Tuesday, August 25, 2015


All of a sudden, the particles which sat idle in the dysfunctional, out-of-order, diplomatic cyclotron, start to move, out of control.  Diplomacy was meant to foresee, correct, amend, reverse. We have not seen much of that of late.  Sometimes fire had to be fought with fire-- often on amoral terms (i.e. Dr. Kissinger-type of manipulative intervention)--but it led to a resolution, at a price. None of that happens nowadays. Hypocrisy and fatalism have taken over from Machiavellian disputable interventions.

Ukraine, the Korean peninsula, the Chinese and Russian "disturbances", the global financial turmoil, the Middle Eastern drama, the moving uncontrolled immigration spill in Europe enter into a downward abyss.  Major world players wait for their hour to strike, while the American president plays golf with his Narcissus shadow. Besides, the "offerings" of the American pre-presidentials are frankly pathetic. The Democratic front runner is in a sinking mode. The Republican short-term man in the news reminds me of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. The EU appears to be clueless, but this is a repetitive pattern. That Russia and China seek to keep their distance is to be expected since they prefer ready commodities to disregarded rags. The usual pundits who are mothballed when their concepts do not fit the reality come back out of the grave pontigicating about China's collapse (Gordon Chang) or Putin's demise. They are wrong, of course. The economic turmoil and falling oil prices have hit hard but the boomerang effect in the West should be a warning shot. Globalization is here to stay, for the better (yesterday) and the worse (today). Both in economic and political matters there is a need to talk instead of resorting to economic sanctions, or letting situations rot even further because some favour personal antipathy over agreed therapy.

This is a very ominous moment indeed.  It is becoming difficult to predict if even worse can be avoided. The superfluous Iran deal coming after the infamous "red line" in Syria continues to convince few and rattles all. Europe might sink further under the weight of a wild immigration.
The wretched knock at the door, but populism and xenophobia have dislodged common policies. Yet again nothing gets settled and the same pattern of delaying tactics is set in motion. All is noise and none is action. Where is the EU's common foreign and defense and foreign policy?

Danger and threats alike remain not classified by the US administration.  ISIL gets a ride without having to present identification papers. Political correctness is no substitute for diagnosis. Palmyra is destroyed, thousands are killed and dislodged, but the narrative is about climate change!  President Putin will continue to nibble at his cake, until the moment comes when he can eat it. President Xi Jinping will be received with full honors in the White House and might offer the US president a revised map of territorial China.  Europe will sink further under the weight of immigrants who are psychologically damaged and unfit to enter a democratic pluralistic model, which offers them survival without hope. The EU is the blind one led by the blind in Brussels, where Bruegel feels home!

No action is taken where it should be and the Stars and Stripes only returns where it is overdue. One might opt for a passive policy but then it had better be called so, openly.  On the contrary one could opt for a pro-active role, which would be welcomed by most.  Moscow and Beijing are the Cheshire cats in Alice in Wonderland. Washington has become the master of the Grande Illusion.  The Islamo-fascists in the arc of horror, from the Philippines to sub-Saharan Africa, have stolen the beheading method of Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts. 

The West looks to be waiting for what is left of the rest to implode. The cyber war is in full swing. The propaganda war is lost.  The short-term danger is the implosion of the more Western universal  intellectual discourse.  If the American political system resembles (it does not, fortunately) the current presidential race, it is doomed to end up being plain vulgar.  If, in the UK, Labour chooses for Jeremy Corbyn, it will have proven that it did not heed the lesson of history.  If the EU decides to remain in a Schengen suicide pact, so be it. The Russians look eager to take over the diplomatic inroads in the Middle East, which were America's monopoly. Asia is starting to question whether the famous American pivot is a toy rather than a move. President Obama might wake up as he does infrequently but everybody is already resigned to see Ukraine losing Mariupol, or Iran becoming some replay of Georges de la Tour's famous "cheater" paintings.  The fall of 2015 will be a season in hell for the White House. The fire at home will yet again distract from the flames elsewhere. The US president is right in thinking that the past WWII order has become obsolete, but instead of suggesting an alternative he lets BRICS or Shanghai co-operation and their offspring mushroom.

The US secretary of state, already considered "Skerry" by some, might have to take second role given that his Russian counterpart prefers to get his hands dirty where there is a gain.

The waiting game may become an unpleasant experience, the more so, in that all this might have been avoided. After all, the attendees of the Congress of Vienna could teach some lessons. Concept overshadowed rancor. To emulate Piketty: Addition > Substraction. 

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