Tags: Ukraine, Russia, China, United States, Europe, France, Emmanuel Macron, ammunition,
by Djamel Labidi
In the few months since the start of the war in Ukraine, the world has changed. Admittedly, the changes accumulated slowly, before they appeared all at once, under the thrusts given by Russia to the old world order and Western hegemony.
Whatever happens, whether or not we agree with Russia’s action in Ukraine, the world will never be the same again. All the opposing camps agree to recognize this, the leaders of the Western world as well as those of the rest of the world.
The West is naked
Thanks to the war in Ukraine, the peoples of the world are discovering, flabbergasted, that the West is, militarily, naked. He does not have enough weapons to give to the Ukrainian regime. It has no stocks of light or heavy ammunition to oppose to a Russia which has a powerful war industry and which massively produces this ammunition as well as very varied armaments. It was the French general Thierry Bukhard who warned, recently, on February 26, in an interview with the French weekly “Le journal du dimanche”, against the shortage of ammunition in Western countries. The Financial Times reports that the German army’s arms stocks would be sufficient for only a few days, while the German Chief of Staff simply states that he has no army. . A large part of the “Leopard” tanks are broken down due to lack of maintenance. This is also the case for those purchased by European countries.
In fact, all European armies are destitute and incapable of facing a high intensity war. This partly explains, alongside the fear of escalation, the procrastination in supplying arms to Ukraine. President Macron and his predecessors tried to mask, through contradictory declarations, the shortage of French weapons as soon as it was necessary to deprive themselves, in pain, for the benefit of Ukraine of guns and tanks, in reduced numbers , owned by France.
Even the United States is struggling to supply the Ukrainian armed forces with ammunition. They went so far as to ask Israel and South Korea to supply them from their stockpiles of American weapons, while accusing the Russians of supplying them from North Korea. Do as I say and don’t do as I do.
Western countries no longer have the same military status. Today, for example, when a delegation from the UK Ministry of Defense arrives in Algeria, as recently, the event is now trivial and goes virtually unnoticed. And when military delegations go to France to meet with their counterparts, we bet they must realize that the French army does not have much to offer to face a high intensity war. Times have changed.
The Decline of Economic Hegemony
No the West is no longer the same. Economically, China competes with the United States for the first place in the world economy. If we evaluate their reciprocal GDP in nominal dollars, China is still second, but if we evaluate it in purchasing power parity (PPP), it is already far ahead of the United States. The countries currently constituting the BRICS will represent, in 2030, 50% of the world’s GDP, not to mention those who will join them.
Currently, Western propaganda tries to reassure itself by saying that Russia has a GDP of the order of that of Spain, but how then to explain its considerable military power and that it can face all the Western States. We must take into account here again the real economy and the production of material wealth. Moreover, in terms of GDP by purchasing power parity, Russia is the world’s sixth largest economy. In this new order that is taking shape, the new prospects for cooperation with and between the rest of the world, India, China, Russia, Brazil, Iran, Asia, Africa, Latin America now seem limitless. The dollar begins to lose its supremacy and with it the dictatorship of the Western financial system.
The United States says that the war in Ukraine has united Europe and NATO. It’s wrong. It is exactly the opposite, at least in the medium and long term. The truth is that this war revealed and reinforced the total domination of the United States over Europe, the crushing of it by an extra-European power. It showed a Europe subject to the predominance of American interests. It is also one of the significant elements of the end, in perspective, of Western hegemony. That the United States manages to destroy, as the whole world suspects them, the Nord Stream gas pipeline, to definitively put an end to the supply of energy by this gas pipeline to Germany, one of their main allies, then that they impose on their ally prohibitive energy costs, which they thus weaken, without qualms, its economy, and that of other European States, for the sole benefit of theirs, this cannot be endured in the long term and can only leave traces. This is one of the aspects of the disarray and irresponsibility of American leaders in the context of the end of their unchallenged reign. If their responsibility is confirmed, they would thus have committed an act of extreme gravity, an act of sabotage, an act of international terrorism. It is surprising not to see this stressed enough in the West, and in the first place by the German leaders. Are they afraid of Americans? The Americans have thus opened Pandora’s box, at the risk of a situation of generalized chaos, where everyone would consider themselves entitled to destroy the gas pipelines and oil pipelines, the adversary’s submarine cables, telephone cables, cables internet communications, information highways. It seems, with the danger of a nuclear war, the most worrying event for the future.
One of the most obvious signs of the decline of Western hegemony is the degradation of communication and information ethics in many Western media. The evolution had begun in previous decades, at the same time as the United States asserted its unchallenged domination over the world. With the Ukrainian conflict, it has worsened terribly.
Information is just propaganda. And the propaganda is brutal, coarse, caricatural, without nuance, and above all terribly aggressive. TV hosts, editorial writers, journalists, will give you without flinching, for the Russian losses, figures so enormous that they would suppose the disappearance of the Russian army. We insist that “Putin is lying”, without saying about what and when he did not do what he said, We will carefully, regularly, revive the theme of Putin’s judgment when we know very well makes no sense. But the main thing is not there, it is a question of devaluing it and with it Russia, by seeking to inferiorize the country by implying that it is likely to be defeated and submitted, like the West. did for other countries.
Astronomical figures are put forward for Putin’s personal fortune, with no proof being offered except for some bizarre videos of President Putin’s alleged properties, like glossy hotel flyers. Only the comment in Off says that this belongs to him. But what the hell would he do with a fortune he cannot enjoy given his visibility, his overwhelming responsibilities and his presence on all fronts. Coincidentally, the figures of his fortune put forward are around 300 billion dollars, exactly the amount of Russian state funds frozen by the United States and other European countries and which they would like to appropriate, and of which the he European Union and President Zelensky are loudly calling for the allocation to Ukraine “for its reconstruction”.
We remember that the same techniques and the same themes had been used against Presidents Saddam and Kadhafi. Despite the difference in size and power of the adversary, this time Russia, we recycle them. Unawareness of the balance of power, delirium, or the desire to diminish the adversary? It all sounds like deja vu, deja vu. Similarly, the United States and its allies insisted that Saddam and Gaddafi were lying when they accepted UN terms and that supporters of the intervention feared that this would prevent it. In the same way, the theme of their trial was constantly evoked. In the same way astronomical figures of their personal fortune were given and which again strangely corresponded to the funds of the frozen Iraqi and Libyan states in the United States and elsewhere in the West. So when the peoples of the world remind the West of these conflicts about Ukraine, they don’t stray from the subject as Western leaders tell them with annoyance. The people are not mistaken. They simply indicate that the past explains the present, and that there is, there, the continuity of the same conflict, that led by the West to maintain its world hegemony. The people are not mistaken. They simply indicate that the past explains the present, and that there is, there, the continuity of the same conflict, that led by the West to maintain its world hegemony. The people are not mistaken. They simply indicate that the past explains the present, and that there is, there, the continuity of the same conflict, that led by the West to maintain its world hegemony.
The worst horrors
On the sets the worst horrors are told about Russia, without any restraint. Journalists spoke impassively of the 200,000 to 700,000 Ukrainian children deported to Russia, children “four years old! “raped. The only thing that hasn’t been said (yet?) is that the Russians are… cannibals.
Western television sets have become places where we gossip, where we fantasize. Coherence, logic, likelihood do not matter, the imagination is limitless, we are faced with information as a whole, entirely conspiratorial. But there are sometimes hiccups, moments when the truth suddenly emerges, quite involuntarily. It was this French general, General Nicolas Richoux, who exclaimed, annoyed by certain reservations made in the United States by the Republican party on the financing of the war in Ukraine: “The American army is in the process of pay the Russian army for 5% of its budget (40 billion dollars out of 800 billion, NB), anyway! Who could be against such a result in the United States! (LCI news channel, January 7, 2023)
To explain Putin’s great popularity among his people, the entire Western organic intelligentsia, academics, editorialists, civilian and military analysts obviously linked to pharmacies and other services, come to say that it is the spirit of Russian submission, characteristics of the Slavic soul. The Russian “political exiles”, of which each plateau wants to have a representative, are asked to confirm. They do it with alacrity. They even add more. Here, as elsewhere, throughout centuries of hegemony, the West has always produced this type of Westernist elites and the self-hatred they carry. This is proof that the Western ideology has functioned everywhere as a dominant ideology.
“The True Lie”
The Americans continue to spread throughout the West their new information techniques, those of the theory of the “true lie” (1), by virtue of which it is considered that “lies can be useful”, when they can prevent a bad event. Thus China was accused of having the “intent” (emphasis the word) to supply arms to Russia and the United States said it was “convinced” (emphasis again) that the China provides satellite information to Wagner. Based on these conceptions of a virtual or potential truth, conclusions, predictions of a simple analysis, or simple hypotheses could be considered as information since they “could take place”. Listen carefully to the propaganda, and you will see that it is, for the most part.
Where is the time of the major Western news organizations that served as a benchmark for their objectivity of facts, even in times of war. They diffused the Western influence among Westernized elites seduced by a freedom of tone and a quality of debates which existed little in their country.
On the question of information, the West, and especially the Americans, are making a strategic error: that the media can do anything, and that it is simply a question of seizing the minds of the people. In this they are mistaken. Facts are stubborn. Opinion cannot be fabricated, and even less so against a nation’s own interests. The opinion of the rest of the world on the West is proof of this. It is hostile to the West despite the considerable effort of Western propaganda aimed at it. If in Western countries, this propaganda has an impact it is that many, in the population, still believe to find their interests, a benefit and privileges on other peoples through Western hegemony. But even there, many, more and more.
In fact the West is in disarray. He has isolated himself, or more exactly he continues, blind, to isolate himself from the rest of the world. Even the terms he now uses reveal this isolation. He no longer speaks, or very rarely, of the international community. He no longer sees the world. The West is increasingly alone. The West unites with the West, and it applauds itself. President Zelensky’s last tour of the parliaments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Brussels, the European parliament, is a striking image of this. People rushed to take a photo with President Zelensky, people frantically applauded the toreador, the gladiator, while Ukrainians and Russians killed each other in Bakhmut.
The West is shrinking more and more in on itself, without realizing it. . It no longer associates other countries of the world with its destiny. When he speaks of himself, he says the West outright, and sometimes even simply NATO. He makes a good separation between himself and the other nations of the world. He says he is crudely defending his interests. He sometimes adds, as the Ukrainian leaders do, the “civilized world”, to distinguish it well from “barbarians”, outbidding neophytes.
The West is worried
Today the West is worried. He watches every day for the slightest sign of divergence or estrangement between China and Russia, or of revolt in these countries. He shoots down…weather balloons.
We are far from the great era of a West confident in itself, sure of itself, from the great era of Western ideology, where the West thought of itself as the world, where it claimed freedom, democracy, liberalism, where he was convinced of the power of the values he proclaimed to solve all human problems.
He made his own totems fall today. It has attacked the sacrosanct principle of private property by stealing the money entrusted to its banks by sovereign states and by confiscating the property of people for the sole reason that they are citizens of a foreign country. with which they nevertheless declare that they are not belligerent. He himself attacked his sacrosanct rule of “free and fair competition”, cynically trampling it underfoot to suit his interests. He thus attacked the principle of freedom of expression and competition in matters of information, by prohibiting, from the start of the war in Ukraine, alternative means of information, and in particular the Russian media, that it once had the reputation that “it did not act like totalitarian states”. He is even thinking of supervising social networks. He attacked the principle of freedom of trade and economic exchanges, giving himself the sovereign right, outside of any decision of international law, to economically sanction countries and peoples, to prohibit ports and airports to their ships and their planes. In short, he himself denied all the values that he said he wanted to spread in the world, and in the name of which he justified his armed interventions.
Another sign of decline is that the West is no longer producing great leaders. Heads of State or Government like Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Boris Johnson, Ms Liz Truss, etc. .obviously don’t have the stature of a Xi Jining, a Vladimir Putin, a Narendra Modi or an Erdogan, whatever one may feel about them. In Ukraine, it is an actor who has been deemed the most suitable for this role of head of state.
The ruling elites of the West are out of a universalist project, a new vision of the future of the world. This vision is now found in the opposing camp, that of a world rid of all forms of hegemony, of a world freed from the dictatorship of the dollar and the blackmail of economic sanctions, a world of nations with equal rights, where the Sovereignty is the guarantee of mutual respect as well as the freedom of citizens, in short a world where international democracy allows the development of national democracy.
The incessant Western references to democracy, freedom and human rights now appear as empty slogans, not very credible, a broken record that the non-Western world welcomes with a gaze that is both polite and doubtful. They are no longer successful except in Westernist minorities who subsist here and there. Although the West has pampered these elites, giving media coverage to their most loyal intellectual representatives, they no longer have any other function than to reassure them, thus blinding them to the new realities of the world.
Another symptom of a chilly West, which closes in on itself, is this panicky fear of emigration. We are far from this serene West which demanded in Helsinki in 1975 the end of the “Iron Curtain”, the opening of borders and the free movement of people. We are also a long way from the period when the Bushes could bring together 35 states, in the name of democracy, to attack Iraq.
We are obviously living today in a period of profound historical change, perhaps the greatest that has occurred in the modern period. These periods of mutation, of transformation are the most dangerous. The end of Western hegemony would only be justice. It would be beneficial for everyone, including Western peoples whose relations would be normalized with other peoples.
But we should not rejoice too much for the moment of this historical development. History has taught us how dangerous forces in decline are because they perceive it as a tragedy, as their end. Can humanity achieve this turning point without sinking into a global confrontation? For today’s world, at least for the most conscious leaders, all the questions of geopolitics come down to this one: To be or not to be.
(1) The new information war or “the truth if I lie” by Djamel Labidi
#West #United States #Russia #China #Ukraine