The Government of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, proposed this weekend to disappear the Organization of American States (OAS) and create a new regional body to suppress interventionism.
During the Seventh Plenary Meeting of Senators of the ruling National Regeneration Movement party (Morena), Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reiterated that the OAS must disappear.
Social media reported that at the Kabul residence of the Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib who post-haste fled to Tajikistan on Saturday with President Ashraf Ghani, three Toyota Landcruiser SUVs were found stacked with American dollar bills.
Mohib was the shadow king of Afghanistan. He controlled the country’s defence budget. In the coming year, he would have handled over $3 billion, which the US has earmarked as assistance for the Afghan armed forces. The Taliban spoiled his party.
The mystery of the Afghan armed forces losing the will to fight is actually no mystery at all. The main reason has been the misappropriation of defence budget. In Ghani’s set-up, Mohib, his trusted flunky, controlled the Defence Ministry — not the Defence Minister — and he obviously did well for himself — and probably Ghani too. Time will tell.
The explosion of life is unstoppable. The first buds are edging their roots from the dirt no sooner than Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul on Sunday, without telling anyone, carrying a massive loot of ill-begotten wealth stolen from his people. And the green shoots of political recovery are appearing.
Tense and urgent care is needed. The region is rallying. Pakistan has taken the lead.
On Sunday afternoon, a galaxy of senior Afghan politicians, largely drawn from the erstwhile Northern Alliance of the late 1990s, arrived in Islamabad to cogitate with the Pakistani leadership regarding the mainstreaming of the Taliban. The delegation comprised three top figures from Panjshir Valley, veteran Hazara leaders, the Jamiat-e Islami, Afghan Parliament (including, interestingly, the eldest son of the Tajik leader from Mazar-i-Sharif Mohammed Atta Noor.)
There is immense curiosity about the Taliban’s first moves following the dramatic return to Kabul after two decades. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the Taliban has ‘changed’ since the 1990s. Opinions vary. But, so far at least, there are no signs of a return of repressive authoritarian rule.
The stunning press conference on Tuesday in Kabul by the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid distinctly exuded an air of moderation and tolerance to dissenting voices.
The Chinese commentaries vehemently reject the western claims of democratic transformation in Afghanistan. A conversation on Tuesday between the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his American counterpart Antony Blinken (at the latter’s initiative) brought this out sharply.
Wang told Blinken that ‘facts have once again proved that mechanically copying an imported foreign model cannot readily be fitted to the use in a country with completely different history, culture and national conditions, and ultimately, is unlikely to establish itself.’
Wang said that without the support of people, ‘a government cannot stand’, and the use of power and military means to solve problems will only cause more problems, and ‘lessons in this respect deserve serious reflection.’ Wang underscored that Afghanistan’s open and inclusive political framework ought to be ‘in accordance with its own national situations.’ read more
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting of Foreign Ministers on Wednesday in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, may have been an under-the-radar affair, but it did reveal the contours of the big picture ahead when it comes to Afghanistan.
So let’s see what Russia and China – the SCO’s heavyweights – have been up to.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out the basic road map to his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar. While stressing the Chinese foreign policy gold standard – no interference in internal affairs of friendly nations – Wang established three priorities:
1. Real inter-Afghan negotiations towards national reconciliation and a durable political solution, thus preventing all-out civil war. Beijing is ready to “facilitate” dialogue.
2. Fighting terror – which means, in practice, al-Qaeda remnants, ISIS-Khorasan and the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Afghanistan should not be a haven for terrorist outfits – again.
3. The Taliban, for their part, should pledge a clean break with every terrorist outfit.
The events in the Middle East have made a large number of interstate relations of the former “allies” very complicated due to the large-scale operation “Arab Spring”. After the failure of the original idea of creating the Great Middle East, a project in which the main role was played by Washington, in alliance primarily with the Gulf monarchies but also with Turkey, there was a great redefinition of relations within the axis.
Realizing that its interests in the region will not be satisfied in the alliance with the United States, Turkey turned another page in foreign policy, trying to satisfy its own interests, thus at the same time defying the synergistic policy of the NATO pact in the Middle East.
This act was a revolt within the NATO bloc itself. The most concrete results were seen with the realization of the “Turkish Stream” project with Russia and the purchase of modern S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia, despite numerous warnings from official Washington.
There were cautious hopes for the G7 meetings held in early June this year, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the world’s seven economically wealthiest countries – came together to discuss key global issues. A remnant of the neo-colonial nature of such forums, they represent a place where decisions with global impact are made.
The G7 produced two notable outputs that concern global health governance: the first being the Carbis Bay Health Declaration which commits to taking efforts to prevent a pandemic similar to COVID-19 occurring again in the future; and the second being a commitment to provide more than a billion vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year.
Russia reiterated this week its support for Latin American allies, mainly Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua given the standing “external threats,” stated Moscow’s defence minister General Sergey Shoigu who underlined the historic links with the three countries.
Although it was not specified if the statement was in reply to a request from its allies, at an international security conference in Moscow, General Shoigu referred to these “threats” which include the possibility of the use of military force.
“There are also different forms of exercising pressure and intimidation, which our allies are currently experiencing, meaning the support from Moscow is more needed than ever”.
The NATO brings to mind the classic paradigm of someone all dressed up and nowhere to go. It has to constantly reinvent a reason for its existence.
The NATO is a lucrative hunting ground for the American arms industry. The bigger the NATO’s threat perceptions, the greater the scope for US exports of weaponry.
In the final analysis, NATO’s naming of China as a systemic challenge, for the first time in the alliance’s history,would have profound implications for international security. Prima facie, it will draw China and Russia even closer together.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said North Korea should prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States, particularly confrontation, state media KCNA reported on Friday.
It was Kim’s first direct comment on the Biden administration. The remarks came during Thursday’s plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s central committee, after an earlier session where Kim called for measures to tackle the “tense” food situation arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
Kim had made a detailed analysis of the policy of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden towards Pyongyang and laid out “appropriate strategic and tactical counteraction” with the United States, KCNA said.
Pictured above: Jeff J. Brown on the left and Pepe Escobar on the right, cover news and events on every continent on Earth, except the Antarctic, but especially Asia and East v West.
This is Jeff’s most recent conversation with one of our dearest colleagues, the well-known geopolitical analyst and (genuine) journalist Pepe Escobar. The focus is on the tug of war between the US empire and its vassals in the EU and elsewhere, and the emerging bloc of truly independent powers led by Russia, China and Iran. As the talk of war and all sorts of interventions increases on the American side, the world is watching the birth of a new order. American global hegemony, enforced by lies, hypocrisy, economic blackmail and brutal military power is on the way out, largely victim of its own arrogance and excess, and the incurable problems of capitalism Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing are busy constructing a multilateral order based on mutual benefit and respect for every nation’s sovereignty.