Sunday, January 21, 2024


Saying that we are lost in some absurd algorithm of our own making is not very original, but the reversal of situations that is  being created is breathtaking.

Almost everywhere the upcoming reality marginalizes former accepted models. New villains appear and the old trusted swaps or trade-offs no longer apply. Summitry is a thing of the past. So, too, are the rock solid alliances that seem equally unreliable.

The great Western way was born on the beaches of Normandy, and the illusion of a new world order rose from the rubble of the Berlin Wall. The last colonial aberrations disappeared. For a while it looked like the world was finding a new equilibrium.

Then suddenly the mistakes started to overtake the better intentions. Almost everywhere misconceptions appeared simultaneously. The doomsday war of civilizations became a self- fulfilling prophecy. Added to that, the pillars of the liberal mindset gave in and the harmonious fabric of society became no longer the accepted or desirable goal.

The political (and philosophical) debate in the West has become sepulchral. Never was self-confidence as endangered as it is now. That this is happening under the shadow of Trump, is the more surprising since the former president entered his inglorious defeat under the label "never again". Yet there he is, with more lies than an octopus has arms. Instead of staying put, the Europeans are freaking out, as if America suddenly became just the reflection of this demented and dangerous demagogue. Only Putin & Co. enjoy his revolting performance. The usual free-lance creepy interlopers, found on Fox News and evangelical reservations, seize the moment(s). Even Netanjahu, who is "safe" thanks to the American iron dome, can hardly count as a friend in a conflict that is metastasizing.

In Davos a few talk intelligently. Outside many play with fire.  The West shouldn't count on thank-you cards for the uneven but often well-meant managerial efforts it deploys in creating a glimpse of order in the chaos. That some prefer to freelance in the current abominable "weather conditions" is more than objectional, it is inadmissible. It is sad that so many are resigned to the decline, becoming the voyeurs of fake news and riddles. Trump is a scourge, maybe we deserve it.

Monday, January 15, 2024

DAVOS 2024

Davos était longtemps "the place to be". Lieu incontournable dans le passé, il est devenu plus feutré. Les absents se font davantage remarquer que les présents. Macron, Zelensky,  Blinken ,Li Qiang, von der Leyen, entre autres, font encore le déplacement et le coté affaires affiche complet.

Ce serait dommage que ce fleuron de la globalisation devait disparaître. Les enceintes ou l'on peut se parler ou se rencontrer à l'abri des vétos sont devenues trop rares.

Davos reste incontournable. La règle de l'unanimité y est interdite de séjour et la discrétion est toujours à portée de mains. L'intelligence artificielle ne remplacera jamais la plus-value de l'échange d'idées en direct. Les innovations à  tous les niveaux, l'éclairage des tabous, ont besoin d'un "cadre protecteur" que Davos peut encore garantir.

Les personnalités contestables évitent ce contact en direct ou l'échange d'idées les met en difficulté. Celà illustre bien la valeur ajoutée de ce Forum, qui bien que discret fait peur à certains. C'est de la liberté de parole qu'il tient aussi sa pertinence. 

Les pays "démocratiques" sont vulnérables devant la montée des conflits hybrides et des manipulations par le biais de l'intelligence artificielle. Une guerre en Europe n'est plus à exclure. Guerres et conflits deviennent inter-dépendants. Autant de raisons pour devenir plus alertes avant d'être trop défaitistes.

Les rencontres à Davos, orchestrées par Klaus Schwab, ont pris un air du temps plus mélancolique certes, mais non moins pertinent.

Saturday, January 13, 2024


The ruling DFP (Democratic Progressive Party) won. William Lai will be the new president. The KMT (Kuomintang), which looks for a modus vivendi with China, failed to rally enough support for its "non aggressive" posture.

Power corrupts but it might also teach. The former president Tsai Ing-wen was a hard-liner. Her pas de deux with Nancy Pelosi, then US House speaker, was an unnecessary gesture that came with high risks and zero benefits for Taiwan.

Observers often tend to underestimate the existential importance that Beijing attaches to the adherence to the Shanghai Communiqué that was painfully arrived at between the USA and China. They likewise seem to be unaware of how far China is willing to go if a reunification of sorts can be achieved.

Unfortunately, Hong Kong sets a bad precedent for Beijing's commitments. The near total erosion of the one country/two systems mantra doesn't go unnoticed in Taipei. The US security guarantees regarding the status quo look less solid at a time when America gets dragged in a "multiple" of hybrid flashpoints that sap energy and oversight. President Xi is not Putin. He plays the long game at zero cost.

President Lai can follow the Gaullist precedent, playing the role of the man who understands and who ends up doing the opposite of what his mandate suggests. Statesmen are more often remembered for their reversal than for their consistency.

Be prepared and never underestimate the Chinese, especially when dealing among themselves. Descartes wouldn't fit in.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024


Le président français s'est offert un nouveau premier ministre. Nul doute que Gabriel Attal entendra bien se retrouver en symbiose avec lui. 

La première ministre remerciée, Elisabeth Borne, a eu un trajet difficile et ingrat. Il semblait qu'elle n'avait pas le contact de confiance immédiate avec le président. 

Son successeur a pour lui sa jeunesse et une ambition qui n'était pas un mystère. Le voilà promu déja, ce qui fera des envieux redoutables.

Il devient difficile de gérer les avancées sournoises de l'age dans des sociétés droguées au "frais". Attal a tout pour plaire, voir méme pour séduire. Macron a en tout cas fait un calcul audacieux, au moment ou la France voudra jouer sa carte maîtresse lors des jeux Olympiques de Paris. Il a choisi un fidèle qui aura autant d' adeptes que de détracteurs.

Ce Premier Ministre hors normes donne dès à présent à beaucoup en France comme ailleurs un coup de vieux qui risque de faire mal.

Saturday, January 6, 2024


We entered in this ominous new year with Angst. Seldom have the reasons for feeling insecure been so numerous and, at the same time, hard to define. We were used to seeing the world divided into categories:  us versus them. This simple projection was ready for consumption because in "the good old days" most of the world was ignored, but for some situations that were dealt with in a form of ignorance or guilt.

In 2024, the mirror cracked for good. The West had been able to force its own philosophical categories on the world. When fractures started to appear, they were generally ignored or considered growing pains. Now that they have multiplied, the full-alert level is already being overhauled.

There is a multiplier at work which does not obey to the Kantian rules but keeps busy creating nefarious distractions and seemingly unrelated outbursts at random. It serves the interests of a few and creates a form of shared despondency in the West. Yesterday's given situations and opinions are disparaged in favor of a generalized malaise.

The crisis points multiply everywhere, simultaneously. Only the US attempt to restore some form of shared concern regarding the need to stop this catastrophic chaos from becoming permanent. The EU retreats further in its self-created irrelevance, while Russia and China (with some help) wait for the right moment to make a move.

The situation in the Middle East further complicates the global mess. Israel is basically a selfish nation that doesn't care about consequence other than for what touches its own parochial interests. The continuation of its current policies has a detrimental effect on the West's economic and strategic security. Its moral blackmail is no longer an accepted currency when Ukraine suffers the consequences and when the whole region might become hostage to the selfish policies of P.M. Netanjahu. The sins of others do not diminish the responsibilities of the one who was considered, with caution, to be an ally who would show some humility under the protection of the "iron dome", backed by the US. 

The upcoming American presidential elections are already creating paranoia in the West. A victory for the Republican candidate would be felt as a requiem. Trump has no other values than those which match his sick ego. As long as he gets some nouveau riche embrace, he will be willing to sell the silver. He will prefer a sleep-over with almost anyone, as long as it is no EU member. The Talibans were invited to Camp David, after all.

President Biden often looks like yesterday, but so do others. Look at President Macron and his Olympics in Paris.  Better to keep going with men and women we trust and avoid the long good-bye we would regret.

Monday, January 1, 2024


Paul Buysse was een Condottiere in een land van middelmatigen.

Hij deet soms moeilijk maar zijn show loonde de moeite.

Hij was nooit klein...zijn ego stond hem dat niet toe.

De club van grote Belgen wordt kleiner. De generatie van the best and the brightest wordt stilaan de verleden tijd.