When domestic politics fail: Go to war

I hate to say “I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so”, which is why I’m very pleased to say that for once my predictions weren’t altogether accurate.

Avid readers may remember how I, in a late December 2016 blog post, appointed the Middle East the new East–West battlefield. Turned out that I was indeed right, but what I failed to see, was the escalation of the Southeast Asian conflict now materialising in North Korea’s armament and the U.S. Navy’s race towards the Korean peninsula’s shores.

The Middle East Midtøsten

Make no mistake about it: We may think the Middle East resembled hell on earth, but I fear we haven’t seen the half of it. With Southeast Asian conflicts on the rise, on top of Russia’s aggressive stance on neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine, it’s safe to say that it’s been some time since we were this close to a potential world war 3, hard as it is to imagine.

Of course it’s all to do with both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s lack of success in domestic affairs and their need to show international force, coupled with fellow madman Kim Jong-un’s megalomaniacal delusions.

Kim Jong-un og Malaysia Airlines
Kim Jong-un and Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Blogger’s manipulation.

While I hate to admit failing to see this development in advance, there’s no denying it’s currently playing out right under our noses, and I, for one, am scared shitless.

But it doesn’t stop there: With Brexit underway, and Spain and the UK fighting over Gibraltar, Europe’s stability is at risk, too.

The situation may be diffused, if parties involved are willing to take a step back. At present, however, that doesn’t seem very likely.

And then, of course, there’s Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

At the risk of repeating myself, I think I’d better repeat myself:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Top illustration: U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Blogger’s drawing.

 

Uzbekistan is all the rage

In light of Europe’s two recentmost St. + St. (St. Petersburg and Stockholm) terrorist attacks, you have to ask whether or not Uzbekistan – whence the two alleged perps allegedly originated – indeed is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself as a Muslim extremist.

I think we have established that it sure as hell isn’t Raqqa.

At any rate we need to acknowledge that terrorist attacks have become a very ordinary element in urban everyday life – whereas cowards, such as myself, go hide in the countryside.

Keep calm and carry on

Syria: Cause for concern

If the Bush administration succeeded in convincing some of Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, we shouldn’t be surprised if the Trump administration manages to convince them of the Shayrat airbase’s part in Syria’s alleged chemical warfare – true or not.

I’m not saying this in defence of Bashar al-Assad. The man is criminal, through and through. Only problem is: With all probablitiy, so is Donald J. Trump.

Caution, is all I’m saying. Let’s not forget Iraq just yet (or Libya, for that matter), and for God’s sake, let us not forget about Russia.

An old phrase – you know whose – immediately springs to mind:

Wollen Sie den totalen Krieg?

Fighting fire with fire

Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria [so I’ve launched some 50+ missiles]

President Donald J. Trump last night

On a somewhat more positive note it should be added that western measures were long overdue. Let’s just hope the Shayrat airbase wasn’t manned by Russian troops – or that Mother Russia is looking kindly on an attack on her close Middle East ally.

Also, I’d like to draw your attention to a late December blog post.

Russia Russland Middle East Midtøsten

Any attempt to concentrate power to one out of three branches of government must be opposed vehemently.

I tell you, Russiagate is going to be such much fun.

The President a dangerous White House resident

Like most Europeans we Norwegians care deeply for America, in fact so much so that our reluctance to join the European Union is in part justified — and explained — by our close US relations, more or less obviating other alliances. And that, dear reader, is no exaggeration.

While it is no secret that this blogger finds closer ties to the EU, materialised in a full membership, preferable, I, too, care for America, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, brought up with American products, heroes, artists and culture as we are, as well as a loyal US and NATO ally, since the alliance’s formation.

Also, since long before Russia’s President Putin started rattling his sabers, one has been an avid advocate for the reinforcement of the North Atlantic alliance and, therefore, our ties to the United States.

Nowadays, however, we’re simply afraid, and this blogger is no exception, with a deep care for America converted to the deepest fear for America — or, rather, for its president. Of course our ridicule is motivated by his ridiculous statements and, some times, appearance, but underneath lies layer upon layer of deep fear, knowing full well that we have indeed seen political madmen in our near past, of whom some even advocating politics very similar to the ones presented by the current US President.

In other words our fear, in spite of our obvious care, should come as no surprise.

I am aware that many would argue that there’s a huge difference between the two above depicted dictators and this here man:

U.S. President Donald Trump. Official White house portrait.
U.S. President Donald Trump. Official White house portrait.

But you really shouldn’t be surprised if some of us beg to differ. Especially considering the emerging and, in part already existing, political climate he inspires:

Consider then, dear American readers (of whom I actually have quite a few), that we fancied ourselves your ally in the battle against authoritarian leaders, such as this gentleman:

Russlands president Vladimir Putin (foto fra kremlin.ru).
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (photo from kremlin.ru).

And I’m sure you will agree that following Russia’s example may not be the best way to go about just that challenge.

Be that as it may, we still care deeply for America, but I hope you understand why it is that some of that care may easily be replaced by fear, if you would be so kind as to excuse the rhyme (in the headline, too).

My approach is very simple, really: We should aspire to a civilised world, not one led by hooligans. Is that too much to ask?

On a lighter note, though, seeing as we do so love American culture:

Top photo: Dark times. Blogger’s illustration.

But Norwegian profanities A OK

CNN’s fairly restrictive on-air profanity policy should be well-known by now (remember Madonna’s recent D.C. appearance?). Foreign languages, on the other hand, may prove to be a bit of a challenge. This F-16 pilot’s “Helvete!” translates to “Bloody hell!”.

IDK, just felt strangely good to hear Norwegian cussing in international news.

If you ever doubted

Doubt no more:

Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Source: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Jarle Petterson
SPIES LIKE US: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Source: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Jarle Petterson

Snowden claims report Russia may ‘gift’ him to Trump proves he is not a spy | US news | The Guardian

The whistleblower took to Twitter to say that the NBC report vindicates him of spying charges because ‘no country trades away spies’

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has seized on a report that Russia is considering sending him back to the US as a “gift” to Donald Trump, saying that the story vindicates him of charges that he is a spy.

“Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” he said on Twitter. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”

Source: Snowden claims report Russia may ‘gift’ him to Trump proves he is not a spy | US news | The Guardian

Or, as I’d put it:

Edward Snowden leaving Fort Meade, en route to Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger's own drawing.
Edward Snowden leaving Fort Meade, en route to Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger’s own drawing.