Monday, August 15, 2016


Enough of the minutiae of the American current electoral abyss...for now!  Let me just say that a Trump loser might even be even more aggressive than the crazy Trump of now. The Americans think they have seen and heard it all. Well they haven't.

The White House appears on lock-out. After Labor Day this will change for sure and the President will be an active participant in a presidential election unlike any other.  This does not stop problems from piling up both at home and abroad.  In the US, a healthy economy still does not deliver the goods. Abroad, Syria and Ukraine could ignite greater upheaval any time.
Ukraine would be Trump's turf since his campaign manager is at home in Kiev (Ancien Regime).  Syria is more serious.  It is to the Obama legacy what Iraq is to George W. Bush. Both presidents made mistakes of an historical, irreversible importance. The second Iraq war dragged the shaky Arab Sykes-Piquot construction into the abyss.  For syria, a formula should have been negotiated which presented a temporary face-saver for Assad and a path toward a more lasting encompassing governing formula. But now the situation has changed and Assad is no longer under immediate pressure.  Ambassador Holbrooke, who was able to get all the parties in the Bosnian conflict talking, would not have hesitated. After all, Milosevic likewise had his days in Dayton and Rambouillet... before ending up in the Hague !

After the American volte faceRussia saw its chance and seized the opportunity. Assad received a renewal of his life-support and Putin was able to slowly regain influence in the region as a whole. Today, America plays a second role.  Unfortunately, this Russian push continues, far and deep. True, this comes at heavy price for a country in dire financial straits, but Putin's system plays on xenophobia and nationalism.

President Obama's Middle East policy--the same goes for Ukraine--is stuck in a restraining jacket which curtails creative diplomatic or strategic initiative. He has become the unwilling Siamese twin of the Kremlin thugs, a hapless Castor to a cynical Pollux. The Russians have made him an unwilling de facto accomplice of what they do, without any return benefit. Imagining what a President Trump might come up with makes one run for safety.  Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and further on Afghanistan, are all in the eye of the storm, not to mention America's Sunni allies.

One cannot exclude an October surprise and it looks as if Putin has all the cards:  Mrs. Clinton's repetitive hacked emails, another Ukrainian incursion, some Baltic teasing, Turkish delights, fun with the Shia, and one can go on. Fortunately President Obama, who might regret his strategic blunder, is nevertheless a man of "reason", which is the only thing we can still hope for in times wherein truth is one's latest mood (Thanks Oscar Wilde).

No comments:

Post a Comment