Here’s a question that’s foxed millions. Can you spot the odd one out in this list?
- George Bush’s discovery that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction,
- Trump’s discovery that Assad used poison gas at Douma (with the OPCW leant on to ignore its experts and find post hoc justification for US ‘retaliatory’ strikes),
- Mike Pompeo’s discovery that the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in China,1
- Hitler’s discovery that on September 1, 1939, Polish forces had committed atrocities in a German border village.
Did you pick the last example? Go to the top of the class! While the USA has indeed used false flag attacks, such as the Tonkin incident, to justify wars it wanted, the other three ‘discoveries’ don’t fall into that subcategory.2 They are, however, members of a broader category that takes in all four. I refer to barefaced lies employed as casus belli.
Most topical here is example three. Does the US want war with China? As Germany had wanted to invade Poland, even at cost of war with the British Empire? The Nazi motive was crystal clear. Hitler sought liebensraum for a nation whose late unification had seen it left behind in Europe’s scramble for colonies.
But what would America want from war with China? That’s not a hypothetical if we include all forms of hostility: trade, currency and cyber. These wars are already here, with every danger of their spiralling out of control.
that section of the American ruling class which believes a nuclear war with Eurasia can be won is growing. These are men and women whose past deeds make clear to those not fully asleep that the slaying of millions, and further despoliation of the planet, are for them acceptable prices for America’s continuing supremacy.
… from a certain standpoint – morally insane but with a chilling rationality – they are right. I can think of no precedent for a pre-eminent world power sitting back as the economic basis of its military might ebbs away. And Russia and China have time on their side.
I wrote the above in a short post of January 17 this year, Talking WW3 Blues, preceding it thus:
key to the treatment of Saddam, Gaddafi and Maduro is that Washington will brook no challenge to its petrodollar advantage. Yet challenges will recur. China and Russia will not be tied by US Exceptionalism, nor by what Valery Giscard d’Estaing called the “exorbitant privilege” of a Bretton Woods Agreement made unconscionable by Richard Nixon’s 1971 decoupling of dollar from gold to pay for Vietnam, and a petrodollar system in which oil transactions everywhere are in US dollars.
Unlike Iraq, Libya or Venezuela, however, China and Russia can call up a wide set of retaliatory options in the face of economic or military intimidation …
In footnote 1 of that piece I recommend two writers. One is Yanis Varoufakis, the other Michael Hudson, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a lucid analyst of US foreign policy today. On April 27 he gave an interview I cannot recommend too highly. Both audio and transcript can be found here.3 Meanwhile, let me quote from it at some length:
What makes China threatening is it’s following the policies that made America rich in the 19th century. It’s a mixed economy. Its government provides infrastructure at subsidized prices to lower the cost of living and of doing business, so its export industry can make money. It’s subsidizing research and development, just like the United States did in the 19th century and early 20th century.
So America basically says to the rest of the world, “Do as we say, not as we do, and not as we’ve done.”
China has a mixed economy that is working very well. You can just see the changes occurring there. It realizes the US is trying to disable it, that the US wants to control all sectors of production that have monopoly pricing — information technology, microchip technology, 5G communications, military spending.
The US wants to pay for goods from the rest of the world with overpriced exports, American movies, anything that has a patent that yields a monopoly price.
America in the 50s tried sanctioning grain exports to China, to starve them. Canada broke that embargo, and China was very friendly to Canada, until Canada’s prime minister now takes his orders from a small basement office in the Pentagon, and has agreed to grab Chinese officials. Canada is not a country anymore. So China does not feel so friendly towards Canada that it’s a US satellite.
China realized it can’t depend on America for anything. The US can cut it off with sanctions like with Iran, Venezuela, Cuba. So the idea of China, Russia and other countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has been: “We have to be independent, and make a Eurasian trading area, and we will take off because we are successful industrial capitalism, evolving into socialism, into a mixed economy, with the government handling all of the monopoly sectors to prevent monopoly pricing here.”
“And we don’t want American banks to come in, create paper dollars, and buy out all of our industries. We’re not going to let America do that.”
I go back to China often. I’m a professor at Peking University and in Wuhan.. There are a number of articles on my website from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on de-dollarization, essentially how China can avoid use of the dollar by becoming independent in agriculture, technology, and banking.
China’s threat is that it will not be a victim. Victimizers always look at the victims as vicious attackers. America says China is a threat because it’s not letting us exploit them. This is Orwellian. So you have the American attack on China pretending to be defense. The US doesn’t want any other country to have any leverage over it. The US insists on veto power in any organization that it’ll join — the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations.
And China essentially says, ok, this is the very definition of national independence, to be independent from other countries able to choke us, whether it’s a grain or technology, or the SWIFT interbank clearing system to make our financial system operate, or the internet system.
By waging economic warfare on China to protect America monopolies, America is integrating China and Russia. And probably the leading Chinese nationalist in the world, the leading Russian nationalist, is Donald Trump. He’s saying, “Look boys, I know you’re influenced by American neoliberals. I’m gonna help you. I believe you should be independent. I’m gonna help you Chinese, Russians and Iranians to be independent. I’m going to keep pushing sanctions on agriculture to make sure that you’re able to feed yourself. I’m gonna push sanctions on technology, to make sure you can defend yourself.” So he obviously is a Chinese and Russian agent, just like MSNBC says.
Also relevant is a short essay I wrote back in 2016, Perilous Days. Though relatively new to the nature and scale of the economic drivers of Washington’s lawlessness, I was already citing the “crisply forensic” Professor Hudson. In the penultimate paragraph I noted Clausewitz’s axiom of war being politics by other means, adding that “politics is economics by other means”.
As Bill Clinton so rightly observed, it’s the economy, stupid!
* * *
- A filmed interview for a live audience at Texas A & M University in 2015 has Pompeo saying, “I was CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”
- Douma I consider borderline. I doubt it was a false flag by US forces but it is highly likely it was a false flag by the Saudi backed Al Qaeda franchise, Jaysh al-Islam. Which would open up the possibility of aid from CIA elements, rogue or otherwise. We have the West’s long record of co-opting salafism “for the greater good” – Lawrence of Arabia in WW1 … US backing of the Mujahadeen in cold war Afghanistan … collusion with Al Qaeda in Syria. We have evidence too of the aim, long before the Daraa protests, of removing Assad. And we have the US Commander in Chief’s smug but refreshingly honest October tweet that “we’ve secured the oil“.
- This interview with Hudson is part two of a double. Part one being on the real nature of the Trump administration’s coronavirus bail out, criticised even in mainstream media which, as Arundhati Roy observed, have every interest in attacking Trump while defending the system which produced him and the equally execrable but rather more sophisticated Clintons. That bail-out is a subject I mean to post on soon.