Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Warm War: Russiamania At The Boiling Point



Is it war yet?
Yes, in too many respects.
It’s a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come.
I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat.  These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages.
But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change—indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got in the way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance.
Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says?
That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordination of the West/NATO’s reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals, as well as the formation of a War Cabinet in Washington, indicates to me that we’ve moved to another level of aggression.
It’s beyond Cold. Call it the Warm War. And the temperature’s rising.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What To Expect From A Trump-Kim Meeting

CNN
Nothing.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s delightful to watch Donald Trump discombobulate the bipartisan American national security and foreign policy establishment with his impulsive assent to talks with DPRK leader, Kim Jong-un. He’s got the Republican and Democratic party and media figures in a tizzy trying to figure out how to respond to such seemingly radical out-of-the-box peace-mongering, which disrupts the ways in which the Republicans want to valorize, and the Democrats demonize, Trump for their respective bases.
It’s particularly instructive to see Democratic pundits like Rachel Maddow sniping at Trump for the kind of peace initiative they would have lauded from any Democratic president. Just as they did with welfare in the 90s, the Democrats are now trying to outflank the Republicans on the warfare front. It’s hard to figure out whether Republicans or Democrats are more embarrassed by the prospect of a successful Trump-Kim summit. Another example of the salutary Trump-effect: stripping the pretense that either pole of the two-party system has any real interest in stable, global peace. 
Neither party should worry, however. There’s only a small chance such an encounter will lead to a lessening of tensions on the Korean peninsula, and the net result, even in the best case, will not fundamentally change the dangerously aggressive posture of the United States in the world. Indeed, it will likely increase the chances of war elsewhere. In a very real sense, all the possible outcomes are bad.

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