In the following you will find our translation of another article by Ivan Danilov from RIA Novosti, with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos. Despite the fact that his articles are almost never translated from Russian, except by us, what should make Danilov especially interesting to Westerners is that most of his analyses are news from the US with an interpretation of how this affects the future or is part of a trend, enabling us to see what we can reasonably expect in global politics. Here he points out an open letter from the NYT to Trump, which, along with similar statements from the Pentagon, shows that for the first time, the US Establishment has finally noticed that Russia and China are moving toward a military alliance. It is hard to believe that the NYT couldn’t see this coming when they themselves reported on those joint Sino-Russian joint naval drills in the Baltic Sea in 2017.
As for the old theory of US foreign policy “experts” that Russia and China are natural enemies, did they not know that Mao Zedong relied heavily on the Soviet Union for technical know-how? Had they never heard of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, and Alliance and Mutual Assistance? Of course, there was a brief split that lasted for a decade, but a fundamental difference in perception of Sino-Russian relations is why die-hard Neoliberals and Neocons see the bilateral relations of these countries as a semi-permanent conflict with brief periods of harmony while the Russians and Chinese in the era of Putin-Xi see these relations as semi-permanent harmony with brief periods of conflict that are now relegated to the distant past.
It looks as if the NYT management is now starting to realize that the latter interpretation is the more accurate. With brains like this leading the country, the US has absolutely no need of enemies.
“One of the striking warnings in the recent analytic report by the Pentagon about Russia's growing strategic threat is that its President Vladimir Putin can play ‘Nixon’s China card in reverse’ against the United States. This is a reference to the strategy of the former president (Nixon. – author’s note), who pitted these two opponents (China and the USSR. - author) against each other."
The author is referring here to Nixon’s visits to China and his push for normalized trade relations with China. Although he was forced out of office before he could partake in the awarding of Most Favoured Nation status to China, this free trade relationship was ultimately passed by Congress in 1979. At that time, the hype was that free trade with China would open up a huge lucrative market for US goods. It was a ridiculous claim and the agreement only led to an easily foreseeable permanent trade deficit for the US. But trade was most likely not the issue because the US Establishment had its eye on a different prize: driving a wedge between China and Russia.
That never really happened either but the US foreign policy “experts” never gave up hope. Until now, as Ivan Danilov reveals below. This, and almost every major world event these days points to the fact that Putin’s dream of a multipolar world is a fait accompli.
And as Danilov also shows, the US Establishment has yet to grow a brain.
Trump offered a "winning move" against the alliance of Putin and Xi
June 6, 2019
The editors of the most influential American media, The New York Times, has decided to address the US President with an open proposal letter.
In an editorial published under the heading-question, which can be roughly translated as “What should America’s winning strategy be if Russia plays the Chinese card?,” The leading minds of the authoritative publication present their thoughts on the risks of a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, and also require the American leader to immediately “tear” Russia away from China in order to prevent the consummation of those Russian-Chinese risks that are becoming a global threat to the United States.
The appeal of The New York Times to Donald Trump is an amazing phenomenon, given that the editors of the main American media are sworn enemies of the American president, some of whom would be happy to impeach him, and some probably would prefer to see him in prison, and Donald Trump himself feels exactly the same way about the owners and managers of The New York Times. There is only one logical explanation for what is happening: the rapprochement between China and Russia is so frightening and frustrating to the media and expert elites of the US Democratic Party that their leading representatives, "movers and shakers" of democratic political discourse in the USA, are ready to swallow their pride and come hat in hand before the hated American politician.
From the text of The New York Times, it is easy to identify the specific event that caused this panic: “One of the striking warnings in the recent analytic report by the Pentagon about Russia's growing strategic threat is that its President Vladimir Putin can do a "reverse Nixon” and play his own version of the" Chinese card "against the United States. This is a reference to the strategy of the former president (Nixon. – author’s note), who pitted these two opponents (China and the USSR. - author) against each other."
Roughly, the message addressed to President Trump is: "Mr. President, you hate us, but at least listen to Pentagon analysts." The New York Times editorial team fully agrees with the conclusion formulated by one of the authors of the Pentagon analytical paper, Professor John Arquilla, who believes that “The world system and American influence in it will be completely upended if Moscow and Beijing align more closely.”
The funniest element of the New York Times editorial board’s petition to Trump is a fragment in which the authors try to find a suitable justification and answer for the emerging question of where they were before and why the rapprochement between Russia and China, as well as the need to somehow improve relations with Russia, has energized them only now, and not in 2014 or 2016. It turns out that the bright minds of the intellectual elite of the Democratic Party were sincerely convinced that any rapprochement between Russia and China is just a temporary “marriage of convenience” and that, in general, Russia and China are natural enemies. Rarely, very rarely do American “political discourse managers” publicly admit that they were mistaken and that their perception of reality lags behind that same reality for some thirty years. It will be funny if in some future memoirs someone from the editorial staff of The New York Times admits that in 2018 they considered Russia to be a kind of weakened USSR with a planned economy, long lines at the meat counter and rusty missiles.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to ignore that (besides stating the obvious fact that Russian-Chinese rapprochement is a threat to American hegemony and the opportunity to engage in arbitrariness at the global level, and the fact that the New York Times editors have spotted this statement from American military analysts) there is nothing rational in the letter to Trump. Probably the reason lies in fear of their own readers and activists who were plied by the editors of the same publication for several years with conspiracy theories about Russian interference in the American elections, and before that they were plied with stories that the Russian economy was "shredded" by Barack Obama’s sanctions. In order for the Democratic Party’s readers and party activists not to crack the template through which they look at reality, the text on the need to prevent Russian-Chinese rapprochement has ritual inserts with reminders that Russia did indeed interfere in the American elections (and that this intervention must have consequences), and also that "China is a growing power and the dominant partner; Russia is declining. China has the second largest economy in the world; Russia is not even in the top ten."
The schizophrenic nature of this approach can easily be exposed by the question: if Russia is weak and withering, with a microscopic economy, and so on, then why does the creation of an alliance along the Moscow-Beijing line invoke such chthonic horror in the Washington elite, from the Pentagon to The New York Times? Why then beg Trump to stop this rapprochement? One could still notice the inability to work with economic calculation (traditional for the US Democratic Party): if you measure the economy not according to nominal GDP, but according to GDP, taking purchasing power parity (PPP) into account (that is, take a measure closer to real hamburgers, barrels of oil and kilowatts) then China, according to the IMF report for 2018, is the first (and not the second) economy of the world, and Russia, according to the same IMF, is the sixth economy of the world, slightly smaller than Germany, but larger than France, Britain or Italy.
Unfortunately, the proposals that, according to the editors of the leading American media, should be implemented by Trump to minimize the risk of Russian-Chinese rapprochement, can only evoke guffaws of laughter. And perhaps regret that part of the American elite continues to live in some kind of parallel or even perpendicular universe. The United States President is offered the suggestion: "The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space. The United States is already dependent on Russian missiles on flights to the International Space Station. They could also continue to work closely together in the Arctic as members of the Arctic Council, which concluded legally binding agreements regulating search and rescue and oil spill response operations, and they could revive cooperation in arms control, especially by extending NIJ and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms."
You need to have some very strange ideas about geopolitics and diplomacy to believe that any proposal for normalizing US-Russian relations that does not include the lifting of sanctions, investments, US withdrawal from Ukraine, the lifting of sanctions against Nord Stream 2, and others measures aimed at addressing current bilateral issues can be taken at all seriously.
The “winning move” in the approach toward Russia and China that is offered by the editors of The New York Times, looks ridiculous, stupid and inadequate to the reality of the world in 2019.
However, it is not the specific proposals from the democratic segment of the American elite that are important. What is important is that gradually a consensus is being formed in the American elite: like it or not, an accord will have to be reached with Russia. Trump's foreign policy ideologue, political strategist Stephen Bannon recently made the scandalous statement that the united West needs Russia, and the New York Times leadership is now asking the US President to “tear” Russia away from China, although it offers quite ridiculous methods for accomplishing this. The process of recognizing the error in the policy implemented against Russia is already underway. The final and almost inevitable point of this process is a real attempt to reach an agreement.
However, it is impossible to ignore that by the time Washington is ready for real negotiations, its ability to offer something really interesting will most likely be extremely dubious.
[These closing paragraphs of Danilov’s article may be confusing to the Western reader of our translation because he seems to be suggesting that if the US elites made the right moves, they may stand a chance of reaching an agreement with Russia that could break up the Russia-China friendship. Russian readers would know better. It would never occur to them that Putin could betray his friends]