• Chomsky: US Push to "Reign Supreme" Stokes the Ukraine Conflict (1/2)

    From Steve Hayes@21:1/5 to All on Sat Mar 5 05:44:18 2022
    XPost: alt.fan.noam-chomsky, soc.culture.usa, alt.anti-war
    XPost: soc.rights.human

    Chomsky: US Push to "Reign Supreme" Stokes the Ukraine Conflict

    Irrational political panic is as American a phenomenon as apple pie.
    It often arises as a result of a potential inability on the part of
    the powers-that-be to control the outcome of developments that may
    pose challenges to the interests of the existing socioeconomic order
    or to the status quo of the geostrategic environment. The era of the
    Cold War speaks volumes about this phenomenon, but it’s also evident
    in earlier periods — for example, the first Red Scare in the wake of
    World War I — and we can see clear parallels in the present-day
    situation with reactions to Ukraine and the rise of China as a global

    In the interview that follows, world-renowned public intellectual Noam
    Chomsky delves into the phenomenon of irrational political panics in
    the U.S., with an emphasis on current developments on the foreign
    policy front — and the dangers of seeking to maintain global hegemony
    in a multipolar world.
    Stay in the loop

    C.J. Polychroniou: The political culture in the United States seems to
    have a propensity toward alarmism when it comes to political
    developments that are not in tune with the economic interests,
    ideological mindset and strategic interests of the powers-that-be.
    Indeed, from the anti-Spanish panic of the late 1890s to today’s rage
    about Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine, and China’s growing
    role in world affairs and everything in between, the political
    establishment and the media of this country tend to respond with
    full-blown alarm to developments that are not in alignment with U.S.
    interests, values and goals. Can you comment about this peculiar state
    of affairs, with particular emphasis on what’s happening today in
    connection with Ukraine and China?

    Noam Chomsky: Quite true. Sometimes it’s hard to believe. One of the
    most significant and revealing examples is the rhetorical framework of
    the major internal planning document of the early Cold War years,
    NSC-68 of 1950, shortly after “the loss of China,” which set off a
    frenzy in the U.S. The document set the stage for huge expansion of
    the military budget. It’s worth recalling today when strains of this
    madness are reverberating — not for the first time; it’s perennial.

    The policy recommendations of NSC-68 have been widely discussed in
    scholarship, though avoiding the hysterical rhetoric. It reads like a fairytale: ultimate evil confronted by absolute purity and noble
    idealism. On one side is the “slave state” with its “fundamental design” and inherent “compulsion” to gain “absolute authority over the rest of the world,” destroying all governments and the “structure of society” everywhere. Its ultimate evil contrasts with our sheer
    perfection. The “fundamental purpose” of the United States is to
    assure “the dignity and worth of the individual” everywhere. Its
    leaders are animated by “generous and constructive impulses, and the
    absence of covetousness in our international relations,” which is particularly evident in the traditional domains of U.S. influence, the
    Western hemisphere, long the beneficiary of Washington’s tender
    solicitude as its inhabitants can testify.

    Anyone familiar with history and the actual balance of global power at
    the time would have reacted to this performance with utter
    bewilderment. Its State Department authors couldn’t have believed what
    they were writing. Some later gave an indication of what they were up
    to. Secretary of State Dean Acheson explained in his memoirs that in
    order to ram through the huge planned military expansion, it was
    necessary to “bludgeon the mass mind of ‘top government’” in ways that were “clearer than truth.” The highly influential Sen. Arthur
    Vandenberg surely understood this as well when advising [in 1947] that
    the government must “scare the hell out of the American people” to
    rouse them from their pacifist backwardness.

    There are many precedents, and the drums are beating right now with
    warnings about American complacency and naivete about the intentions
    of the “mad dog” Putin to destroy democracy everywhere and subdue the
    world to his will, now in alliance with the other “Great Satan,” Xi Jinping.

    The February 4 Putin-Xi summit, timed with the opening of the Olympic
    games, was recognized to be a major event in world affairs. Its review
    in a major article in The New York Times is headlined “A New Axis,”
    the allusion unconcealed. The review reported the intentions of the reincarnation of the Axis powers: “The message that China and Russia
    have sent to other countries is clear,” David Leonhardt writes. “They
    will not pressure other governments to respect human rights or hold elections.” And to Washington’s dismay, the Axis is attracting two countries from “the American camp,” Egypt and Saudi Arabia, stellar examples of how the U.S. respects human rights and elections in its
    camp — by providing a massive flow of weapons to these brutal
    dictatorships and directly participating in their crimes. The New Axis
    also maintains that “a powerful country should be able to impose its
    will within its declared sphere of influence. The country should even
    be able to topple a weaker nearby government without the world
    interfering” — an idea that the U.S. has always abhorred, as the
    historical record reveals.

    Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Delphi Oracle issued a maxim: “Know Thyself.” Worth remembering, perhaps.

    As in the case of NSC-68, there is method in the madness. China and
    Russia do pose real threats. The global hegemon does not take them
    lightly. There are some striking common features in how U.S. opinion
    and policy are reacting to the threats. They merit some thought.

    The Atlantic Council describes the formation of the New Axis as a
    “tectonic shift in global relations” with plans that are truly “head spinning”: “The sides agreed to more closely link their economies
    through cooperation between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and
    Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union. They will work together to develop
    the Arctic. They’ll deepen coordination in multilateral institutions
    and to battle climate change.”

    We should not underestimate the grand significance of the Ukraine
    crisis, adds Damon Wilson, president of the National Endowment for
    Democracy. “The stakes of today’s crisis are not about Ukraine alone,
    but about the future of freedom,” no less.

    Strong measures have to be taken right away, says Senate Minority
    Leader Mitch McConnell: “President Biden should use every tool in his
    tool box and impose tough sanctions ahead of any invasion and not
    after it happens.” There is no time to dilly-dally with Macron-style
    appeals to the raging bear to temper his violence.

    Received doctrine is that we must confront the formidable threat of
    China and stand firm on Ukraine, while Europe wavers and Ukraine asks
    us to tone down the rhetoric and pursue diplomatic measures. Luckily
    for the world, Washington is unflinching in its dedication to what is
    right and just, even if it is almost alone, as when it righteously
    invades Iraq and strangles Cuba in defiance of virtually uniform
    international protest, to take just two from a plethora of examples.

    To be fair, adherence to the doctrine is not uniform. There’s
    deviation, most forcefully on the far right: Tucker Carlson, probably
    the most influential TV voice. He’s said we shouldn’t be involved in defending Ukraine against Russia — because we should be devoting all
    our resources to confronting the far more awesome China threat. Have
    to get our priorities straight in combating the Axis.

    Warnings about Russia’s mobilization to invade Ukraine have been an
    annual media event since the crises of 2014, with regular reports of
    tens or hundreds of thousands of Russian troops preparing to attack.
    Today, however, the warnings are far more shrill, with a mixture of
    fear and ridicule for so-called Mad Vlad, whom the New York Times’s
    Thomas Friedman describes as a “one-man psychodrama, with a giant
    inferiority complex toward America that leaves him always stalking the
    world with a chip on his shoulder so big it’s amazing he can fit
    through any door,” or from another perspective, the Russian leader
    seeking in vain for some response to his repeated requests for some
    attention to Russia’s expressed concerns. An analysis by MintPress
    found that 90 percent of the opinion pieces in the three major
    national newspapers have adopted a hawkish militant stance, with a
    bare scattering of questioning — a familiar phenomenon, as in the days
    before the Iraq invasion and, in fact, routinely when the state has
    delivered the word.

    As in the case of the Sino-Soviet conspiracy to gain “absolute
    authority over the rest of the world” in 1950, the word now is that
    the U.S. must act decisively to counter the threat of the New Axis to
    the “rule-based global order” that is hailed by U.S. commentators, an interesting concept to which I’ll return briefly.

    The “tectonic shift” is not a myth, and it does pose a threat to the
    U.S. It threatens U.S. primacy in shaping world order. That’s true of
    both of the crisis areas, on the borders of Russia and of China. In
    both cases, negotiated settlements are within reach: regional
    settlements. If they are achieved, the U.S. will only have an
    ancillary role, which it may not be willing to accept even at the cost
    of inflaming extremely hazardous confrontations.

    In Ukraine, the basic outlines of a settlement are well-known on all
    sides; we’ve discussed them before. To repeat, the optimal outcome for security of Ukraine (and the world) is the kind of Austrian/Nordic
    neutrality that prevailed through the Cold War years, offering the
    opportunity to be part of Western Europe to whatever extent they
    chose, in every respect apart from providing the U.S. with military
    bases, which would have been a threat to them as well as to Russia.
    For internal Ukrainian conflicts, Minsk II provides a general

    As many analysts observe, Ukraine is not going to join the North
    Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the foreseeable future. George
    W. Bush rashly issued an invitation to join, but it was immediately
    vetoed by France and Germany. Though it remains on the table under
    U.S. pressure, it is not an option. All sides recognize this. The
    astute and knowledgeable Central Asia scholar Anatol Lieven comments
    that “the whole issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership is in fact purely theoretical, so that, in some respects, this whole argument is an
    argument about nothing — on both sides, it must be said, Russian as
    well as the West.”

    His comment brings to mind [Argentinian writer Jorge Luis] Borges’s description of the Falkland/Malvinas war: two bald men fighting over a

    Russia pleads security concerns. For the U.S., it is a matter of high principle: We cannot infringe on the sacred right of sovereignty of
    nations, hence the right to join NATO, which Washington knows is not
    going to happen.

    On the Russian side, a formal pledge of non-alignment hardly increases
    Russian security, any more than Russian security was enhanced when
    Washington guaranteed to Gorbachev that “not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction,” soon
    abrogated by Clinton, then more radically by W. Bush. Nothing would
    have changed if the promise had risen from a gentlemen’s agreement to
    a signed document.

    The U.S. plea hardly rises to the level of comedy. The U.S. has utter
    disdain for the principle it proudly proclaims, as recent history once
    again dramatically confirms.

    For Washington, there is a deeper issue: A regional settlement would
    be a serious threat to the U.S. global role. That concern has been
    simmering right through the Cold War years. Will Europe assume an
    independent role in world affairs, as it surely can, perhaps along
    Gaullist lines: Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals, revived in
    Gorbachev’s 1989 advocacy of a “common European home,” a “vast
    economic space from the Atlantic to the Urals”? Even more unthinkable
    would be Gorbachev’s broader vision of a Eurasian security system from
    Lisbon to Vladivostok with no military blocs, shot down without
    discussion in the negotiations 30 years ago over a post-Cold War

    The commitment to maintain the Atlanticist order in Europe, in which
    the U.S. reigns supreme, has had policy implications that reach beyond
    Europe itself. One crucial example was Chile in 1973, when the U.S.
    was working hard to overthrow the parliamentary government, finally
    succeeding with the installation of the murderous Pinochet
    dictatorship. A prime reason for destroying democracy in Chile was
    explained by its prime architect, Henry Kissinger. He warned that
    parliamentary social reforms in Chile might provide a model for
    similar efforts in Italy and Spain that might lead Europe on an
    independent path, away from subordination to U.S. control and the U.S.
    model of harsher capitalism. The domino theory, often derided, never
    abandoned, because it is an important instrument of statecraft. The
    issue arises again with regard to a regional settlement of the Ukraine conflict.

    Much the same is true in the confrontation with China. As we’ve
    discussed earlier, there are serious issues concerning China’s
    violation of international law in the neighboring seas — though as the
    one maritime country that refuses even to ratify the UN Law of the
    Sea, the U.S. is hardly in a strong position to object. Nor does the
    U.S. alleviate these problems by sending a naval armada through these
    waters or providing Australia with a fleet of nuclear submarines to
    enhance the already overwhelming military superiority of the U.S. off
    the coasts of China. The issues can and should be addressed by the
    regional powers.

    As in the case of Ukraine, however, there is a downside: The U.S. will
    not be in charge.

    Also as in the case of Ukraine, the U.S. professes its commitment to
    high principle in taking the lead to confront the threat of China: its
    horror at China’s human rights abuses, which are doubtless severe.
    Again, it is easy enough to assess the sincerity of this stand. One
    revealing index is U.S. military aid. At the top, in a category by
    themselves, are Israel and Egypt. On the Israeli record on human
    rights, we can now refer to the detailed reports of Amnesty
    International and Human Rights Watch, reviewing the crimes of what
    they describe as the world’s second apartheid state. Egypt is
    suffering under the harshest dictatorship of its tortured history.
    More generally, for many years, there has been a striking correlation
    between U.S. military aid and torture, massacre, and other severe
    human rights abuses.

    There is no more need to tarry on Washington’s concern for human
    rights than on its dedication to the sacred principle of sovereignty.
    The fact that these absurdities can even be discussed illustrates how
    deeply the rhetorical flights of NSC-68 permeate the intellectual

    Hebrew University lecturer Guy Laron usefully reminds us of another
    facet of the Ukraine crisis: the long struggle between the U.S. and
    Russia over control of Europe’s energy, again in the headlines today.
    Even before Russia was a player, the U.S. sought to shift Europe (and
    Japan) to an oil-based economy, where the U.S. would have the hand on
    the spigot. Much of Marshall Plan aid was directed to this end. From
    George Kennan to Zbigniew Brzezinski commenting on the invasion of
    Iraq (which he opposed, but felt might confer advantages to the U.S.
    with the anticipated control over major oil resources), planners have recognized that control over energy resources could provide “critical leverage” over allies. Later years saw many struggles in the Cold War framework Laron describes, now very prominent. Ukraine has had a large
    part in these confrontations.

    Throughout, the shape of world order has of course been a driving
    concern of policy makers. For post-World War II Washington, there is
    only one acceptable form: under its leadership. And it must be a
    particular form of world order: the “rule-based international order,”
    which has displaced an earlier commitment to the “UN-based
    international order” established under U.S. lead after World War II.
    It’s not hard to discern the reasons for the transition in policy and accompanying commentary. In the rule-based order, the U.S. sets the

    The same was true in the UN-based order in the early years after World
    War II. U.S. global dominance was so overwhelming that the UN served
    virtually as a tool of U.S. foreign policy and a weapon against its
    enemies. Not surprisingly, the UN was highly regarded in U.S. popular
    and intellectual culture, along with the UN-based international order,
    guided by Washington.

    That turned out to be a passing phase. The UN began to fall out of
    favor in U.S. elite opinion as it lurched out of control with the
    recovery of other industrial societies but particularly with
    decolonization, which brought discordant voices into the UN and also
    in independent structures such as the Non-Aligned Movement and many
    others — all very vocal and active, though effectively barred from the international information order dominated by the traditional imperial societies.

    Within the UN there were calls for a “New International Economic
    Order” that would offer the Global South something better than a
    continuation of the large-scale robbery, violent intervention and
    subversion that the colonized world had enjoyed during the long reign
    of Western imperialism. There were other threats, such as a call for a
    New International Information Order that would provide some
    opportunity for voices of the former colonies to enter the
    international information system, a near monopoly of the imperial

    The masters of the world undertook vigorous campaigns to beat back
    these efforts, a major though largely ignored chapter of modern
    history — though not completely; there is some fine work of exposure
    and analysis.

    One effect of the Global South’s disruptive efforts was to turn U.S.
    practice and elite opinion against the UN, no longer a reliable agency
    of U.S. power as it had been in the early Cold War years. Furthermore,
    the foundations of modern international law in the few UN treaties
    that the U.S. ratified became completely unacceptable as the years
    passed, particularly the banning of “the threat or use of force” in international affairs, a practice in which the U.S. is far in the
    lead. It is conventional to say that the U.S. and Russia engaged in
    proxy wars during the Cold War years — omitting the fact that with
    rare exceptions, these were conflicts in which Russia provided some
    support to victims of U.S. attack. All topics that should have far
    more prominence.

    In this context, the “rule-based international order” became the
    favored pillar of world order, and there is much annoyance when China
    calls instead for the UN-based international order as it did at the
    rancorous March 2021 China-U.S. summit in Alaska (putting aside the
    sincerity of these pronouncements).

    It’s intriguing to see how the conflict with China plays out in U.S.
    policy and discourse in other domains. A front-page story in The New
    York Times is headlined: “House Passes Bill Adding Billions to
    Research to Compete With China; The vote sets up a fight with the
    Senate, which has different recommendations for how the United States
    should bolster its technology industry to take on China.” The official
    name of the bill is “The America Competes Act of 2022” — meaning “compete” with China.

    The passage of the bill was hailed in the left-liberal press: “The
    House gave President Joe Biden another reason to celebrate on Friday
    with the passage of a bill aimed at boosting competitiveness with

    Could Congress support research and development because it would help
    American society, as this bill surely would? Apparently not; only
    because it would “take on China.” Republicans reflexively opposed the
    bill as usual, in this case because it “concedes too much to China.” Republicans also opposed what they called “far left” initiatives such
    as addressing climate change. The bill was derided by House Republican
    leader Kevin McCarthy as the “coral reefs bill.” How does saving
    humanity from self-destruction help to compete with China?

    A side comment: An amendment to the bill was introduced by Pramila
    Jayapal, chair of the Progressive Caucus, a call to release the
    near-$10 billion of the Afghan government held in New York banks, so
    as to help relieve the horrendous humanitarian crisis facing the
    population. It was voted down. Forty-four Democrats joined Republican brutality. It appears that the China-based Shanghai Cooperation
    Organization might be planning aid, more of the China threat.

    There is no denying that China is a rising superpower confronting the
    U.S. Reporting a study of Harvard’s Belfer Center of International
    Affairs, Graham Allison argued further that the so-called Thucydides
    Trap is likely to lead to a U.S.-China war.

    That cannot happen. U.S.-China war means simply: game over. There are
    critical global issues on which the U.S. and China must cooperate.
    They will either work together, or collapse together, bringing the
    world down with them.

    One of the most striking developments in the international arena today
    is that while the U.S. is pulling back from the Mideast, and
    elsewhere, China is moving in but with a different strategic approach
    and overall agenda. Instead of bombs, missiles and coercive diplomacy,
    China is expanding its influence with the use of “soft power.” Indeed,
    U.S. overseas expansion was always overwhelmingly dependent on the use
    of hard power, and, as result, it would only leave black holes behind
    after its withdrawal. To what extent, as some might argue, is this the
    result of a young nation ignorant of history and with lack of
    experience in global affairs (although it would be hard to find any
    examples of benign imperialism)?

    I don’t think the U.S. has forged new paths in Western imperial
    brutality. Simply consider its immediate predecessors in world
    control. British wealth and global power derived from piracy (such
    heroic figures as Sir Francis Drake), despoiling India by guile and
    violence, hideous slavery, the world’s greatest narcotrafficking
    enterprise, and other such gracious acts. France was no different.
    Belgium broke records in hideous crimes. Today’s China is hardly
    benign within its much more limited reach. Exceptions would be hard to

    The two cases you mention have highly instructive features, brought
    out clearly, if unintentionally, by how they are depicted. Take an
    article in The New York Times about the growing China threat. The
    headline reads: “As the U.S. Pulls Back from the Mideast, China Leans
    in; expanding its ties to Middle Eastern states with vast
    infrastructure investments and cooperation on technology and

    That’s accurate; it’s one example of what’s happening all over the
    world. The U.S. is withdrawing military forces that have battered the
    Mideast region for decades in traditional imperial style. The evil
    Chinese are exploiting the retreat by expanding China’s influence with investment, loans, technology, development programs. What’s called
    “soft power.”

    Not just in the Mideast. The most extensive Chinese project is the
    huge Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that is taking shape within the
    framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which incorporates
    the Central Asia states, India, Pakistan, Russia, now Iran, reaching
    to Turkey and with its eye on Central Europe. It may well include
    Afghanistan if it can survive its current catastrophe. Chinese aid and development might manage to shift the Afghan economy from heroin
    production for Europe, the core of the economy during the U.S.
    occupation, to exploitation of its rich mineral resources.

    The BRI has offshoots in the Middle East, including Israel. There are accompanying programs in Africa, and now even Latin America, over
    strenuous U.S. objections. Recently, China announced that it’s taking
    over the manufacturing facilities in São Paulo that Ford abandoned,
    and will initiate large-scale electric vehicles production, an area in
    which China is far ahead.

    The U.S. has no way to counter these efforts. Bombs, missiles, special
    forces raids in rural communities just don’t work.

    It’s an old dilemma. Sixty years ago in Vietnam, U.S.
    counterinsurgency efforts were stymied by a problem that was
    despairingly recognized by U.S. intelligence and by Province Advisers:
    the Vietnamese resistance — the Viet Cong (VC), in U.S. discourse —
    were fighting a political war, a domain in which the U.S. was weak.
    The U.S. was responding with a military war, the arena in which it is
    strong. But that couldn’t overcome the appeal of VC programs to the
    peasant population.

    The only way the Kennedy administration could react to the VC
    political war was by U.S. Air Force bombing of rural areas,
    authorizing napalm, large-scale crop and livestock destruction and
    other programs to drive the peasants to virtual concentration camps
    where they could be “protected” from the guerillas who the U.S. knew
    they were supporting. The consequences we know.

    Earlier, the dilemma had been explained by Secretary of State John
    Foster Dulles, addressing the National Security Council about U.S.
    problems with Brazil, where elites, he said, are “like children, with
    no capacity for self-government.” Worse still, in his words, the U.S.
    is “hopelessly far behind the Soviets in developing controls over the
    minds and emotions of unsophisticated peoples” of the Global South,
    even educated elites. Dulles lamented to the president about the
    Communist “ability to get control of mass movements, … something we
    have no capacity to duplicate. The poor people are the ones they
    appeal to and they have always wanted to plunder the rich.”

    Dulles left unsaid the obvious: The poor people somehow don’t respond
    well to our appeal of the rich to plunder the poor, so with great
    reluctance we have to turn to the arena of violence, where we

    That’s not unlike the dilemma posed when China “leans in” to the
    Global South by “expanding its ties with vast infrastructure
    investments and cooperation on technology and security.” That is one
    central element of the China threat that is eliciting such fears and

    The U.S. is reacting to this growing China threat in the arena where
    it is strong. The U.S. of course has overwhelming military dominance
    worldwide, even right off the coast of China. But it’s being enhanced.
    Last December, military analyst Michael Klare reports, President Biden
    signed the National Defense Authorization Act. It calls for “an
    unbroken chain of U.S.-armed sentinel states — stretching from Japan
    and South Korea in the northern Pacific to Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore in the south and India on China’s eastern
    flank” — meant to encircle China.

    Klare adds that, “Ominously enough Taiwan too is included in the chain
    of armed sentinel states.” The word “ominously” is well chosen. China
    of course regards Taiwan as part of China. So does the U.S., formally.
    The official U.S. one-China policy recognizes Taiwan as part of China,
    with a tacit agreement that no steps will be taken to forcefully
    change its status. Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
    chipped away at this formula. It’s now being driven to the brink.
    China has the choice of either succumbing or resisting. It is not
    going to succumb.

    This is only one component of the program to defend the U.S. from the
    China threat. A complementary element is to undermine China’s economy
    by means too well-known to review. In particular [in the U.S.’s eyes],
    China must be prevented from advancing in the technology of the future
    — actually extending its lead in some areas, such as electrification
    and renewable energy, the technologies that might save us from our
    race to destroy the environment that sustains life.

    One aspect of these efforts to undermine China’s progress is to
    pressure other countries to reject superior Chinese technology. China
    has found a way to get around these efforts. They are planning to
    establish technical schools in countries of the Global South to teach
    advanced technology — Chinese technology, which graduates will then
    use. Again, the kind of aggression that is hard to confront.

    U.S. influence is clearly declining across the international system,
    but one would not easily reach this conclusion by looking at the
    current U.S. National Security Strategy, which is still designed
    around the principle of the “two-war” doctrine even without expressly saying so. In this context, could it be argued that the U.S. empire is weakening in the 21st century, and that the end of the U.S. empire
    might not be a peaceful event?

    It has been widely predicted in foreign policy circles for many years
    that China is poised to surpass the U.S. and to dominate world
    affairs, a dubious prospect, in my opinion, unless the U.S. continues
    on its current course of self-destruction, probably to be accelerated
    with the predicted congressional victory of the denialist party in

    As we have discussed before, for some years the former Republican
    Party has been more accurately described as a “radical insurgency”
    that has abandoned normal parliamentary politics, to borrow the terms
    of political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute a decade ago — when Trump’s takeover of the
    insurgency was not yet a nightmare.

    The Trump administration established a two-war doctrine in all but
    name. A war between two nuclear powers can quickly get out of control,
    meaning the end.

    A step towards utter irrationality was taken last December 27, perhaps
    in celebration of Christmas, when President Biden signed the National
    Defense Authorization Act, discussed earlier, enhancing the policy of “encirclement” of China, “containment” being out of date. That
    includes formation of the Quad: U.S.-India-Japan-Australia,
    supplementing the AUKUS alliance (Australia, U.K., U.S.) and the Anglosphere’s Five Eyes, all of them strategic-military alliances
    confronting China. China has only a troubled hinterland. As discussed
    earlier, the radical military imbalance in favor of the U.S. is being
    enhanced by other provocative acts, carrying great risk. Apparently we
    cannot let down our guard with the Axis powers on the march once

    It’s all too easy to sketch a likely trajectory that is far from a
    pleasant prospect. But we should never forget the usual proviso. We do
    not have to be passive spectators, thereby contributing to potential
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    C.J. Polychroniou is a political scientist/political economist,
    author, and journalist who has taught and worked in numerous
    universities and research centers in Europe and the United States.
    Currently, his main research interests are in U.S. politics and the
    political economy of the United States, European economic integration, globalization, climate change and environmental economics, and the deconstruction of neoliberalism’s politico-economic project. He is a
    regular contributor to Truthout as well as a member of Truthout’s
    Public Intellectual Project. He has published scores of books and over
    1,000 articles which have appeared in a variety of journals,
    magazines, newspapers and popular news websites. Many of his
    publications have been translated into a multitude of different
    languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German,

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