Eric Zuesse – The Best Analysis I’ve Seen of Current U.S. Geostrategy

On May 15th, Pepe Escobar, the globe-trotting independent international journalist who specializes in analyzing and explaining relations between the U.S., China, Russia, and Iran, delivered in Asia Times one of his finest columns, “What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about” (

Though Escobar often makes undocumented assertions, I have increasingly come to take them seriously because none of them, to my knowledge, has subsequently become disconfirmed, all have only stood stronger with the passage of time. I therefore include him among the very few writers whom my own articles occasionally link to though the given writer himself provides no links to his own sources. Apparently, he well vets all of his unnamed sources.

For the benefit of anyone who might question the veracity of Escobar’s chief allegation that the U.S. no longer possesses the capacity to play any role as (the self-appointed) policeman to the world, but cannot yet accept the fact, I link here to the video of the stunning verbal exchange ( that Escobar (though not providing any link to the source) quotes between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo versus Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which verbal exchange occurred (though Escobar – as is sadly typical of him — fails to mention this) just before the formal meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland on May 6, 2019. This video-snip occurred right before Pompeo stood up German Prime Minister Angela Merkel on their scheduled meeting the next day May 7th in Berlin, and instead he flew (unscheduled) directly to Baghdad in order to persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi to allow U.S. military forces to use Iraq as a staging-area from which to invade Iran. (Mahdi seems to have said no.)

Anyway, here’s the exchange between Pompeo and Lavrov, which was telecast on May 13th in Russia but ignored by U.S.-and-allied ’news’-media, and it concerns yet another country where the U.S. regime is seeking regime-change, Venezuela:

Lavrov: I believe you don’t represent the South American region, do you?
Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.
Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what’s the U.S. doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

Pompeo, as is shown in that video, smiled and remained silent (presumably in order to protect the guilty).

Then, the next day, Pompeo snubbed Merkel and became yet another failure with Abadi-Mahdi. So: that’s three in a row: Lavrov , Merkel, and now Mahdi.

This is the type of Secretary of State that Trump hires to represent the United States (but really to represent just the Republican Party’s billionaires). One can only wonder what screws the Trump regime might turn, in order to punish Iraq for having said no to using their ground for launching an invasion of Iran. This is John Bolton’s strategy, and with successive failures like these, Trump might decide to fire him, and not to start World War III after all, and instead to accept that the U.S. Government should discontinue its efforts to become the dictator over the entire planet – the Western Hemisphere, and the Eastern hemisphere, and the poles: everything. Evidently, America’s billionaires aren’t satisfied to be dictators ( only over the United States. They demand more. And they can fool the American public into thinking that this is ‘patriotic’ instead of imperialistic (and to ignore that the public are paying the tab for this grotesquely corrupt,, military).

Escobar’s commentary goes on to place this verbal exchange into the broader context of the Trump regime’s similar failures regarding North Korea, Venezuela, and China. I therefore recommend that you read his “What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about” (, and especially the following very well-informed debate going on among the reader-commenters there, regarding Escobar’s article. I therefore republish below that debate:


Sushi8516 •
The best way to avoid a US imperialist war in Iran is for either Pakistan, Russia or China to donate nuclear warheads to the Iran so they can mate these to their missiles. The only language the US understands is deadly force! Only the price of millions of Americans dead will they learn not to mess with other countries. See the difference between North Korea and Syria/Libya/Iraq.

Elvis •
The Trump administration is desperate to drive a wedge between Russia and China. They want to pull a Nixon on China, and they need Russia to do so. The problem that they have and they apparently can’t seem to comprehend is that the Russians consider the United States to be the problem.
Yes, the Russians don’t like the fact that China has become so wealthy. Neither do they like that China has become a technological power. Nor that China is becoming a military superpower. They see that billion+ people on the other side of their border as a threat to their lightly populated Siberia. They see a nation that is hungry, very hungry, for natural resources which are abundant in Siberia. They see a rising power whose influence is growing in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
Fact is though that they have decided to basically ride China’s coattails. Russia is vehemently against a US led international order. They know that the only way that a multi-polar world will emerge is with the assistance of China. Moscow knows that only China is capable of knocking the United States off its position. Russia can live with a Far East that is dominated by China. They have even made the decision that they can live in a world where China has the most powerful navy, the world’s economy revolves around China, it has railways crisscrossing Eurasia, ports throughout the Indian Ocean, its 5G technology worldwide, and so on. What Russia cannot live in is a world where the United States is calling the shots. It’s that simple.

Sushi8516 Elvis •
Second paragraph is wrong! Russia has nothing against China being rich – it wants China as a customer to the oil & gas it wants to sell. Same thing with Europe. Russia is not against China being a technological or military power either – China doesn’t threaten Russia, all border issues have been settled, they are working together to thwart imperialistic US ambitions, so they have interests in seeing each other being strong!
The fundamental reason why the US can’t pry them apart is because Russian and Chinese interests complement perfectly! Russia and China together is more than sum of its parts. Russia has the resources to sell, China wants to buy. Russia is weak on consumer goods, China is the manufacturing superpower. Russia has good military tech, China is rapidly catching up and has the manpower to boot. Russia lacks warm water ports to build powerful navy, China is building a powerful navy. Russia has thousands of nukes to deter the US, China can tag onto Russian nuclear deterrence.

Upsidedown119 •
I quote Pepe: “It’s no secret in Moscow’s top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping’s effort to find an accommodation to Trump’s tariff offensive”.
This is potentially earth-shaking news if accurate. Politburo overrule President Xi?

Fatfreddy Upsidedown119 •
While I have no idea of the validity of Pepe’s assertion, it is not a surprise that the Politburo can overrule Xi. Thats why I laugh about those “emperor ruler for life” jibs. When you see in public the rubber stamping of Xi’s decisions, that’s because it’s all resolved behind the scenes. Not your typical “democracy” but still…..

Why is such honest and informative news-reporting and analysis absent from all of America’s mainstream ’news’-media? Why does anybody subscribe to media such as those?

A less-pro-Putin but also excellent geostrategic writer is Andrew Korybko. He tends to present a much darker picture of Russia’s geostrategic situation — something that U.S. media might find more congenial, except that he doesn’t write nearly as well as does Escobar. A typical example of his commentary is Korybko’s May 16th “Russia’s Nord Stream II Concerns Reveal Its Severe Systemic Vulnerabilities” ( Although he often uses specialists’ jargon and doesn’t even define it (such as “PP-24” in that article), his insights sometimes are worth the chore to read them. And, of course, he, too, is too good to be acceptable to, or commissioned by, any mainstream medium in the United States. After all: they have editors, who clean up any such spots of bad writing. What’s unacceptable in the U.S. isn’t actually bad writing; it’s just anything that exposes the corruptness of the U.S. regime — not of the office-holders who are merely part of partisan politics, but instead the people who are actually pulling the financial strings backstage. Exposing such actual stage-managers is simply out-of-bounds in the U.S.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 (, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity (

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