in any form in private hands, and mint that silver into silver dollars, half-dollars, quarters and dimes, with the official silver content determined many years ago. The minted silver coinage is to be returned to the miners and to those who tendered their silver to the Treasury, free of minting costs. The recipients of coined silver may deposit their silver in the reformed banking system. The owners of the new silver money begin to spend and invest their silver. The economy begins to revive on real money. For lack of gold, the US will have returned to a silver standard. The purchasing power of silver would increase enormously. (From my American Grandfather Price’s diary it is clear that in the 1920’s he would go out of his way to avoid an expense of – one dime!)
In the midst of this black pit of pessimism, why not hope for an outstanding soldier? After all, there have been a few, like Napoleon, in the course of the ages.
* * * * *
Undoubtedly I shall be denounced as a “fascist pig“. Military rule is actually Tyrannical Rule, and I certainly do not like it. What I have described is not what I like and favor, but what I see as a probable outcome, like it or not.
Read More @ Plata.com.mx