Tag "pepe escobar"

What really happened in Iran?

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission A fuel tax hike set the country ablaze and triggered a social backlash On November 15, a wave of protests engulfed over 100 Iranian cities as the government resorted to an extremely unpopular measure: a fuel tax hike of as much as 300%, without a semblance of a PR campaign to explain the reasons. Iranians, after all, have reflexively condemned subsidy removals for

New Silk Roads in action at China-Kazakh border

By Pepe Escobar, Khorgos, Kazakhstan : posted with permission Central Asia, between China and Europe, is bustling We are cruising on a pristine, 380 km-long four-lane superhighway from Almaty to Khorgos – finished in 2016 for $1.25 billion, 85% of the cost covered by a World Bank loan. And then, suddenly, riding parallel to us, there’s the real superstar of New Silk Road connectivity. Meet Yuxinou, the container cargo train

Trials and tribulations of Central Asia integration

By Pepe Escobar, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan : posted with permission The pros and cons of being the Heartland in the 21st century Crossing Tajikistan from west to northeast – Dushanbe to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border – and then Kyrgyzstan from south to north all the way to Bishkek via Osh, is one of the most extraordinary road trips on earth. Not only this is prime Ancient Silk Road territory but now is

Iran’s ‘only crime is we decided not to fold’

By Pepe Escobar, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – posted with permission Foreign Minister Zarif sketches Iran-US relations for diplomats, former presidents and analysts Just in time to shine a light on what’s behind the latest sanctions from Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a speech at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan delivered a searing account of Iran-US relations to a select audience of high-ranking diplomats, former Presidents and

The road toward Greater Eurasia

By Pepe Escobar, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – Posted with permission Kazakhstan’s first president has road map for 21st century: global alliance of leaders for nuclear-free world The Astana Club is one of the most crucial annual meetings in Eurasia, alongside the Boao forum in China and the Valdai discussions in Russia. China, Russia and Kazakhstan are all at the forefront of Eurasia integration. No wonder, then, that the 5th meeting of

The RCEP train left the station, and India, behind

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission Biggest story at ASEAN was convergence of moves toward Asia integration, leaving Delhi out for now A pan-Asia high-speed train has left the station – and India – behind. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which would have been the largest free trade deal in the world, was not signed in Bangkok. It will probably be signed next year in Vietnam, assuming New

Rebuilding Syria – without Syria’s oil

By Pepe Escobar – Posted with permission Compare US pillaging with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution to normalize Syria What happened in Geneva this Wednesday, in terms of finally bringing peace to Syria, could not be more significant: the first session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. The Syrian Constitutional Committee sprang out of a resolution passed in January 2018 in Sochi, Russia, by a body called the Syrian

The Age of Anger Exploding in Serial Geysers

by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission and x-posted with Consortium News The presidential election in Argentina was no less than a game-changer and a graphic lesson for the whole Global South. It pitted, in a nutshell, the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP. Neoliberalism was represented by Mauricio Macri: a marketing product,

Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission Trump’s victory-lap movie version buries the embarrassing story of deploying tanks to ‘protect’ Syrian oilfields “He died like a dog.” President Trump could not have scripted a better one-liner as he got ready for his Obama bin Laden close-up in front of the whole world. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, fake caliph, ISIS/Daesh leader, the most wanted man on the planet, was “brought to justice”

Vladimir Putin, Syria’s pacifier-in-chief

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission Russia-Turkey deal establishes ‘safe zone’ along Turkish border and there will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols The negotiations in Sochi were long – over six hours – tense and tough. Two leaders in a room with their interpreters and several senior Turkish ministers close by if advice was needed. The stakes were immense: a road map to pacify northeast Syria, finally. The press

The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won

by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission and crossposted with Consortium News What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way: “It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that

Kurds face stark options after US pullback

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with Permission Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees In the annals of bombastic Trump tweets, this one is simply astonishing: here we have a President of the United States, on the record, unmasking the whole $8-trillion intervention in the Middle East as an endless war based on a “false premise.” No wonder

Behind Hong Kong’s black terror

By Pepe Escobar – Hong Kong : Posted with permission Deciphering who’s behind the violence leads to a long list of possibilities “If we burn, you burn with us.” “Self-destruct together.” (Lam chao.) The new slogans of Hong Kong’s black bloc – a mob on a rampage connected to the black shirt protestors – made their first appearance on a rainy Sunday afternoon, scrawled on walls in Kowloon. Decoding the

How Yemen’s Houthis are bringing down a Goliath

By Pepe Escobar from Beirut – posted with Permission ‘From a military perspective, nobody ever took our forces in Yemen seriously,’ scholar says “It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.” The statement above was not written by Franz Kafka. In fact, it was written by a Kafka derivative: Brussels-based European bureaucracy.

How the Houthis overturned the chessboard

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission The Yemeni Shiite group’s spectacular attack on Abqaiq raises the distinct possibility of a push to drive the House of Saud from power We are the Houthis and we’re coming to town. With the spectacular attack on Abqaiq, Yemen’s Houthis have overturned the geopolitical chessboard in Southwest Asia – going as far as introducing a whole new dimension: the distinct possibility of investing

On the ground, feeling the pulse of Protest Hong Kong

by Pepe Escobar – Posted with permission Fringe practicing wanton destruction for destruction’s sake surely have learned tactics from European black blocs What’s going on deep down in Hong Kong? For a former resident with deep cultural and emotional ties to the Fragrant Harbor, it’s quite hard to take it all in just within the framework of cold geopolitical logic. Master filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai once said that when he came

We are all hostages of 9/11

By Pepe Escobar – Posted with permission After years of reporting on the Great War on Terror, many questions behind the US attacks remain unresolved Afghanistan was bombed and invaded because of 9/11. I was there from the start, even before 9/11. On August 20, 2001, I interviewed commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the “Lion of the Panjshir,” who told me about an “unholy alliance” of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISI

Inside story of the first Iran nuclear deal

by Pepe Escobar from Curitiba, Brazil – Posted with permission This is the last of a three-part series from a world exclusive interview with Lula, the former Brazilian president, who remains in jail. Lula on fights with Hillary, talks with Ahmadinejad, Obama ‘good but nervous and too young’ As we advanced past the first hour of a historic interview – see here and here – at a Federal Police building in Curitiba, southern Brazil,

Welcome to the Indo-Russia maritime Silk Road

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission Modi and Putin discuss business and joint ventures at an economic conference in the Far East There’s no way to follow the complex inner workings of the Eurasia integration process without considering what takes place annually at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. BRICS for the moment may be dead – considering the nasty cocktail of economic brutalism and social intolerance delivered by

BRICS was created as a tool of attack: Lula

by Pepe Escobar, Curitiba, Brazil – posted with permission Former Brazilian leader wishes emerging economies were closer, recalls Obama ‘crashing’ Copenhagen climate meet In a wide-ranging, two-hour-plus, exclusive interview from a prison room in Curitiba in southern Brazil, former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva re-emerged for the first time, after more than 500 days in jail, and sent a clear message to the world. Amid the 24/7 media

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