[News] Why Putin is driving Washington nuts
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 8 13:30:13 EST 2012
Why Putin is driving Washington nuts
By Pepe Escobar
Mar 9, 2012
Forget the past (Saddam, Osama, Gaddafi) and the present (Assad,
Ahmadinejad). A bet can be made over a bottle of Petrus 1989 (the
problem is waiting the next six years to collect); for the
foreseeable future, Washington's top bogeyman - and also for its
rogue North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners and assorted media
shills - will be none other than back-to-the-future Russian President
And make no mistake; Vlad the Putinator will relish it. He's back
exactly where he wants to be; as Russia's commander-in-chief, in
charge of the military, foreign policy and all national security matters.
Anglo-American elites still squirm at the mention of his now
legendary Munich 2007 speech, when he blasted the then George W Bush
administration for its obsessively unipolar imperial agenda "through
a system which has nothing to do with democracy" and non-stop
overstepping of its "national borders in almost all spheres"."
So Washington and its minions have been warned. Before last Sunday's
election, Putin even advertised his
<http://en.rian.ru/world/20120227/171547818.html>road map The
essentials; no war on Syria; no war on Iran; no "humanitarian
bombing" or fomenting "color revolutions" - all bundled into a new
concept, "illegal instruments of soft power". For Putin, a
Washington-engineered New World Order is a no-go. What rules is "the
time-honored principle of state sovereignty".
No wonder. When Putin looks at Libya, he sees the graphic, regressive
consequences of NATO's "liberation" through "humanitarian bombing"; a
fragmented country controlled by al-Qaeda-linked militias; backward
Cyrenaica splitting from more developed Tripolitania; and a relative
of the last king brought in to rule the new "emirate" - to the
delight of those model democrats of the House of Saud.
More key essentials; no US bases encircling Russia; no US missile
defense without strict admission, in writing, that the system will
never target Russia; and increasingly close cooperation among the
BRICS group of emerging powers.
Most of this was already implied in Putin's previous road map - his
paper <http://premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/16622/>A new integration
project for Eurasia: The future in the making. That was Putin's ippon
- he loves judo - against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO), the International Monetary Fund and hardcore neo-liberalism.
He sees a Eurasian Union as a "modern economic and currency union"
stretching all across Central Asia.
For Putin, Syria is an important detail (not least because of
Russia's naval base in the Mediterranean port of Tartus, which NATO
would love to abolish). But the meat of the matter is Eurasia
integration. Atlanticists will freak out en masse as he puts all his
efforts into coordinating "a powerful supranational union that can
become one of the poles of today's world while being an efficient
connecting link between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region".
The opposite roadmap will be Obama and Hillary's Pacific
Now how exciting is that?
Putin plays Pipelineistan
It was Putin who almost single-handedly spearheaded the resurgence of
Russia as a mega energy superpower (oil and gas accounts for
two-thirds of Russia's exports, half of the federal budget and 20% of
gross domestic product). So expect Pipelineistan to remain key.
And it will be mostly centered on gas; although Russia holds no less
than 30% of global gas supplies, its liquid natural gas (LNG)
production is less than 5% of the global market share. It's not even
among the top ten producers.
Putin knows that Russia will need buckets of foreign investment in
the Arctic - from the West and especially Asia - to keep its oil
production above 10 million barrels a day. And it needs to strike a
complex, comprehensive, trillion-dollar deal with China centered on
Eastern Siberia gas fields; the oil angle has been already taken care
of via the East Siberian Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. Putin knows
that for China - in terms of securing energy - this deal is a vital
counterpunch against Washington's shady "pivoting" towards Asia.
Putin will also do everything to consolidate the South Stream
pipeline - which may end up costing a staggering $22 billion (the
shareholder agreement is already signed between Russia, Germany,
France and Italy. South Stream is Russian gas delivered under the
Black Sea to the southern part of the EU, through Bulgaria, Serbia,
Hungary and Slovakia). If South Stream is a go, rival pipeline
Nabucco is checkmated; a major Russian victory against Washington
pressure and Brussels bureaucrats.
Everything is still up for grabs at the crucial intersection of
hardcore geopolitics and Pipelineistan. Once again Putin will be
facing yet another Washington road map - the not exactly successful
New Silk Road (See
Afghan agenda falters, Asia Times Online, Nov 4, 2011.)
Ant then there's the joker in the pack - the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO). Putin will want Pakistan to become a full member
as much as China is interested in incorporating Iran. The
repercussions would be ground-breaking - as in Russia, China,
Pakistan and Iran coordinating not only their economic integration
but their mutual security inside a strengthened SCO, whose motto is
"non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-interference in the affairs
of other countries".
Putin sees that with Russia, Central Asia and Iran controlling no
less than 50% of world's gas reserves, and with Iran and Pakistan as
virtual SCO members, the name of the game becomes Asia integration -
if not Eurasia's. The SCO develops as an economic/security
powerhouse, while, in parallel, Pipelineistan accelerates the full
integration of the SCO as a counterpunch to NATO. The regional
players themselves will decide what makes more sense - this or a New
Silk Road invented in Washington.
Make no mistake. Behind the relentless demonization of Putin and the
myriad attempts to delegitimize Russia's presidential elections, lie
some very angry and powerful sections of Washington and Anglo-American elites.
They know Putin will be an ultra tough negotiator on all fronts. They
know Moscow will apply increasingly closer coordination with China;
on thwarting permanent NATO bases in Afghanistan; on facilitating
Pakistan's strategic autonomy; on opposing missile defense; on
ensuring Iran is not attacked.
He will be the devil of choice because there could not be a more
formidable opponent in the world stage to Washington's plans - be
they coded as Greater Middle East, New Silk Road, Full Spectrum
Dominance or America's Pacific Century. Ladies and gentlemen, let's
get ready to rumble.
Pepe Escobar is the author of
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books,
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent
book, just out, is
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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