Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 1-22-22
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Keeping our eyes on the bouncing ball is easier if we are aware of patterns. Relooking at similar historical events far enough in the past new documents have been released and secrecy pacts have expired. A review of Hidden History: the Secret Origins of the First World War by Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Book shows Germany being tricked into war. Some of the same techniques are probably in play today with Russia and China.
Change some of the terms such as Military Industrial Complex for British Imperialists. Russia or China could play the role of Germany. It will be the United States Congress instead of British Parliament being manipulated to provide political cover to access funds and mobilize troops.
In demolishing the many shibboleths surrounding the origins of the ‘Great War’ (including ‘German responsibility’, ‘British peace efforts‘, ‘Belgian neutrality’ and the ‘inevitability’ of the war), Docherty and Macgregor point the finger at what they argue is the real source of the conflict: a more or less secret cabal of British imperialists whose entire political existence for a decade and a half was dedicated to the fashioning of a European war in aid of destroying the British Empire’s newly emerging commercial, industrial and military competitor, Germany.
In short, far from “sleepwalking into a global tragedy, the unsuspecting world”, Docherty and Macgregor contend, “was ambushed by a secret cabal of warmongers” originating not in Berlin, but “in London”.
The core alliance was now complete, i.e. Britain, Russia, France and Belgium, and all that was needed was to secure the fealty and obeisance of the British colonies. In aid of the latter Milner convoked The Imperial Press Conference of 1909 which brought together some 60 newspaper owners, journalists and writers from across the Empire who hobnobbed with another 600 or so British journalists, politicians and military figures in a grand orgy of war-mongering propaganda. The martial message was then duly delivered to the unwitting colonial multitudes. The success of the Conference could be seen most visibly in Canada where, despite the extreme divisiveness of the issue, the nation would eventually send more than 640,000 of its soldiers to the killing fields of Europe, this all on behalf of a tiny handful of British imperialists
What strikes one again and again whilst reading ‘Hidden History’ is the ring of truth that resonates from every page, from every revelation. That such a tiny, elite group of individuals, completely beyond democratic control, could determine the fate – and deaths – of millions should shock us. It should, but it doesn’t really. It doesn’t because we see the same phenomenon occurring now, repeatedly, before our very eyes. Indeed, the current state of ‘permanent war’ is, more or less, the unconscious condition of modernity itself.
Japan is sill being used as a counter balance.
Abe’s Indo-Pacific vision is finally coming to life
China has been rising for decades. While that created concern, there wasn’t concerted action to balance against it until Xi Jinping took power. He inherited a powerhouse economy and a modernizing military and married them to ambition and vision – a Belt and Road Initiative that girdled the globe – to pursue the China dream.
His ascension and his muscular foreign policy unnerved governments worldwide. If the dream belonged to the nation, it is Xi who acted to make it real:
While the idea of an Indo-Pacific strategic space had been employed by US Pacific Command combatant commanders from the late 1980s, Abe elevated that idea to a guiding principle in his 2007 speech to the Indian Parliament in which he spoke of “the confluence of two seas.”
Obama’s “rebalance” incorporated the concept, but it didn’t assume prominence until the Trump administration adopted the framework in 2017.
What is on your mind today? (Responses to Covid questions and dialog to be conducted at The Dose diary)