The 2017 Munich Security Conference arguably gave the game away right at the outset, via its annual “conversation starter” for the three-day event, a report titled Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order? “Post-truth” is the new normal, as this is The Age of Spin. “Post-order” would in fact mean a remixed, neo-Westphalian order embracing multipolarity, which the unipolar establishment will fight … Continue reading Go Post-West, Young Man
The tawdry Michael Flynn soap opera boils down to the CIA hemorrhaging leaks to the company town newspaper, leading to the desired endgame: a resounding victory for hardcore neocon/neoliberalcon US Deep State factions in one particular battle. But the war is not over; in fact it’s just beginning. Even before Flynn’s fall, Russian analysts had been … Continue reading The Swamp Strikes Back
When President Xi Jinping visited the United Nations in Geneva last month, before his landmark pro-globalization speech in Davos, he said China’s proposition to the world was to “build a community of shared future for mankind and achieve shared and win-win development.” Then came the astonishing numbers. “In the coming five years, China will import US$8 … Continue reading The Pivot to China
Amidst the deep recesses of Trumpology – the new discipline crammed with “experts” trying to decode the new American presidency – it has become fashionable to deride Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon as a Jurassic Park-style sociopathic swamp creature, a “quasi-fascist” comparable to Islamofascists. (Even though Bannon only metaphorically qualifies as a head-chopper.) Dismissing Bannon … Continue reading Will Andrew Jackson Trump Embody the Bannon Doctrine?
Here we go again. General “Mad Dog” Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, declares Iran “is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn puts Iran “on notice.” President Trump says “they are not behaving,” and, on his Superbowl interview, doubles down: “They are the No 1 … Continue reading Lots of Shouting, Tiny Stick
Every once in a (long) while a book comes out that rips the zeitgeist, shining on like a crazy diamond. Age of Anger, by Pankaj Mishra, author of the also-seminal From the Ruins of Empire, might as well be the latest avatar. Think of this book as the ultimate (conceptual) lethal weapon in the hearts and … Continue reading Age of Anger
From the Bab al-Mandab to the strait of Malacca, from the strait of Hormuz to the strait of Lombok, all the way to the key logistical hub of Diego Garcia 2,500 miles southeast of Hormuz, the question pops up: How will the unpredictable new normal in Washington – which is not exactly China-friendly – affect … Continue reading Game-Changers Ahead on the (Long) Maritime Silk Road
Straight after the “extreme vetting” blitzkrieg – which, technically, is not a “Muslim ban” - President Trump called the lucidity-impaired King Salman of Saudi Arabia and “requested, and the king agreed to support” (in the words of the White House), safe zones in Syria and Yemen. No wonder serial eyebrows were raised facing the prospect … Continue reading Are Saudi Jihadis Entitled to a “Safe Zone”?
It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” there is a serious confrontation between Messrs Trump and Xi over “access” to the South China Sea. The stakes could not be higher. As we enter the Year of the Rooster, a fierce debate rages over whether Donald Trump is trying to stake his claim as the … Continue reading Who’s Top Rooster in the South China Sea?