Catfight – and it’s US vs EU

Lovers of turbo-neoliberalism, rejoice – and take your bottles of Moet to a prime ringside seat; there won’t be a nastier catfight this summer than the opening rounds opposing two Western giants. Forget about the Pentagon “pivoting” to Asia without ever abandoning the Middle East; nothing compares with this voyage in the entrails of turbo-capitalism, worthy of a neo-Balzac.

We’re talking about a new Holy Grail – a free-market deal between the United States and the European Union; the advent of a giant, internal transatlantic market (25% of global exports, 31% of global imports, 57% of foreign investment), where goods and services
(but not people) will “freely” circulate, something that in theory will lead Europe out of its current funk.

The problem is that to reach this Brave New World presided by the Market Goddess, Europe will have to renounce some of its quite complex juridical, environmental, cultural and health norms.

In that Kafkaesque/Orwellian bureaucratic paradise also known as Brussels, hordes of faceless equivalents of the bowler hat men in a Magritte painting openly complain about this “adventure”; there’s a growing consensus Europe has everything to lose and little to gain out of it, in contrast with the much-derided enemies of the European integration, as in the fanatics of an “pro-American” and “ultra-liberal” Europe.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

Click here for the full story

The Syria-Iran red line show

This eminently Bushist Obama “red line” business, applied to Syria, Iran or both, is becoming a tad ridiculous.

Take Pentagon head Chuck Hagel’s tour of Israel and the “friendly” GCC (the de facto Gulf Counter-revolution Club) last week. US defense contractors had the Moet flowing as Hagel merrily congregated with that prodigy of democracy – United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed – to celebrate the sale of 25 F-16 fighter jets.

There’s more on the way; 48 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD missile interceptors, at a cool US$1 billion. The Pentagon is sending one of its only two of such systems to Guam this month to counter that other threat – missiles from North Korea.
The weaponizing free fest to Israel and the Gulf petro-monarchies – missile defense, fighter jets, mega-bombs – could not but be duly hailed as the proverbial “message” to “counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions”, or “the air and missile threat posed by Iran”, or the general “worry about Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon” or “Washington’s determination to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

Click here for the full story

A post-history strip tease

Conceptually, post-history cuts all corners. The flow of history is degraded as fake. Simulacrum trumps reality. We see history repeating not as tragedy and farce but as a double farce; an overlapping example is jihadis in Syria weaponized just like the former “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad conflating with the Western gang in the UN Security Council trying to apply to Syria what they got away with in Libya; regime change.

We also have history repeating itself as cloning; neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics beating the West in its industrialization game – in terms of speed – while at the same time repeating the same mistakes, from the mindless excesses of an acquisition mentality to no respect for the environment.

It goes without saying that post-history buries the Enlightenment – as favoring the emergence of all sorts of fundamentalisms. So it had also to bury international law; from bypassing the UN to launch a war on Iraq in 2003 to using a UN resolution to launch a war on Libya in 2011. And now Britain and France are taking no prisoners trying to bypass the UN or even NATO itself and weaponize the “rebels” in Syria.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

Click here for the full story

Orwell does America

Welcome to the sweet abyss of an Orwellian vortex. 2013 increasingly looks like 1984.

In two previous articles, for RT RT and for Asia Times Online I have looked into the superimposed levels of blowback implied by the Boston bombing.

With still so many unanswered questions regarding what took place on the ground in Boston after the bombing, it’s time to look at an extra, possible Top Ten list of lingering absurdities. And this without sidestepping other unanswered crucial questions, such as why a bomb drill – organized by Craft – was going on during the marathon at which the bombing took place; and why it was vehemently denied that a bomb drill was going on. For this current set of questions, I’m grateful for the help of Asia Times Online’s Bostonian readers.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

Click here for the full story

The Islamic Emirate of Syriastan

And now some breaking news coming from the Islamic Emirate of Syriastan. This program is brought to you by the NATOGCC corporation. Please also tune in for a word from our individual sponsors, the United States government, Britain, France, Turkey, the House of Saud and the Emir of Qatar.

It all started early this week, with a proclamation by the elusive leader of al-Qaeda Central, Ayman “The Doctor” al-Zawahiri, hidden somewhere in the Pakistani tribal areas; how come Double O Bama with his license to kill (list) and prime drone fleet cannot find him?

Puzzled infidels from Washington to Beijing may be entitled to believe this is straight from Monty Python – but it’s actually deadly serious; especially as the House of Saud, the Emir of Qatar, the neo-Ottoman Erdogan in Turkey and King Playstation from Jordan – vastly supported by Washington – continue to weaponize the Syrian “rebels” to Kingdom Come. And one of the top beneficiaries of this weaponizing orgy has been – who else – the M&A gang now known as the Islamic State of the Iraq and Levant.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online

Click here for the full story

Korea: B2 bombers offering a path to peace?

Based on the ear-splitting levels of hysteria deployed by American networks, mighty superpower Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is about to bomb the poor, undefended United States of America into the Stone Age.

Oops, sorry, that was the mighty superpower itself shocking and awing Baghdad 10 years ago.

And still, with the DPRK holding eight nuclear warheads against Iran’s zero, I repeat, zero; and with the DPRK even threatening to nuke the US (which they can’t) as opposed to no such threats from Iran, the usual Washington armchair warriors have their chattering ballistic missiles all pointed towards… Iran.

Pepe Escobar

Al Jazeera, Qatar

Click here for the full story

BRICS go over the wall

Reports on the premature death of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have been greatly exaggerated. Western corporate media is flooded with such nonsense, perpetrated in this particular case by the head of Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Reality spells otherwise. The BRICS meet in Durban, South Africa, this Tuesday to, among other steps, create their own credit rating agency, sidelining the dictatorship – or at least “biased agendas”, in New Delhi’s diplomatic take – of the Moody’s/Standard & Poor’s variety. They will also further advance the idea of the BRICS Development Bank, with a seed capital of US$50 billion (only structural details need to be finalized), helping infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

Click here for the full story