Saturday, 14 April 2012


'The Secret Life of a Superpower'
Or, how the west gets slapped about by Russia and China

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

The wikileaks cables don't show anything that those who follow relations between the west and the Global South don't already know. Nevertheless, this bbc documentary film exploring what the cables mean is interesting inasmuch that it shows how fearful the west actually are in relation to China and especially Russia.


A few points that the program raises is that the usa considered Putin a "slippery character", which is about right as Putin is a world leader who will not only not be pushed around by the empire, but will push against the empire with confidence.

The program discusses the Russian-Goergian conflict in South Ossetia in 2008, which was actually a war between nato and their allies aligned with Georgia versus Russia. And Russia won that war, and as stated in the program "the Russians routed the Georgian army, and the americans were powerless. Lovely.

'Eagle Guardian' is the name of the nato project to ensure that Baltic states remain puppet states of the west against Russian influence. However, due to the conflict in South Ossetia and the nervousness of much of europe in an escalation against nato shows that nato has no viable strategy to defeat Russia for the time being: "If nato cannot defend Baltic countries, then this puts nato's existence into question".


The program raises interesting issues over Sino-yankee relations.  One former senior government offical from the usa sates: "China having such big dollar reserves is a national security issue". And the cables as discussed in this bbc program shows the lengths the usa will go to to keep relations good with the Chinese.

The program discusses the fallout in relations with the usa when China shot down one of its own satellites in 2007, resulting in usa government official cables stating: 'any interference of usa space systems will be seen as escalation of a crisis' and that the 'usa has right to defend itself in space (in relation to China) with diplomacy or military'.

Although the cables show an increase of tensions between the usa and China, the program clearly shows how much the usa wanted to keep the increased tension away from public attention as possible, and the way in which the usa deal with the olympic torch relay showed that the yanks are keen to keep relations with China as smooth as possible given all the variable pulling and pushing factors mainly because of China's economic leverage and strength.

Of course China holding the largest dollar reserves in the world cuts both ways and means that the Chinese are that much more careful with their relations due to the dollar reserves as  it impacts the Chinese economy. At the same time, if one understands the nature of the Chinese state and leadership, it is strategically positioned to lessen this dependency, and the moves at the last BRICS summit shows that China along with the other BRICS nations are proceeding apace to replace the dollar in trade between themselves. This is a historical move forward in ending usa economic hegemony, which will directly impact upon the usa's military hegemony across the world.


The section on Iran in this program is rather suspect. Unlike the sections on Russia and China, there are very little cables that are explored. Instead, there are some very spurious things reported without any evidence. More war propaganda against Iran by the brits I fear.

Worth a watch

I would encourage people to watch this program, as its a program made by the British state outlining what anti-imperialists know already in terms of the state of play historically between the struggle of the Global South and its leadership - Russia and China - against the empire. While its always important not to over exaggerate the strategic strength of Russia and China, at the same time its important for loyal friends of Russia and China's anti-imperialism not to feel that we are powerless a la what happened with Libya, rather seeing how Russia and China are the surest guarantors of Syrian independence should show us that our side in the world are not a push over.

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