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.

 

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

So you think 2016 was bad?

I’m sure we can agree that it’s been a terrible year, what with the countless terrorist attacks, the war in Syria, the innumerable refugees and their suffering, the immense growth of fake news, Russia’s continued intervention in Ukraine, Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, won by Vladimir Putin’s very own Donald Trump.

And then, of course, there’s the incredible demise of uncountable artists throughout the entertainment industry, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise in times sporting more celebrities than ever before, among whom a considerable share in the geriatric segment. But you cannot help wonder how some regard that the worst aspect of the year now approaching its ultimate finale. Text continued below painting.

David Bowie (1947–2016). Blogger's own watercolour painting, made with Waterlogue.
David Bowie (1947–2016). Blogger’s own watercolour painting, made with Waterlogue.

While I wouldn’t even dream of making fun of the fans’ undoubtedly sincere grief (I’ve been mourning some of them, too, in my own small way), perhaps pointing out that we do have bigger fish to fry – or much bigger problems – is in order?

Terrible as 2016 was, I fear it didn’t even come close to what the upcoming year has in store.

I’m confident that, like me, you never expected to live to see Donald J. Trump elected president of the USA, which, I’m sure, adds up to nothing, compared to experiencing him executing his job while in office. Text continued below photo.

Donald Trump og Nigel Farage (foto fra UKIP).
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage (photograph from UKIP).

Seeing as I accidentally happened to pick a photograph of him and fellow nationalist Nigel Farage, there’s no avoiding next year’s consequences of Britain’s 2016 decision; the implementation of the EU’s article 50, which once and for all is going to sever the United Kingdom from the European Union, with all its implications (covered in this blog throughout the first half of the year). Unless Westminster finds a way to declare the outcome of last June’s referendum null and void.

Worst of all, however, is the fact (?) that we no longer seem able to distinct facts from fiction, as the number of fake news outlets grows every day, a matter I touched on in a blog post the other day, and make no mistake about it: It’s all Vladimir Putin’s doing, in an attempt at destabilising the west, which he successfully achieved in Britain last summer and in America this autumn. However, I fear we’ve only seen the beginning. Text continued below photo.

Festung Europa? Fotograf: Schroeder Alain/Den europeiske union
Festung Europa? Photographer: Schroeder Alain/The European Union.

We should, I’m afraid, brace ourselves for global tension the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades, possibly not since the early 1960s, for those of us who recall the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But please … Pretty, pretty please stop this talk about the possibility of a cold war. It’s been around for years, even if you didn’t notice.

Having established that, I find that the Russian national anthem, performed by Russia’s Red Army Choir, whose members died in a Christmas airplane crash last week, rest their souls, en route to Russia’s latest occupation, Syria, is in perfect order:

Judging by current goings on, people around the globe may as well start rehearsing its lyrics, the sooner the better.

And of course, as indicated by the top illustration, the Middle East will continue to play a vital part in next year’s news. Predominantly, I’m afraid, as a Russo-Turkish conquest. Also, as indicated in the illustration, the ripple effects will be significant.

Meanwhile we may as well conclude that we’re already there, unless you can provide evidence of other reasons why Vladimir Putin is the one to declare a Syrian ceasefire today.

Oh, and a very happy new year to you.

Frykter flyktninger fra Aleppo vil dø i vinterkulden – NRK Urix – Utenriksnyheter og -dokumentarer

Men vi fikk i alle fall redusert antallet nye flyktninger i kongeriket, fra 30.000 til 3000. Hvordan kan de ignorere det?

Snø og kulde i det nordlige Syria har gjort situasjonen kritisk for tusenvis internt fordrevne syriske flyktninger.

Åtte år gamle Faisal er at av de mange barna som bor i en leir i Idlib-provinsen.

Forholdene i leiren er kummerlige til vanlig, men er gjort enda verre av snøstormen som satte inn tre dager før jul.

Først kom snøen med minusgrader som gjorde at folk hutret og frøs i sine varmeløse telt. Deretter begynte snøen og smelte, og ble til slaps og søle.

Kilde: Frykter flyktninger fra Aleppo vil dø i vinterkulden – NRK Urix – Utenriksnyheter og -dokumentarer

Top six global threats

The world’s top six global threats, in no particular order.

We do of course have candidates of our own in these parts. Fortunately we are, contrary to own belief, utterly irrelevant.

Here’s hoping

Come New Years Eve I shall party just as hard as the next guy. Not because there’s any cause for celebration, considering the hopeless situation in which we find ourselves, but because, after all, it is what people expect, my own family not excepted. I will, of course, comply, without a trace of the concerns boiling inside.

There’s been much talk of the cold war revival, of a World War III already in progress – allegations I wouldn’t even dream of contradicting, as I’ve been trying to raise awareness of Vladimir Putin’s aggressive approach for about a decade already, albeit to little avail – as one should expect, considering the blog’s obscurity.

However, we would be ill-advised to expect WWIII to be a blueprint of its two predecessors, considering that the war has been going on for quite some time, sans traditional or conventional confrontations, save the extensivity of Russian false news, aiming at destabilising western Europe and the U.S. – and successfully so, given Putin’s 2016 triumphs in the United Kingdom and the United States, both early examples of the Russian propaganda machinery’s unsurpassable efficiency.

While the entire west desperately endeavours to figure out how to prevent further distribution of fake news, and, as a consequence thereof; even more western states falling into the hands of politicians under Russian influence, Mr. Putin keeps busy forging alliances with leaders disliked by the west, currently Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, while a civil war in Yemen, a former Soviet outpost in the Middle East, still rages, what ever prospects it may hold.

There is a distinct possibility, you know, that Putin’s foothold in the Middle East may well be even firmer, now that Russia in fact controls Syria and the Crimean peninsula, whence the Black Sea Fleet hails, lacking only free passage through the Bosphorous, controlled by Putin’s soon-to-be ally (?) and fellow strongman Erdoğan, leaving more or less the entire Middle East under Russian control, in spite of the protests we may voice through the UN security council.

After all, since when did Vladimir Putin bother listening to the UN? On the contrary, the following countries (most of which siding with Russia), voted against protecting Syrian civilians, suffering from a war which has now outlasted WWII: Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, China, Cuba, N. Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, S. Sudan, Syria (i.e. the Assad regime), Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

So yes, a World War III most certainly is in progress, even if we may find that it’s being fought on the Internet and on battle fields far from home, with victims we only see on the news. We should, however, also accept that Britain’s Brexit and America’s Trump victory are defeats good as any, both battles won by Putin’s virtual soldiers, because that’s the kind of war this is – a war in which I try to involve myself, however uninvited, and inconsequential my feeble efforts, considering the west’s shortcomings pertaining to propaganda measures on equal terms.

I simply refuse to side with those advocating reservation and self-muzzling, based on the eventuality, however small, that Vladimir Putin is in fact a pretty good guy, so let me reiterate my decade-long message, as some (but sadly all-too few) also did in the 1930s: He is not, so I long since decided to be this guy:

August Landmesser
August Landmesser (1910–1944), refusing to salute Adolf Hitler during the opening of German navy training centre Horst Wessel, summer of 1936.

Also, living in a country sharing borders with Russia, as I do, I can, to a certain extent, understand some people’s reluctance to raise their voices against a potential invader … Or maybe not.

Which,  hopefully, explains my reluctance – to yell “Happy New Year” at the top of my lungs, but hey, here’s hoping.

P.S. I used the same headline on a post earlier this autumn (simply forgot), and we all know how that turned out.

«Dr. Liza» hadde med humanitærhjelp til syrisk sykehus – så styrtet flyet – Russland – VG

Vestlig presse, Verdens gang inkludert, sluker russisk propaganda ukritisk.

Elizaveta Glinka, kjent som Dr. Liza, har hjulpet fattige, syke og hjemløse i 17 år. I julen skulle hun besøke et sykehus i Latakia.
Sammen med minst 64 musikere, ti soldater, ni journalister og åtte flyansatte var den populære hjelpearbeideren på flyet på vei til Syria 1. juledag. Men i motsetning til sine medpassasjerer hadde Dr. Liza planer om å tilbringe julen på et syrisk sykehus, ifølge hjelpeorganisasjonen Fair Aid, der hun selv var leder.

Kilde: «Dr. Liza» hadde med humanitærhjelp til syrisk sykehus – så styrtet flyet – Russland – VG

Russisk nødhjelp til Syria, min fot …

And of course, it’s not as if the Soviet Union supported the Vietnamese north.

Fy Fabian, Sylvi …

Det er klart det er synd med Aleppo, men de er nå engang muslimer.

P.S. Jeg må nesten slenge denne på, med Guris tilgivelse, heller enn tillatelse (les!):