Putin, Trump, and the EU

Like I said yesterday in comments, I’m bored with the impeachment follies, it’s bullshit and it’s going nowhere, although it may well give President Trump a landslide victory, and that very fact may allow reasonable Democrats to get control of their party. But don’t hold your breath on that either. We’ll come back to it, sadly, when there is something to talk about.

Meantime, it does us no harm to look out over the parapet and see what’s going on in the world. So today, there is an excellent (I think) assessment of Putin by Areg Galstyan at American Thinker. Let’s have a look…

Vladimir Putin has ruled the country since 2000, and over these 19 years, influence groups around him have been fighting each other for a special position and status. Unlike most of his associates, Putin is indeed an ideologically motivated leader who perceives himself not just as a politician and an official, but as a sovereign, such as Peter the Great and Alexander III — the beloved emperors of the current Russian leader.

One of my blogfriends, a Briton living in Siberia, categorically states he is also a Christian, that may be so or it may not be, but he undeniably supports the Russian Orthodox Church, whether out of conviction or statecraft doesn’t really matter. Interesting that Putin and Trump, the two largest nationalist leaders, also profess as Christians, not many others do, as they attend St. Mattress almost every Sunday.

The new ideology that is called Putinism is uniting principles and foundations that have remained unchanged throughout all the historical stages of the development of Russia. Its foundation is the concept of National Democracy. It implies that the process of democratization and the formation of an active civil society is inevitable but it should not be carried out according to any foreign model. The Russian nation, like any other, has its civilizational, social, and cultural features. Today, 190 peoples live in Russia, and most of them retain their language, traditions, and mentality. From this point of view, Moscow is always under the permanent threat of external forces using any interethnic disagreements for their purposes. If, for example, a political decision was made to allow same-sex “marriage” in the deeply conservative regions of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, and Siberia, riots would begin. And they would lead to the most unpredictable consequences. For a large part of the progressive West, this may sound wild. Yet for Russia, it is a matter of national security.

It is important to understand that Russia is not limited to Moscow or Saint Petersburg. These cities, like any major megalopolises, are centers of the dominance of progressive and liberal ideas. No one will argue with the fact that the United States does not begin and end in New York and California; there are also Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and other states. The victory of Donald Trump vividly demonstrated that it was conditional Texas and Kentucky that were the heart of America, not Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The situation is similar in Russia: Putin is guided by the mood of the regional majority, not the liberal minority of the capital. There are a lot of sensitive problems, and any Russian ruler has to maintain internal balance in order to keep the country’s physical integrity. This is an extremely difficult task. At certain periods of time, Emperor Nicholas II, and then the last general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, did not cope with this task. This resulted in the collapse of the Russian Empire and the USSR, respectively. Thus, the essence of Sovereign or National Democracy is in a banal formula: everything has its time. In other words, Putinism advocates an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary model of development.

There is quite a bit more, all of it good.

My takeaway is this, I don’t think Russia is much of a threat to the US. It is a big European/Asian power, yes, and it could do serious harm to the US, but why. The converse is equally true, and I don’t hear any American thinking we should destroy Russia.

We compete yes, especially for oil sales. As an aside, last month for the first time in 70 years we became a net exporter. But providing Germany’s fossil fuel doesn’t translate to a justification for war.

A key point is this, our interests are in fact, while not identical, similar, and until the 1917 revolution, Russia was (more or less) our friend, as much as any great power (saving only Britain) was or is. We pretty much know now (and probably should have before) that a lot of the Washington swamp hasn’t gotten the memo that the cold war is over. I’d guess that there is a similar cabal in the Kremlin. If for no other reason than its good for the arms manufacturers, and their subsidiaries in Washington and Moscow.

But we’re both interested in suppressing terrorism, especially after our ‘experts’ made the mid-east so much worse. And frankly, it is not really in either of our interests to encourage the Chinese, let alone the North Koreans.

NATO was formed 70 years ago to “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. It has done well on the first two, and after the failure of the Soviet Union pretty much failed on the last. That will I suspect have consequences as Europe returns to be the cockpit of internecine conflict. The EU will implode, probably in this decade, and then the great game will restart as the Germans once more try to form a European Empire. In truth, the EU itself is an attempt by Germany to form an empire by economic means rather than military, that is why Macron’s nose is so out of joint.

If as the linked author says, Putin believes in Westphalia, Vienna, and Potsdam and Yalta, then he is pretty much the Russian form of Trump. And as we know, now if we didn’t before we elected him, he’s not out looking around for wars to wage. I doubt Putin is either. Both have better things to do for their countries.

And I think it entirely possible that Putin is more trustworthy than either Macron or Merkel, let alone this new German running the EU.

NATO at 70, Uncivil Serpents, and Doing the Right Thing

So, this week looks like it will be about foreign affairs – until something changes, I reckon. But that’s where we start.

The North Atlantic signatories are meeting today and tomorrow in Britain. There is a lot of noise, between the president’s concern about European funding, which is certainly justified, French (which has not been a military member since the 1960s) carping about this and that. Macron is only staying for one day, he has other problems. There is a general strike coming in France on 5 December, that will pretty much shut the joint down. Not to mention the shouting matches between Macron and Erdoğan of Turkey.

In a sense, this looks to me like an alliance looking for a purpose. 70 years ago when it was formed under US and UK leadership it clearly was a counterpoint to the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. That war ended 30 years ago, and it seems to me that NATO doesn’t have a real mission anymore. It’s protected by deep state practitioners in all the allied countries, a fair number of whom seem to have not gotten the memo that the cold war is over.

Rule 5 is the heart of the whole thing. It is the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all, and lead to the American assertion (in the bad old days) that America’s eastern border was the Elbe River. That was good sense and admirable clarity. But now what? Some vague line in the middle of Ukraine, the Turkish, Syrian border. Really? Do we want to commit American boys and girls to fight for those things?

In many ways, Europe for the United States, and perhaps for Russia as well, has become a backwater, and its stultifying economy and penchant for internecine dispute and internal imperialism strengthens that notion. So the real question is Quo Vadis.

More here and here.

So in the middle of an election campaign, this is the team that Boris Johnson will attempt to harness this week. Good luck with that, he’ll need a barge load, I suspect.

When we talk about the deep state, we are referring to the same thing as the cousins call the Civil Service (actually most of my friends refer to them as uncivil serpents, for cause). It happens in all bureaucracies, people get aligned with something and no matter what the politicians do, there they stand.

One of the worst cases was in Neville Chamberlin’s tenure in Downing Street. Adrian Phillips wrote the book on Sir Horace Wilson. He published an excerpt on History News Network this weekend, and it looks fascinating. A paragraph or so:

In 1941, as his time in office drew to a close, the head of the British Civil Service, Sir Horace Wilson, sat down to write an account of the government policy with which he had been most closely associated. It was also the defining policy of Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister whom Wilson had served as his closest adviser throughout his time in office. It had brought Chamberlain immense prestige, but this had been followed very shortly afterwards by near-universal criticism. Under the title ‘Munich, 1938’, Wilson gave his version of the events leading up to the Munich conference of 30 September 1938, which had prevented – or, as proved to be the case, delayed – the outbreak of another world war at the cost of the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. By then the word ‘appeasement’ had acquired a thoroughly derogatory meaning. Chamberlain had died in 1940, leaving Wilson to defend their joint reputation. Both men had been driven by the highest of motivations: the desire to prevent war. Both had been completely convinced that their policy was the correct one at the time and neither ever admitted afterwards that they might have been wrong.

The book has joined my list, which you’ll not be surprised, is long, but this looks very good. It also appears to bear on much of what we have talked about today.

Churchill apparently never said that “Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.”  But it’s a fair bet that he thought it pretty often, and pretty often it is true. But we do most often get around to doing the right thing.

As we did with the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. It’s not something we can credibly go to war about, as I said back on 15 June, this is likely to be a replay of Hungary in 1956, where we simply cannot physically support our friends.

But we eventually found a way, that will hurt China if they suppress the Hong Kongers without a direct military challenge. But look again at the picture that accompanied the article in June (pretty close to the beginning of the protests). Who are they looking to for help? Right, the British, after all, Hong Kong is a former Crown Colony. But that soon changes as the Hong Kongers realized that Britain wasn’t going to be there for them, and so the flags changed, from flags with the Union Flag, or the Union Flag itself, to the American flag. That change was important, for the US does have a habit of as John Kennedy said.

 We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

  Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

And so we found a way, a no doubt an imperfect way, but the American people first, and then the US government moved to align ourselves once again with freedom, and against tyranny.

The sad part is that Britain should have been on the rampart with us, but was MIA when it counted, whether they were too preoccupied with Brexit, or too in hock to their Chinese paymasters (as some say), or still another reason, doesn’t really matter. When it mattered, they, like Achille, were skulking in their tent. A sad commentary.

What wasn’t sad all, was that these polite protestors, brought out their flags, and even the new poster of our President, and sang our National Anthem by way of saying “Thank You”. I’d trade our leftists for these brave people anytime. What great Americans they’d make!

The Strange Death of Europe

It’s probably safe to assume that many of you have heard of Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe. Murray is an Associate Editor of The Spectator and the author of The Madness of Crowds as well. It’s another one of those splendid interviews we have come to expect from Peter Robinson and The Hoover Institution.

There’s little to add to this, it’s his view, and it is a valid view, and in fact, it is very close to my own view, just better expressed. Except perhaps to wonder whether the United States can survive the death of our parent society.


And in an endnote of sorts, Chik Fil A announced yesterday that its charitable arm will no longer support the Salvation Army. That’s well within its purview so I’ll make no comment on it. What is within my purview is what I spend my money on, and it will not be with a hypocritical so-called Christian business who does not support the most effective Christian charity in the world. I find few things more irritating than hypocrisy, especially in favor of perhaps 1% of the population, whom the Sally Army already helps as necessary.

The Salvation Army is the only national/international charity that I find worthy of my money, and as such, for a Christian charity to not support it is beyond my personal pale.

Eat Mor Beef.

That does not mean I’m calling for a boycott or any other action. I’m merely stating what I will do. You do what you think is right.

“Be Brave. Be Water. Be Ready.” It Applies to Americans Too.

Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist has an outstanding column on the Hong Kong protests.  It is a bit long but it also burrows down into the whole thing. It’s not very prone to excerpts, so I’m just going to suggest you read it. As the Hong Kongers say: “Be Brave. Be Water. Be Ready.” And for God’s sake don’t be a coward like LeBron James.

My other favorite from yesterday is from American Greatness, where Edward Ring visualized the Future that Trump portends. Here’s the opening:

Anyone who thinks President Trump’s victory is inevitable in 2020 is not paying attention. The entire weight of America’s profiteering elites is arrayed against him.

But what if he wins anyway? What if enough voters realize they’re being conned by the Democrats? What if enough voters decide they don’t want to feel like unwanted usurpers in their own nation? What if men and women of all ethnicities realize that despite the unrelenting avalanche of lies coming from the Left, America is a welcoming and inclusive nation and that the only way a society can stay healthy is by rewarding personal initiative?

What if a critical mass of independent voters were to conclude that, despite his pugnacity, President Trump cares about all Americans, and actually holds moderate, compassionate, common-sense positions? If these things happen, and they very well might, not only will President Trump get reelected, but control of the House of Representatives will return once again to the GOP. And if these sentiments sweep across the land, then politicians of both parties will realize it is time to stop fighting and get back to serving the American people.

Go ahead and read it and then come back, and we’ll talk a bit.

Quite the vision, isn’t it? Realistic? Perhaps not, but who can say. It reads as almost Pollyanish, embroiled as we are in the divisive culture wars. But who’s to say. In 1776, it was dead certain that Britain would regain its colonies, probably more certain than that the ChiComs will suppress the Hong Kongers. But it didn’t turn out that way, did it?

We often misapply the City on a Hill speech, but part of that is that we see beyond what Bradford could see. We can see how the American idea appeals all over the world. We have seen what free markets and free men and women can do. We saw a strip of dirt along the Atlantic Ocean, making a poor living as subsistence farmers turn into the greatest and freest and most powerful nation the world has ever seen both economically and militarily,   because of that freedom. And a bit of British gold to lubricate things, because of everyplace in the world, we were and are, the most like them with a trustworthy legal system.

Right now we have the divisiveness and vituperativeness of the left, as we have had (but worse) since Wilson a hundred years ago. This is why our greatest accomplishments – so far –  were in the nineteenth century. We have been swimming upstream against those who wish to shackle, for their own benefit, the people of the United States certainly, but actually all the world. Something for us all to remember, we are the ‘Keeper of the Flame’ of Liberty, if we go down, most likely all the world will follow us into a new dark age, made more sinister by the technology that free men developed. If we stand, the world has a chance.

You all know that I talk to many in Britain, like us, they have their eyeores, but when you really talk to them, they sound like the Hong Kongers, or Americans. I firmly believe that one of two things will happen there, Britain will exit the European Union, or Britain will destroy its left and destroy the European Union. God bless ’em. I said even before the referendum, that its significance is equal to July 4th, 1776, or maybe the Reformation.

In short, do I believe it will happen as Mr. Ring writes? Probably not. But if we stay the course, and continue to lead with our power and might, not only physically, but morally as well, we will win through, and others will follow us to Churchill’s broad sunlit uplands. You would be surprised how many Britons, and I suspect others, as well, read American blogs, for truthful information, of course, but also because of our thinking, and our willingness to speak.

Once again, I am reminded of the first lines of America’s first great anthem.

Let tyrants shake their iron rod
And slav’ry clang her galling chains;
We’ll fear them not. We trust in God;

Syria, Turkey, the Kurds

Well, we talked about the President’s Kurdish strategy yesterday. Like some of you, I was supportive but a bit worried. We just plainly cannot go around the world interfering in every conflict, no matter how rich it makes the military-industrial complex. As is usual, as soon as I talked a bit about it, the situation changed. How? the Kurds struck a deal with Syria. That to me makes far more sense. If anything in the mid-east makes much sense at all. Seraphim Hanisch writing in The Duran is quite a bit more positive than I am, so let’s take a look.

President Trump was right again. According to a new Fox News piece published late Sunday evening, Kurdish forces negotiated a deal with Damascus to face off Turkey’s offensive. Russia is involved in the dealmaking as well.

The New York Times reported that the deal– which was announced Sunday evening– would enable President Bashar al-Assad’s forces to attempt to regain a foothold in the country’s northeast. The Kurdish fighters had few options after the United States abandoned them, and it had been anticipated they would turn to Assad’s government for support.

“An agreement has been reached with the Syrian government — whose duty it is to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty — for the Syrian Army to enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to help the SDF stop this aggression” by Turkey, the SDF said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported that the deal was reached after three days of negotiations between the Kurdish forces, Russian envoys and Damascus. […]

The media is portraying this as a Terrible, Awful, Not-so-Good, Unbelievably bad move for Trump who, as the American MSM, now even including Matt Drudge and more and more people even from Fox News will be happy to tell you, is facing the early termination of his Presidency with a growing level of “support” for impeachment and removal from office, per the Compleat Fake Impeachment Scandal.

These anti-Trump forces – basically globalists, secular humanists, represented in a very large number by the ranks of US Representatives and Senators in our own government, and reinforced by the severely biased globalist, secular humanist-biased Western press – are engaged in all-out waragainst the American president.

However, President Trump is playing the long game, and as usual, the foreign policy moves he makes (when he does so unfettered by “advisers”) are practical, needful, and nearly perfect. He is not afraid to gamble as he did with this Turkey / Kurd situation.

I don’t know about you, but I see little in that to argue with. In fact, the howl that went up from all the usual (globalist) suspects told me it was probably an excellent idea. I’m not very enamored of Russia’s involvement, to be honest, but Syria even with the support of others in the neighborhood, probably isn’t big enough to carry the ball alone. The best thing is that those 50-100 American special forces are not in the line of fire.

There are reports that Turkish troops/auxiliaries are killing civilians, including women and children. That probably helped precipitate the deal. It’s also normal Turkish practice, they practically invented ethnic cleansing. In this case, they are bringing opposition to them into the field, and that too is good. Erdogan is getting much too big for his britches and needs a lesson.

President Trump spoke about this situation the other day:

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

Arms of the Portuguese Prince Henry, the Navig...

Image via Wikipedia

Another Columbus Day has come. And again we celebrate the (re)discovery of the New World. And look what has been erected on that discovery! If you didn’t know; Columbus was a student of Prince Henry the Navigator’s school.

Those students made almost all of the voyages of discovery from the Iberian Peninsula. By the way, Prince Henry of  Portugal was the Grandson of John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster. The English always make it into these stories of the sea, don’t they?

So we know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. But why? His crews were afraid of starving or falling off the edge of the world. His ships were ridiculously small. What exactly was the point? Nobody in Portugal had even heard of Brazil, nor were they all that enthused about an overseas empire. So, why?

Trade, that’s why. Everybody knew where India and China were (at least all the cool cats that knew the world was round). They had since Marco Polo made that remarkable trip, if not before. They liked the silk and other good things that came from China. But there was a problem.

You see there were pirates in the Mediterranean, then one had to get through the totalitarian Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Persians, and various and sundry other Islamic States. If you remember Spain had just managed to reconquer Spain from the Moslems and just plain didn’t want anything to do with them. So they decided to take a shortcut and sail west to go east. Yeah, their calculations were off a bit about the size of the world, but that’s why.

Now let’s think about this a little, Spain went way out of its way to avoid the clowns and founded both the New World and New Spain in the process: and got themselves into a shooting war with England that would eventually cost them their world power status. See A Cloud Smaller Than a Fist.

A few hundred years later, the United States won its Independence from Great Britain. The United States’ very first war was a regime change in Tripoli. There are still Islamic pirates, they still hold slaves and all in all they are still living in the 7th Century. And still today, Iran threatens war on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Some things never change.

Only now with their oil wealth, instead of modernizing and improving their people’s lives and such, they seem intent on conquering the world and seem to believe the world will use its modernity to help

They have found some fellow travelers, who had best hope they lose because they aren’t going to enjoy winning for long. Ask the survivors of the Kingdom of the Visigoths in about 1000 AD.

So there you have it. The cause of Columbus sailing the Ocean Blue.

In Other News:

  • General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, dies peacefully at his home in Lexington, Virginia. He was 63 years old.

Lee was born to Henry Lee (Light Horse Harry) and Ann Carter Lee at Stratford Hall, Virginia, in 1807. His father served in the American Revolution under George Washington and was later a governor of Virginia. Robert Lee attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated second in his class in 1829. He did not earn a single demerit during his four years at the academy. Afterward, Lee embarked on a military career, eventually fighting in the Mexican War (1846-48) and later serving as the superintendent of West Point.

  • On the morning of October 12, 1915, the 49-year-old British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium.

Before World War I began in 1914, Cavell served for a number of years as the matron of a nurse’s training school in Brussels. After the city was captured and occupied by the Germans in the first month of the war, Cavell chose to remain at her post, tending to German soldiers and Belgians alike. In August 1915, German authorities arrested her and accused her of helping British and French prisoners-of-war, as well as Belgians hoping to serve with the Allied armies, to escape Belgium for neutral Holland. As I wrote on the centenary of her execution, here, there was no doubt at all of her guilt. And you can watch (no sound BTW) the procession for her state funeral at Norwich Cathedral in 1919 here.

  • On this day in 1776, British Generals Henry Clinton and William Howe lead a force of 4,000 troops aboard some 90 flat-boats up New York’s East River toward Throg’s Neck, a peninsula in Westchester County, in an effort to encircle General George Washington and the Patriot force stationed at Harlem Heights.

This was the largest British amphibious attack before Normandy.

After hearing of the British landing at Throg’s Neck, Washington ordered a contingent of troops from the Pennsylvania regiment to destroy the bridge leading from the peninsula to the Westchester mainland. The destruction of the bridge stranded Clinton and his men at Throg’s Neck for six days before they were loaded back onto their vessels and continued up the East River toward Pell Point.

  • On this day in 1946, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma, dies today at age 63.

All courtesy of This Day In History.

 

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