Sunday, October 27, 2019


Legitimate empires seldom fall under foreign pressure alone. They usually collapse because of their own home-grown failures. Rome, China, the Inca and Aztec realms or British power, for instance, fell more under the weight of their own aberrations than under the onslaught of a qualitative alternative. Today's America is not under direct attack. It is not hiding in some territorial panic room. It is comfortable in its own habitat but it fails to pay enough attention to the cracks in  the walls and ceilings, since the maintenance rests in the hands of a sociopath.

Trump is starting to unleash rants, purges and his brand of culture wars, which are making a hard landing in the middle of American institutions. He is trying to remake them in his own image (imagine?).  If he is re-elected, the decor and the script will be ready for a second act furioso and renewed carpet bombing.   Already, his current cabinet acts and moves like a Praetorian guard. The next team might look more like the cast of Goodfellas, enjoying their happy hour.

The death of Elijah Cummings, Democrat House member and civil rights symbol, under these el Greco ominous skies should  awaken the dormant better angels. The doors of the White House did not open to let the air in.

The Democrats continue on their road to "political spam". The Speaker tries to maintain decorum and gravitasSome Democrat contenders already look like "death on arrival". While the "socialists" should be on Trump's payroll, the moderates start to act desperate, as if they were considering packing, out of sheer ennui.  Too much is being said about America's sunset. True, after Trump lauded his achievements in the Syrian imbroglio, one is entitled to question the delirium which seems to have taken hold of this swollen brain.  After all, the Middle East starts to look like Putin's mare nostrum. The US raid which led to the death of al Baghdadi might change the conversation for awhile but it leaves the geopolitics unchanged. Trump's effusive thanks, mostly to Russia and Turkey, speak for themselves. Plus ca change...

 It will take a long time to clean up the mess since the internal "occupation strategy" of the administration is marginalizing the moral and sophisticated fiber in all sectors. It will demand effort and brains to roll back this "Berlin: 1945 landscape".

One has to admit that Trump has managed to rule and to shift the rules in such a way that the ones who dare to oppose him  look irrelevant, small. The brutal force of his personality outweighs any legitimate, sophisticated counter-argument. There is no match for his Sumo body-language, which creates a frenzy in his base. This phenomenon will occupy writers and sociologists for years to come. He killed the traditional Republicans and dwarfed the Democrats. Every opposition is countered on the spot by a tactic not seen since Stalin and by the abject complicity of the 1%.  Unfortunately, this poisonous political dividend internally (based on an enormous budget fraud) is financed by overall losses externally. America becomes dispensable because of the wrong choices made. It seeks now to protect the oil in Syria. This is the latest existential decision made, a choice between humanism and materialism. Trump's America has chosen to show its real face, again. Not a pretty view!

Friday, October 18, 2019


Americans have seldom been praised for their familiarity with foreign languages. Now they have a president who is clueless regarding any form of language skill, including his own.

He has now appropriated the "quid pro quo" hit and as usual claims this was all his doing, like everything else under the sinking American sun. In reality his only inroads into the far abroad vocabulary are incursions in mafia slang or gutter insult.  But this being Trump's territory, the "Quid pro Quo" has  displaced (for how long?) the "No collusion".  Anyway, the vocabulary in the corridors of power is sloppy. 

The vice- president and the secretary of State brought their roadshow to Ankara. After a painful meeting with the Turkish president they claimed that a cease-fire was agreed upon. Such a construction is sophisticated and is supported by a set of internationally recognized rules, unknown maybe to this clueless duo. Hence the Turkish side corrected them and referred to a 'Pause", limited in time.  Nevertheless Trump claimed yet another diplomatic coup, worthy of the Brest-Litovsk  paix/bombe surprise between Germany and Russia in 1918.

There is more to come. The Pollyannas do not want to recognize the writing on the wall... Belshazzar did. True, Pollyanna's creator, Eleanor Porter, was American too, and better stay forgotten.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019


In yet again an other impulsive, uninformed moment Trump destroyed years of American achievements. The famous Arabists in the State Department are a thing of the past.  Kissinger's painful shuttle diplomacy is being displaced by the vulgar doings of Pompeo, salesman for god and Trump. Other unsavory characters complete a nightmarish tableau. In the end America looks both incompetent and clueless. 

Turkey is supposed to be a NATO partner. The alliance which looked already like a loveless marriage did not need both an unreliable steward at the helm and a Judas in its midst. The American vice-president is leaving on a mission, to do what? Indeed, this B-movie has neither the actors nor the plot to sustain it.

All this comes together with the Brexit farce, for which there is no good outcome, whatever the compromise this week might look like.

The fact is that the United States is for unforeseeable time an embarrassment led by an accident of historical dimension. The expertise was cleared in favor of corruption. As a result the West is losing its critical mass and soft-power. Populism is being accused of a lot, but it is too easy to hide plain stupidity under some theoretical fallacy. One has to face the painful reality of a Western world hijacked by third parties for sure, but mostly suffering from wounds that are self-inflicted.The expected outrage is on vacation. The timid, non-intellectual, morally blurred observations heard here and there lack any form of gravitas.

Since the West choses the way of induced coma, other players pile up the gains. Russia and China will soon be joined by India, Japan, and others who will find their way in a world of artificial intelligence and links (see the Chinese Belt and Road worldwide ambition) that "consider" Europe as a terminal and the US as quantite negligeable, almost. Trump's killing of Obama's Asia First strategy is yet again a form of suicide by ignorance.

There is wisdom to be found in reluctance. There is an added value to be won in multi-lateralism. Europe no longer considers Trump's America as a partner with whom values and interests--geopolitical or cultural-can be shared. The bilateral relationship of yesterday sits on ice. Iraq was almost a breaking point but the problem was therapeutically saved by contrition. Here and now the problem has metastasized and Europeans have to look for a modus vivendi at their Eastern, Western and Southern borders. They had better monitor what happens at their Northern borders likewise. Blackmailed by trade wars, immigration waves and agression by stealth, they find themselves in a non-enviable position, alone, without Big Brother.

Trump is the cause of this macro-disruption worldwide. It is time to call the evil by its name. If the Americans were to give him four more years, they would confirm all the many (unfair) prejudices that rule in their disfavor. Trump mentioned Normandy, he had better take a walk on Omaha Beach and reflect on what America then fought for. If he were to understand, he might still be saved.  Unfortunately the chances are nihil.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


The president gives himself the medal of genius...meanwhile he sent the Kurds to hell, got himself entangled in a phone call with his Turkish counter part, and exaggerates lies and betrayals even further.

His latest moves go back to Hitler's personal tactics.  After keeping him waiting, Hitler received the Czech state President Emil Hacha who fainted after the Furher's tirade and had to be revived by an injection of Hitler's personal physician. The Windsors, Mitford, Horthy and other sympathizers got the red carpet treatment. True they fell for him and had not to be converted.

Trump's tetes a tetes follow the same pattern. He hardly knows whom he is talking with, shows sloppy interest and kills the allotted time with the American press which shouts questions with total disregard for the guest who looks generally bomb- shelled.  What happens under four eyes is too frightening to imagine.

Now Trump who finds arguments in some underworld argues that there were no Kurds to be seen in Normandy and that for now they can be left to fight for their "land". He forgets that the Americans were always late to board the train of history and that the takers then where the "custodians" of the players today.  But history and manners are to Trump what genuine warmth was for Hitler (notwithstanding a soft-spot for Wagner).

The president pretends to be sickened by America's wars and the bill that comes with them. Indeed he needs to concentrate on the new American civil war, his lawyers and his base which needs to sell its soybeans and coal.  No doubt he will bring a new crusade to the fly-over country and feed the deplorable cultural (?) war and bible class (ironic, coming from a clueless, religion-matters ignorant). Already his electoral winning map is made up and he might yet again win against odds and decency. 

Some pathetic lonely voices in the Republican ranks cannot compensate for the dereliction of the GOP. That Trey Gowdy, infamous since the Benghazi hearings, had to be rescued from oblivion to help manage Trump's dirty tricks speaks for the downward spiral of this administration.  It shows too that the Giuliani spectacle might have met its inglorious end. The Democrats soldier on:  some are smart but came too early, others are enduring but came too late.

Few in NATO or in Ukraine will rejoice...with a ally like Trump better have a more reliable insurance.Alas, poor Yorick !

Monday, October 7, 2019


One can bet on the sad fact that Trump never reads anything regarding situations he has to deal with internationally. He doesn't know if Irbil stands for a capital or for hair-gel. Edward Said, or for that matter any book which might help him in understanding, are unknowns in this White House. Besides, his last press conference with the president of Finland also laid bare his lack of tact and manners in a world where those added values still count. For all to see, the Finish recoiled from the touch of his American "counterpart".

Now he has taken everybody by surprise by throwing the Kurds under the bus. The former fought America's wars by proxy, in Iraq and against ISIS. Now that Trump lives under the illusion that ISIS is defeated and that Iraq is another avatar of history, he decamps, giving Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia a free-hand. His threats against Turkey amount to another hollow bullhorn menace, which even Melania doesn't take seriously.

Some Republicans suddenly are seeing the writing on the wall.  The military/diplomatic establishment in Washington, already shaken by the avalanche of gaffes and lies, woke up finally to the new world order, wherein America got the "self-portrait film" it deserves:  Joker. This millennium death wish, inhabited by a "cackle", reminds all of this president's daily vulgar shouts on the south lawn.

The Kurd death sentence is a form of genocide by absentia. Normally such a drastic policy reversal should result through consultations with Congress, allies and warnings to foes. Reference was made to a prior phone conversation (again) with the Turkish president, one of Trump's favorite playmates (with Duterte, Kim, Putin, Bolsonaro & Co). Everybody knows by now that the telephone is to Trump what a match is to an arsonist.

How much has America to swallow before it finally chokes ? It might be of their own doing, but this minority president (by popular vote) has to finally be stopped and disposed of, one way or another. The Democrats continue their absurdist game of  Agatha Christie's 10 Little Niggers. At least with her there were none at the end.  Here they overstay and underwhelm. The president runs the show, not because he is good at it but because democracy in America is becoming a thing of the past. 35% of American voters can make the electoral college tumble and give the Joker again four more years.