Biden Declares War, Ukraine Plays With Nukes, China Calls For Self-Reliance
NUCLEAR elements in “dirty bombs” have reportedly been found by Russia in airports taken over from Ukraine, suspected to be used to blame the Russians later with escalating into nuclear attacks. Russia asked the European Union and the United Nations to investigate, both declaring immediately, without investigation, that they will not give any credence to these “false accusations.” Russia has submitted to the UN some of what they consider evidence, but there has been no response so far.
The US intent to escalate the Ukraine war is further indicated by starting to discuss, as per Polish officials though denied by the US, for nuclear weapons to be stationed in Poland, as well as by the stationing of the elite 101st Airborne Division 3 miles there, “ready to cross the border” anytime “to defend Ukraine.” The situation is set for any mistake or falsely planted event to mutate into a worldwide conflict. Billions of dollars more of US taxpayers’ money were recently approved as well to send more weapons to Ukraine, despite recent polls showing the majority of Americans want a quick diplomatic ending to the Ukraine conflict.
There is no movement by the West toward any diplomatic solution where all motions are for escalation. The US is increasing its weapons deliveries, to even higher grade, and has set up entire electronic warfare, satellite and weapons systems in Ukraine. And together with the UK, and other EU countries, now admittedly planted very extensive operations personnel in Ukraine.
NATO has even been hiring al-Qaida and Islamic State fighters, originally trained and supplied by the US in Syria, to fight for Ukraine. Russia has continually signaled willingness to immediately engage in peace talks (but not necessarily to give up all its territorial gains). Ukraine President Zelenskyy has recently declared that there are no peace negotiations allowed or planned.
This despite growing clamor from all over Europe to resolve the disputes with Russia, and also by major, reputable alternative media in the US itself and by Pope Francis himself. Not a good sign for the world thrown into inflation, shortages, massive hunger for the poorer nations, and prosperity for selected weapons manufacturers, energy and commodity traders.
What is happening? The directions of and reasons for the war can now be officially gleaned from recent declarations of the US position:
Biden’s 2022 National Security Strategy (NSS) defines the “decisive decade” and lays out the roadmap of an all-out war with Russia and China, “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”… short of a direct military confrontation but essentially upending many norms in relations, Biden announced the removal of the dividing line between foreign policy and domestic policy. The NSS calls for the strengthening of alliances and partnerships, “growing the connective tissue — on technology, trade and security.”
The US is moving the world back toward opposing camps, with obligatory military alliances, a precursor danger recognized by historians as a signal of all recent world wars, especially if misinformation and lies are expanded, and verifications are blocked or demonized.
NSS calls for an all-out war, in the form of “integration across domains, regions, spectrum of conflicts” that will “operate across military (land, air, maritime, cyber and space) and non-military (economic, technological and information) domains.”
Dr. Dan Steinbock’s analysis of the privatization of conflict in the US policy-forming circles supports this evolution: “The American technology sector is moving from Silicon Valley and innovation to Pentagon and geopolitics — where weaponization rules.”
While the US considers Russia as a rival power, and Germany as a potential rival power, to keep down, China is considered as the “all-sector peer competitor” capable of serious challenge to finance, technology, military, governance philosophy, etc…. even while the US is still far ahead in the military sphere.
How has China reacted to all this? It has been “reacting” to some of the US attacks, but mainly building its own capability.
China’s 20th Congress last week consolidated the power of Xi Jinping with an unprecedented 3rd term, and declared China’s focus will be for building more national “SELF-RELIANCE,” moves to “accelerate the implementation of innovation-driven development strategies… of high-level scientific and technological self-reliance… win the key core technology battles… a greater integration of market and government forces and form a comparative advantage of international competition for talents.”
China’s priority will be building its own internal capabilities in strategic areas, rather than attacking or blocking other countries’ capabilities. Economic benefits, manufacturing, logistic, research capabilities are to be the sources of strength and leverage, more than an aggressive military and imposed alliance politics.
The consolidation of food supply is part of the declared strategies, to ensure that “the rice bowl of Chinese is firmly in their own hands.”
China’s unprecedented military operations around the Taiwan strait, effectively blockading air and sea within a very short period, in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, was meant to be a calibrated demonstration of Beijing’s seriousness of intent, that while it prefers peaceful reunification, it makes no commitment to renounce the use of force in resolving the Taiwan issue.
The world is rapidly evolving into a multipolar system. Despite US threats, India continues to buy millions of barrels of Russian oil, and Saudi OPEC reduced oil production by 2 million barrels. France’s Macron is building an alternative to the EU. Mexico’s president Obrador, did not attend the Summit of the Americas when the US refused to invite leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Indonesia invited Putin against US pressures not to.
Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Argentina have expressed interest to join BRICS, whose currency and trading system more countries are trying out instead of using the US dollar.
The UK gets its shortest-serving prime minister, new frank-talking Meloni of Italy upends the EU system, and Biden’s poll numbers are at an all-time low going into midterm elections.
Singapore’s George Yeo warns that for smaller countries, if a win-win is not aimed for, “before we reach Armageddon — when the superpowers reach direct confrontation — there’s such a thing called a proxy war…”
Even amid the intensifying competition, senior Chinese official Sun Yeli points out that the most important thing in international relations in the next 50 years would be “a right way” for the US and China “to get along.”
Areas of common interest? The superpowers recognize that global problems like climate change, pandemic and food insecurity are shared challenges. But how will they manage the contradictions of intentionally divisive outlooks, and the formation of a more polarized world order?
The Philippines has experienced the cost of being part of the proxy war. In World War 2, Manila was the most destroyed city in Southeast Asia because Japan and the US bombed each other in the Philippines, leading to almost a million Filipinos dead — with no added benefit to the Filipinos, more for the US! Other Asean nations had far less deaths and damage.
The Philippines must avoid becoming the unnecessary central battleground. Our Department of National Defense and Department of Foreign Affairs and government must not unnecessarily talk of taking sides in wars.
The Philippines still has a lot of factors going for it. To be tapped even during this period of time with a high interest rate and inflation, we have to work on fundamentals.
We have to improve our education, having bottomed in global standardized tests despite using English daily. And while our physical and digital infrastructure has improved under the Duterte administration such that actually some European and other Asian manufacturing companies were planning to come here, Vietnam has surpassed us now both in software exports, and manufacturing investments like Samsung’s $17-billion plant. We have to close those deals not just with intentions but to integrate our goals between different disciplines and departments, improve employable skills and attitudes of peoples, energy costs, build ecosystems, etc. Perhaps a little “moderation of g…d” by all parties will help too.
A similar version was published in Manila Times on October 30 2022. We welcome logical feedback and possibly working together with compatible frameworks. (email@example.com)