Power equilibrium: Russia, China and the U.S.
All three countries are growing incredibly richer and more powerful. Considerable success in the arms race, technological development such as, internet, artificial intelligence, space. Going to Mars will soon be as common as man going to toilet. Environmental decision common to all who also share a certain skepticism that this does not have the killer blow. Reagan had the killer blow when he made it known that he might have armed satellites with which he could obliterate Russia and all its dependencies. Gorbachov had no answer to that. He had to go. The world believed Reagan but the world has never seen this super weapon. It has never been deployed.
Russia had to first shrink back to dependable area i.e. return to the old white Russia boundaries, consolidate its power in a manageable territory, while fortifying all Russian boundary positions, so Russia took Crimea: had to consolidate the Eastern border and therefore had to neutralize Ukraine. While strengthening its hold over the North Sea especially Artantica. Russia unleashed unprecedented cyber-attacks on a bumbling US. which had no answer to these attacks. Russia used one of the greatest achievements of the US power- democracy, free press, free speech to infiltrate US systems and undermine them. The Achilles heel of the US is democracy, free speech and a unity of purpose working inexorably, to the benefit of a capitalist system responding to the impetus of supply and demand while building the greatest economy since civilization, but the system has weaknesses which the Americans themselves knew but left unattended. A belief structure in America exceptionalism – the can do culture- but there were pockets in this culture that were left unattended. Lower middle class white were beginning to feel the pressure of the upward movement of blacks Latinos and other people of colour etc. The racial issue had never been adequately dealt with in the US. Moreover the Capitalist system of the US was riddled with other internal contradictions which needed resolution. Russia and China exploited this under belly of fear and apprehension by stoking the fires of hatred, of insecurity where these sparked. They attacked the weakness in the democratic structure, stoked the fires of exclusiveness, of “otherness”. They exploited the latent fear that lower middle class whites would be replaced by these hordes of immigrants who would soon come in and change the demography of the US.
Social media platform is full of information about the peril facing the US. And that no one except Trump has the will and ability to save the US. Trump hates liberal political correctness. He told policemen that when they arrest suspected felons they should not be too nice when putting the suspect in the van: if the suspect were to hit his head as he went into the van, so be it, “that’s the way it is”.
Trump is a master tactician in using the media. He is also an inveterate liar. He would counter that all politicians are liars but that the culture of political correctness cloaks and mophs their lies into digestible small bits. Trump goes for the jocular- what you see is not really what you see: it is what they want you to see. He lost the election and blames the loss on electoral fraud; they stole the election from him. He did not lose. He actually won the election.
Trump is now the occult head of conspiracy theorists. Democrats are pedophiles using the blood of children in sacrifice to attain power: the insurrection of 6 Jan 2021 was a stroll into the park, a normal tourist day at the Capitol. This in spite of the fact that all the Congressmen and women were rescued from the mob, intent on harming them, Chanting Hang Mike Spence on the gallows that they had erected on the grounds of the Capitol.
Trump is the closest face to fascism since Hitler. He even claimed there are fine Nazists. The world should be grateful that Trump is not 35. If he were, the US would return to fascism, remember McCarthy and the campaign against communists; then the sweep of puritanism which led to the era of prohibition, a direct progenitor of the prayer movement.
The US political system is more dictatorial than democratic. Within the party- especially Republican, all pretense about a vibrant party discussion has completely disappeared. You follow the leader- Trump.
If Americans can do this to themselves- deny an electoral victory, deny that on 6 Jan there was an insurrection in the Capitol and make laws to affirm these denials, change electoral laws to perpetuate Trump’s legacy.
Imagine what they can do to non-Americans.
On Virus COVID-19 the US accused China of lack of transparency- it is further accused of stealing intellectual property. China cannot be accepted as a trading partner because China does not practice free trade; its companies are subsidized by the Government, hence its products are cheaper than western products. What really are the full implications of these positions?
Ultimately the West point of view must prevail. China if it wants to continue to do business with the West must adopt Western social, economic and political norms. Meanwhile west bowing to the doctrine of necessity would continue to trade with China.
But what has transparency succeeded in doing? Did it stop the insurrection of 6 Jan 2021? Everyone saw the US elections then the denial, the Big Lie, has swept over the Republican Party.
As for Russia, Putin pays his service to democracy. Democracy 8 years Medvedev, 4 years as PM. Putin 4 years as PM, then back as President duty 96%. Is this the model Trump wanted? Gerrymandering his disenffranching voters.
The Trump Playbook is to keep President Trump in front of the political process till 2022 and possibly till 2024. Democrats have no strategy to combat this: the Republicans would not agree to a commission of inquiry into the insurrection using the capital where all the Congressmen and Senators were in danger of their lives. The Republicans are determined to stymie and frustrate all Democratic Party Goals.
US had seen this happen before when the whole intent of the 13th amendment – black voting was obviated by the Southern States- the Jim Crow Laws.
Using fear as a Political weapon.
Russia has Putin and Medvedev who in the past 20 years have played musical chairs- one succeeding the other as President or Prime Minister. To the West Russia is constant threat (except to President Trump) NATO countries surround Russia in a state of war preparations. US is particularly concerned with countries in Eastern Europe; Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria etc. which are now in NATO having fled from the Russian hegemony under the Warsaw pact. President Trump admires Putin’s ability to manipulate the electoral system- gaining 80%-90% of the votes, changing the voting patterns; Mr. Trump is busy prosecuting a change in the electoral system in the United States- voters’ suppression gerrymandering the electoral maps.
To be continued tomorrow
Dr. Cole, OFR, is a one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil.
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