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The ‘Fourth Turning’ that will define our Century

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on June 11, 2023 by Alastair Crooke (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Jun 12, 2023)

Zbig Brzezinski, then (1997) a U.S. Presidential adviser, put it starkly: ‘Eurasia is the largest Continent on earth; and Europe is America’s indispensable bridgehead into that Heartland. With each expansion of Europe’s scope, therefore, the U.S. sphere of influence expands as well’. And for domination of Eurasia, he said: Ukraine is the key state.

Today, however, the single most momentous development of our time is the tide flowing towards disavowing the western insistence that only one ‘reality’—the U.S.-led ‘Rules-Based’ ideology (and it alone)—can predominate. This—coupled with the reversal in the earlier colonial cycle such that now the non-West can and is rolling back and ultimately displacing its western overlord—is the ‘Fourth Turning’ that will define our century.

Patrick Lawrence, a veteran American correspondent, observes however, that “to listen to the speeches, pronouncements and off-hand remarks of the power and policy cliques in Washington—you would think that no such [inflection point]” is occurring at all.

Lawrence asks:

And so, I ask: Can I be the only one to wonder whether those shaping and conducting American foreign policy are blind to this immense global shift, or deaf to what the non—West lately has to say to the West, or too stupid to understand events, or deaf to them—or, in denial, or maybe some of all these?.

Bold, affirmational statements have a seductive power over audiences, and people often subconsciously prefer the ignorant assertions by the credentialled class over the obviousness of raw ‘facts on the ground’. This, coupled with a western MSM totally beholden to the U.S. Permanent State, creates a sort of moralistic black hole where very little accountability exists for people who propagate deception and exaggeration. People and institutions have had a free pass for so long, they know that there will never be repercussions, even for outright lies—much less dishonest and disingenuous equivocations of discourse.

Now, fifteen months into the Ukraine conflict, (and with the tables turned), Europeans have so overtly and loudly sided with the Biden war to cripple Russia that the turning of the tables cannot be seen as anything but a civilisational defeat for the West.

It is not at all certain however, that Team Biden—with its European proxies in acquiescence—will not resort to open intervention in a desperate attempt to re-appropriate a Western ‘triumph’.

Secretary Blinken, on Friday in Helsinki, seemed to be foreshadowing major long-term escalation when he re-buffed any thoughts of ceasefire, and instead spoke in terms of long-term defence pacts with Ukraine that would lock in future military aid and possibly formalize commitments for mutual defence.

This turnabout was predicated in Blinken’s affirmation, thus underlining Lawrence’s argument that those conducting foreign policy seem either blind, deaf or in denial to shifts in events—by tying the ‘new’ U.S. policy to Putin’s massive “strategic failure” in Ukraine, a débacle, Blinken insisted, that has isolated Moscow, weakened its economy and exposed the weakness of Russia’s once-feared military.

The “sad reality” is of course, the converse: On every front in this conflict, the U.S. has fallen well-short of expectations: Russia has ascendency in terms of forces deployed (by a substantial margin); in terms of sophisticated weaponry; in terms of near domination of the airspace and the electro-magnetic sphere above Ukraine.

In addition, Russia is winning in the financial war and the diplomatic war, where to the West’s consternation, the rest of the world—beyond the G7—have declined to join with sanctioning Russia.

Nevertheless, the Establishment’s Washington Post headlines with a piece entitled: Biden Shows Growing Appetite To Cross Putin’s Red Lines, with the subtitle: “Despite warnings that arming Ukraine will start a world war—Biden continues to push the Russian leader’s limits—a strategy that brings risk and reward”.

The point here—simply put—is that Biden has an election to win, and may think to try to win it as a ‘war-time President’.

Europeans however, have only elections to LOSE. Why should they go along with a ‘forever war’ in Europe? The blowback to Europe already has been more severe than the intended impact on the Russian economy. European economies are reeling from inflation and the spectre of de-industrialisation—fuelled by self-imposed foreswearing of all imports of cheap Russian energy. Industrial giants like Germany have slumped into a recession—and much of Europe is in recession’s grip too.

Europe—self-evidently—is economically weaker than it thought itself to be at the outset of war, when European leaders were in thrall to the prospect that the European Union was going to bring down a major power—Russia—by financial coup d’état alone. (Much of Europe, including Germany and the EU, had undergone ‘BlackRock financialisation’ from the 2000s, which has notably weakened EU real economies in favour of the services economy).

Recall too, that it was Merkel, as the ‘most powerful woman in Europe’, who secured and ‘covered’ the Brzezinski strategy against Russia—including its’ targetting of Ukraine as a key bridgehead:

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation … has been heavily involved in Ukraine at least since the Maidan coup in 2014, albeit in a subordinate position. Its last important service to ‘U.S. national interests’ was the Minsk Agreement—Merkel as its leading figure, enabled Ukraine to arm itself with the largest army in Europe.

Put plainly, the EU has been—and is still—too deeply invested in the U.S.’ Ukraine Project to reverse course, in spite of the dire risks to itself.

Alastair Crooke Director of Conflicts Forum; Former Senior British Diplomat; Author.

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