And they're winning, which is all the better for a fairer and more peaceful world
Originally appeared at The Vineyard of the Saker
If you have not read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s October, 2015 Valdai speech and subsequent question and answer session, you are missing out on a real treat. Link He has essentially been saying the same thing for years, going back at least as far as his hard hitting Munich speech, in February, 2007. Link In the interim, at the annual United Nations General Assembly speeches and previous Valdai talks, President Putin has come out four square against Western colonialism and global empire.
Almost all of his previous Anti-West declarations have been carefully couched in diplomatic obliqueness and inference. He would lambast “certain countries” (NATO) and “countries that think they are the world’s policeman” (the United States), etc. Putin would avoid ad hominem comments targeting Western leaders, although he once correctly said US Secretary of State John Kerry lied. Link Must have had a bad day. Otherwise, behind the diplomatic legalese, everybody knew who Putin was talking about, without naming names. Using the “black hat-white hat” motif, I guess we could say that for a number of years, Russia’s president has been sporting a grey hat on the world diplomatic scene.
However, this year’s Valdai talk was different. The grey hat got tossed aside and Putin defiantly wore the blackest of hats. He said,
“Recently the United States conducted the first test of the anti-missile defense system in Europe. What does this mean? It means we were right when we argued with our American partners. They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying”.
Americans are liars. So what else is new? Ditto all of Uncle Sam’s slavish satraps in Eurangloland. But it takes on a whole different and refreshing dimension, when the president of Russia says it.
The US Ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, was at the Valdai Conference that day. Matlock is an old time cold warrior and Sovietologist, but since the Western rape of Russia, after the fall of the USSR, he has occasionally shown some sympathy for the Slavic world view. Nonetheless, Matlock represents the interests of America’s deep state, and Putin was ready to pounce. After getting Matlock to concede that America’s militarized foreign policy is largely driven by the lust for defense industry profits, Putin gave a withering riposte that began with,
“Mr. Ambassador, I find your arguments unconvincing. I have the greatest respect for your experience and diplomatic skills, of which you have given us a flawless demonstration, avoiding a direct answer. Well, you did answer my question, but not without some embellishments”.
It was the start of a long, scorching attack on all that is evil with US and Western colonial empire, using Ambassador Matlock as an in-person punching bag. I would have loved to have had a camera beamed on Mr. Matlock, during Putin’s tour de force, to watch his face and body language, as he got a verbal beating few diplomats receive in a public venue. I’m surprised he didn’t walk out, but decorum and maybe an innate sense of historical guilt, kept him in his seat.
People often ask me why Russia’s towering partner in the Anti-West Alliance, China, does not come out swinging at Uncle Sam on the world stage. They opine that humanity needs another powerful voice, like Russia’s, to speak truth to imperial power. Yes, Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, North Korea, Eritrea and occasionally a few other countries routinely denounce Western colonialism in the public sphere. But let’s face it, China and Russia are in a class all their own. They are Popeye’s geopolitical forearms, as it were, with bellies full of spinach and the superpower clout to land a knockout punch on Uncle Sam’s glass jaw.
So, President Xi Jinping, where are you? Well, he is here, there and everywhere on the world stage. But the Chinese have a millennial modus operandi of wearing a white hat in public, when it comes to international relations, from the citizen on the street, up to the highest levels of power. When I talk to working or white collar class Chinese, they obviously see I am a Westerner. Even speaking Chinese together, it takes a lot of peeling off layers, to get them to bare their souls and rage about the West’s sordid and genocidal colonial hegemony. It is just not in the DNA of the Chinese psyche, to be face-to-face confrontational. You almost always find out about any animus or disagreement via a third party, or asymmetrically from where you least expect it, out of the blue – or red, as it were. These kinds of “rope-a-dope” and “flutter and feint” tactics may have been branded by world champion boxing genius Mohammed Ali, but they have been honed and tested for thousands of Chinese years, going back to the “36 Stratagems” and Sun Zi’s “Art of War”.
Only one Chinese leader broke this longstanding mold: revolutionary Mao Zedong. Part of his zeal for transforming Chinese society and politics was to do away with “old thoughts and practices”. His in-your-face diplomacy against Western capitalism and “paper tiger America”, would make Putin and any other current Anti-West leader blush for their timidity. Few modern world leaders could or can match the Chairman’s brilliant use of mass media and diplomatic sword fighting. He inspired and still does today, many millions of anti-Western freedom fighters across the planet.
If you listen to Xi Jinping’s speeches and interviews, he is just as scathing and insulting as Mao or “2015 Valdai” Putin, but it is classically steeped in the “Art of War” and the “36 Stratagems”. He doesn’t say it, but he does. Baba Beijing detests America’s puerile microphone and Twitter diplomacy, finding it beneath the dignity of any world leader or power. Yes, Baba Beijing can see Putin hurling thunderbolts at the heart of Western hegemony, and they are privately doing a stadium wave in the National People’s Congress, Central and Political Standing Committees, to cheer him on. But no, they simply cannot imagine themselves doing the same thing.
I empathize with all my fellow anti-imperialists, who are pining for a quiver full of oriental lightning bolts, to be heaved with a vengeance across the wide Pacific. But it is a wishful waste of energy, for as much as we may desire otherwise, Mao’s vocal rhetoric was truly a Chinese anomaly. That being the case, you have to believe me that it is alright. Baba Beijing is extracting its kilo of Western colonial flesh in myriad ways, for which Uncle Sam has no answer, other than endless false flags, billion dollar color revolutions, psyops and bullying.
Western spydom can only berate China, while it steals wholesale petaflops of imperial governmental and industrial data, and its Ministry of State Security (MSS) is working closely with Russia’s FSB, for the good fight. NATO offers Africans its German based AFRICOM and Obama’s secret armies, to wreak death and destruction among the world’s weakest nations. Instead, China builds railroads, ports, hospitals and schools, while forgiving billions in sovereign debt that is owed by the great continent’s poorest. America is reduced to pathetically sending a destroyer into China’s Nansha archipelago waters, a brazen insult to President Xi, only five weeks after his state visit and private meetings with Obama in the White House. This, while the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) navy furiously builds artificial islands, 3km runways, lighthouses and living quarters there. NATO spends billions trying to overthrow legitimate, citizen supported governments, assassinating or deposing leaders, and China responds by constructing tens of thousands of low income apartments in Venezuela and signing trade deals and currency swaps with the Ukraine, or what’s left of it.
In any case, the white hat-black hat method of persuasion has a long and illustrious history, because it often succeeds, by playing on the tendencies of the human condition: the innate desire for acceptance and redemption. Whether you are business owners trying to close a deal, cops needing valuable information to track a lead, or are Xi and Putin trying to change the world order, for the betterment of all humanity, this good guy-bad guy gambit often gets results. So, instead of wishing the impossible, that Baba Beijing go against their longstanding way of doing diplomacy, let’s cheer on Putin’s Slavic thunderbolts and Xi’s asymmetrical switchblades, because they are both stabbing deeply into the West’s imperial heart of darkness.
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