Reduce the unfounded tensions between the superpowers, and the Jihadism that inspired yesterday’s atrocities could be eradicated via a combination of concerted military action and ideology-free diplomacy. The Slog looks at whether Donald Trump really is just a bombastic yob, or a genuine visionary rejecting the geopolitical status quo.
One of the most illogical conclusions drawn by the strange brew of Leftlibs and NATO hawks in recent years is that by far the biggest danger to Western “security” in the 21st century is the hidden, cunning agenda of Vladimir Putin and the “might” of Russia. The Russian bear has woken up again, we’re told, and we all know what happens then. But having sketched out a surreal parody of Alice in Wonderland here yesterday – which, among other things, depicted Germany as a dangerous Eagle that has also woken up – it evoked this standard Progressive and reasoned riposte from a gentleman on Facebook:
While Alan Orpin might be an ignorant prick, the fact that he has no friends, no photos and no timeline would suggest that he’s on Basefuck in a working role, as it were. It’s more and more common these days I’m afraid, but anyway I’m putting him down to ‘StopHateNow Troll hate-machine’, and thus most likely of the Leftlib persuasion. Could be he has no friends because he’s rude, but I doubt it.
All such Leftrolls follow the MSM narrative to the letter, which runs something like this: Hillary > Barack > US > Brussels > Germany good, Trump > Putin > Brexit > UKIP > Russia > Hungary > Greece bad. Yet they seem to position themselves as almost ‘radicals’ standing up for the idea of forward (Progressive) rather than back (Regressive). For myself – and the evidence supports me, not them – I can’t imagine anything more regressive than a return to the Cold War.
Here’s an interesting map that shows the military presence balance in East and South-East Europe:
As a chum remarked ironically to me a few weeks ago, “It’s obvious Putin wants war – look how closely he’s positioned Russia to our NATO bases”. In the Soviet era, I never bought into the idea of an “encircled” USSR: first up, the Red Army was far more guilty of encircling Europe then; second, it had bases much further West; third, when the Soviet régime fell, the plans to invade Europe were revealed in great detail; and most important of all, Soviet nuclear strength was massive (and more modern) than it is today.
Today, Russia is smaller and non-communist, albeit no sort of liberal democracy. And fine, it is led by an ex-KGB bloke. But what has the wickedly evil Putin done so far? He has seen Ossetia for what it was: an enormous threat to Russia on an exposed flank; and he quickly saw Ukraine for what it was – another attempted land-grab by the Brussels Empire, poked in the back by NATO and funded by George Soros. Remember: the Ukraine President who fled had been democratically elected under UN supervision. OK, so Putin annexed Crimea. Over the last 800 years, Russia has owned Crimea and Sebastopol 90% of the time.
Putin is a homoerotic narcissist, but as a geopolitical strategist he is simply doing his job: the defence of his country now its satellite States have been gobbled up by the EU. His skills in doing that job far exceed anything NATO or the EU has managed so far. But does he want to invade the West? No. Why? Because he is outnumbered – and smart enough to grasp that he would lose any nuclear exchange….an exchange which, on any scale, would make the entire planet the loser.
He is not going to do any of those things because he is sane. Jihadists, however, are completely barking: they wouldn’t think twice about chucking nuclear weapons around. Hold that thought.
Now that Donald Trump has won the nomination he was never going to get and the election he was never going to win, the Progressive-Pentagon-Wall Street axis insist he’s not going to wind up doing anything good for America. Given that their predictive track record and lack of strategy are almost as bad as Christine ‘Guilty but Free’ Lagarde’s, I’m left baffled at why anyone should pay any attention to what they have to say any more. That they do so is a function, purely and simply, of a quite astonishingly biased multinational press machine.
That their goose-stepping is perfectly synchronised with redneck press barons and a military complex whose advice has always been (shall we say) “hawkish to the downside” also seems to evade the Leftlibs. There is no sense at all from anyone in their ranks that they might, you know – hell – be on the wrong side.
This was evident the second the election was over, but has become more focused since in the shape of a new and even more ridiculous narrative: “Well look, it’s obvious, right? Trump is a traitor…and now we got the proof, see? First of all he wins the election with the help of, um, Russian technology shit fooling around with, er, sumptin….then the Goddamn bastard appoints a crony of Putin’s to be the Secretary of State fer Chrissakes. Yer got the whole scenario right there”.
Not only is the idiocy of this mind boggling; it has creepy déjà vu vibrations that remind me of the things being said about Jack Kennedy by Pentagon hawks after the 1962 Cuban missiles crisis. But most of the morons buying into it today weren’t born until long after then.
Tensions have been rising between the NATO/EU axis of incompetence and the Russian Federation since what looked at first like an agreement to act together in Syria went sour. This too is seen as evidence of Putin duplicity, with yet more hopelessly unconvincing assertions of war crimes by Russia and Assad: what you don’t hear CNN and the BBC say is that the Syrian President and Putin have annihilated the Jihadists NATO claims to be against. All we get is the repetition of the word Aleppo as if it was a purely Russian and Alawhite leprosy.
Again, joint action has produced an outcome. Against Jihadists. Hold that second thought.
Speaking as a 68 year-old about to welcome his second granddaughter into the world, I think I’ve amassed enough wisdom over time to see a closeness between the Trump entourage and the Putin circle as 20% risk, and 80% the best prospect for geopolitical reality since Rejkavik.
But even by the time Reagan arrived to set America free by handing it the biggest debt millstone in history, in nuclear terms the world had become a safer place: the balance of nuclear power was such – and proliferation so limited – as to make détente the only game in town. Today, things are very different.
The new elements in the 21st century are American military hegemony, Chinese output, globalist mercantilism, debt, an expansionist and increasingly autocratic European Union, energy source uncertainty, climate change, the coming collapse of financialised monopolism, and the acceleration in both the violent lunacy and overweening confidence of Islamic fundamentalist Jihad. Needless to say, none of these factors are mutually exclusive….and they are colliding at a time when dubious groups are tinkering with nuclear technology – and what comes after.
If you were to ask me right now, however, what my top 5 areas of potential military escalation would be, none of them would involve the forces under the command of Vladimir Putin. The three biggest problems we face are:
- Western Progressive inability to grasp with the reality of Islamist ambition
- NATO’s obsession with oil security
- The inability of Major Power Sovereign opposition to work together against Jihadism – covert or otherwise.
Obviously I can’t prove this; but my sense is that Donald Trump wants to be a President whose foreign policy makes a radical departure from what went before in terms of tackling the security issues surrounding energy access and genuinely dangerous terrorism.
I think it very possible that – as a shrewd strategist – he grasps the problem, and will work to leverage the solution: that is, hugely increased and far more coordinated action with the Russians against Islamic religious mania fueled by atrocity.
The three uncertainties in this approach are NATO, the EU and the “average Muslim”. That is to say, Trump and Putin will have to test the hypotheses that:
> NATO is prepared to dump expansionism in favour of a more realistic view of the danger from Erdogan’s desire to install Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey
> the EU is prepared to dump its blindfold on the question of Islamist ambitions for a European Caliphate
> the peaceful Muslim citizen is numerous, influential and determined enough to unequivocally reject Jihadism, and banish the tendency to quietly fellow-travel with it.
The bottom line to all this is radical and yet ripe with potential: if one can reduce superpower tensions, that in turn will speed the eradication of Islam’s lunatic fringe.
As always, the doubt remains the same: will the idées fixes of ideology and catechism throttle the bold approach at birth?
We must live in hope of that not coming to pass. For, from my vantage point, I cannot see any practical alternative. By the middle of 2017, we’ll have a better perspective of what Trumpian geopolitics are really about.