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, 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.
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.