Across the US Empire, deranged shrieks drown out talk of peace

Jun 18, 2024
Mike_Pezzullo_joined_by_officials_at_the_Five_Country_Ministerial,_Washing_DC,_September_2016._c U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dhsgov/25096108845/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=133680714 Official DHS photo by Jetta Disco.

Historically ignorant strategists urge people to their deaths to sustain the illusion of American primacy. But the problem of dealing with a belligerent, crumbling, supremacist USA is the true geopolitical challenge of the age.

Michael Pezzulo’s warcry, “The challenge of Communist China”, is a dangerous pose to straddle world history and a sign the USA’s geostrategy is violently deranged.

He pronounced that “dealing with a belligerent communist China is the geopolitical challenge of the age.” With twisted Cold War rhetoric, Pezzulo urged any remaining followers to fight “an epic contest with China, with victory as the goal.”

When I was a bureaucrat, and heard leaders declare victory to be the goal, I knew they had lost their way. They had sacrificed practical reason for the prestige of primacy. So it is with Pezullo, and so it is with the USA.

Pezzullo is not an American, but he served the empire with undiplomatic zeal in the semi-autonomous Indo-Pacific province (the former British colonies of Australia). His warcry follows his fall from grace, but it repeats loyally the mantras of American geostrategy, and its obsession to control the world by controlling Eurasia.

Pezullo’s warcry pivoted on a grand historical claim. He wrote, “for the first time in 500 years, the West is being challenged by a Eurasian land power in China, which also possesses significant, and growing, sea power. This was not seen in Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.” With this woeful history, the disgraced homeland chief urged the West to defend US primacy.

The Soviet Union would be surprised to learn it had no navy, and air power did not matter. The leaders of Imperial and Nazi Germany would be shocked to know they were not of the West. After all, Spengler wrote about Western Europe, not the USA, in The Decline of the West amidst World War One.

100 years before, Tsar Alexander I of the Eurasian Russian Empire might have thought he ‘challenged the West’ after marching to Paris to liberate Europe from Napoleon.

500 years ago the “US-led West” of Pezullo’s strategic imagination did not exist. Amerigo Vespucci’s name had not yet been conferred on the continents of the New World. Spain under Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, operated a global monarchy, stretching across Europe from Lisbon to Prague, and onto the Americas and the Philippines. But Spain chose not to fight a doomed contest with China, but rather trade in silver.

The actual facts of history, however, would spoil Pezullo’s grandiose strategy. He is striking a pose of command at world history, not seeking to understand it. His pretence to think historically conceals the complex, blood-soaked history of European and American colonialism in Eurasia, which is what is really being challenged after 500 years.

Pezzullo is reanimating the undying “world historical” idea of Anglo-American geopolitics: Halford Mackinder’s heartland theory. He who controls the Heartland (Russia), controls the World Island (Eurasia); he who controls the World Island controls the World.

Mackinder believed he knew the laws of history and geography, and could guide the British and USA empires to rule the world. The ‘father of geopolitics’ is still taught in US diplomacy schools and military colleges, and was enshrined in US defence strategy during the Reagan administration. But the theory was never based on history.

No single power has ever “controlled” Eurasia, with the arguable exception of the Mongol Empire and the successor Horde States. Of course, many have tried. Mackinder was one. But his ideas were based on racialist contempt of the “Asiatic Horde” and a paranoid belief that the Trans-Siberian Railway would undercut British shipping interests. He completely misread world history, and misled a century of Anglo-American geo-strategists.

The best world histories show that no power has controlled Eurasia since the Mongols. The plurality of cultures, geography and power has defied dreams of dominion. They show the many challenges to Western power in Eurasia, and how illusory the unipolar moment was.

Coincidentally, on the same day ASPI published Pezzullo’s battle hymn of the empire, a major speech on security arrangements in Eurasia was delivered by Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, the heartland of Eurasia that Mackinder, Brzezinzki and Joe Biden dreamed of looting.

The speech stated a diplomatic objective, which, unlike Pezullo’s ‘goal of victory’, would achieve tangible aims for the Global Majority in its struggle with the West:

“the time has come to start a broad discussion of a new system of bilateral and multilateral guarantees of collective security in Eurasia. At the same time, it is necessary, in the long term, to gradually phase out the military presence of external powers in the Eurasian region.”

The stated goal is to expel the US military from Eurasia – East, South, North and West. No more Ivy League elites playing chess games in Eurasia and fighting endless wars ‘over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’. No more US nuclear weapons menacing the Neva. American occupation of Europe would finally end. Its diplomats’ complicity in war crimes in West Asia would stop. No more bases encircling China. American troops would, after 80 years, leave the West Pacific, from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Phillipines and even the semi-autonomous Indo-Pacific province I call home.

Putin’s speech is not a call for an ‘epic contest’, but a plea to cooperate in peace. But it will only be realised if grand strategists of the US and its allies abandon their Mackinder manuals to control Eurasia.

Doubtless Putin and Xi discussed this goal when they met in Beijing. At their media conference, China delivered a pointed message to the European Union that it should get along with its neighbour, Russia, and stop serving America. In his June speech, Putin reinforced this message.

There are hints that a few Europeans may have got the hint. There are whispers of strategic autonomy and European civilisation, and mockery of the disoriented Lear at the G7 and D-Day. But across the US Empire, shrieks like Pezullo’s drown out these whispers. Historically ignorant strategists, who pose as tough guys, urge people to their deaths to sustain the illusion of American primacy.

Their berserker cries are taking the world to the brink of nuclear war. Will they risk it all to fight a war on all fronts? All for the goal of victory?

I wake each morning in fear of this American Lear’s rage against the storm. All I can offer to resist are these weak words. I hope they persuade at least one suborned Australian official to pursue a definable goal of peace: the withdrawal of the USA from Eurasia and its littoral, from Lisbon to Sydney.

The problem of dealing with a belligerent, crumbling, supremacist USA is the geopolitical challenge of the age.

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