by F. William Engdahl
New Dawn No. 142 (January-February
November 22, 2014
F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL
is an award-winning geopolitical analyst, strategic risk
consultant, author, professor and lecturer. He has been
researching and writing about the world political scene
for more than thirty years.
His various books
on geopolitics - the interaction between international
power politics, economics and geography - have been
translated into 14 foreign languages from Chinese to
French, from German to Japanese.
F. William Engdahl
contributes regularly to a number of international
publications on economics and political affairs
including Asia Times, RT.com, RT TV, GlobalResearch.com,
Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun and Foresight magazine.
He has been
interviewed on numerous international TV and radio
programs including USA Coast-to-Coast with George Noory,
Al Jazeera, Channel
1 Russian TV.
www.williamengdahl.com & www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.
In a famous speech to the US Congress in March 1991, just after the
collapse of the Soviet Union and the US Gulf War victory over Saddam
Hussein's Iraq, a triumphant US President
George H.W. Bush proclaimed the
dawn of a "New
World Order." 1
The term, with its ominous freemasonic
connotations, raised many an eyebrow and Bush never again publicly
used the term.
However, what he meant became starkly
clear to the world in the two decades following the collapse of the
Berlin Wall. Now that very US globalization strategy is in a
shambles and the outlines of possible alternative orders are slowly
The US financial crisis that
exploded on the world with a vengeance in March 2007 was the
beginning of the end of the Old New World Order as Bush had
envisioned in 1991, even though US elites were in denial of that
reality. The sole superpower after the end of the Cold War had
embarked on a quest of global empire disguised under the rubric of "globalization."
The Clinton presidency from 1992-2000
marked an era of financial deregulation unprecedented since the
Big banks were set free from virtually
all restraints and became "Too Big to Fail" as a result. The Wall
Street Gods of Money knew they could literally "get away with
murder" after their follies in the 1997-98 Asia financial crisis,
the 1998 Russian sovereign debt default and the subsequent bank
bailouts by the IMF and various governments.
Federal Reserve chairman Alan
Greenspan made it clear to Wall Street in 2002 after the
collapse of the dot.com stock bubble that the Fed would provide bank
liquidity in unprecedented volumes and encourage what Greenspan
termed a "revolution in finance," the Big Wall Street banks
responded like piranha devouring a bleeding body.
They created an entirely new concept called
Asset-Backed Securitization in what
soon became trillions of dollars of dodgy new financial assets
called MBOs (Mortgage-Backed Securities).
The only real collateral behind the new
MBS bonds sold by Wall Street was a financial house of cards built
by the Big Three credit rating agencies,
Standard & Poors
...together with a small group of
specialized Wall Street asset insurers who ultimately became
The ensuing financial crisis is well-known.
The decision of former Wall Street mogul
Henry Paulsen to deliberately let a major Wall Street
investment bank, Lehman Brothers, go bankrupt triggered a global
systemic panic that almost brought the world down with it. Since
that day in September 2008, the Fed and the European Central Bank
have been adding liquidity to financial markets via the big banks to
keep the banks solvent, at taxpayer expense.
The consequence of the Wall Street banks' crisis and the Washington
pro-Wall Street response, has been the greatest rate of US federal
debt growth in history. Since the US sub-prime real estate crisis
emerged in 2007, US federal debt has increased by US$7.2 trillion or
almost 80% in just five years.
Since Bush's New World Order speech
(below video) and
the end of the Cold War, US federal debt has risen by an incredible
US$13 trillion to an alarming Third World debt-to-GDP level of 104%
Government debt is growing at a rate of
well over $1 trillion annually, and the recent fiscal "chicken game"
with federal debt default in October 2013 and Congress'
unwillingness to grant a rise in the debt ceiling, have shattered
confidence of governments and private investors around the world.
As debt burdens force Washington to cut
its budget, the footprint of Washington in global politics is also
Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum
and others are moving to fill the US global political vacuum.
Paradoxically, the post-1991 US pursuit of a
de facto global empire, 'The
American Century', as Time-Life publisher Henry Luce named it
in a famous 1941 editorial in Life magazine,2 has
created precisely what it intended to eliminate.
It has spawned the seeds of a
multi-polar world, united in opposition to a new tyranny posing as
Nowhere is this better seen than in the
alignment of both sides over Syria since March 2011 when Washington
and NATO launched a full-scale regime change effort to topple
Obama chose to act in the "Arab Spring" through proxies, mindful of
avoiding a new Iraq or Afghanistan debacle.
That meant relying on
the Islamist regime of NATO member Turkey and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP party.
It meant relying on Qatar's Emir
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose ambitions to dominate the
natural gas market to the EU pitted him against Syria.
It meant relying on Saudi Arabia, home
to the ultra-feudal fundamentalist Wahhabite Islamic Royal House.
All were Sunni Muslim and, until very recently, it seemed that all
the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood that took power in
Egypt in the so-called Arab Spring.
Here a new fault-line in global geopolitics began to emerge, a
Defending the minority Alawite regime of Bashar
al-Assad, a bitter foe of the Muslim Brotherhood, were Russia's
President Vladimir Putin and China, both UN Security Council
veto members who blocked any US attempt to get a Security Council
sanction for military intervention into Syria.
Russia's stake is enormous. Her only Mediterranean naval base,
Tarsus, is in Syria, an old Cold War ally.
Russia's entire natural gas geopolitics
depends on blocking the Qatar gas domination. Qatar and Iran "share"
the same giant gas field in the Persian Gulf. In March 2011, the
month the Qataris, Turkey and others launched a full assault inside
Syria, Assad had just signed an agreement with Shi'ite Iran and
Shi'ite-dominated Iraq to build a gas pipeline from Iran's Persian
Gulf gas field ultimately to the Mediterranean, a direct rival to
Russia had interest in backing the
At that point Qatar, Saudi Arabia and to a degree Erdoğan's Turkey,
launched a dirty war to topple the pro-Iran Assad regime. They
financed various fanatical Islamic Jihadists who
began invading the
country from Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even Germany, to die
in the name of 'Holy' War. They were for the most part paid
mercenaries and ruthless in spreading terror and atrocities, blaming
it on Assad's army.
As the coalition of Russia, Iran and, to a limited degree a more
cautious China, dug their heels in, Saudi Intelligence head Prince
Bandar, an intimate of
the Bush family, was put in charge of
toppling the pro-Iran Assad regime.
In August 2013 an increasingly desperate
Bandar, according to Jordanian journalists inside Syria at the time,
provided chemical weapons to the Saudi-financed terrorists in Ghouta,
Syria to create a false flag pretext. It was designed to force Obama
into a "red line" military intervention in Syria to break the
As we now know, the world was within a hair's breadth of a potential
World War by early September 2013, pitting Iran, Russia, China, Iraq
and Syria against a US-led coalition.
The rabid pro-war neo-cons in
Washington, urged on by the anti-Iran
Netanyahu regime in Tel Aviv,
a bungling Obama into a dangerous corner where America's very
credibility as a Superpower appeared on the line.
The last thing Obama wanted was another
hapless US war in the Middle East.
At the last moment, as Deus-ex-machina, Russia's Putin, who only
days earlier had been diplomatically shunned by Obama ostensibly
the Snowden NSA affair, came forward with an OpEd in the New
Putin offered to broker a diplomatic
solution by removing Syria's stocks of chemical weapons. Russia's
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov openly called US Secretary of
State John Kerry a liar on Syria.
Surprising many, Obama grabbed the offer as a life preserver. War
was off the agenda. Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu were
furious, with the Saudis threatening a new direction away from US
satrapy to an as-yet-undefined new alliance.
The Putin initiative, backed by Iran and accepted by Assad, opened
the way for Obama to move to the fore open negotiations after 34
years with the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Those talks, to further Israeli and Saudi anger, resulted in a
breakthrough on 24 November 2013 in Geneva:
The USA pushed through a Six-Power
agreement with Iran to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear
program, leading to lifting of economic sanctions.
France and Britain were arm-twisted into
joining the US, China, Russia and Germany in the historic deal that,
ironically, boosts the emerging pole of Eurasian power in what I
have often referred to as a new "Iran Triangle" of mutual interests
between Russia, China and Iran.
As Washington tries under Obama to reign in US military engagements
in the Middle East and to an extent Afghanistan, a new power locus
Shanghai Cooperation Organization of China, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan is emerging.
Created in 2001 it is defining a new
Eurasian economic space. Rail links are being built or expanded
creating links from Beijing to Turkey, to Germany and beyond,
enabling overland freight transport, creating new growth zones.
Barring World War, which is not to be ruled out, this Eurasian nexus
will define the centre-of-gravity of the world economic growth for
perhaps the next century or more.
The new markets will become a magnet
attracting EU economies led by the export-hungry Germany.
The political class of the EU in this context is in an existential
dilemma of the first order. Its institutions are a relic of the Cold
War and US domination. With the US economic power in shambles
its political leadership in question, the EU faces a Scylla and Charybdis challenge.
If it hangs on to the post-1945 Atlantic
Bridge, she risks economic disaster as
the Eurozone depression
deepens and Eurasian chances pass them by. If she "goes east" not
West, she opens huge new potential markets in the world's most
populous region, Eurasia, but risks alienating the American
The next several years in my view will witness epochal change as the
world order begun with England's Industrial Revolution in the
mid-1700s and spreading to North America gives way to new alignments
in Eurasia and to an extent in the South led by Brazil in South
This new reality in a degree is reflected in the regular dialogue
the so-called BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa - since 2010.
Notable is their mutual efforts to shape
their economic destinies independent of the former colonial masters
in Europe or of the USA. Ultimately the emergence of independent
regional groupings of nations bent on peaceful economic growth and
cooperation offers the chance for a more peaceful and prosperous
Naturally, not everyone is overjoyed at
this prospect, least of all the trillion-dollar NATO arms industry
which faces economic collapse if genuine peace were to "break out."
Over the twenty years since the end of the Cold War and the collapse
of the Soviet Union, I was privileged to have been invited to
Russia, China, Iran and many parts of the former Warsaw Pact, as
well as Turkey, Indonesia, Sudan.
I met many responsible academics,
military and political elites of those countries. It has become
clear to me that the last thing Russia or China or Iran want at this
point is a new world war.
We have a golden chance to move mankind a significant step closer to
a world not ruled by the dogma "might makes right," but by peace and
attempts at mutual cooperation. It would be a refreshing change if
we did not squander it as the world did in 1991 when Washington
decided not to end the Cold War but try to control the entire world
as a sole Superpower, what I call in my book, "Full Spectrum
Dominance - Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order."
We have a genuine chance today to build
a "New-New World Order" based on social justice and peaceful
development of our planet.
1. George H. W. Bush, 'Address
Before a Joint Session of Congress on the End of the Gulf War'
(March 6, 1991),
2. Henry R. Luce, 'The
American Century', LIFE magazine, 17 February 1941,
3. Phil Greaves, 'The Syria Chemical Weapons Attack and the Role
of Saudi Intelligence. The Mint News Report. New MintPress
Statement Reveals Saudi Pressure on Reporter', GlobalResearch,
November 23, 2013,