It’s Not “Realism”, It’s Reality

When a friend of mine was a student at the National War College (which should be called the National College because there is no war in the curriculum), he was counseled by his advisor for “letting his realism show”.  If you want to be a member of the Washington establishment, you dare not do that. You must be deeply devoted to “idealism”, the magical belief that we can somehow make every fly-blown, flea bitten hellhole country in the world into another Switzerland.  All it takes is sanctions, bombing, and perhaps invasion, for which they will love us.

Now the equally wooly-minded European foreign policy establishment is facing what the idealists fear most: a reality that suddenly attaches a high price to idealism.  Turkey, trying to compel Europe to back its intervention in Syria’s civil war, has opened the refugee floodgates again. Last time, Europe got drowned in a sea of more than a million immigrants, almost all Muslim, most with neither skills nor a European language. Wherever in Europe they have gone crime has risen, the welfare rolls have exploded and European voters have turned away from the Establishment to parties that want to defend their countries from invasion. Most inconvenient, that democracy stuff.

The Establishment media floods Europeans with pictures of crying children in distress, but most of those now piled up at Greece’s border (and Europe’s) are hard-eyed young men, not Syrians but Iraqis, Iranians, and Afghans, not “refugees” but economic migrants. Wherever they go, they bring disorder.

In a story titled “E.U. Tries to Tread Line in Greek-Turkish Clash on Admitting Migrants”, the March 5 New York Times described European elites’ anguish. It quotes Mr. Robin Nibblett of Chatham Hose in London saying:

In the sense there is the beginning of a more realistic European foreign policy, which will continue to pay off Mr. Erdogan (Turkey’s president) to avoid a new wave of refugees. 

“but of course you cannot build a formal foreign policy like that and get any support from European parliaments, because it goes against all Europe stands for in its values,” Mr. Niblett said.

I have a message for those European parliaments and the whole “idealist” elite: it isn’t “realism”, it’s reality.

It is reality that these Moslem migrants become a huge burden on any country stupid enough to let them in. It’s reality that they will not accept European culture because their religion tells them not to. It’s reality that they lay enormous new costs on European countries’ social services.  It’s reality that they turn in large numbers to crime because that is what they can do, that they will attack European women on the street because that is okay in their culture if a woman is out alone, that they force Europeans to become aware all the time of threats to their personal security, something Americans are accustomed to but Europeans are not.  When I lived in Vienna in the early 1970s, no woman thought twice about walking alone through a public park after nightfall. They had better think about it now.

The idealists prate endlessly about democracy, but they face the dilemma that their world-view can only prevail where democracy is outlawed.  In a democracy, when a country’s natives lose their personal security because of the elite’s idealism and the flood of human waste (sometimes literally) it brings, they vote the idealists out and vote in parties that will defend them.  In fact, Mr. Niblett is wrong: a growing number of European parliaments now have majorities that favor recognizing reality and acting on it. Europe does not stand for idealism in its values, only small political and cultural elites do.  European voters are increasingly showing those elites the door.

In the end, reality always wins against whatever ideology demands people and nations depart from it (in this case, the ideology is cultural Marxism).  The greater the departure, the more painful the correction. The cultural Marxist elites that have welcomed millions of Moslems into Europe because they serve that Marxism’s goals of destroying Western culture and the Christian religion have guaranteed Europe’s correction will be vast and probably bloody.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The Establishment’s Worst Nightmare

In 2016, the Washington Establishment suffered what it thought was its worst nightmare when Donald Trump was elected President.  With the growing likelihood that Bernie Sanders will be this year’s Democratic candidate, that nightmare has been succeeded by one even worse: the possibility that the Establishment will be shut out of the Presidential race entirely. 

That would be a clear signal that the Establishment’s days are numbered and it is on its way to being replaced.  Remember that the Establishment’s most important goal has nothing to do with governing the country. Its highest objective is remaining the Establishment and enjoying the privileges that come with Establishment status: power, prestige, and great riches.

At the same time, their policy options are limited, limited to policies that do not work.  To become and remain a member of the Establishment, you must be a Globalist in economics, an internationalist in foreign policy, a loyal servant of Wall Street, a fan of lots of immigration (for cheap labor and cheap votes), and a soft, sentimental “multiculturalist” who gets very, very distressed at the thought that somewhere in the world, a child is crying.  Above all, you must never transgress the rules laid down by cultural Marxism. Even an accusation of “racism”, “sexism”, or “homophobia” endangers your Establishment status.

Since Establishment policies add up to poor governance, the only way the Establishment can keep its monopoly on power is to make sure voters have no choices but candidates who are Establishment stooges.  They call it a “two-party system”, but no matter which party wins, nothing really changes, because neither the Republican nor the Democratic Establishment wants change. Change could upset their apple carts.  Elections are just kabuki for the rubes out in flyover land so long as only Establishment candidates can get on the ballot. 

Donald Trump royally upset the Republican Establishment’s apple cart (or perhaps more accurately manure wagon) in 2016.  Now Bernie Sanders threatens to do the same to the Democratic Establishment’s Jim Jones Memorial Kool Aid stand. And the Democratic Establishment is in a panic.

The February 28 New York Times ran a front page story on the Dems’ headless chicken act, “If Party is Bruised to Stop Sanders, So Be It, Key Democrats Say”.  After interviewing 93 Democratic superdelegates (some delegates are more equal than others), the Times wrote,

Dozens of interviews with Democratic Establishment leaders this week show that they are not just worried about Mr. Sanders’ candidacy, but also willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance. . .

“Bernie seems to have declared war on the Democratic Party–and it’s caused panic in the House ranks,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, a supporter of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.

What Bernie has declared war on is the Democratic Party Establishment.  That Establishment would rather see President Trump reelected than Sanders get the Democratic nomination.  If a candidate from the Democratic Establishment loses in November, they were at least still in the game and they maintained their monopoly.  If Sanders is nominated , they’re out, over and done–cooked.

As a conservative Trump supporter, I say, let’s hear it for Bernie–not because he would be the easiest Democrat for Trump to beat, but because of his nomination (and Trump’s, of course), the whole Establishment is shut out.  If populists from the Left and the Right take over and the Establishment no longer has a monopoly, not only does it lose power but all those other lovely things that power brings, especially prestige and endless bags of gold. No more bowing and scraping flunkies?  No more “campaign contributions”, i.e., legalized bribes? My god, how could a man (or woman) live?

I don’t know, but it would certainly be entertaining to find out.

The View From Olympus: A Chink in Our Armor

I have warned for decades that the future weapon of mass destruction is not the nuclear weapon but the genetically engineered plague.  The world now stands on the brink of its first experience with that new weapon.

Whether the coronavirus now racing from China across the globe was created by intention or accident is not yet known.  The Chinese government claims the latter, but that government is well known for concealing facts it finds inconvenient.  My information, which may not be accurate, is that it escaped from a Chinese biowarfare lab in Wuhan that was attempting to cross it with HIV to create an AIDS that would spread like the flu.  We now know how to treat AIDs, but the drugs are very expensive. If the objective were to inflict an economic catastrophe on another country, such a bioweapon would do the trick. So far, it does not appear that the version that got out–its escape would be typical Chinese sloppiness–has the cross; only the carrier escaped the lab.  If that proves true, we can all be thankful.

But either way, the coronavirus pandemic points to what is certain to come.  In genetic engineering, we have created a monster that very well may devour the whole human race.  When man seeks to play God, the results tend to be unhappy. New plagues will be generated both intentionally and unintentionally.  Unlike nuclear weapons, genetically engineered diseases do not require vast facilities that cost billions. They are knowledge-based, and the knowledge is already widespread.  That makes them ideal WMDs for non-state, Fourth Generation forces. WMDs in the hands of states are generally stabilizing. In the hands of non-state entities, the opposite is true. 

We would do so well to remember that the Medieval world, which, contrary to what kids are taught in school, was highly successful, was brought down by the plague, the Black Death.  When you lose a third, half, or even two-thirds of your population in six weeks, everything falls apart.

So what do we do about it?  We have to face the fact that in the face of new plagues, Globalism is suicide.  The only thing that works is quarantine. In the Middle Ages, some Italian towns saved themselves from the plague by a policy of immurement: any house where plague appeared was bricked up, with the people inside.

The equivalent for us now is to shut down all international travel.  No one may enter the United States without going through a period of quarantine.  The current wisdom is that a two-week quarantine is sufficient. That may change. With future genetically engineered plagues, the quarantine may have to be longer.  In Thomas Hobbes’ novel Victoria, entry into Europe requires a three-month quarantine on Heligoland Island.  Of course, anyone illegally attempting to enter the country and thereby avoiding quarantine must be shot dead.

In future cases, it may also be necessary to prohibit all imported goods.  It should not be too difficult to create plagues that are transmitted by things: by food imports, by cars or car parts, by anything that an American might end up handling.  The toxins would be designed, at least initially, to come through the skin. With genetic engineering, there is almost no limit on hideous characteristics a disease can be given.  Modernity, meet your Frankenstein.

The United States is fortunate to have, in Donald Trump, a President who is likely to act and close our borders if that proves necessary in the case of the coronavirus (if it isn’t already).  Can anyone imagine any of the Democrats doing that? They would show endless pictures of crying urchins, denouncing as heartless anyone who would deny them entry. The Democrats’ weakness could well do us all in.  Establishment Republicans would be no better as Wall Street howled that its profits depend on Globalism, on open borders for people and goods. If America once again made all it needed in American factories, ordinary Americans would benefit.  But establishment Republicans don’t care about them; Mr. Trump does.

This is the future, folks; not “one world”, but many moats and drawbridges.  Globalism is the chink in our armor, or perhaps going into a tournament without hauberk or cuirass.  We will either armor up or listen to the cry in our streets, “Bring out your dead.”

The View From Olympus: The Big One

A spectre is haunting the world, the spectre of a world-wide debt crisis.  Could the coronavirus epidemic in China be the trigger?

World debt levels, both public and private, have reached undreamed heights.  The United States is now running deficits of a trillion dollars a year. Other countries have higher deficits proportional to the size of their economies.  Private individuals here and elsewhere find they can only maintain a middle class standard of living by taking on ever more debt. Where does it end? In a debt crisis.

A debt crisis occurs when lenders get sufficiently scared of losing their principal that they refuse to lend, or at least to lend at affordable rates of interest.  Like all market dynamics, this is not a rational calculation. Markets are forever balanced on a knife edge between greed and fear. Under normal circumstances, greed wins and people continue to invest.  But when fear takes over, the plunge can come with remarkable speed. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was not exaggerating in 2008 when he said the United States was within 48 hours of not having an economy. If lending stops cold, so does everything else.

The question is not whether a world debt crisis is coming.  The question is where and when it starts. My bet has long been on China.  China has towering levels of debt, public and private. To keep its economy growing, China has built whole cities that have no inhabitants.  Municipal governments have made enormous loans to overbuild because they wanted the construction jobs. The overbuilding has gone on at the same time individual Chinese have overpaid for their residences.  The intersection of those two facts will mean a debt crisis in China. Given China’s large role in the world economy, a debt crisis in China will soon spread. 

We are already seeing evidence that the coronavirus epidemic is affecting lending.  An article in the February 5 New York Times, “Virus Threatens an Oil Industry That’s Already Ailing,” reported that:

Forty-two oil and gas companies filed for bankruptcy protection in North America last year; since oil prices plummeted in 2015, there have been 208 bankruptcy filings by producers, involving roughly $122 billion in aggregate debt. . .

“It’s a blow,” said Steven Pruett, chief executive of Elevation Resources, a Texas oil company (speaking of reduced Chinese demand for oil because of the virus). . . “Credit availability is already tight, and it’s going to get much tighter.”

A debt crisis is not merely a garden-variety recession.  Both governments and individuals must cut their spending not just to the level of their income, but below that level so they can begin paying back the debt.  Governments that have their own currency (unlike, say, Greece, which is on the Euro) usually decide to inflate their currency so they can pay back money worth less than that they borrowed.  But that scares lenders even more and it also wipes out the savings of ordinary people. Both private and government spending collapse simultaneously, creating a long-lasting depression. (Contrary to what you were taught in Economics 101, you can have a depression and inflation at the same time; look at Venezuela or Rhodesia.)

For America’s armed forces, what a debt crisis means is a vastly reduced defense budget–not $750 billion, but perhaps $75 billion, if we can afford that (in 2020 dollars).  The fact that almost all our defense spending goes to preparing for wars we are not going to fight, with Russia and China (nuclear powers do not fight each other, for good reason), means we could have more useful armed forces than we have now at such vastly lower costs.  I am currently writing a book on what such armed forces might look like.

So the question of first importance for most peoples on earth is whether the coronavirus could be the trigger for China’s coming debt crisis, and China’s for the rest of the world.  Because China still has a state-controlled economy, she has options in a debt crisis we do not have. But exercising those options risks starting an inflationary spiral, which would intensify the crisis of legitimacy the Chinese Communist Party is already facing over the coronavirus epidemic itself.  Thanks to having President Trump in office, the U.S. might take unilateral moves to keep the debt crisis offshore. But if this proves to be “the big one” and a debt crisis overwhelms China, the U.S. and everybody else, then the whole state system will face a legitimacy test. If it fails, God help us all.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Hiding Under the Bed

On a recent trip to Washington, I was scheduled to have a meeting on board the Marine Corps base at Quantico.  The base was effectively closed to people without a government ID. I have gone through the main gate at Quantico more times than I care to count, over almost 50 years.  No more, it seems.

I soon found the same was true for almost all military bases.  Why? It seems that after we killed the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Soleimani, someone up top panicked at the thought of Iranian retaliation.  Perhaps they suddenly remembered why states generally avoid war by assassination; it is a game at which two can play. In any case, CYA came quickly into gear and the bases were shut down tight.  It’s like kids who have been shooting berries with their slingshots at passing cars. Suddenly one car stops, shifts into reverse and comes roaring back. The kids all run home and hide under the bed.

We seem to have forgotten that our armed services are supposed to be fighting organizations.  Hiding under the bed may not be the optimal way to express martial prowess. The directive to close the bases may have come from above the service level; I certainly hope that is the case.  But regardless of its source, I think there is a better way to secure our military facilities, one based on fighting rather than fear.

If “terrorists” want to attack military bases on American soil, there are more likely ways to do that than driving through the main gate.  Base perimeters are often long, and not all of it can be guarded all the time. The most likely way a “terrorist” attack will come is from within: from members of the U.S. military whose primary allegiance lies elsewhere.  We have already had that happen, and I suspect we will see more of it. Perimeter defense helps not one bit against that threat.

What would help in every case would be a simple directive that all officers and staff NCOs are expected to be armed all the time when on base, whether they are in uniform or in civilian clothes.  The essence of effective response is speed, and no other measure would guarantee as fast a reaction. If a service–say, the Marine Corps?–wanted to go for even more speed, it could arm all its people all the time they are on base.  Nobody is bothered by the fact that cops carry guns. Should we not trust our servicemen as much as we do cops?

More, each service should issue an order that whether on base or not, whether armed or not, all servicemen (not women) should attack any aspiring mass shooter.  We have already seen cases where mass shootings were stopped because the nearest man attacked. I have written previously about the need for a universal male militia, where we ask every man in America to sign a pledge to do exactly that.  Who better to lead by example than our servicemen? Marines are already noted for stopping to help in traffic accidents or other situations where civilians are in danger or hurt. Why shouldn’t the Corps take the next step and enlist every Male Marine against 4GW on our own soil?

Why do I say men but not women?  Because, cultural Marxism to the contrary, men and women are inherently different and their traditional social roles reflect their inherent differences.  In war, women’s duty is to encourage their men to fight and get themselves out of the way. Otherwise the men will drop the mission to protect the women.  More, most women cannot do what physically needs to be done in this case. Despite what you see on television and in the movies, petite, lovely women do not beat up big men.  They get clocked, real fast. Pit a Mazda Miata against a Cadillac Escalade in a head-on and see what happens.

In the face of “terrorist” threats to their bases right here at home, our armed services need to fight, not hide under the bed.  If the trumpet sounds uncertain, who will follow?

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: His Majesty’s Birthday

As the whole world knows, His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was born on January 27, 1859.  It is both my duty and my pleasure to telephone him every year and congratulate him on his birthday.  He is, after all, my reporting senior as well as Germany’s last legitimate governor.

I tried to reach him first at the Neues Palais in Potsdam, followed by the old palace in Berlin, then Charlottenburg, and then the Adlon Hotel.  The latter proved the right guess. When he picked up the instrument, it was clear he was out of breath.

“Happy birthday, Your Majesty,” I opened.  “It sounds as if something has you running around.”

“As usual, it’s not something but someone, namely Bismarck,” His Majesty replied.  “He has me running all over town keeping every crowned head in Europe happy while he manipulates them all at his latest conference.  As my grandfather said, sometimes it is a hard thing, being Kaiser under Bismarck.”

“That sounds like Bismarck all right,” I ventured.  “But his goal is usually to keep the peace, and he was rather good at it.  If only he’d been there in 1914, the Christian West might not have committed suicide.”

“If only, indeed,” His Majesty said.  “As you know, I neither wanted war nor expected war that fateful summer, and once I realized all Europe was heading down that road, I did my utmost to stop it.  I ordered the pack of fools in my foreign office to telegraph Vienna and tell them to take Belgrade and then stop. But the telegram was never sent. The German foreign office without Bismarck has done the Fatherland more damage than the French and British put together.”

“Very true, Your Majesty,” I replied.  “May I ask the subject of Bismarck’s latest Congress of Berlin?”

“It’s the North American problem,” the Kaiser said.  “It’s the year 2120 here now, and the Powers have decided we have to intervene.  The question is who gets what. It’s not a reward, I promise you. It’s a damned bloody mess that will cost us all plenty to fix.”

“I regret to say that does not surprise me,”  I responded. “I assume the United States is gone, and what remains is essentially what Columbus found: tribes and tribal warfare.”

“Exactly,” His Majesty said.  “We have to civilize the place all over again.”  But it’s even worse than you expected.”

“I am hesitant to ask how,” I said with trepidation.

“Well, for one thing, there are no blacks and no Jews left.”

“Oh God, not another Holocaust,” I replied, shocked.

“No, fortunately, not that bad, but it was bad enough.  The one thing consistent among all the tribes is that blacks and Jews were given a choice: exile or sterilization.  Most chose the former. The blacks went to Africa, where they have actually done a great deal of good, for themselves and for the dark continent.  By African standards, American blacks were competent and efficient. They have brought order and economic development, including in German East Africa, where they were very welcome.  As you know, my army had black soldiers there, and they were among my very best. The Allies never beat them. And here in Imperial Germany, the Jews were also welcome, as they were in my time.  I had a number of close Jewish friends, such as Herr Ballin, head of the HAPAG shipping line, the largest in the world. I stayed at his home in Hamburg five or six times every year. He was so loyal to the monarchy that when it fell in November of 1918, he killed himself.”

“But Your Majesty, I cannot imagine such a thing happening in North America,” I said.  “Why, how–I don’t understand.”

“It was in some ways similar to what happened in Germany after your moronic President Wilson demanded an end to the German monarchy.  I would never have permitted a government policy of anti-Semitism. But the Weimar Republic was weak, and you know what happened after that.  Why and how did it happen? In five years, from 1914 to 1919, the German people underwent a terrible shock. In Germany in 1914, everything was going well and the future looked bright.  By 1919, there was no future, just death, poverty, and humiliation. The same thing happened in the United States early in the 21st century when world-wide debt crisis hit. There was no future any longer, just misery and dissolution.  Someone had to be blamed, and in your case it was the Jews and blacks.”

“But why them?” I asked.  “Why not the politicians who spent us into bankruptcy and the cultural Marxists who wrecked our society?”

“Well, the blacks were blamed because everyone saw them as ‘takers’, people who relied on welfare and who were always committing crimes.  In truth, the black crime rate in early 21st century America was twelve times the white race. Most of the victims were also black, and most blacks just wanted to lead normal lives.  But their ‘leaders’ needed to keep them ‘victims’ to maintain their own power. With the Jews, as in Germany, most American Jews were assimilated, patriotic citizens who paid their taxes and fought for their country.  But it was also true that the hard Left was disproportionately Jewish in both places. When a country falls apart in a short time, people are too angry to be fair or just. They want someone to blame, and they want to kill.  It was only because some courageous people on the Right fought it that North America did not see a twin Holocaust. At least the Jews and blacks could get out.”

“Your Majesty, is there any way for us to avoid this grim fate?” I asked, still in something of a state of shock.

“Yes, if people will get serious,” the Kaiser said.  “Donald Trump showed that someone from outside the Establishment could be elected President.  He was not himself the man to bring about fiscal sanity and cultural renewal. If you can find someone like him but more serious, more grounded intellectually and morally, I think your country might still have a chance.”

“But now I must go.  I’ve just been told that good King George III has agreed to take New England back, and martyred King Louis XVI said France will take the South.  His Most Catholic Majesty King Philip II has accepted the burden of the American West for Spain. The Inquisition will have fun in Las Vegas. Yes, yes, Otto I’m coming. . .”

And so Bismarck saved the day again.  What a pity he had to do so.

The View From Olympus: A Lesson in Strategy

As I wrote in my last column, our performance in the recent crisis with Iran followed the typical American pattern of sacrificing strategy to tactics.  It appears the Iranians, in contrast, are putting their strategic goals first and making sure their tactical actions, or (of equal importance) inactions, serve their strategic goals.

Iran’s goal is to get us out of the Middle East and Persian Gulf.  That should be our own goal as well, and President Trump has repeatedly said it is an objective he shares.  Regrettably, the Deep State is deeply invested in the region and wants us to remain. As usual in Washington, the Deep State prevails over a mere President, so we will only get out when we are thrown out.

Iran does not have the military power to throw us out, but there are other paths to this goal.  Iran seems to understand that, and its response to our killing of General Soleimani shows it knows how to play the game at the strategic level.  It did the bare minimum it had to do in direct, military response, in the form of some missile strikes on a couple of our bases in Iraq. The missile strikes caused little damage and no casualties, which appears to have been Iran’s intention.  It followed the missiles with an immediate message to Washington that Iran planned no further actions at this time. That, in turn, moved the world away from a war Iran did not want and probably could not win.

I think Iran sees that the best and safest way to get us out of its region is to start with Iraq, and to act politically rather than militarily.  It largely controls the Iraqi government, and through its allied Shiite militias it controls much of the ground in Iraq as well. The current Iraqi prime minister was put in office by Iran.  Not surprisingly, he drafted a new law telling Americans to withdraw from Iraq and quickly got it passed by Iraq’s parliament. Now, the Iranians are waiting for him to enforce it.

This has in turn led to a bizarre situation where our neocon Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has told the Iraqis we’re not going!  Excuse me? Under the treaty which governs our presence in Iraq we have to leave if the Iraqis tell us to. Moreover, we have about 5200 U.S. troops scattered in penny-packets doing training for the Iraqi army.  Are those troops expected to refuse to leave when Iraqi state armed forces and militias, who number in the hundreds of thousands, show up weapons in hand and say, “Guess what, you’re moving”? Only neocons live in a world so detached from reality.

Such a refusal would play right into Iran’s hands, in that it could then activate its most powerful option: ordering the Iraqi Shiite militias to take every American soldier they can grab as hostages.  At that point President Trump becomes President Carter all over again. If our forces fought, they would be fighting Iraqis, not Iranians. Again, the strategic winner would be Iran.

I doubt Iran’s response to the killing of General Soleimani is over and done.  All that is finished is Iran’s direct, military response. On the strategic level, Iran’s actions are likely to include forcing all U.S. troops out of Iraq and Syria, thus guaranteeing its line of communication with Hezbollah in Lebanon; further reducing our presence and importance in the Persian Gulf through a rapprochement with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf State allies; and using what leverage it has in Afghanistan to push us out of that place as well.  Its strategic goal of having the U.S. military exit the entire region is within reach, if it plays its cards carefully and continues to subordinate the tactical level to the strategic. It can count on us to help it along by subordinating the strategic level to the tactical, as we always do.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The British Election

The most interesting contrast to emerge from the recent British election is not the gap between the winning Conservatives and Labour, who lost badly.  It is the difference between the elections of 2017 and 2019.

In 2017, the hapless Mrs. May, then the Conservative Prime Minister, tried the same thing Boris Johnson did this year.  She called an election in order to get a solid majority in Parliament so she could make Brexit happen. Instead, the Conservatives lost seats, forcing them into a coalition government and making Brexit impossible.  Why did it turn out so differently just two years later? 

Mrs. May was an Establishment Conservative, similar to Establishment Republicans here.  Her policies were geared toward Globalism and the big businesses such as finance that benefit from Globalism.  She played nice at meetings of European leaders, duly parroted the shibboleths of cultural Marxism and had nothing to say to the traditional Labour voters in the north of England.

Boris Johnson, in contrast, is a populist, similar in many ways to President Trump.  He was able to appeal to traditional Tory and Labour voters alike. He promised to make decisions and act where Mrs. May had dithered.  He played the bull in the European Union’s china shop, taking pleasure in tossing and goring Eurocrats and Establishment European leaders alike.  He seemed to care little for Political Correctness, standing instead for “Britain First,” or even “England First,” a point not lost on the Scots (who are massively subsidized by the English).  Many English voters who had been Labourites on economic issues were swayed by the cultural message of “let’s keep England English.” As President Trump understands, at least in times of relative prosperity, culture trumps economics.

These factors were, I think, more important in shaping the election’s outcome than were Brexit or Jeremy Corbyn’s neo-Marxism.  They represent a broad political movement that is growing throughout the West. More and more Europeans and Americans are rejecting cultural Marxism and all its works, including mass immigration, loser worship and the pretense that race, ethnicity, and culture do not matter.  They are proud of their nation’s history, including in England’s case running most of the world for several centuries and doing a rather good job of it, better, certainly, than those who came after them (King George would never have dreamed of taxing Americans as heavily as “their own” government taxes them now).

Establishment parties and politicians are going to have to adjust to the rise of a real Right or be sidelined.  In Europe, we see a combination of both. In Germany, the faux-conservative CDU is losing ground, as are the Social Democrats, and the real Right AFD is now the opposition in the Reichstag (as it will be called again when the AFD wins a majority.  In France, Monsieur Macron can only envy President Trump’s popularity ratings. Italians are again finding much to admire in the Duce.

What does it all add up to?  To the defeat of cultural Marxism, a.k.a. political correctness or “multiculturalism”.  Soon, throughout the West, majorities will be handing their governments to parties that reject the self-loathing cultural Marxism demands, the dismissal of proud nations’ history as just tales of “oppression”, the use of government power to put non-Whites and immigrants over native Whites, the flooding of orderly countries with agents of disorder.  The cultural Marxists have overreached and are on a ballistic course toward history’s wastebasket. As they perceive that course, they respond by becoming more demanding, more shrill and more absurd. People have seen the man behind the Left’s curtain, Karl Marx, now dressed in failed cultural policies instead of failed economic policies. Their reaction is, “Ptui.”

As the line from Cabaret goes, the future belongs to me.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Another Operational and Strategic Failure

Once again, the U.S. military has shown it has little grasp of operational art or strategy.  In revenge for a rocket attack on a joint U.S.-Iraqi base that killed one American contractor and wounded four American soldiers, the U.S. launched airstrikes on bases of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shiite militia which it blamed for the rocket attack.  The airstrikes in Syria and Iraq killed 24 members of the militia. Kataib Hezbollah denied its forces launched the rockets.

In other words, the U.S., which has about 5,200 soldiers based in Iraq, bombed Iraqi targets on Iraqi soil.  Like other Shiite militias in Iraq, Kataib Hezbollah is part of the Iraqi state’s armed forces, although the state’s control over them is limited.  We did not clear our action beforehand with the Iraqi government.

To put this in perspective, imagine an American soldier had been killed in a terrorist attack in Germany.  In response, the U.S. Air Force bombed targets in Germany, killing two dozen Germans.

The results in Iraq were predictable and they follow a distinctively American pattern.  Tactically, we did what a Second Generation military does: we put ordnance on target and the targets were destroyed.  Operationally, we failed, because Kataib Hezbollah and allied Shiite militias, far from being cowed (which was our operational goal), went on the offensive, assaulted the American embassy in Baghdad, and penetrated into the compound.  An understandably angry Iraqi government let them do it. The militiamen besieged the embassy for two days, withdrawing only when their leaders ordered them to do so. They had made their point: with 5,200 hostages, er, soldiers in Iraq, a corporal’s guard compared to the strength of the Shiite militias, we were the weaker and more vulnerable party.  Operationally, they won.

Strategically, our operation was even more of a botch.  Our opponent of the moment in the Persian Gulf is Iran. Iran had overplayed its hand in Iraq and had become the target of increasingly angry and quite large popular demonstrations.  Mobs burned the Iranian consulate in Basra. Nationalist anger at Iran was in the process of overcoming friendship with fellow Shiites.

By bombing Iraqi targets and killing Iraqi citizens on Iraqi soil, we pulled Iran’s increasingly hot chestnuts out of the fire.  The street protests against Iran stopped, replaced by protests against America. One could almost hear the (non-alcoholic) champagne corks popping in Tehran.

This, then, is the typical American pattern: let the tactical level drive the operational and strategic levels, lose at the higher level because we optimized for the lower, and not understand why or how we lost.  We cannot break out of this pattern because our armed forces have reduced war to putting firepower (preferable aerial) on targets, and, with the exception of a rare commander here or there, can do nothing else. They understand neither operational art nor strategy, so they cannot foresee the operational and strategic consequences of their tactical actions.  If those consequences are unfavorable, their only answer is to put more firepower on more targets. The result is cumulative strategic failure. We are unlikely to see anything else anytime soon.

Postscript:  The above column was written January 2, before I heard of the U.S. (what else) air attack that killed Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, along with prominent Iraqis including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was deputy commander of the umbrella group over all Iraqi Shiite militias.  Again, we acted tactically–killing a “bad guy”–with little thought for operational or strategic consequences.

The most obvious Iranian countermove is to use the Iraqi Shiite militias to take as many Americans in Iraq as possible hostage.  Strategically, that would leave us without an effective response, and President Trump would be exactly where President Carter was when Iranian revolutionaries took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held the Americans there as hostages.  That was the end of Carter’s presidency, as this would be the end of Mr. Trump’s.

Operationally by responding through the Iraqi militias, Iran would generate a fight between Americans and Iraqis rather than between Americans and Iranians–a smart move that would leave any American response directed against Iran looking like aggression.  If we look at this situation through “the grid” (see the 4GW Handbook) we see, as usual, we win at the physical/tactical level while losing at the operational, strategic, mental, and moral levels.  As President Trump might say, “Not pretty.”

There is only one way the situation could turn out in our favor, and that is if the Iraqi government orders all U.S. forces to leave Iraq.  That would finally get us out of one or even two (Syria) endless, pointless Mideastern conflicts, which is what President Trump promised he would do in 2016.  At this point, anything that brings the boys home should be welcome, even if they arrive with their tails between their legs.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The End of Biden’s Candidacy

Why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delaying the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate?  Because she and other Democrats know a Senate trial of President Trump could mean the end of the Democrats’ strongest presidential candidate, Joe Biden’s, quest for the White House.

If Republican Senators show a bit of courage and a modicum of brains, they will turn Trump’s trial into a trial of Joe Biden.  Why?  Because if President Trump’s request to the President of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens were based on a genuinely corrupt relationship between Joe Biden, his son, and a Ukrainian gas company, then President Trump was only doing his duty in making the request.  It isn’t simply a matter of corruption in Ukraine; it would mean corruption in the Obama White House.  And corruption in the White House, in a recent presidential administration, is something the American people should know about, especially when the person at the head of the corruption ladder is now a candidate for president.

Was Vice-President Biden engaged in corruption?  The evidence is circumstantial but significant.  His son was made a member of the board of directors of a Ukrainian natural gas company at extraordinary rates of compensation, $50,000 a month or more, which is far higher than normal remuneration for a board membership.  He was given the position despite having no background in or, presumably, knowledge of the oil and gas industry.  Why would the company do that?  There is only one possible answer:  because they thought it would buy them access to the Obama administration, at a very high level.

Did it?  What we know is that when the chief prosecutor of Ukraine showed indications he might investigate the gas company for corruption, Vice-President Biden demanded the President of Ukraine fire the prosecutor.  More, he threatened to withhold U.S. aid for Ukraine until he did so.  How do we know that?  Because Biden later bragged about it in a session that was videotaped and we have the tape.  Moreover, unlike President Trump’s request to the current President of Ukraine to investigate Biden’s role, Biden’s demand was met and the prosecutor was fired.  It seems to me that prosecutor would make a good witness in President Trump’s trial by the Senate.  And the tape showing Biden bragging he got the prosecutor fired should certainly be shown, in a session open to the public and press.

Again, the evidence is circumstantial.  Biden himself may or may not have profited by the deal, though his son obviously did.  Joe Biden’s mind may be too pure for the thought of nepotism ever to have crossed it.  His son may have brought unrecognized qualities to the gas company’s board, say, a particular grace in ass-kissing (always useful in business).

But the possibility that all this may be brought into the very bright light of a trial of a sitting president by the Senate must have serious Democratic politicians such as Pelosi worried.  I suspect that if she needs encouragement to block it, Mr. Biden is providing it, frequently and loudly.  That is why she is demanding Senate Republicans agree with Democrats on a structure for the trial before she sends over the articles of impeachment (without which President Trump may not have been impeached; Constitutional law scholars are in disagreement on that point).  That structure will have to make a trial of Joe Biden in the court of public opinion impossible or the articles will not be sent.

There is no reason the Senate Republican leadership should agree to the Democrats’ demand.  Or is there?  It seems a few Republican Senators also had dealings with that Ukrainian gas company.  The Senate Majority Leader’s phone may be receiving calls almost as frantic as those Madam Pelosi is probably getting from the Biden campaign.

It is obviously in President Trump’s interest to turn his trial into a trial of Joe Biden.  It means the end of Biden’s candidacy and it justifies Mr. Trump’s request to the President of Ukraine.  The Democrats will have ended up destroying their own best bet to retake the White House instead of President Trump.

All it takes for this story to unfold is some brains and some guts on the part of the Senate Republican leadership.  If a couple Republican Senators get caught up in it too, well, they are not ones whose loss we should lament.  There are only two Republican Senators in that category, Rand Paul and Mike Lee.  Neither of them were getting money from Ukrainian gas enterprises.