Monday 1st of March 2021

back to annoy the rest of the world...

US is back

US President Joe Biden’s recent remarks at the Munich Security Conference strongly echoed those made earlier in the day at the G-7 meeting, where he participated virtually with world leaders and spoke on his efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and the US foreign policy agenda.

Appearing virtually at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Biden announced Friday the US was breaking from the Trump administration’s so-called “America First” stance, stressing to foreign leaders that his term would focus on bolstering the transatlantic alliance.

The speech, which marked Biden’s first big appearance on the global stage, saw the president vow to the nation’s traditional allies that it was more than ready to begin working hand-in-hand with them on a variety of issues, including arms control, COVID-19, cyberhacking and the worsening climate crisis.

“America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back and we are not looking backward, we are looking forward together,” Biden said. “The partnership between Europe and the United States  - in my view - is and must remain the cornerstone of all we hope to accomplish in the 21st century.”

“We cannot focus only on the competition among countries that threaten to divide the world ... that threaten to sink us all together if we fail to cooperate. We must do both - working in lockstep with our allies and partners,” he continued.

In a bid to erase “any lingering doubt” about the US’ true intentions, Biden underscored Washington would continue to “work closely” with its European partners, and that it would continue to adhere to the NATO alliance’s mutual-defense clause, known as Article 5. “That is our unshakeable vow,” he said.Biden Promises to Stop Daesh Revival as US Troops Remain in Germany

Biden invoked the NATO alliance several times throughout his speech, highlighting the group as an anchor for global security challenges, including those set by the US’ decades-old military mission in Afghanistan.

“My administration strongly supports the diplomatic process that is underway, and to bring an end to this war that is closing out 20 years,” he said. “We remain committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again provides a base for terrorist attacks against the United States, our partners and our interests.”

Additionally, he stated the US and its European partners “cannot allow [Daesh] to reopen and regroup and threaten people in the Middle East and elsewhere.”

The same message was also issued against Russia, with Biden claiming Moscow seeks to “undermine” the US system as “Russian leaders want people to believe that our system is more corrupt or as corrupt as theirs.”

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin seeks to weaken the European project and our NATO alliance. He wants to undermine the transatlantic unity and our resolve because it’s so much easier for the Kremlin to bully and threaten individual states than it is to negotiate with a strong and closely united transatlantic community,” Biden said.

“We want a future where all nations are able to freely determine their own path without the threat of violence or coercion. We cannot and must not return to the reflective opposition and rigid blocks of the Cold War. Competition must not lock out cooperation on issues that affect us all.” 

Biden promptly followed up his remarks on China and Russia with the topic of Iran. He explained that his desire to have more transparency and communication between countries was behind his administration’s recent moves to re-engage with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington withdrew from under the Trump administration.

The US abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 over unsubstantiated claims that Iran had violated the Obama-era agreement, and as such, Tehran subsequently backed away from its commitments. Fellow signers remained a party to the deal after determining that Iran had not violated the agreement.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202102191082132728-russia-china--democracy-biden-vows-america-is-back-in-munich-speech-hailing-multilateralism/

 

"America is back" and is fully engaged in helping resolve issues including the pandemic, climate change and Iran's nuclear ambitions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told the BBC.

In his first international interview, Mr Blinken stressed the importance of worldwide vaccination against Covid-19.

He also criticised China for its lack of transparency in uncovering how coronavirus emerged.

It marks a break with the "America First" policy of Donald Trump. 

 

 

Mr Blinken was speaking as the leaders of the G7 richest industrialised nations met in virtual session. 

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56131781

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See:

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our father, which art in heaven...

 

why the empire hates julian assange...

 

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of journalism...

 

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the empire leopard...

 

From James ONeill

 

When Joe Biden was elected United States president in November 2020, he promised a different approach to the foreign affairs policies pursued by his predecessor Donald Trump. Those promises were generally welcomed, although seasoned political watchers urged caution. The new President had a long history of involvement of the United States in foreign wars, and some people were sceptical that the leopard had really changed its spots.

Now, after Biden has been in the office for barely a month, sceptics look like being proven right. The evidence that the new Biden was very much a rerun of the old Biden becomes more apparent by the day in his conduct of foreign affairs.

Before leaving office, Trump had promised the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by May of this year. He was silent on the fate of the US forces that were not part of the formal military establishment, and their numbers have actually increased through 2020. Nonetheless, the announcement was seen as a genuine effort by Trump to reduce US involvement in foreign wars.

That promise has now been abandoned by Biden. His reversal of Trump’s policy of drawing down the US military forces in Afghanistan was hardly surprising. As is typical of the United States mainstream media, the real reasons for the US change of heart remain unmentioned. United States troops are staying in Afghanistan for three principal reasons.

The first reason is to continue supporting the political leadership of the countries Prime Minister, who knows that he was on borrowed time in the eventuality of an actual United States withdrawal. He is really little more than the Mayor of Kabul, with the Taliban in effective control of more than 60% of the countryside. The Taliban for its part has softened its stance towards the education of the female population and they look like being able to retain at least some of the freedoms that group have won over the years of US occupation.

The second reason is Afghanistan’s geography. It shares borders with seven states, none of whom are United States allies and one, China, is perceived by the Biden administration as an unmitigated threat to continued United States hegemony in Asia. This factor is highly unlikely to change, despite the increasingly desperate United States attempts to shore up its position in Asia. Part of that desperation is manifesting itself in the United States’ revived attempts (first under the Obama administration that Biden served as vice president) to create an “Asian NATO”, by fostering an anti-China alliance of the United States, India, Japan and Australia.

That measure is having only limited success. Japan’s trade with China increased by 20% in January over January 2020, and notwithstanding the long and difficult China-Japan relationship, the latter knows which side of the bread is buttered and will ultimately choose economic success over the increasingly dubious advantages of the United States alliance, first imposed in the wake of World War II and remaining very much a case of senior versus junior partner in the succeeding 75 years.

Given a free choice, the polls increasingly suggest that Japan sees its economic future linked to China’s growing strength rather than that of the fading United States. Japan also faces a severe demographic crisis, with there being 500,000 more deaths than births in 2019. For a country historically reluctant to accept immigration as a solution, the demographic outlook remains increasingly serious.

That demography will temper any Japanese ambitions for military interventionism.

The third reason the Biden administration is staying in Afghanistan is the one factor almost never discussed in the mainstream media: the critical role in that country place in the provision of 90% of the world heroin supply, almost 70% of which is exported under CIA control, providing that organisation with a highly lucrative quantum of “off the books” income, as well as enormous power in the exercise of that control.

The second area where the Biden administration is unlikely to change significantly from the Trump administration is over the status of Iran. Biden has made noises about re-joining the JCPOA that the Trump administration abandoned as part of its unqualified attacks upon the Iranian economy. Less well publicised is the fact that the Biden administration is making its re-joining the agreement contingent on policy changes by Iran. The latter country, unsurprisingly, has made clear it has no intention of following any American conditions attached to the latter’s re-entry to the agreement. The main precondition sought by the Americans is for Iran to cease the greater enrichment of its uranium, currently up to 20%.

This ambition has of course triggered Israeli alarm about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. If one was to believe the Israelis, who have been repeating the same mantra for years, Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon. Not only is there absolutely no evidence of any Iranian ambition to go nuclear armed, such Israeli protestations are never counted with the obvious question: why should Israel retain a monopoly among Middle Eastern countries of being uniquely nuclear armed. It is the West’s refusal to confront that reality that makes all of their statements about Iran so hypocritical.

Iran has no incentive to succumb to United States demands and is highly unlikely to do so. It has in recent years forged ever closer links to both Russia and China, neither of whom share the West’s obsession with Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions. The three countries recently engaged in their first ever joint naval military exercises. That relationship is expected to grow in future years.

The Iranians are also acutely aware that Biden plans to increase United States military involvement in Iraq, with most of the 10,000 proposed extra troops stationed close to the Iranian border. Again, this is a departure from the Trump administration policy. Although one would never view the United States policy toward Iran as friendly under Trump, it was not accompanied by overt military moves such as those being undertaken by the Biden administration. The United States simply ignored a January 2019 demand by the Iraqi parliament that US troops should leave their country, and there is nothing in the words or actions of the Biden administration to reveal a better acknowledgement of the legitimate demands of the sovereign Iraqi government. The Iraqi experience demonstrates yet again that the hardest thing for a sovereign nation to achieve is the removal of unwelcome, and in this case illegally occupying, United States troops.

If there is one bright spot on this horizon it is the result of the recent Group of Seven nation meeting last week. Biden was singularly unsuccessful in persuading his European counterparts to join his anti-China crusade. Those European nations know better than most which way the Geo-political winds are blowing. They are most assuredly blowing in China’s favour, and that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

The Biden administration is unlikely to meekly accept defeat, and will undoubtably continue its anti-China policies. Therein lies the greatest danger to world peace: the American inability to recognise and accept that its power has radically diminished. The world is tired of US hegemony and the sooner the Americans recognise that fact the better it is for all of us.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/02/23/the-new-biden-administration-intent-on-repeating-us-mistakes/

 

 

Meanwhile:

 

 

 

The Biden administration will not adopt a definitive strategy against its Chinese rival until June. An ad hoc committee of the Pentagon will then have to present proposals to the White House.


Under the authority of President Xi Jinping, China has begun its deployment outside its borders. It has already placed 3,000 soldiers in the UN forces and opened a base in Djibouti. Logically, it should, as it did at the time of the historic Silk Road, set up military posts along the roads it is building to secure its international trade. Last but not least, it is relocating to the islets it abandoned in the 19th century in the China Sea.


China first intends to reclaim its living space, which it has been robbed by Western colonists. It is sure of its right and considers that it has every right to take its revenge.


However, in accordance with the strategy outlined in 1999 by General Qiao Liang and Colonel Wang Xiangsui [1], China intends to avoid any direct military confrontation with the United States. It prefers to bypass its adversary and has engaged in undeclared wars on the commercial, economic, financial, psychological, media and other levels.


Chinese irredentism implies excluding the Westerners who have occupied the Far East for a century and a half. It must be distinguished from the Chinese development strategy which has succeeded in a few years in lifting hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty.


New China’s economic strategy began in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, but it only really bore fruit in 1994. By that time the Soviet Union had disappeared; the US army had been largely demobilised; President Bush Sr. had declared that the time to make money had come and his successor, President Clinton, had been asked by big companies to open up the Chinese labour market. Indeed, a Chinese worker, albeit untrained, cost about 20 times less than a US worker.


President Clinton would therefore decouple human rights negotiations (in the Anglo-Saxon sense) from trade issues. Then he would bring China into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Within a few years, the big corporations would transfer their production plants to the Chinese coast for the benefit of consumers and to the detriment of US workers.


Two decades later, the US is consuming Chinese products massively, while its big corporations, which have become transnational, have seen their profits grow exponentially. But at the same time, US consumer goods factories have been relocated or closed while unemployment has spread. The distribution of wealth has been altered so that now there is hardly any middle class left, but mostly poor people and a few ultra-billionaires.


This phenomenon began to affect Europe when US voters chose Donald Trump as their president. He first tried to resolve the balance of payments issue with China (border adjustment tax), but was prevented from doing so by the Democrats and part of the Republicans. Unable to push through a relative border closure, it embarked on a tariff war in which Congress had no say.


In 2021, President Biden officially succeeded him. He was supported by the transnational corporations that derived their immense fortune from economic globalisation. Immediately, he declared his desire to normalise US-China relations. He called President Xi Jinping to talk to him about the situation of the Uyghurs in Hong Kong, but he immediately admitted that Tibet and Taiwan were Chinese, which his predecessor had partially disputed. Above all, at a press conference, he said that each country had its "own standards" and that the political positions of China and the United States each had their own logic. Thus he was able to say, once in the White House, that he "understood" China’s repression of Uighur terrorism, whereas a few weeks earlier he had accused China of "genocide" of the Uighur people under the guise of repression of terrorism.


Over the next four years, the Biden administration should therefore continue the work of Presidents Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama, to the benefit of the multi-billionaires and to the detriment of its people. It will rely on a ruling class deriving personal benefits from this system.


In order to understand this arrangement, we summarise the eight main personalities supporting the US-China trade alliance. First on the political level: one of the main Democratic icons and the head of the Republicans in the Senate; then on the economic level, the two most important distributors of consumer goods; finally on the governmental level, the decision-makers of the Biden administration.

 

(see the list)...

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212286.html

 

 

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