The dual summits that took place in Russia’s Ufa beginning 9 July were anything but routine. In fact it may be seen by future historians as a signal event that marked the definitive decline of the global hegemony of European civilization including North America. This is no small event in human history. It’s the most significant shift in relative global economic relations since the Fourth Crusade in 1204 when the Republic of Venice emerged as a world power following their brutal, disgraceful capture and sacking of Constantinople, marking the demise of the Byzantine Empire.
First a look at what transpired. Russia was host to two overlapping summits of emerging alternative organizations, the annual meeting of the BRICS nations as well as the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The larger significance has been all but entirely blacked out by western mainstream media such as the New York Times.
First we look at the results from the BRICS meeting where Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the five member states. The BRICS formally put their New Development Bank (NDB) into operation. It has world headquarters in Shanghai, China’s banking and financial center with a branch in South Africa to serve the African region.
It is explicitly operating as an alternative to the post-1945 domination of the IMF and World Bank, the heart of Washington’s Dollar System.
The NDB bank is in business one year after the last BRICS summit agreed to its creation, and the meeting announced that first approved infrastructure projects will begin at the beginning of 2016. That’s an impressive testament to the mutual will to create an alternative to the IMF and World Bank, both of the latter controlled by Washington where they are headquartered.
With the planned lifting now of US economic sanctions on Iran, this could mean a huge economic deepening of the Eurasian economic space from Shanghai to St. Petersburg to Teheran and beyond, the nightmare scenario of US geopolitical actors like Zbigniew Brzezinski or Henry Kissinger.
What is notable about the joint BRICS-SCO-Eurasian Economic Union summit hosted by Russia’s Putin in Ufa, a city of some one million at the foot of the Ural mountain range near to Kazakhstan, is not only the degree of harmonizing that is taking place among the three vast organizations. It is also the fact that Russia uniquely is a member of all three, facilitating the harmonization of the three in terms of strategic goals.
Moreover the member states have everything and everyone necessary to be fully independent of the dollar world and the dying EU with its misbegotten Euro sham
As The Saker pointed out in a recent perceptive piece, “the full list of BRICS/SCO members will now look like this: Brazil , China , India , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Pakistan , Russia , South Africa , Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The BRICS/SCO will thus include 2 Permanent UN Security Council, 4 countries with nuclear weapons (only 3 NATO countries have nukes!), it’s members account for a full third of the world’s land area: they produce 16 trillion dollars in GDP and have a population of 3 billion people or half of the global world population.”
A new architecture of Eurasia is being formed, something which, were they of a mind to, the nations of the EU, above all Germany, France, Italy, could hugely benefit from cooperating with. Yet, what is the response of Washington and her “vassals” in European NATO, to use the term of Brzezinski?
The response of Washington and NATO to all this is a bleak, pathetic contrast to put it mildly.
On the economic front, what is emerging across the vast expanse of Eurasia is the greatest infrastructure investment in real physical infrastructure, which in turn will create new markets where today the remote regions of Siberia or Mongolia remain virtually untouched. By contrast, Obama’s Washington, a once-hegemon that has lost its soul, can only offer the US-dominated secret free trade pact, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), for Asian states absent China, as a way to contain china economically, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that offers the same geopolitical dead end for the economies of the EU.
Both trade proposals are a desperate attempt by Washington strategists and their corporate backers in agribusiness such as Monsanto or the pharmaceutical industry to dominate world trade and finance.
Just as an individual can lose themselves through a trauma, so it’s possible for entire nations, even nations as large and apparently mighty as the United States of America, to lose its soul. Once a nation loses its soul, it loses its ability to do good, to be good. That tragically describes America today. The process has been a slow-motion rot from within, much as the Roman Empire in the Third and Fourth centuries AD. The rot has proceeded over decades.
There’s nothing quite like the astonishment of progressives whenever their profound and enduring ignorance of human nature is thrust in upon them. And so it is with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his reaction to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech last Saturday. It was a speech during which the Supreme Leader reminded the world the hostility that exists between his nation and the United States is not about to be extinguished by the nuclear arms agreement.
“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” said Khamenei following prayers that marked the end of Ramadan.
“Even after this deal, our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change.
We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.” The ayatollah further insisted U.S. policies in the Middle East were “180 degrees” out of phase with those of his nation. Adding some “color” to Khamenei’s delivery on state television were audience members chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
Kerry was taken aback.
“I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said during an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya News..."We are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries. It’s unacceptable.”
Pushing back against extremism? The Iranian deal bankrolls extremism, freeing up as much as $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets as soon as sanctions are lifted, a move that was virtually assured by the unanimous 15-0 vote of approval by the United Nations Security Council on Monday. Thus Iran will have plenty of money to fund its surrogate partners such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Our equally out of touch National Security adviser Susan Rice admitted as much in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but insisted that “for the most part” Iran will spend the unfrozen money on the “Iranian people and their economy which has tanked.”
Yet it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who cut right through the fatuous assertions of greater safety made by Obama administration. “Everybody talks about compensating Israel. If this deal is supposed to make Israel and its Arab neighbors safer, why should we need to be compensated with anything?” Netanyahu asked.
“And how can you compensate my country against a terrorist regime that is sworn to our destruction and going to get a path to nuclear bombs?” Netanyahu also pooh-poohed U.S. capabilities, noting that Iranian activity taking place at underground facilities in Qom and Natanz went undetected by the West for years.
Moreover, as recently as yesterday, Khamenei’s top foreign affairs adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, insisted inspectors won’t be allowed to “visit our military centers and interfere in decisions about the type of Iran’s defensive weapons.” On Khamenei’s website, he went even further. “No one can tell us which weapons we can have…. Except nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, Iran will continue making all the missiles, fighter jets, anti-missile defence systems, tanks and other armoured equipment it needs,” he was quoted as saying.
Such defiance comes on top of the reality that nowhere in the 159-page deal is any mention of either the Bushehr reactor or the Parchin military plant. According to experts, Bushehr is capable of producing enough plutonium for a large number of atomic weapons, and Parchin is the suspected center of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. Instead the deal produced a “roadmap” agreement requiring Iran to disclose military aspects of its nuclear program by October 15. That will be followed by a written assessment compiled by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano by December 15. Amano insists a visit to Parchin is part of the equation, but no date has been set, giving Iran plenty of time to “prepare” for it.
According to a Bloomberg analysis of census data between 2013 and 2014, millions of Americans are fleeing our cities. But these cities aren’t shrinking, the locals are being replaced by foreigners. While their research noted 100 cities, it focused on 20 urban areas that experienced the greatest loss of local residents. New York City came in 2nd place after losing 163,000 US citizens.
Americans are largely leaving due to soaring housing costs, and are being replaced by two different kinds of immigrants. Highly skilled immigrants working in the tech sector who can afford the rent, and low skilled workers who are willing to split the rent, and cram as many of their friends and relatives into tiny urban apartments.
Instead of the “White Flight” from our urban areas that was widely documented in the latter half of the 20th century, we’re now experiencing “American Flight.” As our nation takes in more and more foreign citizens, these people are mostly settling into our urban areas, which are now being referred to as “global cities.” It’s safe to say that by the end of the 21st century, what we now recognize as an American culture, will cease to exist in urban areas, and will almost exclusively exist in rural and suburban locations.
Congressional Republicans forcefully challenged President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday as the White House dispatched a Cabinet-level lobbying team to build support for the agreement to ease sanctions in exchange for concessions on the Islamic nation’s nuclear program.
Several other Republicans found fault with the deal in remarks on the Senate floor, including Sen. John Cornyn, who said there was a third option available. He noted the deal did not require the dismantling of Tehran’s nuclear infrastructure, and said, “There are tougher sanctions that will bring Iran to the table for a better deal and a good deal.”
Across the Capitol, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer met privately with several House Republicans. One participant in the meeting, Rep. Dave Brat, said the diplomat’s main point had been to “pay less attention to all the details” like nuclear centrifuges, and more attention to “who’s on the other side of the ethical debate, and that is Iran.” Tehran is opposed to the existence of Israel.
On the other side of the political divide, some Republicans charged that Congress has not received documents concerning an alleged side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In a statement issued Monday, Sen. Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo, both Republicans, said that in a recent meeting with IAEA officials, they had been told that two side deals “will remain secret, and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress or with the public.” One deals with inspection of Iran’s Parchin military complex, they said, and the other deals with resolving disputes over “possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, acknowledged that the text of the side deal between the IAEA and Iran over past military activity wouldn’t be given to Congress. “These documents are not public,” Rice said, adding that the US was satisfied with the agreement and would brief Congress about its contents. “There is nothing in that regard that we know that they won’t know.”
She did not address the alleged Parchin side deal.