Hurm:

12/7/17 09:58
halialkers: A sister of battle from Warhammer 40K in full armor striding along (Xedevcekar)
[personal profile] halialkers posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40546617

According to this analysis Dorito Benito is serving as a good litmus test of the realities and limits of the power of the American Empire even as in practice he engages in actions sure to further its decay and decline and fall. Alone among the G20 he has chosen to fundamentally reject any application of climate change treaties (insofar as they were adhered to in the first place. The behavior of some signatories of the Kyoto Protocols and the breakdown of Copenhagen raises a point that the USA's refusal is simply overt malice instead of posturing to labor at a mountainous scale to produce a ridiculous mouse).

However this is a process that's already been in motion and has been for some time. 

 http://www.nytimes.com/cfr/international/20040301faessay_v83n2_kagan.html?pagewanted=print&

^As this article shows the US War in Iraq and the willful removal of the regime of one Saddam Hussein was a point at which the unilateral exercise of US power entered the first stages of what would prove to be an unbroken and fairly steep decline. The USA did march into Iraq and overthrow the regime....and then learned the hard way that whatever the self-interested motivations of France, at least, its critics understood events better than the US Administration of the time did. Precisely as everyone from General Shinseki to Chirac warned, the USA took a fragile rickety regime mostly good at killing its own people and turned into a dystopian hellhole even bigger than it was already. The original article also noted that Russia came out well out of the G20 meeting, which in many ways illustrates how hollow the liberal consensus of the post-1991 years has ultimately proved to be. A society that's rickety in the extreme outside of a narrowly circumscribed Potemkin prosperity in Moscow reliant mostly on a refurbished nuclear arsenal has successfully overthrown baseline rules Europeans believed were mostly writ in stone outside Yugoslavia in Crimea and the Donbas (and Zoid-er Georgia). Regardless of what truth there is or isn't to the idea that Russia somehow strongarmed the rise of Trump (and I don't believe for a minute that Russian influenced outweighed the revival of old model Dixiecrat style racism), the Russians have played a hilariously weak hand into a not so hilarious alteration of the global balance of power on a scale no Russian ruler has matched since either Peter the Great or Stalin. 

The hand Russia has is arguably too weak to last multiple decades or anywhere near as long as the old USSR's did, but in successfully rope-a-doping the United States and exposing the hollowness and complete dysfunctional basis of a NATO that seems to believe NATO stops on the Elbe and doesn't include the NATO member it refused to see had a reason to be involved in Syria (or Syria itself as a NATO member until ISIS shot up a Paris soccer game) knows it's still in NATO and so does Russia. Or that simply permitting the Russians to invade neighbors at will might possibly backfire on the people who find themselves having to belatedly turn their armies into forces that can fight a potential shooting war because the Russians improbably have made the USA a proxy in a fashion no Cold War regime would have ever believed possible. 
 

If nothing else all this shows that the Fukuyama Thesis is not only dead but that the corpse of same has decayed into ashes like a staked vampire. ISIS has started the crumbling of the Westphalian concept of the state whether or not it collapses this year or in the next three. Its survival matters less than it legitimizing the non-Westphalian state by routing 30,000 Iraqi soldiers with 800 fighters at the Battle of Mosul.

And together with that, the Russians have overthrown the notions of collective security and re-established rules that powers other than the USA can unilaterally act according to 19th Century Great Power logic again. History is not dead, it just took a break while the USA grasped an illusion of power, and now the wheel of history is in motion again as a ravenous juggernaut seeking whom it can crush as the world's climate ratchets upward with precious little as a viable means to really stop or slow it down in a way that matters. 

(no subject)

Date: 13/7/17 11:00 (UTC)
fridi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fridi
So far, Trumpism is shaping up as American exceptionalism on steroids. GWB must be rubbing his hands and smiling - while taking a break between the drawing of two paintings of his dogs, of course.

(no subject)

Date: 19/7/17 01:06 (UTC)
garote: (Default)
From: [personal profile] garote
It's a good analysis, but simultaneously compelling and not compelling for me. The United States' power and influence has weathered some really, really disastrous situations in the past. I think the only thing that's different on that score is:

An entire generation or two has grown up with the basic assumption that the US was the only remaining superpower, with China up-and-coming and Russia floundering endlessly, and now they're understanding that they weren't in some kind of political endgame but merely a lull in the craptastic hamster-wheel brawl of world conflict.

Russia has played a weak hand well but they still have a weak hand. The entire country, collectively, is still a glorified utility company, and the entire populace is still, collectively, deeply cynical, detached from political power, disorganized, and too isolated. I still believe that a positive trend is emerging from this would be the positive connection of the Russian people with cultural allies and examples outside their own borders, in spite of the dick moves of their leaders, inspiring them to claim more power and independence from Moscow. I think that wedge of separation between the perception of the US government and the US population has always served it well internationally, and it's about time Russians benefited from the same kind of separation.

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