“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling, winner of both Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Nobel Peace Prize
Here’s an Idea. What do you think-is it a good idea?
“Who controls the rimland rules Eurasia; who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world.” This is called the Heartland Theory and was first written by Halford John Mackinder in 1904. To put it simply, whoever controls Central Asia controls the pivot point of the whole world. Where exactly is this Central Asia to which he refers? And why should we care? Here it is and we should care because this is the real hotspot on the world chessboard and we’re going to be hearing a lot more about it.
So, what have we got here? Those weird “Stans,” with Russia on top, China on the right, Afghanistan toward the bottom and Iran and Iraq on the left side. My, my, we have already been hearing a lot about Central Asia; in fact we have spent trillions of dollars and over a decade fighting wars there.
And by the way, we have spent undisclosed amounts and fought covertly, all over the region. Why? Because of Mackinder’s 100 year old idea which we (or at least you and I) have not yet even decided is a good idea.
But the powers-that-shouldn’t-be cling onto that idea as if it was the word of God. “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” – Emile Chartier, philosopher
Zbigniew Brezinski, a major voice is US foreign affairs for fifty years, and one of the founders of the Council on Foreign Relations, adores the idea. He calls it The Grand Chessboard in his book of the same name. Of course, when Zbiggy was born, 86 years ago as of this writing, it was a NEW idea. The subtitle of his book is revealing: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.
American Primacy–Full Spectrum Dominance–or as Pinky used to say, “What are you going to do tonight, Brain?” “The same thing we do every night-try to take over the world.” American Primacy stepped into the shoes of British Primacy as their Empire crumbled, but they still work together as brother Anglos and all that, as you may have noticed.
Geostrategic Imperatives? So, we are talking about geography, which is strategic and furthermore it is IMPERATIVE that we dominate it. Do you get that? We MUST dominate these countries. Why? Because they are strategic, they are the heartland, the pivot upon which the whole planet pivots! But what if these countries don’t WANT to be dominated? Tough titty, we have Primacy.
But what about the great, big, strong nuclear-armed countries? Russia and China might object. Pretty sure the USA would object if the situation were reversed. Tough titty, we have Primacy. This exceptionalist idea was also borrowed from the now-defunct British Empire and was a big reason why it is defunct.
So lets, step back and THINK. US foreign policy has been operating on this imperial, aggressive, dominating policy for a long time and the moral reasoning behind it is that it is OK because we are the exceptional, the most awesome, best-est nation on earth. It is our duty, the White Man’s Burden as Rudyard Kipling famously called it.
Take up the white man’s burden
Send forth the best ye breed-
Send forth your sons in exile
To serve your captive’s need
To wait in heavy harness
on fluttered folk and wild
Your new-caught sullen peoples
half devil and half-child
To which the new-caught peoples sullenly reply, “F**k you,” You know, because they are half-devil and they hate our freedoms.
There is that civilizing mission thing…and then again, raiding, conquering and looting is very profitable-for a few. That is the real, no-BS motive for imperialism, always has been, always will be. And since that is a shite reason and since human beings universally resist domination, to continue with this 100 year-old shite idea is national suicide.
We need a better idea than one based on British hegenomy in India in 1904, for Cripe sake. That didn’t even work out for the Brits, never mind applying the same old, shite idea to the world today. Granted, Central Asia is strategically important. How about making deals, not wars? Sure it would require developing a corps of diplomats instead of the idiots and spies that currently inhabit US embassies all over the world-but we can do it.
Who won the Iraq war? Short term: Iran, long term: China. China will let us flounder around bankrupting ourselves and incurring the wrath of our victims as long as possible, because as Napoleon said in one of his more Confucian moments, “Never interrupt your opponent when he’s destroying himself.”