Friday, June 26, 2015


History buffs and diplomats try to project an analytical, comprehensive view regarding successive stages in world events. Each of those, positive or nefarious, follow a trajectory which meets a preordained conclusion or "plateau".  The world scene today does not fit into any category and is overtaken by denial, double-talk and distortion of antecedent on all sides. One points the finger at the EU, the US, Russia, China, but tends to forget the rule of delusion or historical amnesia. The causes of the accumulative turmoils are hardly recognized, while the therapies considered collapse under the weight of their built-in contradictions.

The EU struggles with the Greek melodrama and the far more serious immigration crisis. A hybrid institutional architecture aggravates the latter, while (understandably) self-interest stands in the way of solving the former.

The US is negotiating a deal hidden in a sophism with Iran, while at the same time accusing Tehran of every nefarious intention under the sun.  Not to be outdone, the Ayatollah, the Iranian president and foreign minister play an Islamic version of political farce which leaves the 5+1 at a loss for words.

Israel is stuck in the middle of a killing-field which arranges it for the time being, while hybrid conflicts wipe out borders and states, feeding beliefs and hatreds spiraling out of control. The Palestinians? Only the Vatican pays attention...

Putin is more Stalin-like by the day.  Suffice to look at his attitude regarding the Baltic States or Ukraine. He continues to play poker.  He is too rational to risk a fatal mistake but he has no control over underlings who might make a Sarajevo repeat possible. Playing silly pique, excluding him from the G7 or snubbing him otherwise is puerile and can only backlash. It is one thing is to condemn transgression, another to leave him unhindered in the absence of his peers and judges.

China continues its island grab (?) in the South China Sea. Beijing has the upper-hand over the other claimants, but it would be better to encourage some form of multilateral arrangement rather than pointing the finger at the P.R. China alone.  Important is that the Chinese must be reminded of their role in freedom of navigation and trade routes. Ever since FDR gave China a stellar position during the Cairo meeting with Churchill and Chang Kai-shek (a rank denied then to France), the Chinese do not hesitate to claim the letter and the spirit of their status.  It is time to revamp the mothballed financial Breton Woods architecture and to adapt rules and rights to the new financial conditions. The continuity of the dollar as reserve currency is not set in stone! Trade is far too important to be loaded into a used car. Competitive trade organizations are not the solution either.

It is a given that the new strand of problems and the speed of their epidemic spread have surprised many. It is equally sad to notice how those paranormal issues are overtaking structural defences where there is still room for common ground.  Non-proliferation, terrorism, immigration, minority problems, climate change, cyber security inter alia, are not the problem of one but the curse for most. The qualitative mass is such that it requires continuous talking to all concerned, while a qualitative strategy rooted in legitimacy should be considered.

One talks about globalization but one continues to act in miniaturization. American universities and think-tanks are packed with talent but the message gets stuck in a political alienated parochial climate. The same goes for other global players by the way. The EU is in need of an antacid. Russia must get over its narcissistic frustration blues. China had better consider the fragility of the bubble it has created.

We have long ago turned Francis Fukuyama's original page. This is no reason to fall back on Samuel P. Huntington's projection, if we do not want to become hostage to a prophecy foretold. The barbarians are at the gate.

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