The Biden administration’s policy of simultaneously confronting both Russia and China is doomed to fail, Pepe Escobar, geopolitical analyst and veteran journalist, told Radio Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.
“It’s so absurd, that obviously these neocons, they haven’t even read [Zbigniew] Brzezinski,” Escobar said, referring to the ex-US National Security Advisor and influential strategist.
“Ok, let’s say he was a Democrat-linked neocon, but he was talking about this in the nineties already when he wrote The Grand Chessboard published in 1997. He was already saying, ‘We have to prevent the emergence of a peer competitor in Eurasia by any means necessary’. So what do we have now? We have the emergence of a strategic partnership of peer competitors across Eurasia and the response of the neocons is, ‘Okay, let’s go to war against both of them at the same time’. Even a kid knows this is completely absurd.”
How Brzezinski’s Nightmare Turned Into Reality
Under the Biden administration Washington’s relations with Moscow and Beijing hit a new low. Having snubbed Russia’s security draft proposals concerning NATO enlargement and Ukraine’s neutrality, the US ramped up military aid to the Kiev regime after the beginning of Moscow’s special military operation (SMO) to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. The Biden administration not only slapped Russia with sanctions and derailed the March 2022 Istanbul preliminary peace accords between Moscow and Kiev but openly called for bleeding Russia white and imposing strategic defeat on the nation.
Simultaneously, Washington resorted to a series of provocations against China over Taiwan, the island located at the junction of the East and South China Seas, which Beijing regards as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic. House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy met with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen in what was seen by Beijing as a clear defiance of One China principle, while President Joe Biden issued repeated “gaffes” that the US is ready to “protect” the island militarily from the People’s Republic. Recently, the Pentagon has speeded up the provision of weapons to Taipei as the latter is bracing for the January 2024 presidential elections.
Despite these provocative moves, the US military is not ready for a full-fledged confrontation with China, according to Escobar.
“They won’t fight real wars,” the veteran journalist said. “And now they are even more freaked out because they know, for instance, if they try something in the South China Sea, the Chinese have the famous carrier killers all over the coast. So, if you have three or four American complexes navigate over there, they can be sunk in 30 minutes. And the Pentagon knows that, they gamed it.”
Likewise, Washington has failed to defeat Moscow either militarily or economically despite a set of unprecedented measures taken by the US, its NATO allies and partners against Russia.
“Russia survived everything that the West threw against it after the start of the special military operation, especially the economic war, the financial war,” Escobar said. “And Russia survived and resisted. And now it’s even growing again with the 3% inflation, where we have nations in Europe with 10-20-30% inflation and floundering.”
What’s more, the Biden administration’s provocations and bellicose rhetoric against Russia and China has served to push the two great powers closer together. In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a three-day visit to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Observers have drawn attention to the fact that Russia became the first foreign state visited by Xi after his historic reelection on March 10.
Commenting on the development, Chinese observers told Sputnik that Russia and China “have entered a new stage of comprehensive cooperation and strategic partnership.” That is how Team Biden has turned Brzezinski’s nightmare scenario of a “grand coalition” between Moscow and Beijing into reality.
What is Behind Russia’s Resilience?
According to Escobar, Moscow has spent much of the past decade preparing for the West’s hybrid and financial war. Russian policy makers began game planning for a potential showdown shortly after a US-backed coup in Kiev usurped power in Ukraine.
“If the SMO had been launched in 2014, Russia would not have been ready economically, financially and even militarily for it. Now they are. I’m sure that Elvira Nabiullina, at the Russian central bank, knew exactly what she did. This probably had been discussed for at least two years at the highest level at the Security Council level,” he said.
Escobar’s skepticism about the effectiveness of Western sanctions was confirmed when the veteran journalist arrived to Moscow in February 2023. He told Sputnik that he was stunned by how normal life was in the Russian capital despite unprecedented outside pressure.
“My first day I arrived at Vnukovo [airport], I left my bags at my studio and I went for a seven-hour walk around the city not to have an intellectual experience, but the gut feeling,” the veteran journalist recalled. “How does it feel to be in Moscow now? So, I did not see a fragile shattered economy. I did not see a country under sanctions that was like I remember seeing Iran under sanctions, and it was very, very tough. I couldn’t feel that here. I saw one of the most beautiful cities in the world with an infrastructure that is absolutely peerless. Anywhere it is extremely clean. That’s very important for all of us who live in the West.”
“Compared to New York, compared to Paris, compared to London. People are very well dressed, wonderful restaurants, the supermarkets were stocked with everything. The department stores like GUM or TSUM have everything that you can find in any big capital of the world. People were relaxed and they didn’t feel that they were at war. So, my first impression was striking,” he continued.
The End of Western Technological Dominance
The Biden administration has repeatedly insisted the United States and its European allies will remain the centers of global technological innovation for the indefinite future. Escobar, who has spent extensive time in both the Middle East and Asia, dismisses these claims as delusional bluster.
“In fact, a lot of top researchers and tech wizards in Silicon Valley come from China and India. And [look at] the level of excellence of the Russian military in terms of missile defense systems and hypersonic weapons,” Escobar said. “When you talk to a very good military analyst like my friend Andrei Martyanov, for instance, who lives in the US and writes in English, but knows the Soviet and the Russian military system upside down, he says, ‘Look, the gap is at least two generations, if not more, and [the US] won’t be able to do it’.”
“And the [US] political leadership don’t understand simple math or physics, for that matter. And the American system, in terms of the military industrial complex, it’s basically for profit, is not to actually make weapons capable of fighting wars, which is exactly what the Russians do. There has been a technical expertise in Russia since Soviet times. The basis of the hypersonic missile system was laid out already during the Brezhnev era,” Escobar said.
The collective West’s failure to coerce Moscow, Beijing and most Global South powers into submission clearly indicates that the world has irreversibly changed. The world is going through historic times for a shift in our entire existing order. Escobar concurred with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recently noted that we seem to be witnessing changes we have not seen in 100 years.
“When we look at what’s going on now, this old order is turned upside down completely,” Escobar said. “China is the most important trade, commercial nation on the planet. By PPP, purchasing parity power, it’s already the number one economy in the world. Russia, after being devastated during the 1990s, now has emerged as the prime military superpower in the world.”