EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 , 2021
The Entire Institutional Structure of the Trans-Atlantic World Is Crumbling
Aug. 25, 2021 (EIRNS)—Stepping back from the whirlwind of daily events around Afghanistan, it’s clear that what we are witnessing in that theater, and worldwide, is the crumbling of the entire institutional structure on which the British neo-liberal order has been based over the last half century. The British ranting and railing against President Biden, because he has not delivered the world they wished to see, were better directed against the gods themselves and their warning: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
The G7 showed what it’s made of earlier this week, with their failed effort to get the U.S. to commit hara-kiri to defend the British policy of perpetual Malthusian warfare. And now Mario Draghi is carrying out London’s bidding (as usual), by calling for a G20 meeting to also address Afghanistan, which will likely prove equally irrelevant. Put that together with the reports earlier this week that the only actual multilateral lending for physical-economic activity now comes only from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank (with the World Bank and the various central banks all tracked totally on the Green New Deal speculative bubble), and the picture of a systemic collapse of a dysfunctional world order comes into focus.
As Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated emphatically in her weekly webcast today: “I said immediately when the decision was clear that the U.S. and NATO troops would leave, that this was a change—maybe not quite as significant as the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, but of that type. Namely that a whole system is coming to an end—the Responsibility to Protect, ‘humanitarian interventions,’ the endless wars of the last 20 years, and so on. This policy clearly has completely failed. This is a failure of the neoliberal system big time.”
An article by Asia-expert Michael Shuman in The Atlantic fearfully addressed what could be coming into existence to replace that dying system, warning that a China-led world order is moving forward, and that if they succeed, “the blow to the U.S. could be a heavy one.” Under the headline “An ‘Early Test Case’ for a China-Led World: Beijing’s policies now that the Taliban is in charge will provide clues as to how it views global leadership,” Shuman’s article begins by noting:
“For those of us wondering what kind of superpower China might be, we’ll soon get some clues in, of all places, Afghanistan.... The U.S. withdrawal also presents Beijing’s leaders with an opportunity: to solidify their dominance in a region they consider their backyard and, even more, to play the role of hero by succeeding where Washington failed. Beijing’s Afghan policy will also be something more, though: a test of its entire worldview, and the specific form of international relations it has created....”
Shuman admits that both the U.S. and China want stability in Afghanistan, but denies that there is really common ground.
“But while the U.S. and China both fear an unstable Afghanistan will become a haven for militancy once again, they don’t at all have a common purpose.... The Taliban has responded positively to Beijing’s overtures and seems ready to allow China a significant role in Afghanistan.... Beijing will likely try to hold the Taliban to its word [of not harboring terrorists] with ample economic aid and infrastructure projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.... Yet if China succeeds, the blow to the U.S. could be a heavy one.”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche continues to provide an entirely different approach to the crisis: the U.S. and China—and other nations—have a common interest in Afghanistan, around a policy to achieve peace through development. The U.S. should join with China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, India and other neighbors of Afghanistan, to promote the most rapid possible integration of Afghanistan with the Belt and Road Initiative.