The 400 billion dollar Russia-China gas deal is a very big deal. You would think it also makes a very good peg for acknowledgement that the long anticipated shift from a unipolar to a multipolar world is no longer on the horizon but is here, now. Naturally, you see headlines like those below when you Google “unipolar, U.S., China, Russia.” But, alas, only from Russian or Eastern European media. What’s going on?

Talking Point: Welcome to a multipolar world
The Voice of Russia-May 20, 2014

Foundation of a bipolar world laid in Shanghai
vestnik kavkaza-2 hours ago

Russia, China form new center of political power – experts
ITAR-TASS-20 hours ago

The birth of a Eurasian century: Russia and China do Pipelineistan
RT-May 20, 2014

The ‘best’ the West can do is the blinkered analysis below. Yeah, uh right, China needs energy:

China’s Global Search for Energy
New York Times – MAY 21, 2014

So is this really how it’s going to go? Will U.S. policymakers, elite think tankers and pundits just refuse to acknowledge the most important political change in the world since the demise of the Soviet Union? Well, yeah, I think that’s what they’ll do. This hands-over-my-ears denial is childish and unproductive, but actually and unfortunately it’s just more of what we’ve come to expect during the Kerry/Obama years. Just a reminder, but here’s what you must now believe in order to be inside-the-beltway surreal but politically correct:

The good guys in Ukraine are the Stepan Bandera loving folks who overthrew the elected government by riding on the backs of armed fascist and neo-Nazi gangs.

China, not the U.S. Big Brother exposed by Edward Snowden, is the world’s biggest cyber-espionage and internet privacy threat.

Russia and China are still chump change and the U.S.-centered ‘West’ will remain the world’s unchallenged hegemon for many years to come.

The Sunni fundamentalist jihadists the West backs in Syria are actually moderate and inclusive democrats.

The upper-class U.S.-paid provocateurs attempting to overthrow the elected Venezuelan government are the forces of democracy.

I could go on — I didn’t even get to Libya, South Sudan, or drones — but would rather get to my main point. And that is that this head in sand stuff, this wishful-thinking ignorance just gets very dangerous when it involves regional nuclear-armed military powers like Russia and China. Peter Lee writes:

As the deterrent effect of US soft power in Asia dwindles, the US must decide whether to force developments in Asia into the sphere in which it still exercises unquestioned dominance – the hard power of military action – or resign itself to an ineluctable erosion of US prestige and influence in the region and a retreat to bilateral horsetrading with the unpalatable “Eurasian” powers.

It will also be interesting to see if America recognizes that it has a choice, albeit from an unattractive menu of options. But if the Western spin of the Ukraine crisis is any guide, the US will console itself with the fantasy that it is merely reacting passively to aggression, the pivot was forced on it, and the PRC can be blamed for the unwise choices that Washington made.

In fact, if elite U.S. policy thinkers were part of the reality-based world they might have delayed or entirely prevented the shift to multipolarity. But instead they did other stuff, like invade Iraq and decide Russia was a natural enemy rather than a natural and essential strategic ally. But okay, fine, multipolarity likely will _eventually_ produce a much more peaceful world, with much more sovereignty for the ‘little guys’. But getting there will be hard, and especially hard if our elite foreign policy ‘experts’ don’t start becoming experts in something other than their U.S.-uber-alles unipolar fantasyland. Here, let me provide the first lesson: Yanks, the world’s no longer your private plaything, it’s time to learn to share.