My sole recommend for this weekend is a podcast. Make a space in your busy life, settle into favourite armchair and, on your super-smart TV, surf to YouTube for sixty-eight minutes fifteen of Bangkok based Brian Berletic in dialogue with Hong Kong based Angelo Giuliano. Its point of departure is, like yesterday’s post, the meeting of Xi Jinping with Joe Biden. But what follows is an exploration – mainly confined to South Asia but also taking in Ukraine, Gaza and more – no less grounded in facts than it is wide-ranging. For those who feel themselves well informed by the know-nothing sneering of a Simon Tisdall …
Click on the screenshot to access the piece
… this is the antidote. Provided, that is, we are prepared to re-examine assumptions axiomatic to the liberal worldview – and products of the most sophisticated propaganda matrix ever.
Dalai Llama good, Beijing bad … Aung San Suu Kyi good, Myanmar Government bad … Tiananmen Square protestors good, China authorities bad …
Why re-examine them? Because when Brian Berletic and Angelo Giuliano challenge these and other cherished but childishly simplistic – and dangerously exploited – beliefs, they do so on the basis of hard facts.
But they do something else, something even more important. They encourage us to see these things not in isolation but as part of a much bigger picture.
There’s only one point at which I not so much disagree with the two as find them falling short. Around the 44 minute mark Brian psychologises US fears of China rising – most notably in his referring to “white” America’s inability to accept being overtaken by an Asian power. I’m sure there’s a good deal of truth in that but here’s where the limitations of an idealist worldview – even one as well informed, cogently presented and diamond hard as this man’s – are revealed.
For the very material drivers of why the USA is so ready to shed blood, sow chaos and subvert every challenge to its “indispensable nation” status, I recommend the perspective offered by Michael Hudson and a major input to the view I expressed in a September post:
How would the US react to losing world reserve currency status even as oil began trading in yuan, local currencies or, as Colonel Gaddafi at cost of his life advocated for a Pan Africa, a gold backed dinar? The answer throws a gigawatt beam on why the US rings the planet with military outposts, and why – once the hard-sell on ‘defending freedom’ is discarded as a self-serving lie revealed as such by contradiction and selective application – its war machine has in this century alone slaughtered millions and sown chaos, impoverishment and terror in far off lands which posed no conceivable threat to ordinary Americans.
That answer is rooted in the fact that the American ruling class, and those of the west at large, have burned their bridges. With no way back to industrial pre-eminence, their only viable course is to continue to exploit the labour and natural wealth of the global south within an imperialist world order characterised by the north to south export of monopoly capital, and south to north repatriation of profits.
But I recommend Michael not instead of but as well as what Brian and Angelo – along with Scott Ritter, Jeffrey Sachs, Alexander Mercouris and the many other brilliant and indispensable voices I cite – are offering.
Which brings me to one last point. I frequently hear important voices trashed on the ground they say something deemed unacceptable, or fail to say something deemed vital, by their purist detractors. To which I say that truth on these matters is an evolving mosaic, and no one has all the pieces.
Shit, not even me!
Like the truth that our deeply held views of Dalai Llama or Aung San may be wide of the mark, this too can be unsettling. It demands that we triangulate and that, alas, is hard work. But, hey, don’t let that spoil your weekend! Ease frame into chair, pour a small glass, find the remote and take in sixty-eight captivating minutes of Angelo Giuliano in dialogue with the transcendental Brian Berletic.