Thursday, February 23, 2023


Often it feels as if people do not pay enough attention to what is happening in the world. The sound and fury around us might stun us into a form of complacency or fatigue. Under the current circumstances such an attitude is self-defeating.

In less than one century the world is reverting to its former nefarious self.

Washington sees its worse nightmare coming back.  Dr. Kissinger and President Nixon pursued every opportunity to stop America's worse geo-political nightmare, a "special relationship" between the Soviet Union and China. Today the Russia/China partnership is becoming a reality.

After the Soviet Union met its ungainly end, it seemed as if the Iron Curtain became a thing of the past. The Putin curtain call shattered all illusions and Europe finds itself more divided than ever.

These two ominous adjustments have consequences. 

The Putin/Xi Jinping "axis" might be half-hearted but it will increase the number of countries that prefer to stay on the sidelines. Future and current major players will hesitate, more than before, getting involved in rivalries that provide them no dividend.

The Ukrainian nightmare will only increase the fatigue of the ones in the Western part and increase the resolve of the Bucharest Nine in the East. The Brussels EU and NATO chores are becoming highly unpopular, in part because they are led by personalities imposed by the Western half that hardly lives up to its Treaty obligations. Brussels has the appeal of a provincial city without allure. The existing dynamics all point to an Eastward alternative. Western Europe might be under pressure to rebalance its power projection eastward, back to the Habsburg realm  and Poland. In the West it is mostly the UK that shares the burden. It always felt closer to the US than to the French/German pair, which has become unconvincing. Poland emerges as the reliable partner for the Americans who are, rightly so, tiring of some European's baby-steps.

Americans appreciate good "casting". Europeans do with amateurs rather than with skilled actors who are able to play the role while also giving it content. Russians follow the Ivan the Terrible model, wherein there is so much noise that rational or needed compassionate thinking die an unglamorous death.

2023 will surprise us, undesirably alas. President Biden, the quiet man, might appear the better leader after all, more" in sorrow than in anger ".

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