International Situation on the Eve of 2022

Right now, everything is in disarray; there is a cacophony, tumult, trouble and confusion. One might call it a Baudelaire satire. A conflict in Asia had only just been put on pause when another conflict was declared in Europe, and another one is brewing with Iran, and there are a number of wars that could follow beyond that. And the United States is always involved.

From Ukraine …

Last May, Kyiv’s armed forces were threatening Donbass, and Russia was assembling soldiers on its side of the border, which earned it much criticism from the West. A NATO armada was carrying out large-scale exercises in the Black Sea, far from the northern Atlantic and within easy reach of the Russian border. The Kyiv-Donbass conflict is the reason behind America’s opposition to Russia.

At the end of 2021, the scene is the same. The Ukrainian threat to Donbass came after U.S. soldiers were deployed to Kyiv to lend a hand — and to serve as a warning to Moscow. Once again, NATO is engaging in naval training in the Black Sea. United States B-1B bombers are flying 12 miles from Russian borders as part of training for a nuclear attack on Russia, while Russian fighter planes are shielding against other intrusions. American arms and trainers are arriving in Ukraine. Russia is gathering troops; members of NATO are frantic: The “Putin regime” could invade Ukraine.

There is maximum hype. Joe Biden threatened Russia’s president with “economic consequences like none he has ever seen,” but not open warfare, to Kyiv’s great chagrin. In reality, a Russian invasion, coupled with the nightmare of having an administration in Ukraine, is out of the question, unless there is a direct threat against Russia. Some even see the crisis as a trap to lure Russia into the Ukrainian mire, overturn construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and align a frightened Europe with the United States.

… to Taiwan

Russia is not distracting the American administration from China, which the U.S. regards as strategic enemy No. 1. The Ukrainian issue is still there, with some edits. A Western armada is patrolling off the coast of China. Taiwan (universally recognized as a province of China) is declared to be in danger of a Chinese invasion. Washington is sending military training and swears that it will defend Taiwan if it is attacked, all while maintaining “strategic ambiguity.” It is pulling out all the stops: Uighurs have become the Beltway’s favored cause; a Chinese tennis player was reported missing (now found); and there is a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games (consisting of four “Anglo-Saxon” countries, the core of the opposition to China). China and Russia grin and bear it, knowing that this situation will develop in their favor.

Artificial Crises

What is the point of all this political media circus? The most sensitive theaters (in both meanings of the word) are in Ukraine and Taiwan. It is no secret that the United States wants to knock Russia and China down a peg. It makes its intention known everywhere, campaign after campaign, through striking declarations made to promote a simplistic vision: incarnations of goodness on the side that we know, evil where we endlessly say where it is. Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state and former director of the CIA, pointed out the latest example of this when he divided the world into “democracies” and “authoritarian regimes.”

This official view, disseminated by Washington, ideologizes international relations, even if it means obfuscating them and turning attention away from what is really at stake. A great historic change is underway, in which dominant imperialism sees the foundation of its primacy called into question by a shift in economic and political power, as has happened in the past. In response, the United States is taking the offensive against countries that embody this change and against those that would join them. It is repeatedly the source of “crises,” disguised by ideological pretenses to cover up for the fact they lack any valid justification. Converting Russia and China to “our values” is a vain and arrogant demagoguery. The United States is at their borders, thousands of miles away from America, where it harasses and delegitimizes them and sets them up as foils, in order to shape public opinion and hold susceptible countries back from escaping its declining hegemony. The end of an empire is always contentious.

As long as Russia and China have the means to retaliate, the United States will avoid engaging its own combat forces. The local “allies” will have to live with this. There will continue to be provocation and crises for show. However, as artificial as they may be, they imply an increase in tension and a policy on the edge of the abyss, and is therefore dangerous. Attempts to intimidate involve brandishing weapons. Any wrong move, such as the installation of offensive missiles in Ukraine or a declaration of independence in Taiwan, could have “unpredictable” consequences.

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