Pepe Escobar Covers The World: From 'New York Aristocracy' To The End Of America's Hegemony

Brazilian-born journalist Pepe Escobar, who is perhaps best known for predicting the War on Terror in a column he published for the Asia Times just weeks before 9/11, sat down for an interview with Balkan info earlier this month,m during which they discussed a wide range of topics, ranging from the Deep State's role in green lighting President Trump's rise to power, to the imminent Soviet-style collapse of the US. Along the way, he shared his views on the US's complex and often adversarial relationships with China and Russia, as well as the hidden motives undergirding the US's relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The interview began - as these interviews so often do - with an examination of the Trump presidency, with Escobar explaining the dualistic nature of Trump's unique position as both an "insider" and an "outsider" in US politics.

Escobar

Trump, Escobar explains, wasn't born into the Manhattan aristocracy. And though the "Masters of the Universe" - a group that includes the country's top bankers along with the leaders of the military and intelligence communities - were initially reluctant to embrace him (as were many factions within the Republican Party), they eventually changed their minds once they understood that he would advocate for their interests.

"He's not born in lower Manhattan...and he's not part of the New York aristocracy, the establishment that's been there for some 150 to 200 years...he's still regarded in New York as a wealthy outsider. But in the end, he was accepted by some sectors of the Republican Party - even though they initially didn't want to accept him - Washington, some sectors of the Republican Party."

[...]

He was the candidate of the establishment from the beginning, or he was a genuine candidate whose regime has now been disturbed by the Deep State. He was vetoed by the establishment - this is something that people who know how the Deep State works in DC they will tell you always the same thing: You don't become a candidate for a President of the United States if you are not vetted...by the people who actually run the US. 

Trump was vulnerable to this manipulation because he doesn't have a nuanced enough understanding of geopolitics...which has forced him to rely on advisors whispering in his ear...advisors whose intentions aren't always working in the best interest of the president, or the American people, for that matter. One example is Trump's insistence on instigating a trade war between China and the US. While China has many ways to retaliate against the US, as least when it comes to finding markets for their goods, US companies have more options than their Chinese peers.

Trump still doesn't understand that the retaliation is going to be really huge from the Chinese and they have ways of hurting badly - they even have ways of ratcheting up taxes on products made in the Midwest. But they're going to lose much more than we do. We have other markets. We export more to Asia, we export more to South America and we export more to Europe.

The conversation then slowly drifted to the Middle East and the US's long-term ambitions in one of the world's most politically unstable regions. According to Escobar, the US isn't merely interested in a partnership with Saudi Arabia - instead, the Deep State's long-term interest is control of the country's oil reserves by any means necessary.

If there is really a long-term plan for Saudi Arabia it's that the Americans want to control Saudi Arabia completely. The ultimate prize would be Saudi Arabia as well, because then they would get all the oil that's left.

Next up in Escobar's tour of US interests in Asia and Europe were China and Russia have emerged as the US's primary geopolitical enemies. Terrorism and North Korea are merely distractions, Escobar contends. China and Russia could potentially bring about the demise of US hegemony - in fact, it's a cause that both countries are actively working toward. Why? Because the downfall of the US would be in their own economic  in their economic best interest.

China's role, as the biggest economic threat to the US, is particularly interesting, Escobar contends. But complexities underlying China's will to dominant geopolitics is lost on most Americans because they simply don't understand Chinese culture.

Westerns don't know how China functions because they haven't read Chinese history. They don't understand how they view themselves, especially now that they are the second economic power and soon to be the first. This lack of understanding...it's a mix of hubris...and profound ignorance. Everyone [the US] tries to antagonize, and everyone they brand as enemies, are subject to US propaganda. China and Russia are the top two threats to the US. It's not terrorism...it's China and Russia. So everything the military-industrial complex does from here on it's with an eye toward Russia and China.

But how will Americans know when their homeland's status as global hegemony is on the verge of collapse? There are a few different paths Escobar believes this process will take, with the most likely outcome being a "Soviet style" collapse following a period of decay - and that process has already begun. There's also the possibility that the US provokes - and then loses - a "World War" against China and Russia (a possibility that we have previously explored).

There are only two ways about it. The first one is a sort of slow decay, which is already happening by the way, and a sort of implosion, Soviet Union-style. The second is they launch a really hard-core war against China or against Russia or against both. And this is obviously the apocalyptic option for all of us, because as we all know the next war is going to be the last one.

Watch the full interview below:

 

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Comments

Laowei Gweilo MozartIII Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:33 Permalink

yeah.... he really is. I don't agree with half of what he writes but unlike most of the people I disagree with I always always feel he's well written and well argued.

 

and, I remember discovering Asia Times, oh must be 12 years ago now, as a student (sad), and for a writer to remain that consistent for over a decade is sadly rare these days.

i mean, not even Zero Hedge has stayed the same lol

 

ZH sure as heck didn't have so much doom porn and doom politics back when I started reading it in 2010-2011 or so

it was always 'doom' in a contrarian/bearish way, but it used to focus a lot more of the finance of geopolitics -- more analysis of things like Chinese electricity consumption, how pipelines contract dates effect trade deal negotiations, etc

now we get 'RUSSIA SPOKESMAN SAYS US ACTION VIEWED AS ATTACK' (with the "ON NORWAY" purposefully left out) -- a lot more simple and clickbait-y

 

still love the site because it still draws attention to good stuff and a few times a week we still get some great op-eds by the Tylers

but it's ironic but ZH has dumbed down many of its articles in the same way the MSM has -- all to maximize sensationalism and views

In reply to by MozartIII

Maghreb Laowei Gweilo Mon, 06/25/2018 - 23:12 Permalink

I think it has a lot to do with sponsors. Doom Porn sells a surprising amount of shit to people who believe in it. Alex Jones has been selling water filters and emergency supplies for decades now.

Another thing is the Trump revolution was backed by the Alt-Right and Peter Thiel. They aren't interested in actual articles relating to Wall Street just propaganda fluff. You see it in the comments the most. Less info more entertainment. Pepe the fucking Frog instead of Pepe Escobar.

With the shock of the financial crisis and the War on Terror gone ZH is just another right wing dissident outfit. Still cut above Alex Jones and Breitbart but its slipping.

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

Chris2 Maghreb Tue, 06/26/2018 - 00:30 Permalink

Nobody knows what is going to happen because we are a very unique time in history, like no other in the past 5000  years, maybe longer if we knew more of the past. If you say you know how this ends, you are lying. Also he seems anti American which means his views are skewed, he wants collapse, rot or war obviously.

In reply to by Maghreb

Laowei Gweilo Maghreb Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:51 Permalink

>>> "With the shock of the financial crisis and the War on Terror gone..." <<<

 

well put...

I guess maybe I'm in a bubble but i guess I never view them as gone myself... they still frame my work and how i look at finance/politics...

but in fact ur probably right, for most ppl that shock is gone... it's all identity politics now.

In reply to by Maghreb

Fireman MozartIII Tue, 06/26/2018 - 04:34 Permalink

The Five Stages of Collap$e by Dmitry Orlov

Stage1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost.

Stage2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost.

Stage3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost.

Stage4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost.

Stage5: Cultural collapse. Faith in “the goodness of humanity” is lost.

 

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/p/the-five-stages-of-collapse.html

 

USSANS aint Russians so expect a lot more destruction and depravity in Slumville when the dog food runs out!

In reply to by MozartIII

matermaker Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

Of all the places I stopped at, today, from gas stations to Home Depot, to Tractor supply to driving  down the road... Everyone had help wanted signs up.  I'm winding down for the day and watched Trump speak at a rally in South Carolina.  The recently passed Charles Krauteimmer described Trump as a rodeo clown.  I would argue carnival barker.  He exclaimed that presidents don't and never acted that way.  I would disagree.  Andrew Jackson comes to mind.

  I have been saying that the so called rebound from ten years ago was more than anemic, for years..  I've fully expected a major recession, if not depression, for a while, now.   Hell, just the bullish bond market has lasted for more than 30 years. 

 ...But what I'm starting to see is different.  The notion of globalism really started to gain steam when George Bush had his famous speech about the new world order.  It's a political philosophy unto itself that got started after WWII.  Tonight, I hear Trump saying things like, "We've spent 7 trillion dollars on the middle east over the years and what has it gotten us?!"  Germany is about to throw Angela Merkle under the bus as Europe is done with mass immigration from the south.

 

   What I sense is a populist backlash on a massive scale.  It's pretty much exactly one generation after the last great World war.  You are now 78.  Economists have bemoaned isolationism since they were invented.  However, their math always involved an infinite input of resources and people having somewhere to go to get them and having enough space.  Even if a new global currency standard is implemented[like after the British Pound and Bretton Woods], it's clear that resources themselves are becoming once again more valuable than 'money'.  It also seems like people living south of a line from Mexico City to Mecca are wanting to move North.  Unlike 500 years ago and moving to the Western Hemisphere, it's not basically vacant real estate.

 

  I'm not so sure that America is ready to go the way of so many empires that couldn't stop themselves from bigger wars and conquests that eventually overextended and bankrupted them.  America is, after all, rather unique in its inception.

 

  However after 35 years or more of cheap labor, cheap resources, cheap products and cheap money,  I do think there is some pain to come. It's time to remember what it is to be valuable to others, both individually to each other and as a nation.

Baron von Bud matermaker Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:29 Permalink

The situation south of our border is not good and getting worse. They will swarm up here as long as we let them in. They will destroy the budgets of every major city with obligated welfare payments. Something big is cooking in geopolitics and I don't see anybody coming out a winner from a shrinking pie. America may lose but South America will do worse and many other nations. Do we think with our heart or with our logic?

In reply to by matermaker

matermaker Baron von Bud Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:42 Permalink

   My father replied to that email that Trump is indeed a clown.  However he felt many of his policies on say trade, were correct.  i.e. we import more than we export.   I'm not sure how ANYbody is trying to argue that fact.

  But he thought that Trump was not as able to articulate these things as in the campaign.  I replied that "articulation never motivated  the masses in all of history".   

   Hitler was mentioned.

That wasn't logic nor reason.  Now, I'll grant you that some are better at articulating emotions over reasons.

In reply to by Baron von Bud

Glasnost matermaker Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

I don't believe it matters that the economy (confidence) might be recovering in some way.  You forget that this populist backlash makes up still a (very) significant minority in most countries.

Trump's presidency is the buildup.  It is the foundation upon which America may be split hard(er) down its political lines, and I see this happening further with each day.  The polarization of most commentators on ZH during the election was also a wonderful example.  At least a few get that the real game will just continue as it always has with Trump or whoever is puppeteered. 

A very recent example of the increasing polarization is things like "Maxine Walters calls for attacks" or "Trump's attack on Red Hen".  Walters called for pressure on political representatives, and Trump tweeted something.  Neither of these are attacks, but they are sensationalized into them by populist and establishment media.

Allow the pressure to build and continue to polarize both sides with the clever use of such media wording, eventually getting the populace to make the same exaggerations themselves.  Eventually release the pressure violently with some sort of event.  And you have something wonderful, for those who desire mass deaths and a further step towards consolidation (regimes even more oppressive than America become the norm / leaders) under a oneworld government.

In reply to by matermaker

matermaker Glasnost Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:52 Permalink

   Welp.... Andrew Jackson managed to kill the central bank.  Had it OUT with the bankers.  The White House looked like a frat house on his inauguration.  Drunks hanging from the trees.   It was another decade before the war happened.  It was another 85 years before they got another stab at it.

   Don't deceive yourself to think there wasn't some hard core vitriol going on back then.

In reply to by Glasnost

ThirteenthFloor matermaker Tue, 06/26/2018 - 01:56 Permalink

America is a slow boiling pot of frogs.  The dollar buys less, good professional or manufacturer jobs are fewer and more rare.  Those that are working, work harder, and eat worse food, unless they really spend a lot on food. Kids stay home into there 30s, You get felt up at the airport, you get spied on all day and all night, your car can be hacked, and now your taxed even when you buy out of state.  

The next generation will think America is just dandy, never knowing what it once was. Welcome to the boiling pot of frogs.  Why collapse it, when you can boil all ‘the fat’ away, and take all wealth without firing a shot or raising a fuss.  I don’t think a collapse in sight just a long slow decline to third worldem. Few will complain either.

In reply to by matermaker

deimos178 Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

I don't think the deep state realizes how cheap rope is. They keep screwing around and they will be consumed by the very monster they created. Ask Robespierre how it worked out for him.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:19 Permalink

It is a race to the bottom. China's national debt is much larger than that of the US. Europe is on the verge of financial and social breakup. The only thing I know is there will be chaos. It's here now.

Econogeek Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:21 Permalink

So many Cassandras stating authoritatively that US trade sanctions will flip China to the top of the heap, bury the US.

Might as well say the earth is flat, and if you sail past the horizon you'll fall off.

 

Dancing Disraeli Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:21 Permalink

Trump was backed by a large faction of the military, and that was basically the extent of his support.

He won because he ran on actually putting his own country first-- a radical notion within the corrupt-to-the-bone political/media complex.

China is exactly as big as we made them.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

ToSoft4Truth Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:33 Permalink

China is in on it.  They can't have an auto industry there.  The streets are already gridlocked in the Orient.  "Crash" the economy and the car problem goes away.