Comment: More brilliant geopolitical analysis from Pepe Escobar...
Romans before the fall were as certain as we are today that their world would continue forever... They were wrong. We would be wise not to repeat their complacency.The Empire of Chaos, today, is not about complacency. It's about hubris - and fear. Ever since the start of the Cold War the crucial question has been who would control the great trading networks of Eurasia - or the "heartland", according to Sir Halford John Mackinder (1861 - 1947), the father of geopolitics.
We could say that for the Empire of Chaos, the game really started with the CIA-backed coup in Iran in 1953, when the US finally encountered, face to face, that famed Eurasia crisscrossed for centuries by the Silk Road(s), and set out to conquer them all.
Only six decades later, it's clear there won't be an American Silk Road in the 21st century, but rather, just like its ancient predecessor, a Chinese one. Beijing's push for what it calls 'One Belt, One Road' is inbuilt in the 21st century conflict between the declining empire and Eurasia integration. Key subplots include perennial NATO expansion and the empire's obsession in creating a war zone out of the South China Sea.
As the Beijing-Moscow strategic partnership analyses it, the oligarchic elites who really run the Empire of Chaos are bent on the encirclement of Eurasia - considering they may be largely excluded from an integration process based on trade, commerce and advanced communication links.
Beijing and Moscow clearly identify provocation after provocation, coupled with relentless demonization. But they won't be trapped, as they're both playing a very long game.
Russian President Vladimir Putin diplomatically insists on treating the West as "partners". But he knows, and those in the know in China also know, these are not really "partners". Not after NATO's 78-day bombing of Belgrade in 1999. Not after the purposeful bombing of the Chinese Embassy. Not after non-stop NATO expansionism. Not after a second Kosovo in the form of an illegal coup in Kiev. Not after the crashing of the oil price by Gulf petrodollar US clients. Not after the Wall Street-engineered crashing of the ruble. Not after US and EU sanctions. Not after the smashing of Chinese A shares by US proxies on Wall Street. Not after non-stop saber rattling in the South China Sea. Not after the shooting down of the Su-24.