Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 1-7-2023

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

My timing has been off this week. Lots of changes going on some surprises, others long standing plans set in motion years ago are happening in 2023. Ironically the one constant activity I currently have is writing my opinions and observations regularly, which was never a plan. Simply an unforeseen opportunity provided by JCT and the C99 community. Happy Anniversary for the C99 community.

And I am running late. So here is a short writing so I can get this posted for your morning read.

China has been stirring from its self imposed isolation from the rest of the world. Hard to imagine, but big events may start to happen even faster. My concept of the Ukrainian conflict is it is only a battlefield in the larger effort to extract wealth and control China which has been going on for generations. Pepe Escobar's latest article is a road map of China's growing activity the past few months and several years into the future.

Why BRI is back with a bang in 2023 The Cradle by Pepe Escobar Jan 6, 2023

The year 2022 ended with a Zoom call to end all Zoom calls: Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussing all aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership in an exclusive video call.

Putin told Xi how “Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade,” meaning “we will be able to reach our target of $200 billion by 2024 ahead of schedule.”

On their coordination to “form a just world order based on international law,” Putin emphasized how “we share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.”

Facing “unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west,” Putin noted how Russia-China are not only defending their own interests “but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny.”
And then there’s the interlocking of the connectivity drive via BRI with the connectivity drive via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), whose main players are Russia, Iran and India.

Expanding on the geoeconomic drive of the Russia-China partnership as discussed by Putin and Xi, the fact that Russia, China, Iran and India are developing interlocking trade partnerships should establish that BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran as one of the upcoming members of the expanded BRICS+, are the ‘Quad’ that really matter across Eurasia.
Back in February 2022, days before the events that led to Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, Putin and Xi, in person, had announced that their partnership had “no limits” – even if they hold different approaches on how Moscow should deal with a Kiev lethally instrumentalized by the west to threaten Russia.

In a nutshell: Beijing will not “abandon” Moscow because of Ukraine – as much as it will not openly show support. The Chinese are playing their very own subtle interpretation of what Russians define as “strategic ambiguity.”
Beijing may have lost huge export markets within the collective west – so a replacement was needed. The Arab leaders who lined up in Riyadh to meet Xi saw ten thousand sharpened (western) knives suddenly approaching and calculated it was time to strike a new balance.

That means, among other things, that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) has adopted a more multipolar agenda: no more weaponizing of Salafi-Jihadism across Eurasia, and a door wide open to the Russia-China strategic partnership. Hubris strikes hard at the heart of the Hegemon.

Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, in two striking successive newsletters, titled War and Commodity Encumbrance (December 27) and War and Currency Statecraft (December 29), pointed out the writing on the wall.

Pozsar fully understood what Xi meant when he said China is “ready to work with the GCC” to set up a “new paradigm of all-dimensional energy cooperation” within a timeline of “three to five years.”
In the long run, China essentially aims to replicate in West Asia its strategy across Southeast Asia. Beijing trades more with the ASEAN than with either Europe or the US. The ongoing, painful slow motion crash of the collective west may ruffle a few feathers in a civilization that has seen, from afar, the rise and fall of Greeks, Romans, Parthians, Arabs, Ottomans, Spanish, Dutch, British. The Hegemon after all is just the latest in a long list.
From Beijing’s point of view, the stakes could not be higher, as the drive behind BRI 2.0 across the Global South is not to allow China to be dependent on western markets. Evidence of this is in its combined approach towards Iran and the Arab world.

China losing both US and EU market demand, simultaneously, may end up being just a bump in the (multipolar) road, even as the crash of the collective west may seem suspiciously timed to take China down.

The year 2023 will proceed with China playing the New Great Game deep inside, crafting a globalization 2.0 that is institutionally supported by a network encompassing BRI, BRICS+, the SCO, and with the help of its Russian strategic partner, the EAEU and OPEC+ too. No wonder the usual suspects are dazed and confused.


Not really a British royalty worshiper as many US citizens have become since WWII. But follow the main events. Thought Prince Harry summed up the British philosophy of conflict the US adopted and continues to use, often with religious fervor.

Prince Harry flew an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan during his 2012-2013 tour of duty, supposedly killing 25 Taliban fighters during six engagements. He explained that he was taught to “other” the enemy because “you can’t kill people if you see them as people.”


This weeks interviews with Scott Ritter and Col Douglas Macgregor.




Summary of the Twitter files by Matt Taibbi on Zerohedge Jan 4, 2023

This one do we laugh or cry.
Taiwan missiles at the mercy of China supply chains Asia Time Jan 6, 2023 Many of our weapons of war have the same problem.


What is on your mind today?

15 users have voted.


Lookout's picture

Saw McCarthy managed to eke out the speakership. That episode had some interesting aspects.

Pepe is insightful as usual.

Trade day was thin this morning, but had a nice stroll around and visit with friends. Gas is back up to $2.75 or so. Must be the gas tax went back into effect.

Well thanks for the OT and good luck around the homestead!

9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture


be well and have a good one

8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --


A Ukrainian ambassador talks to Newsweek. Very interesting.

Pepe's article in The Cradle is well worth the time it rakes to read it. The New World is coming into focus.

Along similar lines, Turkey and Syria have been settling their differences and the American oil facility in eastern Syria was attacked. Turkey Russia and Syria will sooner or later be able to entirely expel the US Pirates from Syria.

"Yankee, go home" is as resonant now as it was in 1945.

11 users have voted.


enhydra lutris's picture

Thanks for the Escobar and the videos too. Nothing much around here that isn't weather related, and plenty of that. However, this is basically red wine weathere, and we have plenty of that on hand, so all is well to some extent. Wink

be well and have a good one

7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

It will continue until the last Ukrainian!

4 users have voted.

5 users have voted.