Can The US Take On Russia And China Simultaneously?

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Kevin Barrett

Dhu al-Hijjah 24, 1445 2024-07-01

News & Analysis

by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 54, No. 5, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1445)

Image Source - Pixabay Free Content.

Imagine, if you will, a cartoon fight club. The current champion, in his own mind at least, is a big, mean guy decked out in red, white and blue. Unfortunately, he’s flabby, well past his prime, and subject to bouts of senile dementia. His stage name is Uncle Sam.

Sam’s top two competitors are both bears: a fierce Russian brown bear, and a gigantic Chinese panda. The brown bear is lean, mean, and very tough: cornered, it could do immense damage. The panda is seemingly mild tempered, but it just keeps getting bigger every year. Pretty soon the humongous panda will be able to set down its paw and squash Sam like an insect, without even half trying.

What should Sam do? Should he fight one bear, then the other? Or maybe just retire and survive to collect his pension?

Or how about this potentially tragicomic ending: Sam, basking in senescent stupidity and high on his own supply of hubris, pounds his chest, arrogantly thunders out ultimatums, and insists on climbing into the ring with both bears at once.

Cartoon fight club spectators would be well advised to bet on the bears.

Geopolitics, of course, cannot be reduced to cartoonish stereotypes. But leaders of the American empire are making such recklessly unhinged, comically foolish decisions that the spectacle they are creating resembles an episode of Tom and Jerry or The Roadrunner. And of all of their misbegotten hubristic notions, their fantasy of inflicting a military defeat on Russia and China at the same time may be the looney-tooniest.

Appropriately enough, the school of thought responsible for the ongoing debacle—neoconservatism–was founded by a fan of cartoonish good-guy-vs-bad-guy entertainments. Leo Strauss, mentor of Paul Wolfowitz, loved simplistic good-vs-evil movies, especially Westerns featuring a hero in a white hat versus a villain in a black hat. Strauss taught his students, among them Wolfowitz, to employ such melodramatically simplistic narratives to brainwash the masses, while reserving for themselves the Machiavellian pursuit of power for its own sake.

In the early 1990s, when the Cold War had ended and international peace seemed at hand, Wolfowitz almost singlehandedly made sure that it wasn’t. On February 18, 1992, Wolfowitz published an internal US government document called the Defense Planning Guidance setting forth what would become known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, according to which the US would insist on remaining the world’s sole superpower and unitary planetary hegemon in perpetuity:

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would under consolidated control be sufficient to generate global power.

Wolfowitz’s strategic doctrine was the global equivalent of Israel’s notorious Oded Yinon plan to balkanize West Asia. Like the Israelis, who work to keep West Asian nations weak and fragmented, the post-Cold-War neocon-run USA has been striving to ensure that the whole world remains weak and fragmented.

But after the “new Pearl Harbor” deception of September 11, 2001, Israel managed to hijack the US military to attack and degrade West Asia, even as Russia was reconstituting its power under Vladimir Putin and China was riding three decades of double-digit economic growth toward superpower status.

In 2015, Russia had grown strong enough to join forces with Iran and stymie a US-directed regime change attempt targeting Syria. The media pinned a black hat on Putin, who has served as the neocon propagandists’ main “heel” (the term for the bad guy in professional wrestling) ever since.

But while Putin is cast as cartoon villain, the world’s rising #2 power and chief threat to American imperial hegemony is China. By 2020, China’s economy, adjusted for purchasing power, was already 20% larger than America’s. And its share of global manufacturing was a stunning 35%, almost three times larger than the US share.

By the time the US woke up from its Global War on Terror fever dream, which was in reality a Global War on Islam for Israel, it faced Wolfowitz’s ultimate nightmare: the (re)-emergence of two new rivals, namely Russia and China, as well as a powerful Iran still standing strong against zionism and imperialism. At that point, wiser American leaders would have abandoned their arrogant unilateralism and sought to enshrine themselves as “first among equals” in a multipolar world.

American political culture, however, is indispensably hubristic, and the neocons, by then well-entrenched in power, are the most hubristic of the lot. Rather than seeking win-win solutions, or failing that playing off one rival against the other, neocon-occupied Washington decided to maximally antagonize Russia, China, and Iran, all at the same time.

The predictable result is that those three countries have increasingly banded together, and built up formidable diplomatic alliances and military defenses, against the threat posed by the out-of-control America. In their turn, the Americans have become ever-more-alarmed and erratic in their behavior. The US-instigated war on Russia through Ukraine, the destruction of the Nordstream pipeline, the likely US COVID bio-attack on China and Iran, and the murder of Iran’s great general Qassem Soleimani were all vandalistic acts of the sort expected from a drunken teenager, not the mature leadership of a great power.

The US is for all intents and purposes already engaged in a pre-emptive World War III against Russia, China, Iran, and any other power that aspires to independence. But that war remains, at least as of this writing, largely covert and deniable. The Americans pretend that it is their proxy “Ukraine” that is fighting Russia. They planted a virology institute in Wuhan and used it to blamed China for the presumed October 2019 US bio-attack. And they constantly attack Iran and its friends, in a myriad of ways, most of them covert.

As of summer 2024, the US war on Russia is becoming less covert every day. The US-controlled NATO alliance is growing ever-more-brazen in admitting who is really running the war, and ever-more-reckless in its crossing Putin’s red lines. The US strategy—to destroy Russia first, leaving China isolated and at America’s mercy—has grown increasingly militarized, and increasingly obvious to all. An all-out US-vs-Russia shooting war grows increasingly thinkable, if not inevitable.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The US orchestrated the Ukraine war to collapse Russia’s economy, which was supposed to lead to the breakup of the Russian Federation. But the world has refused to obey Uncle Sam’s sanctions edicts, and Russia has proved surprisingly resilient.

Russia’s ace in the hole, of course, is China. Beijing knows that it cannot afford to let Russia lose, because China will be next—just as Russia and Iran knew, in 2015, that they could not let Syria lose, or they would be next. So, China is using its formidable economic and technological might to help Russia maintain its strength in the face of the US-NATO onslaught.

Thus, the American leadership has found itself in the unenviable position of picking a fight with a Russia-China-Iran bloc whose combined population, GDP, military potential, resource base, manufacturing base, and technological acumen are more than a match for the self-proclaimed indispensable nation and sole superpower. In its recklessness and arrogance, the US made mortal enemies of Russia, China, and Iran—and then drove them into each other’s arms. As if that wasn’t enough, by offering all-out support to the zionist genocide of Gaza, the Americans have appalled the whole world and demonstrated their manifest unfitness to lead it.

Time is not on the Americans’ side. With every passing day, NATO’s share of global GDP declines, Russia’s position vs Ukraine improves, and military technology makes America’s former advantages, like its aircraft carriers and air defenses, increasingly obsolete. And with every additional day of genocide in Gaza, America’s soft power, based on its perceived legitimacy as chief global arbitrator, takes another hit.

Will the US attempt to save its unipolar empire by instigating all-out war with Russia and China before its strategic situation erodes any further? Such a globally catastrophic war may be closer than most people realize. Supremely reckless moves, including barely-disguised US attacks on Russian nuclear early-warning bases and ever-more-brazen endorsements of Taiwan’s imaginary independence, are coming at an ever-faster clip.

An American hot war on Russia and China would be suicidal. Russia’s resources, military technology and experience, and strategic depth, coupled with China’s industrial might, overmatch the flagging strength, weakening will, and superannuated weaponry of the declining US empire and its NATO proxies.

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