'Obama Does Globalistan'

obamadoesglobalistan1Pepe Escobar’s new book excerpted.

It’s Scholars & Rogues’s pleasure to present an excerpt from the new book by Pepe Escobar, correspondent for Asia Times Online and the Real News Internet TV channel: Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books).

From his ATimes bio:

An extreme traveler, Pepe’s nose for news takes him to all corners of the globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Two weeks before September 11, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, he wrote his prophetic piece, “Get Osama! Now! Or else.”

In his introduction, Pepe writes:

Unlike grandiloquent U.S. corporate media exercises on how President Barack Obama will fix the world, [Obama Does Globalistan] concerns a few key facts, chief among them how Obama will position himself in the Eurasian chessboard—the new New Great Game. …

Obama “inherits” a Globalistan where teeming masses have discovered, to their grief, that markets do not suppress poverty, unemployment and exploitation. The real Globalistan is a Babel Tower where nations, mercenary peoples, terrorists, democracies, dictatorships, tribes, nomad mafias and religious outfits fight for wealth, faith, land and liberty.

pepeescobarFrom chapter 2:

Obama Plays Pipelinestan

As his discreet and once vastly influential geopolitical mentor/adviser Zbig Brzezinski may have already rhapsodized to him in graphic detail, President Obama has been hurled right into the volcano—the battlefield for the control of Eurasia, also known as the new New Great Game, the crucial plot in the ongoing rush towards a new, non-U.S.-centric world order.

In his 1997 opus The Grand Chessboard, Realpolitik Zbig—a consultant for BP during the Clinton administration who went to Baku to sell the BTC pipeline idea—enunciated in detail how to keep U.S. “global primacy.” Later, his master plan was duly incorporated by that bunch of wacky but dangerous Dr. Nos congregated at Bill Kristol’s Neo-con Central, the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC), whose website recently returned from the dead.

Dr. Zbig himself, somewhat reluctantly, returned to the spotlight during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, even sharing a book of interviews with General Brent Scowcroft. For these two A-list, slick informed strategists, whom Steve Clemons from the Washington Note blog calls the “Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon of U.S. foreign policy” everything ultimately harks back to page 198 of The Grand Chessboard: “… to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy, not to mention the remote possibility of any one particular state seeking to do so.”

As for the emergence of “strategically compatible partners” along the way, that’s fine as long as they are “prompted by American leadership” to shape “a more cooperative trans-Eurasian security system.”

Dr. Zbig’s clincher comes on page 215: “The U.S. policy goal must be unapologetically twofold: to perpetuate America’s own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still.”

That won’t happen.

And then there’s “a prolonged phase of gradually expanding cooperation with key Eurasian partners, both stimulated and arbitrated by America.”

Implicit is that imperial America rules, and satrapies follow. That also won’t happen.

In a further twist around the everlasting saga of those who control power also controlling weapons, money and the Word, the “war on terror,” which the Pentagon slyly rebranded The Long War, sports a doppelganger: a global energy war. In Globalistan, with a hat tip to sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, I called it Liquid War. This war, of course—but not exclusively—flows via pipelines. …

Forget about al-Qaeda and Taliban and the “war on terror” galvanizing all the media attention. These are minor diversions. The ultra high-stakes, hardcore geopolitical game—Liquid War—flows along these lines. Who said Pipelineistan couldn’t be fun? …

As the inestimable David Harvey told me at his office in New York in the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis: Ultra-imperialism, “at least the U.S. version of it,” is over. …

And that brought Harvey to the question the whole planet must answer: “Have we reached the limits of a capitalist social order? Capitalism, since its very inception, has been dedicated to a compound rate of growth. … A compound rate of growth of where we are now, for the next hundred years, that would be an astonishing thing to accomplish. So there’s gonna be a real transformation in the way the global economy works over the next twenty years. I don’t believe that any particular group of people in the world will be hegemonic or dominant. It will be a multipolar world, but also there will be a lot of agitation over ‘this is not the kind of world we want to live in’, environmentally, socially and politically.”

Reprinted with permission.