Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Curieusement, u scénarino identique se répète partout. Des dirigeants considérés "intouchables" tremblent sur leur piédestal. Mème si leurs jours ne sont pas comptés, leur trajet est devenu moins linéaire.

Netanjahu risque de casser une fois pour toutes le projet Juif en Israel. Poutine a exécuté l'humanité de Tchekov. Macron a difficile à se faire entendre de la rue, prise en tenailles par des casseurs. Le côté impassible de Xi Jinping ne doit pas faire illusion. Les silences chinois sont rarement immobiles. Et on peut continuer...Après tout, Trump nous réserve un Automne chaud.

Il est clair que les foudrayantes avancées dans la technologie de la communication piègent autant ceux qui y recourent que ceux qu'elles sont supposés tromper. Les trolls déversent fabrications et truquages qui aboutissent à un algorithme d'indifférence. En Mai 68 on manifestait pour un concept. Aujourd'hui on manifeste pour l'accès. Le smartphone est désormais l'idole, en attendant mieux! Le débat autour de Tik Tok est révélateur de la nouvelle préoccupation, qui découvre les dirigeants, mal préparés. Les maitres du jeu sont de plus en plus les magiciens de liintelligence artificielle qui disposent désormais de moyens supérieurs pour se permettre d'occuper et de préoccuper.

Partout ça grince et ça coince. On hésite à affronter les enjeux de front. On préfère le compte-goûtes. les problèmes finissent par s'additionner, faute d'ambition. Encore faudrait-il mieux diagnostiquer le mal, en attendant de suggérer le remède. Toute intervention crée un risque. Toute négligence l'aggrave.

En attendant, la fatigue prédomine. La saturation contamine l'inignation et aboutit à une sorte d'équidance morale. Du temps de Camus l'envers et l'endroit s'opposaient. Aujourd'hui ils se partagent le tribut. Dans ces conditions on se retrouve coincés dans un ascenseur qui reste bloqué entre deux étages.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023


The Chinese and the Russians had their lukewarm love fest.

There was the usual robotic Russian pomp, dear to Putin. The large table was nowhere to be seen. The two leaders sat in hugging distance.  Dr. Kissinger must have choked seeing his worst nightmare come true, or did it?

Years ago such a summit between former rivals would have been a watershed moment. The US/USSR/PRC ménage à trois is no longer and all former players have to bare a situation wherein allies turn rogue. The difference is that while America might lament the changing behavior of some of its exes, Russia and, to a lesser degree, China never had real friends. Russia wields hard-power, China has money, the USA alone has soft- and hard power. The romance with most things American is gone but past mistakes start to be forgiven while the often twisted fascination is still there.

Everybody thought that Russia could swallow Ukraine in a fortnight. Observers watched China's rising in awe but forgot to notice the farce of the real estate boom or the dysfunctions of a system that is often more oppressive than seductive.

The coupling of these two ugly ducklings has encouraged others to either flock: Syria, Iran, Venezuela & Co., or to play hard-to- get: Saudis, UAE, India, South Africa. The EU sulks but might prove more resilient in the end. The US made the only move on the chessboard that really counts, by launching AUKUS, the strategic alliance with Australia and the UK, creating a mare nostrum in the Indo-Pacific. 

Too often observers are misguided in considering that bombast is more impressive than agility.  They should read La Fontaine's The Ox and the Frog.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Trump is already warming up his flock. He is supposed to be working on nicknames he will use to floor competing presidential candidates that dare to run against him. His appearances remind us how diabolically entertaining he can be. The reckless brio of showmanship hides the void--moral and intellectual--of the performer. It remains to be seen if his audience retains the lessons of the past or chooses again slapstick over gravitas.

He will stop at nothing. He will never be shy to make the most extravagant promises, to fabricate vicious lies to whip up his flock. He will tout his close friendship with his "pals": Xi, Vladimir, Kim & Co. He will promise peace in Ukraine in a fortnight and to make America great again in a matter of days. The faithful, the corrupt, the misguided and Fox News can't wait to get their hero back.

His hardcore supporters never left him. The bigoted rank and file of the Republican Party is his chorus but even some more sophisticated opportunistic players give him a less vulgar coating. Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, Elon Musk might consider bestowing upon him some of their high brown/Tech nouveau cachet. These "elite" Republicans claim the mantle of the French philosopher René Girard, father of Mimetic theory. One can bet Trump, who doesn't read, never heard of him but will be too happy to quote him.

The Democrats are stuck with a president who does the right thing but who fails to rouse enthusiasm. Biden has the intellectual honesty to admit that problems pile up and that  solutions are for the time being an uphill battle. He is too honest to pretend that world leaders are his friends or that bombast equals resolution. Trump's pas de deux attempt with the North Korean showed how shallow and perversely dangerous he is.

The problem is that the world has become basically blasé, bored with almost everything. The déja vu is replacing the jamais vu. The Ukranian tragedy did not dislodge the Oscars.  The polar bears, deprived of their habitat, will create a new migration drama; the Chinese cat will continue to play with the Taiwanese mouse, and one can go on. Biden is avoiding Armageddon. Trump, despite his reputed pen pals, will only hasten worse options while his Sturmtruppe in the USA can hardly wait to close the American mind once and for ever.

The EU has weak leaders and feels stuck in a sluggish mindset. Everywhere deregulated diplomatic realignments come out of the blue. So much can happen. It is not the right time to play Trump roulette. January 6 is for many just a rehearsal.

The need to provide Ukraine now with all the weapons that can make the difference does not suffer any delay. The continuation of the indiscriminate slaughter inflicted by Russia is such that the fine tuning of weapon delivery by the West is no longer acceptable. Under a Trump presidency it might even become more difficult, if not impossible, to give the needed support. Remember the Trump/Putin bromance in Helsinki? These two heartthrobs are made in hell...beware. One has staying-power, for now. The other is waiting in the wings.

Monday, March 13, 2023


Met Lukas Dhont en Close had Belgie troeven die de voor de gelegenheid  champagne gekleurde loper echt verdienden. 

De film haalde het niet, waarschijnlijk omdat hij, in tegenstelling met andere, misschien minder paste in de heersende Zeitgeist.

Dhont wordt een naam die niet dreigt in de vergeethoek te belanden en is een verademing voor de velen die zich ergeren aan de heersende ideologie binnen de rechts - Vlaamse vendeldraaiers partijen.

De Belgiche film en akteurs beginnen trouwens internationaal bekend en gevraagd te worden, mede dank zij de Dardennes, pioniers van de nouveau cinema belge.

Dhont zien we zeker terug. Met te weinig middelen voor wat belangrijk is en te veel verspilling voor alles wat alleen politiek past, is de kunstenaar in Belgie een profeet en een pionier. Hij staat ook alleen, zoals Lukas in Los Angeles, waarin parochiaal Vlaanderen gewoonweg van de scene verdwijnt. Hij doet dat niet.............

Friday, March 10, 2023


One might remember Napoleon's continental blockade, sanctioning all trade with England. The measure backfired, flopped and missed both purpose and effectualness. It was too hard to monitor and went directly against vested interests, even in France, and was too costly for the consumer. 

People love, eat, betray and trade. They do not stand to be deprived of any.

Today, yet again, the sanctions against Russia pile up, are adjusted on a regular base and hardly dent a one-tier economy which is sustained by too many who care less about le chic than about the lure of the raw. Statistics about what makes up the trade in various NATO and EU countries with Russia show no dramatic adjustments.

Western economies are multi-tier and so much more exposed to variables. What occurs in the trade of goods and services equally affects financial operations which dispose of a myriad of loopholes to divert, hide, channel, regroup.

Should one forego sanctions all together?  Certainly not: on condition that they are considered for what they are, a nuisance for Russia, an unconvincing weapon for the West. Hotels might have to change names, diamonds might reach Antwerp by a different route but at the end of the day Russia will hardly blink.

Isn't it time to make the hard choices rather than to announce periodically a new bash of sanctions that are unpopular at home and for the most part snubbed by the culprit? If the delivery of the right weaponry were announced, fear would immediately get the better of detachment.

Thursday, March 9, 2023


The fighting in Ukraine goes on. It gets worse.

How long can Western caution be maintained before time runs out and moral outrage can be demarcated. The current waiting game wherein the West chooses to measure its engagement is becoming ludicrous. 

One gets oversaturated by the reasons given for the calibrated Western response. A  direct NATO involvement now might indeed be risky. However not providing the needed weaponry, with agreed rules of engagement, becomes unjustifiable. The Russian strategy of overall indiscriminate terror on civilians must be stopped, if not by direct involvement, by delivery of appropriate armament and defense. Bahkmut is happening here in Europe after all...

Europe appears to be too timid, fearing the Russians more than it dares to like Ukraine. The Bucharest Nine probably have more doubt than trust regarding Western Europeans. This conflict is diplomatically dangerous, insofar as Poutin doesn't need to come to the table, while others might have no other option because they fear that when fatigue sits in they will find themselves without popular support. They might end up in a trap of their own making. Even the reliable President Biden will enter the American presidential elections machine on fire and will need to head off all imaginable dirty tricks that the Republicans are readying. 

President Zelensky is a lonely man. The West, Europe in the first place, must choose "to be'' rather than not. Longings rooted in the past become irrelevant when not sustained by measurable engagement in the present.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


De beruchte staatshervorming die Belgie kapot heeft gemaakt is er nu in geslaagd zij eigen verwekker in verlegenheid te brengen. De weinig aantrekkelijke ploeg Jambon ziet er uit als een versleten, verward troepje schipbreukeligen. Professor Elchardus zou niet misstaan in dit vlot van ''loosers''.

Het Vlaams parlement, waarin  de tussentaal triomfeert, wordt een ongenietbare en dikwijls onverstaanbare vertoning van individuen die geen aandacht hebben voor de hedendaagse uitdagingen  . Stikstof is een belangrijke zaak maar de aanpak verwijst opnieuw naar een oudbollig model . De Vlamingen die nu in de politieke kijker lopen zijn dikwijls ondermaats, gegijzeld aan een tijdgeest en een mythologie die het scepticisme bij de meer geinformeerde belangstellende alleen  maar sterker aanvuurt. Normaal dat de jongere generatie niet langer aangesproken wordt door een litteratuur die hoe verdienstelijk ook (Caroline Pauwels, Tom Lanoye, Bart van Loo, David Van Reybrouck o.m.) telkens weer de band mist met ''nu''. Nederland heeft zijn taal al lang ingeruimd voor engels en is er daarom in geslaagd zelf The Economist te verleiden. Hier spreken de Excellenties nog over de Taalunie, waarvoor boven de Moerdijk zero interesse bestaat.

De samenleving is niet gediend met de bestaande werkwijze en dit geldt ook voor Wallonie. Belgie wordt de draak van de EU, ook omwege van de middeleeuwse keuze voor besturen, decentralisatie en deconcentratie die het land niet langer verteerbaar maken. De problemen die zich overal opstapelen zijn de ongeweste gevolgen van een ongepast bestuurspatroon. Alhoewel de populistische partijen hun onmacht ten volle bewijzen willen ze nu nog verder gaan in de stoornis en de rechterlijke ordening aan banden leggen, in navolging van Trump, Orban en Co.

Het gebeurt elders ook dat vooral rechtse groeperingen hun heil vinden in folklore en in een gefabriekeerde geschiedenis. Daarop moet worden gereageerd met een beleid alternatief dat efficient kan verlopen, dat de kosten dekt, het overbodige afslankt en aansprakelijk is ten overstaan van een federale kieskring.

Wij leven in een op hol geslagen algoritme, waarin zoveel meespeelt, ook omwege van de invasie van nieuwe taal, beeld en ''look''. Voor wie de moed heeft om eens te kijken naar het Vlaams, Waals of Brussels parlement komen alleen  gevoelens van ongeloof en benardheid op. Zijn wij  nu zo erg voorbijgestreefd of zitten wij vast in een valstrik uitgewerkt door ''big brother'', die ons dom en onmondig wil houden , een uitzondering in de EU ?

De Vlaamse leeuw moet beter blijven waar hij t'huis hoort en minder optreden in de vlaamse politieke kermis à la Willy Vandersteen.