American Power at the Crossroads

Published on ZNet, by Dilip Hiro (first on Tom Dispatch), Oct 11, 2016.

In the strangest election year in recent American history — one in which the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson couldn’t even conjure up the name of a foreign leader he “admired” while Donald Trump remained intent on building his “fat, beautiful wall” and “taking” Iraq oil — the world may be out of focus for many Americans right now … //

Moscow Calling the Shots in Syria: … //
Putin Sought Out by the Anti-Assad Arabs: … //
Chinese and Russian Geopolitical Interests Converge: … //
China’s Global Power Projection: … //

The Realistic Aims of China and Russia:

At the moment, Chinese leaders do not seem to imagine their country openly challenging the United States for world leadership for, minimally, decades to come. Ten years ago, the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country’s most prestigious think tank, came up with the concept of “comprehensive national power” as a single, carefully calculated number on a scale of 100. In 2015, the respective figures for America, China and Russia were 91.68, 33.92, and 30.48.

At 35.12, Japan was number two on the list. At 12.97, India was number 10, although that has not deterred its prime minister, Narendra Modi, from declaring that his country has entered “the age of aspiration,” and insisting that the latter part of the twenty-first century will belong to India. To any realist, Modi’s claim lies in the realm of fantasy, but it is a reminder of just how multipolar the coming decades could turn out to be. (When it comes to distant power projection, India has done no better than to start building a radar network in Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean to keep tabs on Chinese merchant shipping and warships.)

The global scenario that the down-to-earth presidents of China and Russia seem to have in mind resembles the sort of balance of power that existed in Europe for a century after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. In the wake of that fateful year, the monarchs of Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia resolved that no single European country should ever become as powerful as France had been under Napoleon. The resulting Concert of Europe then held from 1815 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

China and Russia are now trying to ensure that Washington no longer exercises unrestrained power globally, as it did between 1992 and summer of 2008. In early August 2008, overwhelmed by the mounting challenges of its war in Afghanistan, and its military occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration limited itself to verbal condemnations of Russia’s military action to reverse gains made by the pro-western president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, in an unprovoked attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Think of that episode as a little-noticed marker of the end of a unipolar planet in which American power went mostly unchecked. If that is so, then welcome to the ninth year of a multipolar world.

(full long text).

(Dilip Hiro, a TomDispatch regular, is the author, among many other works, of After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World, Nation Books, His 36th and latest book is The Age of Aspiration: Power, Wealth, and Conflict in Globalizing India, The New Press).


French Police say lawless ‘no-go’ areas exist, challenge PM Valls who says they don’t, on RT, Oct 11, 2016;

11,000 refugees rescued off Libyan coast in 48 hours, on RT Photo Gallery, Oct 2016;

The Canadian Left and Zionist Religion, on Dissident Voice, by Yves Engler, October 10, 2016;

What is NEW ATHEISM? What does it means? 2.17 min, uploaded by Audiopedia, Oct 10, 2016 … New Atheism is the journalistic term used to describe the positions promoted by atheists of the twenty-first century. This modern-day atheism and secularism is advanced by critics of religion and religious belief, a group of modern atheist thinkers and writers who advocate the view that superstition, religion and irrationalism should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises in government, education and politics … (full text);

New Report: Left in the Lurch, on Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Oct 8, 2016;
Download the Report: The Destabilizing Reality of Toronto’s Housing Stabilization Fund, 24 pages;

Book and Movie Reviews: Britain’s Secret Wars, on Axis of Logic, by Paul Richard Harris, Oct 4, 2016;

The Inevitability of Oil Profits, on Outsider Club, by Jason Simpkins, Sept 30, 2016;

… et encore ceci:

Biodiversité interdite, Résistance Paysanne, 6.26 min, mise en ligne par BioBee, … Les semences paysannes sont celles qu’on ressème d’année en année, les adaptant progressivement aux méthodes de culture et aux terroirs. Elles ne sont ni des variétés ” fixées “, ni des variétés ” homogènes ” ou ” stables ” comme celles inscrites dans le catalogue officiel des semences légales. Jargon juridique qui n’a aucun fondement, et dont le seul intérêt est de permettre aux jeunes multinationales de détruire 10 000 ans d’agriculture …;
Les gens aux commandes de ces tristes entreprises peuvent ainsi assouvir leur pathologique soif de monopole et de pouvoir;
Des paysans courageux et déterminés défendent en toute illégalité la biodiversité;
SiteWeb: Réseau Semences Paysannes;

… and this:

Lisa Gerrard:

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