The Endless War With Russia

Without formally announcing it and for reasons no one has bothered to explain, the American empire has declared war on Russia. That is the clear message the Biden administration is sending with the new round of sanctions. They have also kicked out some Russian diplomats. More importantly, the US is telling US banks they cannot have any dealings with companies working on Nord Stream 2, the big natural gas pipeline the Russians are building to supply gas to Europe.

In fairness, the war with Russia started before Biden was installed. You could argue it started back in the Bush years when they convinced the former Soviet republic of Georgia to annex parts of South Ossetia. The Bush people were making noises about adding Georgia to NATO, which did not sit well with Russia. From their perspective, this was a provocative act of aggression. It was correctly seen as an effort to surround Russian with states loyal to the American empire.

Team Obama promised to cool things down with the old enemy. They made a big show of the “big reset” with the Russians. Hillary Clinton did a photo-op with the Russian foreign minister in which they jointly held a big red button labeled “reset” on which each had their hand. Of course, administrations come and go, but the usual suspects that actually run imperial foreign policy never change. By the end of the Obama years, they were claiming the Russians rigged the presidential election.

Under Trump there was a real effort to call off the attacks on the Russians, but the usual suspects responded to that with two impeachment efforts. First there was the coup effort led by the FBI to get Trump removed. The claim was that he worked with the Russians to rig the election. Then there was the effort launched by the usual suspects in the State Department. It is easy to forget but pretty much everyone involved in the first impeachment trial had a connection to Ukraine.

Now of course, Ukraine is at the center of the Biden administration’s efforts to start a shooting war with the Russians. They have encouraged the Ukrainian president to declare his intention to return the Crimea to Ukraine, by force if necessary. Then they offered military guarantees in the event of war with Russia. The Russians have responded by putting their military on high alert. They have moved forces onto the border of Ukraine in preparation for a shooting war.

As if the guarantees to Ukraine are not enough, the Biden people immediately deployed long range nuclear bombers to Norway. They put bombers in Portugal as well and raised the strategic posture at the same time. Russian and NATO air forces are having regular incidents on the border of Russia. These are deliberate provocations. The hope is there is an incident that would warrant escalation. The fact that this happened as soon as Biden took office says it was not the doing of his people.

One obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this now two decade long effort to start a war with Russia is the President no longer controls foreign policy. Obama and Trump tried to normalize relations with Russia, but both were thwarted by the semi-permanent foreign policy establishment. Many of these people now have financial dealings with Ukraine, which goes ignored by Congress. Joe Biden is a vegetable and his family is literally on the payroll of the Ukrainians.

Of course, there is the madness of it all. Why is the American empire trying to start a war with Russia? One reason is money, of course. The usual suspects would like to raid Russia for natural resources. The parasitic financial system of the West is running out of domestic capital to burn, so Russia is seen as a new opportunity for plunder. There is also the grudge they have with Putin, who put an end to the looting. No one holds a grudge like the people running the American financial system.

There is also the fact that the foreign policy establishment is packed to the gills with people who were selected for their hatred of Russia. This goes back to the Cold War when foreign policy was simply about Russia. When the Cold War ended, those people did not retire. They did not stop selecting for people who shared their views on Russia and have the same cultural connections to the East. The maps have changed, but the people who see themselves as map makers has not changed.

One not so obvious reason is the need for liberal democracy to have an enemy. Like the Athenian Empire 2,000 years ago, the American empire is the result of conflict and as such it is designed to have an enemy. For half a century, the Russians were the enemy around which the empire was organized. They tried to replace Russia with Islam, but the Muslims proved to be a poor adversary. Cultural inertia has brought the American empire back to Russia as the enemy they need to survive.

Ironically, this new fight with Russia could turn out to be the disaster that seems to be the natural end of all empires. A shooting war with Russia will end in disaster for the empire because it would be a disaster for Europe. Russia would seize Ukraine in short order and this would result in an air war in the skies over Europe. Then Syria would unleash a million migrants from the south. It would be a catastrophe that would be blamed on Washington, one that would probably end NATO.

This is why the Germans are not rushing to support the empire on this. Germans have been dealing with the Russians for a very long time. they will be dealing with Russians long after the American empire is gone. Backing the yesterday men of Washington does not look like the best move for the Germans. America’s Varian Disaster may not be a military defeat, but instead be a diplomatic catastrophe. This attack on Russia could be what breaks the NATO coalition.

There is also the domestic situation. Despite the blaring from the regime propaganda organs, the Biden regime has limited support among Americans. Half the country thinks he is illegitimate, while the other half is instinctively dovish. They are also more focused on the domestic pogroms against their enemies. A war now would be a disaster domestically for the empire. Half the country would be rooting for the Russians, just because they hate the American government.

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

Chinese Ethics

Note: There is a cornucopia of new items in various places today. There is the regular Monday post on Taki. There is a new feature behind the green door for podcast fans that will be a regular Sunday feature. There is also a review of the classic movie, The Jazz Singer, which may be the most Jewish movie ever made.

One of the interesting side bars to the Covid panic is the extreme lack of interest in the origin of the virus. The story a year ago was that it sprung from so-called “wet markets” where provincials trade exotic meats. One version said it was from bats and another claimed it was the pangolin. Then the story shifted to the lab in Wuhan where the outbreak started. That was dropped as the Chinese Communist Party instructed the American media to stop talking about the lab in Wuhan.

Conventional wisdom says the wet market stuff was always just a way to divert attention from the fact that the Chinese have a bioweapons operation. The Biological Weapons Convention not only prohibits the use of biological agents, but it also prohibits the development of them as well. In light of the worldwide panic over the Covid virus, it is not hard to see why everyone is trying to shift the focus from the lab to exotic meat markets. This public health emergency could easily become a political crisis.

The thing is though, the lab itself and the work that is probably going on there is really just the tip of the iceberg. What the story has revealed thus far is that many Western researchers have had contact with that lab and several others in China. There have been a few arrests of researchers in the West on the grounds they were working on behalf of the Chinese or spying for the Chinese. In other words, there are a lot of Western scientist working in China for some reason.

The reason gets back to that lab in Wuhan. There is no doubt that most Western governments operate biological research facilities. The fact that China is doing the same is no surprise. The difference is Western governments have to worry about whistleblowers who will spill the beans on anything illegal. They also have to worry about anything unethical. The Chinese, in contrast, arrests whistleblowers and harvest their organs. Scandal is not a concern for the ChiComs.

Western bioethics are not a big concern either. Last week, a team of researchers working in China announced they took six-day-old macaque monkey embryos and injected 25 human cells into each of them. The researchers claimed they conducted this study as part of an effort to discover new methods of creating organs. The idea is to use the patient’s DNA to grow new parts. This would not only solve the organ shortage, it would also solve the challenge of finding suitable matches.

The ethics are the obvious concern. In the West, this type of research is considered unethical because it raises questions that we have yet to answer. What if such a hybrid was brought to term? Should a monkey with a significant number of human cells be treated as human or as an animal? Even if it is clearly an animal, deliberately creating monsters just to do it is also unethical. We use animals in lab experiments, but it is not just for the thrill of tormenting them. There needs to be reason.

Again, bioethics are not a concern for China. What matters most to the Chinese is acquiring as much technology as possible as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is why China has become the wild west of bio-research. Western researchers know they can do whatever they want in China. They will be free of Western ethics and get all the money they need. They just have to share their work with their new masters. For many Western scientists, this is not a difficult dilemma.

Of course, they cannot be blatant about it. When the world complained about the use of CRISPR to create the world’s first genetically altered baby, the Chinese arrested the researchers involved and sent them to prison. The message being sent was that the research is fine, but it needs to have a Western face attached. In other words, the imported researchers from the West are not just bringing technical skills, they are providing China with some public relations assistance.

What the Chinese have figured out is they can use the same methods on the Western scientific community as they used to lure Western manufacturers. The promise of cheap labor and loose environmental laws, along with subsidies from the Chinese government, lured business from the West. Sure, it often meant that local Chinese firms pirated the products they were making for Western companies, but that was just a cost of doing business in China. It was still good business.

The tech industry fell for the same deal. They were initially lured to China in order to build out the infrastructure. They got access to a pool of smart engineers, who worked for pennies on the dollar, relative to American engineers. They also got the sweet contracts from the government. The tech companies also got to learn the finer points of population control from the Chinese. This was good business for the Chinese, who were able to accelerate their tech sector.

Some would argue that China is simply freer now than most Western nations, which is why intellectual capital is flowing there. If the Chinese are fine with creating human-monkey hybrids in the lab, then so be it. After all, human medicine advanced to a great degree from grave robbers supply corpses for doctors to dissect. In the 19th century this was immoral, but today we think nothing of it. Bioethics are a social construct and as such they will evolve over time. China is just ahead of the curve.

Whether we like it or not, we will soon learn if those ethical limitations popular in the West are necessary. The Chinese will keep forging ahead, buying Western researchers so they can experiment in the East. Maybe Covid was the wake-up China needed to put some limits on this research. Maybe it was just viewed as the cost of becoming the dominant player in the field. Maybe that cost will be regular pandemics of man-made viruses leaking from Chinese labs.

Most important, what we are seeing is what happens when a society decides that the value of everything is what someone will pay for it. In America, everything has a price, so nothing has value. The elites are happy to trade technology to China, because the only thing that matters is short term profit. From the Chinese perspective, the American empire is not a competitor. It is just a big candy store that she can systematically pick clean until it finally collapses. This is the war China knows it can win.

A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

The China Question

Note: Lots of doings to start the week. I have a review of the classic musical My Fair Lady up behind the green door. There is some new audio on G. Gordon Liddy and the Matt Gaetz case as well. The regular Taki post is up here. Today at 1:00 PM I will be on Guide to Kulchur to discuss The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

A popular topic among Sinophiles since the installation of Joe Biden as president is the possibility of war with China over the status of Taiwan. The Chinese have been obsessed with Taiwan since Mao. With the American empire in sharp decline and the Biden regime unpopular at home and abroad, now could be the perfect time for the Chinese to make their move. As John Derbyshire is fond of pointing out, “Taiwan is like two feet from China … We are eight thousand miles away.”

While there is little doubt that China could retake Taiwan whenever it likes, the cost would be extremely high. For starters, Taiwan and the US have been preparing for such a move for generations. Some of the most sophisticated early warning systems on earth are installed in Taiwan specifically keep an eye on China. There is the very strong possibility that Taiwan has underground missile systems capable of reaching targets on the mainland in the event of an attack by China.

Whether or not the US would actually go to war to defend Taiwan is debatable, but that is the official position. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia are also technically committed to the defense of Taiwan. An all-out assault on Taiwan could very well result in attacks on Chinese infrastructure along the coast. It would most certainly result in massive economic retaliation. The Chinese regime would be forced to explain to her people why they are suddenly poor again.

Of course, the Chinese could counter with attacks on Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia. Her navy is the largest in the world now, even if it lacks the forward capability of the American empire. It could deliver attacks on her neighbors, including Hawaii. In an all-out war, she could attack the west coast of the United States with submarine based missiles. The point is, China is not Iraq, some pipsqueak the US military can kick around without consequences.

That reality, however, is why such a full-blown confrontation is unlikely. Despite what many believe, China is hooked on the dollar like the rest of the world. She cannot afford war with the US at this time. The reason the Chinese flooded the American election system with cash in 2020 is the Trump administration was causing real problems for the Chinese with their trade policies. No one can be sure if the Covid plague China unleashed was an accident, but you cannot rule it out.

The point being is that an economic war with the American empire would be catastrophic for the Chinese economy. The usual suspects love crowing about the Chinese economy, but her per capita GDP is $10,839. That is down there with Costa Rica and Bulgaria. China has a lot of poor people. The rich people she has are obligated to make sure those poor are provided with the basics. The iron rice bowl is a real thing, and the Chinese regime takes it very seriously.

There is also the fact that China is smart. She can take the long view with Taiwan as she knows in a generation the American empire will be gone. Given the physical condition of the ruling class and the mental condition of the probable successors, the American empire will be out of Asia in a decade. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia all know this and have been planning accordingly. China can just bide her time and Taiwan will come to her, hat in hand.

There is also the possibility this happens much quicker. It is clear to the world that Joe Biden is non compos mentis. Whoever is calling the shots is not bothering to consult the White House. This is why there is a crisis in the Ukraine. Someone from the semi-permanent ruling class encouraged Kiev to declare her intention to retake the Crimea, which has resulted in a stand-off with the Russians, who have no intention of allowing Ukraine to make any moves on the Crimea.

Then there is the dispute over Nord Stream 2, the new natural gas pipeline being built to supply western Europe. Shadowy financial interests in the American empire have been trying to stop this project for a long time. Biden administration figures have been dispatched to Europe to deliver a message from those shadowy financial interests that the Washington regime will pull out all the stops to prevent this project. This is further undermining the credibility of the Biden regime.

From the Chinese perspective, she has no reason to make any moves on Taiwan, as the puppet government in Washington is unlikely to stagger on much longer. Despite the claims by regime media, the world fully grasps the reality of the situation. The American regime is in deep crisis. The American empire is the sick man of the world right now and everyone is just waiting for the inevitable. History shows that the end comes much sooner than the patient ever expects.

The point of all this is that China has no reason to force a confrontation with the American empire over Taiwan. Through bribery, maneuvering and the general incompetence of the American ruling elite, China can quietly dictate policy to the regime in Washington. If she is patient, this reality will become clear to her neighbors in the region, and they will peacefully detach from the American empire and align with the Chinese empire. There is no need to fight the inevitable.

A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

Answering War Hysteria

According to just about everyone, we are either at war with Iran or about to go to war with Iran. The droning of the Iranian general at the Baghdad airport has unleashed a lot of pent up war hysteria, as well as anti-war hysteria. The neocons are dreaming of another pointless war in the Middle East. The paleocons are warning about how the Iranians will enact vengeance. The anti-Zionists are completely off their leash, making the usual claims about who is really behind all of this.

The truth is, we are not at war with Iran, at least not a conventional war. We have been in a cold war with them since the 1970’s. The temperature rises and falls as domestic politics requires, but it never gets too hot. The main reason for that is Iran is run by fairly competent people. Iran is also much more cohesive than the neighboring countries in the region. Persians have a strong sense of identity that transcends the tribal alliances that dominate in the rest of the Middle East.

Of course, the Iranians now have important ties with Russia and China. The Russians are helping them build nuclear capability and the Chinese are providing them with conventional military technology. Both countries are in bed with the Iranians because Iran sits on large oil and gas reserves. China is starving for oil and the Russians are a player in Europe because they control the gas supplies. Those are strong incentives to prevent a US – Iran war.

At the same time, America is in no position to launch another war in the Middle East, at least not a ground war. Trump can call in drone strikes and maybe air strikes from subs and carriers, but that would be very risky. To get a ground force together would require prepping the public and getting Congress to sign off on it. It would also mean talking Trump into something he has opposed. War is always bad politics. In an election year where his prospects are even money at best, that’s a foolish gamble for him.

History is full of examples where countries bluffed themselves into a war that neither side wanted, so it is not completely out of the question. Israel could blow something up and the neocons running the State Department could talk Trump into believing the Iranians did it. Some rogue element in Iran could do something foolish. Then there are the many guerrilla and terrorist groups supported by Iran. One of them could do something provocative and set us on a path to war.

Even so, the odds are very low that this current crisis lasts more than a week, other than some hotly worded tweets from Trump and bellicose rants from Iran. This raises a few questions. One is why the anti-war people have flipped out as if they were just waiting for a reason to get back in the streets. They were not going crazy when Trump lobbed missiles into Syria. They were silent when Venezuela was on the brink. It’s as if someone flipped a switch and reactivated the anti-war people.

The bigger question is why Trump has decided to take this step. It’s clear he has no interest in starting a war. He has been trying to get troops out of the Middle East for three years now. Taking out this general is a high risk move that could lead to terrorist attacks this year. The White House is warning Congress that retaliation in the next weeks is a possibility. Even if a full blown shooting war with Iran is unlikely, it does not mean there will be no fallout from this venture.

One possibility is that Trump is just dumb and he got bamboozled by the neocons into attacking Iran. They cooked up a story about how this general was plotting a terror attack and he fell for it. This is popular with the anti-Zionists. They believe the neocons are like super-villains, able to hypnotize politicians. They have finally figured out how to maneuver Trump into going along with their schemes. It’s possible. The distinguishing feature of Trumps’ time in office has been incompetence.

The trouble with this theory is that Trump has been pretty good at dodging the neocon war plots thus far. This is not the first time they cooked up a plot to attack Iran. He has even joked about guys like John Bolton wanting to bomb the world. He also avoided the various traps they set with Syria. Trump may not be very good at governing, but he seems pretty well aware of how the neocons operate. He has been as good at shining them on as he has the immigration patriots.

Another answer is that Trump saw this as a chance to break the deadlock over nuclear negotiations with Iran. Think back to how he broke all the protocols in order to get the North Koreans to the table. All prior presidents refused to meet with the North Korean leader, but Trump not only agreed to meet, he pushed for it. His erratic and unconventional management style is an extension of his negotiating style. He likes to throw over tables and create chaos as a prelude to deal making.

Evidence of this is his tweet after the droning of the general. In addition to the boiler plate stuff, he made the point that he preferred to negotiate and the Iranians should prefer it too. In other words, this high risk, high stakes gambit is about breaking the stalemate and getting all the various players to rethink their position. Trump is a legendary bluffer and this is basically a big bluff. He’s threatening unconditional drone warfare unless they come to the table.

The other side of this is he gets a boost with his base who love the fact he took out this general with a drone strike. Despite what the anti-Zionists think, this is a winner for him with his core supporters. If nothing comes of it, he will be able to say he has tried to bring the Iranians to the table, but they will not budge. He played the same cards with North Korea. As a political matter, he gets to be both the tough guy, who drones bad guys, and the peacemaker seeking to talk rather than fight.

Finally, there is the possibility that this is tied into the impeachment process that will get going again this month. Senate Republicans like Mitt Romney and Ben Sassy are wholly owned by Jerusalem. In order to get their vote in the impeachment fight, Trump may be forced to give into the forever war crowd. This attack and the subsequent bluster about more attacks may be the real quid pro quo. If anyone thinks this is too conspiratorial, just look at the anti-BDS campaign.

The likelihood of this scenario leading to war, however, is low as the impeachment lever has a clear expiry date on it. There is an election brewing and Washington needs to dispense with the impeachment issue by February at the latest. That’s enough time to do some drone strikes and saber rattling, but not enough time to gin up support for a war with Iran. Instead it will just make negotiating with Iran impossible for the remainder of Trump’s tenure, which may be the real point.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Cartel Land

A popular item of discussion in some quarters of the dissident right is what will be the thing that puts the current regime in crisis. The instability we see in the West is largely due to the instability of America. The economy staggers on, but no one really believes it can continue as currently constructed. The political class is looking like a pirate ship, rather than orderly democracy. The elites operate like America is a smuggler’s cove and they are the pirates. Everywhere you look you see instability.

Usually, the two top answers for what will be the spark that sets the world ablaze are economic collapse and military failure. Maybe the economy will spin out of control, resulting in a great depression. This will be the spark that ignites public anger toward a ruling class they already despise. On the other hand, maybe a great military catastrophe, something like the Varian Disaster. This will destroy the America military reputation and the order that depends upon it will begin to unravel around the globe.

Another possibility is something small that at the time seems insignificant, but in the long run turns out to be an inflection point. There is the trajectory before the event and the trajectory after the event. A great example of an event that was interpreted one way at the time, but was later seen as a great turning point was the Roman defeat of Carthage and Corinth. The consequences of these two victories changed the trajectory of Rome, creating the conditions for the shift from republic to empire.

If we are looking around for some small event, or seemingly small, that could turn out to be an inflection point today, the Mexican failure to deal with the Sinaloa cartel this past week is a good choice. The operation by the Mexican government to arrest Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of former drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, and then turn him over to the U.S, may be more than a typical Latin bungle. It has revealed that Mexico is a failed state, largely controlled by large criminal cartels.

At some level, even the dullest member of the America foreign policy elite understands that Mexico is not a normal country. The Mexican government does not have control of its territory. Much of the population is ruled over by local warlords, who operate various criminal trades. Some of those warlords wear expensive suits and show up at Davos to party with the global elites. The vast manufacturing and distribution operations in Mexico are there because global business can operate there outside the law.

From the perspective of global business and the flunkies they employ in our government, this lawlessness has been a boon, but it comes with a price. That was made clear last week when the Sinaloa cartel forced the Mexican government to hand back their leader. If you live in Mexico, you now know who is actually in charge of that part of Mexico. More important, the Mexican government and the cartel now know who is in charge and they know the other side knows too. It was clarifying.

Well, it should have been clarifying. Judging from the reactions of official Washington, it appears they barely noticed. In the long run, this staggering ignorance of what is happening just over the border may be the most important item of this age. While serious-faced politicians lecture us about the need to build a wall between Syria and Turkey, we have a new Afghanistan forming up to our south. Like Afghanistan, Mexico is now run by warlords, willing to do business with anyone.

The stupidity of the American ruling class will no doubt result in doing the dumbest thing possible in Mexico. That’s helping the Mexican government assassinate and arrest some leading cartel figures. Rather than address the problems of Mexico, it will be an effort to maintain it as a free zone for well-connected pirates to operate outside the law, but with more compliant warlords in place. The result will be an acceleration into anarchy and eventually the collapse of Mexico as a country.

Killing the local warlords was a strategy American employed during the War on Drugs in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Most urban areas were run by a local heroin kingpin, who controlled the drug trade in the city. He also controlled the people in the drug trade, which meant limiting the street warfare. The urban black population fell back into the normal pattern of governance. This meant big man rule, where the heroin kingpin operated like a local chieftain. He kept things under control.

In order to look good on television, the authorities decided to combat the drug problem by arresting these local drug kingpins. That allowed them to make flashy arrests, where they would display stacks of drugs, cash and guns. This, of course, was about getting bigger budgets by gaining public support for their efforts. The result was a busting up of these local cartels, but they shattered into thousands of small gangs. The result was the urban warfare we still see today. A place like Baltimore is a tribal war zone.

Turning large swaths of Baltimore into a no-go zone is easily overlooked, as people can just move away and avoid it. The same is true of the Middle East. As we have seen, the occasional exploding Mohamed has not caused the public to turn on the ruling class in great numbers. Mexican cartels taking over American towns and turning cities into war zones would not go overlooked. That is what’s coming as the American ruling class tries to maintain Mexico as a free zone for their pirate buddies.

On the other hand, if there are some sober minded people left in the American ruling class and they wake up to what is happening to our south, it could be the turning point in the ruling elite. The collapse of Mexico could force the American ruling class to sober up and start acting like a ruling class. That means protecting the interests of the people over whom they rule, by making sure the ruling class always has the public interest at the forefront of their mind. We become our greatest ally again.

The future is not written, but for those who like to think about what comes next, what bookends this interregnum, the chaos of Mexico is a good study. It is that reality which will not go away if our rulers stop believing in it. At some point, they either address it and solve it or it forces a change in rulers. There’s simply no way the public will tolerate the chaos of Mexico spilling in their cities and towns. That means the rulers, if they wish to remain rulers, will not be able to tolerate it either.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The China Questions

The trade war with China is heating up, so the usual suspects are now turning up in the media to pronounce on the issue. There is the sense that many of the pundits are relieved to take a break from discussing the culture war that surrounds the Trump presidency and the Progressive response to it. Talking about trade and global economics feels like old times. Here is a longish post from David Goldman, the man behind Spengler of the Asia Times, addressing the trade war.

As is always the case in these matters, the Michael Crichton observation about the media should be kept in mind. The growing rift between China and the United States is a complicated matter by itself. The impact it will have on global trade, the US economy and geopolitics is even more complex. Even people paid to risk real money in these areas don’t have a firm grasp of all the moving pieces. The people posting in the media know even less. Often they know nothing at all.

That does not mean there is nothing we can know. The first question, in any heated trade dispute between two countries, is “who is buying and who is selling?” and the related question is, “What is being traded?” In this regard, trade disputes are not a lot different from disputes between customers and vendors. How they proceed and how the end is entirely controlled by the relationship and the products in question. That determines who has the most leverage in the dispute.

In this case, the relationship is easy to sort. U.S. imports from China totaled $539.5 billion in 2018. U.S. exports were $179.3 billion. That export total is about 7% of all U.S. exports for 2018. Put another way, the U.S. market is about 5% of the Chinese economy, assuming the fake Chinese economic numbers are even close to reality, which is surely not the case. The Chinese market is less than one percent of the U.S. economy in 2018. Imports are about 3% of the U.S. economy.

Right away, the relationship between China is the U.S. is not an equal one, in terms of dollars, but also in terms of impact. Then there is the nature of trade between the two countries. Almost all of the U.S. exports to China in 2018 were aircraft parts, electronic components and car parts. In many cases, these are either high precision items the Chinese cannot produce or they have intellectual property that the Chinese will try to steal, so they are made in the U. S. and sent to China.

This is why Trump is playing hardball. He believes he has far less to lose than the Chinese in a trade war. Even if all trade with China comes to an end, the cost to the U.S. economy is not going to be devastating. In fact, it will be hardly noticed. Much of that trade will be replaced with other cheap labor countries, as it is not really trade in the conventional sense. America’s economic relationship with China is about off-shoring manufacturing to dodge labor, tax and environmental laws.

This is a point that cannot be made enough. When American producers sell good to Canada, and Canadian producers sell good to America, that’s trade. When American producers move manufacturing to Mexico, then bring those goods back home under a tariff free regime, that’s not trade. China is not selling the world anything the world does not have or cannot make. What China is selling is a safe haven to avoid the labor, tax and environmental laws that exist in the West.

That does not mean there can be no impact. That’s the other set of questions that can be examined from the outside. China can play a long game, as the Chinese leaders are not facing annual elections and endless media scrutiny. The West, particularly Trump, are in an endless election cycle. Any little blip in the economy is magnified by the media and then fed into the political calculus. While this trade war will inflict more pain on China, they have a much higher pain threshold than Trump.

That’s the theory. It is not all that clear just how much pain Trump will suffer from this standoff with China. The timing actually works in his favor. The slow buildup not only gives American business time to adjust, it gives the political class time to cast it as the typical good guy versus bad guy story. Xi Jinping is not exactly a lovable Jackie Chan type of guy, so casting him as a villain will be easy. In other words, Trump may be trading a little economic capital for a lot of political capital.

Then there is the question of just how much pain China can take and for how long. It is just assumed by Western analysts that the Chinese can absorb any amount of suffering for as long as it takes. After all, China weathered the Cultural Revolution without a mass revolt by the people. Mao had to die before the party moved to end the madness. Why would the Chinese people revolt over a slight down turn in the economy? Why would the party move against Xi Jinping, if the trade war contracts her economy?

No one can know this, but we do know that wealthy people are far more sensitive to small changes in the economy than poor people. We see this in the West. A small down turn has the middle class turning against their party, but a generation long depression in coal country has not caused a revolt. That same reality may be true in China. There are a lot of people living bourgeois lifestyles along the Chinese coast, all financed by one-sided trade with the United States and her allies.

While all of this economic 4-D chess will occupy the pundits, there may be a simple answer to what is going on with China. It could simply be that China has become a liability to the West. The benefits of moving manufacturing to China has been consumed at this point. What’s left is the liability, which is currency manipulation, IP theft, espionage and financial shenanigans. China is running out of friends in Western capitals. The appetite for tolerating this stuff may be waning.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The IQ

The state of Israel holds a special place in the American political consciousness for a number of reasons. One is the fact Israel puts enormous effort into lobbying the political class in Washington. They are the most effective lobbying machine on earth. The other is the phenomenon of Christian Zionists, who have created a form of Christianity that seems to venerate the modern state of Israel. Then there is the anti-Muslim aspect to the whole thing. Most Americans back Israel, because they don’t like Muslims.

It was not always this way. In the 1950’s both political parties were skeptical about Israel, but for a number of reasons the political class was convinced to back the Israelis against the Arabs. Even so, the Left remained anti-Zionist into the 1970’s, siding with the Palestinians as members of the coalition of the oppressed. There remains a whiff of this on the Left with the old guys. A guy like Bernie Sanders is comfortable being anti-Zionist, without being a self-hating Jew. He just keeps it to himself these days.

Right-wing Progressives, on the other hand, have gone completely insane with their love of Israel. They are pushing through laws in states like Florida to ban criticism of Israel or support for critics of Israel. It’s tempting to say these are unconstitutional, but the courts are so corrupt now, that’s a phrase without meaning. Still, the right-wing Progressives make a fetish of the Constitution, so for them to embrace the barbaric practice of proscribing certain topics underscores their fanaticism for Israel.

The anti-Semites, of course, look at this as part of the greater plot by those crafty Jews to destroy the West. It is certainly true that Israel is happy to support Zionist movements in the United States, as it keeps the American government on their side. The truth is, being pro-Israel is one of the few areas where Christians can participate in public life, so they do so with rabid enthusiasm. Similarly, Republicans are allowed to give it to the Left on this issue, so they go overboard on their love for Israel.

That said, Israel is happy to see it. They have become dependent on the United States in ways that get lost on this side of the world. Billions flow from America into Israel every year. The amount of private charity from Christian groups in the US exceeds the foreign aid from the US. Then there are the wealthy Jews, who are not often all that observant, but they make up for it by writing checks and getting others to writes checks to Israeli causes. Remittances means as much to Israel as they do to Mexico.

The trouble with this dynamic is it is an aging one, where the most enthusiastic supporters of Israel in America are getting old. On the Left, the younger generation sees Jews as white and white people are all bad. Instead, they side with Arabs, who are not white, so they are good. Chuck Schumer may run the Democrat party, but Ilhan Omar is the future of the party. Even if she is an exception, the brown coalition simply sees Jews as part of Team White, which makes them and their interests the enemy.

On the Right, mentally unstable left-wing Jews create more anti-Semites on a daily basis than Hitler did in a century. As the younger left-wing Jews, especially the women, try to burrow into the brown coalition, by going over the top in their anti-white rhetoric, whites young whites are reacting to this rhetoric. To say that Michelle Goldberg is bad for Jews is to say that cancer is bad for people, but so far Jews have yet to figure out how to think about addressing that problem, much less curing it.

That’s another problem for Israel, maybe the most serious one. The Michelle Goldberg type is a dying breed. Reformed and Conservative Jews in America stopped having kids, just like occidentals. They also started marrying out of the Tribe. As a result, the ratio of Jews to non-Jews in the country is half what it was at the middle of the last century. The explosion of birth rates and immigration on the Orthodox side promises to change the complexion of Jewishness. Demographics is everyone’s destiny.

To understand this dynamic and what it means for Israel, think about how the Jewish vote broke in the 2016 election. Trump won the Orthodox voters, as he is pro-Israel, but he lost the rest of the Jewish vote. The old gag was that the Jews lived like Episcopalians and voted like Puerto Ricans. Today, the non-Orthodox vote like blacks and live like homosexuals. That vital coalition for Israel is now backing anti-Israel candidates and erasing themselves from the book of life. That’s bad for Israel.

Of course, these demographic changes are driven by the same forces that are undermining occidental communities. The reason there is such a thing as alt-Jew is the same reason there is an alt-right. What it means to be Jewish in modern America is under assault by modern America. The reason the Orthodox have so many kids is they see a bright future. The reason the rest of the Diaspora in North America is not having kids is they wish they had never been born. Self-loathing is their religion.

There’s something else with Jews that is unique to them. A big part of Jewish identity is seeing themselves as the plucky underdog put upon by a hostile world. As they rose to the top of American society, they were changed by their immersion into the Progressive cultural outlook. Just as Jews were Hellenized by the Greeks, Jews in America were changed by those ruling class Protestants they found themselves competing with and working with in the high ground of American society.

There’s good reason to mock the term Judeo-Christian, but there is such a thing as Judeo-Puritan. That’s the ethos of the America ruling elite now. The almost berserk obsession with collective judgement and the need to subvert their own system in order to perpetual a state of constant revolution, draws from both traditions. The moralizing prudishness has been inverted to attack traditional morality, while the outsider instinct has been weaponized to create a perpetual state of crisis.

This warping of Jewish identity is most obvious with the neocons. Their enthusiasm for crusading around the world to spread democracy is written off by anti-Semites, as part of their plot to help Israel. In reality, it is the result of internalizing the missionary zeal and universalism of their Protestant brothers in the Judeo-Puritan orthodoxy. The Protestants send missionaries to torment the bad whites inside America, while the Jews send those bad whites out to impose liberal democracy on the rest of the world.

Overall, the dynamic in America is not a good one for Israel. The disintegrating old white America is undermining general support for Israel. It is opening the doors to left-wing anti-Zionists among the coalition of the ascendant. The Jews most supportive of Israel financially, and best able to influence government policy, are fading into a demographic oblivion. The partnership of Trump’s over-the-top civic nationalism and Netanyahu’s over-the-top Zionism is like the last concert for an old band about to retire.

For Israel, it means figuring out how to work with nationalist movements in Europe and white identity movements in the United States. Jews in the Diaspora have the luxury of railing against these movements, but Israelis are far more sober minded. They have no choice but to be pragmatic, as their survival depends upon it. What seems like an unlikely partnership today, is most likely the path forward for Israel. The world’s only ethno-state will have to support the concept of ethno-nationalism for everyone.

To support my work, please contribute here.

Or, You can send money to me at: P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432

A New Delian League

The Delian League was an alliance of Greek city-states formed in 478 BC in order to confront and defeat the Persian Empire. Persia had conquered Asian Minor, including the Greek city-states, which were collectively known as Ionia. The Greeks had defeated the Persians at Marathon, Salamis, and Plataea in the early 5th century BC, but the threat of Persia remained a concern and the fate of the Ionians was a primary concern of Athens, which saw itself as the defenders of the Ionian Greeks.

As is often the case, the Delian League lost its purpose after the Persian threat had been addressed, but the league never went away. Instead, it quickly turned into the Athenian Empire, as Athens came to dominate the member states. First the Athenians took control of the navy. Member states either supplied ships or money, but the navy was completely controlled by Athens. This made the member states entirely dependent on Athens for defense against Persians, pirates and other Greek city-states.

Then the Athenians took control of the money supply. Initially, a treasury was established on the sacred island of Delos in the Cyclades, hence the name of the alliance. Every member state was assessed an amount they had to contribute annually to the common treasury. The treasury was moved to Athens and each member state was required to pay tribute, based on an assessment set by Athens. For all practical purposes, the league was now an empire ruled by Athens.

This bit of ancient Greek history is useful to keep in mind when looking at what is happening in the West. The EU is the new Delian League, with Brussels playing the role of Athens. The European Union is an economic empire, so controlling the military is not important, especially since Europe is entirely dependent upon the United States for its defense. Any attempt by one state to use force against another would bring in the United States. That and Brussels does not control any military assets.

Instead, the European elite uses money to control the empire. Former Belgian prime minister and current leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, said as much in a recent interview. In the view of European elites, the member states of Europe must abandon all of their sovereignty and become members of a European empire. Just as the member states of the Delian League would exist, but as subjects to Athens, the nations of Europe will be subjects of Brussels.

There are three problems with this analogy, as well as the motivating philosophy behind the concept. One is the Europeans have no military to speak of, at least not one that Brussels could use to project power. The Italians have a respectable military and the French still have some useful military units, but Brussels has nothing. It is one thing to crater the Greek economy, as Brussels did when SYRIZA tried to revolt. It is another to pull down her walls and take hostages as Athens did to Naxos in 476 BC.

Another problem, perhaps the biggest problem, with this analogy is the Delian League had a clear idea of the enemy. First they had the Persian Empire against whom they were defending the Greeks. That gave the League a clear purpose. Then in the war with Sparta, Athens was defending Greek democracy against tyranny. The current European elite is anti-democratic and it is unwilling to defend Europe against the Persia of this age, which is peripatetic Arabs and Africans.

The final problem with the analogy is the fact that Europe remains a province of the American Empire, which is the continuation of the British Empire. The Anglosphere continues to control the world, militarily, economically and culturally. That last bit is probably the most important regarding Europe. Walk through a shopping district in Europe and it reeks of American ghetto culture. The news in Europe is more about America than Europe. Brussels is playing at empire, but remains a vassal.

In that regard, this reality may explain why the American foreign policy elite is silent on Trump’s support for Brexit. His idea for a free trade and travel zone for the Five Eyes nations would solve a problem for dealing with Europe. If Brussels wants to have access to the vast trove of signal intelligence held by the Anglosphere, they have to play ball with the Anglosphere. This would allow the United State to reduce its footprint in Europe, thus lowering the cost of controlling the Europeans.

Putting that aside, the utility of this analogy is that even with control of the military and the money supply, the Athenians were never able to make their empire work. Even controlling some of Greece put them at odds with Sparta. The Peloponnesian War ended with the defeat of Athens at Battle of Aegospotami, but the cost of maintaining their empire was bleeding them dry. Most historians think the strategy of Pericles would have bankrupted the Athenians in a year or two, even if they won at Aegospotami.

That seems to be what is happening with the European Union. The revolt of the Greeks when SYRIZA came to power was a glimpse of what was coming. Now it is the Italians that are challenging the economic rule of Brussels. The cost of putting down that revolt will be orders of magnitude higher than suppressing the Greeks. The eventual withdraw of Britain will undermine much of the legitimacy and authority of Brussels, as Britain is unlikely to perish without protection from Brussels.

Then there are the populist movements that keep boiling up in every EU country, even core countries like Germany and France. As we see in the United States, the ruling class is petrified of these movements. They are willing to go to great lengths to suppress them, but the cost is becoming increasingly high. More important, suppression efforts seem to be converting more people to populism and nationalism. At some point in the near future, Brussels will be faced with its Aegospotami.

To support my work, please contribute here.

Or, You can send money to me at: P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432

When The Truth Is True

In recent times, probably since the Bush years, people we now associate with the alt-right have claimed that Israel controls American foreign policy. Anti-Semites, of course, have always made this charge, but usually without much proof. They just hate Jews and by extension hate Israel, so claiming American foreign policy is run by Zionists has an emotional appeal for them. Paleocons and now the alt-right, in contrast, point to various adventures and neocon statements as proof Israel runs the show.

Still, even with an increasing amount of data to support the general idea that our political class is more concerned with Israel than America, most people don’t believe it. Instead they look for other reasons that are more fun and satisfying. Part of it is most white people just don’t want to agree with the anti-Semites on anything. They have been tuned by generations of conditioning to respond negatively to anything critical of Jews. Another part of it is the aluminum foil hat stuff about the deep state.

The gag during the last presidential election about the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton was that it would be easier to dismiss them if they were not true. That’s the issue with the theory that Israel controls American foreign policy. It would be a lot easier to dismiss the claims if they were not true. For example, Trump said he was withdrawing our troops from Syria. Now, all of a sudden, Trump says he has changed his mind and we’re staying in Syria because of Israel. Score one for the anti-Semites.

In his book, Tucker Carlson recounts the fights between the neocons and the paleocons over Iraq. The neocons publicly argued that the paleos were anti-Semites for opposing these wars. In private, neocons like Bill Kristol laughed and said the wars were all about defending Israel. The neoconservatives hate Carlson with a passion, but they have not bothered to dispute this claim. Instead, they accuse him of being a shill for Putin. Put another way, they concede he is correct in his recollections.

In fairness, a lot of Americans have been conditioned to put the interests of Israel above all else, but it is not a majority. Most people voting democrat are anti-war. The rainbow coalition of non-whites on the Left has a strong whiff of antisemitism. On the Republican side, most voters are done with foreign adventurism. It’s why no GOP pols talk about the two decade long war in Afghanistan. The only people who support forever war in the Middle East are Evangelicals, who have made Israel an obsession.

Still, while most Americans would welcome a withdrawal from the world, most also think helping Israel is a good thing. They see her as the plucky little country surviving in a sea of hostile barbarians. That’s why Trump blurted out that line about staying in Syria to defend Israel. He’s pretty much a BoomerCon, so his instincts are in-line with the MAGA hat wearing type who show up at his rallies. They will forgive him for reversing course on Syria, because they share his general sensibilities on defending Israel.

That’s a good rationalization until you take a look at what is going on with Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaiian politician now running for president. Given the state of the Left and the circus that will be the Democrat primary, she should be a star. In fact, when she first won office, the Left was selling her as the future of the party. She’s young, good looking, heterodox in her politics, without straying too far afield. She served in the military, which is now a weird badge of honor for female politicians. She is the female Barak Obama.

Then they started to look past sex and skin tone. Her father is anti-gay, advocating things like gay conversion therapy. Gabbard herself was never on-board with the assault on marriage, which makes her a homophobe on the Left. More important, she was anti-war and not for the goofy reasons popular on the Left. She opposed the endless wars in the Muslim world because she thinks they are bad for Americans. Even worse, she was willing to meet with Assad, Israel’s sworn enemy. That’s unforgivable.

That’s why on the day she announced her intention to run for the nomination, every single big shot in the Democrat party denounced her. It was so obviously coordinated, it recalled that gag about the Clinton conspiracies. It was if they wanted the world to know that they were reading the lines from a script handed to them by headquarters. Howard Dean was probably the most amusing. His statement on Gabbard suggested that maybe someone was holding his family hostage and he was forced to denounce her or else.

It’s not just the pols trashing Gabbard. The media has been instructed to open up the big guns on her. Here we are a year from the first voting and the Prog media is spending big money to trash one of the fifty candidates. It’s one thing to start throwing mud at one of the favorites, but to attack a minor candidate this far out is weird. The outfit running the shenanigans against Gabbard is in so tight with the Deep State-Democrat Party nexus, it probably has offices at the DNC. New Knowledge is an arm of the party.

Just to be clear, in case anyone is confused, the phrase “Kremlin controlled” or “Putin Stooge” is code for anti-Semite. Anytime you hear the usual suspects linking an enemy with Russia, they are speaking from tribal interests, not Americans ones. It’s why everyone who tumbles out of the NeverTrump clown car starts hooting about how Putin controls Trump. Russia is the great bogeyman of the tribe, so the worst thing you can be is a tool of Russia. We will hear a lot about Gabbard and her Russia ties this year.

Again, it is understandable that people would be slow to notice that a foreign country is dictating American foreign policy. Those anti-Semites are icky and mean. The conspiracy theorists are weird and creepy. No one wants to be associated with them. The thing is though, the truth is true, even if bad people believe it. The truth is, Israel may not control American foreign policy, but they have a tremendous amount of influence. Given what just happened in Syria, it is fair to say Israel has veto power.

The Russian Stain

During the Cold War, popular culture portrayed the Soviets in two ways, often at the same time. There was the ruthless ideologue, efficiently going about his business as an implacable enemy of freedom. The other type of Soviet character was the morally conflicted guy, whose honor compelled him to serve his country, but he also understood that communism was immoral. As far as villains go, both types of Soviet were given a lot of respect, mostly because liberals in Hollywood were sympathetic to Bolshevism.

Today, Hollywood never uses Russians as bad guys, but our political class sees them as the epicenter of evil in the modern world. Steve Sailer noted the other day that the pundit class has rewritten recent history to fit this narrative. The neocons are celebrating the tenth anniversary of something that never really happened, at least not in the way they currently tell it. In addition to the former neocon puppet Mikheil Saakashvili, we have Robert Kagan and here is Condoleezza Rice repeating the same whopper.

The funny thing about this myth-making is that it is unnecessary. The number of people in the political class who could locate South Ossetia is a very small number. Most normal Americans would be puzzled to learn that there is a country named after the peach state. As a public relations item, this ten year old non-event is useless. There’s also the fact that the actual events are easily accessible on-line. It looms large for the neocons, though, so they can’t stop thinking about it. In fact, they seem to be haunted by it.

The neocons have been mucking about in that part of the world for a long time. Some would say their interests go back to the pale of settlement days. That’s an amusing theory, but probably not very accurate. Still, there’s pretty good evidence that the American foreign policy establishment has been meddling in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Empire. The Boston Marathon bomber was probably recruited by US intelligence at some point. His uncle seems to know a lot of people in the CIA.

The thing that no one has yet to explain is why has the American ruling elite become fixated on Russia. Even if the reason for the neocon obsession is ancient hatreds, why is the America Left nuts about the Russians? It could simply be convenience, but there are better villains in the world for them to hate, at least in practical terms. China, for example, makes for a much better villain, given their economic and military status. Iran or Saudi Arabia work much better with the Left’s current deep dive into matriarchy.

Even if you want to believe that the Left has been infected by the ancient hatred that allegedly animates the neocons, the tenor of the Left’s hatred of the Russians is completely different. The neocons see Russia as a problem to be controlled so it does not revert back to its imperial habits. The Left now sees Russia as the manifestation of all that opposed the great Progressive project. Russia is not a problem to be managed. The very existence of Russia is seen as an affront to the neo-liberal world order.

This visceral hatred has some similarities to the Progressive loathing of the imperial governments of Europe prior to the Great War. Wilson and his people despised the old order, which is why they were so aggressively vengeful toward the Austrians and Germans after the war. American Progressives seem to have developed the same view of Russia and to a lesser degree the Visegrad counties. Their resistance to the neo-liberal order is viewed as an ideological challenge and that can never be tolerated.

The difference is that a century ago, Wilsonian democracy was ascendant, while the monarchical order was in decline. America and American leaders were the new kids on the world stage, pushing aside the old guard. Today, the neo-liberal order is in a defensive crouch, under assault from biological reality and populist revolts. Meanwhile, Russia and Eastern Europe are pretty much just normal countries. Perhaps part of the hatred for Russia is the need to find something to blame for the current troubles in the West.

Of course, it is a reminder of the absolute intolerance of secular religions. When people assign the natural order to divine forces, they can be indifferent to alternative forms of worship, as a part of the great mystery of life. When the natural order is a man made creation and  the moral code is created and maintained by man, any deviation must be viewed as a challenge to the creator’s legitimacy. The stubborn existence of European countries practicing the old ways is an insult to the neo-liberal creators.

There also may be the issue of reach. Russia is poor and relatively weak compared to the West, but it remains out of reach culturally and politically. It’s ability to thrive outside the new world order suggests the new world order cannot include the whole world. Central to the liberal impulse, going back to Wilson, has been the notion that it must conquer the globe. Russia is like a stain that they cannot get out of the fabric of global society. Putin is a new Tsar, the return of that same stubborn problem they cannot resolve.