Autor: João

The US Dollar

China-ruble Settlement and the Dollar System   F. William Engdahl Oct. 17, 2017   The Peoples’ Bank of China has just announced a payment-versus-payment (PVP) system for Russian ruble and Chinese yuan transactions. The stated aim is to reduce currency risks in their trade. The only conceivable risk would be from the US dollar and potential acts of US Treasury financial warfare to damage Russian-Chinese trade which is becoming very significant in volume and value. By December it should reach $80 billion, a 30% rise over 2016. Yet there is more to this seeming technical move by China and Russia than meets the eye. The official announcement, posted on the website of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) adds the enormously significant note that CFETS plans to introduce similar PVP systems for yuan transactions with other currencies based on China’s Belt and Road initiative. This confirms what I discussed in an article I posted in April 2016, namely that the grand design behind China’s Belt, Road Initiative (BRI) has an integral gold-based currency component that could change the global balance of power in favor of the nations of Eurasia, from Russia and the nations of the Eurasian Economic Union to China and across all Asia. Earlier termed the New Economic Silk Road, the BRI is a vast network of high-speed rail linkages being constructed criss-crossing the countries of Eurasia...

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China and Russia

The China-Russia Alliance and the West   Gilbert Doctorow Oct. 20, 2017   In this essay we will examine two aspects of the same issue:  the strategic partnership between Russia and China which is fast becoming a foreign policy, commercial and military alliance. The first question centers on the relationship itself, how solid is it, and in particular can this potential game changer in international relations be unwound, can Russia be drawn back into the orbit of the Western world.  The second question is that given this partnership cum alliance, what kind of world order has taken shape in the past couple of decades?  We know for certain that it is no longer an American led unipolar world.  But is it de facto a multipolar world as so many of our commentators tell us, or are we witnessing a return to the bipolar world in the context of a New Cold War?  These issues are of critical importance if we are to understand the times we are living in and formulate an effective and durable system of world governance. *** Notwithstanding the hysteria in the United States over threats to its democracy coming from Russia, as demonstrated by alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign…  Notwithstanding the claims that Russia has designs on the Baltic States, that it is destabilizing Ukraine and has further territorial ambitions there, all of which...

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1917

Revolution, War and Empire   Dominic Lieven Oct 17, 2017   My aim in this piece is to look at the international context of the Russian Revolution and to assess its influence on the Revolution’s causes, course and consequences. I look both at the years of revolution and at the international context in which Imperial Russia had developed over the two centuries before 1917. To cover this enormous subject in a short piece designed as the basis for a twenty-minute talk is a daunting prospect. I will simply advance arguments which may serve to foster an interesting discussion. For reasons of time I will largely confine myself to discuss elements of hard power, in other words geopolitics, diplomacy, war and economic factors. I will say little about the European and global cultural and intellectual context. This does not mean that I consider either the external intellectual or cultural context unimportant: very far from it. As regards, for example, the legitimacy of the tsarist regime in the early twentieth century it was hugely important and damaging that European opinion largely regarded absolute monarchy as a wholly out-of-date and reactionary form of government. Not just in Europe but even outside it some countries usually regarded as more backward than Russia possessed constitutions. This encouraged disdain for “autocracy” in Russian educated society, including among many members of the ruling elites. As regards...

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Russia

The Tobolsk Kremlin: Holy Wisdom in Siberia William Blumfield Aug. 18, 2017 Tobolsk. Right: Cathedral of St. Sophia & the Dormition, with sacristy. Left: Bell tower and Intercession Cathedral. Southeast view. Photo: August, 1999. The citadel’s churches connected the distant territory to the capital At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian chemist and photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky invented a complex process for vivid, detailed color photography (see box text below). His vision of photography as a form of education and enlightenment was demonstrated with special clarity through his photographs of architectural monuments in the historic sites throughout the Russian heartland. Cathedral of St. Sophia & Dormition, with bell tower. Northwest view. Photo: June, 1912 / Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky   In June 1912, Prokudin-Gorsky ventured into western Siberia as part of a trip along the Kama-Tobolsk Waterway, a historic link between the European and Asian sides of the Ural Mountains. The part of his journey from Tyumen (on the Tura River) to Tobolsk was on the small paddlewheel steam cutter “Tyumen,” which he photographed. In Tobolsk, he took a number of photographs, including an excellent view of the St. Sophia-Dormition Cathedral, the earliest church monument. My photographs of the cathedral ensemble were taken in the late summer of 1999. Cathedral of St. Sophia & Dormition, with bell tower. Northwest view. Photo: August, 1999 / William Brumfield Until the Soviet period,...

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USA

‘Does the US Have a Future?’ (Book review)   Patrick Fleming Oct. 15, 2017   We are very pleased to announce that longtime RI contributor Gilbert Doctorow has a new book out entitled, “Does the United States Have a Future?“, available now on Amazon. You can find an archive of his articles on RI here. It looks at what the author describes as a ‘tug-of-war’ between the US and Russia, arguing that the US is slowly losing this struggle. Doctorow spends part of each year in St. Petersburg, and has a deft sense of what is happening on the ground in Russia. Fluent in Russian, he is a regular guest on Russia’s leading political talk shows, as well as on RT. This follows on his 2015 book, “Does Russia Have a Future?: Collected (Nonconformist) Essays on Russian, American and European Relations, 2013-15” Both books are collections of the author’s articles, some of which we have carried here. Here are what some of the most respected people Russia watchers are saying about it: Robert Parry. Investigative journalist and founder of Consortiumnews.com Gilbert Doctorow offers powerful and insightful analysis of the crucial events unfolding in what is called the New Cold War, a dangerous, costly and largely unnecessary showdown between the world’s two nuclear-armed superpowers. At the heart of these tensions is a propagandistic distortion of what Russia wants and how it operates. As...

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