Friday, 5 September 2014

superfecta or theatre-in-the-round

NATO representatives have gathered in Wales in order to reassert the relevance of their club and address a depressing array of threats to broader peace. Such short workshops rarely result in any lasting resiliency or reflection, and instead in greater polarisation for fear of admitting to motivations that lie beneath hidden by the beards of รฉminence gris—but that's the trident of institutional problems. Nationally endemic problems can happily be ignored in such an ideological environment, and provocation buffets attention from all corners: Western powers are making a calculated (even unto failure) to punish Russia's stance in the Crimea with economic sanctions that are curiously—if not backfiring—only punishing to the sanction-givers, as Russia has independent means and no shortage of other buyers—and oddly chosen rhetoric, like attributing the false hubris that it might take Russia as much as two weeks to take Ukraine, when in fact it would be much quicker.

What version of history will bear the laurels of authority is a mystery in this complicated situation, but I am sure that no one comes out innocent, since after apparently winning the the imperium of non-interference in the Middle East, the organisation was directed to pick a fight with a tried and true paradigm and eagerly take up some Cold War housekeeping. And while patriotic aims fall away in this framework, the American general who has two roles that shuttle him between Stuttgart, Germany and Mons, Belgium as the European Commander and Supreme NATO Commander respectively, is prudently or brazenly arranging war-games in Russia's front yard and threatening to violate a gentlemans' agreement between Reagan and Gorbachev to not advance the bounds of NATO. Meanwhile, this posturing is being matched by more provocative sabre-rattling that is even harder to say whether it was factored in from the Caliphate. It has made overtures for overturning not only the United States, but also the royal house of Saud, and lately Russia with aims of expansion into Chechnya and the Balkans and reprisal for support of the Syrian government. Seemingly beyond the good and evil of media portrayals already (and seeing alibis as superfluous), I would wager Russia has few qualms in countering any attack by any means needed. The growing arsenal of the Caliphate and indelicate threats, however, are a source of concern not to be dismissed, what with some eleven commercial jet-liners procured from the captured airport in Tripoli ready to be deployed. All parties have a vision of the world better than the present state of things, but said aims are seen to wither in the face of real suffering and reckoning.