Something is different in politics recently. No, not Trump. I mean the global nature of previously domestic politics. In the past, there was a superficial awareness of geopolitics and foreign leaders. But now we have the same emotional, visceral response to other countries’ politicians, that used to be reserved for one’s own. Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, Merkel, Wilders, Orban, Erdogan — have supporters and detractors across the world. There even seem to be the rough outlines of political alignment across boundaries, such as Nigel Farage stumping for Trump.
Social media has certainly contributed to this globalization of discourse. But there is a narrative structure to recent events. A disaffected, right-wing, populist, global “revolution” against the “establishment” is a unifying thread. Both sides of the political spectrum are engaging in cross-border alignments. Is there a deliberate unite-and-rule tactic happening, to drive us into yet another false, left-right paradigm? This time, it is pushing our consciousness to operate on the global level, rather than the national.
We are to believe that there is suddenly a groundswell of opposition to global governance, simultaneously, worldwide. This opposition is momentarily winning, but it is painted in the darkest terms, as something that must be defeated. Perhaps it is just one phase of the dialectic, to get us psychologically prepared for global governance.
Just as with national politics, there is a danger in engaging this new global politics. It is putting our faith, hope, time and energy into these pantheonic figures, completely removed from our lives, which might as well be cartoon characters on a screen. We ignore the local, the immediate, the personal. We should not buy into these false alignments and alliances, as if they are our saviors — a grand revolution around the world.
The real revolution is at home.
Here I am on my post-election gloating tour, with another prediction that’s finally been picked up on by the media. In July, I asked “Is Trump the ‘Asia pivot’ candidate?“, and showed how his candidacy may be the culmination of this major shift in US geopolitics. Well, here’s a sampling of the Google News results on this issue, now that Trump has been elected.
Looks like there’s something to this. He may ease tensions with Russia, while at the same time putting us on a war path with China. Dangerous times!
Looking at the difference between Trump’s and Hillary’s attitudes towards Russia, one can’t help but feel that there’s something deeper going on. Hillary’s hostility to Russia, contrasted with Trump’s amiable gestures, raises the question of what Trump’s objectives are. Or more accurately, those of the team of national security insiders he has assembled, including former Defense Intelligence Agency director Michael Flynn.
Let’s get this out of the way: it is not non-interventionism, no matter what some libertarians may wish to believe about Trump. These are serious military-industrial complex heavy-hitters in his inner circle. He is not against using American power, he is simply pushing a different agenda from the neocons formerly in power. His well-known antipathy to China may provide a clue. Here’s Trump’s plan to “get tough” on China (there is no “get tough” on Russia plan):
Declare China A Currency Manipulator
End China’s Intellectual Property Violations
Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages
Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas
Donald Trump campaign website, July 30, 2016
Increased trade barriers, sparking a possible trade war, combined with amped up military presence in China’s backyard sends a pretty clear signal of Trump’s intentions. This falls in line with the elite foreign policy consensus of an “Asia pivot” in the past few years – away from the Middle East and towards containing a rising China. Let Russia help us mop up ISIS and “radical Islam”, Trump seems to argue, which leaves us free to confront China.
At a press conference a few days ago, Trump said he doesn’t want to see Russia and China “teaming up”. He seems to understand, or has been made to understand, the fears underlying thia Asia pivot. Closer military and economic cooperation between Russia and China presents a major stumbling block to Western globalist hegemony. The election contest between Trump and Hillary can be seen as a contest between the foreign policy realist “pivot” faction and the anti-Russia neocons. Far from ushering in an era of non-interventionism, Trump would merely shift the target of American power.
Since Trump and Putin seem to like each other, is it likely that a President Trump’s newly-befriended Russia would throw Edward Snowden under the extradition bus?
Let’s see what Trump has said about Snowden.
I think Snowden is a terrible threat, I think he’s a terrible traitor, and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country — you know what we used to do to traitors, right?
The Washington Times, July 2, 2013
When you just asked the question about Snowden, I will tell you right from the beginning, I said he was a spy and we should get him back. And if Russia respected our country, they would have sent him back immediately, but he was a spy. It didn’t take me a long time to figure that one out.
Newsweek, March 4, 2016
Here’s what Putin has said about Trump.
[Donald Trump is] a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt. It’s not our job to judge his qualities, that’s a job for American voters, but he’s the absolute leader in the presidential race. … He says he wants to move on to a new, more substantial relationship, a deeper relationship with Russia, how can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome that.
The Political Insider, December 17, 2015
And what Trump said of Putin.
It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond. I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.
CNN, December 17, 2015
With warmed relations, Snowden may quickly lose his value as a geopolitical “trump” card and find himself on a one-way flight to Guantanamo. Maybe he should start country shopping?
The US foreign policy establishment is shifting focus to Central Asia as the key pivot point in “The Great Game” for natural resources. The increasing Islamization of the region and its attendant conflicts are part of an intentional “strategy of tension” meant to subvert, destabilize, and ultimately pacify the region for Western economic exploitation. This is the thesis put forth by Sibel Edmonds and her partners at Boiling Frogs Post, in her series on Gladio B, her nickname for this US-led operation.
To further illuminate this topic, it would be interesting to look at the financial goings-on of this region in more detail. I’ve drawn data from the World Bank regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in this region for the past 20 years. There is an obvious trend of increasing investment, with a hiccup after the 2008 global economic crisis:
This is a good starting point for asking further questions. What is the breakdown between US, Chinese, and Russian investments? What proven and speculated resource deposits lie in this region and what is their estimated value? What projects are being supported by these investments and how do they impact the economic power of those involved?
Tackling these questions in detail will be a useful analytical tool in understanding “The Great Game”.