Pepe Escobar
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Nothing so trivial as the technical proof we’re all being spied upon can be allowed to threaten or add nuance to established narrative The massive WikiLeaks Vault 7 release is an extremely important public service. It’s hard to find anyone not concerned by a secret CIA hacking program targeting virtually the whole planet – using malware capable of bypassing encryption protection on any device from iOS to Android, and from Windows to Samsung TVs. In a series of tweets, Edward Snowden confirmed the CIA program and said code names in the documents are real; that they could only be known by a “cleared insider;” the FBI and CIA knew all about the digital loopholes, but kept them open to spy; and that the leaks provided the “first public evidence” that the US government secretly paid to keep US software unsafe. If that’s not serious enough, WikiLeaks alleges that “the CIA has lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal;” several hundred million lines of code — more than what is used to run Facebook.

The shift in the global balance of financing power towards Russia, India and China — especially China — is opening up opportunities for Tehran It’s a beautiful late winter morning, the snowy Alborz mountains glittering under the sun, and Professor Mohammad Marandi from the faculty of world studies at the University of Tehran is taking […]

The Iranian Parliament just hosted its annual conference on Palestine and, among the dignitaries – that included Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani – and the 700 foreign guests from more than 50 countries was Asia Times columnist Pepe Escobar. The art of the deal, when practiced for 2500 years, does lead […]

Lots of Shouting, Tiny Stick Donald Trump won’t be winning any wars against Islamist terror if he imagines dismantling the Russia-China-Iran alliance is possible. His saber-rattling against Iran is pointless Here we go again. General “Mad Dog” Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, declares Iran “is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the […]

The raid by two dozen SEAL Team 6, a dozen Emirati Special Forces, attack helicopters, Marine MV-22 tiltrotor planes, drones, assorted intel assets, a ship off the coast launching Harrier jets, you name it – was a MAJOR operation. They had loads of intel. Yet they were detected. By a barking dog. They screwed up […]

Straight after the “extreme vetting” blitzkrieg – which, technically, is not a “Muslim ban” – President Trump called the lucidity-impaired King Salman of Saudi Arabia and “requested, and the king agreed to support” (in the words of the White House), safe zones in Syria and Yemen. No wonder serial eyebrows were raised facing the prospect […]

If it’s a trade war with China he would rather have, the new president will find himself on the back foot from day one. Hysteria reigns supreme at the dawn of the Trump era, with the President rebranded across the whole ideological spectrum as an American Mao or even an American Hitler. Let’s step away from […]

The Trump era starts now – with geopolitics and geoeconomics set for a series of imminent, unpredictable cliffhangers. I have argued that Trump’s foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger’s strategy to deal with the formidable Eurasia integration trio – Russia, China and Iran — is a remixed Divide and Rule; seduce Russia away from its strategic partnership with China, while keep harassing the weakest link, Iran. In fact that’s how it’s already playing out – as in the outbursts of selected members of Trump’s cabinet during their US Senate hearings. Factions of US Think Tankland, referring to Nixon’s China policy, which was designed by Kissinger, are also excited with the possibilities of containment regarding at least one of those powers “potentially arrayed against America”.

Incoming US Secretary of State «T Rex» Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China should be denied access to islands in the South China Sea. Militarization of the islands, he said, was «akin to Russia taking Crimea» from Ukraine. Incoming Pentagon head James «Mad Dog» Mattis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the […]

Chinese leader profits from a geopolitical vacuum only days before Donald Trump’s inauguration He did it, his way; Chinese President Xi Jinping descended on the Swiss Alps; profited from a geopolitical vacuum only three days before Donald Trump’s inauguration with the Atlanticist West mired in stagnation and/or protectionism; unleashed a charm offensive; and deftly positioned […]

Let’s cut to the chase: Ankara 2016 is not Sarajevo 1914. This is not a prelude to WWIII. Whoever plotted the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov – a cool, calm, collected old-school diplomat – risks a mighty blowback. The assassin, Mevlut Mert Altintas, was a 22-year-old police academy graduate. He was suspended from the Turkish National Police (TNP) over suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) after the failed July 15 putsch against Erdogan but returned to duty in November.

It’s by now crystal clear the coup-in-progress against Donald Trump is a Made in USA regime change of using standard hybrid war techniques such as manipulation of public opinion by mainstream media. The coup has been articulated by the usual suspects, from neocons to neoliberalcons, “humanitarian” imperialists included, with a special starring role for their […]

… Meanwhile, there’s got to be some careful management of what the disgruntled neocon / neoliberalcon galaxy called the Trump-Putin “bromance”. Trump will most certainly re-normalize Russia and work alongside Russia to smash the Salafi-jihadi dementia in Syria; the problem is to what degree Russia and China will be able to influence Trumpland not to turn Iran into high collateral damage. Russia-China-Iran is the key alliance invested in Eurasia integration. “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski cannot help himself from expounding the usual narcissistic absurdities, as in suggesting the US helps Russia to “transit effectively” and become a “constructive, significant member of the global community” (it’s rather Moscow that may end up doing exactly that to Trump’s America).

Among the House of Cards-infested cliffhangers that defined the «circus is in town» US election (to quote Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row), the key question in the lead up towards Election Day was why the FBI finally folded. FBI Director James Comey, at the 11th hour, ended up delivering another letter to Congress, marveling how his team «has been working around the clock» studying no less than 650,000 emails on the laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the sex pervert estranged husband of Hillary Clinton’s top aid Huma Abedin. Comey finally concluded the FBI had not found anything to change its previous verdict regarding Hillary’s Subterranean Email Server. «Extreme carelessness», yes; but no criminal wrongdoing.

Virtually the whole planet holds its collective breath at the prospect of Hillary Clinton possibly becoming the next President of the United States (POTUS). How’s that humanly possible, as the (daily) Bonfire of The Scandals – relentlessly fed by WikiLeaks revelations and now converging FBI investigations – can now be seen from interstellar space? It’s […]

“As bad as it is the folks above the President make the decisions. They may have decided on Trump. These things do not happen by accident.” Thus spoke a high-level US business mover and shaker with secure transit in rarified Masters of the Universe-related circles, amidst the utter political chaos provoked by head of the FBI James Comey’s latest bombshell. It’s […]

Will Trump pull a Brexit times ten? What would it take, beyond WikiLeaks, to bring the Clinton (cash) machine down? Will Hillary win and then declare WWIII against her Russia / Iran / Syria «axis of evil»? Will the Middle East totally explode? Will the pivot to Asia totally implode? Will China be ruling the […]

A hot war is not going to break out after Nov. 8th – thanks to shrewd moves and preparation by Moscow Cold War 2.0 has reached unprecedented hysterical levels. And yet a hot war is not about to break out – before or after the November 8 US presidential election. From the Clinton (cash) machine – supported by a neocon/neoliberalcon think tank/media complex – to the British establishment and its corporate media mouthpieces, the Anglo-American, self-appointed “leaders of the free world” are racking up demonization of Russia and “Putinism” to pure incandescence. And yet a hot war is not about to break out – before or after the November 8 US presidential election. So many layers of fear and loathing in fact veil no more than a bluff.

Your honors, in this venue I announce my separation from the United States… both in military and economics also». Thus Philippines President Rodrigo «The Punisher» Duterte unleashed a geopolitical earthquake encompassing Eurasia and reverberating all across the Pacific Ocean. And talk about choosing his venue with aplomb; right in the heart of the Rising Dragon, no less. Capping his state visit to Beijing, Duterte then coined the mantra – pregnant with overtones – that will keep ringing all across the global South; «America has lost». And if that was not enough, he announced a new alliance – Philippines, China and Russia – is about to emerge; «there are three of us against the world».

There’s no question Baghdad needs to take back Mosul from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It could not do it before. In theory, the time is now. The real question is the conflicting motivations of the large “who’s who” doing it; the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division; the Kurdish Peshmerga, under the baton of wily, corrupt opportunist Barzani; Sunni tribal lords; tens of thousands of Shi’ite militias from southern Iraq; operational “support” from US Special Forces; “targeted” bombing by the US Air Force; and lurking in the background, Turkish Special Forces and air power. Now that’s a certified recipe for trouble. Much like Aleppo, Mosul is – literally – the stuff of legend. The successor of ancient Nineveh, settled 8000 years ago; former capital of the Assyrian Empire under Sennacheribin the 7th century B.C.; conquered by Babylon in the 6th century B.C.; a thousand years later, annexed to the Muslim empire and ruled by the Umayyads and the Abbasids; the key hub, from the 11th to the 12th century, of the Atabegs medieval state; a key Ottoman hub in a 16th century post-Silk Road spanning the Indian Ocean all the way to the Persian Gulf, the Tigris valley, Aleppo and Tripoli in the Mediterranean.

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